Learning to Photoread

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How do we read? WHAT do we read with? Most of us, in getting through a book from cover to cover, are convinced we “know how to read.” As mentioned in Chopping Onions and Initiation, it’s the daily gestures of living, like chopping onions, that we’re convinced we’ve already mastered, that either make our lives a ballet of mastered pleasures, or bog us down in “tasks” done “the way we learned to.” We all “know how to read,” and we all “know how to chop onions.” Why would we ask ourselves what more we could learn about reading, chopping onions, breathing, or walking?  Since we’ve already done them for decades, or a lifetime, haven’t we already mastered them? Can we imagine that there are invitations to mastery in our everyday activites that could easily never come to our attention? In my mid-thirties, I began learning to Photoread.

Many of you will read that last sentence and come to all kinds of conclusions of what Photoreading is. On the basis of hearing a few words, we immediately put what we don’t know into the frame of what we “think” we already “know.”  The person who learned speed reading is sure I’m talking about speed reading.  The one who taught “study skills” is sure they “already know this.” Even I, as one who pretend to “write” or even “teach” this can easily delude myself into believing I already know all there is to “know” about this.

This is not “good” or “bad,” only limiting.Limits, too, are not “good” or “bad.” They limit. Learning is growing beyond our limits. Notice that almost all of so-called “education” today trains us to hear a few words of “a multiple choice selection” and we immediately “know” the right answer.  It is more than challenging to discover how rutted and cliché our so-called “thinking”  becomes.  In fact, this conditioning trains us to never think but to always engage in stimulus-response-conditioned behavior

Notice that…Learning ends when we presume to already know what we don’t. I am as challenged by these dynamics as anyone.  But, still, to actually move beyond my frame, I still need to challenge myself to actually move, notice, act.

Photoreading taught me to engage my neurology and stimulate my creativity MUCH more dynamically, creatively, and effectively than I ever imagined. It taught me to find my limits, respect my limits, and move beyond them. It has been a game changer.

Doing that also helped me to realize and integrate a lot of what my teachers had shown me on Sacred Mountains that I had a hard time “getting.” Why? Because that training was in a threefold art of Seeing, Hearing and Moving. It was practically inconceivable to me that I had never done any of the three. What we call “seeing, hearing, and moving,” as modern people, is sensory quintaplegia to People who still live in the Living World, and not just on top of it. Why? Because of the limited neurology and sensory capacity that most of us develop in “modern” cultural upbringings. Far more limited than any of us imagine.

My articles are long and dense. Few of you will “have time” to “read” them if you read the way most people do; plodding through material slowly in linear fashion. I’m suggesting you liberate your reading and quit reading like a hostage to every word, phrase and sentence while, at the same time, being able to catch them all, and far more than is expressed in words. I’m suggesting you start reading like a hunter-gatherer reads the world; Ecstatic, Attentive, Reverent, Connected, Taking charge, On your Life Path, In the Dance of your Choices; AWARE!

Bald eagle fish
Reading Living Reality: Ecstatic, Attentive, Reverent, Elegant, Powerful, Connected, Taking charge, On His Life Path, In the Dance of His Choices; AWARE!

Look at your experience reading this article. Track what you do. Read this article from start to finish the way you normally do.

How do you do it? How long does that take you? Notice what happens to you in reading. What is it like, reading word-for-word?

Most will not make it from start to finish. You might “browse,” but you’ll get almost nothing from it. Why?


Attention spans are getting systematically decimated: through television; through smartphones; through an “educational” system that creates intellectual and sensory cripples. Not flattering? Jane M. Healy’s book, Endangered Minds: Why Children Don’t Think and What We Can Do About It covers what’s happening to our nervous systems with this constant input from electronic devices.

Our neurology is shaped by our experiences. Expose it to machines as our primary source of stimulus and we become mechanical. I already understood this back in the 1990’s. I spent twenty years as a critical care nurse specializing in neurological trauma and diseases. Neurology is a passion of mine. But going out and teaching around the world showed me what’s going on with people’s intelligence. It is not encouraging.

At the same time, our brains have tremendous capacity to reshape themselves. That’s called “neuroplasticity,” and it’s awe-inspiring. This article is about a method that does just that. We can do it while reading and then apply those skills, and the neurology that expands beyond our conditioning, to the entirety of our experience.

Change your experiences and you’ll change your shape, literally. Change the shape of the experiences your life unfolds  in and your entire life changes. Would you like to be more ALIVE? Engage more with Shapes that are actually ALIVE. Simple. 

How do we “read”? Can we shape that experience skillfully or do we just read by default in the ways that we learned to? Can we bring more Alive Intelligence to reading and do so more creatively and effectively?

We can, and MUCH more!

Consider a curious question: WHAT do we read with? What was it designed for? What forgotten, structural capacities are we endowed with as natural human intelligences? What kind of environment is our visual system designed to help us live in competently?

Human beings are mind-blowingly gorgeous, capable, and fascinating creatures. We are designed with capacities that are stunning.

