By Lana M.

We place so much significance on our memory and on what we can remember. And society is always stressing that memory takes place in the brain, and thus when the brain ages, deteriorates or gets damaged, then one can no longer remember. But this is actually not the case.

It is a being’s ability to know and not-know, his ability to look at his own facsimiles, that is at play.

I used to find it fascinating that my former husband could recall long sequences of numbers with no problem – such as bank account numbers and long phone numbers. I seemingly could not do this, but I had no trouble recalling dates, which he seemed unable to do (no matter how many anniversaries or birthdays we had had together).

My mother has been concerned for years that she will end up with dementia, and now in her mid 70’s she has trouble grasping for familiar words, with a word on the tip of her tongue but seemingly not able to recall what the word is, or having a significant lag in being able to bring it to the front of mind. This worries her terribly.

In my auditing, over the years, I have found that my ability to know and not-know has been being rehabilitated (yes, including my capacity to recall number sequences). I know so much more about this life, and about prior lives. And I know about the future, and about the present. My concept of what ‘memory’ is has changed to a better understanding of what knowingness is.

I would love to know about other people’s experiences on the subject of knowing and not-knowing — on remembering and forgetting — on recall.

When auditing and training in Scientology, it is one of those areas that can often improve in subtle ways that we don’t routinely acknowledge, but it is one of just so many abilities that Scientology rehabilitates.

“It is a mechanism of thinkingness, whether one is postulating or receiving information, that one retain one’s ability to know. It is equally important that one retain one’s ability to not-know. Thought consists entirely of knowing and not knowing and the shades of gray between.

“You will discover that most people are trying not to remember. In other words, they are trying to not-know. Education can only become burdensome when one is unable to not-know it. It is necessary that one be able to create, to receive, to know and to not-know information, data and thoughts. Lacking any one of these skills, for they are skills, no matter how native they are to the individual, one is apt to get into a chaos of thinkingness or creatingness or livingness.

“You can look at any eccentric or aberrated person and discover rapidly, by an inspection of him, which one of these four factors he is violating. He either is unable to know or not-know his own created thoughts, or he is unable to know or not-know the thoughts of others. Somewhere, for some reason best known to him, in his anxiety to be part of the game he has shelved, lost, one of these abilities.

“Time is a process of knowing in the present and not-knowing in the future or the past. Remembering is the process of knowing the past; prediction is the process of knowing the future. Forgetting is the process of not-knowing the past, and living “only for today” is the process of not-knowing the future.

“Exercises in these various items rehabilitate not only the sanity or ability of the individual but his general capability in living and playing the game.” LRH, PAB 86, 29 May 1956

37 thoughts on “Know and not-know

  1. Actually, I would say that the major factor involved in all this is the willingness or unwillingness to take responsibility for what one knows/has experienced. This is one reason why it happens a lot to old people. At some point, most old people begin a long process of abandoning responsibility for these things. Naturally, Scientology can remedy this, as with most things, and as Lana points out.


  2. Good to know it can be a skill. My wife and I almost always do a crossword puzzle when sitting down for a meal. Sometimes we will do 3 of them a day. Now, erm…, what was I saying?

  3. I have thought about this myself recently Lana, in trying to recall my past. So I thought I would have to call up pictures to do that. But then I realised as a Clear I shouldnt have pictures, and sure enough, none present themselves, otherwise I get into having the 52 perceptics again and so start the whole bank thing all over again. Not smart!
    Its a new way (or old way) of thinking. So I have thought, in accordance with what I have learnt, that to know, is the way to go, and it seems to work. But pictures have a havingness, that is hard to let go of, and as Scientologists, used to the meter validating certain pictures, it stands to reason we should rely on them for our knowingness.
    I guess if we make them and KNOW we make them, then they cannot abberate. It is interesting though, how far the slippery slide of deciding to not know, to have a game, became automatic and led us on the dwindling spiral.
    I certainly have more to work out on this, and it will be interesting to find out, through the death of the body, or stable exteriorization, just what influence the body has and how much I will crave a game after death.
    My suspicion in pt, is that the tone of the thetan at death rockets up, if the death is a mild one, and he/she has mocked up the death in some form due to a body that can no longer operate properly .But the Thetan, then lacking theta abilities to adjust to higher wavelengths and operate as a thetan, becomes bored and wants to get back into the game. More to learn!

    • 4a it is so interesting to me. There is no effort or flow or even intention — there is just knowing. And the more one can trust what one knows, the easier it is.

      • LM and 4a:

        Let me echo what Lana is saying. What I said before about responsibility applies. But knowing does not require pictures. One can simply know. Neither to recall sensations, though that’s a harder one to wrap your wits around.

