Gold Meritorious Patron
To really get the mindset of a Scientologist, one has to fully appreciate something that is not obvious from reading all of Hubbard's materials.
As Scientologists go "up the Grade Chart" they become more and more subjectively oriented and this culminates on OT III through OT VII where they are looking in their own minds (solo auditing) and talking to themselves, essentially.
This sounds obviously nutty to any normal person, but there is an inordinately huge value Scientologists place on "their universe". That term and concept in all it's conjugations (e.g. "my universe" et al) is perhaps the most precious one in all of Scientology because it symbolically represents the ascendance of the spirit out of the physical universe. The book title 8-8008 refers to the reduction of the "MEST Universes" power to zero and the rise of the person's own universe to infinity.
Scientologist become hyper-aware of their own thoughts and many of those are just intuitive impressions (akin to a mild hallucination) which they assign to something called "knowingness". This may sound terribly confused and it is--however, this manner of thinking is cultivated and practiced until Scientologists are living in their own day dreams and spouting off incessantly about what is "real in their universe".
It is somewhat hard to describe unless you have had a fair number of conversations with OTs, but what you come to learn is that they are forever fine-tuning their "perception" of all the many fleeting and random thoughts and impulses that run through their mind. They pride themselves on being so "aware" but what they are aware of is internally generated and based ideas. If you talk to an OT they will appear fairly normal except for the subtle "tell" that they are also talking to themselves at the same time and getting feedback on their "knowingness".
Jesus, this is much harder to describe than I expected! LOL
Let's have another try, shall we? By the time an OT is solo auditing on OT III or OT VII they have learned to mentally live within the millions of meaningless micro-thoughts that the mind generates and they believe themselves to have extraordinary spiritual skills with which to interpret and translate what they are "picking up". Think psychic advisor who just spews out a stream of "impressions" that they are channeling from another dimension. They have certainty that they are picking out the right messages from beyond as they rummage around their own minds in a deeply introspective state.
Scientologists cherish and admire the ability to be so aware of "their own universe" and they are actively seeking to make their own universe more real than the physical universe. This is by Hubbard's design and it is tantamount to training an individual to repetitively look inward until they become delusional.
That's what Scientologists are--delusional. They worked very, very hard to gain that "advanced ability".
Well, anyways, that's what's real to me in my own universe. LOL
You know, HH, I think I can sign off this message board, because with that post I have grokked much of what I came here to grok.
I have, through my various career incarnations, spent a little time in central nervous system agents. One would expect that from someone who worked on Chemical Weapons defense, right? Well, in the course of digging into that, I digressed into studying pain sensations.
I'm about to say something that's bound to piss a number of people off, so please read to the end of this post before responding. I believe that the group of people I'm about to describe has a very real condition and very real pain sensations. I am not negating their experience at all. I am trying to get at the underlying biological mechanism, and I'm going to reference a person who does not take this group of people very seriously. I DO NOT SHARE THAT ATTITUDE.
I have a friend who is a physician. Well, I have lots of friends who are physicians, some of whom I went to undergrad with, watched them party, helped them with their homework, and would never let them near me in a million years.
OK, I digress. This friend sees a lot of patients with Fibromyalgia. Anyone here familiar with that syndrome? It's a somewhat poorly defined constellation of symptoms that includes non-specific widespread pain. It also includes localized pain in a number of tender points that appear at remarkably reproducible areas in the body. In fact, until 2010, in order to be properly diagnosed with Fibro, a patient had to show pain in at least 11 of the 18 tender points*. It's the reproducibility of those spots on the body that makes me believe this is a real syndrome.
Back to the point, my friend says he's rather see patients with lupus or other "real" diseases, because the Fibro patients are, in his words, "nuts". I've done some interviews with a number of Fibro sufferers, and know a few IRL, and while I don't share his dismissive assessment, I can see where he's coming from.
Almost every Fibro patient I've known is a bit of a whinger. (And here is where I piss someone off. PLEASE KEEP READING).
Despite this fact, I don't think Fibro is all in the head. If I had chronic pain for years, especially pain that no one could identify and many dismissed as malingering, I'd be a bit of a whinger, too.
But the fact remains, that many Fibro patients have a bit of a low threshold for life's downs. This also is true of irritable bowel syndrome, and hey surprise, surprise, Fibro has a huge comorbidity with IBS.
Some of the basic science researchers I've talked to put this down to a phenomenon similar to the one called "wind up". When a nerve fires a signal, that signal is pretty small. The nervous system has an amplifier in it to get the brain to pay attention to that tiny electrical jolt from the peripheral pain nerve. If over-stimulated chronically, the amplifier starts to malfunction, and tiny stimuli send off pain signals, resulting in hyperalgesia and allodynia.
Fibro and IBS patients, according to some of the guys I talked to, have an abnormally large amplifier in their system for certain stimuli (including nerves that bundle in those tender points for Fibro, and nerves in the gut for IBS). If you take a poll of the gen pop and the Fibro / IBS pop, you will find pretty much the same symptoms and frequency in both sets of people. For example, IBS is characterized by alternating constipation and loose stools - but for pretty much everyone a constipatory episode is often followed by a looser-than-normal movement.
But because the gain is turned way up in these people, what barely registers to a normal person is perceived as a painful episode. And it is real. ALL pain is in your head.
But because this ramped up normal signal often translates into irritability and whining in everyday life, these people are often dismissed as malingerers. And that must piss them the hell off, because chronic pain is no joke.
So now, thanks to HH, I have a much better handle on the "how" question that I've been puzzling over for over 20 years. I thought that I'd never get it if I never went into $CN, and there is no fucking way I'm ever going to do that, so I thought the ultimate cog was going to be beyond my grasp. But I think I now grok a significant chunk (though by no means all) of the experience.
Hubbard has you spend most of your time on the Bridge turning up the gain on the noise that accompanies the signal of conscious thought. The random, fleeting urge to throw yourself off a bridge. The maybe less fleeting urge to strangle your spouse or your kid.
Shit like this flies through everyone's head. Masturbatory impulses - making that a crime was a stroke of fucking genius. All kinds of weird thoughts. Most of us ignore or rapidly shitcan them.
But $cienos turn up the gain. And frankly, it's probably something akin to the beginning stages of schizoaffective disorder- listening to all the transient noises in your head, and turning your attention to them all the time, increases the strength of the noise signal. Until you either blow or let the noise drown out the real signal like Hubbard shrieking at his BTs in the Bluebird.
Thanks, HH. I didn't expect to come to a cog like this so soon after joining this board.
* Unfortunately, the 2010 criteria removed that requirement for diagnosis, and I fear Fibro will become a "garbage can" indication docs will use when the patient's illness beats their pair of jacks. But billing code idiocy is another rant for another day on a different forum.