“I am nobody contemplating nothing” – 4th century gymnosophist
Here’s a good book, Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by
Charles Seife. It’s got nothing to do with Scientology but it sure gives a great overview of zero and zero is the key to Scientology 1.0.0.
Zero. Nothing. No thing. ?! No wonder Scientology is sometimes described as confusing, even stupid. I mean, what’s nothing got to do with anything? Everything, actually.
Search Scientology on the internet, surf the hits you get on Google and you will find here and there someone saying, “Ask anyone about Scientology and they can’t give you a simple answer”. In other words, those who are supposed to know either don’t know what it is or there is no answer because it, well… Scientology doesn’t mean anything, it’s a scam after all.
“Knowing how to Know” is the first usual definition of Scientology (version 1.0.0). It’s from scīre, to know and -logy, he study of, which comes from logia which means, the word of God or communications of divine knowledge.
This definition refers to the problem of ontology and human consciousness and what consciousness does: knowing. But not only knowing, everything probably does that to some degree, but knowing that you know. Now maybe other living things do this too but here’s the kicker: Knowing that you know and thinking and talking about it all the time ad nauseam and, if that weren’t enough, knowing that you know and that one day you won’t know anything because you be dead! This can get one all tied in knots, just ask Kant or Camus, they and many others get really into this problem and it’s a doozy!
In Scientology 1.0.0 this strange business of knowing that you know is discussed at length and it’s discussed like this: viewpoint and the dimension point; you are the viewpoint, of course, which in Scientology 1.0.0 is assigned the mathematical symbol 0 and the dimension point is assigned 1, (or whatever number you like depending on what’s being looked at – physics 101).
The postulate in Scientology is this: as long as the 0 is being a viewpoint and isn’t collapsing into the 1, the thing being viewed, then all is well but if the 0 gets confused with or collapsed into (identified with) the 1 in any way then you’ve got a problem, sort of like trying to read this with you nose smooshed against the screen.
This is, at the core, what the Stoics are talking about, they say no matter what happens outside the self, the self can remain at enough distance through discipline to keep perspective, to be clear minded and thus behave responsibly.
So then how the heck does a viewpoint get confused with a dimension point you might ask? Well, it’s when the bottom drops out of your life for any of a million reasons and you don’t put it back together quite as nicely as it once was. Or maybe you don’t recover at all if the confusion is severe enough (many, many people don’t; talk to a veteran with PTSD, for instance or any of the legion of homeless who are mostly so tragically shattered they can’t support themselves even if they had a million bucks).
Anyway, on the surface it’s all pretty obvious. Here’s a few dimension points you might see right now if you looked around: your computer, the floor, the window or the door (assuming you’re not reading this from prison). It’s clear and obvious you are not these things because you are looking at them but the question is, who or what, exactly, is doing the looking? Nobody knows. The subject of human consciousness is a deep, deep mystery to this very day. It can’t be quantified or measured or tasted, touched or anything, hence the assignment of 0 to it. Then there’s a 6.2 earthquake and all these dimension points go into chaos. After the after shocks you will probably recover and be fine but for a few moments there you didn’t know where you were or what was happening to all those things; they got confused with you and you got confused with them.
Okay, back to that goddamn 0. 0 means, no wavelength, no space, no time, no nothing. 0 is how mathematicians get to the really big numbers. Before the Wests’ discovery of 0 there could be no computers. If you don’t get a weird feeling thinking seriously about this after about 5 minutes then you are a robot and good luck to you!
The 1 factor, or any quantitative, is the objective measure of anything or just any thing in the physical universe that could be looked at by the 0. This includes mental image pictures too. Ah, it gets weirder and weirder. Make a picture in your head of the computer or the window or any object you can think of, who or what is looking at it? Then place this object anywhere, who or what put it there? Think of a cat, put it on the floor, how did it get there? Now make it walk around, yow!
(Sam Harris, the neuroscientist and philosopher, a grave critic of my father and Scientology, actually does a wonderful job of demonstrating these peculiar phenomena in his podcasts and a meditation app. He might be surprised to know that this whole business is at the core of Scientology 1.0.0 thinking and not B-52s flying to Venus.)*
To finish making the point, if these two factors, 0 and 1, remain separate enough from each other all is well, if they get too jumbled up then woe. From this you could get a scale that goes sort of like this:
Level 4: The viewpoint is being a viewpoint, knows it’s a viewpoint and is interested in looking at dimension points knowing it’s not a dimension point. This would be the level of a person who is interested in life and feels pretty optimistic about most things where and when justified.
Level 3: The viewpoint thinks it is some of the dimension points (a lot of people identify with what they own, for instance) but these dimension points can be managed somewhat. This is where a person engages with life mildly, with some small interest, a degree of caution but can often get bored.
Level 2: The viewpoint is somewhat separate but confused with too many dimension points such as happens when you fight crime, or fight anything all the time. This is where the person is often in that fight mode, often on guard, worrying about dimension points and obstacles (like other people) not strictly under his or her control.
Level 1: The viewpoint thinks it’s a dimension point. This is where a person feels apathetic, depressed (get out the Zoloft) or sad, often afraid or in flight mode (pop those Xanax).