        One of my biggest problems, which Lana alludes to, is trusting what what one knows. This gets easier as you go up the Bridge. But at lower levels, it’s harder to say, “I know this, and I’m sure of it”. And I don’t know of a simple solution other than simply practicing.


        • Paul, you hit on an exact thing here: knowing what one knows. To be sure, the Little Pope of Scientology TOTALLY knows what he knows. Except for the fact that, beneath it all, he is also TOTALLY delusional. From my experience the only solution is processing. That said, that’s only what I know.

        • It is interesting that there seems to be a point where the philosophy makes a jump, and the thinking and operating basis of a thetan moves out of the mest universe. For me, the thought of severing those connections is somewhat scary.

          “One of my biggest problems, which Lana alludes to, is trusting what what one knows”

          So true SJ. It would be an interesting exercise to recall the times when one did/didnt follow ones knowingness, and what was the outcome. I do know of times I have had, what I thought were thoughts at the time, that turned out to be a knowingness, that has affected my life. Those “thoughts” were very clear and concise concepts.

          • 4a:

            Interestingly, many of my experiences like this involved things like “I guess it’s time to do X”. Then it turns out that if I hadn’t done X right then, it would have cost me, or I wouldn’t have gained a lot. (Example: selling my house, but just before I do, the market goes nuts, and I end up selling my house for many thousands more than I anticipated.) I mentioned this before in another comment on a different post. To the world at large, this looks like luck, but I don’t really believe in luck. And yet, I had no idea I was making a choice with such profound implications.

            Some of my worst and best choices were in choosing which women to make 2Ds with. Fortunately, I think I made that decision for the last time I’ll have to this lifetime about 27 years ago, and it was a good decision (don’t tell my wife that, though). 😉


  4. This is a very interesting topic and a VERY interesting discussion. I have been thinking about this subject on and off lately.
    …..At least I think I remember having done so. 🙂

    We’ve all (probably) walked into a room and then thought, ” what the heck did I come in here for? ” It is weird. I don’t know for sure why that happens, exactly. But I like to keep in mind that if one introverts on “why did that happen?” doing so soaks up even more attention units and makes it more likely for “that” to happen.

    I know that I am a thetan.
    I have demonstrated for myself that MY memories are not stored in the body. However, there is obviously interaction between me and my body, and I have considered the possibility that my body itself might sometimes notice and record things that I fail to notice (and vice versa). Not sure if this is true, but that might be an explanation for the phenomenon.

    Also, it is obvious that in the general population as the body ages, on average, short term memory decreases. I’ve even heard of this happening with people who are Clear and have done OT levels.

    I’m going to re-read all of PAB 86 that Lana quoted above when I have time. Maybe that actually explains it all. Meanwhile, if anyone has any thoughts or other references on the my comment, I’m all ears.
    ( . . )

    • SOLO NOTs has clarified so much for me in terms of what I had thought were my memories and what were something else.

      My ‘memory’ is improving, but I have found it is not what I earlier thought or understood ‘memory’ to be. It is the rehabilitation of my knowingness that is occurring.

    • ES:

      That’s what we call a “senior moment”. 😉

      Forgettingness is part of aging. It has to do with shedding responsibility for the stuff of this lifetime. I’m not saying it’s inevitable; I’m just saying that it’s common out in the world.

      One thing that can happen: thetan goes along, and lifetime after lifetime, he lives to about the same age. He gets used to that. Now along comes a lifetime where he’s surpassing that age. But he starts to experience the symptoms of aging at the time he would normally be dying, even though he’s nowhere near dying this lifetime. Habit.

      Interesting comment about the body remembering what the thetan isn’t paying attention to. I often wondered about that. I rather suspect the GE has its own bank going on. I think maybe the GE records everything, but I’m (thetan) more selective. I tend to draw a blank during times of injury, and it’s not from being engrammically anaten; rather, I tend to exteriorize when the body is about to get hurt (when I don’t prevent the injury in the first place), because I don’t like or want to experience the pain. The GE probably gets it full force, but I don’t.

      Another thing which has a profound effect on memory is the number of incomplete cycles of action one has at any given time. Really pile up the incomplete cycles, and you’ll see increasing forgettingness. Your attention units get splattered all over, encysted by incomplete cycles you’ve left all over the place. I’d venture that if you walk around and just tally up all the incomplete cycles you have around you (and you’ll be astounded by how many there are), and then put in some time every day getting them caught up, your memory will improve. It’s a matter of attention units.

      Agreed, interesting subject.


