What is Auditing?
In this chapter we will cover in some detail the different elements of auditing. At the end of the chapter you should have a pretty good answer to the headline question. Since the whole manual is dedicated to answering the question we will approach it step by step. Getting some basic ideas, elements and definitions solidly in place is important and that is the purpose of this chapter.
First of all, for auditing or processing to take place you need two persons: a trained practitioner and a client. Doing the ST courses will turn you into a practitioner. As a student you will also be a client and receiving auditing from your fellow student, so you will learn a whole lot about both sides of this activity.
The practitioner is usually called an auditor; that means a person that asks questions and listens to the answers. The basic terminology and rules were defined by Lafayette Ron Hubbard ( R. Hubbard) and we will use his terminology where possible.
The auditor's client or student is called a preclear. Auditing is usually conducted as an one-on-one activity in a session where the auditor and the preclear are sitting at a table facing each other.
The auditor has different tools of his trade. He has printed materials with the exact technical procedures, he has a report he keeps up. He has dictionaries and handbooks, so he can instruct his preclear.
Maybe the most obvious tool of the trade is the so-called Meter. As explained briefly in the previous chapter, it tells the practitioner what questions are 'hot' and that he should follow up. By exploring these hot areas in the preclear and his mind, the auditor can help bring about amazing changes in the state of mind of his preclear and eventually in his beingness and abilities.
So here are a few simple definitions and basics related to auditing:
Auditing is the application of ST processes and procedures to someone by a trained auditor.
An auditor is one who listens carefully to what his preclear has to say; he is trained and qualified in applying ST processes to others for their betterment.
A process is a set of questions asked by an auditor to help a person find out things about himself and life and so improve himself and his life and the conditions around him. Therefore a more exact definition of auditing (also called processing) would be, the action of asking a preclear a question (which he can understand and answer), getting an answer to that question and acknowledging him for that answer. He continues a process until they reach its End Phenomena (EP), which typically includes a new realization for the preclear and preclear feeling happy about it.
A preclear is a term used to describe a person who, through ST processing, is finding out more about himself and life. Through processing he is advancing towards a higher state of being, called Clear. (Abbreviation: PC).
Reactive Bank (also called the Bank or Reactive Mind). This is the subconscious or unconscious part of the mind. It's that portion of a person's mind which is not under his volitional control, and which exerts force and the power of command over his awareness, purposes, thoughts, body, and actions.
End Phenomena, those indicators in the pc and Meter which show that a process has fulfilled its purpose. It shows that the pc has released the charge that the process addressed. Part of the End Phenomena are: a new realization or cognition for the pc. A so-called Floating Needle on the Meter and the preclear feeling great (called Very Good Indicators - VGI's).
These definitions are correct, but by the end of the course you will have learned a lot more about the subject matters.
The Auditor's Code. This is the professional code of conduct that you always have to observe when you are auditing. It is based on experience over many years. When you observe it closely, your pc will usually get excellent results and gains out of the processing. When you deal with it carelessly or break it, the pc will get a lot less than the optimum results out of the processes. He may even become worse. Some of the important points are:
No evaluation. Never tell the preclear what to think about his problems; never try to solve his problems for him. Let him figure it out and help him to do that with the technology and the processes. To break that rule in auditing is bad. It's called evaluation.
No invalidation. Never tell the preclear what you think is wrong with him -- or worse, tell him he is wrong about something. Again, the whole purpose of auditing is to help the preclear become capable of figuring these things out for himself. To make wrong or contradict the preclear is called invalidation. It's bad to do as an auditor as it's very counter-productive.
Maintain communication. According to the Code you need to be in good communication with your pc. You carefully listen to what he has to say. You know from what he says what is going on. You acknowledge his answers appropriately and, if he comes up with something unexpected, you know how to respond. (Communication will be the subject matter of several full chapters).
Never get angry. You never get angry with your preclear. You patiently work with him, so he can relax and concentrate on finding the answers in his mind. You make the pc feel safe and relaxed, so he can go where the process sends him with a feeling of security.
Auditor + PC > PC's Bank.
