Easily the most important process in Scientology is Problems of Comparable Magnitude. It has no peers. We don’t care how low a process runs, or how high it runs. But nowhere in Scientology do we have a process which runs as high and low as Problems of Comparable Magnitude.
Now that idea of span should be clearly understood by you. There are processes which undoubtedly run lower or higher — of this we are certain. But no other process runs both so low and so high. The only thing necessary in a “problem of comparable magnitude” is for the terminal selected to be real to the preclear. Now that is a necessary condition for the running of it. “Problems of comparable magnitude” become real only if the terminal or terminals selected become real. That is the first condition. Where this process breaks down, it is actually not being run, since Problems of Comparable Magnitude by definition is a process which brings the preclear to invent situations of similar importance to a given situation, and the given situation must be composed of one or more terminals.
Now what do we mean by “terminal”? It would be any fixed mass utilized in a communication system. Thus, you see, a man would be a terminal, but a post could also be a terminal. Thus, a head could be a terminal, but so could a hat. But between the two, we get a hat as questionable. It is questionable to the degree that it has less mass, and is easily shed. Somewhere along the line there is a border between a terminal and a condition. Now, we have to know what a condition is.
A condition is a circumstance regarding a mass or terminal. When you are asking for “problems of comparable magnitude,” if you run them on conditions you are calling for a circumstance or a problem comparable to a circumstance, which doesn’t have any fixed position and never did have any fixed position and never did operate in any communication system, so you are describing a description — and there is nothing into which the preclear can get his teeth.
First we must conceive, then, a difference between a condition and a terminal. That is quite important for you to conceive. If you can’t conceive the difference between a condition and terminal, why, you’re in for it; this technique will forever be beyond your grasp — and that is a very easy thing to conceive, however.
The light is on. Now, “on” is a circumstance regarding the light. So you wouldn’t run a “problem of comparable magnitude to ‘on,’ “ but you would run a “problem of comparable magnitude to the light.” Do you see that? It sounds idiotic, but a lot of people miss this one. Let’s take this now, and see that there are masses, and all masses are only relatively fixed. Masses are masses, and they are not, by the way, particles.
Masses are something that are shed from a thetan by mock-up, and particles are something that are shed from masses. You don’t run particles. So what we mean as a terminal has a relatively fixed, identifiable, isolatable location in space.
Now just why you don’t run particles, just why you don’t run “problems of comparable magnitude” to words, just why you don’t run “problems of comparable magnitude” to conditions of one kind or another, that is best demonstrated by your running it some time — and that’s a happy adventure for the auditor, not the preclear. To make a real, sure-fire test, why, you should run something like this: a problem of comparable magnitude to fancy words. Now that is indefinite enough and up in the air enough… You would shoot the bottom out from your preclear fast enough.
The auditor to run this successfully must choose first and foremost a terminal as his target — not a condition. The next thing is to choose the right terminal.
Now you must understand the procedure of running this technique. Now you wonder why I’m stressing this. The most fabulous thing — this technique can go off the rails faster in auditing than any other technique I know anything about. Now one of the things that is most remarkable about it is that auditors do not accept from the preclear — problems. In other words, an auditor who is obsessively solving problems would have an awful time running this technique, because he has to accept from the preclear a problem every time the preclear answers the question. The way to run it is this: it actually requires about three answers. You said, “Give me a problem of comparable magnitude to your mother,” and the preclear said, “The Atlantic Ocean.” Now if the auditor said, “Well, how could that be a problem to you?” you would get this oddity. The preclear would say, “Well, the Atlantic Ocean overflowing its banks.” Now, an auditor who can’t stand problems would accept this one as a problem — but it is a condition. The first thing the preclear gave was what he conceived to be a comparable terminal, then he gave a condition. And only on another repetition of “How could that be a problem to you?” would it come home to him. But there was a problem involved with it –”How could that be a problem to you?” So the auditing commands are: “Give me a problem of comparable magnitude to (a terminal),” “How could that be a problem to you?” and if necessary “How could that be a problem to you?” and as many times as necessary to get the preclear to finally dredge out the problem.
Unless the preclear can get that idea of a problem, the technique is unworkable. The semantics of the thing may throw him. Therefore the command could be cleared with some profit. The word that is liable to throw the command is “problem,” not “comparable magnitude,” and because those are polysyllabic you are liable to believe that on some preclears “comparable magnitude” is where they will hang up, and this is not where they hang up.
The auditing of it must include another thing, and that is a feeling on the part of the preclear himself figuring on it. This is evidently a necessary part of the running. We say, “A problem of comparable magnitude to your mother.” The preclear says, “The Atlantic Ocean.” We say, “How could that be a problem to you?” The preclear says, “Oh, its overflowing its banks.” And you say, “All right, how could that be a problem to you?” He says, “Oh, I could figure out some way to keep it from going over its banks.” If you’re not sure yet, because you wouldn’t be sure with that one, you say, “But how could that be a problem to you?” or — alternative command here –”Can you get yourself figuring how to do that?” He’ll get that — that’s what you want. He’s got to get an idea of himself figuring it out. You want that included in the anatomy of the running of it.
Now, an alternative command to all this is “incomparable magnitude,” as I have just mentioned. When you tackle something so huge, so formidable that it would mean
a couple of hours’ comm lag on the part of your preclear — you see, he’s just this moment been informed that he is going to be electrocuted at dawn — you want to desensitize him and blow him out of his head and leave them a dead body, which would be a good joke — something on this order, you see. You realize that this problem could be huge. His fixation is unbelievably great. It goes from horizon to horizon, down to the very center of the earth, and fills the entire universe on the other side. And that’s how big this problem is. Now this technique of incomparable magnitude enters in at the bottom on problems. If a person can’t get a datum of comparable magnitude, why, what do you suppose that you should do? Get a problem of incomparable magnitude. You cannot evaluate on a single datum except by postulate. Of course, you yourself should be in a condition whereby you simply say “That is important” or “That isn’t important” and that could then be the evaluation of any single datum. But you would no longer be human. You are aware of the fact, by the way, that you cannot be human and be right — that is not possible. I have mentioned that before.
