Introduction to Horizontal Growth


Scientology is perhaps the most powerful technology ever developed for vertical, cognitive individual growth.  Unfortunately it comes with an instilled mores that devalues and prohibits meaningful horizontal growth.   In my opinion, vertical growth, absent a horizontal foundation can cause spiritual vertigo.

The following 2,000-plus year old story is translated by Eva Wong in  Lieh-Tzu: A Taoist Guide to Practical Living (Shambala Publications, Inc.).  It gives a flavor of what I mean by horizontal growth.

What is Wisdom?

One day Tzu-hsia was chatting with Confucius.  When they came to discussing the merits of each student, Tzu-hsia asked his teacher, “What do you think of Yen-hui?”  Confucius replied, “Yen-hui is very kind and gentle.  His compassion far surpasses mine.”

“How about Tzu-kung?”

“Tzu-kung is much better than I am when it comes to debating and presenting arguments.”

“And what about Tzu-lu?”

“Tzu-lu is a brave man.  I cannot match him for courage.”

“And Tzu-chang?”

“Tzu-chang can hold his dignity better than I.”

Tzu-hsia was so surprised by his teacher’s answers that he stood up and exclaimed, “How come they all want to learn from you?”

Confucius motioned his student to sit down.  When he saw that Tzu-hsia had calmed down, he said, “Yen-hui is compassionate, but he is stubborn and inflexible.  Tzu-kung can be very persuasive, but he does not know when to stop talking.  Tzu-lu can be courageous but does not know tolerance.  Tzu-chang can be dignified but does not know how to be harmonious with others.  I would not exchange their merits for my own even if they offered. That’s why they all come to learn from me.”

Wisdom is not competence in one skill or many skills.  It is the ability to recognize strengths and weaknesses in ourselves and others.  Thus, a wise teacher knows that although he may not surpass certain students in specific skills, he can give them what they need to become better individuals.

200 responses to “Introduction to Horizontal Growth

  1. While I unequivocally take exception to truth of the first sentence of this blog post I greatly enjoyed the story you shared about Confucious .

    Very enlightening and a valuable lesson. Thank you Marty.

  2. I believe most on this blog would agree that the technology is helpful to an individual and his dynamics. Most would agree that they have personally experienced a blowing of charge as well as a deeper and better understanding of the spirit and life in general due to their studies of Scientology. For me, these points are undeniable.

    That said, we can also agree that “something” changed in Scientology. Many questions and disagreements have to do with when and how this started to change. Was it LRH, DM, the suppressors of the 60’s? Maybe this will never be fully known or agreed upon. For me, the reasons are clear and understandable, but they are also only my opinions. What I can say with certainty is that I could not be fully free to view this whole situation until I spotted the following:

    KSW-1 was used as and acted as an implant command. It was the “must be complied to comm” at the beginning of every course; at the beginning of every cram; quoted at nearly every event or announcement or staff meeting; ordered as an M-9 at nearly every disagreement; and so on. The command was clear: “LRH was the only one who made it…you must agree…have no other counter-intentions…our survival is all that matters…you must stop all others as we are right.” That is an implant. I am not even arguing whether the info in KSW is right or wrong, or whether the intention of KSW was to be an implant, or who used it in this fashion…I am just noting the use and impact of the issue itself.

    It is difficult to understand how something so useful morphed into something so hurtful. The problem for me was separating out the two opposing viewpoints: something so good vs something so problematic. Perhaps it is just the woof and warp of life that things can and do at times work this way.

    We all know that where held-down postulates, commands, or intentions exists, one will have difficulty in acting in or evaluating in the present.

  3. like the story, and the post i agree with.and i like a path with heart which i didnt find outside the auditing room.

  4. In my edition of the book Notes on the Lectures, there is a graph entitled “Combined Spectra of Logic and Survival”

    You can see an expanded version of the graph at this URL:

    Note: In my book, the version of this diagram has an arrow pointing to the left hand side of the graph, several bars in to the right. The arrow is entitled “ultimate wrongness, finite death, zero on the tone scale.” It is clear from the diagram that this is body death, with succumb and wrong extending infinitely to the left beyond body death.

