Author: Hubbard, L. R.
Document date: 1952, 6 December
Document title: Formative State of Scientology: Definition of Logic
Document type: lecture transcript
Event: Philadelphia Doctorate Course
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Document ID: 5212C06B
Description: Hubbard "gives" his doctorate students Korzybski re his discussion about symbols; defines an insane person in context of whether or not the person believes widely that "the symbols are the things."
It is all very well to say, “One equals one,” until you ask, “One what?” It’s very nice to have an abstract datum: one, and this abstract datum is a symbol that will represent another one, and that is a symbol which represents–but let’s say, “One what?” And we say, “One apple.” And if we say, “One apple equals one apple”–oh, no. One apple does not even equal itself. I give you Korzybski on all of that. He’s done good work on that and we needn’t labor it any further.
But at no time should an individual make the mistake of believing that a symbol is the thing1. A And people who insist that a symbol is a thing are not only badly aberrated- they are insane. That’s just blunt. If you decide to hit a definition of insanity, the best definition of which I know would be: this person widely believes that the symbols are the things. And you would hit it.
You could go to any insane asylum. You could have manic-depressive schizoid tendencies or old-time dementia praecox or anyone of these things and you could go straight across the boards on the thing and you would find out this person thinks the symbol is the thing.
I don’t care what type of insanity this is-whether you’re talking about a computing psychotic or a dramatizing psychotic or any other interesting things. Because that is a characteristic of MEST and MEST is itself insane. It is insane because it cannot determine or align itself. It has to do it according to a pattern determined for it. And any time anything has to have everything done for it, you get an insane object.
Sanity would be the ability to reason. Reason can be done in abstracts and reason can be done by logic, but logic is not the thing. Logic is a method of extrapolating from one datum and building a bridge of tiny gradients to another datum.
When first Aristotle marched upon the field with his logic, man didn’t have any logic. He had not codified logic to amount to anything and so it was quite welcome to him. He was not so aberrated at that time but what he couldn’t handle this and know its speciousness. But when you find somebody has achieved a syllogism as a perfection, you have somebody who is very close to passing in his chips at the nearest spinbin.
The symbol is not the thing. The shadow is not the substance. That doesn’t mean you can’t work with symbols, but it does mean very definitely that you should never mistake these two things. The symbol apple is not an apple; you cannot eat the symbol apple. That is the best test of it. Now, in all of the lines of logic we have then, therefore, this liability- that people can confuse an abstract with a reality. And when we say a reality, we could make it a reality for any universe. But the abstract is not the reality. Never.
We could say all sorts of things about logic. We could say a lot about mathematics. But we could spend our time a little bit better elsewise.
Let’s take the subject of Scientology and let’s see if there is any logic involved with it at all. There isn’t a mathematics that can embrace the subject of Scientology, because it is an invented mathematics. It’s an invented mathematics that accepts gradient scales and absolutes are unobtainable.
And it is a method of thinking about things and is just as true as it is workable and no truer and is not, in itself: an arbitrary, fascistic police force to make sure that we all think right thoughts. It’s a servant of the mind-a servomechanism of the mind; it is not a master of the mind. Scientology will decline and become useless to man on the day when it becomes the master of thinking. Don’t think it won’t do that. It has every capability in it of doing that.
But when I say identify, I mean identification. I mean that badly logical in every sense that Count Korzybski meant it. And it’s just horrible. The most terrible things stem out of that.
Hubbard, L. R. (1952, 6 December). Formative State of Scientology: Definition of Logic. Philadelphia Doctorate Course, (5212C06B ). Lecture conducted from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.