Why has Man chosen to degrade himself below the level of the beasts which serve him?
In the past a knowledge of his own character was an unpalatable fact to Man since people sought to force him to achieve that knowledge solely through condemnation. He resisted what he was and he became what he resisted and ever with a dwindling spiral he reached lower dregs. If ever once a man were to realize with accuracy what he was, if he were to realize what other people sought to make him, if he could attain this knowledge with great certainty, there are no chains strong enough to prevent his escaping, for such would be his astonishment that he would brave beasts, gods and Lucifer himself, even governments and churches, to become something better than what he had beheld in his own heart.
The only tragedy of all this is that Man has lacked any method of estimating himself with certainty so as to know what it was he was trying to improve. In this PAB you will find such a method and, in applying it, you will also find improvement; if you also find vileness and rottenness beyond the most base ravings of Dostoevsky or Sigmund Freud, you have the comfort of knowing that you already possess in 16-G and in these PABs the means of bettering that condition and of rising once more toward the sun rather than sinking further into the sewer.
As you will find in The Factors, and as the actual application of processing will rapidly prove, the basic impulse is to produce an effect.
In relatively high-toned beings, the very upper range of Man and above, the impulse is to produce something out of nothing: one can only cause a creative effect by causing nothingnesses to become something.
Lower on the tone scale, the effect most desired is to make nothing out of something. The general range of Man occupies this area of the scale.
Man on the lower ranges is entirely dedicated to the goals of the body itself. The body, to exist, must make nothing out of something. This, as the simplest illustration, is the goal of eating. It may or may not be necessary to life to eat; it may not even be necessary for the body to eat. In Para-Scientology there is some evidence that the stomach once produced sufficient life energy to motivate the body without any further “food,” but the body of man and beasts in general is not equipped so today, and of that we are very certain.
The body’s single effort to make something out of nothing is resident in sex, and in this culture at our time sex is a degraded and nasty thing which must be hidden at best, and babies are something not to have but to be prevented. Thus even sex has been made to parallel the something-into-nothing impulse.
Exactly as the body by eating seeks to make nothing out of something, so does the general run of Man in his conversation and interpersonal relationship seek to make a nothingness out of friendship, acquaintances, himself, art and all other things. He much more readily accepts a statement or a news story which reduces something further toward nothing than he accepts a story which raises from a relative nothing to a higher something. Thus we find out that scientific achievements for the good of Man occupy a very late place in the newspapers and stories of murders and love nests, wars and plagues gain first place.
Man in his present debased form is held on the road to survival by his culture alone. This culture has been policed into action by brute force. The bulk of men are surviving against their own will. They are working against their own desires, and they seek wherever possible and ever so covertly to succumb.
This could be called, this MEST universe, a Love-Hate universe, for these two are the most prominently displayed features, and neither one has any great altitude, although many claim that love is all and that love is high on the tone scale, which it is not.
To live, Man must eat. Every time a Man eats, no matter the kindness of his heart or disposition, something must have died or must die, even though it is only cells. To eat, then, in this MEST body culture, one must be able to bring about death. If eating is motivated by death, then digestion would be as good as one is permitted to kill. Digestions are bad in this society. Killing is shunned in a degraded and covert fashion, and man eats only those things which not only have been killed elsewhere and out of his sight, but have as well been certified as dead through scalding cookery. Killing even food is today far above the ability of the majority of our culture.
The characteristics of love could be said to be No-Kill, stomach trouble, hunger but can’t eat, work, flows, heavy emphasis on ARC, inhibited sex. Hate as a personality could be said to characterize, at least on a thought level, kill, bowel trouble, hungry but eats covertly, no work, hold, pretended ARC, enforced sex. These are two personality classes. Many people are compounded of both.
There is another scale which one should have if he is to understand human character.
Thought as Man thinks it, is not the highest level of the scale but the lowest level. High on the scale above 20.0 we have fully creative thought — by which is meant the ability to create actual energy — free emotion and a wide knowingness as opposed to understanding, which is low on the scale. At 20.0 we have force; below that as we go down we find force restrained, then overt gesture, overt gesture restrained, overt emotion, overt emotion restrained, and overt thought and overt thought restrained. The last few are ranging down to and around 0.0. The scale is constructed in the given order.
Thought in Man is largely born out of impact and is not free. It is an effort to know before he knows, which is to say, to prevent a future. The phenomenon of going into the past is simply the phenomenon of trying to take the knowledge which one acquired through force and impact and held after the event, and place it before the event so as to prevent that thing which has already happened. “If I had only known,” is a common phrase. This gets bad enough to cause Man to want to know before he looks at anything, for in his debased state it is dangerous not only to use force, not only to use emotion, not only to think, but also to perceive things which do. Thus the prevalence of glasses in this society.
The body — and that means, of course, Man in this culture — must have a reason for everything. That which has the most reason is the body. A reason is an explanation, the way Man interprets it, and he feels he has to explain himself away and to explain every action which he makes. Man believes he must have force but receives force, that he must not perceive or be perceived, that he must kill but must not be killed, that he must not have emotion, that he must be able to wreak destruction without receiving it. He can have no pain, he must shun work and pretend that all work he does has a definite goal. Everything he sees he feels must have been created by something else and that he himself must not create. Everything has a prior creation to his own. All things must be based on earlier things. Thus he shuns responsibility for whatever he makes and whatever destruction he may create.
This animal has equipped himself with weapons of destruction far superior to his weapons for healing and in this low-toned mockery whines and pleads that he is duplicating saintliness and godliness; yet he knows no meaning of ethics and can follow only morals. He is a meat animal, a thing in the straitjacket of a police force, made to survive, made to stay in check, made to do his duty and performing most of it without joy and without, poor thing, even actual suffering. He is a meat animal, he is something to be eaten. If he is to be helped, he must either learn where he is and find better, or be duped or forced into helping himself.
In our current age, cowardice is an accepted social pose, self-abnegation a proper mode of address, hidden indecency a proper method of survival.
It may be that my statement of this does not carry through with an entire conviction. Fortunately, although these data are based on a wide experience with Man, particularly in the last few years as well as during a terrible and cataclysmic war, my statement of the case does not have to stand, for there exists a process which, by its astonishing workability, signifies the accuracy of this observation on human character. This process will be given in the next PAB.