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religious-rituals

By Jim Logan

Over the past little bit I made the effort to read the Bhagavad-Gita (derivation: Bhag “god” or the “lord” the “supreme” and gita – the song or the song of the supreme). This is a part of the canon of what Western Indologists of the 19th Century named “Hinduism” and what is called Sanatana Dharma (eternal- truths/principles) in Indian religious philosophy. From there I studied Robert E. Hume’s materials on the Upanishads (down-near-beside, “upa” “ni” “shad” or the “secret doctrine, the esoteric doctrine communicated to those seated near beside, of the Vedas – ancient Indian “veda/knowledge”). These materials expound on and reveal the meanings of the Vedas and encompass some of the most fundamental truths of life. I read several of his translations and one other translated by another, Max Muller.

I then started to read Siddhartha Gautauma’s Buddhism* and the multifaceted branches of texts and interpretations of his teaching, first written down some hundreds of years after he’d left that body. Apparently, the Buddha had studied the Vedas and wisdom of India as a young man, so there is a thread of continuity in the materials and study of the one enhances the context of the other I found.

What Gautauma was supposed to have done is, following a life of luxury, then extreme austerity to the point of near death, he sat down and was able to just be there and confront the myriad experiences, including his own consciousness and mental states and eventually came to cognition that HE was not all the things that he looked at, thought about, created, avoided, held onto, and had become in varying degree.

He was an “emptiness” a “nothingness” and all the rest was a “somethingness”.

His “not-self” included the assumed identities, the entirety of created somethings.

He apparently was able to look, more or less as a Static and able to separate out from all the considerations and postulates and opinions about the products of life, of the Static. He, apparently very much aware of awareness, differentiated perception as “consciousness” from that ability to create something to be conscious of and recognized it would seem, the source of the “woiks” to speak colloquially. (That’s my understanding applying the materials of Scientology – knowing how to know – to my study of these data and translating the basics of Buddhism as apparently relayed by the Buddha to his followers.)

*Aside from the very, very basic material of the Four Noble Truths of the Buddha, among other materials I read two of the texts of one of the “baskets” of materials – that is, two of the texts from the “Abhidharma” basket/collection (Pitaka in Pali) or “about the dharma/truths” that is part of the canon of various of the branches of Buddhist schools. I am by no means either a scholar of the huge body of work of the many branches of the religious philosophy and practice that is modern or ancient Buddhism, or a Buddhist so please, I mean no offense to one or the other if I have suggested something that doesn’t coincide with either one or the other’s understanding of the broad work that comprises the many, many schools of thought in Buddhism, (or Hinduism for that matter).

Something I realized as I was reading these materials, which is actually mentioned in many places in the same bodies of work, is that while there are countless rituals described, and countless more made up and part of very many different schools of practice of these data, there is the awareness that a being can by-pass all this ritual and attain to states of knowing that are the aim of the myriad forms. The Buddha himself sat down under a tree and after a lot of hours, days, weeks, he had attained quite the cognition, after all. He didn’t require umpty-ump vias or rituals or “forms”.

As it happens, while continuing my study of the St. Hill Special Briefing Course I came to a tape recorded on 19 September 1961, Q&A Period- PreHav, Sec Checks, ARC Break Process and came across some data applicable to my realization about all the “rituals” associated with not only the two religions I’d been looking at, but very much related to my own experience as a Scientologist in present time.

Here’s some of the communication from this tape, from Ron Hubbard:

“So what the hell, you don’t monkey around with a bunch of forms. You know, “If you just swing that incense pot, you know, you swing that incense pot, and if the people down there in the choir box all say, ‘Ohm, mani padme hum, mea culpa’ at the right time, you know, you’ll get Clears.” Well, let me tell you, they’ve been swinging incense pots and saying “mea culpa” for two thousand years and we got – haven’t got Clears. We got something else. Right?

“So you go putting ritual ahead of getting auditing done and you will always be wrong!

