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ENGLISH DOCS FOR THIS DATE- Confronting Present Time (PAB-117) - PAB570800

P.A.B. No. 117
The Oldest Continuous Publication in Dianetics and Scientology
Via Hubbard Communications Office
35/37 Fitzroy Street, London W.1

1 August 1957


We all know about the unreality of processes too high for a preclear. You ask him to do something too high for him and he, oddly enough, can do it. He can get the idea of doing it, and he will even tell you he is doing it. Some preclears can actually walk around and touch the walls for as long as you want them to and it doesn’t affect them. It means that a particular preclear who is doing this has no responsibility whatsoever for walking around and touching the walls. It doesn’t affect him except that irresponsibility is running out all the time. I don’t know if there is such a thing as a technique that is thoroughly above the preclear’s ability to run. It is only a much longer reach.

I have taken a very bad-off case and told him to mock up a scene which everybody could see. I told him to do this over and over and over and I turned his mock-ups on brilliantly.

I have said in a Congress “Create that wall,” etc. The funny part is that it almost killed the audience, and they didn’t even spot what it was during the congress that almost mowed them down. They thought something else was responsible for it. They complained about two or three other processes which, if run on individuals, would hardly affect them at all. But they didn’t complain about this one. We were making them confront the wall, create the wall, take ownership of the wall, take ownership of the universe, and it was so far from them that they were unaware that they couldn’t do it.

When you can imagine people walking up and down the street out here being unaware of the fact that they are unable to confront the street, you have got aberration really nailed. Their irresponsibility has grown to the point of not even knowing they cannot, to the point of doing it all the time. You process them for a while and they will just become aghast at confronting the street. It feels all right to them for a while, and all of a sudden they will get a somatic and flinch here, and they are not sure that they want to touch that tree. They are actually coming upscale toward this action. People evidently get interiorized into a universe, and then don’t ever exteriorize. It is because they find more and more in it that they are unwilling to confront. So their awareness of its existence drops. All blindness is an extreme unawareness.

For instance, if one were all wound up with some other person and that other person died or disappeared, there was too much absent in present time. But this is not factual. As a writer in the New York area, I used to go down to the Village with some of the boys and used to have some knock-down-drag-out arguments, discussions, personal feuds, brawlings, etc. We were always doing something wild or weird. A crowd of us went up to Sing Sing one time just to see how it felt to sit in an electric chair. We were always having criminals and things electrocuted in stories. In order to know how they felt we walked through the green door. We were always doing something like this and life looked very alive and full, and it seemed impossible to reach through it or to it or to exhaust it in any way. Looking back after a long time and at a long distance it seems to me very much like New York and the Village — dull, and it is all tame and a long time ago. But that is merely because I am not in contact with it. The same dramas still go on.

To give you an idea of short circuits, an artist, Hannes Bok’s next-door neighbor, was walking past a thrift shop and bought a painting because she wanted the frame. When she got home she wiped off some of the dust and found out that the painting was a submission to the New York World’s Fair in 1939. It had the artist’s name on it. So Hannes Bok took a look at it and said, “That’s Ron,” wrote to me to find out about this, and that was right. She wants to give the painting to me and is sending it here.

In other words, there are all kinds of wild little actions, randomities, short circuits and so forth going on in the world. This one was intimately enough connected with me that I would be alerted to it. But if I were in the scene, there would be all kinds of actions that would only vaguely come close to this in which I would be vitally interested. Why? They also concern ME now, because I am part of the scene. So at this distance I am aware of New York because something intimately concerned me, but in New York everything would concern me, so I would be intimately interested in it.

People become rather easily convinced there isn’t much in present time. I have seen race drivers talking about their humdrum lives. It is wild. You talk to these T.W.A. and American airline pilots. They think their life is a little bit humdrum.

I was down at the airport the other evening to meet a couple coming in from Ireland, and the snow was coming down thickly. A quarter of a century ago, any wooden propellor trying to chew through that much snow would have just been torn into splinters at once. Well, evidently a steel propellor isn’t affected. The leading edges don’t gather ice any more, and a lot of other things don’t occur. I know that airplanes have been made totally proof.

But pilots were flying through this snow on schedule and landing and taking off and continuing airline schedules, and I could hardly see the length of the administration building. And I imagine that if I’d gone into the pilot’s shack where they were checking in, they would have been saying, “Aw, it’s just another darned night,” and they would wish they could do something interesting.

