Saturday, 25 December 2010

Imagine all the possibilities!

I have always felt that imagination is the most wonderful quality that a human can possess. It is our unique capacity to think of that which is not is in my opinion the single greatest driving force that has fueled human innovation and invention ever since we first started knocking stones together. 

I have always been obsessed with the concept of mental visualization, that particular skill which affords us the capacity to just close our eyes forget the world around us and delve into the depths of our mind. All children possess this capacity, but I feel that we lose this wonderful ability as we get older unless we constantly exercise it. I was not consciously aware of doing this until I was about 11 and since then I have been constantly trying to develop it further, to push the limit of my ability to visualize.

I would always look for ways to exercise my mind in this way. From trying to do geometry in my head to recalling snippets from the latest episode of Pokemon complete with sound. I had never felt I was making much progress.

It realized a few days ago however that this was a misconception on my part. I felt real excitement a few days ago when I solved a problem on 3D geometry without ever writing a single equation down. My progress had been too gradual to be noticeable. The problem was relatively simple. I was trying to find the shortest distance between two skew (i.e non-parallel, non-intersecting) lines in 3D space. I was able to derive the whole concept without any previous knowledge within about 15 minutes of intensive visualization.
I do not know if this particular approach at solving problems have any mental health benefits, but even if it doesn't I will keep at it just because it feels wonderful.
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