The following first appeared in the private email list IVy-subscribers,
which was available to all those who subscribed to the
printed magazine, International Viewpoints.

Bodies and Souls
by Phil Spickler
20 Jan 01

Good evening, anyone!
       What follows should in no way reflect the views of IVy the magazine or
the famous IVy-list and its proprietors, but instead must be solely
attributed to the host that gathers under that flag or ensign called Phil.

        And so, with that preface or preamble seen as complete, we now enter
the body of this work.  It is my earnest hope that both within and without
this body there shall be some soul or souls.  The subject at hand for
tonight's essay, or perhaps I should say foray, is that much-maligned and
ever-multiplying creature called, for some strange reason, the human being,
making up the human race.

       I still contend, viv-a-vis earlier postings, that this creature should
be referred to as pre-human being, or pre-Homo sapiens; but every so often
something happens that causes me to think we can drop the "pre" -- but that
only lasts for a little while.

       It's possible that one of the reasons we often think so poorly of
ourselves and our fellow creatures (fellow human beings, that is) has to do
with a misdefinition of the species.  Forget not that we seem to be the only
species here on our solar orbiter, Planet Earth, who have somehow attained
the faculty of being able to define ourselves, to say what we really are.

       Other creatures happily are not beset by the need to define
themselves.  Some of them, like the marine mammals with the big brains, such
as the porpoise, have always seemed to be smiling; and it seems safe to
assume that these amazing creatures have used their intelligence, which is
possibly quite a bit greater than our own, to avoid the many pitfalls that
come with intellectual introspection and the need to have names and
definitions for all of life, and are not obsessed or driven in the same way
that humankind is to have to know exactly how everything works, all the way
from the extremes of the entire universe to the tiniest imaginable particle.

          Ron Hubbard, quite awhile ago, addressed the question of finding a
suitable definition for us creatures, and in tradition with many earlier
philosophers and religions stated that a human being consisted of a meat or
animal body that was inhabited by a soul, a spirit, a thetan, a spiritual
being, something on that order, and that this happy combination would serve
as both a practical and possibly even observable definition of what a human
being consists of, and that furthermore the definition could be expanded to
include just what the nature and capabilities were of the body human, and
just what was the nature of the spirit or soul, and what were its attributes
and capabilities; and then if you put these two unlikely things together, in
a sort of "until death do us part" relationship or alliance, we could further
examine and define the attributes and capabilities that emerge as a result of
said alliance.

       In fact, Ron made an audio tape about just this subject called, I
think, "Man the God, Man the Animal."  And sure enough, it IS fairly
observable that a human being can and often does express the attributes of a
god or a spiritual being, and also and on plenty of occasions can be and is
quite animalistic, which is of course the very thing that makes humankind a
living paradox.

       There have been and probably will continue to be many efforts made on
our planet to resolve the paradox.  Most of them to date are either very
suppressive of the animal nature of humankind or, on the other side of the
coin, very suppressive of the spiritual or "soul" side of things.  Both
Dianetics and Scientology at their very best, both in theory and practice,
took a pretty good shot at attempting to sort out the confusion that is a
human being in such a way that all the attributes that make up a human being
could come out from under the curse, the aegis, of moral philosophies, and be
seen in the light of day for what they were.

        But I fear that the number of generated ideas about the way that
human beings *should* behave versus the true nature of the beast has resulted
in an ongoing amount of mental, spiritual, and physical dis-ease, and
generated large corporate institutions and practitioners who are devoted to
handling the awesomely bad effects that come from ramming false data and
untrue definitions down the throats of people before they reach a stage in
their lives when they can observe and discriminate, examine and understand,
for themselves.

       Just about everybody agrees that there appears to be a part of a human
being called a living, alive body  It doesn't seem to require that its
existence be proven.  On the other hand, the soul or spiritual part, in order
to be what it really is, if indeed it really is, cannot be produced in a
common material form that satisfies the simple, naive, and justifiably
materialistic notion of proof.  And it doesn't seem to matter if there are
hundreds of millions of people who claim to be souls or spiritual beings --
they can each know that that is true for them, they can even feel that they
know it for others; but by its very nature it is not something that can be
truly proven in the most rigorous sense of that word, and thus perforce must
remain in many respects a very practical theory, belief, consideration, a
point of self-knowledge, but not the sort of thing where you can walk up to
someone and say, "Hey, George, (or Marilyn), you ARE a spiritual being."  I
mean, you could do that, but I certainly recommend that your enthusiasm for
the idea does not lead you into such expressions.  On the other hand, you can
walk up to those same two people and say, "That's quite a human body you've
got there," and almost always easily get agreement that that is the case.

