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>From International Viewpoints (IVy) Issue 17 - June 1994
See Home Page at http://www.ivymag.org
A View from the Bridge
By Eric Townsend, England
In auditing a PC through the Grades, we are helping that person to
rehabilitate their awareness and abilities as a spirit or thetan.
We have looked at the preliminary action of ARC Straightwire to
recall ability and at Grade Zero which is concerned with
the thetan's ability to communicate. In order to help us understand
what has to be dealt with on the the next four Grades, it will be
helpful to have a brief look at the recognisable features of a thetan
and how it operates.
A thetan actually thinks and behaves in a way quite different from
the mind which is the product of the thetan-body combination. Because
it is of the Theta universe it does not have the physical limitations
of a creation in the MEST universe. It doesn't get tired or need
It doesn't get bored in the physical sense and it does not forget
anything. We can be amazed at the extent of a thetan's memory and
its ability to recall things that happened millions of years ago.
By contrast we as human beings often have difficulty remembering
that happened yesterday.
For a thetan that can be a disadvantage. A thetan doesn't exist in
the physical universe or keep its memories there. All its memories
exist in the Theta universe where there is no time so they exist in
now. That is why the thetan appears to have 'instant recall' but that
is only a human way of looking at it.The disadvantage is that if a
memory upsets or obsesses a thetan, it is exerting an influence on
the thetan from the moment it happens until he can come to terms with
it. Another way of expressing it is to say this issue represents an
open or incomplete cycle. Only when the thetan can confront what
happened exactly as it did happen will it cease to have any effect
on him. To relate this to an axiom in Scientology, at the point when
the thetan can fully AS-IS what happened, without any distortion or
lies, it will disappear and cease to have any effect on him.
Until the thetan can confront and As-Is what happened, the memory
will trouble him. There is no time limit on how long that can be.
Because that can be very uncomfortable, thetans have to find other
ways to relieve the pressure exerted by these memories. Thetans use
various method to avoid confronting a memory. They can try to SUPPRESS
the memory, INVALIDATE it, or NOT-IS it. These are all different
ways of trying to maintain that the events in the memory didn't
A thetan operates in the theta universe, the universe of Thought,
primarily by means of 'postulating'. A POSTULATE is a thought,
but not any kind of wondering thought. It is the kind of thought that
is a conclusion, consideration or descision drawn from experience
and which affects future action. For example if a person, a thetan
in a body, picks up a piece of glowing wood from the fire it burns
the fingers of the body. The thetan concludes that the heat of the
fire is stronger than the body and that therefore fire, and things
that have been in contact with the fire, should not be handled by
a body without some protection. That is a simple postulate. Postulates
are actually the only things that a thetan has to enable him to
in the MEST universe, or any other universe.
In a difficult situation which the thetan cannot confront, the only
response open to a thetan is to create a postulate to counteract it.
The techniques referred to above, suppress, invalidate and not-is,
are all forms of super-imposed Postulate.
What interests a thetan?
So what kind of things can upset or obsess a thetan to the extent
of holding his attention for such a long time? To answer this we need
to look at some of the other qualities of a thetan. Firstly thetans
are very curious and and want to know about everything. Thetans grow
and expand through the conclusions they draw from experience. This
means they are constantly investigating and experimenting. As a
result they sometimes get tangled up in things that they don't fully
understand and which then go wrong. A thetan is however basically
good and honest. So if something does go wrong, the thetan may regret
it but may not be willing to confront it and take responsibility for
what happened. This event will however continue to hold the thetan's
attention because at a deeper level he considers it was his fault.
Although he has not taken responsibility for what happened, he will
take precautions to ensure that it does not happen again.
This could be likened to a child investigating what was inside a
Ming vase. As a result of his interest it falls and breaks. The
child may not be able to confront what has happened. He may hide
the pieces and not tell anyone about it. You can then predict that
he will keep well away from the room where it happened and from all
similar rooms and vases!
Thetans are also very tenacious. If an unresolved situation interests
them, they will continue to worry about it and try to puzzle out a
solution for an unlimited period of time.
A final point to make is that thetans decide for themselves what is
important. Thetans do not naturally have any external reference point
for what is important. This means that very often the only criterion
they will apply to a puzzle is whether or not it interests them.
