DIANETICS: Synopsis

Reference: Hubbard 1950: Dianetics TMSMH

These are some comments based on the Synopsis of Dianetics from the book, DIANETICS: THE MODERN SCIENCE OF MENTAL HEALTH.

NOTE: By evolution, I do not mean Charles Darwin’s theory. We have had evolution of the universe since the so-called Big Bang. Evolution means improvement of form, and that means death of the existing form and birth of a better form. Fixation on survival has led to the desire to live eternally. This means a desire for the permanence of the existing form. This goes against the very fact of evolution. By no means, the individuality (viewpoint) of Man has evolved to its full potential. There is more ahead that we have little inkling of.

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Comments on
Synopsis

Dianetics was more or less theoretical at the time this book was published, and lots of kinks remained to be smoothed out of its procedure. Dianetics was designed mainly to handle the psychosomatic causes of illnesses. Shocks and pains were the starting points for looking for the cause that contributed to all illnesses. This was identified as engram (cellular impression). Resolution of illnesses occurred when these engrams were located and desensitized through repeated recounting. Finding the engram took a lot of clever guessing and questioning on the part of the auditor since the preclear (the patient) was under reverie and passively obeying auditor’s commands. This yielded at least one engram per case. The running of the engram was usually quite dramatic and affected the case positively.

These few engrams were the low hanging fruits that definitely yielded results.

However, the rest of the case was not that easy to resolve. Other anomalies that made up the majority of the case were mostly out of reach of Dianetics. Thus, Dianetics results have been quite dramatic but limited in terms of resolving the whole case of a person.

The assertion of Dianetics that “the problems of thought and mental function can be resolved within the bounds of the finite universe” is quite logical. It was also applied by Buddha 2600 years ago and it made Buddhism independent of mysticism and metaphysics.

According to Hubbard, the dynamics of humans embrace four major activities that need to be in balance. Such a categorization is quite useful. 

“DYNAMIC ONE: The urge of the individual to reach the highest potential of survival in terms of self and his immediate symbiotes. 

“DYNAMIC TWO: The urge of the individual to reach the highest potential of survival in terms of sex, the act and the creation of children and their rearing. 

“DYNAMIC THREE: The urge of the individual to reach the highest potential of survival in terms of the group, whether civil, political, or racial, and the symbiotes of that group. 

“DYNAMIC FOUR: The urge of the individual to reach the highest potential of survival in terms of Mankind and the symbiotes of Mankind.”

Hubbard’s states, “THE DYNAMIC PRINCIPLE OF EXISTENCE IS: SURVIVE!” It is true that those who are sick and not surviving well, have their attention fixed upon surviving better, but the purpose of life is to EVOLVE. Hubbard’s principle, however, fixes his whole philosophy on survival such that human evolution is ignored.

The stated goal of Dianetics therapy is to clear the individual of all his mental and physical aberrations. This means freeing the person’s attention from all fixations so he can operate freely. But freeing of attention includes freeing it from fixation on personal survival.

Humanity has been fixated on personal survival to such a degree that it has been dreaming of immortal souls going to heaven. This is in spite of the fact that no form can survive permanently in this universe.

This is the current situation in all civilized societies around the world. Individuals are focused on their own personal welfare. This fixation is the entirety of ego. Such individuals are unable to evolve beyond living on the first dynamic. Evolution requires willingness to live as well as to die. An individual fixated on living will crave for immortality. He will resist death at all costs. He cannot sacrifice himself willingly when circumstances ask for it. 

When an aspect of the mental impression is shared by all of humanity it becomes a fourth dynamic engram. This particular fourth dynamic engram is FIXATION ON FIRST DYNAMIC SURVIVAL.  Dianetics, which focuses on the individual, is incapable of handling this fourth dynamic engram. 

The individuality is the body-mind system. The “spirit” is simply the juice, like electricity, that makes this system run.

There is no individual decision making beyond the “body-mind” system. There is no individuality in the realm of spirit. Yet, Dianetics seems to postulate individuality just like the idea of soul. This is spelled out later in Scientology as “Thetan.” Buddhism has no such concept of soul, Thetan or Atman.

There are a lot of good ideas in Dianetics, and there is no intention here to minimize the effectiveness of Dianetics in making the sick well. But handling the whole case of the person requires the handling of the fourth dynamic engram. Dianetics is not designed to handle that. Buddhism, on the other hand, is designed to handle the fourth dynamic engram.

