REACH AND WITHDRAW
Now we will move on to reaching and withdrawing from things rather than simply spotting them.
But first, this seems like a good time to introduce some more of the basics of processing.
One of the biggest problems with running a process is knowing how long to continue it.
If you do not run a process long enough, you not only miss out on the gains that could have been made, you can also get your attention stuck on something that is half complete. And some processes can stir up things for you to look at, and if you drop them in the middle, you leave yourself with something stirred up but unhandled and that can be unpleasant.
If, on the other hand, you continue a process too long, you can get into what Scientology calls “overrun”.
There you are, aiming at some target with a process and suddenly the process completes and the target is gone. Then you continue running the process and a number of undesirable things can occur.
First of all, there is a tendency to invalidate yourself and the gain that you did make, and this weakens you and may make it harder to do the process. Second, one tends to recreate something that was handled so that one can do the processing command again. Third of all, now that you are aiming at something which is gone, there is a tendency to hit and stir up other things which are slightly off target and therefore will not run very well on the process.
The net result of this is that the process can get harder to do and you can start feeling tired and heavy because you are stirring up things that are not discharging.
To cure an overrun, you spot and acknowledge the fact that it was overrun and spot the moment when the process was actually completed and get back the feeling that you had at that time. One recognizes that the subsequent confusion, difficulty, inability, or invalidation that one got into was due to missing the point where the process was complete.
Of course if a processes is underrun, you simply run it some more until it is complete.
Drills which are aimed at the physical universe are not very sensitive to this overrun/underrun phenomena. It is normal in calisthenics to keep going past the point where you have a “win” doing the exercise and feel good about it.
But if you were to do, for example, an hour of exercise by continuing each specific exercise to the point where you felt really good and strong and happily with it and in that moment shifted to a different exercise, you would find that your stamina was better and your strength developed faster than if you worked out for the same amount of time using a fixed pattern of how many times to repeat each exercise.
To some degree, physical universe drills are unlimited in that you can do them again and again. But this factor of carrying on too long, invalidating yourself, and building up mental mass instead of releasing it does come into play when you grind on with the same thing over and over. So you shift between drills, doing a number of other drills before going back to one that you had a “win” on. This is the fastest way to make progress.
It would be best to experiment with and learn about this overrun/underrun phenomena now while we are dealing with objective drills that do not have very much liability associated with making mistakes in this area.
Later we will be doing subjective processes where the overrun and underrun effect is much more pronounced and troublesome.
So this is the time to learn to notice when you have completed a process and learn to rehabilitate the moment of completion if you discover that you have carried on too long.
Our first process will be to simply touch and let go of something repetitively. To observe the phenomena and learn something about it, let’s intentionally overrun this one because it is easy to do with this process and the effect is very mild.
Pick some object in reach of where you are sitting. The computer keyboard would be fine if you are reading this on a computer. Pick an exact spot on the object. Reach out and touch that spot very precisely. Feel it for a moment and then let go of it, lifting you hand away from it. Do this in a clean and precise manner.
Repeat this over and over a number of times. If you don’t vary the spot or add complications, most people will complete this process on a small number of repetitions.
It will take just a little bit of a push to start doing this process and just a little determination to keep doing it a few times. Your first thought might be “well I touched it, so big deal, I touch things all the time”. And there might be a little bit of resistance to doing it over and over again. Probably this will all be very mild and subtle because we are not dealing with anything that has a great deal of mental stress associated with it. But you want to do and notice these things now while you don’t have any mental fireworks going off.
After a few (or many) repeats, there will come a moment when the spot you are touching suddenly becomes more real and feels better to you. The object will look a bit brighter and you will have a little bit better feeling about it.
This is the moment when the process is complete.
Now keep doing it for another dozen or two repetitions. It will go all right for a bit and then maybe get a little boring and then as you carry on you will notice that its a little more difficult and you don’t have that nice feeling about the object anymore.
