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Watt, James - Discovering steam engine designs



Type of Spiritual Experience


This interesting extract describes James Watt’s vision and inspiration.  It is worth noting that because he was a sickly child Watt was educated at home

A description of the experience

From Ingo Swann – to Kiss the Earth Goodbye

One Sunday afternoon in May 1765, ….. James Watt was strolling along in a Glasgow park, allowing his consciousness to fluctuate all over the place.

He suffered a ‘vision’  in which he saw a steam engine in all its working detail. The next day he built it complete in less than twelve hours , harnessing, for better or worse (and some say worse), the power of steam and giving impetus to the industrial revolution.

Not long ago, Pablo Picasso suggested something akin to special fluctuations of awareness when he indicated that genius is an error, a chance departure from the ordinary.

But it is not an "error" that brings about an increased chance of awareness. The ‘error’, if it exists at all , lies in the arbitrary concepts governing the boundaries of consciousness and especially the embargos placed upon it by educative processes, authority, or respectability.

The source of the experience

Watt, James

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps