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.

To market we will go, or, Here we go again
by Phil Spickler
13 Oct 1998

Having just completed my alfalfa harvest and sheared a few sheep, (to
keep in practice), as well as prepared the cave for a long winter's
sleep, just as I was closing my eyes (as part of a metabolism test),
it suddenly occurred to me that I had failed to contribute anything
to the amazing IVy-list in some time, but rather had been sitting
back and allowing the wonderful Frank Gordon to almost
single-handedly carry the ball (so to speak), not to mention the
ongoing excellence of Ant in inspiring diverse thought and
interesting subjects for communication.  Therefore and forthwith, I
hesitantly tender the following.

This essay is a ruthless attempt to reconsider the notion of the term
"I" and what it's supposed to stand for, and to determine if there is
such a thing, or if it's just an Earthbound marketing tool that is a
natural outgrowth of a world based on supply and demand.

One of the neatest things to be found in early Dianetics was the
notion of a grouper, and to loosely define a grouper is to say that
it's a bunch of things that are all different, possibly even from
different points in time, that somehow get plastered together as
though they were all one thing.  This will probably sound familiar to
folks that have played fast and loose with the notions of
Scientology, OT 3 and NOTs, and if you think about the construct
called the human being you're most definitely looking at a grouper.
Again, we can go with the Scientology definition of a human being as
a thetan, mind and body all plastered together. Then of course the
body itself is certainly a model of a grouper in which all kinds of
different things, billions and billions of them in fact, are all
compressed into a form and hopefully will all work together in happy
consensus so as to promote the ongoing survival of that form.
Eventually this big enforced group no longer seems to live together
in such lovely bliss, resulting in sickness and death or dissolution.
And finally all that made it up can go back to being what it was
before it all got gathered up and pressed into this one idea (not to
mention that which did the gathering).

So anyway, that's a modest look at the notion of a grouper, and in
auditing, whether it was Book I style or OT-something style, any time
you ran into a grouper, things would usually come to a screaming halt
until you identified the nature of the beast and what had made it a
grouper, at which point you could end that form, and free theta,
which usually produced considerable result.

Now historically, Dianetics and Scientology have gone back and forth
between the notion of a single-unit being, or highly defined "I", and
on the other side a composite that had many, many "I"s in it, which
often threw into question just who in the heck anybody really was.
The idea that there really is no such thing as an "I" that is the
master of all of this stuff has not proven to be very popular; in
fact you could say it's one of the worst things for business that
ever came along.  And yet there does seem to be a thing called
consciousness that can be aware of being aware.  On the one hand, if
you audited the big group as a single-unit being, in the months and
years that followed you ended up having to do a lot of correction and
new item-finding for everything and everyone that hadn't been in
agreement in the first place. And then, on the other hand, if you
audited the group as a composite, you ended up getting rid of so much
that on the theme of "Nature abhors a vacuum" there was a general
tendency to gather up all kinds of junk and slam it back together
again so that someone could claim they were a single-unit being again
and enjoy the luxury of using "I" to describe everything under the
sun: PHEW!

The Eskimos of North America in their language structure did a great
deal to de-intensify aberration by leaving the term for "I"
completely out of their language.  So instead of saying, "I am very
angry," in Eskimo it would come out something like "Someone is very
angry."  This avoids much of the misownership that causes such great
difficulty in most people, since one doesn't rush to claim the
ownership of every thought, feeling, mass, etc. that occurs on the
scene, thus making possible a better vision of correct source.
Misownership does lead to ongoing persistence, and in its most
far-reaching notion leads to that which we call continuing existence.
Having encouraged myselves and others to experiment just with this
slightly different language construction for a period of time, it was
quickly noticed that the intensity of most aberrations and
concomitant misemotion was much more easily handled and observed,
since dropping the "I" out of it instantly gave one distance and
perception.         Earlier schools of thought have also talked about
the notion of a false "I" and that it wasn't until one abandoned that
false "I" or ego that it would really become possible to experience
high and unvarnished states of awareness. Please don't ask what or
who is doing the abandoning: more on that later.  It has been
noticed, over the years of this lifetime, that what used to be
referred to as myself and the selves of others have erected systems
of thought and action that exist primarily to defend this ego-I from
the onslaughts of Life, and that the urge is to make this ego-I
impervious to effect, unless the effect is something that the ego-I
deems to be acceptable.

