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DEATH A lecture given on 30 July 1957

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A lecture given on 30 July 1957

I have a little announcement to make here at the beginning which isn't too happy an announcement. Most of you have heard this on the rumor line. And that is that an old-time DScn, Peggy Conway, whom many of you know, passed away in Pretoria, South Africa yesterday from a sudden stroke. She was doing a great deal for Scientology down in South Africa, was operating down there as my representative and was doing quite a bit of work with the government and was getting things set up. So it was a loss in more ways than one. But she was – don't know if many of you knew this, you might have – she was the original "Peg o' My Heart" in the stage play, and many other stage successes. And the war came along and she went out with the USO. She had a jacket that she collected all sorts of various regimental insignia on and she made lecture tours in the country. She finally came into Scientology and she did an awful lot of good work. All of her contacts were in relatively high places. Matter of fact, it was Gloria Swanson who phoned up and gave the information through here yesterday. The occasion was of some interest in another line. She will be cremated and her body will be flown home to Connecticut – cremated.
Well anyway, it brought up another point. There were two or three people who looked at me rather dazedly and I suddenly conceived that I had never given a lecture on the subject of death. Just death as such. And in view of the fact it is one of the larger interesting mechanisms that Scientology under¬stands and what happens and what goes on, I thought it might be a very good thing if I gave you a lecture on that subject.
Audience: It's true. Yeah.
Okay, this is the twelfth lecture of the 18th ACC, July 30th 1957, and the subject of this lecture is material on death.
The whole subject of death has been one of the more mysterious subjects to man and it has only been in Scientology itself – not in Dianetics – it's only been in Scientology that the mechanisms of death and so forth have been thoroughly understood. And when I say thoroughly understood I mean of course just the mechanisms.
We know a great deal about death and we are actually the first people that do, on this planet, know a great deal about death. It is one of the larger wins of Scientology, and I rather wonder that there's been no earlier lectures on this subject except I ordinarily don't dwell on the subject very much. I investigated it, said, "Well that's all wrapped up," and dropped it in the file in the drawer and forgot about it.
It's very easy to forget about death because that's what death is, a forgettingness.
However we do have a considerable amount of information on this sub¬ject, and you actually are entitled to that information.
In the first place, man is composed (as you well know) of a body, a mind and what we refer to as a thetan. All right. The best examples of this were only recently achieved when I told people, "Now, look at your body; have you got a body there?" And people say yes they had a body there, and, "Now get a picture of a cat. Have you got a picture of a cat?. All right, you've got a picture of a cat. All right now, that picture is a mind picture and this is the mind and it's composed of pictures that interassociate and act – carry percep¬tions and all that sort of thing." You could get a person to get an actual picture at that time, and then while he's looking at this actual picture you can ask him this head-wringer which is "What's looking at it?" And nobody ever asked the question before Scientology.
Quite an innocent question. There are several questions that have never been asked before Scientology. One of them is "Can you be three feet back of your head?" This particular phrasing was unknown. And similarly, this par¬ticular demonstration of the parts of man, unknown.
Now, that's – actually gives a person a considerable subjective reality on the idea that he himself is a being that is independent of a mind or a body. And there is actually a separateness there. One doesn't have to be carried along to a point of where he exteriorizes in processing in order to get a reality on it. Many people grasp this rather easily without ever having been exteriorized. But there's nothing like being exteriorized to give you a rather adequate reality on this subject, and particularly to be exteriorized with good perception.
Many people get exteriorized, see the texture of their jacket or dress so vividly that it frightens them to death and they dive back in in a hurry. But they have a reality on having been out.
Now, here is actually the first evidence that man has had on the subject of the human spirit. Man thought he had a human spirit. No, that is totally incorrect – man is a human spirit which is enwrapped more or less in a mind which is in a body. And that is man, Homo sapiens, and he is a spirit and his usual residence is in his head and he looks at the pictures and the body carries him around.
It's quite an interesting thing since it is so easily demonstrated. And when we realize that life has been straining at this secret all these years, to come out with this simple an answer makes it look, if anything, a little ridic¬ulous. I wouldn't say that it made the great philosophers of all time ridiculous because sometimes their poesy was excellent, sometimes their wording was good, sometimes the way they wrote things down and so on was quite fascinat¬ing in the field of aesthetics. But it certainly made their data look very silly.
Now, when we look at the fact that man is a spirit which has a mind and a body, and when we describe man in that fashion, then it becomes extremely simple to understand what his difficulties would be.
His difficulties would be basically with his body or with his mind, and we say, "Well now then, there obviously then would be difficulties with him as a being, a spiritual being." This is – but in view of the fact that he has to think that he can get in a trap, has to get the idea that he can be endangered before he can be endangered, it is sort of like the United States government – the United States government can only be sued if it gives you its permission. You have to have the permission of the government in order to sue it. In other
words, you have to have permission – the thetan has to give permission to be trapped before he can be trapped. Therefore he is relatively easily untrapped. And the moment he is untrapped he gives birth to all sorts of interesting phenomena which we know as the exteriorization phenomena. And all of this phenomena is quite easily demonstrated.
