Daily Archives: August 19, 2012

Introduction to Training Routines 0-9

I am providing below a copy of the introduction I wrote for people who do Training Routines 0-9 here at Casablanca.   I am not suggesting that anyone else copy and utilize it (but they are free to if they wish).  However, I think some might find the context provided of interest.

Introduction to Training Routines  0-9 at Casablanca

The cutting edge of modern physics, quantum theory or quantum mechanics, has never been proven wrong in its predictions of phenomena.  That is why technology derived from its principles accounts for more than one third of our current economy.   These facts are not widely known, in part because quantum theory reveals unanswered conundrums that seem to set classic physics on its head.   Most confounding is quantum theory’s demonstration that consciousness affects, and may even create, the physical universe.  Scientists have demonstrated over and over that the observer affects the behavior of matter in its smallest observable form (the sub atomic waves or particles which combine to form all matter). The fact that the observer (the spirit) is not of the physical universe and cannot therefore be directly measured by physical devices leaves quantum theorists scratching their heads and posing rather clumsy metaphysical questions. The seeming convergence of science into the realm of consciousness, or the spirit, frightened many scientists in the early part of the 20th Century.  That included one of science’s most free and liberal thinkers, Albert Einstein.  On more than one occasion Einstein warned fellow scientists to be wary of the ‘spooky actions’ that quantum physics revealed when the observer (consciousness, or the spirit) met matter.  He along with the leading scientists of the era were concerned that quantum theory would turn science toward the metaphysical realms of consciousness; a taboo for the masters of the physical universe. One of the pioneers of quantum theory, Niels Bohr, proffered an agreement called the Copenhagen interpretation to allay such fears.  The agreement was that the established observation of quantum physics that the observer (consciousness, spirit) affects and even seems to create matter at the microscopic level would only apply at the level of the then-fringe sub study of quantum mechanics.  Since science was unable to demonstrate the quantum observations with matter larger than atoms – in large part due to its lack of technological means to do so – classic Newtonian physics would not be monkeyed with at the macroscopic level.  Science would leave the spirit alone. 

The Copenhagen interpretation worked for several decades.  It kept science out of the realm of the spirit. But, it also kept science largely in the dark.   As technology evolved, not in small part due to the continued brave work of the few in the field of quantum mechanics, science began to see consciousness demonstrate influence on matter – not only at sub-atomic particle level, but at increasing levels of density and mass.

Consequently, of late books have proliferated on the issue of science entering the realm of consciousness.   Many  scientists have come to recognize that ancient Eastern spiritual texts (e.g. the Tao Te Ching, the Vedas) treating the idea that spirit is senior to and responsible for the creation of the physical may indeed have been scientifically sound all along.  Still, it is interesting reading such scientific thinking authors proceeding with such trepidation, grappling with that which the Buddhist described as ‘nothing’ and the Tao described as an unmeasurable ‘emptiness.’    Unable to conceive of anything outside of,  yet affecting, the physical universe, the physicists alternatively refer to the ‘observer’ as ‘brain function’, ‘chemistry’, and ‘consciousness’ among many other labels.  

If Lao Tzu (author of the Tao) and Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha) are deserving of apology for centuries of ridicule by the scientific community, then L. Ron Hubbard ought to at least be given a second look.   In the early fifties, during the height of Cold War electrification and horror at the specter of nuclear physic’s then-greatest creations (the hydrogen and atom bombs) being unleashed, Hubbard was busy attempting to marry scientific thought with Eastern spiritual truth. The author and founder of Dianetics and Scientology became much maligned in the following decades for the extreme, aggressive  measures his Scientology organizations would take in defense and propagation of what began as courageous, effective research.   That well publicized drama largely drowned out Hubbard’s more important contributions.   His definition of spirit, which he termed thetan (from the Greek letter, sometimes used to convey the concept ‘thought’) so as to distinguish his ideas from a myriad of existing, conflicting notions, used more scientist-friendly terms that fully differentiated spirit from the physical universe as:

Having no mass, no wavelength, no energy and no time or location in space except by consideration or postulate.  The spirit is not a thing. It is the creator of things…the awareness of awareness unit.

From a spiritual approach he described a thetan’s effect upon and creation of the physical universe in terms that agree with more recent quantum mechanics findings. As we proceed we will attempt to satisfy the scientific mind by staying within the realm of demonstrable scientific fact.

First, science tells us that there is no such thing as the past.   That is, there is only evidence of the past as a creation of our minds; whether that be in the form of individual and collective memory or the recounting of past events in words, images and published, digital, visual and audio media or in divining and speculating about the past by analysis and testing of physical matter.  The past is only cognizable against the created agreement called ‘time’ (the gauge by which we measure movement of matter in or across space).

Second, science tells us that the present is only what we observe – there is no physical universe but that which we observe.  Whether we create the physical universe to observe, as some religionists and quantum theorists contend we do, or not is an interesting metaphysical question.   A solid agreement on this question is not important for practical purposes of leading a happy, purposeful and meaningful life.  

Third, we are drawn into the future by our individual and collective intention.  If Sally decides she is going to spend tomorrow planting her garden the chances of her doing so are dictated primarily by her ability to follow through on her intention to do so.  Sure, there are conflicting intentions.  Her husband might intend that she instead go to the beach with him.  Her mother might intend she bring her children, the mother’s grandchildren, to her home to play.  The weather might intend to make conditions miserable for planting a garden.   If Sally’s intention is not so strong, it will likely be modified by the conflicting intentions of her husband, her mother, and/or the weather.   But if Sally’s intention is sufficiently strong she will go ahead and create the future she initially intended.   If she has refined social abilities she will first deftly obtain the agreement of her husband and mother to modify their own conflicting intentions.   If she is exceptionally able she might even inspire her husband and mother to contribute to her original intention.   Thus, Sally’s mother winds up coming over the next day to watch the kids so Sally can concentrate on her garden work.  Her husband dons his overalls and gets into the garden to help her.   This works out particularly well where everyone’s original intentions were satisfied – i.e. Sally’s mother’s original intention to spend time with her grandchildren, and her husband’s intention to spend time with Sally, both were satisfied by modifying their intentions to coincide with Sally’s.   And even though the counter intention of the weather apparently was not modified – it poured hard on gardening day – the new, stronger collective intention of Sally, her husband and her mother overcame that hardship.