Our sense of these capacities gets lost and atrophied in man-made environments and a cultural programming that alienates us from our bodies, skilled use of our senses, and paying attention to the actual world, not just living in “idea land.” Most of us spend 99% of our lives navigating actual reality in deeply hypnotic, dissociative states, unconsciously.

We can, however, engage our intelligences sense-ably at growing levels of capacity. Every bit of my own humanity, intelligence and sense-ability I reawaken and reconnect to a Greater Aliveness expands my entire existence. Simply.

We remain to be discovered and we’ve got a lifetime to do it! 

Let’s awaken some of these capacities while reading.

Reading Dynamically in the Natural World
Reading dynamically in the Real Living World. Harvesting jungle fruits with my friend Diego in Brazil.

Our optical system was designed to allow us to walk in highly-complex and full environments, like forests, jungles, grasslands – full of countless expressions of life. Some are sources of nourishment. Some will turn us into sources of nourishment. Our Natural Intelligence was designed for seeing, hearing and moving in awareness of everything that’s in our environment. We’re designed to tune into the Greater Aliveness and not just stumble around narcissistically self-involved “in our heads.”

Our vision allows us to enter complex environments and get a visual gestalt on the whole, while honing in on details of particular interest or concern; a luscious, ripe fruit high in the canopy, a venomous snake whose head barely emerges from under a leaf. Where I lived, in Brazil, there are trees with a sap that blinds if you touch the bark and then touch your eyes. Others, quite common where I was living, can kill you if you put them in your fire and inhale the smoke. “Nature” is not “fantasy land.” It’s a place where “learning” has an altogether different temper than the consumer/ entertainment/ optional approach. In Nature learning IS living, ignorance IS death.

No matter where we live, Nature’s principles are still in effect. Nature invites AWARENESS. The lack of it is consequent. Right now the people of Europe and the Americas are going to get taken to the cleaners, once again. Their jobs, their “savings,” their money, and even their minds are vanishing. Stumbling around in fantasy land, they are going to get plundered, and then eventually slaughtered! Just like they have on a regular basis in the last two thousand years of European history.

Then there’s reality. We are magnificently equipped for it: with more than a 220 degree visual range, we can pick up on the presences and nuances of an infinitely complex environment in its totality.

Whether in the Brazilian rainforest, the hoods of São Paolo or Chicago, Wall Street, Rome, or Babylon; you are an exceptional critter.

Consider that.

FOV both eyes
This is our field of view. [Image by Zyxwv99 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons]

We are equipped to read our world, powerfully and capably. Yet we “read” books in a way that reduces our visual capacity to an almost-quadraplegic, straitjacketed level of functionality. It’s like being endowed with the eyes of an eagle and settling for the sight of a caterpillar.

Let’s have fun freeing our capacities!

Many friends who “browse” my articles often tell me, sometimes years later, how they missed something in an article that later became very important for their lives. They come back and reread something, often after a conversation with me, only to discover that they had almost entirely missed the pointing. Then they get why many of the articles are long; they’re about seeing connections, not just “making a point.”

Plodding through these articles is not what I’m proposing; nor is just “browsing” them. I’m inviting you to a much more expanded skillset that you can use reading to develop.

We’re deeply imprinted to “look for the point,” the 4-second soundbite. This develops a neurology that gets “impressions” at the expense of coherence, connections and consequences. Notice that all of these words have “co-” in them: “with, together with.” 

I’ve been amazed, in working with people worldwide, to see how disconnective modern intelligence is becoming. A number of people have commented that intelligence and sociability are getting severely impacted since “smartphones” became people’s main source of visual and social stimulus. It’s increasingly challenging to even have a conversation without people continually consulting their smartphones, even for what’s being discussed in the moment!

Everything gets reduced to a “keyword.” Even a sentence becomes too long and tiresome to pay attention to in a conversation! Communication becomes shattered into minuscule, disconnected particularities.

Learning to Photoread reconnects our brilliance in ways that are hard to imagine, until we start mastering it. Even if your neurology has been imprinted by a lot of electronic, mechanized media, you’ll benefit in amazing ways. Your challenge will be to apply yourself to gaining a skill, not just shopping for a magical formula. Read the book and you’re at the beginning of an amazing journey. Start there! Mastery is not an end point it’s a lifetime adventure.

To get the connections we develop the skills to connect what’s written with our own neurology, from our own wisdom and experience, and in diverse and dynamic ways. We grow an ecology of attentions instead of only following one track.

I invite you to not plow through these articles, word-by-word, in that plodding way most of us learned to “read.” Reading that way is part and parcel of a programming, designed to cripple and discourage dynamic, self-led learning. I’m also inviting you to not just skim and browse in that careless, distracted way many people do just about everything.

Education” comes from the Latin ex: “from inside to outside” + ducere: “to lead” + -tio: “the action of.” It points to “the action of leading out of.”

Self-education is the capacity to “lead oneself out of.”

Out of what?

Out of the frame of whatever we think we already “know” and to new levels of mastery, i.e. learning. Self-mastery is leading our learning. That’s a science and an art.