I even constructed a meter once that I could make somebody be on one side of and be on the other side of and it would read differently and he'd approach it and it'd go clang and he'd go away from it. Made out of a little tuning tube that was manufactured in Great Britain – a very, very sensitive tube and an antenna – and a thetan actually does have an electrical field.
Most people know that living things do have an electrical field around them, but nobody had ever measured it before, independent of energy, ridges, bodies, such combinations as that. In other words, you expect that to get an electrical reading on a human being he has to walk over and put his hand on something. This is not true. You can exteriorize him, put him near a little antenna and he gets a read. Quite amazing.
Therefore, thought and electricity and other universe phenomena are quite well (you might say) entangled and confused, and we get to the fourth thing on which a man has reality, but Homo sapiens had no reality on this thing and we can just abandon it if we're describing Homo sapiens, and that's the material universe. He had no reality on the material universe. I mean just none. I mean, I couldn't say that more straightly. You get an idea of this if you just run some Locational Processing on somebody. Grab somebody off the street and run some Locational Processing on him. He all of a sudden notices there are walls and floors and ceilings. You say, "But he knew this all the time." I don't know that he did. He takes an automobile out on Sunday and kills himself dead and that's what we're talking about. All right.
What happens to him when he dies?
Well, basically all that happens is that a separation occurs between the thetan and the body. That's basically all that happens.
He, however, takes with him old tin cans and rattling chains and bric-a-brac and other energy phenomena that he feels he cannot do without and stashes this in the next body that he picks up.
Now, he does not build a body. He does not build a new body in this lazy time of manufactured items and Frigidaires and so on. He picks one up off the genetic line, and the genetic line is a series of mocked up automaticities which produce according to a certain blueprint from the earliest times of life on this planet through until now. And as everybody – even people in biology know, there is a definite succession of steps that life takes today. It's hard for us to believe that a less – a little less than a century ago a man was almost hanged for heresy for announcing the theory of natural selection and evolu¬tion. And they actually had trials after the beginning of this century on the subject of evolution and so on right here in the United States.
But this is a concept which we know today for a very good fact. We understand this rather thoroughly, that something goes through these vari¬ous steps.
Well, what goes through the steps? Well, an automaticity goes through the steps. Well, where did the automaticity come from? Well, that is not the subject of death. That is totally disassociated from it.
Death is something the automaticity does. See, we don't care where it came from. I mean this idea of let's backtrack it and get earlier and earlier and earlier and earlier and earlier will finally, we hope, leave us someplace at
the beginning of things. Well, there may be a beginning of things, there may be an end of things – I don't know. But I notice all clocks go round and round and round. Anyway …
There is such a thing as a cycle of action however, and this cycle of action in Scientology is create-survive-destroy. At the shoulder of the curve an individual is mostly interested in surviving. Early on the curve he is inter¬ested in creating. And at the end of the curve, why, he is interested in the disposition of the remains.
Now, this happens whether you're speaking of a building, a tree, any¬thing else. We get this same cycle of action, create-survive-destroy.
Well, when we apply this cycle of action to this – these various parts I described, we get a death of the body, a partial death of the mind, and a forgettingness on the part of the spiritual being. Which is, in itself, again, a type of death. So we get this.
Now, actually bodies stay around for quite a while after death. Quite ordinarily it takes them a while to decompose. Sometimes as in Egypt they were embalmed. I had the medical examiner of the state of New York – no, it was the medical examiner (that's what they call the coroner) of New York City. He was a good pal of mine one time. He taught me a great deal about writing detective stories. He used to say, "The morgue is open to you any time, Hubbard." We were pretty good friends.
But he told me a great deal about decomposition, how various parts of the body decompose before other parts of the body, and actually the cells in the cuticle evidently live the longest, if not the cells in the hair. These little cells actually remain alive for a very long time.
Well, the decaying mechanism which is employed here is effective sooner on some parts of the body than others. On the bloodstream it's effective within about eight or ten minutes. If you stop a person's circulation then the red and white corpuscles and so forth die in eight or ten minutes. That's what people say. I've been dead for a half an hour myself and I probably haven't had my heart beating any longer.
But the first thing one learns about death is that it is not anything of which to be very frightened. If you're frightened of losing your pocketbook, if you're frightened of losing your memory, if you're frightened of losing your girl or your boyfriend, if you're frightened of losing your body, well, that's how frightened you ought to be of dying, because it's all the same order of magnitude.
Now, here we strike the first observable phenomena in death when we find out that the mind, in spite of mechanisms which seek to decay it and wipe it out, does maintain and preserve mental image pictures of earlier existences. And with proper technology and an understanding of this, one can be again possessed of the mental image pictures of earlier existences in order to understand what was going on. But in view of the fact that we have not restored – get this very closely – we have not restored remembrance to the being, the mental image pictures usually just continue to be pictures.
So we send somebody into a past life and he looks at a mental image picture and you might as well have sent him to the art gallery. He himself has no connection with this. And quite rightly so, because the mental image picture may be the mind of the body.
