Author: Hubbard, L. R.
Document title: Terra Incognita: The Mind
Document date: Spring, 1950
Document type: Journal article
Publication: Originally published in The Explorers Journal, Vol XXVIII, No. 1, New York, winter-spring 1950.
Book title: The Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology
Location: Los Angeles, California
Publisher: Church of Scientology of California
Description: Hubbard discusses the relationship between Dianetics, Cybernetics and General Semantics.
The comanome1, a period of unconsciousness which contained physical pain and apparent antagonism to the survival of the individual, has been isolated as the sole source of mental aberration. A certain part of the mind seems to be devoted to their reception and retention. In Dianetics, this part of the mind is called the reactive mind. From this source, without otherwise disclosing themselves, the comanomes act upon the body and cause the body to act in society in certain patterns. The reactive mind is alert during periods when the analytical mind–or conscious mind–is reduced in awareness.
It is a matter of clinical proof that the persistency, ambition, drive, will power and personal force are in no degree dependent upon these comanomes. The comanome can only inhibit the natural drives. The value of this unconscious experience is valuable in an animal. It is a distinct liability to Man who has outgrown his animal environment. The reactive mind, so long as it limits its activity to withdrawing, instinctively, a hand from a hot stove, is doing good service. With a vocabulary in it, it becomes deadly to the organism. Those familiar with General Semantics2 will understand how the reactive mind computes when it is stated that it “computes” in identities. The word “horse” in the reactive mind may mean a headache, a broken leg, and a scream. Such a comanome, one containing these things, would be computed that a broken leg equals a scream, a scream a broken leg, a horse equals a scream, etc., etc. If the comanome contained fright, then all these things are fright. The value of such a mental computation is entirely negative, inhibits the perfect calculations of which the analytical mind is capable and reduces the ability of the individual to be rational about, as noted, horses. Comanomes also contain complimentary material which can bring about a manic state and which, again, is of slight use in computations.
While Dianetics does not consider the brain as an electronic computing machine except for purposes of analogy, it is nevertheless a member of that class of sciences to which belong General Semantics and Cybernetics and, as a matter of fact, forms a bridge between the two. There can be as many comanomic commands as there can be words in a language and as many comanomic injuries as there can be illnesses and accidents. Therefore, it is no surprise that circuits can be set up in the brain which approximate any school of witchcraft, shamanism and religion known to Man. The Banks Islander sitting around talking to his deceased relatives and getting answers would be found, on examination, to have a fine array of comanomes and a very active reactive mind.
The selection of personnel who will not be subject to sullen or hostile behavior and who will not become ill under various climatic conditions depends in a large measure on the perceptions of the individual. If an individual can recall things he has heard by simply hearing them again (audio imagery), if he can recall things he has seen simply by seeing them again, in color, in his mind (visio imagery), if he can imagine in terms of color-visio and tone-audio (imagine in terms of color motion pictures with sound) and if he can recall his father and mother as of early childhood, the chances are very good that he will prove to be a very stable man. Additionally, he should prove to be, within the limits of his intelligence and physical being,, an able man. Unfortunately, such persons are quite rare.
If a man has definite anger patterns, worries about things and has unthinking prejudices, he may prove difficult, for these are the outward manifestations of a large reactive mind.
Taking a man back into a geographical area where he has many times been may be profitable from an experience standpoint, but a record of accidents and misadventures in that area would be a definite point of consideration. While it would not mean entirely that a man was a bad risk, there is a double factor involved. He might have had his accidents because he contained a variety of comanomes which commanded that he have accidents (the accident prone is the extreme case) and having had accidents in the area he probably gained several comanomes there which would reduce his efficiency in that area.
A man whose service in point of experience would be invaluable to an expedition might be, in point of potential aberration, a risk to that expedition. There is a remedy for such a valuable man: he can be cleared of his comanomes, in which case his past record of accidents and failures becomes entirely invalid as a criteria for future conduct.
Dianetics has been variously tested and has been found to work uniformly and predictably in all cases. There are many more aspects to it than have been elucidated here, but it is possible to use just these facts to obtain excellent results. In a true, complete erasure of past moments of unconsciousness, the comanome disappears utterly. In the above case it will probably only alleviate, return slightly in three days and then reduce to a null level of reaction and stay that way, no longer affecting the patient. The science has the virtue that it can be worked by any intelligent man after only a few weeks of study. That is, for the entire art of clearing a case. An intelligent man could learn all he needed to know about alleviation of a case in a few hours of reading.
The original goal was to provide expedition commanders and doctors with a therapy tool which would increase the efficiency of personnel and reduce incidence of personnel failure. Dianetics, after eleven years of research and testing, bit off a trifle more than it had bargained for. There had been no intention to go holistic and solve the ills of mankind. That it began to cure psychosomatic illnesses such as arthritis, migraine, ulcers, coronary, asthma, frostbite, bursitis, allergies, etc., etc., that it did quick things about mental derangement on the institutional level and began to replace that strange barbarism, the prefrontal lobotomy, was entirely outside the initial scheme of research. That it would now sail off on a new course to chase down the cause of cancer and cure it was not on the chart.
If it does these things, as it appears to be doing, it is in the medical and psychiatric province. No such intentions existed when the Terra Incognita of the mind was explored for its answers. It was intended as a tool for the expedition commander and doctor who are faced with choosing personnel and maintaining that personnel in good health.
Hubbard, L. R. (1950, spring). Terra Incognita: The Mind. The Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology (1976 ed., Vol. I, pp. 6-10). Los Angeles: Church of Scientology of California.