Many of us, when we went to college, learned something about study skills and speed-reading.

The great crippler of learning is that, when someone tells us of something or proposes something, we immediately reduce it to our frame. The ubiquitous programming that we are subjected to, in “school” (sic.), on television, on Facebook, and the entire apparatus of modern cultural programming, has us believe that because we can say things we know them. We immediately convert anything potentially new into our old frame, because the words sound familiar.

How ubiquitous this is, once the dynamic is recognized, is fascinating.

Are you up for seeing how you do this? If you’re really up for it, take out a sheet of blank paper and a pen.

Do, or don’t; the dimensions of self-education you actually invite yourself to are up to you. Once you read the bold, italicized word below, write down everything you already “know,” or think you know, about it, before reading on. Some of that will reveal the smallness of your frame, and some of it will actually stretch beyond your frame. Allow yourself to be curious about, and embrace, ALL of it.

ALL learning is a growth process, in the living structure that we are. Discovering the dimensions of your frame, as well as stretching beyond it, both lead to learning. When you write, consider what you might enjoy about discovering whatever is conveyed by the word, and also why you might have resistance to it, based on the “impression” that your frame gives you of “it.” Let’s give it a try:

Photoreading.”

Take 3-5 minutes and just write out, even mind-map, what you think it is, why you are, or are not, interested, and all the above…

Done?

Great.


Most of you, upon seeing the word “Photoreading,” will think “speed reading.” This is far faster than any speed reading method I ever learned. Reading speed, although certainly very valuable, is the least interesting thing about it. This is about reading four diferent ways with an ecology of awakened, connected, and multiple intelligences, including powerful left-right brain communication.

The most common objection I hear to Photoreading, by people who have only heard of it, is: “Oh! But I prefer to read the way I do.”

Cool. They just closed the door on that possibility of learning. Fine.

Photoreading entails reading in four different ways, the last of which is a “normal” read, but with a tremendous difference: our brain has been exposed, stimulated and engaged with the material in three ways, engaging different parts of the brain, prior to “reading normally” in the way that we’re already used to.

We first engage the right brain, which is precisely what sees the entire jungle and every minute detail in it in micro-seconds. Then we build bridges to the left brain, which is what you and I learned to “read” and label with. We integrate both. Our intelligence gets switched on in ways far more interesting, for our lives, than just reading and consuming words. We are no longer passive with the page. We start laying down some very powerful neurological pathway for dynamic, self-led creative learning.

When people who grew up in cities come to me to learn on the Sacred Mountains, I suggest they learn Photoreading. Why? Because it develops sensory intelligence and gives us real tools for reshaping our neurologies. AND because they are going to have to do a lot of reading in order to begin to contextualize their human experience in a larger frame than what their “Western” cultural programming conditioned them to or fantasy programming like the weaponized anthropology of such CIA shills as Carlos Castaneda. Few “Westerners” have any sense that “Western culture” is not  “European culture,” but the method used to obliterate European culture, and many others since.  But I digress…

In my Awaken Your Natural Genius courses Photoreadingby Paul R. Scheele is one of those books and methods I teach for reasons far beyond reading quickly. The method stimulates whole-brain and creative, self-led learning.

Most of us learned to read in a way where we’re “led by the nose,” word-by-word, by whatever we’re reading. This approach makes minimal use of our visual intelligence. It’s like putting both our legs and arms in casts and then our torso in a straitjacket, and then trying to “run a marathon.” This is wonderful for the power structure, which fosters an “impotence structure” in the population, to exploit. This ensures a population that “can” (sort of) “read,” but that soon develops really profound resistance to doing so, beyond “entertainment.”

This is not unlike those gangs of beggars who break and misshape children’s legs and arms so that they are more “profitable,” “employable,” the sorrier their condition.

Modern culture is not your friend. Look at what kind of shape “modern” humans are in and maybe you’ll get it. If you think that’s “bad news,” well, the reality is worse than the news, and much better, as well.

The reality of our possibilities is endless!

Get curious, have a sense of humor, of daring, of indignation, and courage about it.

Call yourself to something greater: Get some skills! Free, capable, response-able adults understand one thing:

If it’s to be, it’s up to me!

Lead yourself to discover and activate the brilliance that’s inherent to your human design. Discover it. Embrace it. Get to know it. Grow it. Get on the side of your Health, Intelligence, Love, Desire and Contribution FOR REAL! Have fun! Get oriented. Get adventurous. Enliven yourself. Develop new skills!

Count on yourself, and those who challenge, encourage and guide you.

Getting skills for living is great sport. Be sporting! Love Life! The birds do it. The bees do it. Even educated fleas do it! How about you?!

Every form of life on this planet develops in full-fill-ment of its Bio-Logical, Life-Coherent Evolutionary Design – except the modern version of domesticated humans, and the animals we relate to.

