Several months ago, a German visitor and I were comparing the German IIH with the English translations. Of special interest was what he had to say about the English phrase "thought control" as the title of the first mental exercise in Step One. According to him, this is only one possible translation of the German word and a poor one at that.
The problem with the word "control" is that we English speakers usually take it to mean "the exercise of restraint or direction over" our thoughts, but this is clearly NOT what Bardon is advising with this exercise. My visitor pointed out that the secondary meaning of the word is closer to the German original. That secondary meaning is "a standard of comparison", as in a "control subject" within a scientific experiment.
So, what Bardon was really intending, and which the standard English translation seems to obscure, is that with this first exercise, the student is merely taking stock of what normally transpires in the human mind. In other words, passively observing the machinations of the mind, without involvement, in order to understand the territory itself. This provides the 'control' or standard, which is an essential prerequisite to the work of altering how the mind functions.
My best to you,
:) Rawn Clark
29 Jun 2002