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Over-the-Wall
Basic Post-Einsteinian Discovery Technique
for Creative Solution-Finding

by Win Wenger, Ph.D.

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Background
Most of this presentation is a single experience, a hands-on encounter with a combination Socratic and Einsteinian procedure known as "Over-the-Wall." The remainder of this brief is a script of step-by-step instructions for solving problems or finding answers by means of this method. Our hope is that, with the experience you receive here, plus this script of step-by-step instructions, you will be able to carry forward freely to address any and all issues around you with full creative ingenuity by means of this specific method.

For this procedure you need another person as a live listener, or a tape recorder as "potential listener," which evokes from you a response very different from when you use a purely imaginary listener or "describe to yourself."

The "Over-the-Wall" procedure has been called other things as well—the "Revealed Surprise" method and the "Sudden Answer Space" Method. Although it is a receptive visualization—meaning that you give your subtler resources the opportunity to surprise you with what they provide you in answer—"Over-the-Wall" is also in part a directed visualization. The directed part is an imaginary, beautiful garden, bounded on one side by a high wall beyond which you are requested not to look for the time being. Beyond the wall let there be an answer space, the scene where your answer is put on display for you.

Please note:  The picture below is not intended to substitute for your own imagery, though it may be helpful to some people in going for a wealth of detail in what they can describe there. For problem-solving purposes one needs to work with one's own, spontaneous imagery, rather than with the directed imagery which such a picture represents.

Photography by Elan Sun Star
Photography by Elan Sun Star
 

The garden provides:

  • A running start for your describing interior experience, and brings on visual experience even in some who did not initially get imagery in efforts at Image-Streaming.

  • An experience of beauty, further involving those beauty-respondent sectors of your brain and mind whose insight we are seeking to discover.

  • A "safe space," where you can simply relax into the pleasures of relating the experience, without concern over the problem which is already being taken care of at other levels of your mind.
The wall provides:
  • A convenient screen, beyond which the stage can be set by your subtler faculties for displaying whatever the answer is to be, without interference from your conscious mind and expectations.

  • An opportunity for suddenness, a threshold we can cross abruptly to catch by surprise—and be surprised by—our first impression of what that answer is, regardless of our prior expectations.
The Answer Space, screened from our interference by that wall, allows us entire worlds if need be as the stage upon which the (hopefully surprising) answer will be displayed. The only limits upon the process are those we put there ourselves. The Answer Space can also be a space for Image-Streaming (if you go over the wall without an agenda, as distinct from being in pursuit of a specific answer to a specific issue). With slight modifications, the Answer Space can be made to reveal inventions, new scientific discoveries, new arts and art forms, and even—new methods for solving problems!

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Choose a question
The first step at this point is for you, now, to choose some question or issue you would really like to find the answer to, and to apply it to the following procedure. The question can bear on your personal life, your job, your career, your community, national or world problems, even scientific or technical problems—so long as you passionately do want to find its answer. (That is far more arousing to your subtler, more comprehensive faculties than some trivial or trick question would be.)

You will get better results with "Over-the-Wall" on open-field type questions, as distinct from "yes/no." For example, "What's the best way to earn a raise from my boss," instead of "Should I ask my boss for a raise?" This gives your faculties some room to work in to show you what they perceive in the context of your question.

Your question will win better results if its answer can be made into some sort of "win-win" situation, with creation of positive value, instead of resulting in someone else's loss or harm, as in picking the right purchases in the stock market, or horses in a race, or lottery numbers. See the above example, which has both you and your boss "win" contrasted to "How can I extract a raise from my boss?" That more sensitive part of you, which gives better answers because it takes so many more factors into account than can our word-plodding conscious thinking minds, also takes more interests (and longer-term interests) into account!

Write down your chosen question, problem or issue you have selected for solving with this experience on this occasion.

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Have a listener
You must have another person to work with, or at least a tape recorder to record your ongoing observations during this voyage of discovery. Paper and pen will not suffice— you need to describe your impressions aloud, to a listening, external focus.

Please do not proceed further until you have written down the question you are about to seek an answer to, and until you have another person in place to work with you or, at the very least, a tape recorder to instantly record your impressions into. This external focus provides a huge swing factor difference in outcomes. With live listener/co-learner, success in this procedure is highly probable. With tape recorder, success is still probable. Without either, failure would be virtually guaranteed!

(Instead of a live partner reading you these instructions and hearing your responses, you could use two tape recorders, one cuing you with your pre-recorded instructions in playback, the other to receive your described experiences. But really, it's better by far with a live person working with you!)

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Step-by-step instructions
Here are the step-by-step instructions for the rest of the "Over-the-Wall" procedure... (One additional purpose for your live listener would be to read you these instructions, so you could give all of your attention, especially visual attention, to the experiences being called for...)

1. With your question established, simply set it aside and don't give it any more conscious thought for a while. Instead of confronting the question directly, give your more sensitive resources the opportunity to set up a space where the answer to that question will be on display for you. To screen that answer space from interference by what you "know" about the problem in your conscious mind, imagine that this answer space is screened from your view by a great wall.—a wall you can't "see" past until you are beyond it yourself.

With your eyes closed to see more freely, imagine that wall to be screening from sight your answer space on its far side while on this side, the nearer side of that wall, you are in a very beautiful garden, a garden extraordinarily lovely but very different from any you've ever seen before. Beyond that wall, without further concern or effort from your conscious mind, is now being set for you on display the best answer to that question you decided to address some moments ago. Over here, on this side of that screening wall, be in this exquisitely beautiful garden....

(There is a very short form of these instructions following this set, to make it easy for you to take yourself through this experience without opening your eyes even with only the one recorder, that being to record your experiences.—But working with a live person is so much better....)
2. With your eyes kept closed without interruption, imagine being in the midst of this strangely beautiful garden. It might help to pretend that you are a radio reporter, setting background just before an expected event, "painting word pictures" of this garden for your listening radio audience. Starting with what is directly in front of you, there in that garden, and then all around, describe this garden in richly textured detail to your listening audience. Make your listener see and feel and smell and taste and experience the utter reality of your garden, through the rich textures of your description..... (5 to 10 minutes of rapid continuous description)

3. Now go up to this side of the wall and describe the wall the same way that you've been describing the garden. Don't sneak a peek yet at what is on the other side of that wall. But put your hand on the wall and study the feel of it, lean your face up against it, make the feel and smell of the wall real to your listeners as well as its appearance....
(In all this description, notice when and if you get visual mental images in your mind's eye, like in a dream. If you see them, switch to describing them even if they go off into other things than garden and wall and answer space, because they can be a more direct route to what your more sensitive faculties want to show you.)
4. Don't sneak a peek yet, at the answer on display on the other side of the wall. Suddenness is the key, here, to catching your answer in view before your conscious "knowledge" about the question can jump in and say, "No, that can't be it, so the answer has to look like thus and so." The trick is to experience "jumping over the wall" so suddenly that you catch even yourself by surprise, to catch by surprise what's there now on the far side of the wall and you are yourself surprised by what you find there.
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