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Awe, Art and Early Religion
Scientology 1.0.0 – Part – 7
That’s a possible sequence of things I think are inextricably linked.
This and the following several articles are my humble attempt at putting the Church of Scientology in some context so that the discussion going forward doesn’t have it dangling outside of history as anomalous.
If ever there was something that is relevant in Man’s exploration for answers to his plight today, it would be therapy. The above list is a guess at the things that have to be, in order that Man may have a workable process (therapy), so that he may continue to evolve. Scientology 1.0.0 is just such a workable therapy.
I will also try to draw attention – and parallels – to an equally big problem, where the ignorance of history is helping to cause chaos: the attack on one of the greatest humanitarian experiments the world has thus far seen, the Enlightenment – and why these attacks could be successful.
We live in a time where, in general, teaching history plays no real role and this is not only hurting any proper understanding of religion (and thousands of other more unfamiliar practices) but the secular world alike. For instance, how many times have you heard that religion is responsible for most of the violence since Roman times? Or that things have never been more dangerous or terrible than they are today? These views are connected and are so profoundly wrong as to be laughable. It’s this ignorance that is all that’s needed to make sure what may be coming could indeed be more terrible and dangerous than anything we have thus far experienced.
A whole passel of thoughts have been going on before now, certainly way before Scientology 1.0.0. Thousands upon thousands of thinking men and women thinking wild thoughts and acting on them, keeping the thoughts that help and discarding the ones that don’t – most of them, at least.
Once you’ve gotten motility and spent some considerable time (millions of years) being quite successful at mostly not dying by approaching nice things and avoiding horrible things; that is, long enough to get to thinking analytically, in the way we do today, then you get even more adventuresome and exploratory; apparently in a manner other life forms don’t.
Sure, a mouse will venture out and once fed will, if feeling safe, start looking around, dashing and poking, checking out everything within reach with special attention given to new things. What we don’t seem to see are mice behaving in a way that would appear to indicate that they are also wondering about things like, who am I? Where did I come from? Why am I here and where am I going? (Maybe they do.)
So, given our upright, bi-pedal nature and the change of eating habits that gave us a whole different kind of brain (I’m not a materialist but of course there are correlations between brain and being), sooner or later someone is going to wonder about existence itself and begin a new kind of exploration; one that makes the investigation of physical territory pale by comparison. Such as where do ideas rise up from? And why? And how? There’s going to be a lot of this kind of thinking when you’re not busy running toward good things and running away from bad things – which you are getting better at all the time thus leaving more time to do these other things. One thing for sure that one will ponder on, since the beginning of this sort of mind, is the power of awe and what it unleashes in the soul.
Awe! It’d be a good guess that this feeling was the beginning of what we now call the religious experience and possibly has been happening long before the cerebral cortex came online. Before then, perhaps, there just wasn’t as much of an “I” kind of mind’s eye to get its teeth into investigating it.
Awe comes in many forms and happens in many ways. Sometimes it just bubbles up out of nowhere, a feeling inside that might start in the stomach, rise up to the heart and explode in, or even over, your head. Or it surprises you as beauty so often can. Beauty,
maybe as something like a clear night sky lit with the Milky Way or a wide river valley filled with game at dawn. Or truly frightening as a mountain erupting in smoke and flame or the heavens fulminating with thunder and lightning. Of course, there’s the ultimate: the circle of life, birth and death. It might be that these experiences are so intense that you absolutely have to do something about them.
Art, like awe, is inextricably bound up with the religious experience. At least, that’s what I think.
I have painted pictures for many years and I have always done this in aide of having as many such experiences of awe and beauty as possible. This is so important to me that I organise my whole life around it: I’m as single minded about this as a heroin addict most of the time. Not just because it is joyful, that’s certainly nice, but because it affords me a level of perception and experience I don’t have when I’m merely content (and forget about being unhappy, then you are more blind than a bat). Lord, you can really see things when you’re that high up! Whole worlds of information come through and besides, you can just know things (hopefully without being delusional).
Now, a lot of things have happened over the past 300,000 years or so since the advent of Homo Sapiens. There is evidence of human activity that indicate Man was thinking about more than mere day to day survival; certainly we have statuettes, paintings and drawings from 25,000 to 75,000 years back; most art is pretty destructible so I think there was probably a lot of work done before that. Today anthropologists always seem to ascribe to them purely religious/ceremonial/ritual (read, utilitarian) significance but this is probably because anthropologists aren’t artists so they don’t know any better. To an artist, this sort of utility is born of art, not the other way round.
I mean, I’d say there’s no confusion with the relationship between art and religious utility as long as you don’t get bogged down in the unhappy materialists’ debate about religion: “silly delusion or dangerous mental illness?”. Either/or, dude! No other option.
In 1976, I got into an art college, a place called the California Institute for the Arts, “Cal Arts”. The first thing we learned that fall was that Art was dead, D – E – A – D, dead. I only lasted one semester.
So my dad suggested that since he had a lot of art books I should just teach myself with his help; he was a lifelong autodidact after all so why not carry on the tradition? There were drawing exercises and painting exercises and all those books about art, artists and art history: prehistoric art forward to the present.
I really cannot stress enough how useful and interesting studying art history is, especially the way I did it. Because, along with politics, economics, war and technology you have to include all the topics I listed at the beginning of this article. History is important and art is a great way to get at it.
At the end of the day, if you’ve figured out nothing else studying this stuff, you’ve pretty much discovered that Man has been thinking hard and successfully about the most important things for a very long time.
You will also discover something else and that is for most of this time the perceived vector for matter is one out of thought. In other words, out of thought comes matter. Only very recently did it get viewed by some people as the reverse: thought out of matter. That’s to say, out of matter comes thought.
So what? some may ask. Well, it’s this thought/matter vector paradigm that I want to concentrate on – after discussing what’s been going on these past millennia.
First off, Awe and Art.
Actually I have nothing more to say about awe and that’s as it should be, I think. I mean, if we ever get to the point as a society that we need to discuss awe overly much then I think it’ll be too late for everyone, you know? Right now there are people who experience it and others who don’t so much; the end.
So, on to art.
Sadly art really needs to get back on the table for discussion by everybody. The round table, that is, not the autopsy table where it lies now.
Art: the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power. And (the arts): the various branches of creative activity, such as painting, music, literature, and dance. From, Middle English, from Old French, accusative of ars, from Latin ars (nominative), artem (accusative) “skill, craft, craftsmanship”. The key word in the definition though is creative.
Creative: relating to or involving the use of the imagination or original ideas to create something. And create: 1. to cause to come into being, as something unique that would not naturally evolve or that is not made by ordinary processes. 2. to evolve from one’s own thought or imagination, as a work of art or an invention. There are two etymologies: creative, Middle English creat (past participle) <Latin creātus, equivalent to creā– (stem of creāre to make) + –tus past participle suffix. Create: late Middle English (in the sense ‘form out of nothing’, used of a divine or supernatural being): from Latin creat– ‘produced’, from the verb creare.
Then one should make sure of the definition of imagination: the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses. From Middle English: via Old French from Latin imaginatio(n-), from the verb imaginari ‘picture to oneself’, from imago, imagin- ‘image’. Image: form a mental picture or idea of. From, Middle English: from Old French, from Latin imago, (related to imitate).
And original: 1. present or existing from the beginning; first or earliest. 2. not dependent on other people’s ideas; inventive or novel. From Middle English, from Old French, or from Latin originalis, from origin–
And here’s the kicker, origin: the point or place where something begins, arises, or is derived. From early 16th century: from French origine, from Latin origo, origin-, from oriri ‘to rise’. To rise! Like the sun. Isn’t that something!
When you read in the Bible that God made Man in his own image, God as the Creator, this is what I believe was meant.
In interpretations of the Bible, the definition of image is always, idol; which means, an image or representation of a god used as an object of worship which leads to the usual literal anthropomorphic depictions. Rather, from a conceptual point of view, the definition of image – as related to imitate – is to be as God (in action), the action of creation; the bringing forth or the raising up of something where previously there was nothing. In an attempt to encourage this non-literal interpretation of God, Judaism, for instance, used the unpronounceable YHWH and Islam prohibits any pictorial depiction of God altogether. The Christian depictions of God as appearing human come to us from ancient Greece and then Rome where they had no problem with representing gods in that way. The point is, God is such a huge idea that any literal depiction is a kind of blasphemy (as in, profane), no matter what is your religion or philosophy.
A quick note here: that Man is shaped as he is (upright on two legs, head up, long arms, prehensile) is probably no coincidence given the nature of our universe. Shape and function correlate, I don’t know of anything that doesn’t; so Man’s extreme creative nature and his form are most likely connected. Therefore, if you’re making an artistic attempt to indicate God then it makes sense to depict God as manlike.
Moving along. This imagination and creation stuff, this is what Man has in spades over all other life: the sheer magnitude of art and invention there has been, it boggles the mind! And we’ve barely even gotten started. My opinion, we are not at the end of art as my teachers said at Cal Arts but instead at the beginning of the beginning, where we shall always be. That’s the long view though. The short view… hmm.
It has to be emphasised though, that ignoring and even negating this creativity seems to be a habit amongst famous Materialists (such as Marx and Lenin) who thought only in terms of zero-sum games. Getting everyone to think in this way will inevitably lead to violence as it promotes the idea of uncreativeness and static resources.
Now, the reason I am going to be pounding the drum about art going forward, is it has been going through a dark phase these past hundred years or so and where art goes goes the culture (the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society) and where the culture goes goes everything else. The last thing to go down this drain is politics and the democide that so often has gone with it (estimated at 242 million people bumped off by their own governments since 1900).
Not to bore you with more personal anecdotes but when I set out to paint full time back in 1987 I began to realise that the Art World was fully immersed in socio-political messaging. Nothing wrong with that on the face of it, but it is one thing for art to carry a socio-political message than it is for the socio-political message to use art; this is what we call propaganda. Art is always political but there’s just no such thing as Political art. Therefore, the kind of society being pushed and promoted in many of the galleries I attended around the world were collectivist (see article on Infinity Valued Logic); what Ken Wilbur calls, “flatland”, a very apt term.
Flatland: destroying equality of opportunity in favour of equity of outcome; the Procrustean bed. Collectivist oriented societies, seeking to destroy the merit based society, are by far much more easily captured by the ever growing authoritarian state (authoritarianism is like black mould, it needs special conditions to flourish and these conditions begin to be created when the materialist flatlanders get into the arts). So I found flatland very troubling indeed, not just as a citizen certainly but also on a personal note, as an aspiring artist. Lordy, how was I gong to make a career in a group to which I was in fact an enemy? (Interesting little problem that, probably solvable by better persons than myself – in any case I never did. Solve it, I mean.)