  5. Relevant to kids participating in today’s society: I was always baffled as to why school was so easy for me and such a burdensome chore to so many others. I never studied, never crammed, never worked hard at all, and yet made A’s whenever I felt like it. My process was simple – I would take in the data as it was presented, understand it, and know I knew it. When tests or class discussions came up, there was no stress, no anxiety, no trying to remember or worrying to get it right. I simply expressed what I knew. Easy.

    The only place I’d fall down in school was with homework. Who wants to waste time crafting some boring homework assignment when you could be out having fun? Fortunately, my teachers were usually so impressed with my other class contributions that they’d cut me some slack if I skimped on my homework!

    • Doggone It, great comment and just love it! It is funny looking also at the fact that we already have done the same schooling, over and over and over, life after life. Just the concept that we have to ‘relearn’ everything over for years is invalidating and enough to drive many to apathy.

      Rehabilitating our ability to know and not-know, under our own self-determinism gives us the capacity to choose our own games to play, rather than unwillingly playing a game set by others (or by the bank)

      • LM:

        Pity the children in this. I have a granddaughter who is about 5 and probably two grades ahead of her peers in terms of reading. But she will be crammed into a system which rigidly ignores what a child already knows and insists on a set schedule for learning X, Y and Z. There is very little tolerance in public schools for children learning at a rate they are comfortable with. Thus, there are children easily surpassed by the rest of the class, and those who are far beyond the rest of the class and must be made to wait. Both ends of the spectrum tend to exhibit behavioral problems, and only the center of the Bell curve gets along okay.

        This is one reason why the system of checksheeting and supervision developed by LRH is such a good idea. It allows for the variation of “talent” in learning. And for the slow students there are solutions like word clearing, study tech, KTL, etc.


    • Doggone It,
      That’s how I studied in school,too! …when I studied. 🙂
      I remember, on my own, reducing Plane Geometry down to about a dozen definitions which were the sole basis of most of my proofs. The teacher would complain that I didn’t use the textbook’s proofs or most of the theorems in the book, even as he admitted that my proofs were correct. Like you, I got A’s on every test and quiz. Also, like you, I did no homework. Unfortunately, my teacher was less interested than yours in his students actually understanding the material, so he factored in zero points for homework against my test grades and gave me a C. Oh well. At least I have a good understanding of Geometry.
      I feel the same way. If one truly understands something, there is nothing to remember because one KNOWS it.

      • ES:


        I’ve had teachers “ding” me for the same reasons. (But I did do my homework.) Geometry was a lot more interesting and intuitive for me than I thought it would be. And when I later encountered trigonometry (a natural follow-on to geometry) and analytic geometry (after Algebra II), I was right at home. In certain respects, even calculus was made easier by my grasp of geometry.


    • DI:

      Wow! You and I are like twins! The one or two times I tried to cram just made things much worse. I, too, paid attention in class and made good grades, without a lot of strain. In fact it drove some people in my classes to dislike me, because they had to work so hard to get the same grades. (What a horrible waste of time and energy– to dislike someone else, just because they manage a task more easily than you do!)

      I don’t now about you, but one of the things I had going for me was the “depth” at which I learned. I was always interested in what the most basic information was in any subject, and how the data I was now learning was related to the basics. I wasn’t just interested in the random facts. I was interested in the “how” and “why” of those particular facts. Seeing how it all related together made it all make more sense to me.

      (Interestingly, in my later years learning physics, I had some difficulty. Why? Because I knew certain “facts” were not true. And they hit up against the “fixed data” of what I already knew (doubtless from prior track)).

      This was one of the reasons I never did that well in history. It’s normally taught as a series of dates and events which are really of no use to anyone. It should be taught in terms of what lessons can be learned from events, and how those events influenced future events. But it was never taught (to me at least) with that emphasis.


      • Oh yes! Learning depth. Looking back, I think that was probably another bafflement for me – why other’s didn’t see that Points D, E and F followed naturally from Points A, B and C. Too bad I didn’t know about word clearing and doing demonstrations, I probably could have helped a lot of my classmates.

    • Doggone,
      I didn’t do homework either, and like you, I found school relatively easy. I had two puzzles in all of the schooling I did which hung me up until I eventually went back and found the words I didn’t get. The entirety of that education is now available.

      Some years back I decided to try out the Four Postulates (Not Know/Know – Remember/Forget). Rather than try to remember things, I “not-knew” this and that. Reading this discussion it occurs to me that my awareness of those things is simply there – I don’t “remember” various data or go through an effort type thing to know what it is I want to be aware of – I just have it available to know or not.

      I didn’t notice this until just now.