That means Auditor plus the PC is greater than the PC's Reactive Bank. That is the simplest way to say why auditing works. The trained auditor is there to help the pc explore and gradually eradicate his Reactive Bank. Everything you will learn on this course can be seen to support that. If it does, it is valid. If it doesn't, it is harmful. Everything you will learn will directly or indirectly support this exploration. All your basic skills and tools have to pass this test. Do you help the pc explore and overcome his Bank - or do you hinder it? If you hinder him, you are definitely doing something wrong. Every procedure and process is seen in the same light. The right process at the wrong time can work against this, as the pc isn't ready yet. The right process applied wrongly by the auditor can work against this, and the auditor has to find out what he is doing wrong and correct it or have it corrected by his instructor.
The Auditor's Code, that we will cover in full later in ST, has this as its primary function: it contains those points that it is absolutely necessary to observe in order for Auditor plus PC to be greater than the PC’s Reactive Bank.
Who can become an auditor
You need to be able to study and learn practical skills. You have to be able to turn written instructions into exact actions and keep learning until you have it exactly right.
You need a certain type of courage. In auditing you are exploring unknown territory as far as your pc is concerned. You need to do that courageously and keep going until you get to the End Phenomena. You need to develop a positive and friendly attitude. It's not the auditor's "deep think" or "deep understanding" that makes auditing work. It's more like: every time the pc looks up he sees the auditor is right there with him encouraging him and supporting him in getting on with it. It's the auditors high interest in his preclear and his positive encouraging attitude and being with the pc every step of the way, that helps the pc overcome his Bank. You need to be persistent and insistent in a positive way. The auditor should stay positive and encouraging even when the pc runs into problems or difficulties. You don't agree with your pc's difficulties. You are there to help him overcome them and get him through it. And this you have to accomplish without getting angry with or invalidating, or evaluating for, your pc.
You need to develop and continue to develop your one-on-one communications skills. There is a lot about this in the course, as communication is the basic skill that makes the processes work. They will not work on a mechanical level unless the pc is with it and feels in communication and understood.
"Auditing is the action of asking a preclear a question, getting an answer to that question and acknowledging him for that answer. Auditing gets rid of unwanted barriers that inhibit, stop or blunt a person's natural abilities. It step by step increases the abilities of a person, so he becomes more able and his survival, happiness and intelligence increase enormously."
Here is how Geoffrey Filbert defines auditing or processing in his book Excalibur Revisited:
"Processing is the application of a precise
technology based on principles of the human mind and life. The auditor
helps and listens to another person in order to "clear" that
person of confusions. It enables the person being cleared (the pre-clear)
to increase his ability to be, to live, perceive, experience, understand
and act by freeing his attention from confusions. It can be applied at any
level of awareness and through it a person can solve his difficulties in
life and thought."
Auditing is usually an exact question or set of questions or commands that the auditor gives to the pc. This is what we call a process. These processes are well researched and tested. The processes you will learn on this course have all been in use for over 30 years, some of them decades longer.
Here is an example of a simple process:
The auditor gives the first auditing command to the
pc and waits for his answer.
The above is part of an actual process; you will learn more about recall processes later.
The processes are designed to get the pc to look deeper and deeper into his Reactive Bank or look at mechanisms in his mind that get their power from the Reactive Bank. Since recall is often used to get there, the Recall Grade is important. The actual process quoted is used as an example as it isn't very upsetting or prone to get you into a lot of difficulties.
Can Auditing be Harmful?
The rule at this level is: any auditing is better than no auditing. Any of the processes you will learn here will benefit your pc even if run in a less than perfect way.
No auditor needs to audit with the fear that he will do some irreparable damage if he makes an error.
R. Hubbard's book: "Dianetics™: The Modern Science of Mental Health" provides the answer to the question, "What happens if I make a mistake?"
The following extracts are from the chapter "The Mind's Protection":
"The mind is a self-protecting mechanism. Short of the use of drugs..., shock, hypnotism or surgery, no mistake can be made by an auditor which cannot be remedied either by himself or by another auditor."
"Any case, no matter how serious, no matter how unskilled the auditor, is better opened than left closed."
