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Not enough of a How To
am 4. Januar 2000
The premise of this book is very interesting. It deals with the way that everyone perceives "reality" differently and attempts to show ways in which the reader can expand his own perceptions. However, I felt this book spent far too long discussing the different ways of looking at things and not enough time discussing techniques. As the other reviewers said, he ties together Freud, Jung, Leary, Tantra (etc.) very well. But he does not go into detail very much into exactly HOW we can achieve these states of consciousness. The basic format of the book follows Leary's 8 circuit model of consciousness, but spends most of the time on the first 4 circuits. They are food, territory, intellect, and morality. However, I would assume if you bought this book you did it to learn about modes of consciousness to which you are unaccustomed. The discussion of the last 4 circuits just draw parallels to other ritual / meditative practices. For instance, RAW might say that the 5th circuit is just like when an advanced yogi does a certain exercise. But he doesn't tell us HOW to do that exercise. The book is great at alerting you to the possibilities that are out there, but falls short as a way "to get from here to there." RAW includes many exercises at the end of each chapter, but they are both rediculously complex and simple at the same time. For instance, to get the perspective of different people's realities, he says to "step into their reality tunnel for a month." To me, this is akin to a book on becoming an archetect telling you to try building the glass pyramids at the Louvre. Sure, if you could do it you'd definantly make progress, but it's much easier said than done. He doesn't really offer any practical ways to step into their reality tunnels. I think it would have been much better if he quickly summarized the first 4 circuits and then spent the rest of the book discussing techniques to develop the later 4 circuits. As another example: there is a meditative technique RAW addresses in the book. According to the guy he quotes it can provide us with unlimited pleasure. But RAW then says that he won't discuss how to actually do it, and that the reader should read another book on meditation to do it. The book definantly leaves some necessary components out. I also thought that some of the science was rediculous. He talks about different body types and how they map to personality. For instance, he says that someone who operates mostly on logic tends to be tall and skinny. How can you conclude that a logical person is tall? Or even skinny for that matter? Another gripe I have is that the quarter exercise did not work for me. With all that said, the book is still interesting, and will probably shatter a lot of your perceptions about life.