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Neurohacking - Tutorials
Written by NHA   
Sunday, 23 March 2008 17:31
Article Index
Neurohacking Tutorial 1 - Basics & Golden Rules
Brains and Networks
The Golden Rules
When Things Go Wrong (Anxiety)
Basics About Intelligence
NHA Guide To Methods and Tech
Hacks and Exercices
All Pages




It’s Time to Take a Look at the Golden Rules.

Throughout the program you will encounter the following themes, that we call the golden rules:

  1. If the brain doesn’t get what it needs, the mind won’t do what you want
  2. Behave as though it’s happening and the brain will think it’s happening
  3. You will become more like whatever you are surrounded by
  4. Cells that fire together wire together
  5. Know yourself
  6. Always do things in the right order
  7. Use it in the right way or lose it
  8. From time to time, you will forget all this


The Golden Rules are all you need to learn at first, because they summarize all that we need to know in order to start making beneficial changes. You’ll find that as you get to know them, they’ll remind you of how the brain and biology work and that will help you to understand how and why Intal works.

The golden rules will be explained in detail below. We suggest that you read this section again carefully if you encounter any problems or fail to get results, because not remembering these rules is the cause of most problems and lack of progress in neurohacking! That’s why we want you to put them somewhere that you will see them often, preferably every day. If you try something in NH and it doesn’t seem to work, the first place to look to find out why is at the golden rules.

Now we’ll go through the basics of why these rules are so important:


If the brain doesn’t get what it needs, the mind won’t do what you want

Your brain is an electrochemical-dependent biological organ. Providing the correct nutrients and fuel for it to perform well and making sure it gets what it needs is the first step in NH without which you won’t get lasting results. Worse, you can even damage your brain if you push it too hard without sufficient nutrients and sleep, particularly your memory. If you want to ‘go for gold’ as a mental athlete the first things you’ll have to pay attention to are your brain’s biological needs.

This is one area in which the brain does behave somewhat like a machine. You wouldn’t put jelly in your CD drive or your car and expect good results, would you? Your brain is just as fussy about what goes into it.

We get energy from machines by burning hydrocarbons. We get energy from biology by burning carbohydrates. In both, the correct ‘grade’ of fuel strongly affects the performance. We’ll look into this more in tutorial 2. (If you want to know more before going on, read “Optimal nutrition for beginners” in the Nutrition section of the library.)

The brain has other needs in order to work efficiently, because most machines don’t grow or repair themselves, but brains and bodies do. As well as fuel and water, we need nutrients and sleep. The mind also needs input that is clear and that makes sense, which calls on our ability to pay attention and to interpret things correctly, because if your perception doesn’t get what it needs, your mind won’t fully understand what’s really going on in the world around you.


Behave as though it's happening, and the brain will think it's happening

You may think of yourself as a critical, rational or logical thinker, but the unconscious mind is incredibly gullible and can be fooled very easily because the networks it uses don’t bother separating fact from fiction. (Animals that rely mainly on the rear (unconscious) networks mistake their own reflection in a mirror for another real animal for this reason).

Surprisingly, just over 40% of the brain, mostly rear networks, uses unconscious thought (as opposed to conscious thought). It’s very useful to know about this, firstly because the secrets behind both human creativity and the ‘placebo effect’ will reveal to you how incredibly powerful unconscious intelligence can be, and secondly because once you know how unconscious thought works you’ll know how to recognize and defend yourself against indoctrination, coercion, deception, undue influence, trickery, cons, head games, emotional blackmail and lies.

We like you, you see, and we want you to be able to protect yourself against anyone trying to mess with your mind against your will or without your informed consent. Only you should ever be in charge of you, and anyone telling you otherwise or practising coercion is heading mentally in the direction of decay.


You will become more like whatever you are surrounded by

There is much more to our environment, other people, things, and their effects on us, than meets the eye. This rule is important, because if we forget it we can fall or be pushed into bad habits that slow us down. We have to start taking control of our personal environment in more than just the physical sense. Understanding how you can use input control to enhance your memory, communication, learning and social skills through increasing emotional stability and empathy will speed up your progress and increase your abilities.

