Technical Words and Learning

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Unless you understand 
the words you don't 
   understand the sentences.   
Unless you understand 
the sentences you don't 
understand the meaning.

 

Essay based on R. Hubbard's recorded lecture: "Study Lecture No 2, Studying - Data assimilation", given to his advanced students at Saint Hill Manor in Sussex, England July 9 in 1964.

When you are trying to read and understand any specialized information there is one point that can that can trip you. That's the technical or specialized words of the subject; the terminology used; the nomenclature. Unless you understand the words you don't understand the sentences. Unless you understand the sentences you don't understand the meaning of the printed page or spoken words.

Non-comprehension all comes down to this: there is a word you don't understand. What does that word mean? This can become a major stumbling block in study. You cannot read and understand the sentences unless you understand the words used. 

There are of course two sides to learning new technical words and new nomenclature. You have to understand the definition itself, the words and grammar used within the definition. The other side is to compare what is described in the definition to the real world. Does the thing or phenomena defined actually exist? Can you observe it? Can you touch it or experience it? We will cover this point in more depth later in the essay.

 But let's say you do research and discover a new phenomenon and you want to communicate what you have discovered. You can't keep calling it "the thing" because that isn't very clear or practical. You have to name it, describe and define it and have others understand it or you won't get anywhere.

 

   You need special terms   
to describe things. If 
everything is simply a 
'thing' you can't really 
communicate about it.

 

So nomenclature is necessary. Specialized words can be very useful and helpful in describing new fields or specialized equipment and facts. The normal words in the dictionary would just not cover it with enough clarity. These words would carry a baggage of earlier uses, of other fields of knowledge and it would all become a mess. So a new field of knowledge needs its own nomenclature in order to be clear to the students and in order to develop in a logical and rational fashion.

In Standard Clearing Technology we sometimes get criticized for not using "standard terminology", meaning words used in psychiatry and psychology in their description of the mind and mental phenomena. But Standard Clearing Technology is its own and should not be mixed up with earlier attempts to solve the mystery of the mind. We would get the subjects totally mixed together and nobody would know what we were talking about.

The subjects have different starting points and different goals.

 

Psychology assumes 
the mind and the brain is 
   the same thing although the   
word 'psychology' means 
the study of the spirit.

 

Psychology assumes the mind and the brain are the same thing. Since the word psych-ology basically means the study or the spirit ('psyche' is Greek for 'spirit'. '-ology' means 'study of') that subject has at the present lost sight of what it set out to study or understand.

Psychiatry has mainly the goal to make their patients "quiet". If the patients feel better or are more able is not really any of their concern as long as the patient is quiet and "behaves".

 

   A patient that is 'quiet' and   
'behaves' is considered 
'cured' in psychiatry 
- or so it seems.

 

Using their "standard terminology" would thus make it completely impossible to communicate what Standard Clearing Technology is all about. We would get extremely upset if the technology we teach would lead to quiet clients that "behaved" and believed their "psyche" were just phenomena in their brains. We want to make our clients more able and happy with their lives and move them towards spiritual awareness and freedom. If we adopted terms and nomenclature from psychiatry and psychology it would create all kinds of misunderstandings about what we are trying to do and the fact that we try to rehabilitate Man's awareness or his spiritual side as independent of the body and brain. So if you try to adopt terminology and nomenclature from a field that does not really fit you get yourself into real difficulties quickly. You would have to adopt and adapt words that have several other meanings and is taken out of a context, that was leading in a total different direction. So words have to mean what they say and not something else or have other meanings in other contexts. That would very soon come back to haunt us and create considerable headaches all around if we violated that.

If you start out to study a new subject you will very soon run into this phenomenon: you run into a sentence where there is is a new and unknown technical word right in the middle. If you just ignore it or say to yourself, "I'll catch up on that later", you will very soon find yourself getting into deep trouble. If you leave these technical words behind as misunderstoods you will very soon realize that you don't have a clue of what the written text means or what in hell the textbook is talking about.