These qualities of a thetan can also be recognised in various muted
forms in human beings. This is part of the difficulty we have in
distinguishing between the characteristics of a thetan and a human
being. The original idea was of course that the thetan would animate
a human body to represent all the good qualities of a thetan. As we
know things have gone a little wrong. The first aim is to restore
to the thetan some of his lost abilities. We can then sort out what
has gone wrong on the body side. We will look further at the
of the thetan-body combination in the form we call 'human' at the
end of this chapter. In the meantime we will return to what has to
be dealt with on Grades One to Four.
Grade One is actually in two distinct parts. The first part is
with the OBJECTIVE PROCESSES. These are fourteen different processes
and several have a number of parts to them. These processes are
from all the other processes on the Grades. All the other processes
ask the PC to look inside himself for answers to questions or
to auditing instructions. Because the answers or responses are unique
to the person, these are called SUBJECTIVE PROCESSES. The group
of processes at the beginning of Grade One are called Objective
because they are putting the thetan back in contact with the outside
world, in other words, the non-thought world of the MEST universe.
You may ask why is the thetan out of contact with the MEST universe.
The simple answer is that because of his previous disappointments
in handling the MEST universe, he has formed the view that he can't
do anything about it. We need to bring in another term peculiar to
Scientology at this point. This is the term HAVE or HAVINGNESS. It
means willing and able to reach towards something and to experience
it. For example let us suppose two people walk through a park. One
person stops to admire the flowers while the other just walked by
with no more than a glance. We could say that the first person had
more Havingness for flowers, and the MEST universe generally, at that
point in time. The important point about havingness is that it is
really a spiritual capacity, although we can draw human comparisons
as in the case of our two people and the flowers.
To return to the matter of the thetan's response to the MEST universe,
the thetan has had sufficient unhappy experiences with MEST that he
no longer believes he can communicate with it or control it. As a
thetan, he has a much reduced level of havingness of the MEST
He then leaves it to his body to deal with the MEST universe while
he surrounds himself with a stockade of postulates about why he can't
have any effect on MEST.
Most people who have had some contact with Scientology will know
about Objective Processing. They will have seen or heard about people
touching walls, finding spots on the floor, and doing repetitive
with books, bottles and other small objects, under the supervision
of an auditor. What is going on can be established by looking at the
full name of the main group of processes. They are called the 'CCHs'.
These initials stand for CONTROL, COMMUNICATION and HAVINGNESS. These
processes start by getting the person to Control items in his
then into Communication with them and finally to greater ability to
Have his surroundings and his body, which is part of the MEST
These steps are not separately identifiable in each process but the
progression through Control, then Communication, to Havingness takes
The effect of restoring the thetan's Havingness of the MEST universe
is that it brings him more into the present and away from his past
problems. For this reason Objective Processing is used in a number
of other situations besides at this point on the Grade Chart. It is
used to help a person recover from what are called the 'after-effects'
of an accident or operation. It can be used to help a person who is
feeling sick, tired or has a temperature. In all these cases it is
taking the thetan's attention off a past event and bringing it more
into present time. Once the thetan reduces or removes his attention
from the past event, the physical recovery of the body happens
Objective Processing is also used for people who have been on drugs,
on heavy medicationon or who have been heavy drinkers. Taking these
substances produces such heavy overwhelm of the body, mind and thetan
that experiencing this represents an attention holding event in its
own right. The thetan can't As-Is it because he does not understand
the effects that they had on him. Also there is the preceeding
which caused the need for drugs, heavey medication or alcohol in
the first place. All of this needs to be handled at some stage in
auditing but in the meantime one needs to get the thetan into shape
where any Subjective auditing will be effective. This is where
the Objective Processes come in. They help the thetan to locate
himself in his environment in present time. From that viewpoint he
can start to look inward and find the answers he needs to start the
long haul of regaining his abilities as a thetan.
The difficulty is that in the whole process of getting someone up
the Bridge, we are rehabilitating a being in the theta universe. We
have to do this in the MEST universe for at least the early part of
the journey because he believes he is a part of the MEST universe.
Actually he is half in and half out and very unstable in both. In
order to help him we need to get him to a state where he knows what
he is and can locate himself at a stable point in the MEST universe.
This is what Objective Processing is designed to achieve.
Objective Processing seems to cause more concern and impatience
from people who have not had it than other forms of auditing. Maybe
the point of Subjective Processing is more easily grasped and the
idea of getting more into contact with the MEST universe seems
pointless or boring. This is an understandable human viewpoint.
