An Introduction to Study

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Essay based on R. Hubbard's recorded lecture: "Study Lecture No 1, Study - an Introduction", given to his advanced students at Saint Hill Manor in Sussex, England June 18 in 1964.

The subject of Study is an important one. Oddly enough this subject is not well understood. The situation is of course difficult - you could say convoluted - to study how to study while studying.

But the subject of study should really be the first one taught in school. It should actually be taught in kindergarten. Our interest here is to teach people to be able to audit and be able to understand the mind. Since these subjects touch upon many new ideas, and many things that exist but don't have a lot of mass connected to them, a good grasp on how to study becomes important. You have to conquer a new and somewhat abstract field. But the bottom line is, if you can't study or don't know how to study you can't learn anything.

 

Ability to study 
   is the doorway   
to a better life.

 

Study and the ability to study is a doorway. It works as a door - open or closed. If you can't study you can't learn to apply a technology, such as auditing. The student may have the best of intentions regarding helping his fellow Man, but unless he can study he is not going anywhere and the best of his intentions won't succeed.

 

To build anything you 
need a solid foundation. 
In this first essay we 
   examine the rock bottom   
fundamentals of study.

 

So in order to teach somebody anything, including how to audit, it is necessary that the student is able to learn. This is the silly and most fundamental truth about study. But it is important to establish these fundamentals as they form the solid foundation upon which we can build. They form the solid ground we stand on before we can go anywhere or build anything. We can't build a house mid-air. Any house or structure starts with having a solid piece of land. You have a piece of land and then you build the foundation of the house in solid concrete. Now you can build your actual house and expect it to hold up and be of use to whoever is going to use it. You tend to forget about the foundation down the line. It is too simple. It was a thing the contractors took care of. They used simple tools to dig a hole and filled it up with cheap, gray concrete and everybody soon forgot about it. It was underground and invisible. But without that foundation you wouldn't be able to build a durable house.

In study you have to have books, materials, or a teacher teaching data. That is the origination-point of the communication. Then you have the receipt-point, the student or students. Unless the student can take in the data and understand them he is not going anywhere.

In teaching auditing, if the student can't learn anything, he is not going anywhere.

In teaching others to audit we have learned this fact: the discipline of auditing consists of over 50% of application. Unless the student understands how exactly to apply the processes and techniques he is not going anywhere. He will only occasionally produce results.

Let us explain this a little further so you know exactly what we mean: You could give all the processes of auditing, which have routinely produced results, to a mental practitioner, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. You could give all these processes to such a practitioner and they wouldn't be able to do anything with them. We are here talking about just the processes, just the questions and commands.

It has happened repeatedly that this or that university have "tested all the techniques" and found "conclusively" that they didn't work. The University of Chicago did just that at one point in time. At the time  the techniques weren't even published and weren't available to test. So there is no way of telling what they tested and how.

But as a matter of fact they could have had all the techniques, all the processes, and given it to their lead psychologist and have him "test it". If he had no idea of how to actually apply them he wouldn't have gotten any results. They work just great in the hands of a well trained auditor who knows how to apply them. But a non-trained practitioner, regardless of what impressive university degree he holds, would miss more than 50% of the subject.

Lost Technology
The above is also an illustration of how you loose technology. Things get changed and altered when they are passed from one "expert" to another. You end up with an entirely different thing.

This process of altering things and loose vital parts is almost the way of life in academic circles. You have professors making as much as 90% of their salary by writing textbooks and having the students buy their personal books.

If you take a subject as steam engines the original inventor, James Watt, has probably been rewritten dozens of times. When this process has gone on for a while chances are you have lost all of the technology of steam. It has been altered, twisted, and misunderstood, and so on. It has been restated and the new authors have introduced their own pet theories.

In his student days R. Hubbard had a job as a reporter for a magazine called The Sportsman Pilot. This was in the 1930'ies when flying was still in its infancy. Hubbard went to an air show and met an old man there by name of Mr. Young. Mr. Young was a real pioneer, the first one to fly after the  Wright brothers. He had become cautious in his old days. He would always bring an umbrella, even on a perfect, sunny day.

 

In the early days of flying many 
   technologies existed and competed.   
Good technologies got lost due to 
lack of funding or technical 
difficulties at the time.

 

But in his time as a pilot he was a real daredevil. Each time he flew there would be an ambulance following the plane on the ground. This was just because they had learned that they saved more pilots that way.

So Mr. Young was quite a character and he had a lot to tell about the pioneer days of flying. Among the things on his mind from those early days was his disappointment with how the technology of flying had developed over time. In the early days there were a number of competing technologies of which many were promising. Mr. Young could recall 13 different basic designs or technologies for flying, all designed to get a plane (not a balloon) off the ground and up and flying. The motionless wing was just one of these technologies or designs. It became the favorite because it was easy to build. But there were actually 12 other methods in existence on how to get a heavier than air object up and flying. This, as mentioned, did not include balloons or air-ships.

