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Read everything. Each and every conference of the board. Read the ingredients on the packaging, and read the books of philosophy.

Read all the lectures, not only in the Dark Lecture Hall, but also halls of the other aspects too. Know your enemy. Know your friends.

How to read

It is suggested that you read each lecture twice;

The first time, in a thorough and critical manner. Ask yourself what parts of the lecture are relevant to you, ask what parts of the lecture you disagree with, and why. Remember these are lectures by fallible human beings, and treat them as such. Pursue loose ends; if an idea makes you feel uncomfortable, ask why; if an idea seems unreasonable, ask yourself what would be reasonable. The second time, having gone through the lecture in this analytical, critical manner, skim through it once again, this time, using it only as a canvas for your own thoughts. First, sit for a moment or two, focussing on the page of text, but seeing it only as a series of letter shaped patterns.

Then, attempt to enter a state of mind where your thoughts are easily accessible, at the forefront of your mind; envisualise that you yourself are about to pick up a pen, and write all over this sheet of paper yourself. Finally, become conscious of the text in front of you, and read through it, but this time, paying attention not to each detail, but rather to your own thoughts and ideas which arise as you read through the text, making note of them. Once you feel you no longer want to deal with these lectures, move on.

What to read

Some advice on books: It is often the case that people who join here are addicted to reading. If this is the case, then you hardly need my advice on what to read. If this is not the case, it is possible that you are too busy doing things which are more important than reading and this is good. It is also possible that you are just stupid. If I am pushed to recommend some suitable books, I would go for the following, simply on the basis that they are paths well trodden by past members.

  • Sun Tzu, The Art of War
  • Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince
  • Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
  • Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf
  • Carlos Castaneda, The Teachings of Don Juan

But as a dark knight once said to me, remember that all the books in the world won't keep you warm at night.

- Richard Francis Irvine