“Now, there are times to use good form, and that’s when everything is sailing along fine. Anybody can use right form. But I will say something about my ancient familial lineage and my dear cousins, the British. They very often continue to use form when they ought to be doing something else. And this has been a failure, hasn’t it? You look down the line. That’s just a failure. They’re going to do it this way when they ought to be doing something, right now, desperately. You got the idea?

“Form can get in your road. Form gets – got in the road of Roman administration. It’s gotten so much in the road of American administration today that if the form of asking their wife that night isn’t obeyed by the American diplomat attending the conference, of course – he, of course, can’t have anything to say in the next day’s conference.”

“Now, that’s simply beside the point. I’m giving you a little bit of a roasting. And the roasting is this: That if you go around thinking form is going to get you out of trouble, but you should be getting out of trouble by wit, you’re going to be wrong. Always put getting the job done ahead of doing it according to the rules. Because the rules will only fit the majority of cases. But remember the majority of cases leave a minority that the rules don’t handle. Always the case.

 “You’ve always got to remember that no matter how much you know about auditing, how many rules you have learned about auditing, how disciplined you get, how you can finally get to a point of where you put the key in the chest and wind yourself up, and then run for two hours, that you’re going to run into situations which that will not get you out of. Because you are disciplined, because you are well trained, because you do know what you’re doing, you can keep your wits about you when anybody else would have gone to hell in a balloon. But that you can do that, does not excuse you from using your noggin. It doesn’t excuse you for a moment for not being clever, for not realizing and reading the handwriting on the wall.”

Carrying on with what LRH has stated above, this is applicable not only to auditing and the fallacy of GAT, I or II, but also to the situation many Scientologists find themselves in relation to GAT, I or II and as well the administration by David Miscavige of the Church of Scientology and his view of Scientology itself.

There are many a Scientologist who are hamstrung, tied up and fettered in doing something about what they observe as outpoints in the administration, by the rituals that are the Ethics/Justice policies of Scientology. They can’t commit “high-crimes” and speak up about DM or any of the multifarious illogics they encounter from the top down to their very own interview with some bat-witted MAA at Flag asking them about whether or not they wore a towel in the sauna or exposed their bum to some innocent passerby.

Instead, they’ll sit in the situation of having as a resolution to the issues at hand, the “following of policy” which indeed is not policy at all, but a ritual, a “form” that is in the way of being effective and which Ron Hubbard himself, in that very same policy says “DON’T DO”. He also very clearly says the same thing in this tape.

I faced the same dilemma some years back after following assiduously the policy on A-E and over more than a decade and a half came to the point where I’d finished the steps, had it stated so in writing from the IJC, and then was refused restoration to good standing and assigned arbitrarily invented steps from F-J. I ended at J and resolved my dilemma.

I decided to continue to be a Scientologist, study, audit, disseminate and carry on without need of the “license” to survive that David Miscavige refused to provide. I spoke out then about the crazy-wide departures from Scientology that he perpetrates and have continued to do so. I have according to some pedantic idiocy, committed “high-crimes” in my actions it would appear to whomever.

Alas, I have forsaken“ritual” and eliminated vias galore and become more effective. Just like Ron Hubbard recommends. In that time I’ve completed auditing from Clear up to Solo NOTs, studied and restudied thousands of lectures, honed my skills as an auditor and am well on my way to finishing the Briefing Course after all these years, audited a whole bunch, trained others and have done more Scientology in these past 8 years than I’ve ever done.

I heartily encourage other Scientologists (particularly those “on the fence” or “under the radar”) to follow his lead and rather than slave to some “ritual” some “form”, actually DO real Scientology and be effective with this incredible body of work. It’s really, way, way more fun and gets one and his Dynamics further on down that road.

P.S. I also built my own cabin in the woods and spent this last summer getting it ready to be enjoyed by many of my friends and of course my lovely Lana and the boys. Yay! I sure hope to see many others there and have and will work to have a safe place where maybe you too can come, ease up, study, audit and even go fishing. Or simply be there and do nuttin’, as you please.