Know Thy Self” says the entryway to the Doorway to True Mystery. If you’re wondering where to start, led me give you a hint: “Know Thy Cells, Know Thy Actual, Living Design”  You’ll discover how to bring capacities alive that will let  you have way more fun and effectiveness than you ever imagined.

My articles are for awakening a far more dynamic engagement with ALL of Life than what we’ve been programmed to settle for. The program for “settling” starts with saying,

Oh, yeah, I already know that.”

This is toxic to learning.

Optic nerve pair & two brain hemispheresLet’s go back to this visual system capable of seeing a whole horizon of infinitely-varied visual input. Go out to your backyard. Notice how much you are capable of noticing, visually, then come back to this article. What did you notice?

The learning is in the doing, my friend, not just reading this article online. Do it, and now it’s your experience, not just my words. Learning is doing.

We Know what we Grow,

and we Grow what we LIVE,

experientially, sense-ably.

Do it and now you are a dynamic, engaged creator in reality not just a passive, armchair consumer of words.

“Getting this” as an idea does not even approach the intelligence that awakens by engaging your senses, and learning sense-ably, rather than non-sense-ically.

Get that. True learning is sense-able, and not non-sense-ical, literally. This hint will change your life if you catch, and apply it.

Take your eyes outside and notice the qualities of how much you can see, even for two minutes.

Now, come back to reading these words and notice what happens with your visual intelligence in reading.

What do you notice happening in relationship to your visual capacity, between gazing upon the horizon and now reading words on a device? Can you taste, experientially, what happens? How much of that visual capacity that you used outside are you engaging when you read? Not much, right?

You can make this a micro-practice and play with it. There’s an edge here that I’m pointing to; dare to jump from one side to the other. Then something grows in you that supports a fuller range of attention and capability.

Can you experience the difference? Can you see how limiting the way you “read” is to your natural visual capacity? Please don’t limit this to “right/wrong” or “good/bad” or think you should be doing one thing and not the other. This is not about that. I’m inviting you to NOTICE a range of play in your experience, and then to PLAY with it. Take a moment, on your own, and ask yourself what you could do when reading words to take further advantage of your visual capacity.

There’s far more than that to notice. When you go outside and open your gaze to the entirety of what’s there your right brain is taking in infinitely more details, nuances, input, and movement than your left brain could put words to and label. If your left brain had to put words on what your right brain is able to perceive in 5 seconds, you would be busy for a few weeks, at least.

Now play with that.

Consider that for a moment. To con-sider, comes from the Latin con: “with, together” + sidus (genitive sideris) “constellation”. Considerare, in Latin, means “to observe the constellations,” to see the big picture, the context, the relationships and patterns. We’re talking about “seeing brain” and “labeling brain,” right? We’re talking about dimensions, quantities, qualities and relationships of capacities, right? YOUR capacities, and how to start activating them more fully in reading.

The labeling brain is incredibly slow. Yet that labeling function is almost 100% of what we’ve been taught engage when we “think” and “read.”  We learned to read words as labels.

That’s what most of you read my articles with and for. I’m inviting you to something totally different, not just quantitatively, but qualitatively. I’m inviting your inner rainforest, not just your inner trolley car. Got it? And your trolley car is welcome, too.

The labeling function tries to fit everything in its “frame.” Its frame, especially in non-sense-ical cultural programming, is very limited,and divorced from our senses. We never learned how to make sense and connection, with our senses. The result, developmentally and in relation to the world, is quite narcissistic and autistic; oblivious that there’s an actual world out there that’s billions of years into evolving in a fully-functional, coherent system of inter-related mutuality and intelligence, and we are part and parcel and embody THAT. Don’t worry, that is just one of the curiously strange things that empire does to the humans it overruns, captures and integrates into its mindset. Get curious!

If you’re a true student (one who brings application and care), you could go out for a walk and bring the question “how can I make sense with my senses?” along for the ride. Take it for a drive. Take it shopping. Take it out to lunch. Take it to your next conversation. Heck, take it to your smartphone and PLAY with it!

I’ll let you in on a secret:

Life makes Sense

As soon as we use our SENSES!

We are not sensory quadraplegics, at least not anatomically or by nature. We’ve just been raised with sensory straightjackets, three inch thick casts over our sensory nerve endings, so our sense-abilities remain to be developed.

What an adventure! Our sensual life can start today! The only permission and invitation required is our own!

A few paragraphs ago I spoke about how it’s possible to expose the right brain, that has this amazing capacity for total sensory gestalt, to whatever we’re interested in, and then start building literal, neurological bridges back to the plodding, descriptive, labeling, modern left brain.

Can we imagine that a modern left brain, programmed in disconnection from our senses, and instructed in the absence of what we were learning about, between four walls, works in very different ways from the left brain of people initiated and guided by trustworthy relatives and elders in the real, living world?

So, it might be unfair to talk about “the left brain,” and far more accurate to talk about a “culturally and institutionally programmed, hyperactive and ineffective modern left brain shut off from its senses.”

One of our key senses is our eyes. Let’s reconnect them!