All this because of too great a confusion, identification, of the 0 with the 1, the viewpoint with the dimension point, the person with the object, the subjective with the objective, you with others or you with stuff.
Note: Materialists are always Level 2s as are quite a few atheists and all fundamentalists of any stripe and it’s mostly this level that has the most problems with things like mysticism and other peoples’ religions. For Level 2s the world is a dangerous place where one must fight for survival by attacking and stopping things that they don’t understand or can’t control (usually both). Excessive/obsessive control is the name of the game for the Level 2, control by dominance using force. Level 2s tend to be predatory.
For Level 1s it’s worse because the Level 1 can’t use force so nothing can be dominated or controlled using force. In the lower half of Level 1 one behaves like an object, easily pushed around. In the upper half of Level 1 one is usually frightened, anxious and both halves tend to act like prey.
Level 3s are your parents telling you to get a good job (you are your job, “so, what do you do for a living?”), get a 401k, get married (find yourself a nice boy or girl and settle down), raise a family and don’t make waves (if you don’t absolutely have to). This is the Level of Keeping Up With the Joneses: you are your stuff.
So there it is, 0. Very weird stuff, 0, especially where it eventually leads. 0 is a hell of a thing to try and talk about though, so even though this 0 idea has been around for thousands of years and many, many religions and philosophies revolve around it it’s relatively new to the West which didn’t have a 0 to think about until around 500 to 600 years ago which was when Western civilisation began to progress into the Modern Era. Coincidence? Maybe.
But. But “where it eventually leads”, I said, and there’s the rub. I mean, why bother with the whole complicated 0 business in the first place, why not say “the self” or “the I” or just “the viewpoint” like I did above; why not leave it at that?
That’s because the goal of Scientology 1.0.0 is something called Pan-Determinism, the Pan-Determined individual. In Scientology 1.0.0 there are three basic determinisms: Other-Determinism, Self-Determinism and, the brass ring, Pan-Determinism. This is the sate of being where you can finally connect all the dots of all the things everywhere and find no fault. “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” (Just a note, fault and bad are two very different things.)
Obviously there are good things and bad things like love and pain but if you think hard about it all these things are, at their centre, states of mind, considerations. Naturally Pan-Determinism would be a near impossible accomplishment but all one need to do is get to that height of perception just once, just enough to know that it’s true and real and then, once back on the earth, get busy with connecting all the dots of all the things, as much as you possibly can. Through this process, individual by individual, could be created the true brotherhood of man, unification of all living things and balance with the material world. We’d still have earthquakes and get eaten by tapeworms, get divorced and have fights and difficulties, but we’d be able to see the good as well as the bad and stitch it all back together without remaining broken for too long, if at all.
So in Scientology, 1.0.0, instead of just discussing it there are a whole series of therapies and exercises invented to work with an individual to get to the aha! of the matter, the aha! experience happens at Level 4. If a person is a lower Level 1, it’s pretty difficult to work them up to Level 4 but if you’re an upper Level 1 through 3 various of these therapies and exercises are designed to get you there. If you are a Level 4 it’s easy for you to get the new orientation and these exercises can help you maintain.
You see, Pan-Determinism is represented in Scientology as the infinity symbol, the figure eight on its side, sort of a Möbius strip with a twist. As any mathematician will tell you, mess with 0 enough and you get to the inevitable infinity equations. Infinity doesn’t go forever, by the way, or is just really big like the whole universe, it’s an idea that stands outside of time and space, it can only be indicated in equations, can’t be thought about, it’s an experience.**
This full on experience, Pan-Determinism, is the goal of Scientology 1.0.0 as it is the goal of many other practices and disciplines. It is designed to be a fairly reliable way of eventually seeing God, as they say, but it’s plotted out in Scientology to be acceptable and understandable by the Western Mind and is designed to take you there gently, gently so you don’t end up an ego-maniac or bouncing off the walls of a padded cell. That’s what is new in Scientology 1.0.0, all the steps and procedures, the therapies and the exercises, they are what is unique.
Possibly now you are thinking that this guy, me, is just another Scientology stooge and apologist and maybe you’re right, I am the son of it’s creator after all, but if you read my earlier blog you’d know that I’m not telling you that it works or that it’s true, I’m making an argument for a closer inspection instead of the extant write off because seeing God saves us all no matter how we get there just so long as we get there, so long as it’s under our own steam.
Carl Jung said, “One of the main functions of organised religion is to protect people against a direct experience of God.” He said this because having this experience all at once is so damaging to the average psyche. But what if, if, it were possible for most of us to have this experience without such risk, what then?
*He will have also discovered by now that a lot of people have trouble meditating and it’s partly this problem that the therapies and exercises in Scientology are designed to address. By the way, a scientologist adept doesn’t have to set time aside to meditate, except in extreme situations, because the exercises teach you how to achieve meditation no matter where you are or what you’re doing; potentially you could be in the middle of a category 5 hurricane and maintain that state.
**Psychotropics sometimes deliver a mimicry of this experience but every adept will tell you that the real deal comes from 0, not an exomolecular compound (although molecules are involved it’s just that they must be nudged without the violent triggering of introduced neurotoxins).