Category Archives: Mindfulness

Mindful Subject Clearing

Reference: Course on Subject Clearing

Mindful Subject Clearing is the most powerful tool currently available to bring clarity to the mind on any subject. It not only brings about a much better understanding of a subject but also helps detect the basic postulates, assumptions and erroneous ideas present in that subject.

The basic postulates help one understand the grounds on which a subject stands. Ideas based on these postulates must be demonstrable. There must not be inconsistencies among these postulates, ideas and reality.

If assumptions and erroneous ideas are not detected and isolated, it can cause serious problems with the application of the subject. Such erroneous ideas can be very pervasive, and may even enter the definitions of words provided in dictionaries. It is, therefore, very important not to miss them in your study. 

The true purpose of study is to resolve inconsistencies (things that do not make sense) as you come across them in a subject or in life. This develops clarity of mind and the ability to think fast on your feet.

Since additional information on a subject may easily be accessed through Internet these days, the purpose of study is to not memorize but to improve critical thinking.

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The Steps

Here are the steps to Mindful Subject Clearing:

1.    Make a list of key words in the subject.

Every subject has its own vocabulary. It may even use certain common words in a special meaning. Start making a list of key words used in that subject. If you are familiar with the subject you may already know some of those words. Otherwise, skim through the chapter that you are going to study, and obtain some key words from it. Put that list on an Excel worksheet. This list may grow as your studies get deeper into the subject.

2.    Enter the broad concept on the worksheet next to the word.

Look up the word in good dictionary. Read the ‘history’, ‘origin’, and/or ‘derivation’ for that word. Simply work out the broad concept underlying that word and write it down on the worksheet next to the word. Do so for each word on the list. Here are some broad concepts associated with some words.

STUDY = “eagerness, intense application”.
MATHEMATICS = “something learned”.
ARITHMETIC = ARITHMOS number + TECHNE skill = “number skill”.

3.    Read the subject material one paragraph at a time.

Procure the study materials in the form of an editable file on the computer. Study the materials of the subject one paragraph at a time. If the paragraph is too big, break it down into chunks of reasonable size.  If the paragraph is too small, and the thought continues to the next paragraph then read the two paragraphs together. Go over the paragraph as many times as necessary to understand the main thought.

4.    If the paragraph is fully understood, write down your understanding of its main thought along with your comments.

Make sure you fully understand the paragraph. If not then go to step 5. Once you have fully understood the paragraph, then summarize its main thought in your mind and look at your reactions to it. Write down below that paragraph your understanding of its main thought along with any comments. Treat this action as having a conversation with the author. Then go to step 7 below.

5.    If the paragraph is difficult to understand then look for the first word not fully understood.

If you find your mind going blank as you read the paragraph, something in that paragraph is not fully understood. Trace that sense of misunderstanding to the earliest sentence in that paragraph,  and to the earliest word in that sentence. Here you have to be very careful because the misunderstanding can come from having assumed the wrong definition for a simple word like “on”, “of”, “in”, et cetera. Usually there is an obvious word, whose meaning you may have guessed in the past, but never actually looked up in a standard dictionary. At least there is some uncertainty in your mind about how that word is being used in the given context. We shall call it MU (misunderstood) for short. Write that MU word down on a sheet of paper. 

NOTE: If it is a key word in that subject, then see if its is defined in that paragraph or in the glossary of that book. Then write its definition down on the Excel worksheet of Step 1 above.

Do not look for anything else in that paragraph until you have cleared up this MU. You must be very honest with yourself in keeping this discipline.

6.    Clear up the MUs in that paragraph until that paragraph is fully understood.

(6a) Look up the MU word in a standard reference — This reference could be a standard dictionary or an Internet resource, such as, Wikipedia and Google Images.

(6b) Understand the concept underlying the word — Per step 2 above.

(6c) Look up the definitions of the word — Look up the definitions of the word. Visualize the definition in the context in which that word is used. If it doesn’t fit go to the next definition. You may visualize a definition better if you make a few of your own sentences, or examples from your experience, with that word. Some words may require the use of “Google Image.” Always keep the basic concept in your mind that underlies the word . It is best to check out all definitions this way until you find the definition that clarifies the MU. 

