Sheila Ostrander & Lynn Schroeder - Super-LearningUC

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Sheila Ostrander & Lynn Schroeder - Super-LearningUC


    Published by Dell Publishing Co., Inc. 1 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza New York, New York 10017

    This book was originally published by Delacorte Press and The Confucian Press, Inc.

    Copyright ? 1979 by Sheila Ostrander, Nancy Ostrander, and Lynn Schroeder

    All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the Publisher, except where permitted by law. For information address Delacorte Press, New York, New York. Laurel? TM 674623, Dell Publishing Co., Inc. 'SEN: 0-440-38424-9

    Reprinted by arrangement with Delacorte Press Printed in the United States of America September 1982 10 9




    Chapter 1 - Your Potential Quotient 3

    Chapter 2 - Supermemory 13

    Chapter 3 - Jet-Speed Learning Takes Off in the West 43 Chapter 4 - What Makes Superlearning Tick? 62

    Chapter 5 - The Not-Yet-Unraveted Side 77

    Chapter 6 - The Unobstructed Personality 87

    Chapter 7 - How to Do Superlearning 95

    Chapter 8 - Preparing Your Own Program 110

    Chapter 9 - Coaching Children 127

    Afterword 1979 - Other Innovators, Similar Systems 134 SECTION II SUPERPERFORMANCE

    Chapter 10- Superperformance in Sports 151 Chapter 11- A Soviet Program for Peak Performance Chapter 12- Pain Control 181 163




    Chapter 13- Future Abilities 197

    Chapter 14- The Well-Tempered Hunch: Professional and Personal 201 Chapter 15- "Second Sight" 218 Chapter 16- Bio-Rapport 239 SECTION I



    Chapter 17- Mental Yoga and Concentration Exercises 261 Chapter 18- Visualization and Autogenics Exercises 271 Chapter 19- Children's

Exercises 291 Chapter 20- The Possible HumanPossible Now? 299


    Appendix 307 Sources 317 Ribliography 325 Index 341 VI

    Chapter 1

    Your Potential Quotient

    "We are just beginning to discover the virtually limitless capacities of the mind ..." says Dr. Jean Houston, president of the Association for Humanistic Psychology.

    Mathematician Dr. Charles Muses puts it this way, "The potentials of consciousness remain well-nigh the last reachable domain for man not yet exploredthe Undiscovered Country."

    Dr. Frederic Tilney, one of France's outstanding brain specialists, declares, "We will, by conscious command, evolve cerebral centers which will permit us to use powers that we now are not even capable of imagining."

    Dr. Richard Leakey is involved in digging out humanity's three-mi I lion-year history. The potential for the human race, he feels, "is almost infinite." And, George Leonard, from his perspective as an education expert, concludes, "The ultimate creative capacity of the brain may be, for all practical purposes, infinite."

    We've just barely begun to realize the potential of a fully powered man or woman. The idea is becoming very vocal in the upper echelons. It's supported by people as various as theologian-scientist Teilhard de Chardin and mind-drug explorer Dr.



    Timothy Leary. And these potentials move out in all directions. According to psychologist Patricia Sun, we are at the point of developing "talents we haven't got words for." Neuroscientist and engineer Dr. Manfred Clynes has determined from hard scientific research that we are at the stage where we can develop new emotions, genuinely new states we've never before experienced.

    We've cracked the cocoon, we're being told. We can start shaking out our wings; it's time to claim our birthright. We can be so much more than we are. It's a seductive idea. And it always has been, because almost everybody has a secret, though few admit it. We feel there's something special about ourselves. Maybe it hasn't quite burst forth, maybe others don't quite see it, yet it's there, something special that sets us a little apart. Now, it's beginning to look as if all those unrealistic, stubborn human feelings are right. We are specialor could


    If we're going to grow into these potentials, waiting, it seems, just beyond reach, we have to have ways of doing it. And that's been the

    obstacle. Too often we can imagine how lab animals feel pushed on by little shocks, running faster and faster through their maze. Old fashioned trying harder isn't the answer. But perhaps trying a different route is.

    We need new ways, more efficient and less stressful ways of getting to these potentials. We need to learn how to learn. That's what this book is about, learning how to learn better and without stress. The kind of learning that makes you feel good while you're doing it. This book is also about how you can apply this learning skill in a great many areas of your life.

