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Customer Review

23 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Recommend avoiding this book and not taking any position regarding it, April 10, 2010
This review is from: Undoing Yourself with Energized Meditation and Other Devices (Paperback)
I recommend avoiding this book and not taking any position regarding it.

I thought I would add a few descriptive details of why this book is to be avoided. The book is designed to stir the reader up to take a position (for or against) regarding it. It gives multiple contradictory messages of mind control versus mind freeing. The blur of confusing contradictory messages exists to put the reader in logical double-binds which, as psychiatrist R. D. Liang pointed out, are the salient feature of schizophrenic breaks with reality.

A further double-bind around the book is the delusive glamor of risk and danger based around testing out oneself against a dangerous book. In other words, it appeals to the risk-taking teenager in us all.

It would seem, then, that at worst "Undoing Yourself..." can be a contributory factor to a break with reality; at best, a confusing and irritating read.

To compound the disservice done the reader, three Reichian body-work exercises are added. These are far better explained, expanded upon, and detailed in the equally avoidable fantasia on an occult theme by "Dr" Hyatt entitled "Secrets of Western Tantra". If you are intending to do the body work, I suggest divorcing it from Hyatt's context and rewriting the instructions to remove any embedded hypnotic commands. (One of the perverse embedded hypnotic commands in Hyatt's "instructions" is the suggestion to make sure you have a bucket nearby for when you vomit, and a hypnotic suggestion that vomiting in good for relaxation.) These short instructions can be found in the longer version from "Secrets of Western Tantra" through a online search engine. You will find these exercises through google at a website called skymind by googling "skymind secrets of western tantra". Again, I recommend purging them of the author's suggestions before doing them.

The three exercises are helpful to release body tension. Hyatt's implication that they alter personality is hypnotic suggestion that is unwarranted by facts, experience, research, or basic physiology. Hyatt's implied theory that personality is musculo-skeletal (or, worse, bioenergetic) in nature is completely unsupported by many decades of psychological research. So the body-work, pleasant and useful stress relief as it may be, is placed in a context which is entirely unhelpful and given meanings quite alien from their actual effect and downright harmful to the formation of healthy personality.

To readers of this book, it is an amusing read and some people are attracted to the mordant humor and perverse shock images. To body-workers working with this book as a guide, especially young folk, please consider taking care to remain with the bounds of the law and sanity. I honor your search for truth and reality. You will find only falsehood and delusion in this book, and I encourage you to keep looking elsewhere.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 25, 2011, 6:19:58 PM PDT
The laws are meaningless and often irrational constructions of the leaders who think they can tell people what to put in their bodies. Its not a war on drugs. its a war on consciousness and thought.

Posted on Jan 30, 2012, 9:26:00 AM PST
Andy K says:
I mentioned nothing in my review about drug use, the war on drugs, or the philosophy of law; that would appear to be projections on your part. Your take on the philosophy of law is sorely inadequate and rudimentary. How about learning to reality test? :-)

Posted on Feb 26, 2013, 7:46:25 PM PST
buttsatan says:
This is basically my dad's reaction to liberals succeeding. "Suuuure, youuuu'll seeeee!"

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 12, 2013, 11:18:02 PM PDT
Liberals succeeding? When is the last time that happened?

Posted on Jan 2, 2014, 3:10:26 AM PST
Dean P says:
I have to say I'm slightly torn between liking and disliking the book. As for the exercises and theory that "thought equals tension", I have to agree, there's little evidence to support the idea that re-wiring (and/or enlightenment) can be done via physical tension reduction (a common body-work therapy idea). If this were the case, there would have been a few more success stories from Osho and this kind of meditative work than happened. Undoing oneself involves a little more than reducing tension and meditating on a mantra. Further, the whole notion that a personality can pick this up and undo "itself" is a little optimistic. Still, his urgency and tone in parts is helpful for shifting people into gear.
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