If and when you “uncripple” your left brain you’ll know exactly why I say that, and be amazed at the reality of it. Until then you can believe, or disbelieve what I say and both are pretty much equally powerless, in terms of learning. Engage instead! Explore the possibilities in your own experience, with your own senses, and not just ideas, yours or mine. That is what self-led learners do: we lead ourselves: “Hey! I’ll try this.” Then we go out and see what we discover.

Learning is a contact sport!

Without sense-ability NOTHING on this website will be of use to you. My invitation extends far beyond anything that will ever appear on this website. Everything offered here, however, is for the sake of essential foundation building; of going to the ESSENCE. I’m offering it to you with my compliments, at my expense. All that’s required on your part is some interest, some curiosity, and some playful engagement.

If you read my articles word-by-word, you’re still being led by the nose. Then you’re not only missing my invitation, you fail to invite yourself into engagement. But it’s the trap in reading the way we were trained to, especially with a modern kind of “left brain,” formatted to the utmost level of passivity, of consuming the ready-made, the “already-thought,” and infinitely distracted.

For learning to see in totality, to see in detail, to modulate your capacity to zoom in and out,  in connection, with your eyes and senses, Photoreading is a very fun, curious, and effective method for growing the neurology that does that!

We reconnect with the traditional way of learning sense-ably.

“Traditional” comes from the Latin tradere: “to transmit,” like a wire transmits current. That means you get your own connection to the current. It is about the current, and your own connection to LIFE, not just stumbling around for decades, or a lifetime, in fantasy land or depression and resignation, or getting led by the nose trying to get something second-hand. Got it?

This is a natural thing, like you and me walking together and living in a landscape and each being aware, responsible and paying attention, helping each other out, counting on each other to be capable, aware, pointing out what we each notice.

Back to Photoreading.

PLEASE get the book. Read it. Practice it until you gain mastery. Right off the bat it shows you how to read it in about 20 minutes. You’ll get the whole method in that time. You’ll have the tools to lead yourself to grow the neurology that supports increasing levels and unlimited applications of these skills.

Click on the title or picture and you’ll come to the Amazon page for the book. Notice that it has lots of five-star and lots of one-star ratings, and not much in between. Read the one-star reviews and you’ll see all kinds of comments like “it’s voodoo,” and such. These comments are part of an essential point about learning, and they are telling.

You can pick up a used copy of Photoreading at this link for cheap. Probably one of the best gifts you’ll ever be able to offer any avid learner in your life. If you get it through the Amazon links, I’ll make a few pennies as a referral fee.

Photoreading has one very, very serious flaw for consumer culture: it’s an actual skill. Like any skill, you can’t just read about the skill and then magically “have” it. It’s precisely not voodoo. Those who make the accusation were expecting it would be.

It’s not magic, it’s learning.

It’s a brilliant invitation to the capacities of our brain and visual system, and it takes doing!

To acquire the skill, bring application and care, repeatedly, until you master it. Master what? The capacity to use your neurology in creative, new ways.

It’s an ability that has to be grown, patiently, neuron by neuron, experience by experience.

Few of us have any life-coherent concept of what “learning” is, does and requires, for it to happen in our cells. “Learning” happens rapidly in a healthy, living structure, and it happens minimally in one that’s already stressed-out and in overload. If you’re not in good health, start integrating and implementing the steps in Vital Health in Five Steps. Build from your cellular foundation up.

In six years of teaching across the world I discovered that, the more university studies people have, the more “wooden” their approach to learning, unbeknownst to them. Thought processes and attention become carbon-copy, mental, academic yet university graduates are thoroughly convinced of their “intelligence” because they can regurgitate unexamined “truths” they memorized and which “sound good to them.”

In giving my Awaken Your Natural Genius courses, the students who applied themselves to Photoreading got exceptional and fun results. Some said:

WOW! THIS IS INCREDIBLE! I’M HAVING A BLAST WITH IT!; in my reading, in my studies, at work, in all kinds of aspects of my life that I never imagined I’d be able to apply it to!”

Consider that whatever dimensions you grow in your Living Structure are the dimensions your entire life grows into. Through active engagement we activate a dimension of Genius and Fun, inside ourselves, that those who only cogitate about it do not. All learning is self-led, self-invitational.

Some students still pull out their notes from that course, years later. They find something new that I exposed them to and start having fun with it. Their learning process is their own. As they find new connections, they share them with me. “Student” comes from the Latin studium: application, care.” It takes a student to learn something. It takes passion, dedication, curiosity, DESIRE.

No lukewarm, half-hearted, half-assed person is going to be a student. A student doesn’t live that way. Feeling like “you have to” or “you should” do something doesn’t cut it either. It’s about a Life-Connection, about a Desire, about a deep sense that Life’s Invitation is Infinite, Magnificent and worthy of apprenticeship, discovery, dedication – all the way to mastery, which is ongoing, and never-ending. 

It’s about a Love Affair with Living and Learning to Live Well, and Fully!