Now, the body carries around mental image pictures and a thetan car¬ries around mental image pictures and these two combine to form the mind. The mind then is a bridge between the spirit and the body, and the mental image pictures formed by a thetan added to the mental image – and confused with – the mental image pictures formed by the body is usually how a thetan stays in a head. It's quite an interesting mechanism. He confuses these two and so on.
Now therefore, demonstration of past existences by running somebody (quote) back down the time track (unquote) and having him look at a picture is not very convincing. Not really very convincing. Well, why isn't it convincing?
Well, the fellow always has some unreality about it. Only now and then do you strike heavily into something a person vividly recalls. So you wouldn't say this was great certainty. Because what, in essence, are you addressing with Scientology processing? You're addressing this being that we call a thetan.
Now, he, incidentally then, being mixed up with a mind, causes you to also address the mind, but also being incidentally mixed up with a body causes you to also address the body. Don't you see? So it works out this way: unless a reality has been restored to this being, he himself has no reality, no recognition of having ever been anything else before.
Now, the restoration of memory to one of these beings is of great interest to us since all that is really wrong with him is that things have happened to him which he knows all about but won't let himself in on.
Therefore the restoration of memory is done as a matter of course in almost any processing. And in view of the fact that it is part of any process¬ing, it is impossible today to process somebody well and expertly without having them sooner or later get some sort of a recall on a past existence with some small reality. It's very hard. You process somebody after a while and then try to tell him he has not lived before and you'll have an argument on your hands. You can invalidate him, you could chew him up, you could chop him down – these things are easily invalidated. Well, why are they easily invalidated is because they are so tenuously remembered. It's very difficult to remember them so they're very easy to knock out.
Well, an individual's own will has a great deal to do with this. One should not look for outside sources as to why his memory is shut off; just as he must grant permission to be trapped, so must he grant permission to be made to remember. This is quite fascinating.
He is more or less convinced that a memory, remembering back past this subject called death, would cause him to reexperience the pain he already feels has been too much for him. Thus he is very reluctant to face up again to this mechanism, and facing death, almost always goes into a bit of an amnesia.
I'm pointing that up again because I have no slightest intentions of having this lecture go into an amnesia. Do you understand that? It could easily do so, deleting these remarks that punch it up, and playing this lecture to some people who knew nothing about Scientology would undoubtedly dem¬onstrate at the end of the lecture that these people, not already having such as you do, a good subjective reality already – small or great, on this subject – you would find them blank. They would be the blankest people. That would be the time to make bets with them or something of the sort or... They would be very blank because one has restimulated blankness.
Now, one says, "Well, it's all very well to take a scientific attitude toward death, and, you know – but after all, it does carry with it a little shock and upset." Yeah, that's very true, that's very true. Until you've been dead a few times you wouldn't really understand how upsetting it can be.
We are actually indebted for a considerable amount of our material to the odd fact that I have been officially dead twice. I don't think I've ever
mentioned this very much before, but I died in an operation one time back in the 30s and went outside above the street and felt sorry for myself, decided they couldn't do this to me – the heart – body's heart had stopped beating. And I went back and I grabbed the body by the several – there's a bunch of interesting mechanisms in the head that restimulate a body's heartbeats and so forth, and I just took hold of them and then said "Come on here," and snapped the body back to life.
Well I didn't vividly remember after that exactly what had happened. It's quite amusing that I would fog around on this subject as long as I did. All I knew is that I had confronted a mystery of some sort or another that I couldn't make anything out of.
Now, I'd already been studying the subject of the mind for several years since I'd been in the university and this added just a little fillip to the sauce. And I shortly after that wrote a book which has never been published called "Excalibur" and which according to the New Yorker anybody can have a copy of for $1,500. That's not true. I have never permitted it to be copied, mostly because you now have most of the information in it and because it itself is rather antique and out of date. It was merely a plot of things.
But this was an immediate bout with death which I eventually remembered – one kind or another. And the only reason I mention it is because it happens to so many people and they never mention it. They just never mention it. They go and kick the bucket and come back to life again and somebody or other invalidates them slightly, says, "Well, people always have strange dreams under gas" or something stupid about this thing, and so they shut up about it and they never say anything about it again.
Well, this fact that one has lived before is so restrained that it itself is the reason why it is forgotten. The restraining of it is the reason why it is forgotten. The unpopularity of it in other ages brought about the forgetter mechanism itself which causes an occlusion on the subject of death.
In other words, that one cannot talk about it is enough all by itself to continue to cause the forgetter mechanism. Now, we would run a poor process over a short period of time if we tried to get a fellow to do enough forgetting to forget all about death and therefore get it into restimulation again.
An easier way to plot this would be to ask somebody to whom he could tell the fact that he had been dead. Now, you could just ask somebody this, whether he'd been dead in this life or not. You could simply ask somebody this, you see, as an auditing question. You could say, "To whom could you tell the fact that you have been dead?"
