Home Page 1 of 3

Borrowed Genius
Excerpted from Beyond Teaching And Learning:
How to borrow some genius for
your own direct use

by Win Wenger, Ph.D.

Of eight major types of accelerated/enhanced learning presented in the book, Beyond Teaching And Learning, we can give you at least a glimpse of one here. We call it "Periscopic Learning;" also "Borrowed Genius" and a few other things. You can read Chapter 1 of this book here online. A brief review of the book is in the Book Reviews section.

How to learn through a periscope

o We had enrolled our 4-year-old daughter in a neighborhood swim team, not for the sake of competing but simply for safety reasons, to ensure she would be competent in the water. During one of the team's meets, in one heat a clerical error had her swim as the only small kid among 8-, 9- and 10-year-olds. To our amazement, she swam far faster than ever before and finished right in the middle of the pack.

"How did you do that?!?" we asked her. Her reply: "I made-believe I was one of the big kids."

o In Camelot, Merlin was working with young King Arthur at a point where Arthur was imagining himself to be a hawk. Asked Merlin of Arthur: "What does the hawk know, that Arthur does not know?"

Seeing through another's eyes

o Like projecting your view through a periscope:  let some aspect or part of you "become" a whole, distinct person who happens to be the world's greatest genius in what you are trying to learn. Through that new vantage point cum periscope, see and understand easily what had been obscure to you before...

o ...Just create such genius in the same sense that tribesmen of the Bear Clan wore the heads of bears to better understand the wilderness from which they made their living...

o ...Or in the same sense that one young lad of our experience, about to "not make" his high school's baseball team, working with us during an hour of "putting on the heads" of his various baseball heroes, discovered through one of those "hero heads" how to get extra focus on the baseball by swinging, not at the baseball itself but at an imaginary flyspeck on that baseball. He made the team; his first ten games he batted 800; at season's end he was voted MVP by not only his team but by his school's entire league.

o ...Or in the same sense that in our very first 1977 experiment which launched Project Renaissance, a secretary starting to take violin lessons leaped from raw beginner to advanced student in two lessons by our special way of "putting on the head" of great violinists. She came by to visit our second experiment three weeks later and gave us a very nice concert. (ALL of us were getting similar results in our chosen areas even before we perfected this method!)

Each of the current 44 diverse methods for Periscopic Learning, through Project Renaissance's strategies of contextual projection and description, enables one to learn with understanding, or gain in skills, years' worth in only hours: truly "accelerated learning!" Periscopic Learning is only one of many types of accelerated learning method.


Periscopic Learning for adults
Borrowed Genius, below, helps you define a context with whatever it is you want to deep-learn somewhere within it. We do give you a starting focus, the garden, but as soon as you can notice your imagery doing something different from what the book "calls for," follow that, your imagery, with your describing instead of the scripted steps, because:  it's where your imagery shows you unexpected things that you are into payoff territory.

An important region of our greater resource base, our pattern-recognizing right temporal lobe, is also the part of our system which perceives and responds to beauty. Hence, it is invaluable to design beauty into that first, easy-start, part of the context. For this we mostly use imagined gardens, parks, parkland, deep woodlands, mountain-tops, or other exquisitely lovely natural settings.

The context forms an internal consistency if we let it, congruent with the perceptions or understandings or skills you are seeking. What that means is, if you were "supposed to" describe a lush garden and you find yourself looking at a desert, describe that desert and see where it leads to. Respond to and describe what you find, not what you expect.

"Describe what comes up" in imagery, not just "what ought to be there."


As mentioned, begin with something easy and pleasant to describe, and beautiful. Describe it with eyes kept closed, as rapidly as you can and in as much exquisitely rich sensory detail as you can. Keep a rapid flow of richly detailed description going, and describe what actually emerges in your mind's eye rather than sticking with what you expected to see there.

We have defined a few example contexts and spelled out some specific procedures for their use, to help you get started into effective use of these deep-access, high-leverage procedures. We provide the taping and/or group-teaching version of the main procedure first, as this version is done in more detail than the solo-use version which follows. Reading through that main procedure, even if you are working alone, will help you when you use the shorter, simpler, summarized second version.

Following that shorter, simpler second version, in the new, year 2000 edition of the book, Beyond Teaching And Learning, we've added a special Chapter Appendix giving you another version altogether, a version to use with young children.

Borrowed Genius — Page 2 of 3
This article continues on next page — please click here:Click to continue on next page
Home | T&L Techniques index | Borrowed Genius | 2 | 3 |

©2001 Project Renaissance