(6d) Look up MUs in the definition — If a definition contains an MU then look it up per this procedure. Write that MU down below the earlier MU. This may sometime get you in a long chain of MU words. Keep an account of these words on the list as you add them or cross them out after clearing them. It is okay to look up the same word again several times. Each time you look up the same word you get a deeper understanding of its meaning.

(6e) Review the original sentence — Review the sentence in which the original MU was found. Make sure that it now makes sense. If not then there may be another MU word in the sentence. Repeat the above procedure until that sentence is understood.

(6f) Review the paragraph — Once the sentence is cleared up, go back to step 4.

7.    Check the paragraph for key words/definitions.

Check the paragraph for key words and/or key word definitions that do not already appear on the Excel worksheet. If a key word definition is expanded upon then add it to the Excel worksheet.

8.    Continue with subsequent paragraphs per steps 4 to 7 until the end of chapter.

Continue as above with rest of the chapter building up the key word list on the Excel worksheet.

9.    Gradually build up the key word list for that subject.

Build up the key word list, with broad concepts and meanings of the key words, as you study the subject chapter after chapter, and book after book. Note down any additional concepts and meanings next to the appropriate word on the Excel worksheet. Also note down the questions that may arise in your mind about the words.

The broadest case would be the subject of religion. You may first make a key word lists for Judaism by studying the scriptures and commentaries. Then you may make key word lists for Christianity and Islam respectively. Then you may combine these lists to generate a key word lists for Western religions. Similarly, you may combine the key word lists for the Vedas, Hinduism, and Buddhism, etc., to generate a key word list for Eastern religions. Finally, you may combine all these word lists to generate the key word list for religion.

Here you may find many different definitions for the same key word, such as, God, all written down in one place. You may also find different words used in different religions for the same fundamental concept.

As you work on this step for a subject you will have many realizations along the way. This is a continuing step. So, you continue with the subsequent steps as well.

10.    Arrange the key words in sequences appropriate for understanding.

The concepts in a subject always evolve in some sequence. This sequence may be linear at first but then it branches out in different directions like a network or a matrix of concepts. This can easily be seen in Mathematics and Science.

In Excel, you may separate the key words on two different worksheets categorized as “fundamental concepts” and “derived concepts”. Then arrange the concepts in each worksheet in the order they evolved.

Since the sequence of the evolution of these concepts is multi-dimensional, you may set up the Excel worksheet to sort out these key words in different sequences. To do this you may create different “priority columns” in the worksheet. In each “priority column” assign a unique number to the key word so it sorts out in the order you want. The whole idea is to arrange these words in different ways to examine the connections among them.

11.    Note any inconsistencies among the concepts and clarify them.

As the study of the subject progresses, you’ll be collecting more data to describe each key word. Resolve any inconsistencies among that collection of concepts and meanings for each word through careful examination and contemplation. Once resolved, express the broad concept for each word in your own words. There may be one broad concept but several distinct meanings for a word. If so, then express the multiple meanings by numbering them. You are creating your own glossary.

Next, examine the evolution of the key words by arranging and rearranging them in different sequences. You are looking for inconsistencies that do not make sense. Here it is very important that you do not inject justifications in your examination. Be wary of arbitrary notions, assumptions and beliefs that may be covering actual holes among these concepts that need to be filled. Trace existing ideas in that area of inconsistency one by one for arbitrariness. 

Deeper research may be required to clearly identify holes among the concepts and fill them. First review your study materials to clarify such inconsistencies. If it does not clarify easily then note it down on the worksheet and research through other materials in the library, or on Internet, until the inconsistency is resolved.

