ATHEISM * MONOTHEISM * STATIC AND DYNAMIC *
TWO BASIC RIGHTS
In many cultures three views regarding the nature of god co-exist side by side - a polytheistic one, where many gods are seen to govern different aspects of life, a monotheistic one, where the One God is considered the single source of influence on the life of man, and an atheistic one, where god is not personified but considered a state one may experience. (Atheism, much as it denies the existence of a god-person, is not irreligious, though witness Buddhism.)
Take Christianity as an example - there the priesthood asserts the unquestionable dominance of the One God (monotheism), yet simultaneously you find people preferring to pray to Jesus and even more to the Virgin Mary and their local saints (because a local saint with healing powers seems a safer bet than an abstract God - which is polytheism), and again simultaneously you find the Christian mystic who after experiencing a god-state in his "unio mystica", considers god beyond description (atheism), is therefore deemed a heretic by the priesthood and dutifully burnt at the stake.
Similarly Hinduism and Buddhism, both essentially atheistic, abound in demon cults and half-gods (polytheism). Yet they don't go as far as considering a single deity to govern man's fate entirely (monotheism).
In the long chapter on "Soul and Body" we encountered various psychological models - that of the German white magician Franz Bardon, of the Hawaiian Hunas, of Hinduism and Buddhism, and last but not least that of Hubbard - all of them atheistic! We didn't come across a single monotheistic one like Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This omission obviously calls for some further investigation into the subject. So we will briefly summarize what we know already on the subject of atheism, then add some thoughts on monotheism and all along draw comparisons with Hubbard s teachings.
Franz Bardon has the concept of an ever so subtle stratum of "akasha" (which he actually refers to as god), manifesting itself individually as man s immortal spirit or "I". Akasha forms the "mental body" of man, his most subtle level of existence. On a grosser plane, there is the "astral body" and further down, the physical body. These three bodies are connected by "mental stuff".
Likewise the Hunas who see the infinite aspect of man (higher self) as tied to the game of life (middle self), and identified with body and GE (lower self). Communication between these three bodies occurs through "shadow stuff" (mana) and postulates. Man's middle self appears to hang in a web of tiny invisible lines connecting him to objects, events and people of his past, present and future; simultaneously, above the level of mana, his higher self is interconnected with all other infinite beings - an "overlapping as infinities" as we said of thetans in their static state.
Further parallels to this "trinity system" appear in the Vedas, the source of Hinduism and Buddhism. In Hinduism, above all worldly things stands "atman", the immortal spirit of man. Part of atman is identified with body, mind and ego and so lives in the world of duality. This aspect of atman is called "jiva". Atman is the source of thought; jiva identifies with thought. Jiva thinks he is his mind; atman is above the level of mind. Atman corresponds to Hubbard's static, the unmanifested potential of a thetan; jiva would compare to the thetan actualizing himself as beingness and energy pulsations.
Atman is but a manifestation of "brahman", the absolute, the infinity beyond thought, language or imagery. Brahman, in Hubbard's terms, would be the "co-existence of static' (Ax. 25), a "nothingness with a quality, a potential" 1.
In order to "attain nirvana" and make atman merge with brahman (make the thetan return to static), jiva, the urge for "ego", is obviously in the way and needs to be overcome. Now does this mean that at the point of enlightenment (samadhi) one gets snuffed out like a candle and "becomes one" with some huge anonymous nothing? It doesn't.
Of the relationship between "individual static" (atman) and "general static" (brahman), the 7th century Indian philosopher Shankara said: "There must be an existence, a reality, which perceives the ego-sense and its coverings and is also aware of the void which is their absence. (. . .) He who experiences is conscious of himself. Without an experiencer, there can be no self-consciousness. The atman is its own witness, since it is conscious of itself. The atman is no other than brahman."23 Which is to say that thetan and static are of the same quality, they are "sat-chitananda", the absolute joy (ananda) of absolute awareness (chit) and absolute beingness (sat).