How did things come to such a pass? Well, here’s the briefest of sketches.
World War Part I (WWI) quite naturally shocked and appalled the artists of the day. How, after such a period of invention and originality as the previous era, could such horror come to pass? In 1917, after three and a half years of unimaginable slaughter, an artist by the name of Marcel DuChamp created a work by presenting for exhibition in New York a urinal he titled Fountain. It was photographed and published in a magazine and the rest, as they say, is history. The year before, a new school of art had been established called Dada (or Dadaism) but Fountain really took the cake and Dada was destined to set the tone for the Art World in the century to come. (Dadaism, by the way, having been born out of the negative reaction to the horrors of WWI, was an international movement begun by a group of artists and poets associated with the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich. Dada rejected reason and logic, prizing instead nonsense, irrationality, and intuition.) But, as we all know, tearing things down is a lot easier than building things up, so as much fun as this might have been at the time it might not be such a good idea for the long term. (I can hear art experts screeching in my ear for such philistinism but what’s a fellow to do?)
This is not to say that Fountain was a bad idea or to say the work that followed was not good. On the contrary, tons and tons of amazing work was done both then and now, all work being done by artists after all. No, what I am saying is that most of the work that was being heavily promoted by the Art World ultimately got us to 2021 discussing such nonsense as whether men can have babies and pushing Critical Race Theory (that all white people are racists because they are white) and other such rot. All the while the State, laughing down its sleeve, is going more and more insane and authoritarian as the loudest most strident voices amongst the proletariat (always the loudest, never the majority) clamour for flatland on social media and at the polls.
By the time World War Part II (WWII) was ramping up, artworks had became so baffling for normal people that, certainly by the 1950s, one needed to read extensively of critics to understand the work at all; critics, by the way, who were themselves so complicated and cryptic as to be indecipherable. The result: regular folks avoiding galleries for fear of appearing stupid when they “don’t get it”. (Throughout my years as a painter I would repeatedly hear people commenting about the art world, “well, I guess I don’t know anything about art….” Of course they know about art, every feeling person “knows about” art.
Thankfully for humankind and the world, other art forms were not indecipherable, such as music and film. And what’s to be deciphered anyway? Art is about emotions, especially the emotion, the feeling, of awe. Sure, you can and do attach all sorts of messages and stories to it but it is the goal of all real artists to try and first get the audience to say “wow!”.
As an aside, many people don’t know how this whole epoch of art got started in the first place, so very quickly: around 1096 AD a bunch of Christian mercenaries and scholars invaded the Holy Land which was under Islamic rule at the time. The world of Islam had preserved much of the technologies of the ancient world from before the fall of the Roman Empire and they also had the best schools. Sometime after this Crusade, Christians began building churches and cathedrals of a wholly different kind, buildings of air and light; this was amazing and a total about face from their heavy stone and shadowy predecessors. The stained glass that filled these places with beams of jeweled light told the stories of Jesus and the Apostles, the saints and all the glories of heaven, there were even mandalas (!) of exquisite complexity and beauty.
Imagine, if you will, the people from all the country ‘round, most of whom could not read and write (which included the aristocracy, by the way, not just the villagers, peasants and serfs) entering a structure so tall as to dwarf everything else for miles around and moving through all that glorious colour, literally bathed in the stories of The Lord and Saviour while the priests intoned the mass – notes that would completely fill the whole open space with mellifluous sound, rising up to meet God Almighty Himself. It gives chills, you know? I’m sorry, but wow, that’s awe!
And that, in a nutshell, is art. Soon more and more art (architecture, painting, sculpture, music, poetry, literature, etc.) would appear in not just these spaces, but exploding across all the land, inspired by the artists and craftsmen who created all those cathedrals with their windows. Within a few hundred years there was the Renaissance, then the Enlightenment and then the Industrial era. And now the Information Age.
What’s the point of being alive anyway? I mean truly alive. Well, it’s got to be the feeling of exhilaration and beauty and all the wonderful awe. Without that, at least every now and then, one might as well be dead.
The tried and true way to be sure to get that feeling every now and then? Religion. By celebrating being alive and expressing gratitude for this chance at existence. By laughing and dancing and making beautiful music and things. So people regularly get together for this experience and ceremonies are made up for the express purpose of not just celebrating the awe and joy but creating it too because times can get tough, really rough and people need to be reminded why they’re here.
This so very much improves the quality of life that it gets done on a schedule rather than when one just feels like it and, most importantly, lest one forget to do this (because that can happen, know any depressed persons?) – special days and dates are set aside just to make the point. Masters of Ceremonies (called priests and so on) were appointed to be in charge of making sure that things never got so serious that everybody died, which is what happens without awe and beauty – and good fun.
I’ve often read that all the attention the ancients gave to the position of the stars and planets was to determine harvest times and so on. What balderdash! Every farmer knows when to seed and reap, they don’t need to know whether Mars is ascending or the precession of the equinoxes or the anything about the zodiac. No, what was happening was probably an early attempt at scheduling ceremonies, celebrations and rituals in such a wise as to also influence events and nature.
There is a lot of difficulty in properly analysing cause and effect, even in our day. The Earth rocks and slams, goes dry and floods and all sorts of difficult things happen so the ceremonies are bound up with all these things too, of course they would be. It doesn’t change the primary fact that, just as then and as it still does today, ritualising beauty and gratitude lifts us up and that, ultimately, influences everything.
So basically it’s my guess that archaic religion is awe by schedule. Too simple? Maybe. But it might explain all those ancient calendars.
Here’s the thing. At the end of the day I don’t actually know if this is the sequence of things, awe, art and then some form of early religion, nobody does, or that they weren’t simultaneous or something else. These articles are my thoughts, after all, not a white paper.
What I do know though, as I have studied this matter of ancient prehistoric culture, it almost always seemed to be the case that descriptions of our distant ancestors usually have them depicted as a pretty dour bunch, painfully practical at best (making art to improve the hunt or ceremonies to get the gods to produce rain) or violently morose at worst (sacrificing children, ritual head hunting, etc.). Life must have been difficult to be sure but that’s only from our extremely distant and cushy perspective. It is a fact, however, that in our own times, deeply challenged individuals and groups can be more than capable of finding joy in life, despite their circumstances; by ensuring a regular connection with awe, beauty (art) and each other. And they can do this often more consistently and with greater intensity and humour than others in more pampered secular circumstances because they make a point of it – through rituals, regular rituals.
It is with this kind of courage and gratitude that life is made more liveable, even joyful, no matter what your era.
Scientology 1.0.0 – part 6
Essentially when discussing philosophy or ethics, or religion too, what one is talking about is how to play infinite games as different from finite games and when one form is optimum and when it isn’t. This is at the root of knowing how to be in the world.
In Scientology 1.0.0 a game is not something just for children, or adults in their leisure time, but is defined as anything any person or group (or team) gets involved with to achieve some specific goal or purpose and, to be playable, must consist of specified, or agreed upon, or at least known, freedoms and barriers (rules, whether followed or broken). So, football is a game and so is war.
A finite game is a game to be “won”, where there will be definite winners and clear losers, such as football and war, and then the game is over. An infinite game, on the other hand, is a game to be played forever, such as the invention and reinvention of culture (art) or the development of technologies to better mankind (science), a game wherein everyone and, ultimately, everything wins.
The purpose of any good educational system and effective therapy must be to nurture, or rehabilitate as the case may be, intrinsic motivation on the part of the individual. Extrinsic motivation has generally been the human norm, sort of the default setting, due to the pressures of basic survival, whereas intrinsic motivation has been the realm of the very few, such as artists and inventors. But as civilisation has advanced – improved – (and it has improved enormously, despite what the mass-media and politicians say) and as individualism† plays a key role in this advancement, it has become increasingly necessary that humans begin developing intrinsic motivation as the primary mode of being.
Now, true virtue can only be obtained by means of intrinsic, that is to say, self, motivated action. Doing a thing because it is valuable and useful of itself rather than for what rewards it may bring is what is meant by virtue. As long as one’s behaviour is too much driven by external forces such as avoidance of punishment or the obtaining of reward then there is no virtue.
In Scientology 1.0.0 this optimum condition, living with true virtue, is called self-determinism and can only be achieved by the eventual cognisance and realisation, attainment, of pan-determinism (see the earlier article “Pan-determinism At Last”). But as simple as I may make it sound this is a deeply, deeply complex problem.
(Note: in Scientology 1.0.0 self-determinism is not merely the determining of oneself despite all other vectors of determinism but rather the first step of bringing into harmony the self with all other determinisms, such as groups or nature, without losing one’s own determinism as an individual self, which is pan-determinism. This may seem a tad paradoxical, self-determinism/pan-determinism, because, at the end of the day it actually has to be both: you don’t get to be one without achieving the other, not for long anyway.)
I don’t know if all the ingredients necessary to achieve such high standards of education and therapy are contained within the subject of Scientology 1.0.0 but I do know that the goal of pan-determinism was and is the whole point of it – and any other truly philosophical and ethical (or religious) exercise since the beginning of history.
Thus it should be easy to evaluate the actual value of any educational system or therapy: does it assist the development of, or the rehabilitation of, self-determinism? If it doesn’t then it’s not very useful.
During the past year or so of this SARS-CoV-2 situation I did a lot of research to discover what the problem really consisted of. As I observed my fellow citizens here in Los Angeles, California, though, I was not very encouraged to discover that, as usual, quite a few of them were just doing what they were told, despite the fact that vast amounts of contrary information was easily available (this was before all the censorship by the media, et al) thus challenging such draconian measures as extended “lockdown”. Just doing what you are told only applies to extreme emergencies where time is very short (“man the guns!” or “abandon ship!”) and not to situations that actually allow time to consider the problem at hand. The sort of compliance demonstrated during the SARS thing runs in the opposite direction of self-determinism and because of this leads to finite games where they don’t apply. Ultimately, continuing on this course and given enough time, this sort of misbehaviour leads inevitably to gulags and death camps, no joke.
This catastrophically normal sheep-like behaviour is what motivated, in part, my father to embark on his adventure with Dianetics and Scientology. But when one goes up against the status-quo then the self-appointed custodians of society get angry, the sheep can become wolves and so one is bound to get into trouble. It’s this part of the story I hope to assist in telling.
Often when I am talking to people about Scientology I get the impression that we are discussing something sitting in some sort of strange historical vacuum, and maybe we are. Or maybe this is just a recent symptom of our modern thinking; to the degree that modern thinking sees the past as an ocean of irrelevant religions, superstitions and myth and that our ancestors were merely ignorant fools; sort of the way that older children, knowing all there is to know about the world, view their younger siblings.