12.    Clarify the fundamentals of the subject as a priority.

The consistency of the fundamentals determines the consistency of the whole subject. Any inconsistency at the fundamental level must be handled as a priority. For example, a unified theory is desperately being looked for in the subject of Physics, which could bring the fundamentals of Newtonian Physics, the Theory of Relativity, and Quantum Mechanics in line. This means that inconsistencies exist in our understanding of the fundamental level of physics

There are likely to be many contributors to a subject who may use different words for the same concept. This is the case with religious knowledge from different cultures. Group such words together to discover inconsistencies among concepts.

Study of inconsistencies may lead to discovery of arbitrary beliefs that were advanced in the absence of knowledge, or you may find erroneous observation, or simply some notions that are taken for granted. This may reveal gaps in the subject itself. Develop your own understanding by seeking consistency among the fundamental concepts in a subject.

13.    Make the subject as complete as possible.

There are many examples in the subject of religion where gaps in knowledge are hidden under fixed beliefs and dubious explanations. This may be the case with any subject where inconsistencies abound. Follow up on inconsistencies, which may then reveal gaps in the subject. Real progress then becomes possible.

Fill gaps in the subject with wider research. Make the subject as complete as possible through direct experience and experimentation.

14.    Keep your viewpoint as objective as possible when you research a subject.

This step is done after one has acquired a good bit of experience with subject clearing. This is an advanced step that consists of doing the following exercise: Know to Mystery Process

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Summary

These are the steps of SUBJECT CLEARING. You do them again and again for the same or different subjects. This includes step 14. These steps lead you to wonderful realizations that keep coming. As you assimilate those realizations your viewpoint moves up toward KNOWING on the Know-to-Mystery scale.

You may find examples of NOTES & COMMENTS resulting from Subject Clearing below.

Comments on Books

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E-Meter and OT Auditing

The E-meter (Electropsychometer) used in Dianetics and Scientology auditing is described as follows.

“An electronic instrument for measuring mental state and change of state in individuals, as an aid to precision and speed in auditing… the meter tells you what the preclear’s mind is doing when the preclear is made to think of something. The meter registers before the preclear becomes conscious of the datum. It is therefore a pre-conscious meter.”

The preclear (person being audited) holds two cans that are connected to the E-meter. The meter reads when the mind of the preclear reacts to the auditing question. Obviously, this reaction is automatic, and not the result of any conscious thought. So, the meter cannot tell you anything about what the preclear’s mind is doing beyond registering an automatic reaction.

But the preclear himself can detect, the automatic mental reaction the moment it occurs, and in a much more intimate fashion. The meter is not really necessary.

The meter itself does not discover any datum. It is the investigation triggered by the detection of the mental reaction that helps discover the data in auditing.

For example, when you study you know intimately when something does not make sense. You can narrow down any misunderstanding from a chapter to a paragraph to a sentence to a word. You can do this precisely without any aid.

The intimate reaction in the mind is always accompanied by a knowingness. You never have to search for an answer when there is an actual mental reaction.

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E-meter versus Internal Sense

It seems that Hubbard never considered the possibility that the preclear could himself sense the mental reaction in auditing. This is because the people he started his research with were patients in hospitals who were quite sick. So, he did not have much cooperation from the research subjects. This research of Hubbard led to Dianetics, which explores the psychosomatic cause of disabilities. Here the E-meter is demonstrably a useful tool.

But later, when Hubbard’s research expanded into Scientology, he was no longer dealing with Dianetic engrams that existed below the level of consciousness. He was dealing with fixations of ideas in people. The auditing approach allowed easier gradient for spotting things. The people on whom these auditing processes were applied were more willing and cooperative.

The fact is that by the time a person is through basic Scientology exercises such as TR0, and some auditing, his internal senses are trained enough to detect mental reactions. And after he has achieved the state of Clear, he can be expected to perceive mental reactions better than the E-meter.

But Hubbard continued with the use of E-meter in Scientology.

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Correction Lists

E-meter still is a handy device when auditing new people on the lower grades in Scientology. But as the person moves up the Grade Chart, the successes become fewer and far in between, and the use of “Correction Lists” proliferates. The very fact that one has to use correction lists in auditing points to errors. These errors become more frequent as one goes up the Grade Chart.