Now recall that exact moment when the process did complete. Get back the good feeling. Remember how you felt about the object and how it looked at that moment. It should start looking and feeling better again.
That moment when you felt good is called a release point or moment of release. In this case we were not dealing with a significant amount of mental charge, but in processes that do, this would be the moment when the charge dissolved or fell away and the point of release is quite noticeable. If you overrun a significant release point, the overrun effects will be quite noticeable. As soon as you notice that this is happening on a process, you rehabilitate the moment of release as discussed above.
In general, you want to continue to do a process as long as it is causing anything to happen. Processes can bring about change and you want to allow the changes to finish happening. And as long as you are flinching or having trouble or the process is stirring something up, you want to keep doing it, because the process is addressing something and continuing to do it causes you to push through whatever it is running into. So don’t back off because things get difficult. That is never the moment to stop. The point when you stop is when it suddenly all becomes easy.
So you do these processes with some determination and don’t back down if the going gets rough. But you can get fooled because it gets hard again if you overrun past the release point, and then your determination to keep going actually works against you.
So watch for this effect. The processes is tough, and suddenly it gets easy, and then it gets tough again. That is the moment to back up and rehabilitate the release point that you bypassed.
But note that physical and objective processes do not have as much liability in this area as the subjective techniques that we will be using later. You can “overrun” these things and, because the physical universe is there to keep you going in the right direction, keep on going and pushing through the overrun phenomena and eventually come to another “point of release”.
On physical processes, you can come to many points of release, moving a little further along each time. But the biggest gain will be on the first point and the subsequent points will take longer to reach and will not produce as big a gain. So your fastest route is always to switch off, returning to a process later rather than grinding it to death on the first pass.
Now let’s use this reach and withdraw process. It is quite useful and valuable.
2.1 Objective Reach and Withdraw
Pick an object. Pick a precise spot on the object. Touch and let go of it until you have a good feeling about that spot. Then pick another spot on the object and do the same. Keep doing this on individual spots until the whole object starts to feel good.
Then just pick random spots on the object and touch and let go of them until you really feel like you can have the object and encompass it and feel some ability to handle and control it. This second step can also just be done by itself without the first step.
Do this occasionally, especially on objects that you have to use or work with. If you drive, try doing it on your car.
As a special variation which is of great benefit, do this on lots of objects in the room and also on spots of the walls until the room suddenly becomes very real and you feel good about the room as a whole.
You can also use this to help pull yourself out of a groggy or depressed state just like the processes of chapter 1.
Do a lot of this one. It extroverts you and improves your communication with the physical universe. It is essential to balancing the subjective processes that we will get into later. Without things like this, the subjective techniques can be too introverting.
This will improve your ability to have things and control them.
2.2 Mental Reach and Withdraw
This process also has a “mental” variation where you reach out mentally, sort of like projecting a beam, and touch and let go of things with your mind.
You should use the physical version more than you use the mental one.
When you first do this one, begin by doing the physical reach and withdraw on an object and when it is complete then shift over to the mental variation on the same object.
This would usually be done with your eyes open, using the body’s eyes to look at the object and then reaching mentally. But it can also be done with the eye’s closed. In that case, you should definitely do the physical version on the object first.
Doing this reach and withdraw with closed eyes will help develop your non-physical perceptions.
Gradually you will find that you can feel objects mentally and even start to permeate them and feel what is going on inside of them.
Don’t expect miracles here, there is a long way to go. But you as a spirit are capable of permeating and perceiving and controlling the universe around you and this is a beginning step in that direction.
2.3 The Contact Assist or Touch Back
This is officially called a “contact assist” in Scientology. It is very simple and useful and easily done solo. If you hurt yourself, there is a tendency to flinch from that spot mentally and since the body tends to obey the mind, there will also be some inhibition to the circulation and healing forces because you are pulling back.
