SCN 8-8008: Factor # 1

Reference: SCIENTOLOGY 8-8008

This paper presents Factor #1 from the book SCIENTOLOGY 8-8008 by L. RON HUBBARD. The contents are from the original publication of this book by The Church of Scientology (1952).

The excerpts from the original material (in black) are accompanied by comments and analysis (in color) based on the present understanding.  Feedback is appreciated.

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FACTOR # 1. Before the beginning was a Cause and the entire purpose of the Cause was the creation of effect.

This Factor anchors the whole phenomena of existence on an absolute Cause. This is similar to the idea of God in the Abrahamic religions. But cause gets its meaning from effect. The dichotomy of “cause-effect” is a universal principle underlying all phenomenon. It describes the nature of phenomena.

The Scientology Cause or the Semitic God are arbitrary reference points. They are assumed to resolve the confusion of physical reality. But they cannot resolve the reality they themselves represent. To understand the reality of Cause and/or God a more basic reference point is needed.

Hubbard acknowledges Vedas to be the earliest ancestor of Scientology. The Vedas delve into the basis of the phenomenal universe through the process of Neti-neti (neither this, nor that). It is best expressed in The Creation Hymn of Rig Veda. None of the dichotomies including “cause-effect” were present at the moment of creation.

Buddhism expands upon the Vedas. The Heart Sutra in Buddhism defines EMPTINESS as no Birth no Death, no Being no Non-being, no Defilement no Purity, no Increasing no Decreasing.  In other words, in emptiness there is complete absence of any phenomena.

The viewpoint of emptiness is a totally fresh reference point. It is completely clean. There are no preconceived notions, no fixed ideas, no bias, etc. In short, the concept of emptiness is not viewed through any filters. It is simply what it is.

A reference point aligns everything that follows, into order. In the absence of a reference point things devolve into confusion. It is common to assume an arbitrary reference point just to avoid the immediate confusion, even when it can’t resolve everything.

From a scientific viewpoint, emptiness is the ultimate reference point from which all phenomena are perceived objectively. No other reference point is required to understand emptiness. This is like the zero of a scale from which all values on that scale are measured.

Thus, emptiness is a reference point more fundamental than Cause (God). It has the property of being inherently understood because it denotes the absence of all phenomena. From this reference point it is possible to give an objective meaning to any phenomena. Emptiness itself is not a phenomenon, just like zero is not a value.

Factor # 1 may be expressed more accurately as follows:

REVISED FACTOR # 1: The universe is simply there. Its beginning, or basis, cannot be ascertained with certainty. So, we start with the unbiased basis of Emptiness.

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FINAL COMMENTS

For this universe, the reference point of EMPTINESS is much more basic than the reference point of GOD or CAUSE.

From the reference point of EMPTINESS all phenomena of this universe, including Cause or God can be understood objectively without any preconceived notion.

The basic phenomena of this universe are SUBSTANCE, TIME, SPACE, and ENERGY.

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