It makes Objective Processing one of the most difficult areas
of Scientology processing to explain to someone who has not had any
experience of it. We are at this point at the junction point of the
two universes and we have to explain a theta phenomenon in terms of
the MEST universe. I can best supplement my efforts here to do this
by relating my experiences on this part of the Bridge. I still
it vividly even though it was many years ago.
I protested about having to do the Objective Processes. I had been
trained to do them on other people and I had audited a few of these
processes on other people with no very dramatic results that I could
see. I had even had a few of them run on me by another trainee
My protests were gently acknowledged but my Case Supervisor said I
should still do them. I can only say the results were amazing but
apart from one major COGNITION on one of the later processes, I still
can't explain anything about what happened. At the end of the
Processes section of this Grade, I insisted on writing a 'Success
Story', even though it was not usual to do so at that point. I can
remember writing that the effect of these processes was like a set
of controlled explosions which were blowing out the side of a hill!
This is another point on the Bridge where the thetan begins to
his existence as a thetan. It is interesting to see how in Objective
Processing we use the MEST universe to produce a therapeutic effect
in the theta universe.
The second part of Grade One actually covers two areas. The first
of these is HELP. It may come as a surprise that the issue of Help
should come up in auditing. We must remember however that we are
looking at areas where attention is held because of past failures.
So important is the area of Help that Hubbard refers to it as 'the
key button which admits auditing' (Tech. Dictionary & HCOB
5.5.60 'Help'). To see its power to hold up spiritual progress
we must look at the various Flows.
Flow one is the receiving of Help from another. Firstly it goes
the independent nature of a thetan to accept help from others when
it feels it could or should be able to handle its own difficulties.
Secondly the thetan knows there have been occasions in the past when
help was offered and accepted but the offered help turned out to be
a trick that exploited him or trapped him. This experience produces
a thetan who is very wary and suspicious of all offers of Help. He
may have such fear that all help is potential betrayal that, to be
on the safe side, he won't accept any Help. This subject Help and
Betrayal is covered very graphically in the HCOB 5.5.1960 'Help'
and HCOB 9.5.60 'How Help Became Betrayal'.
Flow two concerns giving help to another. Here the thetan may have
failed to help someone he thinks he should have helped. He may feel
guilty but is unable to confront his omission. Alternatively he
may have tried to help and failed. Again he may not be able to
his failure and covers it with a postulate like 'All help is useless
anyway.' This postulate will of course also block his ability to
help which in this case is auditing. As part of the thetan's
in this area it is necessary to direct his attention to some of
the many cases where he did give help that was effective.
Flow three concerns others helping others. Here there may have been
inaction or failed action to assist others to help others. Or it may
be that in the case of apparent help that was actually a betrayal,
the thetan did something to advance this or failed to do something
to prevent it.
Finally we have Flow zero where the thetan may have failed to help
himself. This may have been failing to pursue a course of action to
get effective help or making a mistake in accepting the wrong sort
help which turned out to be betrayal.
We can see therefore that there is enormous scope for a thetan to
be hung-up on the area of Help. Ultimately only the thetan can free
himself from what currently limits his powers. Part of that process
is however being willing to accept effective help and at a later
stage being willing to give it.
So the next area we come to is that of PROBLEMS. Once again the
need is to see this area from a thetan's viewpoint. As human beings
we talk loosely about problems as anything that we can't easily
Thetans don't see it like that. They have in their natural state
powers and potentially they can do anything. What hangs up a thetan
is a choice between which it cannot decide. In this way the enormous
powers of the thetan are not all going the same way. They are halved
and the two halves then neutralise each other.
The anatomy of a Problem is 'postulate-counter-postulate,
force-counter-force.' or 'an intention-counter-intention that worries
the preclear'. (Technical Dictionary - PROBLEM). Further
helpful data on this is to be found under the definition 'GOALS
MASS' in the same dictionary. In the first definition Hubbard gives
the analogy of two fire hoses directed at each other. The point at
which the two jets of water meet would be a mass of water held up
by the two forces meeting. The mass of water can be related to the
mental mass a thetan perceives who observes two equal forces in
The perception of the mass is the perception of the Problem.