21 thoughts on “Ritual

  1. Great post Jim. Here’s a guy who seems to me to be saying something similar. I get his posts through Facebook
    “The aim of spiritual practice is to discover in your own present experience that which the movement of thought never touches. This does not mean to suppress the thinking mind, nor does it mean to attempt to understand by using thought. What I am pointing toward is the Unknown: the already ever-present, silent, still source that not only precedes thought but surrounds it. You must become more interested in the Unknown than in that which is known. Otherwise, you will remain enslaved by the very narrow and distorted perspective of conceptual thinking. You must go so deeply into the Unknown that you are no longer referencing thought to tell you who and what you are. Only then will thought be capable of reflecting that which is true, rather than falsely masquerading as truth.”
    ~ Adyashanti
    The Impact of Awakening

    • Though I have seen some of his stuff before, briefly as part of my own browsing around, I’ve only just now following reading your comment gone ahead and looked at some of the material in Adyashanti’s various quotes. His website with those quotes sure seems to express to me as you remark the “similarity”. One of the last ones mentions Ramana Maharshi.

      Sometime ago, I read Ramana’s own account of his first going Ext in that life time and though the circumstances of his were a bit different ( I didn’t mock up the body dead as he did) my own first exteriorization following the first auditing I got in this life and the experience of leaving the body, awareness of the falsity of it as “me”, of all that mind/valences/other stuff as “not-me” either and the complete change in my being and awareness of my actual Static-ticity sure sounds similar too.

      I read every one of the short quotes of Adyashanti that he provided and throughout rang the same truths I am referring to in the Opening Piece, the bodies of work of the East. LRH remarks on these same materials in many places. One clear place is within the Phoenix Lectures on the background of Scientology.

      If I were to evaluate the importance of Scientology relative to these bodies of truth, I would point to the techniques of the auditing session, the disciplines of how auditing is done accompanied by the exact processes that won through and are the Bridge and what we refer to as the “Tech”, has for me meant the difference.

      We are so rich in knowledge. Practicing it well spreads the richness around 🙂

  2. Incredibly good writing! Gives peace of mind and bring back the atmosphere of Scientology. Now, that’s some purpose to have in life. To attain such a spiritual state that YOU can create your own safe and peaceful environment where to invite others to do the same.

  3. Excellent post Jim!! and you are so right. Dave has tried to pidgeon hole Scns into a form of sort of clones, when in reality, it is hard to find more different and interesting characters than Scientologists, who should be let loose!

    I am reminded of the PL “What we expect of a Scientologist” and yes, the “Service PL”.

  4. This touches on several points. In (I believe) The Story of Dianetics and Scientology, Ron attributes to Gautama Siddhartha that he said that it was necessary to “conceive mind essence”. And then warns against it, saying something along the lines of “… and you’ve had it. Just ask those who tried.” Siddhartha, however sincere, failed because he did not create a Technology for liberation. Thus it was left to Ron to do, at the precise time in history (we have printing presses, electricity and meters) when it was possible to do so.

    As for ritual, this was a fundamental point of magic and alchemy. There was a time in history on this planet, apparently, where magic was far more common than now. But a fundamental aspect of magic was rituals, which were more or less vias used to decorate the simple exercise of intention. Completely unnecessary, but more or less like the flourishes and gesticulations of the “magicians” of today. Ritual made the raw exercise of intention appear more esoteric and unachievable than it truly is.

    “Ritual” has the liability of making practitioners lazy over time. They begin to go rote. Ron was averse for many years to the handing out of exact commands for processes, for this reason. He wanted auditors to know enough and be practiced enough and expert enough to be able to think with what they knew and simply ask the appropriate questions of their PCs. Ultimately, though, Ron relented, and began doling out questions for each process, to be asked by the auditor.