This situation of errors becoming more frequent led Hubbard to introduce complex administrative actions as part of the auditing procedure so one could trace the causes of errors and prevent them from occurring. But this did not handle the situation.

Hubbard always blamed auditors for making errors, because from his viewpoint the auditing processes could not be faulted. However, in spite of the best efforts made to train auditors, the errors in auditing continued.

Hubbard never suspected problem with the E-meter.

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Background Noise

There is always a background noise in the mind in the form of constant mental chatter. If you sit still for a moment and not think, you will soon become aware of this chatter that goes on continuously. This background noise also makes the meter needle move randomly, which appears like “static”, especially at high sensitivity. In auditing, the auditor is reading the meter against this background static. He can read the meter correctly as long as the meter reaction is distinct from the background static.

But as the preclear moves up the Grade Chart, the meter reaction get smaller and become more difficult to differentiate from the background static. Therefore, the reads to auditing questions are more often missed or taken up falsely. This leads to “overrun” in auditing and case difficulties, which now require “correction lists” to handle.

There is no evidence that Hubbard investigated this background noise.

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Self-Auditing

The principle of auditing is that one should take up only those items to which the mind reacts. The answer to auditing question follows the reaction almost immediately. Ask yourself for your favorite vacation spot, and the mind will immediately react followed by the knowledge of that favorite spot.

When you ask the preclear a question to which there is no reaction, the preclear does not have knowingness for the answer. He starts to search into the mind, and when he doesn’t get an answer anxiety sets in. This is called “self-auditing” in Scientology.

Self-auditing occurs in auditing sessions when the meter is not read correctly.

Hubbard had placed strict injunction against self-auditing because things can go dangerously awry when a person engages in it. But he could not stop it from happening in auditing sessions.

Unfortunately, Hubbard never suspected the inherent limitation of the E-meter.

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The Discipline of Auditing

The questions to which the mind does not react should be strictly left alone. When in doubt it is safer to leave the question and not take it up.

The discipline is not very different from mindfulness taught by Buddha twenty-five centuries ago. Hubbard considered Buddhism to be the ancestor of Scientology.

Mindfulness simply means, “Observe things as they are.” We find this concept appearing in Scientology as OBNOSIS (observing the obvious) and AS-IS-NESS.

When this principle is applied in auditing, a “no reaction” should be observed as a “no-reaction” and no further action should be taken.

The 12 aspects of mindfulness are as follows:

  1. Observe without getting influenced by your expectations and desires.
  2. Observe things as they are, without assuming anything.
  3. If something is missing do not imagine something else in its place.
  4. If something does not make sense, do not explain it away.
  5. Use physical senses as well as the mental sense to observe.
  6. Let the mind un-stack itself.
  7. Experience fully what is there. 
  8. Do not suppress anything from yourself.
  9. Associate data freely.
  10. Do not get hung up on name and form.
  11. Contemplate thoughtfully.
  12. Let it all be effortless.

With mindfulness, a person can easily differentiate the mental reaction from the background noise even when it cannot be differentiated on the meter. He will know when there is no reaction.

When the person feels that there is no-reaction to a question or an item, he must not take it up, even when it reacts on the E-meter.

This enables a person to become free of the liability of the E-meter and audit himself much faster up the OT Levels.

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OT Levels

By the time the person reaches the OT Levels in Scientology, the auditing becomes so slow that these levels take years to complete. The person must note down all the meter reads and perform other administrative details in his solo auditing to be able to trace back any errors. This becomes a big distraction, but he is required to do it.

OT Level 1 attempts to broaden the viewpoint of a person by the use of OBNOSIS (observing the obvious), so the use of E-meter is minimal. But on OT Level 2, the E-meter is used heavily to flatten the reads on an incredible number of significances generated by large permutations and combinations of basic concepts. It is a grinding process.

When a read is generated by some emotional reaction or a misunderstood word then simply grinding that read down makes no sense. This makes OT Level 2 a shot gun method to handle some valid reactions on significances. But most of the time one seems to be chasing questionable reads on a whole lot of significances.