We also have to start taking control of our behavior! Employing good habits -behaving in habitual ways that will help us to achieve our aims- and removing obstacles to our intelligence such as anxiety, apathy or depression, is the aim here. There are three basic ways to behave, but only one successful way to interact, and we’ll talk more about that later. (If you want to know more before going on, read “Interaction and core conditions: the basics”, in the Basics section of the library).


Cells that fire together wire together

Things have to be associated in time as well as in space. Being a biological organism is all about timing -growth & development, self-repair, moving about, eating, communicating, learning things, having sex and reproducing. Being an intelligent mammal gives us extra abilities to establish successful relationships, solve problems, strategize, and work well in groups as well as individually. Our intelligence enables us to create things, understand abstract concepts, attain spiritual ecstasy and figure out stuff like how to compose great symphonies or walk on the moon.

This describes how we learn. Brain networks adjust themselves with experience and make new associations between things. When networks fire together, they build more brain connections from one to the other.

Imagine that you’re learning to drive or ride a bike. At first, all the different individual body movements with pedals, wheel and gear shift are not coordinated. You have to look down to figure out where the gear shift or handbrake is, and so on. When you first begin, the movements of your arms and your legs, your head and your eyes, are all run by different networks that are all firing individually at the same time as each other. There are not many connections between them because the brain has never used this combination of networks in association with each other before. It has to process them all individually and that takes time, so you’re slow and a little clumsy at the task.

With practice though, you find yourself able to carry out the various physical movements more and more in synchronisation and eventually they become smooth and automatic. What is happening in the brain is that the networks responsible for each of those movements are literally connecting themselves together. With feedback from each other, the networks can time their responses to coordinate movements with each other. The movements are becoming associated as one unit; a ‘procedure’ instead of lots of bits. When the connections become dense enough, transference of information in parallel at high speeds makes the task “go automatic”. This is how you learn to walk, drive or ride a bike. It is natural learning, and it can be used to learn absolutely anything once you know how it works.

Association is the secret of all learning and of how human beings are so marvelously adaptable. Our awareness of everything in our experience depends on the associations in our memory, and the strength of our memory depends on the quality of those associations. There are many different types of memory and later we are going to look at each of them, how memories are made, and our own natural learning cycle with its specific stages. (If you want to know more before going on, read: “Learning & memory: the basics” in the Basics section of the library). If we use the brain as biology intended we will find ourselves able to learn, remember and recall all things more easily.


Know yourself

A part of this means knowing basically how your brain works and what can influence it for better and for worse. This part of NH is the same for everybody, (because we all share the same basic biology and the human genome).

Another part of knowing yourself is self-assessment and analysis, which only applies to you personally (because we don’t all share the same genes or the same mind).

Accepting that there are some things you can’t yet do is the first step to mastering those abilities. Critical self-assessment is the key to building confidence and personal integrity (fooling yourself just slows you down). Understanding why most of us are probably not performing with optimal mental potential at first shows you how you can change things and the quickest ways to get there.

In other words, knowing clearly where you are at now, where you are going next and how to get there is always a good idea before beginning any journey.

To practice NH successfully we must have a very clear awareness about the state of our own mind and our current abilities, so after tutorial 2 we do an analysis to find that out. An awareness of your own current limitations gives you not only faster progress in NH but an exciting glimpse of how much more you will improve!

Always do things in the right order


The human mind is able to master multiple skills, as long as it remains in good working condition. But the really amazing thing is that the brain uses exactly the same processes in exactly the same order to achieve all these aims.

If we work with this natural order of processing, when learning, we can achieve permanent results quickly and with ease. Once you know about timing and the cycle of learning, you’ll realize that there’s an easy way to learn anything, and there’s a hard way. The easy way is natural learning; it works with biology, and it’s fast. The hard way also works eventually despite biology, but at the expense of other functions, and it’s slow, and usually non-permanent. (Chances are, you’ve always done it the hard way, because that’s the way you were taught in school. How much of what you were taught in school can you now remember? It's likely to be only the stuff that you still use all the time!)

To learn in the fast, easy way, we must understand the order of learning that aligns with the brain’s natural biology and we must follow that order. That means developing rear nets to optimal performance before working on higher abstract skills.