If you simply duplicate the action that hurt you, doing it slowly and safely with the same objects in the same location a few times, this will overcome the mental flinch. Of course you cool down a hot surface, or blunt or protect against anything sharp, etc.
So let us say that you happen to stub your toe. In most cases, the toe keeps hurting for a little while, often surprisingly long considering that there is no significant damage, and there also seems to be an awful tendency to stub the same toe again a little later.
To overcome this, you slowly swing your foot and lightly touch the exact point you collided with a few times. Suddenly you get a momentary sharp pain as the incident comes into view and releases and then the pain is really gone. And you don’t keep stubbing the same toe over and over again.
Or, for example, you touch a hot surface and burn your finger. Now you cool the surface off (turn off the stove, wipe it down with a wet rag until it is cool, etc.). Then slowly repeat the action that got you burned a few times. This can often alleviate the annoying pain of a minor burn, and it might even keep it from blistering (no guarantees, but it does seem to help, and its free).
Of course you do any necessary first aid first. Don’t stand there doing a contact assist with a sharp knife while you bleed all over the carpet. And don’t expect miracles. But it really does help. Try it and see.
This process is also called a “Touch Back” in modern Scientology slang because you reach back to the spot where you were injured.
2.4 The Wall Drill
In orthodox Scientology, there is a series of “Control, Communication, and Havingness” processes or CCHs for short. This is the process known as CCH 2.
This is absurdly simple and surprising in its effects.
Begin by picking two walls with a clear path to walk between them.
The commands are:
2.4a) You look at that wall.
2.4b) You walk over to that wall.
2.4c) You touch that wall.
2.4d) You turn around.
This is repeated over and over again, going back and forth between the two walls.
The actions should be very precise, cleanly doing each one and recognizing that you have done it. Each time you do it, you act like it was the first time rather than simply repeating the action on automatic.
Now I’m quite serious in suggesting that you actually get out of the chair and do this. The reactions can be surprising in comparison with what you might think would happen in theory.
Doing something precise and repetitive like this can stir up all sorts of old buried stuff such as hypnotic control or being made to march in ranks in the army. What is stirred up might not be in the current lifetime and might not be directly accessible by recall, and yet you can alleviate the weight of it by continuing the process until you successfully push through the effects and can simply and comfortably do the action.
This process might not “bite” deeply the first time. You might just do a few cycles of the commands and suddenly feel good about controlling the body and moving it around. If that happens, accept the “win” and end off. But go back to it later and try it again.
This process also has a “mental” variation where you lie down, close your eyes, and imagine yourself doing the commands and moving back and forth between the two walls as a spirit. But this is generally too advanced for most beginners. This process does to some degree stir up old hypnosis etc. and doing it while lying down instead of moving the body around (which forces you to stay awake) almost guarantees that you will fall asleep if any hypnotic stuff begins to run out. So a beginner might be better off leaving this variation for a second pass through this book.
2.5 Precise Control
You can also drill precisely moving or controlling an object.
Choose an object that you can move easily. Pick two spots. Precisely move the object back and forth between the two spots, taking care to move it at a uniform speed and land on the exact spot without hesitation. Let go of the object each time and then pick it up again.
Precision type drills will turn on reactions sometimes and you keep them up until you push through and the reaction disappears.
For machinery, such as an automobile, control the machine precisely over and over again in an appropriate manner. In learning to drive, for example, it helps to practice stopping the car at precise points over and over again.
In learning the piano, you might choose two notes far apart on the keyboard and precisely move back and forth between them, using the same speed and force each time. Or use this as part of learning to type.
This isn’t meant to substitute for the usual learning activities in mastering a skill, but it can speed up the process and take you to greater levels of mastery.
You can take this a bit further by doing it with your eyes closed as long as the action is one that can safely be done that way (don’t drive with your eyes closed!).
This is one of the key tricks of the oriental masters in learning a skill. You will find it in everything from Kung-fu to table tennis.