This is good to know, when you are just starting out. You can always bail out the pc. But you will learn the processes so well and make sure you drill everything thoroughly first, that you very rarely will have a need to bail your pc out.
Although an experienced auditor can handle all kinds of difficulties the subject as such is far from the same as a "mental therapy". It is designed and intended for spiritual gains. You will have the best time and best results with people that already do quite well in life, but are looking for more. It is actually contained in the very word "Preclear".
"Pre" means before; and "Clear" is a high and desirable state of being.
Clear is a very exciting state of being or existence. A person who goes Clear will feel a tremendous rise in power and freedom; he will feel detached from all bad experiences of the past. He will see his own future as bright and promising. He will be able to think and see clearer. How exactly it will change you is for you to find out. To determine if a person has obtained the state of Clear is a technical thing with its own definitions and technology.
The pc will probably feel great and something like this many times during his processing, even on this level.
It may not last for a long time early in auditing. A release is a temporary state, while Clear is a permanent state.
There are two states of being you pursue in ST auditing. The one is the ultimate state of Clear. The other state is a state of release.
You are going for a release each time you run a process. It may be less spectacular than described above. But from time to time you will hit a state of release that feels real great. The pc may think he went Clear. These are the high points of auditing. This is what you are after. Every auditing question or command, every little skill you learn and apply is done to get to this goal.
A process is complete, when it is taken to End Phenomena (EP). It may be less spectacular than the state of Clear or a state of Major Release. But the pc will know that it is a step in the right direction. He will know that he has handled one more stumbling block or one more confusion or source of feeling down and bad about himself.
Each EP of a major process consists of (1) Very Good Indicators (VGI's), (2) a cognition or realization about himself or something important to him, (3) a feeling of release - and if it is a metered session - the auditor will observe (4) a Floating Needle (F/N) on the Meter. That is a free moving needle pattern, the needle swinging harmonically back and forth and nothing the auditor says is going to change that.
In a way the best comparison for auditing is Eastern Belief systems, where a student seeks a master in order to reach perfection. He can do various mental, physical or religious practices in order to achieve that. It may be meditation, prayer, or physical exercises as in yoga or tai chi.
Auditing is however a more businesslike approach to fulfill these old goals of Man. It does take commitment from the preclear to achieve a major state of release or the state of Clear. But when we talk auditing, there is an exact technology that does work when the rules are followed and the processes are run correctly, one after the other. It isn't "just thinking the right thoughts" or "sending the right prayers" or sitting in the right position long enough and hoping for the best. It's an exact route, one process after the other. The processes are laid out in a certain order of increasing difficulty. You follow this program step by step and you will end up at the top of the ladder.
It can be both casual and quite businesslike, getting there. You don't have to follow strange diets or rigid rules that make a normal life impossible. You do have to follow a healthy lifestyle, eat and sleep properly, stay off drugs, take no excess of alcohol (and no alcohol 24 hours before a session), and not get yourself involved in unethical conduct. But these requirements will not interfere with holding a normal job, pursuing your favorite hobbies and activities, having a normal sex life and family life, and meeting your friends as always - and at all times appearing very usual, and leading a normal healthy life.
The Reactive Mind
There is a lot to know about the Reactive Mind. The Reactive Mind, the Reactive Bank, or the Bank. These terms all refer to the same part of the mind. The subconscious or unconscious mind was first described by Sigmund Freud.
R. Hubbard made a lot of new discoveries about the mind and the nature of Man and we prefer to use his terminology as it is clear and coherent and the anatomy and structure was not very well known or accurately described by Freud. He mainly raised a lot of questions but could not provide many workable answers.
R. Hubbard's basic books like: "Dianetics™, the Modern Science of Mental Health" give a graphic description of the Reactive Mind and its basic mechanisms. Also "Fundamentals of Thought", that is part of this course, gives a good description of "The parts of Man", including the Reactive Mind.
Since this manual is about what you do rather than an extensive theory course, we will only bring a little refresher section here.