Now here we have, then, a necessity to have evaluation by others. Evaluation from other people. Now get this idea of the only-oneness of problems or situations. When a person is no longer pronouncing the evaluation of things in some grand and kingly style, when he has surrendered this in order to have a more intricate and involved game, he then needs two data. It requires a certain amount of experience of evil to experience good. And we get some people who are around telling us how bad it all is, who have experienced a great deal of kindness. This is a great oddity. You should look it over. All you have to do is to restimulate the early goodness to slip into the consequences of the later evil. Supposing somebody was just being filthy mean, and we compliment him on his good heart, his love of his fellow men — and we’ll watch him chuck his cookies. He’s liable to fold right up in front of you. You could restimulate such a thing into being until it collapsed and was no longer a button.
We understand things when we are no longer evaluating by postulate, but when we are being polite and evaluating by proof, by demonstration, we no longer are able to accept an “only-one” thing. This is a bad thing because a thetan is to a marked degree an “only-one” creature, and it restimulates his own beingness. When he falls into the lower harmonics of his own beingness, he comes to grief. All you’ve got to do is exaggerate being a thetan in any one of its facets and you’re in trouble. But now it doesn’t say that you cannot attain these things. I said the lower harmonics. How does he get to the lower harmonics? By fixation. By fixations on various incidents, and certainly on things which exist as “only-one.” There is nothing else like it, so you can never look away if you want to look at such a thing, you have to look at it. And this becomes very bad… very, very bad.
As a matter of fact it becomes very amusing when you have problems of comparable magnitude, because a person is using when he runs this his desire for evaluation, but he’s putting evaluation on a cause basis, and you are running off the highest logics in logic straight out of the bank. So a person doesn’t have to have beautiful sunshine in the streets in order to have a beautiful day. Do you understand that? A person to a marked degree ceases to be dependent upon his environment to give him pleasure or pain.
If you stand around and wait for something else to decide it is something or other, you are in bad trouble. Now children do this — do this to such a marked degree that they don’t even know how much pain is painful until they ask Momma or ask Poppa. A child is dependent on exterior evaluation, and I’ve seen a child go so far as not to eat ice cream. Why? “Ice cream’s bad. I don’t like ice cream.” I said, “What?” I was pretty fast on my feet as an auditor and I said, “Who told you that?” “Oh…” “Well, who told you that?” I said. “Ice cream’s good.” A horrible thing to do. I ran out the other person’s magic spell and ran my own in. Kids straightwire rather fast. You can straighten out almost anything with a child if you straightwire them.
Thus we look over the situation and find out that an individual is made to suffer by life to a degree that he is made to by life. Thus his evaluation of life from himself as cause point, as an ability, is necessary to his recovery. We find this under Problems of Comparable Magnitude. We could go off and discuss the whole subject of logic, you realize, the second we say comparable magnitude. I’m going to point your attention to the Prelogics, by the way. I’m going to ask you to read those.
The only reason Problems of Comparable Magnitude works so well and easily is that the individual puts certain things on automatic, which is to say he will not take certain responsibilities for one side of a dichotomy. He abandons all responsibility for evil. It’s an interesting state of affairs, because he becomes incapable of handling evil, and then goes on this one-two basis of stimulus-response, and in his next life he’s going to be totally evil. He didn’t take any responsibility for it, and it’s going to eat him up. You take enough responsibility for a lion, you’ll dine on him — every time.
There is an interesting experiment that you can perform yourself — I advise that you should perform this to have an understanding of responsibility and automaticity, because automaticity and responsibility are nowhere more necessary to understand than in Problems of Comparable Magnitude — and that is this: “Get the idea of the effort it took to make that wall.” Get the idea of anything in the line of effort and feel almost at once the overwhelming irresponsibility concerning it. It could be an irresponsibility so great it could make you practically ill.
If you wanted to be real mean to a preclear, not improve him particularly, you could just ask him, “Give me an idea of the effort necessary to make your case.” He would be sitting right there in a total irresponsibility for his case. His case is there, he’s not responsible for it. Now how do you recover his responsibility for anything? He has to be able to handle it. Now you could put something on automatic, but usually when you do you will sooner or later get into an irresponsibility for it, because that’s what automatic is. So we put something on automatic. Well, if we put problems on automatic, then we ourselves become a problem eventually without our consent. In other words we put problems on automatic, then we ourselves become solution. And when we ourselves are in nothing but solution, the whole world around us is nothing but problem and we’re obsessively solution and all the problems are automatic, we wind down faster than any other method I know. We’ll wind up being a problem, that’s all. The whole Service Facsimile can be summed up by just this one word — solution. A Service Facsimile is a solution. That’s all. If you took over this automaticity of problems the individual then could recover from his Service Facsimile. But remember that you had better run terminals, not conditions.
What I have just been talking to you about solves in toto all of that which we were going over in 1952 concerning Service Facsimiles — and that is quite a mouthful. If you do it this way, if you know how to do it, if you can look over this whole thing and see quickly how it is done and why it is done, and get it set and settled so you know what’s going on with the preclear, then you’ll be able to handle chronic somatics directly. You will be able to handle any dynamic directly.