One of the systems was based on a rotating stick. This rotating stick would make the aircraft rise straight up in the air. But there were actually method after method of promising technology back then. The early pioneers of flying eventually chose the motionless wing. But this was in part based upon that the other systems required more money or new inventions to complete. It wasn't really based on the technical merits.

Mr. Young, who himself had worked extensively with designing air planes, was actually very disappointed with this turn of events. There was this vast body of technology back from these very early days of flying that had never been taken forward. There were these designs and methods that had simply been lost. This pattern of competing technologies in the beginning of a development and then most of it getting lost can be seen to take place over and over. One piece of technology wins and the rest gets lost - often due to the fact it was poorly understood, was under-funded, or technical problems could not be resolved at the time.

 

There are dozens of ways 
   to build car motors that were   
ignored or suppressed 
by big business.

 

Maybe, when we talk steam engines and steam technology there were dozens of ways to use steam that got lost. The same could be said about automobile motors where improvements have been suppressed by big business. So this is the story of any civilization - "lost technology".

You may object and say, "the civilization went forward anyway and won". The fact is, however, that more civilizations did not survive than did. If you explore any long inhabited area you will find civilization after civilization that didn't make it. And there were many more we don't even know about. The civilizations that died out all died out on the basis of lost technology. They had this tool or weapon or method of making a living they had based their existence on. They had specialized in this one method of survival. Over time conditions changed or somebody changed this basic method to a point where it was no longer workable. The civilization was all dependent on this one method and suddenly it wouldn't work for them any more. As a result the civilization ceased to exist. They had earlier given up on promising methods and specialized completely in one technology. They passed this one technology on from generation to generation until it was the only way of survival they knew. It could be a way to do farming, a way to hunt a certain animal, certain weapons, or a way of fishing, or a way of fighting off enemies. Suddenly the conditions changed or the technology itself was changed so it no longer could do the job. Whatever happened, they did not have any other methods of survival as they had totally specialized in this one way of life.

 

Cultures of the past had 
totally different tools and 
weapons. At some point 
   they became unworkable   
and that civilization 
ceased to exist.
The people couldn't 
learn new things.

 

The fact is, that lots of good and promising technology gets lost and it is of considerable interest to us at this point to know how this happens. It really comes down to this: they couldn't study, they couldn't learn new things.

Civilizations tend to rise and go forward to a certain point. At some point it reaches its peak. Then they come under attack and stress of various kinds and they start to loose the one technology they have based their existence on.

Good technologies get lost because nobody studies them. This is true in our society with dozens of trades and crafts. One example would be the silversmith craft. In England there existed a lot of silver workshops and silversmiths, all with amazing know-how and skills. Then, at some point, silver got heavily taxed and the whole tradition of craftsmanship and all these specialized skills it takes began to be forgotten. The most talented workers started to take up other professions and piece by piece the whole technology got lost.

There may be a few old-timer silversmiths around who are doing thriving business. But there are nobody they can teach their skills to. There are plenty of textbooks in existence but nobody studies them. What remains of the trade all depends upon these few old-timer silversmiths and their skills. At some point when they retire it all gets lost. It all comes up against not being willing or able to learn. The willingness and ability to study is thus at the core of any profession or technology. Unless this is done, and done right, the whole profession faces extinction.

 

You have to evaluate 
if a subject is actually 
   useful before you spend   
a lot of study time on it.

 

False Subjects
One thing that make people less willing to study is the fact that there are many subjects around that are false subjects. What you learn does not add up to usable skills or workable technology. This certainly makes people less willing to study. They were promised all these marvelous skills and it all came to nothing. But this never need to come into play.

You have to evaluate and judge what you study. The above phenomenon would require that somebody was studying without judgment or without evaluating what one was studying and suddenly some day he found out it was worthless. For this to happen the person's ability to study must have been lacking in the first place. He would just have been sitting there and learned it all verbatim.

 

Learning things verbatim may give 
a student marvelous grades in school 
   but he can't apply what he learns and   
he is of little use in society.

 

Some students do that and get marvelous grades in school. They learn it all verbatim, make a carbon copy of the pages in their minds and just  it back to the teacher when asked. So there is a skill of perfect duplication, of making perfect mental carbon copies of the pages or mental tape recordings of lectures without the smallest piece of understanding or common sense connected with it. This is definitely not what we are trying to teach you. This is absolutely deadly. This is easily revealed if you ask such a person of an opinion on the subject or ask him to demonstrate or apply it in any way. He just can't.

 

    Study begins with a   
willingness to know. 
 

 

Willingness to Know
Study has to do with understanding. It really comes down to one thing to get started: willingness to know. That is the first little door to open before you start; willingness to know. If this little door remains closed then you are liable to fall into the ditch and learn it all verbatim or use another odd system to memorize it without having anything to do with it. None of these systems add up to real knowledge.

