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'm not a spiritual being
by Phil Spickler
21 Nov 1999

Greetings to all and anyone who's in the mood to read the following drivel:
      I'll start with thanks to Judith Methven for suggesting that we take a
look at the terms "Clear" and "Operating Thetan."  The responses have been
excellent and most interesting.  At this point I'd like to add my three
cents, and so let's take a look first at the term "Clear."

      Back around 1948-49, before the explosion of computers, one of the
devices that were widespread and most useful was the calculator; and most
calculators had one button that could be very handy, and amongst all the
other buttons it was labelled "CLEAR."  And when you  punched that button, it
would wipe out existing and past problems that the calculator may have been
working on, and to quote John Locke and Alan Walter would give you a "clean
slate" with nothing in the mechanism, so that you could start over and use it
to get some answers.

      This, in my recollection, was one of the earliest uses of the term
"Clear" to describe a thinking-like mechanism that was ready to solve some
problems, uninfluenced by its past.  L. Ron Hubbard, in a couple of his
little books around that same time, namely _Original Thesis_ and _Evolution
of a Science_, if memory serves me correctly, suggested or alluded to the
notion that the human mind, in analogy to the calculator, could also be
cleared of past and confused computations in such a way that it could also be
said to be "clear."

      To extend the analogy, Ron had said,  "Just imagine if your
calculator, before you went to work with it to solve problems, unbeknownst to
you had a whole bunch of stuck 7's" (meaning the number "7" had already been
punched in all over the keyboard) so that whenever you started to solve a
problem, even though the calculator worked flawlessly, you could never get
right answers because it already had a whole bunch of stuck unknowns that
were influencing your answers.

     When Ron wrote _Dianetics: the Modern Sciece of Mental Health_, a
handbook for clearing the human mind, the unknown "stuck 7's" in the human
mind were called "engrams."  And as long as these engrams were around and
could be restimulated, sometimes chronically, they would cause the human mind
to keep coming up with answers to the human problems of survival that were
wrong, or aberrated, or distorted, or non-survival; and until these "stuck
7's" or engrams were removed from the mind, you'd continue to have a mind
that worked perfectly but whose answers were inevitably flawed because they
were being influenced by hidden and unknown computations that existed at a
sub- or unconscious level.  And it would be possible, by pressing the human
"Clear button," to get these engrams out of the working mechanism so that you
would obtain optimum function and, if you took it far enough, you would have
"cleared" the human mind and you could then call someone who possessed a
cleared mind a "Clear."

       Now I'm a pretty old-fashioned guy (you can underline "old" in this
case), and this was my first understanding of the notion of "Clear" and
"clearing," and at the time (around 1951-52) I thought it was a pretty
exciting idea, and even one that looked, at least on paper, to be possible.
In order to put this theory to the test, I searched around for an individual
or a group that were doing this sort of thing, and as luck would have it,
there was just such a group located in Coral Gables, Florida, and in it was
an Elizabeth, New Jersey- and Wichita-trained Hubbard Dianetic Auditor who
had a pretty good grasp on what could be done with Dianetic Book I-style
auditing, and also the information contained in the book _Science of
Survival_; and so I set about to see just what I could gain from this
exciting possibility.

       Well, it wasn't very many sessions later of running locks,
secondaries and engrams that it became apparent, even truthful, at least for
me, that there were a lot of things in my human mind that were acting like
"stuck 7's" and producing quite a bit of non-survival and strange behavior in
a number ot the dynamics; and that handling this stuff was producing great
changes in the directions of being or becoming cleared or a Clear.

     I'll leave the autobiographical portions alone for now and just say
that over the years, my own observations and experiences suggest that the
state of Clear first described was possible.  However, and this is a very big
"however," I have never witnessed the state, either in myself or others, to
continue for the life of the organism.  In fact, I've seen it as short-lived
as a couple of days, and rarely seen it in evidence for longer than a year or
perhaps two.

       Now the fact that you could get clear but not stay clear has
occasioned quite a bit of controversy and speculation over the decades since
1950; a great deal of theory about all the possible "why's" that such a state
would not persist; and an enormous amount of tech-finding on the part of L.
Ron Hubbard in an effort not only to answer these questions but to bring
about a Clear that would continue to remain clear for the life of the
organism, in the face of the fact that anything that is put on the time track
in this universe continues to degrade from that moment on, even though up to
a point, whether it's your front teeth or your new car, it's possible to keep
it fairly close to the original state with a lot of repair and polishing.

       That's been a tough message for a lot of folks who have achieved
states like Clear and well beyond, mainly because at the time of such
attainments folks will usually think things like "I'm going to always be this
way from now on."  Well, this and any other existing universes love to hear
folks say things like that, because that little notion called Time will
immediately start laughing in your face the moment you say it.  And at this
point I will invite anyone who has ever put anything into the notion of
continuing existence to point to whatever it is and be able to honestly say
that time and the river haven't altered it, sometimes to the point where it
becomes unrecognizable.

      Well, I'll get off that soapbox for now and just say that's what I
think Clear is all about -- that it's still a good idea, that it is
achievable by almost anybody, and that unlike a lump of lead, it will
probably have a fairly short, sweet, half-life; but that you will be left
with enough of that state to not be near as aberrated as you were before, and
at least be able to know when you're not being Clear.  And that's pretty
important, in our opinion.

       Since brevity is said to be the soul of wit, I'll conclude this post
for now with a promise to speak in the near future about the history of the
notion of Operating Thetan and a definition for said notion, followed by why
I'm not a spiritual being, which may give a clue as to what else I'm not.

     Hoping to hear more about these fascinating ideas from others, I
remain, as not as ever,
       Flipper Phil