Christine Norstrand

In our earlier training, we learned that a person goes out of  present time
to the extent that they fail to confront the  physical substance of present
time, the matter, energy, space  and time of daily life. Functionally,
present time is the only  reference point that exists; in its absence, we
are left with  only reactive evaluations, misemotions, and a plethora of
unwanted sensations. 

As counselors and facilitators, we took this data to heart,  coaxing and
dragging our viewers into the present by way of  processes that we call
BOPs (basic objective processes) or  simply, objectives. Professionally, we
considered them necessary  - increasing the viewer's ability to confront
mass and force in  the physical universe also made them more able to
confront the  forces and masses that were triggered by subjective
processes.  We saw that significance-oriented processing was more effective
 when preceded by BOPs. Still, we talked about "having completed  one's
objectives" in the same tone of voice we used when we said  we'd completed
our military service. In short, they were neither  fun to give nor to receive. 

Still, we managed to get through the ordeal and here we are in  present
time. But what does being in the present mean? We mean  that our attention
is in this place and time, that we are  engaged with our life, that we
approach it rather than avoid or  deny it. When we are in the present, we
are a part of our lives,  living them intimately rather than considering
them from the  distance of intellectualization. 

Living in the present, we enjoy improved reaction time,  increases in
intelligence by traditional standards, greater  sensitivity and perception
of others -- all leading to improved  emotional intelligence. Insofar as we
have to function as  machines (cooking, cleaning, working machines), such
abilities  enhance our ability to function and to realize our own goals.
Yet, it is especially when we are in the present, engaged with  our
condition as infinite beings living a finite existence, that  we are able
to learn. 

Lessons of the Soul

By "able to learn", I don't mean learning facts and figures, or  techniques
and procedures. I don't even mean higher-level  analytical skills. We have
more than enough of those sorts of  cognitive learning. What I am talking
about are the soul's  lessons, those things that aren't taught in school.
These are  often the things that don't make sense analytically yet we know
to be true. To illustrate, we visit a friend who is ill and we  see that
the visit has meaning for him and comforts him. No, it  isn't a perky and
sparkly experience but it is a giving of  ourselves that gives us back more
than we gave. This makes no  rational sense but we know that it's true.
These are the lessons  of the heart and soul.

We can claim years of formal education and post certificates on  every
wall, yet still find it difficult to make friends or to  make any sense of
what we are doing with our lives. Both our  traditional school experience
and much of our professional  training imply that if we only have the
correct formula or  technique, we can bring about the results that we
desire without  actually participating in our own lives. Is there any
little  evidence that this is the case? 

Knowledge occurs at many levels, not just intellectual knowing.  To
flourish and prosper, to enjoy our relationships and  communities, several
kinds of knowledge are needed. Emotional  knowledge, the knowledge of our
own true identity, and the  knowledge of ourselves as extended "selves",
our domains or  dynamics, are among these. Rational knowledge may be the
least  of these.

It Doesn't Have to Hurt

Objective processes have fallen on hard times. BOPs are often  considered a
series of low-level processes solely to get a new  viewer to give up drugs
or appropriate for resistive cases. BOPs  are not easy processes to run for
they process the facilitator  as much as the viewer. The truth: Objectives
are neither  exclusively low-level processes; neither are they necessarily
difficult to run or be run on. 

Several years ago, when I was the case supervisor at Narconon, a
residential drug rehabilitation program in Los Angeles, I  participated in
an objectives pilot that was supervised by Rich  Cohen and David Mayo. We
used a pack of several hundred  objectives processes that had been culled
from tapes and  bulletins. All of the material had been published; there
were no  confidential or unpublished processes. Many of these were
considered "objective undercuts" that were lighter to run than  the
traditional objectives battery. These processes ran lightly,  often 10 to
15 minutes to an end point. No screams, no wailing  and gnashing of teeth.
Just a gradient of small wins. 

These undercut processes did not replace the standard objectives  battery,
they preceded it. Time on the standard objectives  processes (those that
were required to be run as part of initial  drug handling or in problems
handling) was slightly less than it  had been without the undercuts.
Overall time on objectives was  slightly longer. The number of processes
run to an objectives  end point of a person who is stably in present time
and knows it  was slightly more than double. 


By now, you are wondering what sort of process would comprise an  objective
undercut. The answer is: anything that invites the  person to look at the
present time environment and get in  communication with it. "Look at that
______. What is it called.  What else could you call it" or "Notice
something about that  ______. Compare that to that _______. How is it
similar? How is  it different?" You can make them up yourself and the
possibilities are as limitless as the physical universe. Just  make them
light, make them fun, and make them consult the  person's perceptions of
the present environment. Don't  intentionally select things that might be
difficult for your  viewer to look at. It's as easy as that. 

The standard battery of objectives will still require some  determination
to confront, as well as sheer willpower. Such  things as strong emotions,
physical conditions and discomforts  can and do turn on. Find your courage.
With a foundation of wins  on undercut objectives behind her, your viewer
will find it  easier to commit to continuing the process to the end point.
She  knows because she's been there on the undercuts. 

High level objectives

No, it isn't a contradiction in terms. The objectives pilot  began with no
more than a culling of every objective process  that was known at that
time. Many were many high-level BOPs,  processes that supplemented the
standard objectives battery.  Arrival in the present is the first step.
Then what? Processes  that invites a view to change her orientation to the
physical  universe independent of her body, and to make decisions from
that changed orientation are truly high-level processes.  Stability is the
fundamental here. When your viewer is stably in  present time, when
exteriorization or out-of-body experiences  are not uncommon, she is a
candidate for higher-level  objectives. 

What about creativity?

The title of this column promised a discussion of objectives and
creativity and we haven't even touched on the C-word yet. Let's  start with
a definition: Creativity is the knowing continuous  creation of the
present. The power of our considerations and  postulates (fiat statements)
are dependent on our being in the  present. In fact, one modern religion
defines therapy in these  terms: The goal of processing is to bring an
individual into  such thorough communication with the physical universe
that he  can regain the power and ability of his own considerations
(postulates) (Hubbard, "Consideration and Mechanics"). 

How does that work? You have no power over something you are  avoiding,
denying, or running away from. Creativity assumes that  you know your tools
well, tools that are physical universe  elements or instruments. And you
must control the material  elements enough to order and arrange them in a
new and pleasing  way, whether those elements are sound waves or marble.
The idea  may seem inspired or to come from the Platonic realm. The
realization and actualization of that idea is dependent on your  engaged
experience with the present. Musicians know this. Poets  know this. 

The traditional arts have no corner on creativity. A  well-written viewer
program, a flower arrangement, and the  clothes we choose to wear each day
are all creative acts. Our  creativity is boundless. And as infinite beings
living a finite  existence, infinity takes form in each of our creative
acts in  the present. 

By now, you have noticed the parallels between the light touch  of the
undercut objectives that invites a creative response  ("What else could you
call it?") and the subject of this column.  Creativity is a native quality
in a being, you can reach your  viewer at any level with it. She's already
creating obsessively  and unknowingly. You are ever so lightly inviting her
to take  control of the ability. As she does so, you will both discover
that she already is where she's going: the present. 

(published in International Viewpoints 34, November 1997) 



"All you gotta do is change your mind."