I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
This is the story of John Ingle’s life and his ability to communicate with his subconscious. John goes through most of his life, giving examples of his subconscious mind helping him through traumatic events. It was about growing up with a mind that functions differently than what we are used to. John was able to override pain when faced with extreme circumstances.
I was drawn into this one because it is about human subconscious. I have a weak spot for anything about the human brain. I find them fascinating, and am always looking to learn some more about how they tick. Typically first hand experience is better than listening to a scientist.
The overall idea behind the autobiography I found fascinating. I knew nothing about having ‘two minds’, as John described it. He gives examples throughout his life including childhood, when he was able to block out the physical pain. As a child he did not know why there was not any pain, and even as an adult he didn’t understand it for quite some time. John did not shy away from discussing his experiences with doctors and psychologists, and how he became diagnosed with this ability. He also brings up how, even within the medical community, “dichotomies of the mind” does not seem to be agreed upon. Many assessed him a schizophrenic due to his description of the splitting of the mind. I found it interesting to see how it would feel from the inside to see the doctors disagree with the reason you are feeling this way. To be feeling off, and be getting the run around to different doctors, all telling him different things. I will say that this book made me think and I spent quite a bit of time on Google trying to learn more about this subject.
I did have some issues with this book. I couldn’t grasp the organization of this book – I spent a lot of this book confused about what exactly was he trying to tell me. There are many chapters: the first few are named, then they are numbered, back to named, and then it ends with another chapter one. If there was a purpose to this format it was not clearly stated. I couldn’t get into the writing because I couldn’t get into any type of natural flow. It seemed to be written as more of short story tidbits from his life, rather than following any type of order.
There seemed to be a couple of times where two chapters seemed to be telling me the same life story in two slightly different ways. Now I’m not sure if that is supposed to be showing me the two minds and their interpretation of the scene respectively, or if it was just redundant. But the information is different even though the same conversations are mentioned and partially quoted. This just left me more confused than fascinated. I think this could have easily been fixed by better communicating what the chapters were trying to do rather than just putting them sequentially.
In the middle of the book John describes something that is happening in his brain. By this I mean characters that are in his head. It was almost like a random piece of fiction wedged in the middle of the autobiography. I feel like he was trying to show us how his brain works and what happens sometimes. But this section was three chapters of these characters interacting, and I don’t see what I got out of that. I found myself trying to speed read through those sections.
The idea behind this book was good but, tell me more about brains and what it is like living with different conditions! There seemed to be very little information about how John’s brain works. I’m still not sure I understand what he means when he says he has two distinct minds or that he can communicate with his subconscious. I guess I was hoping for a bit more science. I know he is not a doctor, but overall this wasn’t exactly what I was expecting and it just wasn’t for me.
If you have read this let me know I would like to have a better understanding of this.