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.
Why I don't want to be high-toned *all* the time (Part 1 of 2)
by Phil Spickler
11 Feb 2001
I've had what follows on my chest for so long that unless I want to
start purchasing another size larger, I'm going to have to get this off my
chest. Using the expression "to have something on your chest" takes me back
to good old Book I Dianetic days, when you could have a lot of fun (and we
did) with folks who punctuated their communication with phrases that tended
to prove out as being engrammic, and the phrase "I've got something on my
chest" or "He's got something on his chest," when used with repeater
technique, often opened the door to some really heavy-duty, and sometimes
chilling, engrams, much to the amazement of the pc, and even sometimes
surprising some of the Book auditors who hadn't been absolutely certain that
such things as a real engram existed.
Well anyway, I've just gotten quite a ways off the track of what I
intended to talk about, and perhaps in another soon-to-be composed posting it
would be fun to review the usefulness of engram phrases, which contain things
like holders, bouncers, groupers, misdirectors, and denyers, just to name
some of the major control possibilities found in a good old engram.
But for now, let's talk about why I don't want to be high-toned *all*
the time. First of all, I think it was an idea that was at least in part a
marketing scheme to keep people forever coming back for more of the "stuff,"
since it's pretty hard to enforce on oneself and perhaps others the idea of
staying high-toned all the time. Some folks got so implanted or convinced
that that was the only way to be, and it became such a standard, hidden and
unhidden, for viewing both ourselves and others, that it became morally wrong
and indefensible to find oneself experiencing what have come to be called
"lower" tones (BAD), so that upon such recognition an individual was expected
to at once and without delay do something like running to the nearest
organization or auditor and "getting it handled," so that one could go back
to being high-toned.
Well, it's really a pity, because adding about half of life to the
area of things that people should be unwilling to experience is a certain
formula or recipe for having a lot more trouble feeling OK about yourself and
others and their condition than before you learned with such unshakeable
certainty what was "good-toned" and what was "bad-toned."
I personally and absolutely claim the right to be any old tone I
either wish or find myself experiencing, although some of my valences and
identities that are still hanging around from earlier implants on the subject
will interrupt my enjoyments of the lower tones and, by shaking a finger at
my thetan, admonish me to do something about it, that it's absolutely
unseemly for a Clear OT, for a theta-cleared thetan, for a permanent Class
VIII auditor, for a Dianetic Clear, for a Help/Step 6 Clear, for a GPM Clear,
for a Pre-OT 3 Clear, etc. etc. etc :-) :-) :-) to be walking around and
enjoying being covertly hostile or griefy or apathetic, or even feeling like
punishing the bodies of other drivers, or (faith spare us!) owning and
protecting bodies, or at times being just as dead as it's possible to get.
Well, anyway, you probably get my drift by this point, so if you
really, you auditors or processors or whatever you want to call yourselves,
really want to help somebody, rather than train them into being a
never-ending paying customer, work in the direction of getting people willing
and able to experience the tull range of life, existence, without any moral
judgment about what part of existence is good and what part is bad.
Once a person can be and is willing to experience all of life, or as close as
possible to it, you get somebody who is about in 50 times better shape than
some moral goof-off who is looking at life through the scales of Scientology
or some other subject and judging everything morally by its apparent position
on some scale.
We definitely don't want to make people more self-conscious than they
already are. Self-consciousness is already the bane of human existence. We
need people who are capable of living life to the fullest and having a much
broader range than -ologies and -isms would have you think is a good idea.
Probably my biggest argument with Knowledgism is the notion of the Zones --
the Red Zone, that's bad. You don't want to be in the Red Zone because just
like a traffic light it suggests Stop or Stopped, and that's bad. And then
the Yellow Zone and the Green Zone and the Gold Zone and the Platinum Zone
and the Diamond Zone, etc. etc. -- phooey, says I! Throw all those zones out
the window, and with them the idea that some are good and some are bad.
Things like that just provide you with ammunition for screwing yourself and
others up and keeping you from seeing the miracle of life in all its
expressions, as well as providing you with service-fac material up the
This statement about the zones is not to be construed as some sort of
denunciation of Knowledgism as a whole or its creator or founder, since I've
seen and know of plenty of people who have benefitted quite a bit from their
experiencs with said subject. I'm just talking, if you will, about the
artificial subdivisions of Life into zones and scales, which from a General
Semantics viewpoint can only be used with a very light touch, since they are
so far removed from a fuller perception and understanding of the things they
endeavor to symbolize. (Max Sandor will easily understand what I'm saying
And so I think I have covered, to some degree, not only why I am not a
Christian but why I don't like to be high-toned all the time. It is my
earnest hope that this modest polemic will excite some responses (not too
many, please) from various points on our beloved IVy list.
