The Psychology of Teaching and the Rules of Rhetoric

Starting From a Fresh Slate

Assuming that the instructions you give out are taken from this book, half the battle is already won if you can get your students to follow them carefully. The more exactly everything is performed, the better the results. This clear truth bears repeating often to the audience. You should start each lesson off by doing so. To bring this point home, hold up a blank sheet of paper and ask your students to make their minds as clear as that sheet by suspending everything they know about out-of-body travel and lucid dreaming for the duration of the lesson. What most people "know" about this phenomenon is nearly entirely based on false expectations and conceptualizations, as well as a lack of understanding of how to get results. Their minds are usually filled with murky techniques for anything and everything at once instead of procedures.

Unless you let the audience know that they won’t get far without starting from a blank slate, not getting far is exactly what they’ll do. People will stir your instructions into the mishmash already inside their heads, and the result will be a poor rate of success. However, responsibility for this always will always lie squarely with the instructor. Your task is not only to provide techniques, but also to properly instill and reinforce them in people’s minds.

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