Our executive abilities of prediction, judgment, decision and competent strategy are the hallmarks of strong intelligence and ‘muscular-mindedness’, along with a powerful memory and a creative, flexible logic, and these abilities largely depend on the pre frontal cortex (the networks at the front end of the brain). Those frontal networks however depend on all that has gone before –every network that we have fully developed so far. And all of them depend on networks 1 & 2. That’s why we start with these supporting networks, and develop things in the right order for optimal potential. This way, no abilities or memories are lost as more are gained.



Use it in the right way or lose it

Just like your body’s muscles, your brain will degrade in performance not only if you don’t use each network regularly, but also if you use them in the wrong way (like muscles if they’re overstretched, strained or forced).

Muscles waste away when they’re not used, and so does brain tissue. We must use all of our networks regularly for our brains to stay healthy, and we must use them in the right way. If you exercise the body in the wrong way you get strains and injuries that slow down your progress towards total fitness. When we use the brain in the wrong way the same kind of thing happens.

There are good habits of thinking as well as good habits of behavior. A part of input control is learning how to exchange bad thinking habits for good ones that produce beneficial results both in our brains and our lives.


From time to time, you will forget all this

During your progress, and especially during times of unexpected problems, something called ‘snapback’ may happen; in which the brain tries to return to old familiar habits of thought. This is a very familiar thing to neurohackers (and also happens to athletes training up the body). If you notice a sudden decrease in your ability in any way, or you’ve been feeling good and then suddenly your mood plummets, snapback is almost certainly why.

During such times (or if you get overly distracted by anything else), you are likely to forget these rules. They are however vital if you are to succeed in permanent cognitive improvement, and that’s why it’s so important to regularly remind yourself. Cultivate the good habit of looking at the rules any time you don’t feel things are improving or any time you feel stuck or confused. Label your NH diary “Captain's Log -When stuck, look here”.






In your Captain's log, put the following questions under your golden rule headings. You can use shorthand notes or your own words if you prefer:


If the brain doesn’t get what it needs, the mind won’t do what you want.

Am I eating and sleeping properly?

Am I able to relax properly?

Am I taking in or paying attention to anything that could be slowing my brain down?

Am I getting distracted by irritating physical problems that I need to deal with first?



Behave as though it’s happening, and the brain will think it’s happening.

Can I imagine this really well as though I am acting it out and living the part?

Am I approaching this as a child would approach an interesting new game?

Have I considered other interpretations of what is going on? How many can I think of?


You will become more like whatever you are surrounded by

What things, people and places make me feel interested, inspired, invigorated and good?

What things, people and places make me feel tired, bored, confused or depressed?

How much of my time am I spending with each?

How long is it since I looked for new things that might interest and inspire me?

Cells that fire together wire together

What is associated with the habit I most want to change?

Am I clear about what I am replacing this habit with and why?

Am I practicing regularly or making excuses?


Know yourself

Am I able to be objective and emotionally stable when considering my mental abilities and lack of abilities?

Am I under the influence of anything that might cloud my perception?

Have I made sure to reduce unconscious anxiety?


Always do things in the right order

Have I built up the foundations before trying to build up networks on top of them?

Am I making sure all of my networks get exercised but focusing mostly on the first one I need to develop?


Use it in the right way, or lose it

Have I been following bad habits of thought that don't really make sense?

Have I been getting apathetic, too fatigued or too anxious?


From time to time, you will forget all this

Is there something I’ve forgotten?

Have I looked through the rules to see what it might be?


Some of these basics may seem very simple, but don’t skip over them. Remember, everything that comes after depends on these foundations. The stronger and better balanced your foundations are, the more you can develop your intelligence.

At the moment, don’t worry if you are not sure exactly what some of the questions mean, we will come back to them as you learn more.

In fact, these notes are the beginning of your ‘troubleshooting’ pages and in future, if anything isn’t working the way you expected you will be able to use it to figure out why that might be so by answering these questions. And speaking of that, let's have a look at what happens when things don't go as they should.


Last Updated on Monday, 29 May 2017 17:58