This might be a real problem, this viewing Scientology as some kind of anomalous phenomenon in the world, “just a weird cult” or some kind of a cultural aberration, a freak of nature along with all those other “weird cults”. This casual contempt for seemingly unusual religious practices and groups is possibly exceedingly dangerous and probably prevents any genuine investigation into Man’s journey and, as a result, may seriously block the possibility of better solutions to Man’s condition going forward. If a person decides to believe that Scientology is weird and strange then alright, fine, that’s their right. But they either do not know their history or are choosing to ignore it. Shame though, because everything that led up to its creation is really vital data, the ignorance of which can distort our current prevalent (read: “sensible”) view of reality.
So before looking at any of that earlier history, I’d like to discuss the little known subject called group dianetics‡.
Group dianetics is a detailed therapy that attempts to resolve the age-old problem of when groups, nations and so on, perhaps starting out free and liberal, or at least vital and dynamic, fall, almost inevitably, into decadence, authoritarianism and, finally, extinction. This is in part due to group engrams, engrams sustained by the group rather than the individual.
Engram: In psychology: a memory trace. In dianetics: A moment (or memory trace, if you will) of pain and/or unconsciousness that may, when triggered, act upon the individual or group in present time possibly causing non-survival behaviour. From en-, into or in and gram < French gramme < Late Latin gramma a small weight < Greek grámma division, letter as a division mark (for example, “group A”); (originally) letter < gráphein write.
Engrams, in order to have their destructive power, must be hidden from the view of either the individual or the group (an interesting aspect of occultism, to be discussed later). Bringing an engram properly into full view results, always, in the “aha!” phenomenon.
I said a little about Dianetics (“Stories For Redemption”) in a previous article, about how an individual’s history, undisclosed (hidden) and undiscussed, can upset that person’s existence so much so that they cannot live normally, despite the inevitability of life’s catastrophes. I described how these past moments of upset need to be revealed, revisited and reviewed until enough pain and upset is brought to view, “cleaned up”, so that life may be able to go on to evolve and improve. Well, the same goes for groups; this is basically why we should study history.
They say we study history so as not to repeat past mistakes – which we often do anyway because a lot of history is either inadequately recorded (hidden), altered (hidden) or just plain wrong (really hidden). Or – and this is mainly and usually the case – people just aren’t taught it (another way things get hidden).
For instance, the founding fathers of the United States were very interested in what happened with the Roman republic and, with limited records, divined as much as they could of all its mistakes in an effort to try and prevent the United States from falling prey to the same errors (group engrams).
The Roman republic had been cascading from one kind of emergency (group engram) to another where special executive powers were acceded to one general or another until, finally, Gaius Julius Caesar became Rome’s first totalitarian dictator for life and that was the end of the Republic §. In 1933, about three years after the stock market crash of 1929 (group engram), the president, Franklin Roosevelt, took emergency power and these powers have never been given up, effectively destroying, seemingly forever, the U.S. tripartite system. Clearly the founding fathers didn’t get at the whole incident of the Roman republican era. (By the way, I reviewed high school history books back in the ‘80s and was horrified by what I found, you’ll find very little about the above, that’s for sure, and now look at where we are.)
You may say, this is all too simple, but if it was we wouldn’t be continuously repeating past errors; which we do with such regularity and, even, in some cases, reckless abandon and, even, enthusiasm (U.S. response to 9/11 comes to mind). There are ways to get at the hidden information, ways to bring it into the light for the group and ways to discover whether the process has been achieved successfully. How? Well, it is all too common for us to “discover the problem” and yet not achieve any improvement in the situation or the condition. This means that you haven’t completed the process because when you do you always get improvement in the condition (“aha!”). It’s a mechanic of the process, not a whim or matter of faith. You can no more avoid an improvement in the condition by this means than you could avoid flying safely from New York to Los Angeles if the plane was well designed, properly maintained and piloted by experts (not that any sane person wants to be in Los Angeles or New York anymore – which doesn’t say much for me, haha).
Anyway, the idea behind dianetics as applied to groups is they won’t repeat past errors and make things worse if you get the story straight and get it known to all members of the group, especially after emergencies (engrams).
The word history comes from histōr which means “learned, wise man”. Wisdom means, among other things, not repeating errors, which, by the by, is another way of describing the state of Clear. (Clears still go through life making plenty of mistakes, to be sure, for to avoid error and even failure is to not learn – they just tend to not repeat the big ones so much, which gives them a more optimum learning curve**.)
Ever been part of a group? Well, you can’t be born without being part of a group even if it’s just you being born to your mother in the middle of nowhere. Often it is much more difficult to be a part of a group than it is to be a self, an individual, quite a lot more so. This is because so much more of what is happening in the group is generally unknown by its individual constituents. Just as you, the individual, know almost nothing about what your body is doing, so groups also have a similar ignorance about the group. But there are things that, normally, should or ought to be known in order for it to function well. Just as a correct diagnosis for an illness will lead directly to a cure, if available.
So. Dianetics applies every bit as much to groups, of whatever size, as it does to individuals: it’s to help get at the story that ought to be known and into view by all members. If you can get the story straight, and keep it straight, a group could survive to evolve for an indefinite time, like an infinite game (unlike the individual who usually has only a scant four score years or so). This is what you want for long term projects like republics ††.
The group that built up around the subjects of dianetics and scientology, which I am calling “Scientology 2.0”, goes back to the publication of Scientology: A New Science (which was eventually re-titled, Dianetics: The Original Thesis). That’s really when this particular group began, 1948. What happened after that is what happens to every group of every kind, like it or not: it met with various emergencies, did what it could to deal with them but over time failed to apply group dianetics and now there’s all this trouble. Question is, why did this group therapy not get applied, given that, having the theory and technique, it could have known better? Well, one reason is the same reason it wouldn’t be applied in almost any other kind of group where the emergencies being met would end up in a court of law.
This is one of the problems with jurisprudence. To survive in court an individual or group can rarely come clean for fear of inviting their own demise so trials often only add to the confusion of the original emergency, engram, whatever it might have been. The defense attorney or prosecutor that can successfully hide information by introducing the most confusion, obfuscation and misdirection will win the case.
Some years ago audiences were treated to a rousing film about an intrepid and tenacious lawyer name Erin Brockovich. Spoiler here: she wins the case, audience laughs and/or weeps, the end. It was based on a real life story about an actual person, Ms. Brockovich who indeed did “win” the case. What the audience never learns though is that, for the town sustaining the damage, nothing was ever fixed or changed and today is almost a ghost town, bwah, bwah, bwah.
In real life, the so called O.J. Simpson murder trial was won by redirecting the attention from a brutal double murder to a question of race and racism. Again, sad. (The case did go on to a “successful” conclusion with a civil suite, however.)
Sadly, this is business as usual for all too many grievances that go to court. The citizens of the United States would probably be shocked to learn that many of our current woes go back to another court case, Brown Vs. Board of Education, a 1954 Supreme Court decision that, while laudably striking a massive blow against Jim Crow and racial segregation in the southern states yet also destroyed the right of free association, a fundamental aspect to the ownership of property. Ownership of property, as most of you know, starts with owning your own body, extends to ownership of one’s labour and must include, also, freedom of association with others (amongst other things). These are actual Rights rather than privileges and which are absolutely fundamental to the United State’s monumental experiment that holds individual rights as paramount. Jim Crow = group engram. Brown Vs. Board of Education = another group engram. B Vs. BA led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which, whilst probably well intended (remember those paving stones that lead to Hell), is arguably the greatest redistribution of private property, monetarily speaking, in history! The U.S. has been spiralling downward ever since, though not only for that one reason. And so it goes.
So, to sum up: some sort of group is created, it becomes a huge success. Another person or group claims they were injured by said group and off they go to court. Now there is obviously some sort of lie or lies involved but it doesn’t matter to either side or the law or the court so long as the case is “settled” which, of course, just adds to the original lies which are, from the dianetic perspective, hidden data.
Naturally not only court cases impugn the discovery of optimum solutions to real emergencies, many other factors do as well. I bring up these examples of legal obtuseness as the Church of Scientology is famous for its litigative energy and fervour.
These lies add in to the original emergency compounding the growing confusion. With Scientology 2.0 only little bits of the story are ever told, or worse, lied about. I have seen many discussions on the topic of Scientology 2.0 where the interviewee, who I personally know, omit all their own errors and, in some cases, crimes from the story; this is quite a list of people, let me tell you. People omitting such confessions is understandable and is only human (sigh) but not very useful when one is interested in the real story and making things better by tracking with the infinite game, rather than the finite game.
Beside all that, to make things really complicated and confusing, the story of Dianetics and Scientology is, of course, intricately bound up with all the earlier stories of Man’s search for Truth over the past ten millennia or more, with the thousands of battles fought over belief and religion and the millions of lives spent in the effort. Figuring out how best to be in the world is a very difficult project; much more so than founding a kingdom or building an empire, childishly simple projects in comparison.
Come up with a program to get at the problems of the mind and the soul (and here I’m referring to all practices of whatever stripe) and see what you run into; you won’t be bored I assure you. If you survive, that is. But if such a program, any actually useful and helpful program of the mind and soul, is to survive long enough to get at any real answers, then the story of that program, and also those of its predecessors, must be told and told right.
Group dianetics is generally not taught nor practiced in Scientology 2.0 because if it were it would it probably evolve into Scientology 3.0. This process could potentially open the door to multiple suits against 2.0 and so is unlikely to happen. But if group dianetics were applied and version 3.0 did result then that could be equally disruptive for change is always hard and is rarely what you’d expect it to be. Change is often mysterious and dangerous which is why so many social agitators, usually political “progressives”, try to go backward to earlier and familiar times rather than actually progress forward into the terrifying unknown; such is the human condition, again no way around it. But without it, change, all things die. Change is the only constant in this universe and so is going to happen anyway even if it means an extinction for those things unable to “get with the program”.
My hope is that Scientology 2.0 does eventually figure out a way to get with it, one way or another, and then perhaps Scientology 3.0 actually could come into existence and that it would be more accessible to the world at large. But for that to happen there would need to be a rigorous application of group dianetics.
My whole purpose here is to try and tell as much of the story of Scientology (1.0.0) and the Church of Scientology (2.0) as I know, including my own errors and misdemeanors (oh no!), in an effort to assist the dissemination of dianetic and scientologic ideas and therapies to the world at large where it can be debated, peer-reviewed and properly discussed; unlike some other critics, I have no other axe to grind.