It may be helpful to try to distinguish between a difficulty and a
Problem. This is a distinction that humans don't usually make but
it can be helpful to see how a thetan perceives a Problem. Suppose
I return home and find that a load of gravel that I ordered for the
garden has been dumped in the street outside my house. I know what
I have to do. I have to move that gravel out of the street into my
garden. I may be able to get someone else to do it for me but if
I can spend all evening with a wheelbarrow and move it myself. I have
a difficulty but I know what I have to achieve. Now suppose I am
along and I come to a fork in the road. I have no map, there are no
signs and there is nobody to ask which is the road for my destination.
Now I have a Problem. I don't have a difficulty because it is not
difficult to drive the car down one road or the other, but I have
a problem because I don't know which one to choose.
To see the implications of this simple example of a Problem, we should
bear in mind the characteristics of a thetan. He is good and honest
and wants to do the right thing. He doesn't like random actions so
he won't take a chance but also he does like puzzles. He has no sense
of time, being outside the MEST universe, and so can stay at the fork
in the road indefinitly considering and worrying about which road
What will get our thetan out of this dilemma? Only his ability to
see his situation as a continuing problem and thus move himself out
of it by as-ising it!
Why have problems?
So if a thetan can do that, why does he have any problems? In some
cases, it is a problem that someone else has given him and he doesn't
yet see that it is a Problem. More usually it is because he wants
to have that Problem! You will immediately ask why he would want a
Problem that will hang him up at a fork in the road for eternity.
The simple answer is summed up in the datum to be found on one of
the Saint Hill Special Briefing Course recorded lectures that Hubbard
gave on this subject. This datum is that 'A Problem is a solution
to another Problem'. The function that is fulfilled by worrying over
the fork in the road is that the thetan does not have to look at
problem or confusion. As discussed earlier, a thetan does not forget
about a problem. The only way the thetan can relieve himself of the
pressure of the first problem is to find another problem to worry
about. So we can see that a thetan can be quite pleased to have a
small, comfortable problem to worry about rather than the one it wants
to keep its attention off.
What would be the nature of the problem that the thetan is trying
to avoid? This would be a problem to do with its survival, This would
be where an action to further its own survival was opposed or confused
by a comparable amount of counter intention. All of this is paralleled
in human existence and we can take an example that illustrates
the visible steps of the sequence.
Suppose a man has a job that he believes he is doing well and it is
providing the means for him to bring up his family. Suddenly he loses
his job and is not given a satisfactory reason for being dismissed.
He can be confused and overwhelmed by not understanding what he has
to do to keep his job. This is his first problem. He may be able to
come up with some postulate to explain it, such as 'all bosses are
unfair' or 'you can't keep a job at my age', but he still has a
to do with himself holding a job and supporting a family. This problem
may be too unpleasant for him to contemplate so he gets another. Maybe
he contracts a chronic illness and now he, as a thetan, can worry
about whether he or his body will win. The body and illness being
approximately equal, he has all the ingredients for a long term
He will however struggle very hard to keep that problem going because
if he loses his body or the illness, he will have to confront the
original problem or find another problem!
The sequence of Objective Processes, followed by the Help Processes
sets-up the thetan to break through the area of attention holding
Problems, on all the flows, to achieve the state of Problems Release.
The ability gained is to 'recognise the source of problems and make
Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary
AS-IS plus see Axioms of Scientology no.11, NOT-ISNESS, SUPPRESS,
INVALIDATE, POSTULATE, SUBJECTIVE PROCESSING, OBJECTIVE PROCESSING,
HAVE & HAVINGNESS, CCHs, COGNITION, HELP & HELP PROCESSING, PROBLEM,
GOALS PROBLEM MASS, PROBLEMS INTENSIVE
HCOB 5.5.60 'Help' & HCOB 19.5.60 'How Help Became Betrayal'
TAPES SHSBC 3.10.61 'The Prior Confusion' & 21.4.64 'Help
HCOB 2.11.61 'The Prior Confusion'
HCOPL 23.10.80 'Chart of Abilities Gained for Lower Levels and
Expanded Lower Grades'
BTB 15.11.79 0-IV 'Expanded Grade Processes'
Note: The book A View from the Bridge can be obtained
from Anima Publications, PO Box 10, Bramhall, Stockport SK7 2QF,
The price is 10 English pounds plus postage (surface mail). Postage
1 English pounds to
U.K, 2 English pounds rest of Europe, 3 English pounds rest of world.
(1)Earlier chapters of this book appear
in the following Ivy's: 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16.
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