In "The Essence of Gain" in THE HERETIC 3, Bodhi Baba reports: "I have talked with several OTs about their gains. Many said that immediate wins and successes were common, but long-term ability gain was negligable."

   Let's take a philosophical look at this.

I. Introduction:

   A process is a series of actions conducing to a result. These actions can range from psychoanalysis, client - centered therapy, Gestalt therapy, etc., which "treat" someone; to auditing sessions, which "process" someone. These are all specialized practices taking place in a situation separate from ordinary life.

   The client or preclear is "treated" or "processed" to produce a desired change, and is usually encouraged to take a passive role, follow the directions of the practitioner, and await results.

   These procedures can range from an "each one help one" style (early Dianetics) to highly trained professionals only available under strict conditions at very expensive "Spas."

   This is the existing scene. What is the ideal scene? The entire concept of an ideal scene for any activity is really a clean statment of its purpose. Well, what is the purpose of "processing?"

   To help a person find out things about himself or life, to release or free his beingness, to gain a higher understanding and awareness, to increase his ability to confront what he is and where he is, and to increase his self determinism and his right to reason. Anything which does not lead to increased self determinism is NOT processing.

   This is the desired end, but what about the ideal means, or ideal process which is also a part of this ideal scene? Let us consider these ideal means by beginning with an absolute.

II. The Perfect Process:

   The Perfect Process would be no process at all, thus no alter-is, no sweat, no argument, no struggle. What is, is, and is perfectly acceptable. "What do you mean, "process" it? I like raw meat!"

III. The Ideal Means or Process:

   Since a Perfect Process is an absolute, and absolutes  are  unattainable, except perhaps conceptually; let's consider an Ideal Process:

   1. It approaches the Perfect Process as nearly as possible by being unobtrusively effective.

   2. It is designed to produce both the needs of ordinary life and simultaneous inner spiritual growth and self-healing. That is, one does not alternate periods of work to earn money to pay for expensive spiritual exercises, but finds a way for the work itself to dynamically act as a spiritual exercise. A craft pursued as a spiritual exercise like the pursuit of excellence examined in "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance."

   3. Its ends and means are congruent, they grow and work together. Steps taken toward the desired end are explorations into its nature. In a certain sense, there is no final end. Means - and - end interchange in a living flow.

   4. It is woven into, and takes advantage of, the customs of the surrounding social fabric. As a way to do this; it uses a literary or cultural archaeology to unearth and bring back to life forgotten and encysted "theta-deposits" as the stable data of its life-style.

   One way for a small group to do this is to explore a play like Hamlet, re-experiencing the flow of action, not for performance but to release its encycted theta. For those familiar with the play, consider the "recorder scene." As far as I can discover, it has never been done with Hamlet actually playing the recorder. Richard Burton, e.g., simply broke it over his knee.

   Hamlet, speaking to the unwitting agents of Claudius who has secretly killed Hamlet's father and who has a missed withhold about whether Hamlet knows this, says:

   "Why look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of me,... you would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass, and there is much this little organ, yet cannot you make it you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe?"

   He compares himself to a musical instrument baited or "played" by someone who can only call from him crude raucous noises.

   He could demonstrate this by interspersing the above with the corresponding music. There is an important truth embedded in this scene. And if the recorder is also played as part of the ensuing soliloquy "Tis' now the very witching hour of night," Hamlet's suppressed tenderness and yearning can serve as a counterpoint to the above scene.

   Fairy tales like "Rumplestiltskin" and "The Emperor's New Clothes" can be similarly mined as theta-deposits."

   Is "Rumplestiltskin" really a fairy tale about a poor put-upon Miller's daughter; or is it about tricking and exploiting an earth-spirit who ends up cheated as a victim of man's ecological exploitation.

   There is the enduring legend of the transmutation of lead (difficulty) into gold (a positive use) by the catalytic action of the Philosopher's Stone (the Ideal Process?).

   There is a Sacred Drama of the transubstantiation of ordinary bread and wine; offered to be spiritually transformed as the givers wished their inner lives to be. And with the elevation of these products of community labor, the sounding of a bell.

   The use of this sound of aspiration and unity may have stemmed from the Chinese legend of the Hwang Chu or "Yellow Bell." This served as the standard do pitch for each Chinese Dynasty, and was that of a rational man speaking without passion. The Musicmaster had the task of determing this pitch, and if he set it improperly, the Dynasty would fall.

   5. It requires no or minimal assistance from "paid professional friends," but flows naturally as an aspect of mutual moral and social support (please recall, this is an ideal). It clarifies the message of the First Book: "There is hope, people can help one another. There are ways to do this."

   6. It seeks no special material status, since quantity is an attribute of MEST, while quality is an attribute of Theta. Thus, the desired shift is not an increase in quantity of money or power, but a refining of inner qualities with a consequent expanded capacity for enjoyment.

   7. It looks for, finds, enhances, and develops natural healing and improvement processes which can be used in everyday life. Or, if they are formal session processes, time is spent on how they could be applied to everyday life. There is also what we have stumbled upon in life and perhaps ignored, that can help us move towards this Ideal means or Process.

   Here is an example of my own. Just learning to drive, I drove a friend's car for several hours, and when the trip was over, was surprised to discover that far from being tired, I felt refreshed.

   This puzzled me. Reviewing the trip, I noted that the situation was this: I was still learning and so had to be conscious of each action I took. At the same time, I was skilled enough so that there was no strain attached. This balance of challenge and skill arose accidentally, but seemed ideal.