In the next article I’ll try to pontificate a little about religions, magic, the occult and so on in an effort to indicate to the reader just how normal such things are despite living in a world consumed by scientism and materialism – which are actually religious cults in the most pejorative sense themselves, though without the “charismatic leader” aspect.
Note to readers: An excellent book: Finite and Infinite Games by James P. Carse
† Individualism – one has to be careful with this word nowadays. It is a term hijacked by socialists to mean self-centric, or whatever term that basically indicates behaviour that occurs at the expense and injury of others. This alteration comes down to us as a consequence, in part, from the 1960s where individualism came to mean “do your own thing” which actually meant, “every man for himself”.
‡ I switch around between dianetics and scientology as common nouns and Dianetics and Scientology as proper nouns; this is because one is the subject scientology just like, say, the subject psychology and the other refers to the specific group and its activities.
§ It is interesting to note that the titles like “caesar” and “czar” resulted from this catastrophic group engram.
** Possibly this could be a big improvement for about 80% of the population but that’s just a guess. About 4 out of 5 people I’ve ever met with whom I’ve discussed their lives seem to suffer unwanted personal habits and patterns of behaviour that they apparently are trapped in, one way or another.
†† So far, in the West, the longest currently running project of this size is the United Kingdom, I believe, going on 955 years at the time of this writing. I could be wrong but still, any group of this type lasting a thousand years is pretty impressive.
My last article was awhile ago, back in the pre-Covid days of yore, March (2020) I think. Since then I’ve been working on writing down a comprehensive description of what I know about the evolution of the Church of Scientology separating it into two basic epochs: Scientology 1.0.0, 1947 to 1980, and Scientology 2.0.0, 1981 to the present. The first being the developmental stage, the discoveries and the creation of the processes, the therapies. The second being the institutional and self-protection, legal, stage. (They overlap greatly, of course, but that’s how I am choosing to do it because 1.0 was run mainly by L. Ron Hubbard who left the field, more or less, by 1980 and 2.0 is run today by David Miscavige, who stepped into (rather than onto) the arena around 1981; these being the two main personalities involved so far.)
I say that I’ve been working on it because it’s a really difficult business, organising a multitude of facts that have been gathering dust in my head over the years, and transforming the resulting reams of information into these little “blogs” (eventually). Difficult not only because I am decidedly not an historian or professional researcher or even a writer, but because one, that is to say I, find I must always skirt the edge of the defining pitfall of our times: the apparent demand to oversimplify, stereotype, make two-dimensional, every issue that would better be served with delicacy, nuance and insight.
Take the so-called “political spectrum”, which is usually discussed as the “Left/Right” political spectrum, which I will get into presently. This is a massive over-simplification of politics that has been popularised by the mainstream media over decades and which has effectively destroyed any possibility of having the vital discussion: what exactly constitutes good government.
What I’m saying is, it’s become really hard to argue and debate complex topics, let alone complex and controversial ones, in these confused times. I guess it was never easy at any time, to be sure, but today, wow, it’s nigh on impossible.
So. What I’m going to do with this article is lay out “binary thinking” versus “gradient scale logic”, also known as infinity-valued logic, as necessary groundwork to be laid out before going on to build arguments about other matters; the kind of thinking I think is necessary to get at all complex and thorny issues. For those readers that are familiar with this way of thinking I hope you will bear with me (or just skip it), for those who aren’t, I hope you may find this interesting, maybe even useful.
The Two-Pole Universe
“There is no confusion like the confusion of a simple mind” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
(On the other hand: “Very simple ideas lie within the reach only of complex minds” – Remy de Gourmont)
Scientology 1.0.0 is chock full of mind-bogglingly simple ideas. Because all vastly complex systems can be boiled down to fundamentals does not mean that these fundamentals are in themselves what one is grappling with in the real world but rather the combinations of them resulting in a pastiche of realities so varied and multitudinous as to render the impossibility of God profoundly ridiculous (that’s a mouthful.) As the whole is too great for the mind of Man to study he must perforce render it manageable by isolating and observing its constituent parts and then, by means of various mental operations, try to stitch them back together in some manageable way. The earliest records of describing this process date back to the Vedas from which a great deal of Scientology 1.0.0 has been derived.
One of the simplest ideas discussed in Scientology 1.0.0 is the two-pole universe. At its most reduced, this universe, the physical universe of course, can be represented by the number, or symbol, 2. You could say that in terms of the Dynamics, the eighth dynamic is represented by the symbol ∞ , the seventh dynamic the symbol 0 and the sixth dynamic, the dynamic of matter, energy, space and time, 2. You’d think it would be the symbol 1 (because it would begin with one dimension point, what physicists call a “particle”) but it wouldn’t be as I will explain in a second. So, this universe would start with one dimension point then go to two dimension points then three and so on right on out to a number so large that it would take very close to an eternity to write it all out (perhaps on an infinitely large blackboard). Fellows like Stephen Hawking say that this happened with such rapidity it made a noise like a big bang. I don’t know, maybe so.
In Scientology 1.0.0 it all started with a viewpoint and then a dimension point, (symbolised by a 0 and a 1). I guess this could be argued like the whole business of eggs and chickens but after you get a dimension point you get space because what you’ve got is a particle now, which perforce must have an inside and an outside. This is why, at it’s most elemental, this universe is a two-pole universe. Of course one particle is not where it stops, as I mentioned, you get a second one and a third one and a fourth one: tetrahedrons then octahedrons, so on and so on, filling up the whole show and – bang! Or whatever.
Anyway, this isn’t supposed to be a discussion about cosmogenesis but about basics, such as these two poles. It’s a two-pole universe: binary as in 1 and 0, (something and nothing, on and off or there and not there) and as in dichotomies such as yes and no and up and down, black and white, left and right and so on and so on. The most important, for purposes of discussion, is right and wrong which is called, “two-valued logic”.
In ancient times there was just one-valued logic. That is to say, the gods decided everything, all was Fate, all was Destiny (the bad old days); whole swaths of the world still think this way. Then came Aristotle who saw that there was another way to look at things which was two-valued logic: right and wrong. It appears that around this time, in the West at any rate, humans are beginning to be recognised as having some agency, perhaps actually having a say in their own affairs (imagine that!). Eventually, at some point, especially with the rise of computer engineering, came the idea of three-valued logic: right, maybe and wrong; progress! The thing is, however it has been laid out, what has been working for Man the whole time, that is to say when and where he has been successful, is by means of something far, far more complex: infinity-valued logic.
Infinity-valued logic. Dianetics lays this out quite clearly and Scientology 1.0.0 runs with it all the way down the field. It’d sure be a great thing, in my estimation, if infinity-valued logic was taught in schools starting with classes for children of about eight years old *. It’d sure help in the long run avoiding all the pitfalls and inevitable violence of two-valued logic such as our increasingly useless left/right political “spectrum”.
Where the heck did that nonsense come from, our ubiquitous left and right way of viewing the political landscape? One theory is it came from the Romans. A long time ago Rome, at some point, apparently had pretty much beaten all its neighbours into submission and so, being a warrior culture, didn’t have much to do afterwards. So they defaulted to watching spectacles, their version of Social Media, Netflix and Amazon Prime. A favourite pass-time were chariot races. At the hippodrome in Byzantium there were two basic factions in those races, the Blues and the Greens. Originally there were also the Reds and the Whites but they got absorbed by the Blues and the Greens and so the stage was set for trouble. So intense became the rivalry between these two poles, political in nature as they were, that the population had a fine old time killing each other over whose team was better. One time something close to 30,000 people wound up dead arguing over this. Good times, good times!
Another theory is, it came from the French in the 18th century while the United States was itself just getting organised after its own revolution. The French revolution, needless to say, was a total disaster and in my opinion the country has never really properly recovered from it. The terms Left and Right come from the seating arrangements in their assembly after 1789, the Left represented the commoner and the Right represented the aristocracy. Lordy! Not only is setting up your philosophy on just two poles a recipe for disaster, these people set up their government based on caste – which was the problem they were apparently trying to solve in the first place. So much for revolution.
Nothing set up like this works for very long, if at all. Examples of this arrangement are: Workers/owners, unions/management, commoners/aristocrats, Blues/Greens, Left/Right, Democrats/Republicans. I mean, if you’ve got to set your up your game to be in opposition with itself, it might work for a while but then, eventually, it’ll fall apart maybe even result in violent conflict!
So, what is infinity-valued logic? It’s the type of thinking that actually got us where we are: in an advanced state of civilisation and technology where we cannot afford to keep making this bi-polar, dualistic error. One-valued logic, two-valued logic and three-valued logic are observations of what Man thought he was doing, not actually what he was doing, at least all the times when he was mostly successful. Like so many observations through history, it’s the observation that improved not the phenomena being observed. Then technology is developed based on those observations as technology is completely dependent on how accurately any phenomena is being observed in the first place.
Like when the world was flat. Well, it was never really flat (probably) but that’s how it looked to people. Also, four hundred years ago people thought sickness was caused by miasmas and that mice appeared spontaneously in hay. So, everything was caused by the vagaries of the gods or everything was either right or wrong because that’s how it seemed by means of primitive observance.
Thinking and reasoning, that is to say logic, is in fact a complex operation of weighing numerous factors, ratios and odds, that range from an absolute theoretical “no” or “wrong” through a vast number of shades to an absolute theoretical “yes” or “right”. If one does this more or less successfully and arrives at a satisfactory “yes”, or “no”, depending on the equation involved, then one is right. If done poorly, then one is wrong. That’s it. Turns out that what we are is in fact a race of successful approximators! (Or, as a good friend of mine pointed out, guessers.) But when we slide into two-valued logic we face failure because life just isn’t that simple, or that absolute. (Remember, these fundamentals are for use in building up to mental facsimiles that, hopefully, approximate the real world, they are not in themselves representative of reality.)
Speaking of overly simple, let’s return to the political “spectrum” used to such poor effect by half the world.
What is the Left? Depends on who you ask but in the United States it is generally recognised as being the Democratic Party who’s platform was in favour of government programs that helped the poor, minorities and the working classes and thus, by protecting them, protected what they thought was the true life blood of the “Republic”. The Right is the Republican party that favoured less government, supported individual responsibility and would rather rely on the private sector, private business, to increase prosperity which in its turn protected the true life blood of the “Republic”. These two parties, this two-party system, lumbered along more or less successfully for awhile because, in fact, both ways of doing things is what is needed to keep things running and they used to talk to and with one another (“across the aisle” discussion, it was called). However, over the past century, especially the past 87 years (since 1933), neither party has done much of either and the people of the country have prospered, when they have prospered, rather more despite the efforts of this ridiculously simplistic two-party system than because of it. As time has gone on and the two parties have become more and more alien to their original design the electorate, meanwhile, have become more entrenched in their party affiliations: “up the Blues and down with the Greens!” cries one faction. “Down with the Blues and up with the Greens!” shouts the other. Snore!