You may think it is the slow way, to spend a lot of time looking up the meaning of this word and fully understand it before you go on, but this is only an immediate apparency. Because these misunderstood words or non-defined words tend to slow you down to a point where you just drop the book and walk away and never get any further. The immediate effect of bypassing misunderstoods is that you get slower and slower; you get more and more uncomfortable about the whole thing.

If you want to speed up your studies you have to do it the apparently slow way. You look up the words you do not understand when they appear in the text. Then you go on and look up the next word you run into, and so on.

 

Learning new words 
has a snowball effect. 
It becomes faster and 
   easier as you go along.   

 

Looking up words as you go along fortunately has the effect of snowballing. Like a snowball rolling down the mountainside and becoming bigger and faster. The same happens with your grasp of the subject and the speed of study you are capable of. If you just skip the words, saying to yourself, "that's not important, I'll catch up on this later", you get slower and slower and more and more confused about the subject.

When you look up the words as you go along it may be awfully slow in the beginning; but at least you have the satisfaction of understanding what you are reading. But after a while you will have most or all of the terminology down cold and now you can really pick up the speed and still grasp it all.

The primary stumbling block in any new subject is thus the nomenclature. Unless you look up the words in the dictionary and get the terms clarified you may think the subject or what the author is talking about does not make the least bit of sense. But really, it is not the subject. It is not the author. It is most commonly the specialized word that didn't make any sense because it wasn't defined. Once the word is cleared the sentence makes sense. Once the sentence is cleared it usually makes good sense and now the student at least is in the position where he can understand what it is all about and form an opinion.

To illustrate, let us bring this practical example of the above. The following we have from a practitioner, who worked with clearing words in a professional capacity in the 1970'ies. At that time the technology of Word Clearing was first put out as a formal subject and technology. Our friend was one of the first so-called Word Clearers in Europe, if not the first. His job consisted of helping students of a theory course to find and look up their misunderstood words in the theory they studied. The course had a points system in place to keep track of the students' progress; the students would get so many student points for each page of theory read and they would get points for different practical assignments and drills done.

At that time, the job of Word Clearer being a brand new thing, students did not get any student points for looking up words (this was later changed). This is important to point out as later students got many points for simply looking up words on their own. But when Word Clearing was first introduced this wasn't in place yet. Initially there was therefore a certain resistance to looking up words as students believed their point totals would drop and they would have explaining to do or have to stay after hours to make up the difference in lost production.

 

    Graph of student points.  
Despite the extra work 
with looking up words 
the students' study 
production went up 
like a rocket.

 

The opposite happened however! And that is the whole point here. Although the students apparently had a lot more actions and work to do in order to earn the same amount of student points their individual points and the points for the whole course as such went up like a rocket. In other words, the students were much more alert and concentrated upon what they were doing. Apparently they had spent a lot of time just hanging over the books without being able to really read and study. This is a good illustration of, that looking up words is the way to speed up study.

Here is another illustrative story regarding speed of study and misunderstood words. These data stem from a translator. She was translating technical materials and it usually went quite well. From time to time she stopped to take a coffee break. This seemed quite natural. It is however the timing of the breaks that is of interest. Each time she took an unscheduled break you could look at the text she was translating and right there in the next paragraph would be some big, difficult word or a technical term she didn't know the meaning of. In other words, in each case of an unscheduled break it was easy to trace back to what had caused it. It was the misunderstood word. When she became aware of this fact, she decided never to take an unscheduled break at such a point. Instead she made it a rule to not take a break before such a word was cleared up, regardless of sometimes having to use part of her regular lunch hour to do that. Soon she found her speed as a translator and general well being and enjoyment of the job increased considerably. She was promoted to being a supervisor of other translators.

