Welcome back!  Disc Seven of the PhotoReading Course goes step-by-step through the entire PhotoReading Whole Mind System with a book of your choice.  I chose "The Book - On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are" by Alan Watts.  It's a book that I've been carrying around with me for years now, so I figured that it met the criteria that Paul Scheele (the PhotoReading Course instructor) had specified:  it is a book about which I am very curious, it is non-fiction (which tends to have a more easily-defined structure), and it is short (150 pages).  The only criteria it didn't quite satisfy was that it should be a light read - let's face it, a book about the oneness of all things and how to bust through the dualistic constructs of society isn't exactly "10 steps to becoming a Millionaire" - a bit heavier on the philosphy, anyway.  So, having chosen my book I embarked onto PhotoReading Course Disc Seven, and here is what happened.

All told, I spent about 45 minutes on the book.  At my pre-PhotoReading reading speed, "The Book" would have generally taken me about 3 hours to read.  And, honestly, I had started the book several times (ok, generally late at night when I was primed for sleeping) - and never made it past the first chapter.  But I KNEW that there was something inside that I needed to get, which was why I had carried "The Book" around with me for aeons.  I still feel like I'm taking a bit too much time with each of the steps, which probably means that I'm doing a little too much reading and not enough relaxing (just my own personal diagnosis).  I'm aware of it, anyway, and that awareness will inform my next PhotoReading sessions.  45 minutes versus 3 hours, though - that's quite a change!

So I did the first three steps - Prepare, Preview, and Photoreading - all yesterday, and then I did the Activation and Rapid-Reading/Mind-Mapping steps today.  Do I feel like I have a word-for-word conscious comprehension of the book?  No.  Do I feel like I have a grasp on the message of the book, some important points that substantiate the main theme, and direct answers to the purpose-driven questions about that book that I had created?  Absolutely!  PhotoReading really is purpose-driven reading, and more and more I see the importance of continually refining your purpose as you make multiple passes through the material.  The more directed your purpose is, the more information you will absorb - as you're creating bigger "hooks" on which to hang the concepts contained within the book.

On a more meta-level, Paul Scheele does a good job in Disc Seven of the PhotoReading Course of talking about where you "should" be in the process.  He talks about how the skills involved in PhotoReading require practice so that the connections between your conscious mind and your other-than-conscious mind become stronger - and given my experience with the course so far, I can see how that would be the case.  The more I use the system, the more confident I am of success, and the more confident I am of success, the more successful I am - which is pretty much true for everything in life, isn't it?  And as I pay more attention to my intuition, the more messages my intuition seems to be sending me - a valuable side effect of the course, I think.

I'll probably spend a few more minutes with Alan Watts (The Book) before I consider myself to be "done" with it.  For now, though, I feel good about where I'm at with the book, and I also want to give my other-than-conscious mind a little more processing time.  I can feel the gears a-turning in my brain, so I'm going to invest a little energy in "faith in the process" and just let whatever's happening in the background of my mind happen without interference by trying to make things happen.  I'm also excited to PhotoRead more of the books in my collection.

I've been going through my books over the past few days.  There are LOTS of them, and, as I mentioned in an earlier posting, I haven't even touched many of them since the day I acquired them.  As I look at the titles, I've been inspired by the PhotoReading Course to really ask myself "why" I want to read these books.  Encouragingly, most of them pass the "why" test (I'm not just an idle acquirer of books!) - but I also notice that I'm feel less intimidated by the sheer quantity of unread material in my possession.  Having finished Disc Seven of the PhotoReading course, I do feel confident that I'll be able to get exactly what I need out of each of these books. 

Then my wife and I will have to have a conversation about just how many of these books we're going to keep.  Because we don't currently have enough bookshelves for all of them.  Sorry about that, Toni!

One more disc to go...stay tuned!  And thanks for staying tuned.