When we are talking about teaching how to audit you have to realize that this is not that easy to teach just through the spoken or written word. Much of it is best taught by example, by showing how it is done.

And here we are talking about the more than 50% we were talking about earlier, the practical application, all the do's and don'ts that usually has to be learned through repeated trial and error. If this side of the subject is not understood and taken care of in training we could end up with a subject that is unworkable - just like that. That is what happened at the University of Chicago. They got "no result". It was all due to this little point: the discipline of how to do it. You will see some expert auditors being able to handle some impossible situations in session just using the simplest of techniques. How come they can do that and others absolutely can't? It lies in the expert application. They know exactly what they are up against and that one misstep would make the situation explosive. But they never do that misstep because they are so well taught and so disciplined and really understand what they are doing. It may look very causal to the unskilled observer. What they are doing so well all come under the heading of basic auditing. It comes under the heading of the practical application. The smooth communication with the preclear, the apparently casual question, but just at the right time to make it all work, etc., etc. All these small skills that add up to an expert application.

 

    

Golf may seem very easy to 
the casual observer or 
reader. But it takes   
great skills and years of 
practice to do it just right.

 

 

Just watch an expert golf player hitting a ball. It looks so easy and casual. Yet it takes dozens of small skills and hundreds of hours of practice to get it all put together and working just right. Here it isn't enough to be able to quote a textbook on golf verbatim. Learning all this and having to memorize it all before hitting the ball would be a complete fiasco.

It is the same with doing auditing. You can't just learn it all verbatim and expect that to be enough to make it all work. For one thing, for the session to be successful you have to be in good communication with the preclear and appear to really be there without having your attention on memorizing things. You have to be pleasant and relaxed about the whole thing or the pc will mentally drift away from the activity and just sit there with a bunch of strange questions on his mind.

What is important is not so much the exact questions you are going to ask the pc but how to do it, how to apply the processes effortlessly - or so it seems. You have to be able to observe the pc's indicators, maintain superb communication with your pc, and so on. If you just mechanically rattle off the process at the pc you will not get the expected results.

Arrogance and Study
In studying a subject the student has to realize there is something new to learn. If you take up something with the attitude, that you know all about it you will never get anywhere. If you take up a subject with the attitude, that there are only a few tings you may be missing you are looking at the subject with a closed mind and with a preconceived idea. You are sort of looking at the subject through colored glasses if looking at all.

 

A "student" can be so arrogant 
so he doesn't even bother to look 
at the subject. He is blocked from 
   learning due to inability to observe.
   

 

If you pre-judge a subject in this fashion you will never come to a point where you can actually pass an honest and informed judgment on it. You need to be able to observe the subject first-hand to get fully familiar with any subject and the actions and activities it involves.

Fixed ideas are the enemy of observation. People hold onto all kinds of fixed ideas in order not to have to observe something directly. They have convictions and ideas they won't surrender. About themselves, their status, and the subjects they study.

Something to Study
Honest study and direct observation is something else. The student has to realize there is something there he honestly doesn't know all about and be willing to open up and receive the data and check them out.

Sometimes it marks a big step forward, when a student suddenly realizes how stupid he has been in a field. He may realize he has held these unshakable ideas in place and consequently closed off his mind for any other data in the field.

You know how people as they get older and older are considered harder and harder to teach. A big part of the explanation is that they have decided they know enough or know it all. They are simply unwilling to accept new ideas because they "have it all sorted out and nobody should try to change that".

But in learning a new subject it is important to be able to put aside any preconceived ideas. The student has to have a willingness to know and learn.

When we talk about auditing, and many other subjects, the test is actually simple. Can you get results? An "expert" in any field, someone "who knows it all" but can't get any of the results expected from that field is of course not an expert at all but a person full of data he hasn't fully understood. He has fixed opinions about the field he is an expert in. He is generally lacking good judgment and firsthand observations and observational skills. He may be all concerned about status and afraid to look.

 

   To become a true master in   
any field a person has to 
   have a strong desire to learn.  

 

The True Expert
A true expert in any field started with realizing there was something there he didn't know and he had a genuine desire to learn it and master it. He went through the ins and outs of the subject and was little by little able to produce real results. He graduated to a point where he could form an educated opinion about the subject and enter into a meaningful discussion with other experts and with the subject itself. Finally, he is very relaxed about the whole thing and yet be able to produce excellent results in that field.

The only place a technology, such as auditing, can get truly lost is if the willingness to learn it and study it breaks down. This is closely connected with the basics covered here: The realization there is something there to learn and the willingness to learn it. And these are the basic and somewhat too simple fundamentals of study that we have to point out and make sure are recognized. Fundamentals of any subject, the rock bottom silly truths, tend not to get taught and be forgotten. But they have to be recognized and pointed out and taught or the whole subject can go astray. Because they form the foundation needed to build anything of lasting value. They form the doorway we first of all have to pass through to get anywhere.

 

 

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