The instructional system we were subjected to does not prepare students, but their perfect contrary. We get led by the nose. We learn to “buckle under,” “discipline ourselves,” and “do what our professors ask of us,” doing things we despise and getting rewarded for that. Then we learn to “rebel” and “do it our own way,” hatching up our own fantasies while largely ignoring reality. That is not studying or learning, but it does lead to all kinds of resistance, to self and other.

True studying is of an altogether different temper. Most people actually study in their hobbies. They would never imagine or call that studying, but that is precisely what it is. They’re having fun, finding people with more skills and experience, learning from them, helping them, working side by side with them, then going off on their own, inventing stuff, discovering how to do things. That is “application and care.”

The guy who fixes vintage cars in his spare time, the weekend Harley motorcycle mechanic, the passionate gardener: these folks passionately bring application and care to what they are doing. That is actual study. How do you learn to grow a thriving garden? How do you learn how to take a rusted out car and turn it into a restored marvel? How? Step by step, having the courage to not know, and doing it anyway!

That is actually what the Greek word skholé, from which the word “school” comes from, points to: “ease.” Yes! School is ease, as in eased conversation, as in “let’s go for a stroll and see what we discover.”

In classical Greece a school is a community of learners typically gathered around someone who’s already a seasoned learner. It’s “Mike’s garage” where we get together on Saturdays with the boys and help Mike, who’s a seasoned master mechanic, work on his cars, for example. It’s that old growth forest where we go with our Hmong friends, in the high country of the Northwestern United States and make a few bucks picking wild mushrooms and learning something at the fireside, too. Those are real schools

Not the intellectually non-sense-ical mentalized prisons which, at least in the United States, are even designed like prisons, that get misnamed “schools.”

True school has POW!er and PASSION to it. It’s an affair with our selves, our people, our world and loving and living that makes sense!

What about the rest of the people who heard about Photoreading? Most heard about it, then Monday came and they were back on the treadmill. End of story. Slaves have no time. If you want to live in the 4-second soundbite world then slavery is your destiny. You decide what your life is worth, not me.

A few students “tried” to learn Photoreading but “couldn’t.” Browse the one-star Amazon comments and you’ll recognize the type. Some even very earnestly sent me an e-mail to tell me,

“You know, I tried to do photoreading but IT DOESN’T WORK.”  I tried, but it didn’t work.

Notice the bold italics. Notice who or what is supposed “to work,” but doesn’t. Notice the relationship to self and reality: “I try.” “I thought it would work, but it doesn’t.” This absurdity gets used all the time in slave culture and goes unrecognized: “it” doesn’t work. What “it”? Words on a page?

No fooling! A book does not work! It sits wherever you place it. That’s it! A method does not work, until you work it!

This is the relationship of a passive consumer-slave to themselves and living, a person rendered absolutely quadraplegic in terms of making use of themselves. They want something or someone else to do something for them. This is the attitude we’ve been programmed with, so pay attention!

Whatever these consumer types “try,” they try mechanically, hoping for “amazing” results. From where? Not from themselves; from “it!”  They bring half-ass to the plate and expect excellence. Then they lament, “Ooooh! That sounded so good, but excellence never showed up!” This is precisely what I am talking about when I say that slaves are mystified and permanently infantile: something, like “photoreading,” is “supposed to work for them.” Why? Because they “tried.”

This kind of permanently infantile mind thinks it’s “adult” because it gave up on the Easter Bunny and Santa and replaced them with “Photoreading.”

Lame asses! They’ll be voting for your next “representative,” count on it!

By the way, I have had variations of the following conversation repeatedly and, primarily, with one kind of person: so-called “educators”!

I’d explore my clients’ (not students) experiences. “What did you do?”

“Well, I pulled out my notes from your course, which I thought was excellent, by the way, and you clearly outlined the steps to take one by one. I did that. But it didn’t work!”

“How many books did you do that with?”

“Well, I’m already on my second book, but it’s still not working.

-“Oh! I see, it doesn’t work. Do you ever ride a bicycle?” I’d ask.

“Of course, why do you ask?”

A dog riding the bicycle
By takato marui from Osaka, Japan [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

-“Well, let me ask you, does your bicycle work?”

“Sure, it works just fine. I don’t see what that’s got to do with Photoreading.”

-“Let’s look at learning to ride a bicycle. The first time you rode a bicycle someone explained to you how to ride a bicycle and you watched someone else do it. Then you just hopped on and started pedaling away to your heart’s content straight off, right? No training wheels, nobody steadying you while you traveled the first few yards; It just worked, right?”

“Of course not! You know better than that!”

-“Well, why not?”

“Because I didn’t know how to keep my balance, coordinate my hands, my feet, my body. I had to learn all of those things.”

-“Exactly. You had to ‘learn’ all those ‘things.’ You had to grow the connections, in your body and neurology, that support YOU doing all those things, together. That takes time and practice. It takes actually growing living cells, and that happens at the speed of LIFE. But bicycles DON’T WORK! You either keep riding the bicycle that you CAN’T ride, UNTIL YOU CAN, or you don’t! That is what learning does. It’s the same thing with Photoreading. Photoreading does not ‘work’ any more than a recipe will bake you a cake!”

