In 1905 Einstein used his imagination to revolutionize science. [E=mc²] Our working knowledge of light, energy, matter and space changed because one man imagined himself flying through space in an open elevator. Einstein imagined the effects of gravity and saw the space around him warp in his thought experiments. He was able to derive the Special Theory of Relativity with his imagination when his calculations and his own logic defied an answer.
Science jumped forward because of imagination. And yet, to many who never dreamed that science and imagination would merge, it did re-define “possibility” and shift the world in a profound way. It offered visible proof that imagination is a science.
Many of Einstein’s ideas that he postulated in the Special Theory of Relativity have been tested throughout time as we have gained the technology to dig deeper and more precisely. And, with no surprise, all have been proven to be accurate. For instance, Einstein’s 1905 gravitational insights created the science behind 1970’s GPS technology. In Einstein’s time they used an eclipse to demonstrate that gravity bends light. Today we use satellites to correct our position because time and light are effected by gravity.
But when did science discover visualization?
For almost a century athletes have been using visualization to improve their performance. Yet, no one viewed that type of imagination as science. Nor did they appreciate the profound effect it was having on memory, physiology and practise sessions.
In 2010, NASA scientists conducted experiments on elite athletes. They monitored muscle movement, neuro-chemistry and brain activity when test subjects visualized themselves competing in an event. The results verified that visualization simulates practise, moves muscles, fires nerves and the body creates physical memory. Athletes noticed a shift in their performance because of their visualization sessions. NASA established that visualization was a scientifically valid tool for shifting physiology, athletic performance and noted that it has the potential to transform and enhance well-being.
Einstein was legendary for his ability to focus his mind and for his incredible imagination. Elite athletes tested by NASA proved that anyone focused could create positive results with visualization. But is it really that simple?
While science may have discovered visualization a century after Einstein used his imagination as a problem-solving tool, it can be argued that visualization might be dependent on one’s ability to focus and clearly imagine to experience it’s full effects.
Is this gifted to anyone who can focus their mind? Or is it simply child’s play, a type of day-dreaming exalted by scientific discoveries?
The idea that visualization is another form of self-mastery, is interesting. Imagination can defy logic, intuition, hard mathematical calculations and can cause reality as we understand it to change. No longer is visualization a playful exercise to escape reality. It is a science unto itself waiting to transform anyone who chooses to carve out new levels of understanding for themselves.