In this PAB I want to discuss a question which many field auditors have confronted me with — i.e. that of increasing the preclear’s willingness in practicing a musical instrument, or to keep writing, or just to regain a lost ability.
If you take an individual and make him play a musical instrument (as parents and schools do), his ability to play that instrument will not improve. We would first have to consult with him as to what his ambitions are. He would eventually at least have to agree with the fact that it is a good thing to play an instrument.
Once in a while we find a bad boy. He cannot be put in school and has to be sent to a military school. They are going to force him in order to change him. Occasionally this bad boy is sent to a school which simply thinks the best way to handle such cases is to find something in which he is interested and to allow him to do it. Such a school once existed in California and consecutively produced geniuses. The roster of World War II’s scientists practically marched from that particular school. They figured that it must have been the example set by the professor, his purity in not smoking cigars or something like that.
What actually happened was this. They took a boy with whom nobody got any results and said, “Isn’t there anything you would like to do?” The boy said “No,” and they answered, “Well, fuss around in the lab or grounds or something and someday you may make up your mind.” The boy thought this over and decided that he wanted to be a chemist. Nobody ever sent him to a class and told him to crack a book, and nobody ever complained very much when he blew up something in the laboratory, and the next thing you knew the boy was an excellent chemist. Nobody interrupted his desire to be a chemist. It existed then, and from that point on he was not himself interrupting his willingness to be a chemist. Educationally this is a very interesting point.
Supposing we had only a few minutes as a coach on a football team and we wanted to pick out the number of men who were going to be the first squad and quickly put them in good shape so that they could win a special game; we would only have to ask this question: “Now I want any one of you people whose desire to be a football player stems from the age of ten to step forward.” Maybe half of the squad would step forward. Here would be your first team.
What about the little runt that has only been the water boy? He is the best quarterback in the world because he wanted to be a football player. But the man who was merely qualified and who thought it was a good way to get through school, get a scholarship, some coaching or make a couple of dollars, or perhaps only really wanted lots of women because he knew that women gyrated around football players, will utterly pulverize the team because he is an unsupportable person. He is doing this on a via, and he isn’t really willing to be a member of a football team. His willingness is missing.
Now let’s have this ordinary team play against a team of all-stars and they will make the all-stars look like a bunch of punks. It is too simple a method of selection for anybody ever to have used.
You could by a series of almost straightwire questions ask a fellow who has difficulty in playing a trumpet, “Can you recall a time when somebody told you it was a bad thing to play a trumpet?” This limited process might stand up for two or three questions and you might be able to key out the lock he has against being a person who plays a trumpet and his ability to play a trumpet goes up. Then somebody else walks up to him and tells him something about how bad it is to be a trumpeter and he goes right back to where he was. It is not a permanent improvement at all.
It is possible that a person who was very good on the piano in his last life is born into a family who didn’t have a piano. Why? Because he cannot confront one. There isn’t one now because he cannot have one. Now he starts to learn something about this and he goes along fine until he thinks that he ought to have an upright piano to practice on. This has been restimulated a little and his parents say to him, “Oh, I don’t know. That’s much too expensive. You’ll have to pick something else.” Somebody has raised an objection to it.
Well, his willingness at that time is exerted in the direction of trying to be a part of this new team called the family and this is being subordinate, and so is his idea of playing the piano. He doesn’t force the matter but that confirms to him the scarcity of pianos. He is liable from then on not to be able to play a note or even learn how to read music. He is just as liable to be stopped again.
The willingness to write is systematically killed in American universities. I have lectured on writing to Harvard university students many times, and they have asked me how one develops style. Personally, as far as style was concerned, all one had to do was express what he wanted to say and that was style. It is no more complicated than this and sometimes, just for gags, why, write in the valence of Shakespeare or other literary figure. I have said to these students, “Style — well, I can tell you how you would find out whether you had a style or not, or how to develop one. Just sit down and write a hundred thousand words.”
The class fainted. One hundred thousand words. Nobody could write one hundred thousand words. From there on out that killed it. What was this all about? We obviously had a class of writers that had been carefully trained to be very good in every line they wrote. That isn’t how you write at all. You write! That is all you do, write for lots of people about lots of things. These students were looking for some magic sesame and the professor there is carefully monitoring them of quality, quality, quality, correcting their ideas, punctuation marks, their schematics and so on, correct, correct, correct, chop, chop, chop, for there isn’t going to be a writer in this class, you dogs. The final result of this is a complete unwillingness to write.
It is true that a person can be quantitatively coaxed into doing something that he apparently couldn’t do before. But it is only when you carelessly or accidentally tripped over this having, confronting, contribute to, mechanism. Writing lies in the band of “contribute to.” If you have to write in order to have, you rather suffer for it because an art is almost totally in Create, Contribute To, and it goes between those two lines. And when those are fallen away from, you get fouled up.