Why I don't want to be low-toned *all* the time (Part 2 of 2)
by Phil Spickler
15 Feb 2001
To whom it may concern:
Having realized that the previous posting, entitled "Why I don't want
to be high-toned *all* the time," only captured half of the picture, this
evening's chat endeavors to make up for this deficiency by exploring why I
don't want to be low-toned *all* the time.
After so many decades of working and striving and sometimes achieving
an almost-real (or imagined) high-toned feeling for life, some years ago I
decided that I would put the other half of existence into place personally
and see if in spite of all prior conditioning I could learn to enjoy, nay,
even to love and embrace completely that which had been called the lower
tones; and I must confess that in some respects it's been a delightful relief
from things like cheerfulness, exhilaration, etc. etc. all the way up to the
serenity of beingness.
And once the erroneous and false status thing about being high-toned
got debunked and replaced by the willingness to be low-toned, and finally
reaching the conclusion that words like "high" and "low" needed to disappear
from this vocabulary, well, it just opened up a much larger and perhaps truly
normal range of expression; although I must admit, and humorously, people out
of my past who have expected to come across me again and find me the
embodiment of high-tonedness have been surprised and sometimes even put off
by finding me sometimes on extended trips through that which used to be and
perhaps still is called the lower-toned range.
Anyhow, if you haven't spent much time lately below 2.0, I'm here to
tell you that you don't know what you're missing, especially if you can do it
without being furtive or feeling guilty or wrong for some of these extremely
natural expressions and their necessity for existing in a world that largely
depends on the great dance called Life that is brought about by the opposites
and all of their gradients.
Anyway, I've gotten so enamoured of being what some leftovers might
call low-toned that I have to admit that it's a good idea, perhaps, to
sometimes and occasionally give some credence and existence and expression to
those motion rates or emotions that came to be called "high-toned." I
definitely think, and I believe most Dianeticists worthy of that name would
agree, that one's physical, mental, emotional, spiritual health depends on
being comfortable and willing to express without too much restraint all that
that has come to be called the Tone Scale without any moral (right/wrong)
evaluations placed on any single emotional tone or mood expression.
In the earlier posting on the subject of tones, high and low, I had
something to say about developing oneself, whether it be through auditing or
some form of increase in understanding, in the direction of being willing to
experience anything and everything. I didn't do anything about defining or
clarifying what the word "willing" means, which I think for a few people may
have created a problem; but I can say, in what I hope is not too garbled
prose, that "willing" in no way carries with it or implies anything but a
state that is in potential, which is to say (or as they say in French, c'est
a dire), "could do it or be it or have it, if you want to, but you might not
So being willing, once again, has as its senior consideration,
choice; and if you're going to work on being willing to experience anything
or everything, with it comes the ability or willingness to be UNwilling to
experience anything or everything, and it's important not to lose sight of
that, lest you become stuck by the considerations of others, who might try to
convince you that by being willing you have somehow given up your choice,
which may be to be unwilling.
I have carefully attempted to reserve these rights or freedoms for
myself(s), and when it strikes my fancy extend this privilege or power of
choice or self-determinism to any and all.
Some folks reading my first post somehow got the idea that I was
somehow talking about a game or an activity without rules and mythical
freedoms without barriers; in other words, out the bottom; and I'm here to
say that I regret that I may have given that impression by the horrifying use
of high-level abstract English, and hope that the current post undoes this
outrage simply and easily.
The IVy list, as its creator Ant has described it, does have certain
rules for engagement between those who post to it. I happen to agree with
Ant's rules in this area, having seen what occurs on other lists where such
niceties and civilities are not observed; but the potentials of the IVy list
for being both educative and helpful, and which post the possibility of
expanding one another's horizons, I think needs these rules so that the list
isn't just a playground for that which we used to call reactive dramatization
or a place to vent one's frustrations, hostilities, and other obvious
hang-ups. Things like that are better reserved for whatever method one uses,
if one does use any method, to handle the pains and agonies of existence.
The list can, does, and should have other fish to fry, and in fact to the
degree that the people on the list and who contribute to the list see it to
some extent as a 3rd dynamic with a common purpose and policies to support
that purpose, the list is to that degree therapeutic and leads to increases
in affinity, reality, communication, and most of all understanding. And so
Viva! to the proposition that a comm cycle can exist.
I'm sorry that I had to get so darned high-toned to communicate more
clearly, but if no one objects I'd like to return to my current favorite tone
level, which is the exhilaration that comes from hiding bodies, and on that
note I return to the 3rd mausoleum on the left, or on the right, depending on
which way you're looking at things, and await the dawning of the day when my
dreams and fantasies of a world with crime and insanity might exist, and
where good people will most certainly get screwed over whenever it's well
And also, John Donne may have been right when he said "Ask not for
whom the bell tolls." I think he said after that, "It tolls for thee." That
may or may not be a comment on the notion of pan-determinism or
responsibility, or it just might be John Donne having a lot of fun with the
Good night, and I hope I see you all soon --