You are about to take a mind apart - your own. It might have already started to come apart just reading the Theory section. I hope it has. How long does it take? It takes as long as you remain in a compulsive games condition with it; stop playing games with it, and it will promptly vanish.
The very best advice I can give you at the outset is to be very positive when you do the exercises; then be very passive and willing to learn when bits of your past show up. In this way you’ll most rapidly discover all there is to know about that most fascinating of beings - you.
There is a short list of "Do’s and Don’ts" to guide you on your way. You ignore them at your peril.
|1.||Don’t attempt the exercises while your body is tired, hungry, suffering from disease or dietary deficiency, or while under the influence of drugs or medication (including alcohol).|
|2.||The exercises are done with the bodys’ eyes open at all times.|
|3.||Do the exercises alone, away from interruptions or distractions.|
The Golden Rule
An exercise is continued as long as produces change and is then left.
The Royal Road to making a complete cot case out of yourself with these exercises is to change the exercise every time you change. You might as well cut your throat at the outset; it will be quicker and far less messy. The exercises will produce changes. They are designed to produce changes. The benefits are often preceded by unpleasant sensations. If you press on and do exactly as instructed, you will derive the benefit. If you quit when the going gets a bit rough, you could stick yourself with unpleasant sensations for days. What turned the unpleasant condition on will, if continued, turn it off.
Don’t panic! (Or in the immortal words of Julius Caesar, who loudly exhorted his legion when the hordes of of screaming barbarians came charging over the hill: ‘Nonus Panicus Est!’). If your head falls off, quietly replace it on your shoulders (remembering to put it on the right way round) and continue with the exercise. It is still producing change.
There are only two pitfalls while doing these exercises:
|1.||To stop doing the exercise while it is still producing change.|
|2.||To continue the exercise after it has ceased to produce change.|
Of these, the first is by far the most serious. Any bad effects brought on by over-run immediately vanish when one realises that one has over-run.
Now what do I mean by change? Any change in awareness, sensations, emotions etc. A yawn, for example, is a change. It is a sign that unconciousness is lifting. One therefore goes on with the exercise. However, it is entirely safe to leave an exercise that is still producing change at the end of one session, and continue it at the beginning of the next session. (There is a supplementary exercise called "RI" which facilitates this).
It is alway best to set aside certain periods of your life to do these exercises. Don’t attempt them while crossing busy streets as a pedestrian, or while driving a car; the resulting accident could well put an untimely end to your progress.
The vast majority of the unpleasant sensations that occur ‘en route’ are associated with various moments in time where your attention has been stuck. As you free up from them, you move through and out of them and into present time (pt) (now). There is, however, one other class of phenomena which may occur. This is over-stimulation of the bodys nervous system. The sensations here are more startling than unpleasant, but you best know about them or you may wonder what is happening to you. Many things can over-stimulate the bodys’ nervous system, including drugs, allergies and sudden impacts (shock). We all know the sensation of ‘seeing stars’ as a result of a sudden impact to the skull,or even to other parts of the body.
Electric shock can also produce the same phenomena. The mind itself, by suddenly impinging upon the body, can over-stimulate the bodys nervous system too. And this is what can sometimes happen during these exercises.
The exercise simply impinges some part of the mind against the body, resulting in over-stimulation of the nervous system. As a result, you may experience weird phenomena in your bodys’ visual field. It can show as blind spots, patches of flickering light etc.
The phenomena is always of short duration, and after half an hour or so it will fade out. You don’t do anything about it. Just understand what has happened. If you wish, go off and rest until the phenomena dies down, then continue with the exercise that turned it on. You must do this, for it is a change.
If you happen to be connected to a skin galvanometer at the time, you will see the characteristic ‘zig-zag’ motion of the needle that accompanies the phenomena; it would also record strongly on an electro-encephalograph trace. It is not serious, and you are not harming your body, for the bodys’ nervous system is buit to withstand enormous over-load before it cuts out entirely and unconciousness occurs. It just isn’t possible to over-stimulate the nervous system this far with the exercises, and the most you will ever manage is a few blind spots or flashing lights in your visual field.
The Skin Galvanometer
If you possess such a device, and know how to use it, then it can assist you to determine when an exercise is no longer producing change. The meter no longer registers significant change. However, the device is by no means essential, for a being is entirely capable of relying upon his own estimation of change.
Even if you do use a skin-galvanometer you will soon outstrip its usefulness, and will find it registering no change even though your senses clearly tell you that change is occurring. Thus, in the final instance, you are thrown back upon your own perception of these things.
However, if you do use a skin-galvanometer to help you early on, then abide by what it tells you. If you know how to use it, the device will not let you down. Early on, the device is more sensitive than your perception; later, your perseption is more sensative than the device.
The device also has an unexpected value in that it gives you something to hold onto with your hands, and thus prevents you from fidgetting and smoking unecessary cigarettes during your exercise period.