Tag Archives: Emotional Tone Scale

Emotions III: The Tone Scale

Someone posted here once a lecture reference where L. Ron Hubbard pronounced that ‘action’ and ‘games’, were the places to aim for in terms of chronic emotion or state of consciousness (see Real Emotions for how Scientology tends to collapse the two ideas).  The idea was that the top of the scale ‘serenity of beingness’ was far too boring for a being to stay with for very long. For those who made those ‘emotions’ their chronic targets, or their aspired to states of consciousness, here is something to think about.  Games and Action are not emotions.  They are activities.  One could and does engage in ‘games’ and ‘action’ at every level of emotion. The next higher ‘emotion’ on the Scientology emotional tone scale, Postulates, too is not an emotion – and like ‘games’ and ‘action’ is engaged in during all manner of actual emotion.  While ‘Serenity’ may well be an emotion, ‘serenity of beingness’ is probably something else entirely (more on that at another time).  Perhaps the placement of activities on the emotional tone scale contributed to some of the confusion that occurs in Scientology with respect to the role and purpose and worth of emotion.

This begs the question, are there emotions higher than exhilaration (perhaps the highest Scientology tone scale position that is fairly sure to be an emotion)?  I think it is a worthwhile exercise for people to work out for themselves how the emotional tone scale should or could or can be logically and intuitively seen to be.  That is particularly so for those who have set their life goals around the achievement of the non-emotions placed at the top of the Scientology tone scale. It can be a liberating exercise.  I have done a lot of work on it myself – by self-observation and observation of others.  I share some of my notes on it below.  This sharing is not for the purposes of indoctrinating or selling an idea.  Instead it is provided in order to stimulate thought and conversation and input.  The plain type items accompanied by numbers are from the original Hubbard Tone Scale In Full.  The italicized typed items are tones on the existing scale that I question as being emotions in the first place (as noted above).  The bold-faced, italicized entries are emotions I added by observation in their relative positions to the existing Tone Scale In Full.


Bliss, Pan-equilibrium (Non-Duality)

Serenity, equilibrium (Justice)

40.0  Serenity of  Beingness                                          Know

Compassion (Responsibility)

Care  (Nurturing)

Empathy (Transcendence of ego/pan-emotion)

Appreciation (Acknowledgment)

Release (Letting go)

30.0  Postulates                                                                Not Know

22.0  Games                                                                       Know About

20.0  Action                                                                         Look

8      Exhilaration                                                              Plus Emotion

6      Aesthetics

4      Enthusiasm

3.5  Cheerfulness

3.3  Strong Interest

3.0  Conservatism

2.9  Mild Interest

2.8  Contented

2.6  Disinterested

2.5  Boredom

2.4  Monotony

Real Emotions

Somewhere along the way emotion was converted into equating with states or levels of consciousness in Scientology.  In the process emotion became a negative humanoid attribute, e.g. writing off any feeling or expression of emotion off as ‘human emotion and reaction’ or ‘h, e and r.’

Emotion and grades of awareness or consciousness are not the same thing.

Wikipedia gives a good definition for emotion that was no doubt contributed to by a number of interested people from a variety of religious, philosophical, scientific and educational backgrounds.  It is as follows:

In psychology and philosophy, emotion is a subjective, conscious experience that is characterized primarily by psychophysiological expressions, biological reactions, and mental states. Emotion is often associated and considered reciprocally influential with mood, temperament, personality, disposition, and motivation,as well as influenced by hormones and neurotransmitters such as dopamine, noradrenaline, serotonin, oxytocin, cortisol and GABA. Emotion is often the driving force behind motivation, positive or negative.

That definition is not inconsistent with Scientology definitions, even if it is far more comprehensive.

The last sentence bears some thought, ‘Emotion is often the driving force behind motivation, positive or negative.’    Carl Rogers has noted that emotion can serve as an important referent to deriving meaning.  For example, an issue that confronts you causes sadness.   In processing that emotion, it might inform your conscience and influence you to decide to do something worthy about the situation.  That in turn could result in your feeling some more pleasurable emotions.

If instead you used a mental trick to lift you out of sadness, you may well simply feel comfortable – in the short run – in forgetting that which made you sad.  Your conscience is bypassed in the equation; and the situation that perhaps legitimately engendered feelings of sadness remains unaddressed.   Would that be ethical?  Would that be pro-survival?  You’d have to think of examples of real situations and work it out for yourself.

Imagine habitually utilizing exercises that rose you from genuine emotions caused by real situations that confronted you.   What would ultimately happen to your conscience?   How real and worthy and meaningful a life would you wind up living?

Perhaps because emotion is mistaken for a level, grade, or state of consciousness in Scientology the culture tends to frown on having, demonstrating or processing emotions per se.  They certainly are not recognized as anything worthy of serving as a referent to deriving meaningful meaning.  Emotion instead becomes something to get out of, something to rise above, or something to manipulate in others.  Techniques abound in Scientology for achieving that.  Nothing wrong with such tools provided they are used wisely.  When I say wisely, I mean not done so habitually and consistently that one becomes emotionless.  In Scientology cultures, folks can become downright anti-emotional to the point where conscience is effectively forfeited.  That would seem to be a factor in Scientologists’ facile ability to turn their backs on loved ones, associates, family, and  friends; and even to proudly avow to never fear to hurt another in a just cause.

If you’ve been in Scientology culture for very long, I invite you to have and process for yourself some real emotion.  Don’t try to repress it, suppress it, avoid it, evade it, escape it, conquer it or ‘causatively’ rise above it.  Instead, feel it for all it is worth.  See for yourself whether sometimes emotion can inform your conscience and your decisions and lead to more rewarding and meaningful activity on your part.