Adaptive Regression

There are numerous vital experiences that cannot be achieved without adaptive regression: The creation and appreciation of art, music, literature, and food; the ability to sleep; sexual fulfillment; falling in love; and, yes, the ability to free-associate and tolerate psychoanalysis or psychodynamic therapy without getting worse. Perhaps the most important element in adaptive regression is the ability to fantasize, to daydream. The person who has access to his unconscious processes and mines them without getting mired in them can try new approaches, can begin to see things in new ways, and, perhaps, can achieve mastery of his pursuits.

In a word: Relax.

It was ARISE [Adaptive Regression In the Service of the Ego] that allowed Friedrich August Kekulé to use a daydream about a snake eating its tail as inspiration for his formulation of the structure of the benzene ring. It’s what allowed Richard Feynman to simply drop an O-ring into a glass of ice water, show that when cold the ring loses pliability, and thereby explain the cause of the space shuttle Challenger disaster. Sometimes it takes a genius to see that a fifth-grade science experiment is all that is needed to solve a problem.

In another word: Play.


Joel Gold on the exercise of fantasy and imagination to unlock knew ideas.

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Space Shuttle Challenger disaster (0.960801): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
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Richard Feynman (0.560499): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago | musicBrainz

 This Will Make You Smarter
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Brockman , John (2012-02-14), This Will Make You Smarter, HarperCollins, Retrieved on 2013-12-19
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  • Folksonomies: science