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Conclusion

The use of E-meter is increasingly unnecessary as one moves up the Grade Chart of Scientology. By the time one reaches the OT Levels, E-meter becomes more of a liability than aid. The E-meter should be replaced by the discipline of auditing as described above.

When the person feels that there is no-reaction to a question or an item, he must not take it up, even when it reacts on the E-meter.

This conclusion is vital when it comes to the OT Levels.

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OPERATING THETAN (in Scientology)

Hubbard defines “Operating Thetan” as “an individual who could operate totally independently of his body whether he had one or didn’t have one. He’s now himself, he’s not dependent on the universe around him.”

I have no idea how a person can operate without a body, unless he has just withdrawn into some imaginary make-believe world. He still has a body, but it seems that he is NOT-IS-ING it (denying it completely).

All “OTs” I have met around Scientology organizations had bodies. But they seemed to believe that they could cause phenomena across the world just by thinking, so they didn’t have to go there with their bodies. This is fascinating. It sounds like magic. It can best be compared to the belief like “accepting Jesus equals eternal life”. It is all in the mind.

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Exteriorization

The idea of Operating Thetan (OT) probably started with Hubbard noticing the phenomenon of exteriorization. He described it as, the state of the thetan, the individual himself, being outside his body. When this is done, the person achieves a certainty that he is himself and not his body.

According to Hubbard, thetan does not have a location, but he can postulate a location for himself.  This is consistent with looking at thetan as an approximation of the viewpoint of the person. So, a person gets a viewpoint that he is outside the body. He has simply changed his viewpoint from being inside the body. The person himself does not have a location. He is simply considering a location.

The reason “exteriorization” is such a big deal is that it is quite a striking phenomenon. It often occurs in dreams. It may also occur when one is apparently unconscious, as in near-death experiences. Such an experience, at times, is so vivid that it takes your breath away.

When we look for an explanation, we find that the viewpoint of a normal person is quite fixated on himself as a body. The person gets the biggest surprise of his life, when suddenly that viewpoint is no longer fixated, but frees up. He didn’t know that his viewpoint was fixated on his body all this time. So, it is a remarkably exhilarating experience for him.

Hubbard is correct in saying that exteriorization is based on the consideration of the person, but then he also says, “the person achieves a certainty that he is himself and not his body.” This is a curve thrown by Hubbard. The fact is that the body is very much part of the identity of the person, and it expresses his individuality. Therefore, the correct interpretation of this phenomenon is, “the person achieves a certainty that his viewpoint is no longer limited to himself and his body.”

It seems that, over time, Hubbard did come to believe that a person can really be outside his body, and that it is not just his consideration, or viewpoint. He starts to make distinction between spirit and body as two distinctly separate things, and not an integrated whole.

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Philosophical Underpinnings

Hubbard’s philosophy is based on the idea that thought is separate from the physical universe This idea was introduced by the Greeks.  It does not exist in Eastern philosophy. According to the VEDAS, physical and spiritual aspects exist in the same universe.

Therefore, the idea that spiritual and physical aspects of life represent two independent universes is an inconsistency. When you look at these two aspects to be integrated with each other, it becomes possible to find scientific explanations for psychic phenomena, such as, the feeling that somebody is looking at you from behind, or coincidences identified as telepathic communications.

The following conclusion appears to be more consistent.

The spiritual and physical aspects of life are integrated with each other. They are not separate and independent of each other as postulated by Greeks, the Western religions, and now, by Hubbard in Scientology.

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THETAN (in Scientology)

Hubbard believes, literally, that a person is separate from his body, while “living” in that body. When the body dies, the person survives quite intact. Hubbard identifies a person with this concept of THETAN and considers the THETAN to be immortal. The idea of THETAN is similar to the idea of SOUL in Christianity, except that, after the death of the body, the THETAN “goes to the nearest hospital” and picks up a new body. Thus, the person is reincarnated or reborn almost instantly (in a matter of days or, sometimes, months).