Well now, that's a very fascinating sort of a thing all by itself, and it works something like, "Tell me one person in the world who does not believe you are insane." It's – has a fantastically catalystic effect upon a person. A person, you know, sort of believes he's going wog and spinning and so forth and you ask him that question. I'm telling you this seriously. "Tell me one person in the world who does not believe you are insane." You've broken the agreement chain.
All right, so you could ask a similar question, "Tell me one person in the world who believes you live more than once." And you'd get a similar concate¬nation reaction.
Now, exactly what happens when death occurs? I say many people have experienced this. I've gone further than that – I have plumbed into this pretty deeply. What with? Oh, E-Meters, checking up with people, checking into children and so on. It's been a rather thoroughgoing research on the matter. I mean, it was a rather tremendous effort that was put out.
Now, on a lie detector or E-Meter, you can put a person on one of these things and you get a peculiar phenomenon, a peculiar behavior of the electri¬cal needles. That's peculiar behavior observed many times, by the way, by police detectives who could never explain it but knew they ran into it every now and then, is merely talking about a time when a being was separate from a mind and body. And it's a peculiar little mechanism – it's a little hunt of the needle, and it just hunts back and forth over a very small area and quite frantically. Now, that indicates that a person is still sitting in one of these exteriorization incidents. All right.
We know a great deal about havingness, we know a lot of other things. We know how a person would suddenly run out of havingness if he died and we would expect this much loss of possession and so forth to wipe him out. Well, let me tell you something – it doesn't wipe him out.
Most people – and this, by the way, is not true to you if it's not true. You understand that, I'm not forcing on you a "Now I'm supposed to behave this way" when you kick the bucket or something. I'm not. It would be easy to do, you see, to form an agreement, "Now we do so-and-so." Couple of thousand years ago somebody got very active at this and they became eventually very, very unpopular. They had a "Now I'm supposed to go somewhere," and that place did not exist and it got a lot of people into trouble.
Now, this is what ordinarily occurs. An individual backs out thinking of his responsibilities, knowing who he is, where he's been, what he's been doing. Ordinarily this occurs. If he's in any kind of condition at all, this is what occurs. He backs out at the moment of death with full memory. Something kills the body, an automobile, too many court suits, too much overdose of widely advertised sleep-producing agents, and the body ceases to function and the moment he conceives it to be no longer functional in any way, he backs out.
At that moment he knows who he is, where he's been and so forth. You expect a total occlusion – mind you, I'm not hanging this one on you. I'm just telling you what ordinarily happens. Usually the – a total occlusion does not occur at this point.
It is not true that a being – a thetan in excellent condition – gets some distance from the body and then doesn't care about it anymore. That is simply a phenomenon of havingness and when we first found that, we thought this was always the case. But then we were striking where thetans ordinarily were on the Tone Scale. This is not true that he gets just so far from his dead body and his last life and so forth, and then forgets all about it or cares nothing about it and so forth.
He's actually gone into the Subzero Scale. He is below apathy. In support of this, you can pick up on the track times when a fellow backed out of his head and was mad as the dickens. And just kicked the stuffings out of the fellow who killed him. Made spirits and this whole theory of spirits very unpopular. People tried to forget this, so when they run around killing people they would get no immediate kickback. Basic reason why one would want that out of the way, isn't it? When one committed a crime, why, one wouldn't have to suffer for it. I'm not saying this is the basis of Christianity but it is true that man has capitalized on this phenomena enormously – the phenom¬ena surrounding death. He'll capitalize on it and capitalize on it. You look around in a neighborhood and if there is a building which is well kept, why, it's normally an undertaking parlor. You look at the average pay of a medico who gets paid whether the patient dies or not and you'll find that pay is very, very high. It is easy to capitalize on this. Why?
Because people, when they think of death, think of loss and grab some¬thing. Have you got this? This explains the behavior of relatives after one of their number has died. Everybody gets in there and tears apart all of the person's clothes and fight with each other over the possessions and so on.
They're still alive, but they have experienced a loss of havingness and they pour in on this particular person's effects and they're really to some degree trying to get the person back. They think if they can grab enough dresses they'll get the person back.
It actually is not quite as greedy as it looks, it's just obsessive. They don't know what they're doing. I've seen relatives, for instance – I've been around this many times – I've seen them pick up some of the weirdest things. I saw an old lady one time just screaming over the fact that they wouldn't let her have a fellow's meerschaum pipe and I pointed out to her that she didn't smoke a meerschaum pipe, and she looked at me sort of dazedly and came out of it and said, "So I don't" and handed it to somebody else. It was a token, it was a symbol of the person who had just left. Well, this exact behavior could vary from person to person.
At a certain level a person who had to have, tremendously, would get just so far from a body and he's liable to just say, "Well, I don't care, I don't care, honest, I won't care anymore, I just don't care about it. I don't want anything more to do with it, I just don't want to live anyway and I have – very unhappy during that whole life and I'm awfully glad – I don't care; I don't care." Don't you see?
And somebody else is liable to just say h-h-a-a-a and not even think about it, see, and just say huhh. But that person was so little alive when he was alive that his aliveness after he has died is also negligible.