    The various learning systems covered are drawn from many sources. They come from the work of innovative doctors; the Bulgarian Ceorgi Lozanov, the German Johannes H. Schultz, the Spanish Alfonso Caycedo; they come from the long-tested science of yog;^ and from contemporary physiology and psychology. They come too from the accumulated experience of creative, accomplished individuals, from golf stars and ski champions to top American executives.

    Various as they are, all of these systems share a common viewpoint, a holistic viewpoint. They see you always as a whole person. Whether you are trying to learn French, to play tennis, or to make good business decisions, these systems work on the principle that you have a logical mind, a body, and a creative mind. In other words, they use left brain, body, and right brain in concert.

    In the past decade, complex research into how we think has turned into the pop concept of left brain/right brain. To oversimplify, the theory is that the left side of our brain has to do with logical, rational, analytical thinking. The right side is concerned with such things as intuition, creativity, imagination. Whatever you're doing, holistic learning methods try to insure that you're neither half-witted nor disembodied. The point is to keep the left brain, body, and right brain from working against each other and hamstringing your abilities. Going further, holistic learning aims to have these three work together to allow you to use the full power of your being.

    What happens when you do get yourself together is the difference between learning and superlearning. As many people are finding, there's a quantum jump in your ability to accomplish. Compared to the way most of us have been grinding along, this new approach is literally superlearning.

    It might help to think of an orchestra; brass, percussion, and strings. When the horns are featured, the drums and violins don't try to pound and saw against them. Nor do they go rambling off on their own. They play in concert. Logical mind, body, creative mindyou may be focusing

    with one, but because you are a whole person the other parts are there, are in resonance. They can create disharmony. Or, they can play in

    concert. Usually in our efforts to learn, we've separated ourselves into pieces. Superlearning works to put Humpty Dumpty back together again so he can see what he can become.

    Discovering just how much one can do is almost unsettling, as a group of Bulgarians found when they got involved with perhaps the most striking, far-reaching learning system in this


    book. They heard it was a way to learn and remember vast quantities of information, quickly, effectively and, it was claimed, with less effort than any of them thought possible. In the mid 1960"s, these fifteen professional people, men and women from twenty-two to sixty, gathered in a warm, sunny room in the Institute of Suggestology standing on a shady side street near the heart of Sofia. They were to take part in an experiment that they weren't at all happy about.

    "Nothing can come of this," a woman doctor complained to the architect beside her as the group arranged themselves in a circle of easy chairs. Others chimed in, an engineer, several teachers, a judge. "We should give up now. It's a waste of time." No one could offer much hope. The teacher arrived; she too was having trouble shaking the feeling that she'd been asked to do the impossible.

    Still, there they were and they began. As the class members shuffled through pages of material, the teacher started reading French phrases in different intonations. Then, stately classical music began in the background. The fifteen men and women leaned back, closed their eyes, and embarked on developing hypermnesia, more easily called supermemory. The teacher kept reciting. Sometimes her voice was businesslike as if ordering work to be done, sometimes it sounded soft, whispering, then unexpectedly hard and commanding.

    Shadows began to darken in the room, it was sunset, yet the teacher kept on, repeating in a special rhythm French words, idioms, translations. Finally, she stopped. They weren't through yet; they still had to take a test. At least the class members weren't its keyed up. Somehow during the session their anxiety had been smoothed, the usual kinks relaxed. But they still didn't hold much hope for decent test scores.

    Finally the teacher told them. "The class average is ninety-seven percent. You learned one thousand words in a day!"

    One thousandthey knew that was like learning almost half the working vocabulary of a language in a few hours. And thev'd done it effortlessly. Men and women wheeled out of the


    institute feeling ten feet taller, feeling as if they'd just had a fundamental encounter, for the extra-dimensional beings they'd met were themselves.

    Usually in such courses, people learn 50 to 150 new bits of information a session. This was an experiment. To Dr, Georgi Lozanov, the originator of the method, it helped prove something he suspected: The human ability to learn and remember is virtually limitless. Lozanov and his colleagues in Bulgaria and the Soviet Union call this "tapping the reserves of the mind." To the people who've tried, it's more like suddenly coming into a large legacy. They see themselves differently. Possibilities open up. They begin to grow into a larger notion of who they are and what they can do.