The following quotation wraps this up very beautifully. If one replaced the word "being" by "static" it would sound like a lecture on Hubbard's axioms, yet in fact the writer is Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: "The basis of thought-energy we call the state of Being. Thus, Being and the Absolute are synonymous. (. . .) Underneath the subtlest layer of all that exists in the relative field is the abstract, absolute field of pure Being which is unmanifested and transcendental. It is neither mana nor energy. It is pure Being, the state of pure existence. (. . .) Existence is abstract; that which exists is concrete. (. . .) although the nature of karma and the nature of Being are incompatible, it is possible (. . .) for a man to live in the field of action and yet to live simultaneously a life of eternal freedom in bliss-consciousness of absolute Being. It is possible for man to act with full interest in the world and yet to live simultaneously in God-consciousness, thereby uniting the values of absolute and relative existence." "When the conscious mind transcends the subtlest level of thought, it transcends the subtlest state of relative experience and arrives at the transcendental Being, the state of pure consciousness or self awareness."24
So according to Maharishi and Shankara we aren't "all one" on the level of the absolute, of static. Hubbard would agree. In characteristic terseness he puts it this way: "A thetan (i.e. static) is simply you before you mocked yourself up." 'In plain English this means that what you appear to be is way below of what you really are. And regarding "one-ness" and "being one with the universe", Hubbard says: People have had the idea that there was a main body of theta and everybody became one when you got to the top of the emotional tone scale. Fortunately that isn't true. But you go down tone scale and everybody becomes one. And the oneness is mest. There is no individuality whatsoever in mest. One of the control mechanisms which has been used on thetans is that when they rise in potential they are led to believe themselves one with the universe. This is distinctly untrue. Thetans are individuals. They do not as they rise up the scale merge with other individualities. I
So apparently we are not one big static soup. The thetan, aware of being aware, is always himself - even when he has left his "ego" behind. Now what's the point? What's this static up to? "The creation of effect", says Hubbard (Fac. 1) - but of what effect? Hinduism coolly answers that all individual atmans taken together, as they play their games and create the illusion of a "real world" (maya), are but brahman playing with himself ("lila"). This quite surprisingly corresponds to Hubbard's Axiom 39, again put rather tersely: Life poses problems for its own solution.
Now if the ultimate truth is a static (Ax. 35) and if the game of life is played for the sole purpose of playing a game - what sense does it all make then . . .? (This really taxes one's havingness, doesn't it?)
And now to another form of atheism, to Buddhism - as its fundaments are the Vedas we find familiar principles if only with some difference in terminology. Buddhism, being rather tightlipped compared to flowery and exuberant Hinduism, doesn't speak of atman and brahman or of attaining union with god, in fact one generally doesn't speak about what cannot be spoken about. For example when one wakes up to one's "true Buddha nature", one simply finds emptiness (shunyata). And one cannot actually "attain" one's Buddha-nature as one has it anyway; one can only wake up to it. This is called "bodhi", "awakening". The term "Buddha" refers to this experience - a Buddha is an "awakened one".
Yet despite all attempts of Buddha to keep it simple, various differentiation's were made and so we do find our "trinity" again. The primal emptiness (shunyata) came to be subdivided into three spiritual bodies, the highest one denoting absolute knowingness (dharmakaya), the middle one denoting the joy of realizing absolute truth (sambhogakaya), the lowest one denoting the application of truth and ethics in the world (nirmanakaya).
Tibetan medical philosophy, a Buddhist discipline, is as well built around the idea of a "trinity". Highest is "chi", a principle beyond space and time (static) and constituting the potential for all that might ever be, the second "shara", the will to create and form, the third "badgan", the substance which is to be formed. The combination of chi, shara and badgan is the prerequisite for life - now a familiar formula to us.25
Catholicism and Islam, rooted in the Old Testament, can be considered variations of yet an older monotheistic religion Judaism. Both the New Testament and the Koran are indebted to the Talmud26. They agree on the One God who is not so much a principle, a nameless power potential like brahman, but a definite personality and quite a demanding one, too, who doesn't permit any other gods next to him, transmits moral codes through his prophets, punishes and disciplines the believer and imposes trials on him to test his faith. Certainly the true name of the Jewish god, JHVH, is both unspeakable and ungraspable, yet despite that plenty of policies emanate from him, governing the life of the believer in all detail. So even in monotheism, the appearance of god is manifold - there is the God of the Genesis who created the world, the God of Moses who made the Israelites his chosen people, the wrathful God of the prophets - One God each time, certainly, but is it really the same one?