All right. Now let's take a person who is fairly well up, who is fairly strong, who's fairly capable and somebody knocks off the body. Well, I'll give you a rather interesting reaction on that. "I'll show them they can't put me out of the game," and he did a dive halfway across the country and saw a maternity hospital and grabbed a baby just all in a bang! you see? Rfffff! Made him mad. Upset him.
Somebody higher than this would not have been in contact with bodies in the first place, so we don't know anything about that – upper reactions.
All right. We're talking about death and Homo sapiens. Now, we get an exteriorization here, it's a very fascinating exteriorization because it is totally cognizant. The person knows who he is. He usually has perception, pretty good perception. He knows where his friends are, and for somebody to come around and point out this fantastic spiritual phenomena that somebody appeared to them after he had died several thousand miles away is something like being terribly surprised because a waitress came to the table in a restaurant. Of course, I admit that it's unusual.
But for people to wake up during the night and so on, and realize some¬body has died in battle or died a death of violence of some kind or another is only the amount of confusion which is thrown into a being when his body is killed. If he is killed with sudden violence and he's very surprised about the whole thing, he is sufficiently upset and unphilosophical about the whole thing that he is liable to go around and see his next of kin and the rest of his friends in an awful frenzied hurry, you know, trying to reassure himself that he hasn't gone to purgatory or someplace. Because he doesn't go to any purga¬tory. That's a total myth, total invention to make people – a very vicious lie which was invented just to make people unhappy. I don't like things that are
invented to make people unhappy. I'm peculiar, I know, but I just don't like things like that.
He has suffered the loss of mass. Now, if an – if an individual had an automobile – if you had an automobile sitting out here on the street and you came our totally expecting to find this automobile there and it's gone, it's been stolen and so forth, you'd be upset. Well, that's just about the frame of mind a thetan is usually in when he finds his body dead. It's quite interest¬ing, but he is upset, he's disturbed about it. He's below 2.0 on the Tone Scale, and his main thought is to grasp another body. Well, this he can do finding a young child or something that he could bring back to life. Thetans are pretty good at this, by the way. People wanting to heal things are quite interesting. People who have to heal things and so forth are practicing up, I guess, in case they have to bring a body back to life.
But the ordinary entrance is sometime around what we call the assump¬tion, and the assumption occurs within a few minutes after birth in most cases. The baby is born and then a thetan picks the baby up. That's the usual proceeding.
However, this thetan could have hung around for a long time. And you say, "How do people behave?" You ask the same question of how do thetans behave when they suddenly haven't got a body. They behave like people. They'll hang around people, they'll see somebody who's pregnant and they'll follow them down the street. That's right. They'll hang around the entrance to an accident ward and find some body that is all banged up and the being that had that body has taken off or is about to or is in a frame of mind to, and does so, and pick up this body and pretend to be somebody's husband or something of the sort.
They do all sorts of odd things. It isn't necessarily true that all of this is taped, measured, laid out and so on. I'm telling you what is standard about this behavior and what is not. When a new body is picked up, if a new body is picked up at all, is not standardized beyond saying it usually occurs, most of the time, unless the thetan got another idea, two or three minutes after the delivery of a child from the mother. Then about the time he first – the baby takes its first gasp, why, a thetan usually picks it up.
Now, would the body go on living without a thetan picking it up? Well, that is beside the point. That is beside the point. It's a case of how fast can you pick one up before somebody else gets it. So there's a certain anxiety connected with this.
Now, thetans often say very interesting prayers at the moment they pick up a body. They do. They dedicate themselves to its continued growing and they're so pleased with the whole thing and they dedicate themselves to the family and go through all kinds of odd rituals of one kind or another – they're so happy to get this. But the odd part of it is, they don't shut their memory off until they pick another body up. And the shut-off of memory actually occurs with the pickup of the new body.
Now, there is a phenomena, a series, known as the between-lives series, and people have some sort of a thing mocked up whereby somebody goes back through a between-lives area, it is called, and so on. This can be plotted. It is not unusual. The phenomena connected with it, however, is so questionable and so variable and the places people go makes one think that some thetans belong to one club and some belong to another club. But it's not that "Every¬body does this" and "Now I'm supposed to," it's certainly not a constant.
Now, until 13 or 1400 the between-lives area operations weren't thriving at all. They got very few customers. That's right. And then they started to
pick it up more and more. They had to knock witchcraft totally out of Europe before the between-lives area clubs or whatever they were, started thriving. They had to knock out any idea of demons and spirits. In other words, they had to make one feel guilty for hanging around, admiring the trees with no body to look through. And they succeeded in doing this. And if you look it over carefully you'll find out that you could make a little kid sick just by talking to him about this sort of thing. You could have done it more easily a few – couple, three hundred years ago than you could do it now. But just start talking to him about ghosts and spirits and how bad they are and how fear¬ful they are and the kid doesn't like it. He gets upset. He can be scared very easily. Why can he be scared very easily? One, you're restimulating times when he's exteriorized, and two, you are invalidating him and throwing him down tone like mad. He is a ghost, he is a spirit, he is a demon. Got it? I mean he is all these bad things they've mocked up.