    This sort of rapid-teaming system can be used to learn any kind of factual information. It is left-brain learning. How can the logical mind suddenly perform with almost stupifying ability? It can soar because the body and right-brain abilities are in harmony, are lending their support, are playing in concert. In all the learning methods in this book, no matter which part of the whole is featuredleft-brain, body,

    right-brainthe others are there, harmonizing and supporting. That's why they are holistic learning systems. These systems can be used to learn chemistry, languages, or history. They can also be used to learn to shine at a business meeting or to give one's best performance on the tennis court. In Dr. Hannes Lindemann's case, all he wanted to do was put his feet on stable ground, on the Western shore.

    A decade before the Bulgarians were coming to the unsettling realization that they could all perform like "geniuses," Hannes Lindemann, a German medical doctor, embarked on a different kind of feat. Launching his one-man sailing canoe from the Canary Islands, he swung the bow of the canvas boat west; he was going to the new world. "West," Lindemann told himself, "west." The command even echoed and took form in his dreams. For seventy-two days and nights, he sailed on, sitting upright, like a lonely pea in his canvas shell. He could sleep


    only in snatches, there was almost no room to move about. On the fifty-seventh night, he got a break in routine. He capsized and lay on the slippery bottom of his canoe until dawn. Over a hundred other men had tried this type of crossing. All had failed. But Hannes Lindemann stepped onto the western shore at St. Martin in the West Indies and wound up smiling from the cover of Life. Not only did he survive, he did so in robust shape. He had learned, for instance, how to control circulation to protect parts of his body; he didn't even develop the saltwater sores that invariably fester under such conditions. "I succeeded," Lindemann says, "thanks to autogenic training. " He'd been taught this holistic method by its originator. Dr. Johannes H. Schultz, and believes, understandably, that he proved its soundness under the most overpowering circumstances. Autogenics and its many current adaptations are concerned with harmonizing all the forces of

    mind and body so the body can perform at its best. It also can help heal body and mind and give the kind of all-around, bounding health that few enjoy or even expect anymore.

    Not many people are going to wager their lives on a learning system as Dr. Lindemann did. But tens of thousands have proved these superlearning systems to be successful through their own experience. Plenty of scientific tests back these methods, but in the last few years things have begun to happen that don't really need any abstruse test to interpret. As you'll see, there's a lot of proof in flesh-and-blood performance. In the USSR, thousands of adults learned a language in twenty-four days. In Switzerland, skiers returned from the Olympics with gold and silver medals. In Bulgaria, children came home from their ordinary schools on their ordinary streets having learned in a month what usually takes half a year. In France and Spain, everyday people discovered they could mentally control their bodies and regulate their health. Some learned to release themselves from pain, without drugs. U.S. business people found intuition could help make the decisions that doubled profits. And when superlearning methods were used to help rehabili-



    tate the blind, blind people started to tell the sighted about things the sighted couldn't see.

    Superlearning methods always see you whole, in the round. They have something else in common that's harder to explain because it isn't straightforward. When you begin to operate more as a whole, seemingly inexplicable things can happen. A woman studying French suddenly finds her sinus trouble has disappeared; a man learning chemistry realizes his intuition has accelerated. An athlete doing body training techniques finds his concentration improved in academic exams. As obstructive divisions dissolve, all areas of the person can be strengthened. It's similar to light striking one facet of a crystal, soon it lights up another and another.

    This ricochet effect rearranged the life of Georgi Lozanov (Lo-z?n-ov), a doctor and psychiatrist, who didn't set out to be an educator. He did set out, following the old adage, to study the nature of man, of the human being in all its potential. Like just about everybody else, he concluded that we're only using a fraction of our capabilities. Lozanov devised ways to open the reserves of the mind and, as a doctor, put them to work to improve the body, to heal mental and physical disease. But in investigating what the whole human being can do, he couldn't help being drawn into creative and intuitive areas. Then still investigating, almost by necessity, he became one of the leading parapsychologists in the communist world. At the same time, Lozanov

    realized that with his new techniques, the average person could develop supermemory, could learn factual information with unheard-of ease. It is paradoxical that Lozanov is world famous for developing a system of factual learning; the path he first took seemed to be leading away from the typical Western overemphasis on factual thinking. But paradoxical is a left-brain word. It is paradoxical to the logical mind. From the more encompassing holistic point of viewit figures.

