Ways To Get High On High Art:
Experiencing With New Eyes
from Winsights column by Win Wenger, Ph.D.
goes far beyond art appreciation, to enrich the raw stuff of perception
per se. It is a really great way to create a "high"
experience, one of the more enjoyable of your life.
You can enhance
this highly repeatable experience even further on special occasions
with a temporary boost effect via simple nutrition. For that temporary
boost effect before an intended main enrichment experience, just
as you would before an important sports competition, you might wish
to nourish your organs of perception with Vitamin A or beta carotene,
the nucleic acids RNA/DNA, and/or brewers nutritional yeast. Heavy
foods, alcohol or artificial substances just prior to a main perceptual
enrichment experience would impede the highest qualities of perception
even though the following protocols (behavior recipes) may
be strong enough to carry past such hindrances.
[For here now and at the art museum later.] Simple way to counter
neuronal habituation which, to greater or lesser degree,
normally deadens everyone's senses. Nerves, circuitry and the brain
itself go to sleep on a constant signal, awaken on a changing signal.
Arousing the sensory nervous system by rapid change of stimulus
(as in sequential rapid montages), lets you perceive with far more
plan, phase one: the "flick-gazing" exercise conducted
here, by yourself or, preferably, in a group. (Originally published
in my book, still available from Project Renaissance--contact http://www.winwenger.com
or e-mail me at Win@thebestweb.com>)--How To Increase Your
Intelligence.) See if, by looking at a different face or different
feature of this room every half second or so for 3 to 5 minutes,
you don't awaken your vision to see nearly as much of what you were
looking at during that half second as you normally would by staring
at it. The importance of vision--80% of the area of the brain
is involved in visual response. This simple flick-gazing trains
that much of your brain to handle more information far more quickly.
If that increases intelligence, then make the most of it!
plan, phase two: [Here, now, on a walk through the landscape
or streetscape just outdoors; the Art Museum later]. While here,
alone with a tape recorder or preferably with a live partner or
so: pick at least one, preferably two partners from here who will
also be going over to the museum. Here, describe in detail what
you encounter, to tape recorder and/or live partner(s). [Teachers:
this is also a great thing to do for your classes, especially before
any field trip, not just visits to an art museum!) At the museum,
each of you together (a) remind each other to flick-gaze at the
works around you on exhibit; (b) do so yourself; (c) immediately
from flick-gazing, orient on one or two especially outstanding works
to examine with awakened eyes, pointing out and describing in detail
to each other all the features which to you are so special
about that work.
rule of Description: if it occurs to you in the context, go ahead
and say it. Keep on finding all the fresh things to say about it
which somehow further describe it.
descriptive phase should run 10-20 minutes, and reach a point where
it becomes a real challenge to convey through your language the
effects you are describing. The more you have to "reach"
to effectively describe such effects, the greater your gains in
your own powers of:  language;  observation;  intellect!
working with partners as urged here, will let you master the techniques
to such an extent that you not only transform the special experience
tonight at the museum but then are able forever after to use these
ways on your own to enrich your life whenever you are in a beautiful
setting, artistic or natural. If you opt not to work with partners
tonight, you may or may not have enough of any of the techniques
to be useful to you.
the Windows of Perception: using a breathing meditation to clarify,
among other things, vision. Preferred: that form of the psychegenic
"Calm-Breathing Patterns" known as "Noise-Removal
Breathing," originally published in Beyond O.K.
group training here in this breathing pattern.
In brief: With
each slow next breath in, breathe in as if you were breathing
in from below and from behind. Breathe in as if
you were breathing in all the way up from the very bottoms of your
feet, while releasing each breath luxuriously out through normal
channels. Luxuriate also with the feeling of as-if your breathing
were coming in and working its way through all the tissues and cells
of your feet, ankles, legs and lower body up to where you release
and profoundly let go through normal channels. Make each
next breath feel more luxurious than the previous slow breath; manage
to let go still more with each next slow breath out than
with the previous breath out. Like the wind swirling around corners
of buildings, swirling up debris and dry leaves and carrying them
away, let your incoming breath seem to be swirling through all your
tissues and cells of your feet, of your ankles, of your lower legs,
swirling through all the nooks and crannies and swirling up and
away whatever didn't belong there - all tensions, toxins, tiredness
like those dried leaves. Let these release in your outgoing breath,
as they hit the open air let them release into hot bright sparks
of fresh new life energy. See how much of the tiredness or other
stuff, other "noise" that didn't belong, you can sweep
up and away out of various parts of your body and turn into those
hot bright sparks of fresh new life energy....