Only now the rhetoric is “the Democrats (the “Lefties”) are a bunch of filthy Marxists!” and “the Republicans (the “Righties”) are a gaggle of evil Nazis!” †. Got a match, anyone?
Who knows how this is going to turn out but in the meanwhile it is high time that more people in the West learn infinity-valued thinking and stop fooling around with this dualistic fallacy.
What’s needed is an actual political spectrum, one that is provably useful for discussing what would be, could be, good government.
Unfortunately this is impossible without the philosophic view.
Over the past century or so, philosophy has fallen into disuse. When I first came to the United States I would want to discuss philosophy with people I met and rapidly discovered that it was a subject that was thought best left to fry cooks and dishwashers, two jobs considered to be the kind left to people who had no real value. Possibly because their education had not consisted of anything useful, such as majoring in business, law, medicine or, most of all, larceny. The United States is a country peculiarly obsessed with quantity valuations, rather than qualities, which is what philosophy is mostly concerned with (science deals with quantities). Not that Europeans are any better in the philosophy department, they’ve produced some of the most baffling philosophers, after all, God bless ‘em.
Well, as I said, to get to the bottom of the matter what is required is the philosophic view, a complex operation indeed, but here goes.
When you look up “political spectrum” you get all sorts of diagrams in terms of circles or squares plotting out things like “Plutocratic Nationalist” and “Archy vs, anarchy”. Well, scrub all that, I say. What’s needed instead is an hierarchical scale that goes from one form of organising groups at the bottom to another form at the top with ascending steps from bottom to top that reflects the type of government best suited to the conditions that people find themselves in and that condition as based on a workable philosophy of organisation.
I propose that at the bottom of the scale you’d have collectivism, and therefore a necessarily highly centralised and large government, and at the top you’d have individualism with an accordant diffused and smaller government as governmental control would be widely distributed amongst the governed. (I suppose below the bottom rung you could have Mad Max like chaos and whatnot and above the top rung you could have some sort of benign anarchy, by means of some method of fantastic, nearly telepathic cooperation. The first being highly possible in today’s reality while the latter would be much harder to attain ‡).
Individualism would be the philosophy behind this scale.
Individualism: the habit or principle of being independent and self-reliant. Also: a social theory favouring freedom of action for individuals over collective or state control.
Collectivism: the practice or principle of giving a group priority over each individual in it. And: the ownership of land and the means of production by the people or the state.
The scale would go from the top, systems that favour individualism, down into systems of government that rely on collectivism.
It might look like this:
State Level 1: A state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president. The representatives of the people would have limited terms of office from which offices they could be turned out of at any time, if not being seen to do their jobs. There would be no professional politicians. The disenfranchised amongst the population would be cared for in a multitude of ways by the private sector. Taxation: 5 – 10%
State Level 2: A state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president. Similar to the above but in this case the representatives of said people would have relative autonomy during their term(s) in office and only answer for their actions at election time. This level would be the level of professional politicians. The disenfranchised would be cared for by means of non-profits operating in the private sector. Taxation: 10 – 35%.
State Level 3: Next down would be a partially socialist system of government achieved by democratic means. (By socialism it is meant: a political and economic theory of social organisation which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.) At this level socialism is not extreme: there would be a private sector but it would be closely monitored by the state in order to pay for welfare programs. Taxation: 35 – 55%
State Level 4: Next would be a mid-level socialist state that may or may not have been elected at first but would hold power permanently afterwards. There would be a semi-private sector but all commerce would ultimately be state controlled and heavily taxed. Unproductive (disenfranchised) members of the population would be either ignored, put to work or liquidated (0% unemployment). Taxation: 55 – 85%.
State Level 5: Then finally a fully socialist state. Usually based on the theory of social organisation in which all property is “owned by the community” and each person contributes and receives according to their ability and needs. This level would be controlled, always by one party, and a “president for life”. There would be no private sector but also no taxation because the state would already own everything. The disenfranchised, those that survive, will be put to work or institutionalised. Taxation: 100%.
You could say it would go:
but these terms have become so mangled and misused that I skipped using them.
As I said, the top level favours individualism, the next less so and so on down to a full collectivist mentality.
Further, in terms of implementation:
Level 1: The elected representatives would have direct feedback, critical and otherwise, from their constituents and would retain office only by consensus of the governed. A high level of communication between the people and their representatives would obtain. Because there would be a lot of seemingly random action at this level it would appear to be sort of “messy” (Brrr! goes everyone at Level 3 and down).
Level 2: Feedback from the people would mostly occur at election time. Because of this, this system would tend to favour career politicians.
Level 3: As “community” is a generality and therefore always unwieldy and, also, because the usually fewer louder voices shout down the more numerous quieter voices, this requires a more powerful semi-centralised system of state. This system would need career politicians and professional holders-of-office, would be heavily dependent on an entrenched bureaucracy and there would be limited critical feedback from the people, even at election time. This level is a lot less rambunctious, or “messy”, than Level 1 (“thank goodness”, says people at this level).
Level 4: This type of state is usually maintained by means of a heavily armed police (both secret and not so secret) and a dedicated, loyal military. There would be a permanent head of state, a centralised administration supporting him/her (her: coming soon to a country near you) and critical feedback from the people, whatever small amount there would be, would be considered “un-patriotic”, even treasonous.
Level 5: Would in actual fact need to be so centralised that all power would have to be in the hands of just one person, a “president for life”, perhaps, in order to maintain control. They too would have a centralised administration but only one willing to provide minimal, very minimal, critical administrative information. This level would also require a vast secret police and an obedient military. Because of the vital need for “unity” at level 5, any critical feedback from the people would necessarily be considered sedition. This level would be very “un-messy” because all dissenting voices, if there are any, would be silent.
Unity at Level 5 substitutes for union at Level 1.
In terms of emotion, people of a more cheerful or conservative bent would support Level 1, “let’s make things even better!”. People more disinterested in politics would tend to prefer Level 2, “oh, let’s leave it to the professionals, they know what they’re doing”. People more antagonistic about the world and “other people” would support Level 3, “darn all those rich people, they’ll take our piece of the pie if we let ‘em!”. People more hateful and hostile (fearful) towards other peoples or countries prefer Level 4, “If we don’t get rid of those (jews, blacks, communists, privileged whites, fill in the blank) we’re done for!”. And people tending to be fearful (but still hostile) like Level 5, “down with the privileged, up with the proletariat!”. Fearful peoples, especially those who make loud claims to victim-hood, real or imagined, push hard to get a Level 5 state. Levels 3, 4 and 5 will eventually, over time, cause a great deal of apathy in the people and inevitably and invariably you’ll eventually get anarchy and chaos such as happened in the U.S.S.R. in the 1980s and 90s §.
If a society is climbing its way out of an anarchic, Mad Max, sort of existence one could expect it to rise up by first organising something like a Level 5 State so you see, this could be a useful scale in figuring out where things are and where they might go.
One of the great idiocies of the West, particularly of the United States, because one would have hoped it would know better, is thinking it can “bring Democracy” to anarchic, chaotic countries like Afghanistan, or Level 4 countries like Iraq. And at the point of a gun to boot! (Or at the point of a boot, by gum!) It takes years and years of groundwork before a society can attain a Level 5 State let alone a Level 2. The United States, by the way, is in such confusion right now that it has all the levels operating in one sector or another, in one way or another, at the same time! It is rocketing around all levels except Level 1, the one it was originally designed for but has never obtained. Yet.
Anyway, this was all laid out in the mid 1940’s in what would become Scientology 1.0.0 (but was not actually published until the late 60s).
So, that is how we ought to be discussing politics, in my humble view, or something like it; not this dualistic, binary and nonsensical left/right silliness.
And the same infinity-valued logic should be brought to bare on all subjects including religion, science and Scientology 2.0, is my main point.
Going forward I hope that as soon as anyone sees that an important subject is being discussed in terms of absolutes or generalities (where generalities don’t apply **) and “us versus them’, binary thinking, dualistic, two-valued logic, we should always try to turn the conversation into one that has nuance, specific cases with evidence and degrees and ratios.
The thing also to be aware of is that black and white thinking is engaged in by people who are upset. Probably at first it might be effective to inquire as to what the upset really is and lift the interlocutor up into a brighter frame of mind. A great book about this is by Jonathan Haidt titled, “The Righteous Mind”, I highly recommend it. Handle the upset by getting them to describe it and talk about it until they feel better, then get into the subject with infinity-valued thinking.
Okay, so there it is. It is my hope that by the time I ever get on with discussing Scientology 2.0 that the reader will have all this in mind, this infinity-valued way of thinking.
* Per Jean Piaget’s observation of stages of human development: from ages seven to eleven children can begin to think logically as they are no longer merely egocentric. During this stage, children become more aware of logic and conservation, topics previously foreign to them.
† This name calling is unfortunate not just because it is stupid and rude but, more seriously, because it trivialises not only the lives of the millions upon millions of dead produced by both these ideologies but the countless lives of men and women and children that died fighting them.
‡ A “benign anarchy” would require the population to be in a very high state of development indeed. It’s not impossible though, given that the human body, for instance, functions at this level of operation.
§ The U.S.S.R. collapsed after about 67 years of operating at Level 5. Interestingly it is doing much better today and has managed to climb the ranks to a Level 4. This may sound like I’m being facetious but I assure you I am not.
** Science is the study of generalities. Specific cases are the realm of jurisprudence, art and religion. Science is the study of what’s usually true and can be measured as so with general metrics.
Scientology 1.0.0 (1952) continued – part 5
“Why so glum? What you need is to be more pan-determined!”
Talking about well-being from a Scientology 1.0.0 perspective, if you really intend to get to the point, is going to eventually end up dealing with the incredibly tricky, if not wholly thorny, subject of pan-determinism. Pan-determinism is one of those things that, if pondered on long enough without the background to do so, can tip you into the drink big-time, but it’s got to be on the table eventually because it’s the whole point. It’s also one of those many things that lends itself to being easily weaponised; anyone can use pan-determinism to take a stance that any problem is really the fault of the other party such as when the master says to his slave: “Why so glum? What you need is to be more pan-determined!”. This business of weaponisation will be covered in greater detail in a later article because it’s very important and is a key factor in later developments.