The Thetan. R. Hubbard used the Greek letter Theta, to describe thought energy. This is basically a non-physical form of energy that is senior to the physical universe. The unit that produces this form of energy is called the Thetan. This is not an entirely new entity by far. You refer to it as "I" or "Me". It's the core personality or soul of an individual. It's the spirit that is your basic self, a very powerful and capable fellow that over time has been trapped and burdened with all kinds of luggage, false ideas, confusions, painful experiences, losses, and relationships gone bad.
The idea that you have a soul is incorrect. The correct concept is that you are a soul. The soul or thetan is the very core of your beingness. It's who you are. The real you. The mission of auditing is to restore this core individual to his own good self. It is to free you of all the chains and burdens that hold you down. The power and abilities inside you are very impressive. In the course of auditing this is who we want to find and work with. We don't want to teach you anything new with auditing. Instead we want to strip off all these layers of added false ideas, confusions, and burdens away. We will of course teach you what auditing is all about, how to run the processes, etc. But when it comes to the processes themselves, they don't add new data or learning to your mind, but restore the truth as you basically know it.
You may look upon the pc as the Genie inside the bottle. Trapped and miserable.
We want to take the cork out and coax the pc out of the bottle and get him back to almost magic powers. To accomplish that, we have to examine, what the cork and the bottle consists of - figuratively speaking.
Let's for now call it "luggage", false ideas, painful experiences, confusions, losses, and relationships gone bad. That is pretty close, although not a very scientific description.
The next question is: Where does a thetan store all this and all his positive experiences?
He stores it in his mind. The mind is like a computer; the thetan is the computer operator. You see, the thetan is not his mind either. The mind is something he has, something he uses and something he builds upon and adds to as he goes along. His basic beingness as a thetan does not really change, but his mind does.
The Analytical Mind. The mind can be separated into several compartments. There is the Analytical Mind, the Reactive Mind and the Somatic Mind.
The Analytical Mind has to do with rational thought. It's like a well-functioning computer. This is where you store all what you learn. This is the mind you use when you solve problems and try to figure out predictions and estimations. The capabilities of the human mind are quite impressive. The mind resolves a multitude of very different problems of any imaginable kind.
When you drive a car without problems, you use your Analytical Mind all the time when you observe traffic and respond. You have to estimate speeds, directions, other cars' condition and capabilities - maybe even the drivers' conditions. You do this almost automatically. When you analyze what a driver has to respond to and keep track of it is quite impressive. Let's follow a man called Joe during his day.
Our driver, Joe, arrives at work after a safe drive. At work there is a whole new set of problems he has to take care of. He has to make quick and accurate decisions and act upon them. New and unsolved problems get thrown at him and he has to figure out the correct response each time. He takes orders and gives orders.
In the lunch break he sits down with his colleagues and they discuss basketball and there is a whole new set of rules and facts he has to remember and use to think with.
Then he drives home after work. His wife asked him to do some shopping on the way home. He parks at a supermarket and goes inside. Again he has to use a whole new set of facts and abilities. He wants the best deal for his money; he has to find his way around. He compares products and decides on products again and again. He remembers his wife was going to cook meat loaf, and he remembers a few spices he would like her to add. These are not on his shopping list, but again: he knows exactly what he is going for and gets it from the endless shelves.
When he comes home his family greets him. After dinner his young son captures him. His son needs help with his school work. Again, our hero Joe finds the right set of data and rules in his analytical mind so he can help his son with his math problems. He knows how he can treat his son so he learns what they go over. This is a much different approach, than the one he uses at work with adults. With his son he is loving, patient and full of smiles.
Finally his son is satisfied. Our dad can finally sit down with his wife. They decide to watch TV and they see a movie that takes place in Hong Kong. To enjoy that, Joe has to find a new frame of reference and he has to let his imagination play a bigger role. He has to imagine places and circumstances he has never been confronted with in real life. Still, he can "get into it" and get an experience and excitement out of it.
Well, it's time to go to bed. It has been a long day and Joe falls asleep right away after kissing his wife good night. But soon he sleeps like a log, charging up the batteries for another day.
You see, that is just an ordinary day in an ordinary man's life. He has to use his analytical mind constantly and in many different fields.
