Prologue A Keynote Address|
Given by Dr. Win Wenger at
the Annual Conference of
the Society for Effective/Affective Learning
University of Stockholm
Stockholm, SwedenMay 17, 1984
The following remarks led into a demonstration experience
in spontaneous visual imaging, or
We ourselves are “information,” and take on meaning, value, definition to the
degree that we express, articulate, and report or record from our own first-hand
observations. As we do so, we not only draw upon more knowledge than we thought
we knew, but upon the very same taproots from which sprung nearly all the
contributions to human civilization and culture worth mentioning.
we draw upon these wellsprings of genius, for a number of reasons, when we
practice expressing, articulating and recording our necessarily first-hand
observations of our own semi-unconscious, undirected, ongoing visual mental
imagery which runs on in each of us at this very moment.
Who and what are you - as educators and as human beings? Certainly not just your
bodies now sitting there, because: every seven years, physicians tell us, all
the substance of your body has cycled out and new substance cycled in, some of
it many times over. Hardly a particle remains in you of your body from seven
years ago, when you were you then also.....
What remains, what is precious, what is you, is the pattern, the
Your measure as a person, your meaning as a human being, is not the meat and
substance of your body but your enduring pattern, your information, your
You acquire value as a person, you add meaning, to at least some extent as your
information takes on definition.
My information, my definition, takes on meaning as I talk with you. My
information takes on definition as I express it to you.
Ostensibly I am here to present to you or teach you new things. In truth I teach
only myself. For these few moments of lecture I am using you as an
instrument to develop and focus my perception, to add definition to my
information, to take on meaning.
This was the function of schools - it’s in the very name of “education.”
The Latin root word: “educare - to draw forth.”
Schools existed as “education” in this sense two ways:
Students were there as the listening instrument through which scholars and
thinkers could develop their own definition, perception, meaning.
In return, students were sometimes served by the Socratic Method. Just as
scholars were given their chance to develop their own definition through
discourse, in fair exchange students were guided by extremely adroit questioning
to discover themselves and their world, in their efforts to answer such
questions through introspection and personal observation.
Socrates, Plato, other great ones knew that knowledge is in and of us and all
That knowledge becomes us, we take on definition and value as human
beings, in large part as we articulate that knowledge into our own full
consciousness, to listeners or readers, from our own ongoing
What is strange about this is that you know this already, long since,
though it just didn’t seem to be very relevant to what you and your colleagues
are doing in education.
What is also strange about this is that it sounds strange and
philosophical to you instead of a matter-of-fact everyday reality - so
completely and for so long have schools forgotten and moved away from their main
purposes and strategy of being.
We take on meaning and definition, in large part as we express and expose to
feedback, with listeners an/or readers, our own personal first-hand
Indeed, one of the best, most immediate ways we know of to become a more potent
human being is: to begin making your own first-hand observations,
expressing, articulating and recording those observations. As you do so your
observations, perceptions and ideas will come unstuck and will evolve.
The Scientific Revolution historically did not come to us because of the
“Scientific Method.” The “scientific method” is a way to pull weeds of error and
that is good - but that did not bring us the Scientific Revolution. What brought
us the Scientific Revolution was a few individuals, later to become known as
great scientists, who got into the practice of making their own observations and
systematically recording them.
The fastest, most direct way we know of to change the world for the better, we
believe, is to get many people at large (beginning with each other and with your
students!) into the practice of making their own first-hand observations,
expressing, articulating and recording those observations. As they do so their
observations, perceptions, thoughts and ideas will come unstuck and will
How much of what goes on today could continue if many people at large
were into the practice of exercising and recording and expressing their own
powers of independent observation? How much of what so desperately needs doing
today would in fact be addressed if many, many people around had their own eyes
with which to see? We have begun to think of this - and hope that you will come
to share this sense with us - as a well-nigh “sacred mission:” to practice, and
to foster and spread the practice, of making one’s own first-hand observations,
articulating, expressing and recording those observations!
1. Innate to any sensory sorting principle is the response of then discerning
some sort of relationship(s) between those differentiated perceptions. Those
relationships are what defines “making sense” of a situation.
2. The romance over left- and right-brain functions and qualities has far
outstripped the actual available neurological data.....and has done so precisely
because it is so very useful as a metaphor. It is so very useful as a metaphor
precisely because it then serves as a perceptual sorting system in a large realm
of crucial meaning. It is through the relationships we discover between “left
and right poles of consciousness,” pole-bridging between these “opposite”
clusters of traits, that will enable us not only to make sense of things but of
At this time the apparent best, easiest, most direct way to train or develop the
practice of making one's own first-hand observations, is the
spontaneous-imaging, “Image-Streaming,” experience we are about to share
together here. (Ed. noteas of December 2008: this experience is similar to the
one for which instructions are provided beginning at
Image-Streaming and overviewed at
Welcome to Image-Streaming, and detailed comprehensively in
Charles Roman's book,
Image-Streaming: Reaching the higher powers of your mind. We encourage you to examine
your experience of this approach to fostering and training the powers of such
independent observation, and/or to find or to create your own way to do so. We
believe that few things could be more urgent or important.