To continue: In Scientology 1.0.0 there are three kinds of determinism: other-determinism, self-determinism and pan-determinism.
First there is other-determinism. This refers to those opposing forces that an individual deals with when attempting to achieve self-determinism. This could be anything from a parent or a political party or a social norm with opposing ideas. Or maybe an illness or even inclement weather when one wants to go fishing but ultimately it refers to the junk that inevitably piles up in one’s head over time that eventually prevents the individual from achieving their goals in life. Like that parasite that gets into the head of a rodent that then causes it to rush up to a cat and so gets eaten (apparently the self-determined parasite needs to get into the feline gut to have a Roman style orgy and thus reproduce).
Then there is self-determinism. Self-determinism is how things get done. The individual or the group pushes through counter efforts or forces or barriers where and when necessary to fulfill an agenda, achieve a purpose, reach a goal.
Now obviously most people would agree that things in the world could stand some improvement. Nearly every day there are various situations or even dangerous crises that present themselves where one could ask, “what would the most enlightened approach to this problem be?”. In Scientology 1.0.0 the answer to that question starts with pan-determinism.
Pan-determinism: pan, meaning ‘all’; this is what’s at the very core of all serious discussion regarding religion and philosophy.
So, here we go! First you would take the pan-determined view which is to see all sides of an issue from this exterior perspective without prior judgement*. Moving forward however usually means that the self-determinism of the individuals or groups or whatever must come into play and that means something usually gets stomped on: that is to say other-determined. No chicken dinner without which some chicken had to give up the ghost. That’s vegetables too for you vegans.
Take Israel and Palestine – this is a situation that has helped to systematically destroy the U.S. position in foreign affairs and, in part, resulted in the events of 9/11. The independent state of Israel came into existence when hundreds of thousands of Jews left Europe after the Holocaust and immigrated to Palestine displacing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. Naturally the Palestinians objected, not caring much what happened in Europe because they weren’t involved in that catastrophe. Both sides have the view that they are absolutely in the right thus there still remains the tragic problem 73 years after the fact. There’s very likely no way to solve this problem without first taking the pan-determined view. Only from there, that exterior view, do you have the altitude to see the whole picture and thus be potentially in possession of all the facts necessary to an optimum solution.
Imagine being high, high above any problem in life where you can see not only all its parts but the whole of its past and the potential multiplicities of its future, that’s the potential power of pan-determinism.
Action on a problem though means eventually getting on the ground, down in the trenches as they say, where you can’t see all the angles but having first been pan-determined you can perhaps now make much better choices. This sort of practice can be used in one’s own life all the time, especially when married or raising a family or working with a group. Imagine both partners in a marriage with the ability to do this!†
Anyway, that’s why the dynamics are laid out the way they are (see previous article), they are a tool that can help with the complex activity of problem solving. How much harm would one solution do to anything as opposed to any other thing? This from the phrase “for the greater good for the greatest number”‡. With these dynamics that phrase takes on a much more nuanced and complex meaning. Very often to move forward in life harm must be done to something. For instance, for the group (the 3rd dynamic) to survive some individuals (1st dynamics) might be hurt. This is not the idea of compromise, however, as compromise might imply that there is in fact a better solution. The idea is to achieve the best possible solution although compromises are often inevitable.
All this figuring can be done by an individual or a group and can be greatly assisted by referring to the 8 dynamics. The 8 dynamics can be used to work out all the vectors in a problem. Where an individual or a group gets into trouble is when they don’t take into account enough of these dynamics, usually those vectors between 6 and 1 but especially 8 and 7, as in the modern corporation that is responsible only to its bottom line and its shareholders and neglects wider social considerations – too simplistic! (I’m not arguing against corporations or capitalism here, I’m commenting on one reason they can get into trouble.)
Getting to this place or state where pan-determinism is a normal and natural way to approach life is achieved by, as Ken Wilbur puts it so succinctly, “cleaning up, “waking up” and “growing up”. Scientology 1.0.0’s processes, therapies and exercises are designed precisely to help the individual to achieve these three goals.
Cleaning up: clearing away and resolving all past incidents of trauma and upset so that they can no longer adversely affect the individual in the present. It is difficult, often impossible, to achieve pan-determinism (or any high level state of being) without cleaning up because otherwise too many “negative” thoughts can crowd in on a person which can prevent the operation (other-determinism).
Waking up: this is that event where the individual experiences fully that they are not merely a separate, material, isolated thing but a wide awake, conscious intelligence that is both “exterior” to yet completely connected with the world in some fundamental way**. Unfortunately many people can experience waking up, such as with drugs, but then often return to the disordered matrix of their own lives and promptly go to sleep again (possibly now with a bad headache or worse).
Growing up: this is often the missing ingredient as Wilbur points out. It is where the individual rearranges their life to be in accord with their wisdom, as gained in cleaning up and waking up. If one continuously keeps cleaning up (life gets messy no matter what) then different levels of waking up can occur and thus whole new levels of being a grown up must be achieved.
In Scientology 1.0.0 the cleaning up part is called “clearing”, the waking up part is called “full exterior with full perception” and the growing up part, “ethics and administration”. These activities form what is called the Bridge, a sequence of steps that is designed to help take an individual from one state of being into another, potentially better state of being. On the other hand, these activities can be so heavily supervised and overseen by an institution that the growing up part can be severely inhibited or worse, prevented; sort of like helicopter parenting destroying future generations.
So the goal, ultimately, is getting to the state of full exterior with full perception because this experience gives a person the possibility of seeing the Big Picture, as they say. This state or experience has been talked about for millennia in countless different ways. Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces is all about this journey as told from dozens of different cultures from around the world. The works of Plotinus, The Six Enneads is another great reference as he talks about it from the Western point of view specifically. There are so many, many other works.
When you get to see the “Big Picture”, or merge with “the All” or “see God” (not to be confused with the phenomenon of collapse into “the all” – that’s a whole other thing), you get a look at all eight dynamics at once and discover that everything is working to survive in one fashion or another; that bizarrely no one and nothing is entirely “wrong” in what it is doing. After the experience is passed and you’re back on Earth you are of course still faced with a million complicated choices. Hopefully now, with this new perspective and eventually, with getting cleaned up and the right education, you can gain an improved ability to understand this new perspective allowing you to make better choices, all starting with the pan-determined view.
You can decide to do no harm at all and become a Jain or you could adhere to another philosophy that is more involved with inevitable destruction but also seeks to do as little harm as possible such as Buddhism or concoct your own path. Whatever you do, there is no going back! I believe the world is full of people who are consigned to the streets (or the asylum) who tried to go on with their lives after failing to make the vital changes that their new vision demanded of them which is why the cleaning up, clearing, is so very important.
I also believe that the pan-determined view is “in the DNA” and is actually experienced very early on with most children but it gets drummed out of them quickly by their family, schools and society before they can ever get a handle on it. Back in the day some soul would hold onto it somehow and eventually be elected as a seer or shaman or priest and the tribe or group was wise enough to recognise and appreciate them.
Anyway, that’s them apples. I’ve spent these five articles, blogs, laying out what I think the actual goal and purposes of Scientology 1.0.0 are before tackling the other issues that there may be. The point here is that nothing can go sideways if it has no merits, there has to be a straight way first. The project of Scientology 1.0.0, indeed the whole course of Man’s search for truth and meaning, is a big one and fraught with danger – as all important undertakings are – so to go on criticising the currently existing institution, its leaders and membership, or religion in general, without some of this background is to possibly miss out on the Big Picture, the pan-determined view.
* This is what the judiciary is supposed to do in a well organised society but is often prevented from doing due to crappy laws and political bias.
† An example of practical use: Some forms of marriage counselling that more or less understand these principles can really help couples, if done at the beginning of a relationship, and can potentially teach these skills before they get into trouble. Anyway, it has to be practiced by both partners or it will devolve into that master and slave nonsense mentioned at the beginning.
‡ This comes from the philosophy of Utilitarianism, a major influence on Scientology 1.0.0 thought.
** There’s that “the limits of language” problem again: the immaterial cannot be prepositional.
Scientology 1.0.0 (1952) continued – part 4
“I have an existential map. It has ‘You are here’ written all over it.”
― Steven Wright
In scientology* there are a lot of descriptions of the metaphysical, like the couple of things already mentioned. One of the hellishly difficult problems with discussing metaphysics though is the limitations of language.
Take the Eight Dynamics for instance. The definition of dynamic is, of course, (of a process or system) characterised by constant change, activity, or progress, which comes from the Greek dunamikos, from dunamis ’power’.
That’s fine, except that two of the dynamics (7 and 8) aren’t. Dynamic that is, at least not in that sense. It makes it very difficult to talk about the really big issues when there’s so little language, or no language at all, to cover them appropriately. It’s why the Tao Te Ching begins, “Tao called Tao is not Tao”†. Or, probably, why it is said, “neti neti” (neither this, nor that) in the Upanishads‡. With metaphysics it’s often easier to say what something isn’t rather than to say what it is.
In my opinion much of the current squabbles about scientology and, more importantly – and basically – religion and philosophy, stems to some degree from this very problem, this very complex problem, of language.
Possibly the best known example of this is the Holy Bible. The 1611 King James version, which was translated from various earlier versions, is probably the most important book in the English language. In reading it I not only started to understand scientology better, I began to understand what the main problem with religion might be in these modern times. I mean, this is not a book you’d want read by those inclined to turn things into weapons, people who tend not to be terribly bright. No wonder there was such resistance by the Catholic Church to the creation of such translations §. (They still use the Vulgate (St. Jerome) version of the bible – it’s in a form of Latin which sounds like song but the lyrics are in code, for most people who didn’t and don’t speak it, that is.)
Well, that ship certainly sailed. In one case of many, the cat was really out of the bag when John of Leiden, a literalist fanatic, got hold of one of Martin Luther’s translations and turned the German town of Münster into a proto-socialist apocalyptic nightmare.
Anyhow, moving on. The only level at which one can discuss any of this stuff without much confusion is above 3.0 (conservatism – as laid out previously in part 3). Even so you’d still need a pretty damn good grasp of the language, quite a bit more than is afforded by most of today’s public schooling. You’d need to be very literate and you’d have to be pretty positive (3.5 at least) in your general outlook. As an individual goes down the emotional scale more and more information gets filtered out of the picture so that one can focus on emergencies or dangerous situations. However, if one gets stuck in these levels then you can’t properly evaluate the world because now you’re without most of the data you’d need to do that kind of problem solving properly.