    This is the description of the graph quoted from the book NOTL:

    “The computer of the mind by which all data of a problem is summed up works on this principle. Each datum has its own value of rightness or wrongness on the scale. The computer sums up these values and makes a decision. As each new datum is added, the arrow of decision moves according to the value of that particular datum.

    When the computer sits at dead centre there is indecision, no action. You can have an engram which keeps the evaluation scale stuck, so you can’t evaluate data. “I’m always right,” “I’m always wrong,” freezes the computer. An “I have to believe it” engram deprives a person of his sense of humour. He takes things too seriously. Realizing that it is socially bad not to have a sense of humour, he laughs when he sees other people laugh. He is suggestible and impressionable. In extreme cases he may be in an amnesia trance or a catatonic state. To arrive at correct evaluations one has to have the right to make decisions. An engram is fixed data. It does not allow re-evaluation — a forgetter such as ‘It is not to be thought of’ sends intelligence down. A man gets more and more wrong in his decisions. And how wrong can a man get? Dead wrong.

    The position on the tone scale of a person continually wrong — no one would let him be right — is ultimate wrongness — finite death. The above graph, turned on end, is the tone scale.”

    My comment: It was horizontal. And then the charts were up-ended. Up-ending them created an illusion or analogy of higher and lower.

    “The above graph, turned on end, is the tone scale.”

  5. “Spiritual Vertigo”

    Sounds like a bitchin’ rock band!!

    Excellent post, Marty! Thank you. Keep ‘em coming! We could all use a little horizontal now and then. ;)

  6. Aeolus writes: “I know people who were sent to Ethics for reading the same books that LRH read in his research. Marty’s blog is a healthy antidote to that experience.” In the new religious movement where I spent more than 30 years, I saw exactly the same: people being criticized or punished for doing, reading or watching things that the founder in fact did or read himself.

    He, in a way, had a much broader contextual view of his teachings than his students. The students had made the path a lot more absolute than he himself had envisioned it. But in the process, they killed its soul. They focused on the rules, as if more applications of rules could trigger more spiritual experience. While the founders’ own practice may have been, and assuredly was more assiduous, his own openness to other angles and points of view was certainly much greater than his followers’. And, from that, he derived an evenness, a balance, an equanimity, a humanity, a wisdom, that his students had lost touch of.

    Rigid adherence to rules and isolation from other beliefs and practices bring a feeling of certainty, assurance, safety, promise of success. But this promise does not seem to deliver: there is a bhajan, a sacred Indian song, that says “poverty, chastity, obedience do not bring salvation of the soul.”

    Few religions had stringent vows at the time of the founder. Vows came much later, after the founder deceased. In Christianity, through the centuries, more and more specific vows were introduced: allegiance to the pope, allegiance to a specific order within the church, simple vows and solemn vows, temporary vows and eternal vows, etc.. My sense is the more vows were created, the more the genuine, spontaneous allegiance from the heart kept declining, and the more subservience increased and, with it, the death of the spark that attracted the student in the first place.

    Rules often serve as precursors to fundamentalism, which is invariably characterized by a demand for a strict adherence to specific, radical, theological doctrines. All fundamentalists have one thing in common: they believe that their belief is the sole source for objective truth. Fundamentalists share some traits such as elitism, literalism and the conviction that nothing will change their mind. Fundamentalists need not be religious: many atheists are fundamentalists.
    Interestingly, researchers at the University of Edinburgh have shown that fundamentalism is associated with low intelligence, with each 15-point increase in IQ making people about half as likely to have strong fundamentalist views.

    A healthy rule of thumb, from what I have observed in new religious movements is to observe what the founder did and to not try to be holier than him in one’s behaviors, and to not make and follow more rules than he did himself.