-“All “photoreading” “is” is a bunch of words. Words don’t work! Photoreading reveals fascinating aspects of how our intelligence functions and ways to apply that to reading and a whole lot more. You learn to activate your sight, your comprehension, your left and right brain connection and communication, and your capacity to read, to think, to engage creatively, and how to coordinate all of that, step by step… or you don’t!”

-“If you do, then you’ll discover how to do that, with your particular neurologyin your particular state of health, just like you discovered how to ride a bicycle, with your bicycle. And, sure, you’ll probably wobble, bobble and clusterfuck your way through the first ten books, just like with the bicycle. That’s PART of it!  But by book fifteen you’re already noticing something exceptional. By book thirty it’s like “WOW!” But ink on wood fiber cannot work. All it can do, if you know how to read and apply yourself care-FULLY, is show you how to awaken your Natural Intelligence and Capacities in new ways. But it doesn’t work any more than a bicycle ‘works.’ You have to work it, right?”

“Right.”

-“Right. And you can take the lesson to the bank: books don’t work, bicycles don’t work, jobs don’t work, relationships don’t work, Life doesn’t work, your eyes don’t work, your brain doesn’t work, and a recipe will never bake you a cake! You have to grow the skills to work WITH them, in THEIR reality, with THEIR design and YOURS, with application and care. Period.

To learn, you either DO what you CAN’T,

UNTIL YOU CAN,

or you DON’T LEARN!

If you don’t have time you are not free. That means there’s lots for you to learn! What an amazing adventure!

Start with learning to learn and freeing your time and you’ll soon be freer than you ever imagined. Photoreading can catapult you down that road – if you help yourself.

My essays are long because we are looking at complex cultural dynamics that have been at play for thousands of years and are largely invisible to us. It’s the water we swim in. The last creature to discover the nature of water is a fish. Why? Because he takes water for granted. In the same way, when I ask you “where do you live?” you don’t say “in the air on top of the ground.” 

Same with your “culture,” which is a non-sense-ical abstraction. When I talk about “culture” I’m talking about how we relate; to ourselves, to our intimates, to our world, to our Intelligence, to our capacity, to everything.

What context do we have for who we are and where we are at? What perspective do we have for the water we swim in? My aim is to develop that context, not just give you a “hot tip.”

Everything here is for living the adventure we really love living, and inviting those whom we love to living and loving for real, not just settling for half-hearted and half-assed.

It’s not about victimology. And, if you’ve been victimized, traumatized and diminished, your living structure grew into the shape of your experience. So, yes, there is a challenge to embrace your actual shape, including all the ways you’ve learned to numb and deny what you felt. Begin validating your experience, and grow the skills, in your living structure and the shape of your experience, to lead yourself from victimhood to something far more enlivening and inspiring: self-mastery, and getting the skills to nourish, rather than diminish, your Aliveness FULL-ON.

When I realized, at age 17, that I wanted to start relating to myself, my world and loved ones in vastly more inspiring and vitalizing ways than the ones I had been brought up with, I realized I had to acquire different skills. I very consciously decided to re-parent myself. I sought out seasoned elders whom I respected and admired to clue me in. Then I looked them up.

I learned to serve the People they were serving, and to be of service. That’s the traditional way: you serve the People, and those who serve the People, and pretty soon People are teaching you what they value the most – because they know that, through you, it’s going to make its way back to the People, and the next generation. That’s not a consumer activity. It’s generative. I’m sharing a little of what I’ve learned and has been useful to me, as I’ve made use of it.

These articles are mere trail maps. Most of the terrain pointed to is not only vast, but real. You can spend your entire life reading trail maps and never take the journey. To each his own.

I’ve had countless people say “oh, you could write shorter articles, you could write a book, you should record audio, or videos.” They miss the point.

To live an exceptional life we develop exceptional capacities.

Learning to Photoread, you’ll be reading what’s offered here and, more importantly, leading your own learning adventures far more deeply, broadly, creatively and effectively. You can read these articles in way less time than it would ever take you to listen to them on audio, and you can reactivate and stimulate your own creativity with them, afterward, in less than a minute!

When I went to Brazil in 2011 I ended up living way up on a mountain, outside of a remote community, in the rainforest, alone for four months. I’d come out every 10-14 days, hitchhike a ride into the town 4 miles away to get what little food I wasn’t already growing in the gardens I planted.

Every 10-14 days I’d speak Brazilian Portuguese for a few hours, on the way into town and in town. Several times a week I’d go cut sugarcane in the bush, or just chat, with a neighbor who kept his draft oxen on the land were I was. In the meanwhile, every day I used Photoreading to learn Portuguese. For three months I studied, literally, 3-5 minutes (YES, MINUTES) per day. I wanted to see how well the method worked. I wanted to speak grammatically correct Portuguese, and I didn’t want to plow through a grammar page by page. I got a complete, 250 page Portuguese grammar online and Photoread it every day.