You also ought to have a pretty good sense of humour because the metaphysical is a pretty crazy dance. Truth, capitol “T”, has always been and always will be the intellectual Wild West because it isn’t – intellectual that is. Because in this Wild West no rope (intellect) exists that can be used to lasso any little dogies (motherless calves) of Truth, not quite anyway. What one needs instead is intuition and inspiration.
So what is the Truth? Nobody knows and no-one will ever know, not in the objective, intellectual dimension at least, because Truth is an experience. So in Scientology 1.0.0 Truth is always deeply personal and always sacred as it should be. One can discuss it and one can speculate about it and consider it and on and on which one should because it’s fun but you’ll never get hold of it like you can scientific fact because it doesn’t lend itself to any measurement other than increased well-being and well-being, for the most part is subjective. In Scientology 1.0.0 well-being starts with the basics of survival, of course, but continues with an enhanced subjective world view which is different from person to person. The truth, little “t” on the other hand, is utilitarian. That is to say, truth is or are those things that bring about physical survival like technology and science. These different levels of truth overlap, of course but they ought never be confused. Not unless what you are aiming for is a socialist apocalyptic nightmare. (yahoo!)
Back to the Eight Dynamics. The discussion of Truth must start with breaking up the whole into some sort of studiable constituent parts (reductionism). In this case the whole is Life. Or, You (same thing). This step is done in Scientology 1.0.0, in part, by these eight Dynamics.
1 – The self (as individual). This would be the “you” you describe as you, “George, “Hannah”, etc.
2 – The family (and the sex act). This is the special genetic-specific pool out of which all the “yous” emerge, “Smith, Jones”, etc.
3 – The group (and/or society). This is the larger collections of people that make it possible for families to endure. This is cooperation with non-family others.
4 – Man as Species. This one is a tiny sub-section of the next one, Living organisms.
5 – Organic life. All living things. Those things as distinguished from inorganic matter.
6 – Inorganic matter, energy, space and time. This is all the stuff out of which organic life is made somehow.
7 – Life or spirit. Whatever that is, up to you, but you could call this the probability dynamic, maybe, or the ethics dynamic but it covers “no wavelength thought” such as aesthetics and meaning. It is First Consciousness. (Kind of.)
8 – Infinity. Again, up to you but you could call this the possibility dynamic, maybe or “the ground of all being”. It covers “whatever there ever is before there is ever anything and underlies literally anything that is or could ever be (phew!)”. It is not “forever” or “the all” or things like that (neti neti). It is Before First Consciousness. (Sort of.)
There are going to be all sorts of other ways to break down existence for purposes of study but in Scientology 1.0.0 it was done this way to get at a particular concept which I’ll get to.
So. That’s the way they are laid out for purposes of therapy, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8. The map, though, looks like concentric circles, 1 being in the centre and then the sequence goes:
8 – Infinity: all things possible, one of which is…
7 – Spirit: things are probable as expressed by…
6 – The physical,
5 – The Living,
4 – Man,
3 – Special groups,
2 – Family and
1 – you as individual.
They represent one way to discuss “emergence” and expression. Actually, only expression. More on that shortly.
Because the therapy in Scientology 1.0.0 runs 1 through 8 this can cause some confusion discussing the subject. A typical misconception, or rather not a misconception but a misnomer more like (the language problem previously referred to) is someone discussing the dynamics thusly: “Me as self, that’s the 1st dynamic, then my family is my 2nd dynamic. The company I work for, my sports team and my country are my groups. I am a member of Mankind and my dog and my garden are my 5th dynamic. My house is my 6th dynamic”, etc. This sort of shorts the conversation because it actually only describes the 1st dynamic, the individual self. This sort of view, while maybe a little bit useful, can also get in the way because the 8 dynamics aren’t actually separate things, it’s mainly a way to get at the problem of who and what you really are really.
The thing is often further confused by the term “thetan”. Thetan was coined out of the word “theta” which is the eighth (8) letter of the greek alphabet. This term has often been thought to be synonymous with spirit or soul but what it means is all these eight dynamics. Somehow, due to the limitations of language, the individual got called a “thetan” which immediately brings to mind some sort of separateness. This unfortunately leads to discussing the whole topic as if it were all material alone as you can divide the material world up any way you like but “0”, the 7th dynamic and infinity, the 8th dynamic are not divisible.
To try to understand things as they really are then, especially these big things, you’ve got to have a net, some sort of way to give boundaries so that you don’t lose the plot. Such as with a map. Maps have grids so that they can be more useful in getting where you want to go. So it is with these dynamics, they are a way to point out all of the parts that make up a whole so that they can be studied, discussed, thought about because thinking about them a certain way is going to prove very, very useful – eventually.
You don’t exist without all these parts including spirit and infinity, this is true even for all those people who think that there should only be 6 dynamics because dynamic 7 includes things like penultimate consciousness, meaning and inspiration and art and dynamic 8, infinity is the idea that all things are possible (which makes life even more interesting).
So there it is: the actual self is all this, all 8 dynamics.
When people get upset you may quickly discover that they might be insisting on some sort of separateness of one kind or another, such as placing them as essentially sequential (the 7th dynamic comes before the 6th such as with the New Age) or assigning priority to one or more as opposed to others (the 7th and 8th dynamics are senior to the 6th such as with fundamentalists). Other examples of this are authoritarianism (the group is senior to the individual) or totalitarianism (the individual is owned by the group). Although there is separateness it’s an idea only as useful as that net, to try and get hold of what’s coming in the next article: pan-determinism (uh oh). The dynamics are set out in the way that they are only in order to get at that nutty problem.
Just to further emphasise, these dynamics are not sequential except for the purposes of study. No dynamic is actually emergent or is “bringing forth” any other dynamic as in “first there was this and then came that”. Nor are they in some order of priority. No dynamic is senior to any other dynamic.
As mentioned before, Truth, capital T Truth, is an experience, one of love, and this experience of love is seeing the inter-connectedness of all things. Connecting with this “all” is sometimes misconstrued as a sort of ecstatic collapse of the self into some bigger whole or something like that which is why this experience is mostly impossible to convey with words, but it is a key goal of Scientology 1.0.0 where this experience is called pan-determinism.
* No, not a typo. I’m switching back and forth from small “s” to capitol “S” depending on context.
† Verse 1 of the Tao Te Ching, translation by Stephen Addiss and Stanley Lombardo.
‡ Actually there are many more words in various Indian dialects that cover difficult metaphysical concepts than there are in English. No surprise there.
§ There were many reasons for this resistance but this danger was one of them.
Scientology 1.0.0 (1952) continued – part 3.
“Space, the final frontier…” These are the immortal opening words of a very popular television series. Of course, they are referring to outer space but as any fan will tell you all the best action takes place in that other space, a subjective space, the space created by the characters.
In this part I’d like to talk a bit about the important, vital, role space plays in Scientology 1.0.0.
Actually it begins with dianetics (1950)*. Dianetic theory is basically this: that a person may be having trouble in the present because of some part of them being stuck in the past, some past trauma or incident of loss, of pain or unconsciousness. These past moments can result in a person experiencing mis-emotion (emotions that don’t fit the circumstance or the environment) and/or psychosomatic ills (sickness and disease with no readily apparent external cause or pathogen).
By helping a patient to re-experience these past moments of trauma and by coaxing them to describe the incident or incidents (there is often more than one) as accurately as they can (according to their own reality) and in the correct sequence you could relieve an individual of its influence which in turn, as you get them to contact and relate more of these events, raises an individual up something called the tone scale †.
Ah, the infamous Tone Scale! One of the several things in scientology that can, and has, been easily weaponised at times either accidentally or on purpose‡.
I alluded to it previously referring to it as a scale going from level 1 to level 4. More accurately the scale goes a little bit more like this, with each level having basically two parts: level 1 goes from apathy to grief; level 2 goes from fear to anger; level 3 goes from boredom to conservatism and level 4 goes from cheerfulness to enthusiasm. It is numerically graded: 0 to 1.0 to 2.0 to 3.0 to 4.0. That’s the dianetic emotional scale, the scientology one goes higher (and lower).
It’s laid out like this:
0.0 is death, the organism is dead, ‘nuff said.
0.2 is apathy. This is when life and a person are becoming too separated, what these days is referred to as depression.
0.5 is grief, this is the sadness usually experienced as the result of losses
1.0 is fear. This is what people call “flight mode”.
1.1 is covert hostility. This is the level of hostility or anger that is hidden, a sort of cloaking emotion so your enemies don’t see you coming. Today it’s loosely referred to as “passive-aggressive” but “passive-aggressive” is usually easily detected; if you can see it then it’s not truly covert, the 1.1 tone is invisible.
1.5 is anger. Today this is called “fight mode”.
2.0 is antagonism. This is the first stage of hostility you might call “threat mode”. It’s the growl before the bite, the puffing up preceding attack which posturing, if done well, makes it unnecessary to go to messy fight mode.
2.5 is boredom. This is the emotion of non-interest, a more pleasant cousin of apathy. This is where you’re not invested in conflict but you’re not invested in creative emotions either. It’s the level of “ho-hum” or “meh”.
3.0 is referred to as conservatism. Not the political version, here it means “to limit change” (actually, that’s what the political version used to mean). As the universe is nothing but change this can be a problem but it’s a useful emotion because it’s the emotion that’s interested, invested, in keeping order.
3.5 is strong interest or cheerfulness. Creativity is becoming a factor. This is where life is getting interesting, where you are becoming invested, involved and immersed. Life is beginning to look sort of bright.
4.0 is eagerness or exhilaration. A feeling of creativity is the main factor. This is where you are truly invested and interested. It is sort of a proto-creative, highly enjoyable version of attack; you’re throwing yourself into life now because life isn’t something separate from you at this level because life is you §.
The scientology tone scale is a bit different, it has greater nuance, more levels up and down, but this dianetic version works perfectly well for my tale of space.
So what could be an analogy? Some people have referred to emotions as sort of like frequencies such as you’d get through a radio transmitter. This is true but only sort of. The difference is this: whereas if you dial into 89.6 fm you won’t hear or receive fm 104.6 or am 600, wherever you put the dial that’s the only frequency you’ll hear to the exclusion of others. On the tone scale each tone enfolds the tones below it. If you’re at 1.0 you can pick up and receive 0.2 through 1.0 and a little bit more, up to about 1.5, but you’ll probably misidentify everything above you. At 2.5, say, you’ll be aware of everything from 0.2 to 2.5, not that you’ll be much interested, but with a slight ability to communicate somewhat with 3.0. 4.0, on the other hand, is fully and completely in communication with the whole scale while beginning to suspect that the scale goes even higher.
Okay. So. What’s this got to do with space?