  6. What has been happening to me is that my memory is slowly failing, but I also know that I only have a hard time remembering stuff that really isn’t important to me, like actors names, or sports figures names. But ask me for something that happened to me 25 years ago, I have a crystal clear memory of it. I think it is a matter of letting go of the trivia which I so prided myself in. Check it out – people with “memory problems” will and can remember, with crystal clear clarity, important times of their lives with little or no effort.
    I audited a lady who was alive in Germany in WWII, and ran out incidents of American planes bombing her city with stunning detail. But she often forgot names of those around her.

    ML Tom

    • Tom,
      Yeah, that’s sort of what I was trying to get across – minutiae. When I worked at “remembering” these little details, I had a cat-and-mouse chase around. Some time since I figured “who cares” and causitively not-knowed these type of things just for a gag and to check out that process of “Not Know” on the postulate series.

      Looking it over now, I seem to be able to have the minutiae just sort of “pop up” when I want them, as well as my awareness of whole track has come up without any effort at it. No big deal, but fun to play around with.

      • Tom and Jim,
        there may be other factors in it as well, like ARC.
        “Now, I don’t want you to get an extreme idea about two-way communication. There have been many examples of this. I don’t want you to get this idea that two-way communication is common, commonplace, is undertaken, is done, and so forth, amongst men. Because to do so would be a lie. But you, as auditors, are pretty well trained by social usage and action throughout most of your lives to believe that you are communicating with human beings, and I wish at this moment to knock that now. It is highly improbable that you have communicated actually and accurately on a two-way basis with more than one or two people in your entire lives. Now, you can tell me who these people are right now.
        Two-way communication has to embrace a certain amount of understanding. The fundamental parts of understanding are A-R-C. If you were really in two-way communication with anybody, it would be denoted solely by this fact: you right now can think – if you’ve ever been in two-way communication in this lifetime with anybody – you can think of somebody with some affection. Now, if there’s any person right now that you can think of, in your whole life, with some affection and an affectionate feeling right at this moment, you have been in two-way communication with that person.
        And you will note as you remember this person that there are a great many things that you can remember about this person, and a great many things that they have said would come rather rapidly into mind. I do not say that you have had such a person in your lifetime, necessarily. Because it is not a common thing in man in this twentieth century to be in good communication anyplace. But real good communication is a lot different than what you think of as communication. Do you follow me? Good communication is a lot different than your casual and common experience with education and communication – lot different.
        So, the possible high of a two-way communication may or may not have been attained by you sometime in this lifetime, but if you can think of any person you have known in this lifetime with some affection, then you are approaching a good two-way communication with that person.
        Now, am I putting the point across to you? Now, isn’t it odd and peculiar that with such a person you would have a considerable recall on – if you thought it over for a moment – on what they’d said and what you’d said to them, and so forth. You’d have quite a recall; quite a lot of stuff there.”
        1 November 1954, Two-Way Communication

  7. “The mind, then, is a bridge between the spirit and the body, and the mental-image pictures formed by a thetan added to and confused with the mental-image pictures formed by the body is usually how a thetan stays in a head. He confuses the two and therefore demonstration of past existences by running somebody “back down on the time track” and having him look at a picture is not very convincing. He has always had some unreality about it, has no recognition of having ever been anything else before.

    The restoration of memory to one of these beings is of great interest to us, since all that is really wrong with him is that things have happened to him which he knows all about but won’t let himself in on. Therefore the restoration of memory is done as a matter of course in almost any processing, and in view of the fact that it is part of any processing, it is impossible today to process somebody, well and expertly, without having him sooner or later get some sort of a recall on a past existence with some small reality.

    An individual’s own will has a great deal to do with this. One should not look for outside sources as to why his memory is shut off. Just as he must grant permission to be trapped, so must he grant permission to be made to remember. He is more or less convinced that a memory would cause him to re-experience the pain he already feels has been too much for him. He is very reluctant to face up again to this mechanism, and facing death, he almost always goes into a bit of amnesia.

    The fact that one has lived before is so restrained that it itself is the reason why it is forgotten. The unpopularity of it in other ages and this one brought about a forgetter mechanism which causes an occlusion on the subject of death. The fact that one cannot talk about it is enough, all by itself, to continue to cause the forgetter mechanism.” LRH (PAB 130, “Death”)

  8. Also, from the Technical Dictionary:

    BAD MEMORY, 1. accumulated occlusion of it all, but it’s nevertheless nonconfront. (SH Spec 72, 6607C28) 2. interposed blocks between control center and facsimiles. (HFP Gloss) See also AMNESIA.

