Ignite the Genius Within: Discover Your Full Potential
by Christine Ranck and Christopher Lee Nutter
New York: Dutton (Penguin Group), 2009
This book is a 21st century self-help book, much more about experiential learning than about giving the reader more information to add to the pile of knowledge cluttering up our minds. If, like me, you are inclined to voraciously reading books designed to give you some key piece of missing information that will magically change your life, you might want to try a different approach and get Ignite the Genius Within. As the title implies, the book is intended to light the spark of creativity in the reader. How can it do this? Each page displays an evocative photograph often accompanied by text that encourages the reader to dive deep within for reflections and musings. The novel twist is that the authors designed the book to be viewed while listening (through headphones) to specially recorded music that the reader can download from www.ignitethegeniuswithin.com. The theory is that by engaging both hemispheres of the brain through the audio while reflecting on the powerful images, an enhanced state of consciousness arises that ignites the reader's authentic creative genius, burning away the fears or blockages that can prevent us from realizing our dreams.
This idea grows out of the therapy known as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) pioneered in the 1980's as an intervention for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). One of the co-authors, Christine Ranck, PhD, is a psychoanalyst in private practice who is an experienced EMDR therapist. Dr. Ranck teamed up with journalist and writer Christopher Lee Nutter to create an experience that can approximate her work with private clients.
The authors' main take-home message is that, yes, we do indeed "create" our reality through the ways in which we interpret what we perceive. Or to put it another way, reality responds to the observer, a concept drawn from the discoveries of quantum physics. Ranck and Nutter have produced a book that can help readers embody the notion that our lives our own creations, that in some real sense we are co-creating the world we experience. While this can be a terrifying notion, especially if you have experienced a lot of pain in your life, the flip side of this philosophy is that it is immensely empowering. If we create our own hells, we also have the power to transmute them into something heavenly.
In the words of the authors: "As you discover yourself in the images, you will start to recognize yourself in the world and even the universe. This revolutionary realization will help you to see that your obstacles are not the result of an external world keeping you down but are actually an expression of your own hidden desires. And if you make your obstacles, then you can also unmake them. This discovery makes it conceivable that nothing is fixed, but rather that everything, including you, exists in a state of possibility and therefore can change."
If you are ready to experience change, then Ignite the Genius Within is the book/audio event for you. Enjoy the ride.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Mackenzie