Now, in view of the fact that two exteriorizations take place, this could get very complicated as one looked at it – because the GE exteriorizes. And I have never followed a GE where he goes to go someplace else, to do something else, to pick up something else and so forth. I don't know anything about it.
There is something that mocks up bodies that we call a genetic entity, and it skips from life to life. Incredible, but it does. It skips from life to life as neat as you please. In other words, a body doesn't even live once – just once.
Now, it's a funny thing what I'm saying to you because it is so obvious once you look at it. If a body lived only once it would never have learned how. I mean, it's just one of these sweepingly stupid things to tell people that a body just lives once. It just couldn't be. I mean… Very weird. Somebody would have to be standing around mocking them up all the time and teaching them, and they'd have to have a full college education and more than that before they were ever fit to cry and wet their diapers. That's right, isn't it? They'd have to have a terrific amount of know-how. The intricacy of a body itself is something that has developed over a long period of time. Bodies learn how.
Well now, what do you mean, "learn how"? Well they become storage places for data, and we have to assume the simplest explanation – there are several explanations for this – we have to assume one, that a body is a collec¬tion of little things called cells, each one of which is a spirit. That's kind of goofy, isn't it? Or it is something which some spirit somewhere continues to imbue with life. And if you've ever seen an army of ants on the march and seen their coordinated behavior, and then if you've ever taken a microscope and looked for anything in an ant that could ever have done any thinking or anything else, you have to assume there – they can't even communicate with each other. I have bedeviled ants in one way or the other. I have even got in their heads and tried to run them. Something gets awfully mad at you when you start monkeying around with an ant. It's quite interesting. You won't let him walk along in his machine fashion and certain way, and something gets awful mad someplace or another and it isn't the ant.
So when a body dies then whatever made the body, developed it, operated it mechanically and kept it going otherwise, evidently does it all over again.
Now, there's another explanation for this and that is that a thetan decays to a point where he becomes a body cell, and one eventually becomes a body cell and knows his place in the whole thing and has been thoroughly edu¬cated in how to perform as a body cell.
This is totally valid as an explanation. It says you sooner or later would not be able to get out of your head and you would go into the body, crunch,
and you would remain there forever carrying along from body to body and so forth with your experience and so on.
It's a very wonderful way to frighten people. And totally impossible. The mathematical computation involved would require as many lives back as there are cells in the body and we have so grandly exceeded the half-life of this universe (which is rather easily computable in numbers of ways) – we've gone back so many trillions of trillions of quad-trillions of quad-billions of years, that there is no such concatenation of life and there couldn't be any such operating activity. We count the number of separate living cells there are in a body one after the other and we come up with the fact that if each one got trapped in the body and lived a lifetime, we just went back – it's an uncomputable thing. It doesn't even work if you picked up one every minute from here to the beginning of eternity. It's just still – they are utterly countless.
You just turn a microscope on and you look at the numbers of them and you'll find the main trick of the universe, how the universe absolutely cows us, each and every one, and that is under the whole subject of quantity. They make us look at quantity, and that in itself is a trap.
Each of us is one. And each of us looks at the many and sees that it is so many that we ourselves are rather staggered by the whole thing and feel ourselves inadequate. But when we realize that some preclears are dead in their heads and some preclears are exteriorized rather easily, we see that there's a difference amongst beings. Well, I don't know why we're so egocen¬tric that we believe there could be only one type of thetan. I don't know why this would be the case at all. Why should we assume there's only one type of thetan? Be kind of a silly thing to assume.
The way you lick this quantity thing is very interesting, is when you look at a tree, look at one leaf. Odd things happen to you if you do that. But it is not true, as far as I can determine in any way, shape or form, that the body is composed totally of trapped thetans or that the wall over there is composed totally of trapped thetans. See, it's just not true. It's not easily established, but it certainly doesn't hold water. Doesn't make sense in view of the fact that it is so numerous and the body's cells are so numerous that we come a cropper at once. We say, "Well, there's something someplace mocking up a lot of something." And when you realize that you have the capability of endowing with life, things, why then we don't even know that the genetic entity is alive.
We don't know that it's alive at all. It might be just a machinery or a computation of one kind or another that goes on, that you continue to endow with life to some degree until you separate from it. In view of the fact it's impossible to trap you in the first place, it must be with your consent; you certainly wouldn't consent that far. All right.
However this may be, it is quite interesting to note another phenomenon of death and that is that a thetan will stay around a body until it is disposed of properly. And you can take an E-Meter and any preclear and you can find times when he's been left out on a cliff and nobody even put the lid on the coffin and there it is exposed to the wind and rain; and he'll stay around there until that body is totally dust. How very fascinating. Decomposition: phenomena connected with. Bodies left out in the open decompose. Bodies buried in the ground go to pieces in a hurry. However, there are certain parts of the body that can be preserved. But these cells that have been preserved are no longer living cells. Most hair that is expected to grow after death – you dig up a dead body, and – I don't know what other kind there is – but you dig
up a body and you'll find that the dehydration of the skin is such as to have caused an apparent growing of the fingernails and hair. In other words, the skin receded so the hair and fingernails got longer.