    The idea of VWD and WD also figure into this. There are times when an auditor simply has to step sideways from the C/S in order to get a process to bite on a PC (infrequently) or to make progress. A VWD as a session grade is given out if the C/S was precisely followed and the predicted success results. But if an auditor has to deviate in order to make progress (use his wits) and the result is the original intended success, a grade of WD is given out instead. This recognizes that the auditor attained the proper result, but did so in a manner not advised by the C/S.

    In later lectures and bulletins, Ron emphasized the “rituals” of each level of auditing (translation: processes). But in earlier days (as the above quoted Briefing Course lecture states) he emphasized the intention of the auditor as regards the session and the PC, and the use of the auditor’s “wits” in attaining results. The message was more or less, “Don’t get so caught up in all the niceties of process commands and meter reading and such that you don’t actually look at the PC and their bank.” Interestingly enough, this even shows up in meter reading. A floating needle is not an F/N if the PC’s indicators are out. It is, instead, an ARCX needle. You actually have to look at the PC to know what to call the needle phenomenon.

    Ron even echoed this in the realm of policy. His warning was not to give policy so much importance that it got in the way of getting the job done. If policy was somehow getting in the way, abandon it in favor of what actually would fulfill the purpose and achieve the goal. Learn the policy, yes. Learn the job and purpose. And follow the policy where possible. But the senior datum was to get the job done. You get a better sense of his feelings along these lines when you complete the OEC and study the FEBC, which is more or less like the Class VIII course for admin.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve studied many technical fields and found the same to be true there as well. Teaching someone the steps to take to do something is necessary. However, if that’s all they learn, they are only half way there. They must know the key data of the field and how to think with them, so that they know why the procedures are what they are. Otherwise, all you have is a trained robot. Robots are good mainly for assembly lines, not for real life. Witness GAT.

    Paul

    • “The idea of VWD and WD also figure into this. There are times when an auditor simply has to step sideways from the C/S in order to get a process to bite on a PC (infrequently) or to make progress. A VWD as a session grade is given out if the C/S was precisely followed and the predicted success results. But if an auditor has to deviate in order to make progress (use his wits) and the result is the original intended success, a grade of WD is given out instead. This recognizes that the auditor attained the proper result, but did so in a manner not advised by the C/S.”

      Huh? What reference is this from, Paul? First off, one doesn’t “step sideways from the C/S” as that would be C/Sing in the chair, very poor form. Perhaps you meant that the auditor had to vary the command or question? Or use a correction list? I’m not sure, but one doesn’t deviate from the C/S; if one finds the C/S unworkable, one ends session and gets a new C/S (C/S Series 1).

      As to session grading, C/S Series 16 defines WD as:

      “A “well done” to an auditor requires a precise meaning. It is not given by the C/S because an auditor is a friend or because he would be offended if he didn’t get one.

      “WELL DONE” GIVEN BY THE C/S FOR A SESSION MEANS THE PC HAD F/N VGIs AT THE EXAMINER IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE SESSION.”

      A VWD as a session grade is defined as:

      An auditor gets a “VERY WELL DONE” when the session by worksheet inspection, Exam Report inspection is:

      1. F/N VGIs at Examiner.
      2. The auditing is totally flubless and by the book.
      3. The whole C/S ordered was done without departure and to the expected result.”

      “In order to make Scientology work, it is necessary to hold a standard and this standard must be held very relentlessly. And unless all the actions and all the various techniques applied can be held to a standard of rendition, then Scientology doesn’t work; Scientology doesn’t work if it’s badly done. In other words, the disciplines of Scientology are fully as important as the thoughts or discoveries of Scientology.” LRH

      • CB:

        To those assembled, my apologies. Chris is more highly trained than I am, and has references he has readily quoted to back up his assertions. So please accept his assertion and ignore mine.

        That said, I still believe I am correct. And if I dig up the references, I will post them and restate my position. Until then, assume Chris is correct.