The three monotheism's agree further in that they believe in a system of relay points between God and man, running from God to an archangel who tells a prophet what God wishes to communicate to the people; after the prophet's death, a priesthood takes over from him to interpret God's word to the parish. Many relay points, obviously.
Whereas Hinduism and Buddhism permit realization of one's true spiritual nature through one's own efforts - for example by practicing yoga and meditation - monotheism teaches that there is a fundamental duality between man and God which is impossible to bridge by the religious seeker, because there is one ingredient he cannot do anything about, and that is the "grace of God". The grace of God ("bechinam" in Hebrew) comes when it comes, one cannot influence its coming.
Yet despite all dogma and doctrine, free thinkers and mystics always and against all the rules found ways to experience god and they didn't find a specific personality called "One God in Heaven". Very dangerous people, indeed (from the viewpoint of the priesthood). In Judaism, these were the Qabalists, in Islam, the Persian Sufis. (Right across the border from Persia is India a mere coincidence?) By their practices these mystics managed to transcend the apparent duality between man and god and arrive at a certainty of "being in god" - the "mystical union" so hard worked towards by medieval Christian hermits, too.
The mystic with the longest-lasting impact is of course Jesus Christ himself. Let's not speculate whether he really was a historical personality, whether he studied with the Essenes who in turn received their knowledge from Buddhist monks, sent to the Middle East around 250 B.C. by the emperor Asoka, or whether "Jesus Christ" merely denotes a state of consciousness. No matter if the New Testament is a factual account or a grand metaphor, what counts is how it differs from the Old Testament, from Judaism, Catholicism and Islam. There is a distinctly Buddhist flavor to some of Jesus' words, a bafflingly atheist touch. Just listen: "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head" (Mt 8.20). "Nowhere" - is that the "emptyness" (shunyata) one realizes after bodhi, one's awakening? Or take this one: "Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me" (Jn 14.11). Replacing "Father" with "static" or "dharmakaya" would make this sound rather buddhistic indeed, definitely not old-testamentarian! Or perhaps this one: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me" (Jn 14.6). Well, quite! If Christ-consciousness is a state, then there is no other way to attain one's awakening but to go through it (through the state, not through the person of Christ) - a thought echoed by the 14th century Christian mystic Meister Eckhart who says: "Seeing God is seeing like God", who speaks of God as "luther nicht" (sheer nothingness) and who sees himself unable to describe his unio mystica except by Zen paradoxes. Very heretical indeed!
STATIC AND DYNAMIC
To summarize: mystics east and west agree on a static state which, in itself unmoving, causes dynamic motion and so brings about the ups and downs of life. Although this state is usually referred to as "god" in western literature (on the background of
2000 years of Catholicism) it may not necessarily be identical with the deity mentioned in the Old Testament.
We saw before that god, brahman or dharmakaya represent a vast supra-individual one-ness, the "co-existence of static". To the degree that one "falls away" from static and enters the realm of affinity, reality and communication, one becomes a confused and forlorn spirit. "Affinity is a scale of attitudes which falls away from the co-existence of static, through the interposition's of distance and energy, to create identity, down to close proximity but mystery.
(Explanation: By the practice of Beingness and the refusal to Be individuation progresses from the Knowingness of complete identification down through the introduction of more and more distance and less and less duplication (. . .) to Not-Knowingness (Mystery)." (Ax. 25)
These lines are yet another formulation of the "downward spiral" of the Factors. For practical reasons, Hubbard structured the game "below static" to comprise eight dynamics, thus subdividing life into eight playing fields of differing magnitude and responsibility. As we'll need this concept further on in this book, we'll have to sketch it briefly.
Read from the top down, the eight dynamics describe the evolution of a universe and so parallel the Factors. The static, an infinite potential, primarily manifests itself as thought. He can create, alter and uncreate thought. This is the most subtle of dynamic actions one could possibly undertake; it's the 8th dynamic. It results in "beingness", in the thought-being we call thetan (Ax. 1, 2,11).
I, the thinker, being the cause of my own thoughts, am outside them. I am a static outside all dynamics. By forming postulates and concepts (thoughts) I create my game, thus drop out from being a "pure" static and become a thought being, a thetan. I am in fact both - at least as long as I do not forget (Dn Ax. 1, 2; Ax. 25).