      In the past, and I'm sure into the future, the question must and will
be asked, "How in the heck did these souls or spirits come to be attached and
connected so firmly to these beautiful bodies that are so abundant upon this
planet?"  Well, this is another one of those questions that numerous
religions and different philosophies have attempted, usually dogmatically
speaking, to answer.  Hubbard certainly took a shot at that question, and has
provided a pretty fair number of fairly significant answers, theoretical and
otherwise, as to how this union has come about.  You can find quite a bit
concerning this matter in the writings of Hubbard, as well as in the
technological sector having to do with what came to be called "upper level
materials."  And for those folks that have engaged in the tech that came out
of Hubbard's theories, various degrees of answer to that original question of
how did beings happen to get together with bodies have been achieved, and
definite gradients of certainty have come to pass for different folks about
what they will call "themselves" as distinct from, and not to be confused
with, the body human.

       Sometimes these folks (he said, speaking from his long years of
experience) maintain these certainties for quite a while; sometimes they
diminish, and sometimes they are even replaced by other and perhaps better
understandings or certainties.  One of the dangers in this department comes
about by what seems to be the innate aversion that most human beings have to
the idea of being obliterated with the end of physical existence.  In fact,
to diverge for a moment, if you really want to take up a charged or loaded
area in auditing someone, you can address this area with all kinds of
different processes until you can achieve for an individual the idea that it
would be completely and totally OK to cease to exist.  This is really a hot
one, and humankind's general aversion to the notion has caused to spring into
existence some of the silliest things that you'd ever want to see.  It's even
possible to get people beyond the feeling or belief that as soon as one body
perishes, they've gotta grab another one as fast as possible.

        One theory that yours truly kind of likes, which of course doesn't
make it true, is the idea that if there is a spiritual being or a thetan or a
soul, in order to experience the feeling of being alive it must become or be
extremely closely connected to something that IS alive, and it's that
something that makes possible the feeling or sensation, not only of being
alive, but what dying and death really feel like.  This something even offers
the experience of *becoming* alive, and for a soul or spirit which is by
definition neither alive nor dead, that makes things which are pretty darn

       Now you may not agree with me that the soul or the spirit or the
spiritual being, if there is one, is neither dead nor alive, but purely by
definition, and given its nature, that is the logical outcome: neither dead
nor alive.  Things that are capable of being alive and dead are almost always
composite survival organisms that completely fall to pieces when they cease
to be animated, and that is nothing at all like the nature of what is a

       Now of course a spirit by consideration can consider itself dead, can
consider itself alive; it can even consider itself crazy, but even if it
hangs on to those ideas for what appears to be a long time, it will probably
change its mind about such matters sooner or later and realize it isn't
anything or any state.

      well, anyway, I kind of like looking at things that way, and that's my
favorite illusion or delusion.  It's the sort of thing you might expect from
the founder of Idiotology, and don't forget, an idiot by definition is both
foolish and stupid, and I got my fair share of those sterling qualities when
they were being handed out.

       In an effort to conclude this philibuster, I should like to say that
in my opinion there are two ways to be really willing to be a human being and
to be truly pleased with that state.  One comes when you're so enlightened
that you can have and enjoy the beingness of a human being.  The other comes
when you're so unenlightened that you just live as a human being without
questioning it.  There may not be any difference between the two; but I must
say that in between, there's a lot of people spending a lot of time and a lot
of money because being a human being has so many things about it that are

       There was a Zen master (there's always a Zen master) who was asked by
one of his students, "When the body dies, does the soul die also?"  After a
fairly long pause the master said, "Yes, at death both the body and the soul
dissolve, and that is eternal life."  Well, that's Zen for you.  And now to
sleep, perchance to dream . . . .

       -- Phil