As a supervisor her job was to keep junior translators going and check their translations. Here she noticed another phenomenon related to the above. She found the translations checked could go on beautifully page after page. Then suddenly the language would become difficult and unclear and sometimes flat out impossible to understand. The senior translator would check the original and find that it didn't contain the real reason. The original seemed clear enough to the informed reader. But then she  looked closely at the earlier paragraphs before the language in the translation became clumsy. And right there, in each and every case, she found a difficult word or a technical term. She asked the translator to tell her what it meant and as a rule he couldn't define it. The translator was made to look it up in a dictionary and retranslate the paragraph; and as if it was magic, the translator now had no problems with translating it into a smooth and easy style.

These phenomena are all well-known now. They are technically explained at different points in the Study Manual. But the above examples give some solid evidence of these phenomena.

In Standard Clearing Technology we are examining a lot of phenomena, things in the mind, abilities of a being, etc., that weren't very well described or known before. It does take hard study to get an understanding of this new field. It does take a serious effort and good study habits to get into this new subject and realize what it is all about. It also takes a specialized nomenclature or we wouldn't get anywhere. We need to label new discoveries with new labels and describe exactly what we mean. Most of these things didn't have a name before. They have to have a name and be clearly defined before we can actually get some place.

Professions and Nomenclature
You will find any profession has its own nomenclature and its own "black talk" among colleagues. There is more to it than just defining things when it comes to a social level. It becomes the passwords to the group, the way the old pros in short order can tell if the newcomer is a mere dabbling amateur or is one of their own. You see this in just about any profession with any professional pride; be it mechanics, circus performers, lawyers, computer specialists, carpenters, doctors, musicians, etc., etc.

 

Each profession has 
its own nomenclature. 
It also works as a social 
   bond among professionals.   

 

A virtuoso concert pianist will have an astonishing language when he talks to the conductor of the orchestra or colleague-musicians. You wouldn't understand a word unless you had gone through years of formal training. A concert pianist would also have a whole ritual around how he treats his instrument and how he behaves in a concert. Typically he would have this long unruly hair he had to brush aside all the time or he would manage it with temperamental moves of his head while playing. Before starting on a piece of music his hands would float over the keyboard, ready to attack with incredible speed. But they would express a sensitivity and control beyond belief and far beyond the common man. This is all part of how he expresses himself as a pianist, his body language, his mannerisms. It's all in place to tell the audience that they are in for a treat from a real virtuoso.

The nomenclature, as mentioned, is an important part of any professional's social beingness. The usual cycle on this is: when a student first gets into a new field he will absorb all these new terms and use them to impress people with. He will usually be hard to be around for less informed people. After a while he will have his appetite for all this satisfied and now he will start to adopt or develop slang expressions for much of his field and its nomenclature. He will generally become more and more relaxed about it all. The real pros, the real experts, are usually very relaxed about all this. A doctor that has hardly graduated yet may be absolutely incomprehensible to his patients. He wants to show that he is a trained medical doctor and a valid member of the club of professionals. The experienced veteran and proven expert in the medical profession will often be found to have put all this behind him. He is no longer concerned about being mistaken for a newcomer. He has earned his reputation. Also, he can actually speak to his patients in a manner so they leave happily informed. He is not afraid of using simple layman terms and call a cold a cold instead of some incomprehensible medical term.

 

"We are going to examine 
and document your visual 
   capabilities. I suspect there   
   is an infection in iris, 
possibly also in cornea. 
The vitreous body seems 
uninfected. If that is 
the case you will have to 
consume Colipour at a 
regular interval 
for a fortnight."

A young doctor is usually more difficult to understand
 than an experienced practitioner. The word "Eye-exam" 
is just too plain to use when there are medical 
terms available he can impress his patients with.

 

True Experts
The true expert in a field is the person that can produce the results in his professional field. The mechanic that can look over a motor and listen to it and exactly say what is wrong and correct it in short order would be an example. He may not have the appearance of an expert but his work and results prove that he is.

