I’m doing an extension course on the book “Dianetics, the Modern Science of Mental Health”.
The last time I read this book was about 30 years ago. I’d forgotten how much info was in it, and what a kick it was to read this book. The work you do on the extension course makes sure that you “get” the important points from each chapter, so you can retain and use them later on. There’s a terrific glossary so you don’t have to run to the dictionary constantly — they’ve got the words defined as they are used in the text, so you get the full conceptual understanding of the theory and practice of Dianetics. I’m nearly done with the course, having done two or three chapters per week, so it hasn’t been a strain. (I confess I also read the new biography of Mark Twain over the holidays, so I missed a couple of weeks of lessons.)
Dianetics burst on the scene in 1950, and a small army of Dianeticists started listening to each other (“auditing”) each other, and applying the techniques in that book to remember what had happened to them while they were injured, unconscious or ill. Today there is a LARGE army of people doing the same thing, all over the world. The book continues to sell extremely well — millions of copies of it have been published and sold over the years, and it has been revised and re-translated recently into 15 languages. The revisions (covered in an earlier blog posting) concerned typographical errors that had been in the book since it was first published (they went all the way back to the original manuscripts and primitive 1950’s wire tape-recordings from the author, L. Ron Hubbard).
In any event – I’m really enjoying reading the book. The Dianetics techniques have been improved over the years (instead of hundreds of hours to achieve the end result, it may take only tens of hours now). But the underlying info is as useful today as it was then, just as true and just as brilliant.