When Hubbard said that the effort to survive, for an immortal, is as
crazy as it's possible for that immortal to get, I don't think he was
kidding -- since the only thing the immortal CAN do is survive, doing
all kinds of things to survive looks pretty crazy.  All the immortal
needs to do is remember that it's immortal, and quickly look in the
dictionary to find out what that means!  That which is immortal
surely is not an "I" in the sense of the "I" that's busily consuming
auditing, penicillin, food, air, automobiles, air-conditioning, and
steak sandwiches (plus noni juice).  Now if you try to raise the
ego-I to the state of immortality, it's good for business but as you
may have noticed in the long run it is impossible.         Well, you
ask (or at least I hope you do), if I'm not an "I", what the hell am
I?  First of all, let's say that you're not any of the words that
were used in framing that question.  That leaves you with a basic
nature, then, that can't be verbalized.  You could use the negative
definition, found in Scientology's Axiom 1 (and please don't make the
mistake of interchanging the word "Static" for "I").  That definition
does tell you what the immortal is not: no mass, no motion, no
wavelength, no location in space or time, but boy oh boy, what a
potential!  Mark Twain (American philosopher and humorist), in some
of his writings, took up the subject of the confusion about "What is
'I'?" and he defined it as a vagrant thought of pure immortality
floating through timeless eons as a nothingness.  This and other
extraordinary thoughts are to be found in his book _The Mysterious
Stranger_, highly recommended reading for all you
philosopher/humorists out there.

Once the customer realizes that the "I" that he has been trying to
turn into a super-big, super-tough, super-impervious operating God is
indeed something that can never be any of those things, well, for
awhile it's the way little kids feel when they find out that they
have been deceived, and that Santa Claus was a lot of fun, but we
were just kidding around, and that he was really just part of the
Christmas marketing package; or the way certain Americans feel when
they find out that George Washington did indeed tell a couple of
lies.  For awhile, some folks are sadder, albeit wiser, but it
doesn't mean you have to grow up and get serious -- it means you can
now really start playing wth life and having a lot more fun, and you
can stop bellyaching about "Why weren't my gains stable," and "if
someone comes along and promises me stable gains I'll believe him
forever, or at least until I find out there ain't such a thing for
the ego-I," that being of course the someone who lives and dies --
and that's OK too, don't be afraid of either one, 'cause neither one
is the truth.

Now does this mean that folks shouldn't get auditing or training or
give auditing or training?  Not at all!  It just means that they need
to have a larger truth or stable datum within which they can contain
the things that they are doing for the various "I"s that make them
up, so that it doesn't eventually turn into a very expensive, serious
business with a never-ending craving to attain that which they really
aren't anyway.

And so ends my latest late midsummer night's dream, or is it a
nightmare, which I hope will inspire some responses from those who
haven't already gone into early hibernation.  In visiting Japan for a
couple of months earlier this year, and having the opportunity to
chat about such matters with various Zen and Buddhist scholars, quite
a few ho-ho's and ha-ha's were elicited in the discussion of this
confusion about the notion of "I" (underlined and in quotation
marks). It became apparent to me that for these folks the
understanding of the fallacy of the notion of "I" and the mistaking
it for the eternal verity is kindergarten stuff, but let's face it,
us Westerners have been paralyzed for at least a few thousand years
by some of the most ridiculous horse manure anyone ever took the time
to use as an implant.  Which reminds me, I must get back to cleaning
out the stable -- Love, Phil