Hubbard, L. Ron. Self Analysis. California: Bridge Publications, 1995. Originally published 1986(?).

This book is based on Dianetics technology, and was obviously written by the same author who wrote the original book on Dianetics in 1950. I'm going to write what I know about it, including my experiences with it. Yes, I know that this node will be unpopular with certain users. I'm going to post it anyway. I'll try to be somewhat neutral, but I do think a little testimony is in order.

Self Analysis doesn't go as deep as Dianetics, but in my experience it is very useful because of its effects:

  • Increased memory recall
  • Clearer thinking
  • Increased self confidence and reduced stress
According to the book, Self Analysis is made much more effective by daily doses of Vitamin B1 and a protein-rich diet. Not getting enough B1 and doing Self Analysis is a good way to have nightmares. Dianetics and derivative technologies (like this one) are very memory-intensive and will cause your B1 levels to deplete very quickly if you're not getting enough of it. 8 hours of sleep per night on a regular basis is also a must, as is abstinence from alcohol for 24 hours prior to each session and aspirin use for 72 hours prior to each session. People who are considering full-on Dianetics sessions should give this book a run first; Dianetics requires heavy memory recollection and this provides an enormous boost in that area.

The exercises are quite simple, and involve rotating a three-slotted disc one slot in either direction as you traverse lists of questions. Each slot is large enough to see one of the questions through, and above each slot is written a perceptic - sight, smell, sound, weight, external motion, etc. The disc is two-sided and each side has different perceptics. The questions ask you to recall various things, such as a time when you smelled something oily, a sight which was pleasant, an incident which happened on your fifth Christmas, etc. In the last example, if I had the slotted wheel over "Your fifth Christmas" and the text on the disc above the current slot said "Emotion", I would recall my fifth Christmas and then try to recall the emotions I felt.

The exercises go slow at first; it can be difficult to recall some of the stuff, but then you get really good at it. Eventually you regain access to vast tracts of time in your life that you had forgotten or mostly forgotten. This book's exercises can induce a LOT of nostalgia! It also frees up attention units. One finds himself not needing to ask what date it is, or even what TIME it is. Once I went on a real big kick with this book. I'd guess the time to be 1:40PM. Then I'd look at a clock for the first time that day and see that it was 1:41PM. The results were consistent. Not bad, eh!

I would highly recommend it. You can do it completely by yourself or with a partner, and it's quite fun. The paperback is $5.99. There are even lists at the end that you can go over if recalling a particular thing makes you feel uncomfortable. There is also an end-of-session list that helps you "clean up" and orient yourself in the present.

Oh yeah... DON'T ever try to do a session when you're angry or annoyed (or tired, as mentioned above). It won't work.

Notes on use

This is from my own personal experience, YMMV. I have found that when I stop doing Self Analysis after having done it for a short while (maybe two or three weeks), if I pick it up again quickly, it is extremely hard to get back "into shape." It is best to leave it alone completely for several weeks; this will allow things to settle, usually to a level slightly above that of the first sessions, but lower than periods of high activity with it.

During peak, I usually experience a spike in creativity and either compose a lot of electronic music or work on cartoons. I rarely did this before. I don't do it much during cooling-off periods.

The more time I spend doing sessions, the longer the effects last. This is predictable.

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