Author: Hubbard, L. R.
Document date: 1958, 4 July
Document title: The Factors of Clearing
Document type: lecture transcript
Event: Clearing Congress
Location: Washington, DC
Document ID: 5807C04A
Description: Hubbard associates thetan with terms such as ghosts, spirits and elan vital; contrasts the idea of thetan with the Christian idea of soul and states that Scientology differs enormously from Christian statements on the subject.
A Thetan, by definition, is something without mass, without wavelength, and actually, without finite location. But a Thetan is our definition, or symbol use for what they used to call ghost, spirits, anything… elan vital, any of these various items of yesteryear.
We have to call it something new because all of these things meant special things. For instance, somebody the other day, a colored person, was discussing with me whether or not ghosts still existed and I settled the argument rather easily. I said, “well, have you ever been a ghost?” and (feigning comm lag and shame), and I said, “well, I’m not ashamed of it – I have”. Well, that person doesn’t work for us any more (laughing).
Here is a specialized meaning to spirit. Ghost is an evil spirit that is partially materialized evidently, that is found in various locations where they will do the real estate the most damage (chuckle). That’s evidently a ghost. So, let’s just take all of these things that people refer to as spirits or something of the sort and let’s just cover that with this mathematical term. Thetan isn’t an esoteric or magic term, it’s simply mathematical. It is the Greek letter which stood for thought, but that is not quite precise either because thought is a product of a Thetan, not the Thetan. A Thetan is potentially able to produce thoughts, matter, energy, space, time and all the rest of it. So you get a basic production unit and therefore we are starting with an assumption.
We have a place of assumption in Scientology. This subject starts from somewhere. That’s brand new. You don’t realize it, that’s brand new. It doesn’t start from….”well, the proclivities of the libido are very often introducable when you get a socio-economic libido theory”…. it doesn’t start from double-talk. It starts from a definable thing. We get Axiom One. Alright! We say, this thing called a Thetan is capable of producing all sorts of things, and we say, this is the person, so therefore we differ enormously from the Christian statements on the subject. They say, “you son, must save your soul”. The fellow says, “I don’t have one”. So, therefore the Christian religion cannot possible be true, and they lose all kinds of converts that way. The fellow doesn’t find his soul – not there. Somebody saving his soul is doing something very interesting. He evidently has something set up over here, that has probable mass, that he says is his soul. And then he goes about saving it and it turns out to be a demon circuit called mama or something. Now he expects this to go to Heaven. But this can’t exist without continuous creation by that (pointing to Thetan symbol on his board), so he sends this to Heaven and he goes on elsewhere (laughing).
Hubbard, L. R. (1958, 4 July). The Factors of Clearing. Clearing Congress, (5807C04A). Lecture conducted from Washington, DC.