   The question arises as to how I can produce these conditions deliberately so that I am neither bored nor strained. A nice balance of challenge and skill, like the famous "dynamic tension" of Charles Atlas, an optimum randomity, which could form part of an Ideal Process.

   There are several Dianetic Axioms which apply:

   Axiom 69. Randomity is the misalignment .. of the efforts of an organism .. by counter efforts.

   Axiom 74. Optimum randomity is necessary to learning.

   Axiom 84. The self determinism of an organism is increased by optimum randomity of counter-efforts. (Note: ideally, this is what an auditor adjusts in a session, and which keeps it from being other determined).

   Axiom 190. Happiness consists in the act of bringing alignment into hitherto resisting plus or minus randomity...

   8. Finding areas in which it is safe to stop feeling subdued and allow oneself to become fully alive. To be fully alive, one must be able to tolerate a wide range of emotion and action and feel free to "get into" and handle any blockages. One such blockage is "But is it safe, and what will the neighbors think?"

   Here are two of my experiences demonstrating for me the importance of a safe space.

   I was in a Gestalt group and asked the leader if it was safe to scream. He said it was. As you probably know, it isn't easy to find a space where it's safe to scream.

   I crouched down on the floor and returned to an experience at 14, when I fell from the top of a tall maple tree. I had reached for the top branch and it snapped. I could actually hear the cracking sound.

   In this group, I felt free to scream out the terror of falling with nothing under me and with a good chance of being killed. I began with a sonic impression of the crack of the branch breaking, and ran through it four times. I ended up feeling surprisingly good, alive and expansive. A feeling which lasted most of the day. Having a safe space made it possible.

   It is easy to suppress physical discharges out of regard for the feelings of others. Yet sometimes being able to scream, cry, vomit, and groan can help one relax. For example, I was once in a county jail and extremely tense, as might be expected.

   I badly needed to release this tension. So I told the Sheriff not to be surprised if he heard some odd noises from my cell. Following the observations of Janov and Reich, I leaned over the toilet and stuck my finger down my throat to elicit the gagging reflex and reverse the inflow of "You've got to take it and there's nothing you can do about it."

   This produced some unpleasant sounds. The Sheriff came back and said the other inmates were disturbed by these. I replied that I was sorry, but was going to continue.

   I did continue, finally vomited, and began to cry in a relaxed way with the tears just streaming down my face. I let everything go, and fell asleep. I woke up refreshed, and the tension had evaporated.

   This was a safe space because no one could get at me, the Sheriff went along, and I knew it would work. Without feeling safe, I couldn't have done it.

   9. Finding approaches that help others can parallel and strengthen self-help. "Is there any way I can help you with this?" or "What question could I ask that would help you find out what you're looking for?" could be of assistance.

   In one case, I found an informal CCH revealing. I asked Billy, a friend of mine, to touch an ashtray between us. He resisted and I repeated the direction. He finally said, "If I do that, pretty soon you'll have me mopping the floor -- you know, all my life I've resisted control."

   Not only did he become more aware of this side of himself, but I realized that this lay in back of his pressured control of conversations. So we both gained something from this informal and brief exercise.

   10. It combines the attitude of work with a spirit of play. One root meaning of Kung-Fu is "work as if at play." Confucius is English for Kung-Fu-Tzu. Tzu means son or student. Thus, Kung-Fu-Tzu may be translated as "A student of working as if at play."

   There is a parallel in the Jewish "Wisdom of the Fathers," with a fascinating blend of grown-up serious Halacha and the child-like playful Agada.

   A similar combination can be seen in the food of John the Baptist. The poetic echoes of the word for locusts and wild honey in Greek create a blend of "exactitude (the requirements of work), and "wild sweetness" (the easements of play).

   11. It does not stand apart as "therapy" or "sessions." This, again, is an ideal to be approached, as nearly as possible. In "The Ultimate Road Out" in THE HERETIC 1, Bombadil states:

   "this situation is often exacerbated .. by auditing over major key-outs, rather than enjoying and exploring his changed veiwpoint. Generally it is the between session gains that are the most important, for that is when the person can "feel out" his new state of awareness and consolidate his newly conquered "territory."

   A practical approach, depending on the individual, probably lies between these two approaches, with what makes auditing work (and what does make it work?) eventually carried over into one's life-style.

   12. It involves the active interest and participation of the person. Other determinism is maintained at a level which maximizes his self determinism. (see Dianetic Axiom 84)

IV. The Achievement of Lasting Gain:

   Let us return to the opening quote: a report of some peak experiences in a session with the aid of a skilled professional. But the session, a kind of "hot-house" to foster growth, is over, and the client or preclear returns to ordinary life. Down from the peak experiences of Clearview Mt. into the Great Wog Bog, where he doesn't get acknowledged very much, if any, and misindications abound. Various GAMES go on, and the bloom is off the rose.

   What happened? We learn by doing. But, what we learned to do in an auditing session is NOT what we will be doing in everyday life. And artificial developments tend to be one-sided and unbalanced. Apples can be bred to be big, red, and attractive; while the end result may be tasteless.

   There needs to be a transfer of emphasis from formal session gains into something like a continuing everyday Ideal Process.

   Dynamic interchanging flows, with learning = inflow and application = outflow, taking place amongst and using the difficulties and randomities of ordinary life as a means for continuing inner development.