These are stories shared, with permission, by some of the recent
users of this program.
After spending many hours one night working on my autobiography,
pouring my life on to the pages, as the instructions suggested,
I transitioned directly to sleep. Upon waking the next morning
an extraordinary experience ensued, where I inadvertently caught
my mind in the midst of a new activity it had decided to occupy
itself with throughout the night. To my surprise, it was in the
middle of systematically going through free association after
free association, memory after memory dissecting, categorizing
and recontextualizing these memories, fitting them into
elaborate coherent narratives. This process was two-fold: first
the mind would look at the memory or association and analyze it;
then it would look for how it was connected to any other events.
Then it would be placed into the context of ever-larger dominate
narratives. What was deemed irreverent was, in a sense,
discarded. After having spent numerous years in Jungian
Analysis, as well as regular meditation practice (including many
long intensive retreats) to enhance my personal growth, this was
a truly unique experience. Never before had I witnessed the mind
reorganize itself in such a fast paced, complex and plastic
manner. In addition to this inner experience subjectively I
awoke from what I would probably consider the best sleep I can
remember. I was so well rested, so at peace and felt ready to
2: The Past Authoring program was
particularly valuable to me. When I began it, I struggled to
think of experiences to include. I thought that my life was
mundane, that I lacked significant/pivotal life events. With
some thought, I began to remember experiences that I had not
thought of for a while, that involved early family conflict.
Working through the exercises for chosen experiences made me
understand their significance and their persistent influence on
me. Working through the exercise personally made me organize my
thoughts and feelings about these experiences.
The autobiography was a painful, yet important experience. I feel
that everyone should do it at some point in their lives. I managed
to isolate all the negative events in my life that still bother
me, to this day, and took the necessary steps to make it better.
Furthermore, since there was a limit on the amount of memories I
could write about, it helped me prioritize the negative events
that could be fixed, and distinguish them from others that just needed to be
forgotten. On a positive note, I identified the common patterns
and themes that mattered to me the most: the challenge of
relationships/triumph of friendships, the relationship with my
parents and the associated volatility/instability, and the need
for competition and inspiration to help maximize my own
begun to notice a pretty radical change in almost all the
aspects of my life after going through these programs.
There were points in my writing that were extremely upsetting,
and unexpectedly so, making me grateful that I was alone while I
was writing. The
Past Authoring program also prompted me to
explore behaviours I engage(d) in that upset me but didn't
understand, or at least not to completion. I wrote my
autobiography in chronological order, so it soon became
shockingly clear to me what experiences early in life influenced
my "unexplained" behaviour later on. There were also several
points where I had to pause after analyzing an event just to say
"wow", and come to terms with what I had just unearthed. I felt
a great deal of relief and clarity once I was done. But what was
interesting was that soon after (maybe after a few weeks) I
noticed I also became very very angry about things I had been
passive about before. For a few weeks I was fuming over my own
contribution to my own problems, and how I had allowed them to
come to fruition. I was more angry than I had ever been in my
entire life. It shocked most of the people around me, because
soon I began to confront issues in my life very quickly in a
direct, constructive, and articulate manner, that caught people
off guard (probably because I had never really stood up for
myself to begin with). I began to realize what I should want and
expect of the people around me, and of myself. I also became
aware of the behaviour I was prone to that upset me and began to
see how people had, and could, take advantage of me. As a result
my social circles changed pretty rapidly. I also stopped
drinking as frequently as I used to (it was a rate I was neither
proud of, or comfortable with), and soon after came to realize
that my self-destructive, emotionally manipulative boyfriend
probably wasn't the greatest outlet for my desire to help people,
and dumped him pretty fast. These were all very positive changes
for me, although they really sucked at first. I am really
beginning to reap the benefits now.
Overall I'm grateful for having gone through both programs, and
I feel I've gained great clarity and focus in my life.
definitely enjoyed doing the Past and Future Authoring programs.
It was fun reminiscing about past events, working through past
struggles and concretely identifying where I've come from and
why I'm at where I'm at.
Trying to figure out which experiences were more significant
than others was challenging itself. However, as the process
continued and we had to analyze our experiences more in depth,
the pieces of my past seemed to fit together. I obviously knew
what my past consisted of (in terms of the things I had
experienced, people I had met, etc.), but I had never thought
about them in the way this program forces you to. Overall,
completing this assignment has shed a new light on my past,
making me realize and aware of the significance of my
experiences, and the influence they have had on shaping the
person I am today.
This is a new program, and feedback from users has not yet been
The Future Authoring program was enjoyable and rewarding, and
it helped me realize how attainable certain goals of mine were,
with work. I aspired for a lot of things, but I thought that
some were just lofty goals instead of actual possibilities.
Even though these were exercises that I might have been able to
do without guidance, their structure and thoroughness were very
helpful. I really enjoyed them and appreciated the opportunity
to do this kind of assignment in a university class. I wish I
took the class earlier (before my final year of undergrad), so
that I could have used what I learned from the
Future Authoring program in my academic endeavours more.
COMMENT 2: I
did find a great deal of value in writing my ideal future and my
worst possible scenario and frequently refer back to these in my
daily decisions. I feel that after defining these I have much
more direction in what I do every day. I spend much less time on
time-fillers like facebook and tending to my phone because I'm
more aware of the things I want to do (or should do) to achieve
Future Authoring program was a great way to solidify and identify my
goals, heading towards the future. Now that I've explicitly
stated them, how to succeed and avoid falling short, I feel that
I can no longer run away from them or make excuses because
responsibility now weighs heavily on my shoulders. It was an
eye-opener thinking about the worst-case scenario in my life,
and I realized how badly I didn't want that.
Being asked to write out your goals, and question why these
goals are important, and how they are going to influence your
life in the future, can be challenging.
authoring assignment really made me think about where I wanted
to be (or where I saw myself) in the next three to five years.
However, upon completing the Future Authoring program I was able
to visualize my ideal future. Furthermore, critically thinking
about and analyzing each individual goal has made me realize why
this future is something I want and desire. It has also
motivated me to accomplish these goals, or at least strategize
what steps I need to implement and plan today to succeed in
achieving my goals.