Dianetic engrams are just a few low hanging fruits that do bring significant relief on the first dynamic of a person. But the Dianetic therapy does not bring about the evolution of the individual in expanding his viewpoint to other dynamics.

It may be possible to greatly enhance the value of Dianetics by aligning its fundamental postulates with those of Buddhism.

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Comments

  • Chris Thompson  On April 19, 2021 at 6:32 AM

    “But the Dianetic therapy does not bring about the evolution of the individual in expanding his viewpoint to other dynamics.”

    Conflating psycho therapy with the the Theory of Evolution by Charles Darwin is a mistake. It is the word Survive! that you may enjoy looking at more closely. Evolution is the natural drift of organisms toward successful physical adaptations.

    Survive is a spectrum of existence through time from sparse to plenty.

    • vinaire  On April 19, 2021 at 5:36 PM

      By evolution, I do not mean Charles Darwin’s theory. We have had evolution of the universe since the so-called Big Bang. There is evolution of galaxies and stars and solar systems. Man has been evolving in his thinking and the product of that is quite visible. But, by no means, Man has evolved to its full potential. There is a lot to achieve.

  • Chris Thompson  On April 19, 2021 at 10:32 AM

    If “Survive!” were the goal, then Evolution becomes the mechanism. This is a consistent statement, unless you have another idea about it.

    Hubbard claimed to have discovered the goal being “Survive!” in his writings but he cobbled it from “survival of the fittest” which had been in extant Western culture for a hundred years by the time that he invented it. I have never spoken to a Scientologist who told me that idea was new to them from Scientology.

    • vinaire  On April 19, 2021 at 5:44 PM

      Fixation on survival has led to the desire to live eternally. This goes against evolution because evolution means change, and that means death of the existing form and birth of a better form.

      If one survives eternally, he would never die and be able to evolve. I am not talking about just the body. My argument includes the thetan also.

  • Chris Thompson  On April 27, 2021 at 1:35 PM

    “This goes against evolution because evolution means change, and that means death of the existing form and birth of a better form.”
    “If one survives eternally, he would never die and be able to evolve. I am not talking about just the body. My argument includes the thetan also.”

    That is only one way of looking at evolution. I do not think it is the only way.

    For example: Our travails to become a better, or more original thetan if you will, depends upon making evolutionary changes during each lifetime. Therefore, organically, it seems to me that if “ontogeny repeats phylogeny,” then that large amounts of evolutionary time is not locked down. Reason: Possibly other life forms, such as metamorphosing butterflies, etc., demonstrate making organic changes doesn’t need to take geologically long periods of time. I know, metamorphosis is not evolution per se, I am just saying that it as well as other ontogeny is making dramatic changes – repeating phylogeny is moments in terms of long times.

    I think that evolution is better seen in the light of code or instructions, rather than phylogeny. After all, if ontogeny repeats phylogeny, then phylogeny repeats the instructions which form phylogeny.

    Anyways, I am distracted by what I need to do in the next couple hours and must leave for now… I will watch for your answer. Hope your day is good!

    • vinaire  On April 27, 2021 at 7:18 PM

      There is only the body-mind system, and the spirit that energizes this system. Spirit is like “electricity”. There is no individuality in spirit. Any individuality is part of the body-mind system. Thetan (individuality) is the core of body-mind system. The Thetan is not part of the spiritual domain.

      THETA is the symbol for STATIC. The STATIC refers to the static viewpoint. Please see the Dianetics Axioms here:

      The Scope of Dianetics

      The body-mind system dies and takes birth. That is how it evolves. The death-birth cycle is the only way to evolve.

    • vinaire  On April 27, 2021 at 7:35 PM

      ontogeny
      1. the development or developmental history of an individual organism.

      phylogeny
      1. the development or evolution of a particular group of organisms.
      2. the evolutionary history of a group of organisms, especially as depicted in a family tree.

      Evolution takes many generations to become manifested. It is manifested in the organisms of a new generation.

      What do you mean by better, more original thetan? How are you defining thetan? Does thetan exist without a living body?

  • vinaire  On April 27, 2021 at 8:05 PM

    If you keep on simplifying the thetan, all you end up with is “energy with innate impulse.”

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