We witness in ourselves and others varying strengths of intention and abilities to garner cooperation with the realization of intentions.  One factor in determining strength of intention is one’s ability to envision into the future.  If one can rationally observe and evaluate the present so as to conceive of a desirable, achievable future scenario one has a greater chance to develop one’s own effective intention and to garner the cooperation of others in helping to achieve it.  If one’s view of the present is so clouded by fixed ideas molded by undue attention stuck in the apparent past one is liable to be unable to cleanly envision rational, desirable future goals worthy of much support.   In such a case, one will not likely even muster one’s own strength toward achieving such goals, let alone obtain the cooperation of others.   

Goal conception thus can be seen as a fundamental skill in the development of intention toward creation of desirable futures.  Hubbard coined another term to describe that skill. He called it ‘postulating’, or mentally posting scenarios or results for future realization. Precedent to the ability to effectively postulate is accurate, rational observation of the present and differentiation of that from the illusion of the past.  While I am cognizant of the axiom that holds that to remain ignorant of the past is to be condemned to repeat it, there is a stark difference between the past as rational knowledge or wisdom and the past as mysterious, dictating reactivity.  In order to realize the former it is necessary to learn to differentiate it from the latter.   To fail in that differentiation is to continually, and unwittingly, create an illusion that carries force and undue influence in the present and which has a tendency to dictate the future. The most direct and powerful way to achieve differentiation between present and the illusion of the past is to develop the ability to recognize and fully perceive the present.  

Zen Buddhist masters for centuries have periodically reminded students that enlightenment need not take a lifetime of inactivity to achieve; that one is capable of deciding to be enlightened.  They have scorned esoteric and complicated forms of meditation and instead advised coming to present time at once.  20th century philosopher J. Krishnamurti often repeated that theme in writings and lectures.   The burden of his discourse was that to focus on a mantra or an object, as meditation often requires, is as valid in focusing concentration as worshiping an icon or deity is.   It is not however very effective in increasing perception and awareness.  Instead, the most effective and immediate method by which to train the mind and spirit to observe and heighten awareness is to learn to see, or observe.

I do not negate or doubt the inherent ability of some to simply do as Krishnamurti or the Zen masters have advised.  However, I am not one of those who was blessed with that natural presence of mind to instantly achieve that ability.  I was greatly assisted in the process by Hubbard, who saw eye to eye with Krishnamurti and the Zen teachers as far as objective is concerned.   L. Ron Hubbard noted that ‘the road out’ of entrapment of the mind ‘is marked by simplicity and direct observation.’    In pursuit of making that ability attainable by the likes of myself, Hubbard developed a number of simple exercises designed to help an individual attain the ability to simply be present and perceive.  From that foundation further drills make clear, effective communication possible.  The final exercises make one aware of the power of his own intentions and teach one to increase his ability to direct them and realize them.

Ultimately, these exercises became the cornerstone of the applied religious philosophy of Scientology.  When those exercises were recognized as its foundation the philosophy thrived.   That period of expansion was occasioned by the purveying of a simplicity. However, ultimately its organizations were corrupted to become the destructive activity Hubbard himself warned of: ‘By the invitation of or involvement in a complexity, we accomplish the unfathomable and create a mystery.  We sink Man into a priesthood, we sink him into a cult.’

While I acknowledge Hubbard for having created the exercises that follow, I also re-iterate his warning.  The organizations that he created have since his 1986 passing sunk into a dangerous cult priesthood, preying on the curious with a toxic mix of mystery and complexity. Therefore, it is incumbent upon you to not trust anyone but yourself in applying these drills.  The moment you encounter complexity in this – or any other – spiritual endeavor sort it out before continuing.  Do not devote your time or energy to anything you do not understand or find rational reason to pursue.   Do not accept the invitation into a complexity or a mystery. 

If you find the drills difficult to do, do not mistake that for or write that off as a ‘complexity’ or a ‘mystery.’   The road to ability is not always easy.  It sometimes requires self-discipline and perseverance.  It sometimes requires strength to overcome the resistance the physical universe (including the unconscious mind) presents to keep us within its relentless tendency to seek equilibrium.  Keep this in mind: that resistance breeds resistance.  Most Eastern thought (including its martial arts) is predicated on that truth.  A spirit is not of the physical universe; it only considers that it can be affected by matter.  When spirit acts like matter, and attempts to use force to control or resist, it provides a base for counter-force and counter-control to accumulate against. What actually is occurring in that case of putting up force or effort (in accordance with Eastern thought and quantum mechanics) is that spirit is creating matter against which more matter can adhere.  When you experience discomfort or seemingly mental mass or force impinging on you during the drills, simply be aware of them.  Do not resist them.  Do not strengthen them with resistance or counter-force.  They are incapable of affecting a thetan, except to the degree that a thetan considers they can.  After all, a thetan is not of the physical universe except only by its own consideration. Simply observe such phenomena for what they are and I believe you will witness them vanish.   When they do, take heart for you will have experienced the achievement of an ability.  Realize that you are on the road to being able to comfortably, fully differentiate the present from the past.   From that strong foundation you can proceed toward more effective communication and projection of your intentions into the future.