        Cheers,

        Paul

        • Paul and Chris,
          Here’s a quote that meets in the middle and communicates what I was trying to get at – too much attention on ritual leaves the person omitting to actually audit the person and get ‘er done.

          “The fellow who keeps hammering in there about perfection all the time – you know, they’ve got to have – the auditor who sits there saying, “Well, I’m – now I’ve got to get this acknowledgment across. Well, what am I going to do? Well, let’s see now, I had better get this order across to him. Now, let’s see, was that too Tone 40? No, I guess that wasn’t too Tone 40. Figure-figure-figure-figure-figure-figure-figure-figure-figure-figure.” See, he isn’t auditing the pc. See?

          “And I would rather you did a personalized job on the pc first and a technical perfection second. You got the idea? And then all of a sudden you’ll get some horrendous win or other, you’ll find out you can do it and then you’ll find out that it’s very easy.

          “The wrong way to you can go at this, you know. You can say, “You have got to be perfect before you can do anything for the pc,” and you sit there giving a session being too perfect and then nothing happens with the pc. But of course, you aren’t auditing the pc, you’re auditing your own auditing. You see how that can work?

          “No, audit the pc. The pc comes first. And all you want is a majority of rightness, that’s all. Just be right more often than you’re wrong and you’ll get there. It’s as simple as that. It’s the percentages. Auditing – the percentages are rather cruelly high. You have to be about 92 percent right. Life you only have to be 51.”
          Smoothness of Auditing, lecture of 21 September 61.

          • Add this bit to the above quote from the same tape, in sequence from the tape:

            “But what I tell you is true, that the pc forgives anything but no-auditing. A pc doesn’t forgive no-auditing. And if he has a problem that is bugging him or bothering him or he’s worried about something or other and the auditor is mainly worried about the ritual, you’ve got the source of the bulk of ARC breaks.

            “The auditor is so worried about the ritual; worried about, “Let’s see, it is the sensitivity knob that’s supposed to move? Or let’s see, I guess you take the reading at the sens… you know, the sensitivity knob on my meter hasn’t fallen ever since I started the Security Check.” [laughter]

            “And the auditor is so, so, so concerned about what he is doing, that the pc never has an opportunity to impart the fact that he’s worried as hell. The pc never forgives it, see? Because the pc is sort of talking to a bundle of technology, not a person. And with – the pc finds himself talking to a bundle of technology, he goes out of session.”

            • IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT MAKE SCIENTOLOGY WORK, not the big crashing reasons why the preclear’s mind isn’t perfect.

              It isn’t finding what’s wrong with the preclear that really counts, it’s the auditor’s craftsmanlike attention to the little points of auditing that makes for big gains.

              Just one effective, received acknowledgment that makes the preclear know he’s been acknowledged may be worth a dozen processes!

              An auditor becomes an auditor when he or she finds out that it’s the basics that
              count.

              What is a good auditor?

              A good auditor is one who knows Scientology and its techniques and who audits with all basics in. That’s a primary thing we stress in training here at Saint Hill.

              A good auditor gives the preclear something to do that the preclear can do, lets the preclear do it, and, when the preclear has, acknowledges well that the preclear has done it and promptly gives the preclear something to do. A good auditor never evaluates or
              invalidates. A good auditor understands what the preclear has said and never goes on until he or she has understood what the preclear said.

              A technically skilled auditor can choose the very best processes, but unless these are run with all basics in, the wins are few.

              Preclears don’t fail because Scientology doesn’t work. Preclears fail only when Scientology isn’t administered with all basics in.”

              (“The Workability of Scientology”, The Auditor, Issue 1, May 1964)

            • Kinda like this (from the lecture, FUNDAMENTALS OF AUDITING):

              “The various rules of the game are that it is a session, auditing is based on communication, and the PC in front of you is the PC you’ve got to audit. You can’t audit the meter and get a Clear PC. Sooner or later, you have to face up to the fact you’re auditing a PC.”