Now, a body – rate of decay of – is not really a point in question, except a thetan will try to accelerate it if the body isn't cared for. You leave a body in an open field or something like that and nobody takes care of it, they just say, "Well, that's an old body over there. There's a dead man over there, there's a girl dumped down there in the crick. Who cares?" you know, in some advanced society such as 1984 – and you'll find that a thetan will sort of hang around and say, "Well, let's see, can't we push this thing in the crick?" or "Can't we do something with it? Can't we get it out of sight?"
Now, a thetan doesn't much care concerning the actual disposition of the body as long as it isn't given any more indignity than it suffered in the life¬time. But he is apt to be very upset about indignities rendered to a dead body. Even while he is (quote) "in a body, alive," when the body is apparently alive and he's taking one around, he gets upset, if he's in any kind of shape at all, about bodies being abused and mistreated. See? But he gets upset about this a little bit.
But much lower on the scale, he's still upset about indignities to dead bodies and dead things. "Well, we mustn't speak harshly about him after all the fellow is dead." He has subscribed to this, very thoroughly subscribed to it.
Very well. A thetan exteriorizes rather easily from a body when it kicks off and dies. Exteriorizes with total recall, but sometimes with a great deal of confusion. He starts pulling mental image pictures apart and he doesn't know where he is and his perception won't turn on right away and he has an awful time and he struggles through it and he eventually picks up another body one way or the other, somehow or other gets himself there and gets himself going again. Some thing – kind of a condition like this is liable to continue; he's liable to live several lives in a fine state of confusion, with bad perception and so on. One day, why, he crashes into the high-tension line. You know what an airport is – it's a body of land surrounded by high-tension wires. And he crashes into some high-tension wires or gets thrown out of an airplane, and steps on the third rail, something of this sort and something happens to the energy masses that have been obscuring his sight; which is a loss of havingness again too. But it isn't havingness which makes the thetan. It's his relationship to havingness that makes him. He has certain relation¬ships and when he gets rid of that then he gets rid of certain mass that was causing him to be blind or something of the sort, why, he takes a look around and there he is.
Sometimes a thetan's gone for several hundred years without any clear view of anything and one day wound up on an electric fence, pitched there by Farmer Brown's worst bull, you know. And he's stone-dead, the body is, and all of a sudden he's thirty-five feet behind it, looking around – it's a very bright clear day. "What am I doing here? Oh! Well, I can't get that body off the wire again." And he's liable to hang around, wait till somebody shuts the current off, gets the body off the wire, at least wraps it up in a blanket or gunnysack or something like that and dumps it in a hole in the ground.
He associates the body with his own identity to the degree that every time an indignity is rendered to the body he thinks it is to some degree being ren¬dered to him. Therefore he hangs around a body until it's properly disposed of. When people make wills in which they declare a certain disposition of the body, it's a very, very wise thing, if you want the fellow to go on and live a happy life
someplace else and so forth, to carry out those wishes. I don't care what they are. "Dump the ashes seven miles south of Oahu." All right. Dump them seven miles south of Oahu. So what? That's the way he wanted his ashes. That's that. Because it's his idea of what is proper care. See, that's his idea.
Now, the Egyptian had the idea of living forever. They wanted their bodies to live forever. They thought that was very complimentary so they'd wrap them up and mummify them and anoint them in oils, but don't think that a thetan hung around just because his body had been mummified.
Now, because he had gone away and gotten lost someplace, as far as he was concerned he was on some other genetic line, he never would be particu¬larly upset about his body or something of the sort because it had been hauled out of a tomb and left to rot someplace or been put up in the Metropol¬itan Museum, you see. And take a mummy out of a tomb, let it rot and go to pieces in the sand or something or put it in a museum and put a tag on it – he already would have been too far away from it to worry about it.
One very worrisome case – a thetan whose skull was used by a carnival and the carnival had put a motor in the jaws and made the jaws keep operat¬ing and the thetan just couldn't take it – the fact that the jaws were moving. And then some sort of a speaking tube had been run through the back end of the skull so that all the time the jaws wiggled, why, words were coming out of it. And I actually had to unwrap a preclear from that particular skull. He still had a finger on that skull even though he had another body.
People become curators of museums just to keep a finger on a body they might have had once. This is no respecter of persons; I mean, one person isn't more interesting or peculiar than another, they're all interesting and pecu¬liar on these lines.
Every once in a while some fellow will go into some area and go com¬pletely berserk and not know quite what's wrong with him. Well, he's gotten killed there, he's left something there or something like that. He goes into an area and he says, "I don't feel safe here. I have a terrible feeling like some¬thing awful is going to happen." Well, he very possibly has been killed in the area under similar circumstances. But usually it's in the area; it's much more accurate than that.
Now, don't confuse this with prediction. A thetan can actually predict the future. Since I, two and a half weeks ago, even before I received any word about Peggy I knew that she was going to go and about when. Told several people this. This is prediction. It doesn't have anything to do with that.