    In a sense, superlearning adds by taking away. The programs are geared to help dissolve fear, self-blame, cramped self-


    images, and negative suggestions about limited abilities. They try to flood away the many blocks we handicap ourselves with and release the unobstructed personality. It's not so much that superiearning gives you something new; it gives you something you already haveyourself.

    That's why it can be so very powerful. This centered, unobstructed self, this radiant self, as educator Paula Klimek calls it, knows. It seems to be plugged into a wider consciousness that knows how to accomplish almost anything.

    Success in learning, sports, business, and relationships is rewarding. People also seem to find another kind of reward in superiearningone

    more involved with doing than winning. There is a feeling of harmony one sometimes gets, of riding along on the full wave of one's being. It's a total satisfaction of itself, the kind that comes when you feel the bat connect solidly with the ball, when you really understand a difficult concept for the first time, when, for a moment, you find yourself wholly in tune with another person. It's lighting up alive, for that moment joyously .alive.

    Joy of learning is something you hear about in superiearning courses. For most of us learning hasn't always been a catapulting, joyous experience. But perhaps in the nature of things it was meant to be, because learning is growing and growing is life. One of the most common reports from those involved in superiearning courses is that as you get into the course, you start to feel goodgood about yourself and

    good about others.

    Perhaps one reason for feeling good is that superiearning deals with your potential quotient, not your intelligence quotient. For practical purposes today, our potentials seem limitless. As we limber up and own more of ourselves, it's beginning to look too as if IQ may not be as fixed as we thought.

    Arthur Young is a philosopher and inventor; Charles Muses is a mathematician and a cosmologist. Not long ago, they collected the views of some of the seed people of our time, pulse takers and concept changers, in a book called Consciousness and Reality, in their preface they wrote, "It is the moment of



    evolutionary truth for the race, and what man does with that moment will be more important than the events of the previous millennia." As we've said, to be more than we are is a sweet old idea, but there is perhaps a deeper reason why these new learning methods are beginning to quicken around the globe. It has to do with the historical moment. We're running out of gas in more ways than one. We seem to be running down in the old tracks in all areas of society- A few years ago, word came out of the Soviet Union that they were attempting to train their cosmonauts in precognitionthe ability to foreknow, to see the future. Cosmonauts are traveling so fast, one scientist explained, that they have to know beforehand what's going to happen, just to keep up. A lot of us are beginning to get that feeling.

    Horse-and-buggy learning isn't practical in a jet-speed age. If we could look down from Olympus, we'd probably see that we've just about streamed past the jet age too. We want to stay part of our world, to feel the center isn't out there, somewhere, treadmilling us along. To make the decisions, to have the equanimity and the capabilities we need, it is quite probable that now is the time to open up those further, rarely used circuits of ourselves. We're told we only use about ten percent of our brains. The rest of it must have been built-in for a reason. As Dr. Frederic Tilney says, we will consciously evolve brain centers that will give us powers we can't even imagine now.

    This book presents some of the ways a great number of people have used to start reaching those reserves of mind and body. The first and major section deals with factual learning and rememberingleft-brain

    specialities. The second section deals with the body, with physical performance and health. The third section deals with intuition, creativity, and so-called extrasensory abilitiesright-brain

    activities. The whole book has to do with imagination. Napoleon worked out his battle strategy in a sandbox because, he said, "Imagination rules the world."

    To get yourself started, imagine what you could do if your 11


    ability to learn and remember increased five to fifty times. That's what the following section is about in detail. It's a holistic approach. If you follow this superlearning route to expanded memory, you may find that you're also re-membering and recollecting something elseyourself.


    Chapter 2

    A ruggedly built, sandy-haired man in his sixties with a perpetually

    wrinkled forehead walked quickly to the back of a large auditorium crammed with scientists. It was at Dubna, near Moscow, the Soviet Union's major atomic research center, and the prestigious audience included many world-renowned Soviet physicists.