GBD.com without it costing you a dime. Learn
this into a well-practiced, very good feeling, meditation, 5-20
minutes at a time. See if you can get in at least 3 rounds of such
practice before you go to that art museum experience....
gaze upon some feature of the room or landscape across from you,
or later at the museum upon some work of art... Sweep your incoming
breath through that space between you and what you are gazing
at, sweeping up and away whatever had been between you and
fuller, richer perception of what you are gazing at.....
with your previously selected partner(s), at the Museum,
using the Noise-Removal Breathing to intensify/ clarify perception
of select works of art, comparing notes in detail with your partner(s)
as to what this breathing brings into view for you about that particular
work of art.
Through And With The Eyes of the Artist. Experience "putting
on the head" of some artist to "become" that artist.
First, here, experience an imaginary garden landscape, describing
to your partner(s) every detail. Then bring in the artist, describe
her or him or it, to live partner or to your tape recorder. Imagine
putting on the head of that artist, as concretely as you can. Waft
forward into that imagined artist, bring your eyes to where
the eyes are of this artist so you are looking through and
with those artist's eyes. Bring your ears and other senses
to where those of the imagined artist's are, so you are listening
and sensing through and with those of the artist.
Use her or his senses and sensibilities to look around at this same
garden landscape and amazedly detail what the artist is seeing that
you hadn't noticed before you became that artist. Then and
only then go through some of the experience of that artist creating
At the Museum:
with your partner(s) (or pocket tape recorder), view select works
of art first with objective (your own) eyes; then put on the head
and eyes of that work's artist, richly describing in detail to one-another
the resulting changes in perception of the painting or sculpture.
"putting on the head of the artist" is also used to actually
and rapidly learn the skills of the artist, and can be used
to accelerate and enrich the learning of virtually any subject or
skill. It is a form of "Periscopic Learning" or "High
Leverage Learning" as trained in detail in the book Beyond
Teaching And Learning. In turn, this type of learning
method is only one of a dozen major types of accelerated/enhanced
learning method now in world use. Some types, as does "Periscopic
Learning," feature use of forty or more specific individual
methods and techniques, each of which conveys years of learning
or sophistication within hours of practice. The first mention in
the literature of periscopic-type learning as an accelerated learning
procedure was Schroeder and Ostrander's early report on art classes
(and later music) conducted by Russian hypnotist Vladimir Raikov.
into the Infinite Aesthetic Hologram--(whimsically, this may
also be referred to as "tuning into the G.H.P.B.S. network
broadcast"--the Galactic Holomindartcast Public Broadcasting
to Image Stream, as per previous "winsights" entries,
or send for your set of free instructions how, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the end
of the Museum experience or immediately thereafter, while
you are still with one or both partners: Let your arts-stimulated
image streaming faculties show you their art gallery. While
you describe back and forth with your partners, let your "Arts
Channel" Image Stream show you works of art possibly even more
beautiful than those you have been viewing at the Museum.
Channel" happens spontaneously anyway if you do some practice
in Image Streaming, and the arts reward is so strong we don't try
to interpret the meaning of the images in that channel--we just
detail and enjoy the beauty. You may be astonished at how intensely
your beauty-perceiving faculties may be activated.
These 4 protocols are yours to enjoy and, if you
so choose, to share with co-explorers and people whom you care about,
even to teach. It is a way to enrich without significant cost, not
only the experience of art and beauty, but life generally.
Note: Not only
the arts themselves, but the act of art criticism and music criticism,
by expressively working together widely separate regions of the
brain working together, may cumulatively integrate phase relationships
between those regions of the brain and so build intelligence--see
our descriptions, in "winsights" and elsewhere, of brain-based
"Pole-Bridging." --So detail those descriptions!
this "winsights" column, these 4 protocols were developed
by Project Renaissance specifically for the Arts Theme base of the
1994 Creative Problem Solving Institute, for educative purposes.
Copyright 1994, 1997, by Win Wenger, Ph.D., 301/948-1122 or Box
332, Gaithersburg, MD 20884-0332 U.S.A. However, this paper may
be freely reproduced (in whole, including this copyright notice,
but not in part) to share with people whom you care about. Enjoy!
©1998 by Project Renaissance (regarding this internet version
only, other copyrights may apply). While we encourage the free distribution
of this article (complete text only, including this notice and acknowledgement
of source), we do require that expressed permission be granted by
Project Renaissance for any major republication. For minor printing
and sharing, we only request that you notify us.
To reach Win Wenger, please visit his website at
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