In dianetic therapy you helped guide a patient “back” into various past moments of upset or trauma or whatever and this gradually allowed the patient by gradients to unlock themselves from this “past” and eventually experience the “present”**, a present possibly completely devoid of upsets and trauma and therefore potentially quite pleasant, maybe even exhilarating. This, in a nutshell, is the whole point of dianetics, to help an individual up this scale to live permanently at 4.0. which is called Clear††. This process could take time, however, possibly a lot of time.
With WWIII looming, as it definitely was in the early 1950s, my father began thinking about what could speed up the process by which a person could be helped to become unstuck – from 3.0, conservatism, down to just above 0.0 (3.5 is fairly fluid, not sticky, so the therapy would go pretty quickly at that level anyway). “Clearing” people, that is, getting a person to the state of Clear, is the whole point of both dianetics and scientology because people living life from, or at, the top end of the emotional tone scale won’t support governments lower on the scale. If enough of the members of a group (electorate) are at 4.0 they won’t support, or tolerate, governorship that is lower than 3.5‡‡. Imagine having a government that was at 3.5? My dad’s dream in 1950 was for Man to get involved in exploring Outer-Space rather than building rockets to deliver atomic bombs to Russia. What we have now is a government somewhere between 1.1 and 2.0 per this scale, a pretty miserable state of affairs which is why so many people are upset about it; WWIII could yet still happen.
So, space. Here’s that scale again only now it’s a scale of the perception of space.
0.0 is no space, ‘nuff said.
0.2 all barriers. It would feel like being jammed stuck in a dark coal bin, claustrophobia.
0.5 space feels like a dark closet, filled with wet musty clothing.
1.0 would feel like no space behind you and too much space in front of you.
1.1 similar to 1.5 only now all space, whatever space you think you own is actually, really, all yours (all ego) and all these “others” in it are only barriers, opponents, objects, to be eliminated as completely as possible. A 1.1 doesn’t feel “comfortable” about space until all that space looks like Arlington Cemetery.
1.5 would look like whatever limited space you “have” (ego) is constantly being pushed in and down on you. Too many barriers, too many obstacle, too many opponents, they must be hit back and pushed outwards, if others have too much space then there’s less for you. All the time, you “got to have and/or control space”.
2.0 You’ve got a little space now but here it would look like all the things within “your” limited space, within all those barriers, too many barriers, feel like they might be or be becoming either obstacles or opponents (like when you’re late and driving through traffic, growl, growl).
(0.2 to 2.0 is the “zero-sum” band of the scale while the following is plus-sum.)
2.5 space feels like it’s there, you’ve got some, like the size of a studio apartment, you’re ok with whatever barriers and that’s good and it’s nice, sort of but there isn’t anything particularly interesting in it or about it, maybe a picture of an apple on the wall or a slightly dusty aspidistra on the windowsill (faint noise of a sun-lazy fly).
3.0 is when you feel that the space you have is adequate, like the size of a two story home with a driveway plus your street, and if you manage it well, if you’re very careful, very, very careful, it won’t shrink, change or go away.
3.5 now there seems to be quite a lot of space and it seems you can really move around in it quite freely, even move the barriers around somewhat, and most of those barriers and things in there seem to have a rightness and correctness. It’s a truly interesting place. Space, what you can see, feel or even, possibly create, is beginning to seem potentially limitless and you’d like to share it with everyone.
4.0 now a window into limitless space! This is when you fully get the experience of possibly creating space to whatever size and dimension you desire. You could be as small as a proton or as big as a universe, it’s limitless space, it could all be yours and anyone and everyone else could have it too (no ego). Oh, and here’s the kicker: with Space comes Time. At 4.0 you can have time be as short or as long as you like. Stuck on a 13 hour trans-Pacific flight next to a snorer? Zip! Dinner with good friends? Sloooow!§§
In Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide series there’s a device called the Total Perspective Vortex (haha! this is great). The victim is placed inside the thing which then goes to work impinging upon them the vast limitlessness of Creation and comparing you to it by showing you as a microscopic dot upon a microscopic dot that bears the legend, “you are here” (genius!) proving that you are so small, so infinitely inconsequential that it renders you irretrievably insane, then you die. (Many of us have a similar devices within our own homes or even in our pockets called Mass Media/Groupthink Portals, or MMGTPs, otherwise known as CNN, MSNBC, Fox News et al).
That right there is a perfectly accurate description of what happens when you, as the viewpoint, have no space either subjective (yours) or objective (its).
On the other hand, how do you feel when you’re up? Like when you’re eager or exhilarated? You might feel like Maria in the opening sequence of The Sound of Music. it’s a really wonderful opening sequence and expresses exhilaration beautifully (it’s on Youtube). Anyway, I bet you feel a lot like Maria, she’s having a great day.
What this is really all about is optimum space and barriers: things can have as little space as you’d like (kissing, etc.) or as much as you like (road trip!).
This might be pretty obvious stuff, I know. A lot of people reading this will know all about this phenomena but these little articles are for those who are curious about scientology and don’t know about it.
As I mentioned before, this business about space is one of the several key points in Scientology 1.0.0 but for casual observers it may not be obvious why this is so and is thought to be so important. If you don’t do this already, try this next time when you’re feeling a bit low: go where the horizon is far (roof top, hill top, beach) and feel (or fill) all the distance between you and there, pretend like it actually belongs to you, make all that space your own. Maybe that’ll make you feel a bit better for awhile. Another trick is taking a walk and making a specific point of ignoring as much as you can all those upsetting thoughts and instead spotting, looking at, different objects at different distances from you, do this until you feel calm and relaxed. A much more advanced trick is to sit quietly, close your eyes and imagine (create) eight points around yourself like the corners of a box with you in the centre, then slowly, carefully push those points out as far as you can get them until you are feeling better or at least a bit more relaxed. This last, like any form of meditation, can be quite difficult for some people which is why there are custom designed therapies and exercises in Scientology 1.0.0 to help people get so good at meditation that it becomes your whole day, regardless of what you’re doing, rather than for 10 minutes here or an hour or so there. In Scientology 1.0.0 it’s considered that the creation and management of space is vital to well being. Ultimately the Clear is potentially able to decide to be in whatever tone/space at will and to change tone/space at will. This means you could be feeling cheerful and all smiley at a funeral but that would be stupid.
By the way, there’s that other trick everyone knows where you take several deep breaths or concentrate on breathing. Besides oxygenating the brain these are mainly time-based exercises. You might do these before you try space-based ones if circumstances call for it.
So there’s the connection between space and well-being. Not just objective space but the space you can create for yourself, subjective space. When you’re tired or sick or upset there seems to be too little of it. When you’re feeling great you might feel like you’re as big as the world.
Playing around with viewpoints of subjective and objective space is called spacation in Scientology 1.0.0 and all sorts of exercises were designed around this activity, as I mentioned. That was way back in 1952, mind you, when what I’ve described was a discussion almost impossible to have in the West. Over the years since then though, thousands of people began discussing this stuff and it’s been slowly becoming part of the culture. Today it may seem like an “everybody knows” sort of thing but the truth is if this business about space was really understood in our society then there might be far less confusion.
So, to sum up. You are a viewpoint viewing dimension points (0s looking at 1s). You (0) looking at dimension points either as created by you (imagine a dot or whatever, a duck maybe, on the floor or a spot in the air and look at it) or objectively, any object or dimension around you (such as actual points or ducks) that you can perceive. The distances between the viewpoint and the subjective dimension points must be able to be shortened or lengthened and moved around at will for there to be well being.
There is a lot more to know about these scales, especially the tone scale but people do know about this though, they know that to “identify” too hard with an idea (ideology) or a thought (“I am my mind”***) or whatever can lead to conflict and misery. To remain calm but interested the viewpoint has to have space under control, to make a little distance in order to be able to look at things objectively, so to speak. The ego, the identity the viewpoint uses to negotiate reality from 3.5 down, is not really much of a problem until the viewpoint collapses, identifies, with it, in other words you should be able to move all up and down the tone scale like an artist whenever to do so suits you or fits the situation. To remain healthy the viewpoint must remain in control of the distances from, spaces between, all the ideas and thoughts, opinions and considerations so that when new information comes into view it can be used to modify and update the information it is using to negotiate life. Otherwise, you’re going to become obsolete, like old software.
So, spacation was developed in 1952 as just one step of a series of processes called Standard Operating Procedure and was designed to produce the desired results more rapidly than dianetic processing. It didn’t happen that way though, as it turned out that it wasn’t going to be that easy for many people. What was needed at the time (WWIII looming, actually looming, remember) was something in addition or perhaps something more basic, some new or perhaps simpler set of procedures, ones that got uniform results more quickly regardless of who learned to use them.
To be continued.
* Dianetics was partially based on and inspired by the works of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) among others. It means “through mind”, Dia: “through” or “passing through”” and noûs, from nóos which means “mind”. Its similarity to the word cybernetics is not a coincidence.
† Tone as a word is slightly ambiguous in dianetics and can be seen there in quotes as “tone”. It can refer to vibrational frequencies simultaneously with the “character or voice expressing emotion”.
‡ This is easily done by assigning the top half of the scale as “up tone” or “good tones” and the bottom half as “down tone” or “bad tones”. The tones below 3.5 are only bad if you get stuck in them otherwise every tone on the scale is useful or necessary depending on the circumstance.
§ What’s different about this way of analysing emotion is the sequence. As far as I know, no other therapy or philosophy previously recognised a scale of emotion in exactly this way. Because a person can move so quickly from one emotion to another you might not see the steps in between but if you slowed down the process apparently all the steps are there and always in that sequence whether or not you’re going up or down.
** Time, outside of the therapy, is not actually a continuum exactly, this gets into physics 101, but for therapy there is definitely past, present and future.
†† Clear is not a state of constant eagerness or exhilaration, remember the tone 4.0 is all the tones below it. The difference between a Clear and a non-Clear is that a non-Clear often experiences lower tones without obvious cause which is called mis-emotion. A Clear is going to experience all the emotions on the scale depending on what they are doing and who and/or what they are communing with.
‡‡An electorate below 3.0 starts becoming less interested in governorship and more insistent on leadership. Governorship is for societies founded on the sovereignty of the individual, leadership is for societies founded on the idea of the collective.
§§ This is different from immersion in a meaningful task when time seems to disappear altogether. Immersion begins to happen on the scientology tone scale at 4.0 plus.
*** Some people think they are their thoughts. You are not your thoughts. You can have thoughts, create thoughts, think thoughts but you are not your thoughts; the mind is a tool just like you are not your screwdriver or hammer.
“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).