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Book Review


January 1951 By Isaac Isidor Rabi

This volume probably contains more promises and less evidenceper page than has any publication since the invention of printing. Briefly,its thesis is that man is intrinsically good, has a perfect memory for everyevent of his life, and is a good deal more intelligent than he appears tobe.

However, something called the engram prevents these characteristics frombeing realized in man's behavior. During moments of unconsciousness and painand at any time from conception onward, the "reactive mind" can still recordexperience, but experiences so recorded -engrams- are a major source ofman's misery, his psychosomatic ills, his neuroses and psychoses, his poormemory, and his generally inefficient functioning.

By a process calleddianetic reverie, which resembles hypnosis and which may apparently bepracticed by anyone trained in dianetics, these engrams may be recalled.Once thoroughly recalled, they are "refiled," and the patient becomes a"clear," who is not handicapped by encumbering engrams and who canthenceforth function at a level of intellect, efficiency and goodness seldomif ever realized before in the history of man.

The system is presentedwithout qualification and without evidence. It has borrowed frompsychoanalysis, Pavlovian conditioning, hypnosis and folk beliefs, but,except for the last, these debts are fulsomely denied.

The huge sale of thebook to date is distressing evidence of the frustrated ambitions, hopes,ideals, anxieties and worries of the many persons who through it have soughtsuccor.

I.I. Rabi, winner of the Nobel prize in physics in 1944, is professor ofphysics at Columbia University.

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