Some professions have an awfully bad record of producing any of the results they advertise. This is in particular true for the professions related to the mind and spirit. Psychologists repeated complaint are "we were called in too late". They couldn't help or the patient got worse - or even committed suicide - due to this. The fact is, however, if they really knew what they were doing  they wouldn't just need good or bad excuses. They would simply cure their patients in short order. Instead such professions are in a defensive mode. They cherish all their academic achievements and degrees and have a vocabulary it is impossible to comprehend, sometimes even among themselves. They are seen to attack Standard Clearing Tech on a regular basis and hold their impressive certificates over these practitioners' heads as if that proved anything in terms of results.

As we have pointed out earlier the goals and basics of Standard Clearing Technology on the one side  and psychiatry and psychology on the other are different. But the fields are sufficiently related as they deal with people and their states of minds. This has created a certain amount of rivalry and professional tension.

Standard Clearing Technology operates in the field of normal functional people who want to improve themselves. It is along the lines of personal education and self-improvement. In this field Standard Clearing Technology auditors have produced remarkable results. In the field of making the able more able and improving the lives and abilities of normal people they have through their results proven themselves to be true experts.

 

'Sciences' as they existed 
in the Middle Ages were 
full of false data that were 
carefully defined. Part of 
study is to make sure the 
   datum is true and describes   
something that actually exists. 

Definitions and Reality
Beyond the definition there has to exist a thing, a phenomenon or an experience of what is defined. The definition has to describe an existing and available "hands-on" experience of some kind for the definition to be valid. When the student gets into a new subject, such as Standard Clearing Tech, there are times when he says to himself, "that couldn't possibly be true!" In other words, he may disbelieve or reject the definition entirely. This can be quite a natural and healthy reaction. You don't have to believe everything just because it's on a printed page.

You have to do additional steps, however, if this is the case.

What is needed is a very thorough grasp of the thing under discussion. A person can misunderstand something that he has read because it conflicts with the usual ideas, or he can find it unbelievable for other reasons. If you don't agree with something that is true, it is either a misunderstood or there is a conflicting idea that you are running into. When you find something unbelievable make sure you know what you are disbelieving. First make sure that you have understood the words used.

 

Data can seem unbelievable 
   when they conflict with existing   
ideas and beliefs. In such a case 
the student should find examples 
and even conduct his own 
investigation to sort it out.

 

Then make sure that you have got the thing, the phenomenon, right. Ninety percent of the times you will find that you had something mixed up. In the other ten percent of the cases you can handle it by setting up examples of how it applies to you and to life. Get examples of how it is that way and how it isn't that way. You will generally find, then, that some conflicting idea or some consideration or experience was in the way of your understanding.
(Later R. Hubbard developed False Data Stripping as defined in the Glossary. We have included the theory of False Data Stripping as the next chapter of the Study Manual).

Summary
Following this sort of routine you will find yourself being able to study. Former methods of study, what few there have been, have not been very successful. When there is no training available one reliable method of studying is to read everything you can find on the subject from cover to cover.

In studying Standard Clearing Technology it is important to know how to study since we are studying that which we are studying with - the mind. To classify students as fast or slow or bright or dull is to make a false classification since this classification leads to no-improvement of anyone's ability to study. There are students who can memorize words and pages virtually at a glance. But this does not guarantee that they will be able to do anything with what they memorized. You can find out by asking if they can define the words in the text, if they can demonstrate the concepts.

The direction and end product of study is understanding. We have defined understanding as ARC. It could also be defined as knowingness in action. With an unknown word or phenomenon in the middle of a subject you will have mystery and inability to apply or act. There is actually a type of misunderstood phenomena we call Crashing MU. A word central to the subject has been misunderstood to a point where the person just can't do any of the things the subject calls for.

One of the primary criticisms of many educations is that it doesn't immediately result in application. You should be able to take any textbook description and, if you have understood it, apply it directly and effectively without familiarity. If you also have familiarity, as in studying a subject while working with it, you should become an expert.

 

 

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