Why was that?
It was an attempt to organize knowledge on the basis of a dynamic principle of existence to see if it could be done; if it gave us answers in the field of the spirit. I didnt think of improving anybody or explaining religion.
It did bring me to an understanding, on an evaluation basis, of the dynamic principle of existence: to survive, or survival. I tried to evaluate along this line, very heavily, to see where we got, because the one common denominator I could find in all races, types and activities, was survival. Everybody seemed to be trying for survival. And when they no longer tried for survival, then they tried for its opposite, succumb. And these two things seemed to go together as the motivating principles of life.
War came along and because I knew Asia I was thrown into Naval Intelligence, and during the remainder of the war, when we lost in the Far Pacific early in the war, they returned nearly everybody who had been involved in it home and they wouldnt send them out there anymore. So they gave me command of a corvette, and I finished up the war as a line officer.
But tremendously interesting things occurred, during this periodtremendous subjects for study, all this time. I had one crew that was a hundred percent criminals. They were all criminals. They had just taken them right straight out of Portsmouth, and issued them with this corvette. A hundred men. And I spent the last year of my naval career in a naval hospital. Not very ill, but I had a couple of holes in methey wouldnt heal. So they just kept me.
Everywhere I looked, I seemed to find men who were in difficultymen who couldnt rationalize why they were there, they didnt know what they were doing, and I said maybe the answer lies in the glandular system, maybe this is the material answer after all. I spent most of that year down in the medical library studying the endocrine system, trying to find out if it got anywhereand every answer led back to the fact that man was motivated by something I had not yet put my finger on.
To make a long story short, after the war I returned to writing, but mostly to Dianetics and its preparation. And I found out what was entangling manhe was tangling himself up with combinations of mental image pictures. And if you could do something to the pictures you could do something to the man. Quite interesting. And I entered now in a safe sound field, where I was concerned. We were in a sound field of engineering. There was an energy, you could measure these pictures, they werent imaginary. I found out they were measurable, and did measure them. You had your hands on some mass, and you could produce a positive effect, and things were traceable.
I was persuaded by Hermitage House to write a popular book on the subject. And that book, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, brought me a lot of embarrassment. And the embarrassment was this: I had no organization, I had no finance, I had nothing, and all of a sudden the world was pounding on my door.
This was the new mousetrap.
Always the new mousetrap, thats for sure. College students came from every part of this country, people from all over the world. And I found they presented cases I had never seen before. They presented greater difficulties than I had seen. And I didnt know what to do with many of these peopleI knew my study was a long way from end. I wanted to get the answers to this, and get this story written just a little further.
In the fall of 1951, I found out what was looking at the pictures. Here we had mental image pictures, and up to that time I had been studying them and their behavior, which is the reaction, stimulus-response mechanisms that psychology itself had been familiar with, but never had analyzed. I found out what was looking at the pictures. And described it. And found out that you could do things with it from a very practical standpoint that nobody had ever done before, and found myself suddenly in the field of religion, whether I wanted to be or not, there I was. Very simplethe human soul was the fellow.
This rather upset things, because most religions speak to men about youve got to take care of your soul. This wasnt the case according to my findings. The fellow I was talking to was the soul.
I knew how many years a Buddhist can sit and meditate, and how long a Lama priest can work, in order to get a detached view of things. And I found out that on a great many people, some 50 percent of the people I ran into, I could attain this detached view of things in a matter of minutes. So I knew I wasnt looking at a weird phenomenon, or a psychotic manifestation. I found out that psychiatry had known something about this but they merely said that was a sure sign of craziness. But man was his own spirit. And whether I liked it or not, I was in the middle of a religion.
What happened after this?
I went on from there working to find out what was the behavior of this thing called the human spirit. And I felt to some degree I had arrived. At first I didnt even know that it wasnt a mass factor. And dont think I didnt have to turn my self around and upside down, because I had pretty well accustomed myself to thinking in totally scientific, totally realistic lines. And when I was dealing with something I couldnt sense, measure or experience but which was there, I certainly was going to sense, measure and experience and know the reason why. And I did, over in London, in 1953, I built a meter which measures the responses of this thing while exteriorized from a being, this thing.
I finally got myself satisfied as to the fact that I was really looking at the thing that looked at the pictures the thing that experienced the pictures; the thing that motivated the picturesand realized that unless you improved a man spiritually, in a most engineering sense all we could do was change his habit patterns. I found that you could improve the goodness of a man by improving the man, and he was more or less basically good. This was a very great stroke of luck, as far as I was concerned. When you freed a man and separated him from past punishment, you found that he was good. That was a rather fabulous thing. Therefore we find ourselves in the middle of a moral and ethical science, which applies to nothing more nor less than the human spirit.