But one predicts rather easily on the subject of death because it is so all-embracing as a concern. Someday something is going to take your mock-up away from you. Well, because you've lost many bodies without knowing what took them, then it is very easy for you to mock up heavens, hells, angels, all sorts of things that are going to grab your body. You can even mock up something – the old man with the scythe, and there are many people who believe this utterly, that there is a fellow named Death who comes along and takes the body away. Oh, undertakers take it away or other people take it away – garbage-disposal units. But there is no such being.
Now, of course a thetan could always mock himself up as such a being and be such a being and go round and whisper sweet nothings in people's ears about how he was Death, and sometimes it works. Got rid of an insur¬ance agent that time – once.
The subject of death is never a very serious one to a Scientologist beyond the fact that he feels kind of sorry for himself sometimes. There was somebody
of such terrific elan, somebody who made him real happy to be around and so forth, and this person was thoughtless enough to dispose of a mock-up and go out of communication. And a person feels pretty unhappy about it. It's a thought¬less thing for a friend to do.
Now this, by the way, was a very early concept of death. You've no more nor less than you've progressed back to death as it was regarded very early on this particular track in this universe – a person didn't regard it very seri¬ously. The Roman never regarded death very seriously. He probably had a very accurate idea of more or less of what happened to him, then he went into idolatry and then he kept going and he finally hit bottom. Anyway …
Death is, in itself, a technical subject. You can, with considerable confi¬dence, reassure some husband whose wife is dying or has just died, that she got out all right and she is going someplace and pick up a mock-up. If you got there while that person could still talk, still communicate MESTwise with you, in the last moments they usually have something spotted, something planned.
Now, the person doesn't just back out ordinarily and forget all about it. They back out of it with full identity, they hang around for quite a while, they're usually there for the funeral, certainly. They very often hang around their pos¬sessions and so forth to see that they're not abused. And they can be given considerable drops in tone and given upsets if their wishes aren't carried out with regard to certain things. I wouldn't go so far as to say that any thetans in this day and age outside of Scientology had any force or ability to punish people for not carrying out their wishes after death. But certainly it used to happen, and people then said this was superstition, and science was against superstition. Well, it's quite interesting that we have turned around the other way and we find out what's science and what's superstition and we find out that a being is capable of almost anything, providing it is within his ability to execute.
Now, sometimes a thetan gets so furious that he gets hallucinatory. He goes round killing his enemies in all directions and they don't even exist. Motto: have your reality in good condition before you die.
There are many processes which exteriorize people and give them a high level of reality on this. Amongst those processes – the key process that pro¬duces the phenomena without any great shock is old Stop, Change and Start – produces the phenomenon of exteriorization rather easily. Even on somebody who was terribly dead in his head you can ask him to keep his head from going away and he's liable to blow out. Next time you run it on him he's liable not to. But I've taken people who were terribly dead in the head – this is the clincher – thetans do not become body cells. Thetans do not become walls. Thetans can get out of any trap they're in but sometimes it's better to be in a trap than nowhere. That's true of most people.
And a thetan does back out. He very often carries with him a theta body: he's got some sort of a mocked up body on the past track which is a number of facsimiles of old bodies he has misowned and he is carrying along with him and which – control mechans [mechanisms] of which he uses to con¬trol the body he is using. That's all there is to a theta body. It's facsimiles of old bodies he's had and controlled and he uses these same sets of controls on any new body he picks up, and he eventually develops quite a heavy, thick automatic control theta body. They're quite interesting. Many times they have electronic claws and all sorts of things. Usually the theta body structure has. an electronic beam that goes down each of the fingers and he opens and closes his hand with sort of beams. This is going off into structure. But he sometimes pulls out with this theta body complete and simply takes it along.
He can also pull out of the theta body but he hasn't got a prayer of ever becoming a cell. Not a prayer. You can hope, but it won't do you very much good.
Now, I have made an actual test of this and I can assure you this is the case. I have taken people who were totally dead in the head, had no percep¬tion of any kind, could not possibly have gotten out of their heads, would have been the people, as weak as they were, that would have gotten stuck in bodies and gone on the genetic lines and had very many disastrous things happen to them, and I have fed them such things as ipecac, which is very vile material which made them so ill that they thoroughly hoped they would die. And in each and every case when they would get very, very low and very close to the borderline, why, they would go out – one fellow went out and sat on a bell buoy and just sat there for a long time feeling very sad about the whole thing, and then came back and noticed the body was getting better so he picked it up again.
This was done to him again and he did more or less the same thing, but he knew he was being fooled this time so he didn't go so far and he came back rather rapidly.
But one way or another I've managed to exteriorize anybody had any¬thing to do with, and they have known who they were and what they were doing after they got out of their heads, and this rather demonstrates conclu¬sively that a person does not get trapped and that death is just another phenomenon and it's about as dangerous and upsetting as losing your family or your pocketbook or some other possession. And a person loses his body and after that behaves accordingly and out of this a great mystery is made. But that is death, the phenomena of. And I hope sometime or another you may have no use for this whatsoever.
Thank you.

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