Next, desiring to create visible effects, I produce theta quanta and thereby mental mest (7th dynamic). Through interaction with a number of other thetans' co-creations are made. When the question "Who has created what?" isn't answered due to irresponsibility, theta quanta will continue to be misowned and mental (or "astral") creations will accumulate and condense. By further agreement and partly out of helplessness their solidification is driven further and further, eventually resulting in physical mest (6th dynamic). Combining spiritual entities such as the GE and the thetan (7th dynamic) with material objects such as bodies (6th dynamic), we get organic life (5th dynamic) which is organized on the 4th dynamic as large populations of different species and on the 3rd dynamic as smaller subgroups within a species. In order to physically perpetuate the race into the future, bodies get together and create new bodies (2nd dynamic); these usually start out as egocentric little individuals (1st dynamic), before they begin to work their way upwards again, towards infinity.
Each dynamic is modified by two considerations - ethics and aesthetics. Ethics means as much as "making the right choice within a given context", thus finding "optimum solutions" which ideally would satisfy all parties concerned (Dn Ax. 193). The order resulting from such a solution will be optimum within the context in question and therefore appear aesthetical. Some compositions of Bach and Mozart, some paintings of Durer and Rembrandt, some Indian, Japanese or African sculptures consist of a series of right choices. If you'd change one note or one dab of paint, the result would be less convincing than the original. Which proves that ethics (right choices made within a given context) lead to aesthetics. One follows from the other.
As these two modifying considerations have dynamic strength of their own, Hubbard termed them "9th dynamic" for aesthetics and "10th dynamic" for ethics'.
TWO BASIC RIGHTS
Now what choice is a "right" choice? If one were to measure choices solely by the satisfaction or dissatisfaction it produces in the participants of a specific game, and given that a) most games (except sports) have no rules and b) satisfaction and dissatisfaction aren't always enlightened in character but c) most commonly based on self-righteousness and pigheadedness, the chances are fabulous that one, on this background, might arrive at some rather pitiful "optimum solutions" - self-righteous, moralistic and shortsighted ones which will prove fatal in the future and make one wade knee-deep in bad karma. Certainly not optimum for anyone, not even the decision makers.
So by what standards can ethical rightness be measured? Hubbard formulated them as "Two Rights of a Thetan": 1. the Right to Self-Determinism, and 2. the Right to Leave a Game 27.
Joining a game never is a problem but leaving one quite often is ! Therefore any thought or action taking away one's self-determinism and one's freedom to leave a game, would have to be considered strictly non-ethical. The way back to Cause, to static, must not be obstructed for anyone under any circumstances. And as we all meet on the static plane, each thought counts, of everyone - not our actions only! Each of us, by thinking thoughts, contributes to the flavor of the game we are all players in.
If we wanted to have an ethical and therefore aesthetic game, one that is easy to enter, easy to play, and easy to leave, we would have to make sure that all postulates within that game were aligned with the Two Rights.
6 Feb 2005 @ 05:21 by : Brrrr...
A 'Thetan' is merely YOU before you mocked yourself up.
How do you attain what you already have?
6 Feb 2005 @ 05:32 by : indeed
guess we just need to rediscover our own mystery
and be mysterious no more
as for the game.. I left one of those 5-1998
it hasn't been the same since
6 Feb 2005 @ 10:52 by : Hear, hear!
Hiya skookum! Glad to hear that you left it. Glad to see you read the above, too! Thanks. ;)
6 Feb 2005 @ 23:12 by astrid : Emerald Heart
.... sounds so very precious! So very Lovely!... Makes me think of one of the nick names of Mother Earth: "The Emerald Planet". "The Emerald Planet"/ "The Emerald Heart".... Is there a connection, maybe?... *!*
7 Feb 2005 @ 02:47 by hgoodgame : More than one way
To skin a cat. ;P
Bubele, you're still making rules, even if it is only down to two. From the two comes the three and from the three comes all you see!
I spent the afternoon emptying my big black purse on my grand-daughter's bed. Well, they wanted to see what was in it so shake shake shake, they got to see it all. What a mess too. I let them take all the loose change and then put everything back but the mess. Megan (my youngest grand-daughter) said what about the mess on HER bed? No problem, says, Grandma, watch this, and we brush it away, ta da, it's gone, they've got their free change, and that's the way you skin a cat!
No, I didn't change the string, just gave it a different twist. ;)