In such a case man has disconnected himself to some degree from present time, and therefore not much in present time affects him. (Connectedness as a process will help to remedy this condition: “Look around here and find something you wouldn’t mind making connect with you,” and see that he makes it connect with him, and not him with the object.) You might say that there is so much danger in present time that he must disconnect most of the present time from himself.

As I was saying, the personal interest factor extends from New York to Washington, D.C. when something personal occurs. Well, if you were in New York, there would be a lot of personal things occurring — what a cab driver said to another cab driver would become a personal matter — on a higher dynamic. This is, by the way, the dwindling scale of the dynamics you are looking at when you look at a distance from.

Time itself seems to strip away from us our adventures and objects and havingness. But havingness is only an awareness of existence. Why we so readily consent to have present time stripped away at this mad rate is quite interesting because we are to a marked degree in control of it.

For instance, I had time shift on me the other day rather inexplicably and startlingly and it upset me for a little while. As I was traveling through time at the usual routine rate of speed which would be my rate of passage through time, and I had a lot of things to get done, I accidentally extended time on some kind of an automaticity I hadn’t been aware of. I got a lot of things done and came back and found that five minutes had passed, and it upset me because about two-and-a-half hours should have passed.

So concept of time is something which is quite variable, it sometimes changes on us when we skid or take our fingers off it. Our machinery which is carefully saying “one second, one second, one second” slips over into the old machine which we had which said “one — second — one — second — ” without at the same time impeding our motion.

Motion is not necessarily related to the abstract time, it only appears to be. But why are people so anxious, why do people have so little time as they go downscale? It is quite interesting, but they do have less and less time the further downscale they go. Well, they are just that anxious to have present time stripped away, and they are counting on this mechanism of the universe which will take this present time away and dispose of the walls, space, and in just a little time they hope not to be there any longer.

Some part of them is very frantic although they appear to be very calm. Therefore they avidly consent to this thing, and then one day they complain (second postulate) that they haven’t enough time to do anything. Therefore they cannot do anything. Quite a fascinating enigma.

If you said “total responsibility” you would be saying to admit the authorship of, be willing to admit the authorship of, any created thing anywhere whether yours or another’s, and “mis-responsibility” would be the miscalling of authorship. In other words, those things which you, yourself, had done or made, you would say, “I did or made these things.” And those things which other people had made, you would say you had made them. You thus get this mis-responsibility.

Now total responsibility would come out of not just the assignment of the correct authorship to everything and would be the fact, act or final consequence of being willing to do so. Only willingness is necessary. One has to be willing to do that and that is the state of mind you should bring your preclear into — only willing to do that.

As far as anchor points are concerned, if a person made them and said that he made them, all will be well, but if he said he didn’t make them when he actually made them, that would be horrible. That is a mis-responsibility.

For instance, if you have a preclear mock up an anchor point and actually fit it into some point in his skull, in contradistinction to the others, he will get a headache. Why should he get a headache since the anchor point belongs there? Because he didn’t make those anchor points. Now he makes one and he puts one in and he is assuming ownership of the others. He didn’t find the anchor point that belonged there and put it there, and then say, “Well, I put it there but I didn’t make it.” If he had done that he wouldn’t have had a headache and the anchor point would be there.

A mishandling of life, however, is not as serious as the desire to mishandle it. An anxiety to mishandle life, a willingness to mishandle it, or an unawareness that one is unwilling to handle it properly are the aberrative factors, not the actual mishandling of it.

Any thetan can play the game of saying, “Well, I made these body anchor points.” He did it consciously and he can play that game. But to have to admit that from some exterior compulsion would be something else.

Take for an example you having to take charge of the mimeograph machine which is running badly. It is not your department. You don’t desire to take it over but you have to, and the next thing you know is that you have busted the mimeograph machine. What happened here? One sees people do this in offices all the time. One thinks one is being forced to take a responsibility and one is unwilling to take that responsibility, thinking it belongs to someone else. So that correction under duress — that is to say misownership and misresponsibility under duress — always has grave consequences.

This works in many fields. For example, a traffic cop stops you for speeding and comes up alongside of the wheel and says that you were speeding, and you say, “Yes, I was speeding.” He says you have been doing 65 miles an hour, and you correct him and say, “68, Officer,’’ and he says, “Well, it is pretty slippery today,” and you say, “I know it.” It unnerves him. He may or may not give you a ticket, but the chances of his giving you one are much cut down. You are not buttering him up or telling him that you have learned better now or anything of the sort, but saying the exact facts of the case tends to as-is them. You have knocked out his first postulate.