The Somatic Mind. There is another type of mind, that takes care of routines and bodily functions. That is the somatic mind. We talked about driving skills above. The routines of hitting the gas pedal and the breaks and moving the steering wheel is not something you have to think about. You do it all the time and correctly without even thinking about it. This ability belongs to the somatic mind. Athletes work a lot with their somatic minds to get all their movements right. Newborn babies have to learn an impressive number of skills before they can even walk.
The somatic mind also takes care of all the complicated functions inside your body, like heart beat, breathing, digestion etc., etc.
The Reactive Mind. The Reactive Mind has a special interest to auditors and auditing. The auditor's goal is to eradicate it piece by piece, until it's completely gone. Let's first look at some basic definitions of the Reactive Mind:
The Reactive Mind: 1) Is a portion of a person's mind which works on a totally stimulus-response basis. It is not under his volitional control, and it exerts force and power of command over his awareness, purposes, thoughts, his body and actions.
It works as a stimulus-response mechanism. That means if something in the environment activates this part of the mind it gets an instant reaction by the person - and usually an irrational one. It can take control over his power of command. It can control his thoughts, his awareness and even his body and actions.
An example would be somebody receiving bad news and have a violent or inexplicable reaction to it. Another example would be somebody having a little accident or mishap occur and become all upset and scared. You will see these things happen every day if you just keep your eyes open.
Overreacting observably is however just one manifestation. Another manifestation would occur when the Reactive Mind has taken permanent control of a part of a person’s life. An example of this could be regular thoughts of suicide. Another example could be avoiding crowds or certain places. Some people have strong fears and dislikes for certain types of people. It could be the opposite sex, salesmen, or doctors. If these dislikes have no rational explanation, it's a sure sign of the Reactive Mind at work.
There is of course a rational way to respond to these things. But when it's an overreaction, an inexplicable reaction, or a permanent reaction for no good reason, it's a sure sign of the Reactive Mind at work.
Let's look at another definition:
The Reactive Mind: 2) Is basically that area of occlusion which the pc is unable to contact and which contains within itself a total identification of all things with all things, and until released into the realm of knowingness continues to react upon the person compelling him into actions, dramatizations and computations which are not optimum to his or anyone else's survival.
Here are some other aspects of the Reactive Mind. This mind is occluded and out of sight. It controls the person, but he doesn't really know, where this control, these impulses and commands, come from. The next bit of the definition tells an important side of auditing. The auditing dives into the Reactive Mind and releases its content piece by piece into the realm of knowingness; into the analytical mind. At that point that piece of the Reactive Mind becomes powerless.
Here is the next and last definition:
The Reactive Mind: 3) Is a stimulus response mechanism, ruggedly built, and takes over in trying circumstances. The Reactive Mind never stops operating. Pictures of the environment, of a very low order, are taken (made) by this mind even in some states of unconsciousness. The Reactive Mind acts below the level of consciousness. It is the literal stimulus-response mind. Given a certain stimulus it gives a certain response.
Here we see what the Reactive Mind supposedly is good for. It is supposed to take over under trying circumstances. In other words it's a back-up or emergency mind. It is always at work: 'it never stops operating' -- meaning that when the analytical mind shuts down, the Reactive Mind takes over. It works as a stimulus-response mechanism, which makes some kind of sense when you are talking about an emergency situation.
Unfortunately this Reactive Mind is causing a lot more misery than good. The Reactive Mind is the major cause of all your pc's mental difficulties and shortcomings. It holds on to past emergency situations. The most severe ones are recorded as Engrams (see picture), but there are also recordings of lighter incidents. Engrams and other traumatic recordings keep your pc in a constant feeling of danger or irrationality that made sense at some point, but only in the context of that time, not of the present. He had one accident. Now he never wants to get near anything that reminds him of that. He had one bad experience with a doctor. Now he never wants to see any doctor again, etc.
These basic ideas and definitions give you pretty much an outline of what auditing is all about. The auditor helps the pc dive into his Reactive Mind to find some irrationality. In session it is brought into the light of consciousness and knowingness and thoroughly inspected. That causes it to lose its command power over the pc. The pc can again think clearly in the area and make rational decisions based on the analytical facts.