    AMNESIA, a guy who is so spooked that he doesn’t dare remember ten seconds ago. He has had some experience earlier than which he is not going to remember, including the experience, so he’s only willing to remember some moment after that experience. (SH Spec 72, 6607C28)

  9. Your poor mum. I know that worry which comes for so many when visited with age and the apparent shutting down of consciousness and physical strength. My dad died a few years ago. He perceived a certain mental augury which played on his mind as well, making things difficult for him but which he had to put away. As an OT, he faced his end with that dignified demeanour that can only come from a resolute Certainty of what lies ahead and how he could best prepare.

    Rather like you, I have had to reassess various essential components in my Knowingness since slipping away from the Church. I came to realise I had been misusing my memory. If I couldn’t remember that I had already been given three different dates about the Ideal Org, I wouldn’t have to say anything, right? There were lots and lots of things like that, and worse. As a direct result of my bad memory, I lost by ability to confront and slowly also began losing my integrity.

    It wasn’t until I slipped under the radar that I saw how much energy I had put into employing my memory as a mechanism to not know. Once I put my attention on that misplaced energy accumulation, it began to as-is. It started slow but before long my Knowingness was having a super-nova experience. Great vast swathes of previously stable data gathered over nearly 30 years have been swept aside in just one tenth of that time.

    These days, I differentiate between Certainty and Knowingness. No longer will I accept the primacy of my own “self-determined knowledge” over the Certainty which can be obtained by the pooling and collective testing of data. I treasure my memory and the contribution it makes to my Certainty. I also treasure and work hard to strengthen my willingness to know. My ability to not know is taking a few years off as I re-train myself to confront.

    • I didnt really get caught up in the hype of the ideal org rubbish. There is a datum in the PDCs where LRH talks about universes and that person who creates the universe gets to make the rules about it. I knew the Ideal Org universe game was not for me, whether right or wrong, I didnt care, I was perfectly happy for those playing in that game to do well and hoped they would. I never thought to really question it though!

      The problem with that game, as we have all come to know, is that it distracts from what LRH actually wanted, the products of an org, well trained students and winning pcs and it is only since getting out, with the state of the orgs as they are, that I can see that that product is now possible and in fact is happening. I do hope the Orgs can get back on track.

      As I see it, many of us have been remiss in some degree regarding KSW 1, and the lack of confront that entails, and its been the failure of applying it that has lead us to this sorry state Scientology is in today.

      Congratulations Fiona, on your great wins!

  10. 4a: “As I see it, many of us have been remiss in some degree regarding KSW 1, and the lack of confront that entails, and its been the failure of applying it that has lead us to this sorry state Scientology is in today.”

    Exactly. As has been said, do not send for whom the bell tolls….

    “Any thetan has the potentiality of doing anything to correct anything anywhere, and he knows it. And what he does every day is the sin of omission in that he doesn’t straighten it all out.

    True recovery of one’s beingness goes along with one’s realization that he has been the cause of any difficulty he has ever had.” LRH

    (This last paragraph I have pinned up on my wall above my computer. I see it every day.)

    • Chris,
      That last bit is something I’ve just recently had a real jump in awareness regarding. Studying the materials from the 6th London ACC up through the 1st St Hill ACC (this is all late 59, early 60) Ron has gone on to research and discovery on OT. He’s defined it as Cause, so the route to that cause is being worked. That’s come up with the use of “admit causing, able to withhold” as a workable definition of “responsibility”.

      So, while studying this material, I did the usual action of viewing it for myself, looking it over and seeing if it was real to me. In that exercise parts of track that had been shut off started to open up and the shift in things was noticeable. Even after doing the FPRD, all forms, given and received, it became apparent to me that those areas I wasn’t admitting cause over where now coming up with big changes in awareness and a recognition of cause.

      This one area, that of responsibility for one’s own state of being, the recognition of doing, the ability to withhold doing, is a key part of attaining OT. Only thing is, it obviates all the motivator bits, the victimhood. Getting over that hump is a large step on the road.

      • Jim: “Getting over that hump is a large step on the road.”

        It certainly is, Jim, but it’s a beautiful road after that. I don’t recall when, but at some point I had that shift in viewpoint and ever since I’ve been clawing and scraping and pulling myself out of the muck as I move towards that goal. Been some tough slogging, but it’s been great nonetheless.

        As to that key part in attaining OT, you’re right. And here’s what Ron had to say on that:

        “The composition of what is an overt act contains omission seldom looked at, it’s omission…..not to do things for the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics.

        That becomes an overt act; and one cannot maintain his freedom in the face of an overt act of that magnitude.

        A guy will only go as OT as he is responsible and can accept the definition of an overt.

        There is no other barrier to OT.” (from “The Free Being” lecture, SHSBC 6307C09)

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