If a person keeps writing or talking pointlessly, like making out government forms to be sent to the State Department or Internal Revenue, you know nobody is ever going to read any part of them. And you could make these forever and your willingness to do so would go by the boards eventually because there is no communication formula involved. There is no havingness, no confrontingness, no contributing-to-ness. People get so bad about this that they cannot fill out reports. The Revenue down here deprives itself of billions of dollars of revenue every year, not because people are unwilling to pay their income tax, but because they are no longer capable of confronting a form. Then after that the effort is not to fill out the form.
People will permit you to take things away from them if you do it gracefully and don’t upset their willingness too much. The way you make a greedy or a selfish child is to make him, against his will, give up things to other children. You will eventually drive him into the only-one category. Parents usually never consult the child’s willingness. They consult his havingness, handle it and they have a spoilt child.
It is interesting to watch a child that has been around somebody who always consulted him but didn’t take very good care of him as opposed to a child who had the best of care but who never was consulted.
A little boy is sitting on the floor playing with blocks and balls and is having a good time. Along comes the nurse and picks him up and takes him into the other room and changes his diapers and he screams bloody murder the whole way. He doesn’t like it. She keeps on doing this to him, placing him around, never consulting his power of choice and he will eventually grow up obsessed with the power of choice. He has to have his way. He becomes very didactic. He is trying to hold down the last rungs of it, and his ability will be correspondingly poor, particularly in the handling of people.
Now this is quite different. You know the child is hungry or this or that, and you know he ought to eat. The child will eat if he is kept on some sort of routine. Supper IS at 6:00 and he will get used to eating at 6:00, the willingness never quite overwhelmed him. He finds out the food is there at 6:00 and so he makes up his mind to eat at 6:00. You provide the havingness and he provides the willingness. If you don’t override that he will never have any trouble about food.
Then somebody comes along and talks to him and says, “Hey, wouldn’t you like to go into the other room and change your clothes?” and the answer is “No.” I am afraid that you are making a horrible mistake if you proceed from that point on the basis of “Well, I’ll give you a piece of candy,” persuade, seduce, coax, etc. That is psychology, the way psychologists handle situations, and it doesn’t really work.
You take one of two courses. Either you run expert 8-C with lots of two-way communication and so on, or you just let him grow. There is no other choice. Kids don’t like to be mauled and pulled around and not consulted. You can talk to a child and if your ARC is good with him, you can make him do all sorts of things. He will touch the floor, his head, point you out and find the table. He will fool around for a while and after that you can just say do so and so and “Let’s go and eat” and he will do it. He has found out that your commands are not necessarily going to override the totality of his willingness. So your commands are therefore not dangerous. You have confronted him and he can confront you. Therefore you and he can do something.
Suzie always gets a kick out of this because I am always having my children bring me slippers, and caps and other things and they sometimes bring me some of the most outrageous errors and I always thank them very much, take it, and as a brand-new thought say, “Go and put these in the closet now,” and they do, very happy about it. They never get the idea it is wrong just because they have made a mistake. It is quite amazing because when I say to one of them, “Well, how about going to bed, huh?” the answer is “Okay.”
A child sometimes says “I want to stay up with you” and they insist on doing so, exerting their power of choice. Just letting a child do what he is doing and not interfering with him and not running any 8-C on him is psychology. You might as well shoot a child as to let his circuits run away with him. They are never going to be in communication with anybody; they won’t grow or get experience in life for they didn’t change their havingness. They didn’t have to change their mind, work, exercise or do anything. But they respond very readily to good 8-C and communication, but it certainly takes good communication to override this — not persuasion but good communication.
People think that persuasion works with children. It doesn’t. It’s communication that does the trick. You say, “Well, it’s time for you to go to bed now,” and he says, “No.” Don’t stay on the subject. Leave it alone and just talk about something else, “What did you do today?” “Where?” “How?” “Oh, did you? Is that a fact?” “Well, how about going to bed?” and the answer will be “Okay.”
One doesn’t have to use force. Go into communication with the child, and control follows this as an inevitability. Omit control from the beginning when bringing up a child and he who looks to you for a lot of his direction and control is gypped. He thinks you don’t care about him.
However, as in the case with the playing of musical instruments, learning of languages or the arts and abilities, consult the preclear’s or child’s willingness.
To restore an ability run this technique from SLP 8:
Rehabilitation of abilities. For any ability the preclear always wanted to have, lost and couldn’t do. For example, for the speaking of Arabic: “Mock up (Arabic objects).” “Keep it from going away.” Then, “Mock up (Arab men, women, children).” “Stop (him, her) from talking.” “Start (him, her) talking.”
Should it be a particular musical instrument the preclear wants to play, have him mock up the instrument, make it solid, keep it from going away, stop and start it playing, and this will rehabilitate his ability — if Procedure CCH has been run before.