Next in the ongoing series of essays by Terra Cognita. See earlier posts here: The Way To Happiness: Really? A Story, Auditing: a PC’s Quest for the Holy Grail, The Knowledge Report, Integrity, The Almighty Stat, The Reg, The Horrors of Wordclearing, Why Scientologists Don’t FSM, Respect, The Survival Rundown – The Latest Scam, Communication in Scientology… Or Not, Am I Still A Thetan?, To Be Or Not To Be, An Evaluation of Scientology, Fear: That Which Drives Scientology and Justification and Rationalization.
The Mind (I Think)
Does a separate entity called the mind actually exist independent of the body and the spirit? Or is the mind merely an abstract construct of philosophers, psychologists, and theologians trying to describe phenomena happening inside the brain? Whatever this is, thought, memory, reason, imagination, and consciousness have been attributed to this device since man chased mastodons.
Whether the mind is physical or metaphysical in nature has been debated for centuries. LRH had his own ideas on the subject.
LRH divided human beings into three main components: thetan, mind, body. The body is the easiest to know and comprehend. It can be seen, heard, felt, and measured. Men and women are born, live, and die. The other two parts of the equation are harder to explain and open to conjecture.
Most of the people on the planet believe we are immortal spiritual beings—or what LRH termed thetans. Some think this spirit ascends to heaven after we die (or Hell depending on their Karma). Many believe no such places exist. Others believe the spirit carries on by inhabiting another of these aforementioned bodies. Spirits or thetans conveniently have no matter, energy, space, or time—MEST—and thus, can’t be measured and proven to exist by conventional physical means.
LRH separated the spirit and the mind. He said the mind is “a literal record” of all our experiences—basically our own personal movie stretching back quadrillions of years. What distinguished his idea from others, though, was that he divided the mind into two halves: the analytical and the reactive.
Many believe the spirit and the mind are one. Not Ron.
The Analytical Mind
The analytical mind, or what LRH referred to as the “awareness of awareness unit,” is “the conscious aware mind which thinks, observes data, remembers it, and resolves problems.” “The keynote of the analytical mind is awareness.” How this differs from the spirit, I’ll leave for smarter minds.
Everything—24/7—automatically gets recorded in this mind. When the average person thinks of the mind, they usually think of something similar to this model.
The Reactive Mind
The reactive mind is the subconscious mind, “which works on a totally stimulus-response basis, which is not under his volitional control, and which exerts force and power of command over this awareness, purposes, thoughts, body and actions.”
Everyone’s experienced ups and downs in life. One minute, we’re happy, the next we’re not so sanguine. Was this drop in tone due to low blood sugar or because we were “keyed in” by a full moon? Did our eye start twitching due to some unknown symbol in the environment, or because we suddenly realized we’d forgotten our spouse’s birthday?
Are we really at the mercy of a reactive mind full of engrams (“a mental image picture which is a recording of a time of physical pain and unconsciousness”) that happened eons ago? Many believe LRH constructed and promoted this model solely for financial gain. Some think he truly believed in the duality of the mind, even if he was deluded or bi-polar. Others embrace his version as a “workable” technology useful to bettering themselves.
In any case, without the reactive mind there would be no Dianetics. And most likely, no Scientology, as well. Did LRH then invent the reactive mind as a means of explaining—or justifying—his concept of “aberration?” Was this all a big con job? Or was he on to something?
Many within the church—and some outside of it—swear that erasing engrams that happened long, long ago, in galaxies far, far away made them Clear and better able to handle life. Others got little to no gain and believe auditing is a hoax.
Just like with the spirit, it’s hard to prove or disprove something with no matter, energy, space, or time.
One of the definitions of Clear—and there are MANY—is someone who “has no engrams which can be restimulated (sic)…”
LRH was never able to quantify how many engrams had to be “erased,” before a man was said to be “Clear.” Apparently though, if we just got down to the basic on the chain (the earliest one) and handled it, all of those that came after would crumble and fall away and never bother us again.
But if we’ve lived quadrillions of years as he’s stated, (and the universe was as dangerous as we’ve been led to believe) we would have trillions and trillions of engrams spread up and down billions and billions of chains. Even if the number was only in the millions, it would take more than one lifetime to tackle all these chains. And thus, the state of Clear would be impossible to attain.
[Just as an exercise, I calculated how many chains of engrams would be erased if I addressed 50 per day, 300 days per year, for 50 years. The answer: 750,000. Which is nothing in LRH’s universe but a shit-load in mine.]
Many would argue, however, that erasing ALL these chains isn’t necessary. Just handling the major ones is enough.
On the other hand, many believe Clear was the conceit of a demented mind and no such exalted state really exists. And Homo Novis is a mere fantasy.
One thing for sure, though: rich people have many more engrams than their poorer cousins.
Some philosophers believe the mind is all there is, and that everything around us is an illusion. I don’t share this view. There’s too much solid reality hitting me in the face every day to think this is all a big mirage.
Descartes famously said, “Cogito ergo sum.” I think, therefore I am.” Then again, perhaps it’s the other way around, “I am, therefore I think.” Either way works for me.
Still not Declared,