If my conversations in Portuguese brought up questions, then I would look them up in the grammar. Otherwise, I’d just Photoread the whole 250 pages everyday, on my computer, hitting the “Page Down” button as fast as the page appeared. As the months rolled by I discovered that I “just knew” what the right way to say something was, even though I hadn’t yet said or heard it in conversation or looked it up.

Once you read the Photoreading book, you’ll understand how this happened in my neurology. It’s part of our design. Most indigenous people in the world who haven’t been systematically stupefied in what “moderns” erroneously call “schools” speak 4-5 different human languages. They understand hundreds, if not thousands of non-human languages, too. They know how Life communicates with Life because they grow up inside of that communication which shapes them. That is the baseline, human norm, worldwide. Learning languages is not only normal, it’s easy.

Now, many people here that “learning languages is easy” and they want to debate me, or tell me, “Yeah. It’s easy for you, but it’s not for me.” They missed the point entirely. They reduced it to their acculturated frame.

What I’m telling you is precise: learning languages, and most anything else for that matter, is easy, relaxed, playful and natural. Unfortunately, our naturally easy, relaxed, playful way of learning got hijacked at age 4 or 5, and now many governments want to own children’s minds even earlier.

So I’m giving you hints, throughout this website, as to how anything you desire can be realized much more easily, relaxedly, playfully, and naturally than the struggle most of you have been stuck in for your whole lives. So find a relaxed, playful, natural way to engage with what you’re interested in, and you’ll be amazed at the results!

After three months of living in the rainforest, the local doctor who had a clinic at the base of the mountain where I lived and would give me rides into town, said, “How the heck did you become fluent in Portuguese so fast?! That’s CRAZY! You live all alone on a mountain and only talk to people a couple of times a week, yet your Portuguese is grammatically spot-on! How did you do that?”

When I told her she organized my first Awaken Your Natural Genius workshop in Brazil and I showed them how I did it, in Portuguese.

Just about everything you are engaged in is far simpler and easier than you’ve been led to believe. EVERYTHING. Yet most of you will spend a lifetime stuck in struggle. This is about another option:

Quit believing and disbelieving!

Start learning!

Take application and care, and some guidance to spare you a thousand dead-ends and detours. Find the heart for your life, your capacity, your dignity, a passion for living, a deep sense and desire for the Brilliance that is BEING human, and the courage to work through all the ways you’ve been set at odds with yourself; a sense of Adventure.

Those who want, will and do take the Journey. The SENSE that there’s a Beautiful Invitation, inside of them, still lives in their Heart and in their Bones. They FEEL Life’s Promise. They want to Realize it, Live it and Pass it On. These Invitations are for those who resonate with this Aliveness.

“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honor trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the thing for you. Look at what a lot of things there are to learn…” – Merlyn, The Once and Future King

Now, look at your watch. How long did it take you to read this? How was that?

Imagine being able to read this FOUR times, in four different ways, over maybe a week, or so, with about 15 minutes invested, in total, and a bucket load of your own creativity stimulated in the process. Imagine, instead of following the trolley care of my words, line-by-line, being able to soar in your adventure, like an eagle over an immense lake, and being able to dive in and pluck out the delicious fish that vitalize and feed you, repeatedly, and to come back here over the months and years and pluck out more fish in minutes, or less, with each visit. Gain those skills and you’ll get a sense of what I’m inviting you to.

There are other dimensions of your Intelligence, my friend.

You will KNOW it when you GROW it.

Grow It!

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  1. Roberta

    Caro amico!
    Thank you very much for your article and the good advice: I didn’t know the existence of the book PhotoReading, I’ll look for it! Years ago, when I started to be interested in Rudolf Steiner ‘s work, I met (and practiced) one of his little and precious written, titled “The six Exercises”. It concerns human developing as a whole, I think it goes in the same direction you meant: http://tomvangelder.antrovista.com/the-six-basic-exercises-by-rudolf-steiner-138m40.html; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pjo3iy4kfdM
    Concerning learning process, I can say for my experience (and the one of the people I know), that we know well and become skilled in what we love, and we love what we know well (… a virtuous circle, ascending spiral). Regarding foreign languages, for example….when I was young I felt terribly in love with Russian literature, I started to imagine what sort of delight could have been reading the beloved masterpieces in the original language, I wanted to know BY-HEART , with the right sound, all the inspiring poetries. I admit, it took a certain time to become fluent in Russian, but when we have a great joy and desire the work is pure pleasure! Let me share with you, dear reader, one of the beloved poem by Osip Mandel’stam. Warmly, Roberta
    A BODY WAS GIVEN TO ME
    What shall I do with this body they gave me,
    So much my own, so intimate with me?

    For being alive, for the joy of calm breath,
    Tell me, who should I bless?

    I am the flower, and the gardener as well,
    And am not solitary, in earth’s cell.

    My living warmth, exhales, you can see,
    On the clear glass of eternity.

    A pattern set down,
    Until now, unknown.

    Breath evaporates without trace,
    But form no one can deface.

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