Well, I don’t know about you – but I’m excited to start writing about…something ELSE for a change!  I’m following through on my commitment, though, and continuing on through the PhotoReading course.  With Disc Five of the PhotoReading Deluxe Course, I’m officially in the second half of the program, and for Disc Five we go through the entire four steps of the PhotoReading process that we’ve already learned – but with a new book, “Natural Brilliance” by Paul Scheele.  This book also came with the course, and it had gotten thoroughly buried in the disorder that is my bookshelf, so it took me an hour or so to actually find “Natural Brilliance” when Paul Scheele (via the PhotoReading Course) asked me to take it out.  That’s appropriate, I suppose.  I dusted off my Natural Brilliance, and got to it!

I prepared, creating a purpose for reading the book.  I previewed, noting the structure of the book, reading through the table of contents and all the bolded words throughout the book, and writing down trigger words.  I got into the Accelerated Learning state (coached by the CD), and set to PhotoReading “Natural Brilliance”.  This time it was even easier for me to stay in the PhotoFocus state, as evidenced by my ability to see the “blip” page almost the whole time (an indicator that your eyes are diverging).  I had a sense of confidence in my ability to soak the words up into my other-than-conscious mind. 

Then I waited another 24 hours before “activating” the text (step 4 of the PhotoReading Whole Mind System).  During the activation phase, I was guided to use SuperReading and Dipping (activation techniques that we learned on Disc Two of the PhotoReading Course).  SuperReading is entering into the accelerated learning state and skimming rapidly through the pages, paying attention to signals from your intuition that a particular section merits “Dipping” – which is a closer read of the text in that section.  Part of the PhotoReading philosophy is based on the statistic that when we read, only approx. 10% of the words actually carry the meaning, while the rest is all…well…nice, I suppose – but non-essential in terms of getting the author’s message.  So essentially the PhotoReading step allows your other-than-conscious mind to do an initial sorting of the material, and then when you SuperRead you are re-visiting the text, allowing your other-than-conscious mind to send signals to your conscious mind about which sections carry the 10% of words that are relevant to your purpose (yes, your purpose is important).

So I used those activation techniques (including “mind probing” – which is the art of asking yourself questions about the book to foster your curiosity and sense of purpose) – and all told spent (from the Preparation Step through the Activation Step) about 15 minutes on the book.  At that point, I still had a lot of curiosity about sections of the book I really felt like I hadn’t gotten enough of, and so I did another “SuperRead” through the whole book.  I spent another 8 minutes or so in this process – in particular to spend time with the “New Option Generator” chapter.  Kinda felt like I was cheating, actually – and this was also the first time where I found myself wondering just how much I was getting out of the program.  I definitely needed more than 15 minutes to get all I needed from this book, and I felt like maybe I was “failing” for feeling that way.

Well, after my 8 additional minutes (so a total of about 23 minutes) I turned the CD back on.  The next track of Disc Five of the PhotoReading Course talked about how there probably would be things about which we were still curious, and it introduced the 5th step of the PhotoReading Whole Mind System – Rapid Reading.  The point of Rapid Reading is to read, in linear fashion, the entire book (or entire sections, if you are interested in a particular section), varying your reading speed by slowing down as you come across information that you need (for better conscious comprehension) and speeding up as you pass over irrelevant material.  So on the one hand – yes, I’ll admit it, I cheated.  On the other hand, it ended up that I was doing exactly what the next track on the CD was encouraging me to do.  So, I felt validated despite my cheating.

So after 23 minutes I felt that I had a great grasp on most of the essential material from “Natural Brilliance”.  That’s not bad – I think it ends up being about 3000 words per minute!  I think that there will also be more passes through the text on subsequent CDs (in fact I already started Disc Six of the PhotoReading Course, and I can tell you that we WILL be going through this book again, using the activation technique of Mind Mapping).  Still, while in retrospect I’m feeling decent about my progress, it IS worth noting that Disc Five marks the first time in the course where I started to have some doubts.  I am pressing onward, recognizing that there are still 3 more discs to go!

On a final note, “Natural Brilliance” itself is a great book based on the premise that we all have, within us, “genius potential”.  The whole point of the book is helping us (the readers) get through the places where we’re stuck, using our creativity (along with our newfound skills as PhotoReaders) to redefine and make progress toward our goals.  I haven’t yet had a chance to actually DO the exercises recommended in the book, but I am looking forward to it.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  It is worth mentioning that I PhotoRead the book “Natural Brilliance” on Friday, activated it on Saturday, and by the end of today (Sunday) I’ve actually made enormous progress (with my wife) on getting our house re-organized (in time for some houseguests who are coming on Wednesday and a house concert – check out Sally Morgan – that we’re hosting on Thursday).  My inability to de-clutter has been a major stuckness of mind for, well, my entire life, and all of a sudden I’m on top of it?  Perhaps my other-than-conscious mind knows all that it needs to know, especially with an ass-kicking from Paul Scheele via “Natural Brilliance”?  I’ve got a pile of papers-to-shred that proves it.