But Hubbard’s idea of THETAN is also different from the concept of ATMAN in the VEDAS and Hinduism. A THETAN is the specific individuality of the person, whereas, ATMAN is pure energy without identity or individuality. Upon death, the individuality of the person disintegrates the same way as body does. The atoms and molecules of a disintegrated body combine with similar particles from other disintegrated bodies to form a new baby body. Similarly, the disintegrated individuality as ATMAN combines with similar ATMANs from other disintegrated individualities to form a new baby individuality.

Thus, reincarnation in Vedic religions mean something very different from what Hubbard assumes. According to the VEDAS, there is no such thing as an immortal THETAN (individuality).

Hubbard assumes that a person, as a THETAN, is separate from the BODY it associates with. Thus, he may literally EXTERIORIZE from his living body. Permanent exteriorization occurs only at death. But then he goes and attaches himself immediately to a new baby body (re-interiorizes).

Basically, according to Hubbard, a person, as an individual, as a THETAN, is not part of the physical universe. Here again we find a literal separation of the physical universe from a spiritual (THETA) universe, which was first thought up by the Greeks. According to Hubbard, “A thetan is a static that can consider, and can produce space, energy and objects.”

Recently, in NEW ERA SCIENTOLOGY, the “reincarnation of LRH” made the following “discovery”:

“THE QUALITY AND CHARACTER OF A THETAN CONSISTS OF A THETAN’S WHOLE TRACK EXPERIENCE.”

All this adds up to the following:

In reality, THETAN simply refers to a person’s VIEWPOINT. The VIEWPOINT depends on the person’s past experience. It is different from person to person. This VIEWPOINT can improve or decline by moving up and down on the KNOW-TO-MYSTERY scale. When the VIEWPOINT rises up to KNOW on this scale, it becomes universally broad in nature. This may be referred to as the UNIVERSAL VIEWPOINT. Hubbard’s idea of STATIC is actually this UNIVERSAL VIEWPOINT. Attainment of this UNIVERSAL VIEWPOINT is the NIRVANA of Buddhism.

You may obtain an understanding of the Know-to-Mystery scale from Scientology Processes (Part 3).

The above explanation cuts through all the mystery that somehow has gotten associated with Scientology. It aligns well with revised SCIENTOLOGY FACTORS.

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STATIC (in Scientology)

The most fundamental concept in Scientology is STATIC. It is called STATIC because it has no motion. Hubbard defines STATIC as zero in terms of physical attributes. However, STATIC is not nothingness, because it has quality and ability. It simply has no quantitative factor. But STATIC can generate quantitative physical factors by considering them.

Here Hubbard is postulating quantity and quality to be literally separable. It is like literally separating software from hardware, or literally separating form from substance. I do not think that such separation can be observed in reality. Therefore, this is an inconsistency.

Hubbard’s postulate of STATIC is inherently inconsistent.

Such inconsistency does not exist in Buddha’s postulate of EMPTINESS, which is simply a theoretical reference point of “zero” for all phenomenon. The concept of EMPTINESS may be arrived at by following the process of “neti, neti” (neither this, nor that). Buddha does not call out EMPTINESS to be some actuality with ability. It is simply a theoretical reference point like “zero” in mathematics.

What Hubbard’s STATIC seems to be referring to is a viewpoint that has attained complete knowingness. I shall call it the UNIVERSAL VIEWPOINT. It is the broadest viewpoint that there is. It does not exclude anything from its consideration or examination.

When this viewpoint is attained by a human being, it is called NIRVANA. You do not have to be permanently separate from the body (like the way Hubbard postulates STATIC) to attain the UNIVERSAL VIEWPOINT obtained in NIRVANA. Buddha attained NIRVANA at the age of thirty-five, and he then lived to be eighty.

Hubbard’s STATIC could be an approximation of the UNIVERSAL VIEWPOINT obtained in NIRVANA.

Buddha thought like a scientist in the true sense, not restricting himself to the physical universe only. He considered the physical and spiritual aspects of life integrated into one universe.

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