    This man, Mikhail Keuni, an artist, was going to show these famous physicists how to do math. "Cover that huge blackboard with circles," he told a volunteer on stage at the front of the room. "They can intersect. They can be inside one another. Draw them any way you wish." As physicists spun the board around for Keuni to glance at, the audience laughed. It was totally white with circles. Keuni's eyes scarcely blinked. In two seconds he called out the total; "167!"

    It took the Soviet Union's foremost brain trust over five minutes to do the calculations necessary to verify Keuni's instant and accurate answer.

    Forty-digit numbers went up on the board and Keuni could recall them and calculate with them faster than a computer.


    After his demonstration of numerical memory and wizardry, Keuni received a letter from the scientists at the Joint Nuclear Research Institute: "If we weren't physicists, then it would be extremely difficult to verify that man's brain is capable of accomplishing such miracles." (Dubna, April 12, 1959.)

    Mikhail Keuni possesses the gift of supermemory, that is, what allows him to do instant math faster than a calculator. It also allows him to learn with extraordinary speed. If something registers on Keuni's mind once, he can retrieve it whole, without straining or trying hard. He can retrieve whatever he perceives. This superlearning ability stands him in good stead when he tours foreign countries to demonstrate his unusual abilities. He's never at a loss for words. In less than a month, for instance, he became completely fluent in Japanese. Then when tour plans were changed, he was said to have mastered Finnish in a week.

    Is Mikhail Keuni an evolutionary freak? Does he have a unique set of brain cells? Or is supermemory a basic human potential? h it something any of us could light up, at least in part, if we knew how? That was a leading question in our minds when we landed in the Soviet bloc countries in the summer of 1968 to attend the first Moscow International Conference on Parapsychology. Among others, we were going to talk to a Bulgarian scientist, Dr. Georgi Lozanov, who had investigated a number of people with extraordinary mental abilities like Keuni's. Lozanov had come to claim that supermemory was a natural human ability. Not only can anyone develop it, he said, but one can do so with ease. To prove his point there were supposedly thousands of people in Bulgaria and the Soviet Union who were well on their way

to acquiring supermemory of their own.

    We first heard of this new route to learning in Soviet bloc newspapers. "A Method That Can Transform Education," "Hidden Channels of the Mind." ran the headlines. "It's Possible to Learn a Language in a Month," said Pravda. The Bulgarian Evening News proclaimed. "Parapsychology Can He Ap-



    plied in Education." As press reports and scientific papers began to accelerate through the sixties, they grew steadily harder to believe. At first, Bulgarians and Soviets were supposedly learning 100 words of a foreign language in a day. Then it was 201. Next there were claims that people had learned 500 words in a single day. Then research data came out saying 1,000 words had been learned in a day by a Bulgarian group.

    The claims didn't stop there. This system, we read, speeds up learning from five to fifty times, increases retention, requires virtually no effort on the part of the students, reaches retarded and brilliant, young and old alike, and requires no special equipment. And, people testified, not only had they learned a whole language in a month, or a semester of history in a few weeks, they had rebalanced their health and awakened creative and intuitive abilities while they were learning their facts.

    Almost anyone will tell you such things aren't supposed to happen. One of the authors knew it more strongly than some from first-hand experience. One of Sheila's degrees is in education, she trained in languages and had also spent some sixteen years studying music. (And music was said to be a key element in this learning system.) The Bulgarian claims sounded preposterous. Yet they kept appearing with favorable comments from reputable scientists and institutes. In the mid 1960's Sheila started to correspond with researchers at the Institute of Sug-gestology in Sofia, which is directed by Dr. Lozanov; she began translating papers on this new method from other Slavic countries. In these accounts, writers invariably mentioned a basic contention of Soviet physiologists: We use barely ten percent of our brain capacity, yet we can learn to plug in to the other ninety percent; we can, as they put it, learn to tap the reserves of the mind. Dr. Lozanov, it appeared, had uncovered some of the biological secrets that lead to expanded potentials. He had coordinated them into a system that let people use both body and mind at peak efficiency to literally develop supermemory and thus to speed learning.



    Lozanov called his learning system suggestopedia. It is just a branch,

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