“What kind of world are we living in?” In other words, the more one is present to oneself and to where one is, the more one wonders, what the … is going on?

This is a manual on the basics of what is really happening behind the scenes, what it is and how it works.

I wrote it for you, personally. Before I explain you what it is and why have I written it to you, I want to tell you this:

On one hand, examine it closely first, and then evaluate by yourself how much this influences your life and that of your loved ones and fellow men, and thus what importance it has.

On another hand, pass it on so as to allow others to do the same evaluation for themselves. It’s their right just as yours, defend both.

On another hand more, don’t just forget it after a single glance, but keep it at hand, where you can repeatedly consult it, so you don’t lose any chance of finding out clues, trails, ideas, facets you didn’t notice before.

As there are many things of which I think it is important to inform you, I want them to arrive to you exact, complete and clear, so now I shall focus on this for a moment.
If you think you won’t have particular difficulties in this, you can skip the rest of this foreword if you want; in case you had, just come back here.
Should you think you already know about the following points, I would like you to consider it a verification rather than a refresher, because there could be differences compared to how you know them. Whether new or not, in every case I ask you to take it seriously, and I hope that in doing so you will understand the importance of these points.

A thing catches the eye according to how more conspicuous then the rest it looks, but showiness and importance are two separate qualities, so, in order to dissolve showiness and see the importance impartially for what it actually is, keep on observing the thing.
In a summary, in particular, the subject is concentrated, so information may not be immediately detectable in all its importance, scope, entirety, details, without unpacking and expanding it to its actual size. Nothing here is pointless or dispensable; on the contrary, look at every word as a concentrate to observe and ponder repeatedly to extract its full meaning and scope.
Developing a datum from its most syntethic form to its full potential for application is not trivial at all but a study in itself, to devote attention, time and energy to.

Foreword, 2

Furthermore, experience shows that reviewing repeatedly can be important for another reason more, in addition to helping us to dig behind the conspicuous and inside the highly concentrated. The moment you fully understand something is not so much an arrival point as a starting point: that of a path which is wider and deeper each time you face the subject again, rewarded by discoveries and cognitions you cannot foresee now because each one is prerequisite for the next and leads on to it, that you’re going to lose if you don’t embark upon it.

Practice never going past a word or symbol you do not understand fully, because this is the most important barrier between you and knowing and understanding, and knowing and understanding is what makes the difference in life. Even the most humble and overlooked word can have lots of different meanings, and there are lots of ways one can misunderstand it; once you go past one, everything from there onwards vanishes behind your back and you’re lost with no maps at the mercy of storms and sharks. See for yourself who your friends are: big, clear dictionaries and the ability to master your attention, or helpless carelessness at the mercy of incomprehensible or undetected traps?

This single specific point of the misunderstood word or symbol is the very example of something easily overlooked that when observed and pondered carefully and repeatedly enough begins to reveal its full, real meaning and scope. It has been said that this is the only reason anyone gives up studying any subject once chosen, and that anyone can learn any subject and be able to use it, whether talented or not, provided one has no misunderstoods in it. This is no small thing: it means that anyone has the potential to learn, understand and master anything; in other words, it means that no one is hopelessly prisoner of unsurmountable limits. Just stop for a minute, take a step back to better frame it as a whole, and wonder about what a difference this single point alone can make.

Foreword, 3

It is plain common sense that one must learn to walk before one can learn to run, and learning proceeds by sequences and degrees: the next rests on the previous. But there’s more to it than meets the eye, as the ensuing difficulties and the misunderstanding causing them do not occur simultaneously. There is a lag between them, and the make−or−break issue is whether you know about this lag or not. Do not seek the cause of the problem where you’re apparently having it; you’re not only wasting time, far worse you’re at risk of giving up convinced you cannot find it and therefore solve it. The reason is that you’re barking up the wrong tree: the right tree is one you’ve just passed by. If you stumble while learning to run, carefully seek your gaps in walking first, only then in running. The last steps that seem to you that they’re ok are just those you’ll inspect more carefully. And the first place where to do it is in your dictionary: is there anything you do not fully understand in the very definition itself? Or in the basics and symbols of that dictionary? Clarify that, first. And never forget about that lag from there onwards: wherever you are, whenever you stumble, inspect the step just behind you, first.

Even though thoughts and ideas do not have physical size and mass, they nonetheless eat up your mind space as if they had. Particularly when you’re learning new ones you still don’t know and have to understand. As your mind gets crammed full your grasp goes out because when you keep everything in mind you spend too much attention just to keep everything in place, so you’re left too little to work through it. Under such circumstances, the material universe comes in quite handy: nothing like taking the change out of your pocket and scatter it on the desk to count it. You relieve your attention of the mass of thoughts by dumping it on the material mass: just like children playing with toys, you assign every part of the idea to a chunk of stuff, and then stage that idea physically; or you appoint yourself a draughtsman and sketch it, no matter how roughly. If you can disentangle it, you’ll get it; if you can’t, you know there are misunderstood words or symbols to find and clarify.

Foreword, 4

Should you ever object that this sounds much like studying and you don’t like studying, well, this is the first demonstration of how much in depth the destructive effects of misunderstanding or not understanding fully can reach: the very meaning of “study”. Do you think studying means teachers, classrooms, books and nothing else? Oh, no. It has been said, and it could be said, that studying means mastering yourself, your attention and abilities, applying them to something to find out more about it, and knowing, understanding and mastering that something as a result. The more you observe this in your own life, the more you realize that this is exactly what you do all your life – whenever and wherever you’re after any change, any betterment, studying is the one thing you do the most, right after breathing, and thus probably among your very best friends, as proven by comparing you now to when you were born: just figure out whether you would still be here at all now if you knew nothing more than your first wail. It has been said that an individual is alive to the degree he or she can communicate. And it has been also said that you are as alive as you are able to learn.