The Sublime Power of Mental Images
Working with mental images activates a different mode of consciousness which is holistic and intuitive.
— Henri Bortoft, The Wholeness of Nature
In Heri Bortoft's The Wholeness of Nature, we learn from Bortoft that "working with mental images activates a different mode of consciousness."
Bortoft did fascinating work working along side David Bohm to assist him with pioneering work in the quantum physics and science of understanding wholeness.
In The Wholeness of Nature, Bortoft undertakes an in-depth study of the work of famed German poet and scientist, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in the development of modern science.
Most people are familiar with Goethe as a poet and dramatist, not his scientific work. In The Wholeness of Nature, Bortoft introduces the fascinating scientific theories of Goethe.
Goethe’s way of doing science was not a poet’s folly but a genuine alternative to the dominant scientific paradigm. Bortoft shows that a different, "gentler" kind of empiricism is possible than that demanded by the dualizing mind of modern technological science and demonstrates that Goethe’s participatory phenomenology of a new way of seeing
I was immediately attracted to Bortoff's thinking on mental images when I first encountered it because it captured the essence of what I experience in creating the images I feature in each article.
In my case, I start with an idea, concept, or quote that has influenced me and that I have had a direct experience with. I capture in a simple image whatever appears in my mind.
At least, that's where it starts. I typically iterate at least a dozen variations or new designs for every design published here.
But it's also not just me. When I feel I have something that's ready and captures the quote's essence, I run it by my partner to see how she responds.
Ninety percent of the time, she has a suggestion that improves the design or tells me to go back to the drawing board and look in a new direction.
In the meantime, I'm exercising and opening up a new part of my consciousness, deepening my understanding.
It's my intention that what I publish here will deepen and expand your thinking and consciousness in the same way, so you can use these ideas and enact them in your work and life.
What surprised me
Earlier this fall, my good friend and colleague John Ryskowski presented a collection of the Space Beyond Boundaries designs at the opening session of a conference in California.
John had arranged to have all the designs from the portfolio collection (183 at the time) printed as a collection of cards. The cards were spread out on the table and the attendees were asked to select one card as they entered the room that attracted their interest.
I attended the workshop via Zoom while John led the session in the room. What I witnessed was that the cards generated a lot of interest, excitement, and curiosity. This was something that people had never seen or encountered before.
John then asked each person why they picked the card they selected. Their responses were fascinating. Some were attracted to the image, others found the quote meaningful and as you might imagine, others found the combination of the image and quote intriguing.
What I found interesting and surprising was that each attendee was most interested in expressing their own interpretation of the image, quote, or card. My expectation was that people would be more interested in why I created the image and what I intended to convey through the design. Oh, well!
In the end, John and I received a lot of positive feedback that it was the perfect opening session. People opened up to share how they processed their selection and that it really bonded the group and gave people a new perspective and understanding of something meaningful.
Printed and virtual cards coming soon
Arrangements are currently in progress to have the Space Beyond Boundaries designs available in a few weeks as a collection of printed cards.
Realizing that much of the world is still meeting virtually, I am also making the designs available as a Miro board that I will use to run workshops or that you can purchase to run your own workshops.
More information on the product details and how to order will be published in the near future.
Participate in a virtual board workshop demo
In the meantime, I'm testing an early prototype of a Miro board workshop experience. If you would like to participate, there is a signup option below (online newsletter only). Email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are reading this newsletter in your email.
I'll send you a link to access the board. Then I'll follow up with a few dates to run a limited workshop experience using Zoom. You'll have the opportunity to share why you selected the card and hear why others made their selections.
I think it will be a great experience and hope you will consider attending. I'd like to get your feedback on the design and experience using Miro, so I can use it to finalize the design for the first release of the product.
If you are viewing this newsletter via email, you will need to go to the online version to see the signup form. The link to the online version is above in the header.
Or alternatively, email me at email@example.com to let me know you'd like to participate.
What did you find most intriguing?
I invite you to share what you found most intriguing in the comments (online) below.
Sign up for free! Every week you'll get insights and new perspectives to help you be a Forward Thinking leader and workplace of tomorrow — today!
— Bill Fox, Founder, Space Beyond Boundaries
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