          • JL:

            Thanks for that reference. It’s not the exact one I was thinking about (I don’t recognize it), but it does give the flavor.

            In Chris’s defense, he was quite right to call me out if he had references to back him up (which he did). I’d rather have people follow the references to hand than some assertion I make which appears to be wrong, according to the references. Some day I’ll find the reference I’m thinking of and post it. (Might be on the Class VIII materials, which I don’t have ready access to.)

            Paul

            • Hi Paul,

              I found this excerpt on one of the Class VIII tapes, “What Standard Tech Does”. It may be what you’re thinking of; there may be further references as well, but I’m a bit busy at the moment. Anyway, yes, one can “VARY” the question so it communicates, but one doesn’t deviate from nor change the C/S. That’s always been standard and the form of session. And process questions were always around, and if you look through them, Ron often said to do them exactly. So one sometimes needs to vary the question when it comes to ruds and sec check questions, but not on processes and not when it deviates off the C/S and program. That won’t get you the result (or if it does, it will be on that one pc and will stick the auditor in a win that will give him loses and he’ll try to run it on every pc thereafter.)

              ARC, Chris

              “Somebody’s asking me for the exact question by which you ask for an ARC break. I’m going to have him write me an assortment of questions by which you ask for an ARC break, as a system. Not to punish him, but to show him that the principle of asking for an ARC break is what we’re talking about, not the English language. The principle. The principle.

              You ask some five year old kid for an ARC break who never of the term ARC break, you’re liable to get a read on misunderstood, and then you’ve had it. Right? You have to know what is this question ARC break. You have to be able to say, “Upset? Is there an upset with communication?” You know? or, “An upset with your affections for people?”, or, you got to know what you’re doing so you can talk it. That isn’t driving you off the line of standard tech. You’re asking, “Do you have An ARC break?””

              • CB:

                Thanks for the additional reference. But that’s not it either.

                I will differ with you on the matter of process question: “And process questions were always around…” If by this you mean standard fixedly worded questions for any given process, these were not around in the early 50s. Witness processes such as SOP5 from the PDC. Creative processing, used for much of the 50s was never run that way. In fact, it relied almost exclusively on the auditor’s creativity and flexibility, and no amount of fixed commands would work with something like creative (mock-up) processing. Similarly, there are no fixed questions asked in Book One Dianetics. It wasn’t until Standard Dianetics was introduced that fixed commands were implemented with respect to Dianetics as far as I know. Likewise with “black and white”, effort processing and anything in the early 50s. Some of this I recall, because I was there. There may have been limited ways to express what you wanted a PC to do, but these were not fixed and dictated by LRH. Ron would say, “Get the PC to do this.” And the question would be, “Well how do we do that?” And the answer from Ron would be on the order of, “Well, ask them something like…” or “Well, tell them to…”

                Later, when the actual Bridge was being constructed, the Briefing Course was being constructed, and when HCOBs and HCOPLs were being introduced, yes, fixed questions and commands were in use.

                Paul

                • Hi Paul,

                  Irregardless of your knowingness, a review of the tech vols from the 50s will clarify this point about process commands. And regardless of this discussion, the tech is the tech and one doesn’t change a process mid session or deviate from the written C/S as Ron has pointed out in his HCOBs.

                  Cheers. 🙂

          • Good quote, wonderful excerpt, Jim. Note it’s also from 1961. I think things shift somewhat as Ron went up the line. And when you get to the VIII course or listen to the tapes, I think you’ll see what he really means.

            GAT is a good example of ritual; auditing the pc in front of one, while applying the tech of the C/S Series and other issues as to how auditing is done, well, that’s being a maestro at the piano. 🙂

  5. As a note – Jim will be travelling over the next several days, from Canada to Australia, and his access to internet will be limited — so please excuse the delay in a response to your comments. He will respond as soon as he can.

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