Why should anyone want to know anything about the human mind? And for that matter, why should anyone believe that knowledge of the human mind is either unobtainable or undesirable? Why should men ostensibly1
seeking answers to the mind stray so far from it as to examine rats and entirely avoid looking at human beings? And why should anyone pretending to treat the mind stray so far afield as electric shock?
The answers are relatively simple. Anyone who knows the structure, function and dynamics of the human mind is very difficult to control. The only way a mind can be controlled is by enforcing upon it ignorance of itself. As far as study and treatment is concerned, a mind which has been made ignorant of itself would have to have restored to it awareness of its fundamentals before it could be considered to be recovered. And when one restores full awareness to a mind one is no longer able to victimize it; and the profession or society would have to move out of slave orientation into action by freedom and consent, were it to be effective.
Just as you do not want people to control you, so you should want knowledge of yourself and others. Just as you fight away from knowingness concerning self, so you will be controlled.
A simple and conclusive science of mind is a vital necessity in any society which desires to become free and remain free. The only elements in a society which would combat or contest or dispute an effort to attain such a science would be those interests which desired, by ignorance, to maintain their control of a slavery. Each and every impulse of freedom is an impulse toward sanity, toward health, toward happiness. Every impulse toward slavery is an impulse in the direction of misery, disease and death. One can say alike of the arthritic and the neurotic that the basic cause of disturbance, physical or mental, germinated2 in efforts to reduce the freedom of the individual, the group or mankind.
Dianetics is an effort toward the attainment by man of a level of freedom where decency and happiness can prevail, and where knowledge of the mind itself would prevent the unscrupulous use of the mechanisms of slavery. Dianetics can be contested, it can be vilified, its founder and practitioners can be publicly pilloried3, but Dianetics cannot be ignored. It could neither be drowned in praise, nor burned in some purge to its total eradication, for it is a wonderfully observable fact that the one impulse in man which cannot be erased is his impulse toward freedom, his impulse toward sanity, toward higher levels of attainment in all of his endeavors. This is mans one saving grace. And because Dianetics is such an impulse, and because its basic purposes, from the moment of its conception, have been dedicated unswervably to the attainment of even greater freedom it cannot perish a fact which will become doubtlessly more annoying to the slave masters as the years roll on.
There is much argument upon which we could adventure concerning whether Dianetics is an art or a science, whether it is a humanity or a hoax, but all this would avail us very little for we would only be quibbling with words. Dianetics is what it is, and the totality of it can best be summed by the description, an understanding of man. We do not care whether or not it is a science. We do not care whether or not it is more properly cataloged under adventure or mystery. We do care whether or not it is promulgated and known, for everywhere it walks slavery ceases. That mind which understands itself is the mind of a free man. It is no longer prone to obsessive behavior, unthinking compliances, covert innuendoes. It is at home in an environment, not a stranger. It is the solver of problems and the maker of games. A mind that is enslaved is weak. A mind that is free is powerful, and all the power there is, is defined by and contained in freedom.
Why should you know something about your mind? A question of a similar magnitude would be Why should you live? A science fiction writer once conceived a world composed entirely of machines, composed to a point where the machines were repaired by other machines, which in turn were repaired by yet other machines, and so the circle went round and the machines survived. He wrote this story from the fondest belief of nuclear physicists that there is only a machine, that man derived from some spontaneous combustion of mud, that the soul does not exist, that freedom is impossible, that all behavior is stimulus-response, that causative thought cannot exist. What a world this would be! And yet this world, this pattern, is the goal of the slave makers.
If every man could be depressed from his freedom to a point where he believed himself but a cog in an enormous machine, then all things would be enslaved. But who would there be to enjoy them? Who would there be to profit? Not the slave maker, for he is the first to succumb. He succumbs to his own mechanisms. He receives the full jolt of his own endeavors to entrap. What would be the purpose of this world of machines? There can be no purpose worth contemplating which does not include happiness and experience. When a man is no longer able to envision happiness as a part of his future, that man is dead. He has become nothing but an animated robot, without understanding, without humanity, perfectly willing, then, to compose missiles of such detonative quality that an entire civilization could perish, and that the happiness of all could be destroyed in the experience of radiation an experience which might be considered digestible by an atomic pile4, but not by a human being. Thus, as we depart from the concepts of freedom, we depart into a darkness where the will, the fear, and the brutality, of one or a few, no matter how well educated, may yet obliterate everything for which we have worked, everything for which we have hoped. This is what happens when the machine runs wild, and when man, become a machine, runs wild. Man can only become a machine when he is no longer capable of understanding his own beingness and has lost his contact with it. Thus it is of enormous importance that we understand something about the mind, that we understand we are minds, that we are not machines, and it is of enormous importance that man attain at once to some higher level of freedom where the machine reaction of destruction may be controlled, and where man himself can enjoy some of the happiness to which he is entitled.
L. Ron Hubbard
1. ostensibly: apparently; seemingly.
2. germinated: started developing or growing.
3. pilloried: exposed to ridicule, public contempt, scorn or abuse.
4. atomic pile: an early name for a nuclear reactor (an apparatus in which a nuclear fission chain reaction can be initiated, sustained and controlled, for generating heat or producing useful radiation).