The reasons why we believe that Image-Streaming
has to be such a valuable way to practice and build independent powers of
1) The contents of such observation are most completely yours - not the
ideas, beliefs, expectations, laws, “scientific laws,” or dogma of anyone else
(including any baggage of mine!).
2) In pressing toward best, most reinforcing, results, your describing has to
be sensory detail - directly and honestly and immediately descriptive of the
spontaneous perceptions you are describing - however analytic, understanding or
abstract you may get with that image content after you’ve established it.
What makes this Image-Streaming most rewardingly effective for you, just happens
also to be what most honestly and forthrightly and freely builds your objective
powers of observation whatever the context.
3) Building powers of language (through surmounting the challenge of sometimes
having to describe the indescribable), intelligence and creativity - by building
bridges of communication between east and west poles of your consciousness, so
to speak - are bound also to make you an even more potent person than before. -
This aside from the specific visual-thinking and solution-finding skills ensuing
from this Image-Streaming practice. These latter skills, of course, make all of
this practical by turning the contents of your Image-Stream into practical,
solid information, a-ha!’s and specific solutions to specific problems and
questions. (Ed. noteas of December 2008: see, for example,
Over the Wall or
4) Image-Streaming is so obviously a direct link with the same source or kind of
source as has been demonstrated by every one of those few geniuses who have made
virtually every major contribution to human culture and civilization. You and
Leonardo and Bucky Fuller have this one same resource in common. (Ed. noteAs
described by Catherine Cox, nearly every major contribution was contributed from
among but a tiny handful of individuals. “The Early Mental Traits of Three
Hundred Geniuses,” in Genetic Studies of Genius, Lewis M. Terman, editor,
Vol. II, Stanford University Press, 1926.)
What has any of this notion of making first-hand observations,and of the idea of
expressing and articulating such perceptions into focus - what has any of this
to do with Suggestopedia or Dr. Lozanov’s work? (Ed. note: the breakthrough
pioneering work of the Bulgarian psychiatrist Dr. Georgi Lozanov was a main
topic and source of inspiration to the Superlearning/accelerated-learning
movement in Europe, just as it was early on in the United States. This was the
common frame of reference with the audience in which Win was speaking.)
Lozanov is the first great one in our time to really remind some of us that
there are other dimensions to the learner than that of merely a passive, grossly
imperfect recipient of knowledge or even an active consumer of knowledge. - And
that some of these other dimensions are profoundly significant in intellectual
and educational regards.
The details of Lozanov’s strategy may differ from the strategies we share here
today and tomorrow, but Lozanov’s first concern, as is ours, is with the learner
and not with the information imparted to the learner. (Indeed, his system
arose as a therapy and only then became a system of teaching!) Despite
the general focus of attention on such matters as active and passive concert
sťances, pattern- and rhythm-meshing relaxation, orchestrated subliminal
suggestive cues and so on - despite these things, much of his method is also
strategies for inducing the learner to flow freely from unconscious knowledge,
for the learner to himself perceive and articulate the information to which the
class is addressed. That aspect of similarity of course has been in part
disguised by the need of any foreign language class to teach the arts of
speaking in that language.
At first blush, the Project Renaissance
approach appears to differ greatly from the Suggestopaedic, not only because of
the specific methods but because, instead of memorization,
Project Renaissance orients on building
understandings - intellectual and aesthetic understandings - and
physically involved skills.
Yet that one key difference - better memorization in the Suggestopaedic, versus
better understanding and skills in the Project Renaissance approach - is one of
the most obvious things rendering these two approaches usefully complementary.
Both of these systems remarkably accelerate and enrich learning - but in no way
do they “compete for the same ecological niche” even though both are forms of
highly accelerated learning. Each strengthens the other, each reaches areas the
other is not yet ready to address fully well.
As we begin to explore and define differences in method, we shall find not only
further complementarities but new synergies, and new perceptions, upon our
common role of building the learner as a meaningful, educated human
Tomorrow we will experience together some of the specific ways Project Renaissance works to build
specific understandings and skills. Today, I wish to go straight to the core of
the matter. I wish to share with you today one strategy for adding meaning and
definition to human lives and to our own lives - through a practice of
articulating to an external focus, ongoing first-hand personal observations.
The form of that practice we’ll do here is “Image-Streaming.”
First, one more thought: the old version of the Socratic Method required such
skill and attention of the teacher that “education” in any truly meaningful
sense was only for a small elite, a very favored few. Today, “education” in the
fully, humanly meaningful, sense, can be made readily available to everyone,
because of new methods available today and because everyone today has or can
obtain at least simple audio recorders as their listeners. Meanwhile here and
now, we here in this Conference have, not just audio recorders but one another,
By being, in effect, each other’s audio recorders, you can immediately begin to
add meaning, value, definition, and “education” to one another's lives.
(The session then went into a hands-on experience of
which everyone had rich opportunity and experience in discerning, articulating,
and reporting or recording their own, first-hand, perceptions and
A quarter century later, the above basic premises still hold, even though it is
since then that we have found out by far the greater part of what we now know
and about related phenomena. For further key parts of how we now understand the
effects of Image-Streaming,
and of Socratic Method, please see the article which begins at
Feeding the Loop.