    When you look at Rumi or Kabir, great mystics from ancient times, or others like them, when they speak of reading books from other angles, they do not see these books as divergent. To the contrary, they say that their own spiritual experience now allows them to see the experience that the authors of these books, the experience that gave birth to these books. They now have a vantage point to see what these other saints and writers were talking about, and they can enjoy what they are describing. They are not coming anymore from a point of fear, of needing to separate themselves to protect themselves. They can be in the middle of the world, in the middle of other views, and be comfortable with their own and with others.

    • Last paragraph was so true and so beautifully written! As a foreign language poster, I learn a lot from people like you!
      Something else: I am so surprised that some people were hurt by the last weeks posts of Marty. Nothing “shocking”, a lot of theta, LRH himself would be happy of it. So, please, fundamentalism is a corporate Scientology stuff!

    • “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
      ― Rumi

  7. It seems to me that horizontal growth is available to people to who keep their personal integrity in and don’t compromise their reality. I remember back in the early 80’s hearing about a Mormon (who may have been a bishop) he got a bunch of auditing and did some TR’s and then gave as wins that because of Scientology he became a better Mormon. It is easy to get pulled away from original purposes e.g. getting handled to join staff or borrow large sums of money to donate to the IAS but it seems to me the people that didn’t do that but rather used the tools of Scientology to make themselves and their environment better could still experience horizontal growth.

  8. Without LRH’s teachings I don’t know that I would have found the skills necessary to help people from all walks of life who have been in and out of my life.The chart of human evaluation, the tone scale,the ethics conditions properly applied for the simplicity that they really are….to name just a few.
    The Church’s attemps at fundamentalist application never impressed me very much .But again I have never been on staff, having establish for myself that Scientology ought to be applied outside the church, in real life.
    So I feel that confucius”s lesson was taught to me by LRH.

  9. Would be awesome, to me, to see that the next “Independent Scientologists” get together embraces the welcoming of all souls who are on a spiritual path.

    That would truly be, to me, a huge breaking away from the third dynamic chains and the nourishing and celebration of the “soulness” in each one of us.

  10. I do believe that Scientology as it is practiced within the “church” does not allow for horizontal growth. I have personally experienced instances where I was subjected to sec- checks and roll backs for exploring other philosophies or practices, or for failing to pounce on others who were thinking outside the box. Perhaps it’s because its believed that since Hubbard already explored and charted the path that there is no need to look. But make no mistake, scn trounces on exploring minds- at least if you are staff. You are sec checked, roll backed, accused of other practices,etc. one thing that absolutely baffled me was the entire practice of prohibiting staff to be in touch with the rest of the world- by restricting their movements, keeping them on lock down in the base, etc. I just could not figure out how we were suppose to “clear the Planet” when we were not allowed to be in communication with it! There were kust so many thought stops pushed on us: don’t read the papers – they are entheta. don’t watch TV. why read some other philosopher when you haven’t read all if Hubbard’s works (what’s your other fish?) it goes on and on….These kids growing up in that world are clueless to the wealth of experience, knowledge, cultures that exist around them- all of which you need exposure to in order to continue to evaluate one’s own chaging perceptions, awarenesses. Seeing what goes on around you helps you to objectively assess life situations better, to put things in correct perspective and to nourish one’s own growth an a spirit. The two forces -vertical and horizontal- help to balance each other and to provide continued springboards for upward and outward growth. Stunting one’s reach horizontally only serves to cut short spiritual growth, because all that horizontal stuff is the stuff of life through other dynamics. And the interchange between dynamics cannot be suppressed without consequence. I know that the higher I got up the “company ladder” the more sufficated and stifled I felt, yet as I moved up the Bridge the more I wanted to stretch out and reach into the vastness of humanity. It was a real problem. And i believe many OTs who are still in struggle with this.

  11. Scientology is growing horizontally but I doubt DM is too happy about it. Exhibit A is Stephen Colbert’s recent bit on Scn and his interview with Lawrence Wright. Awfully damn funny, and at DM and his lawyers’ expense. Worth checking out.

  12. “Scientology is perhaps the most powerful technology ever developed for vertical, cognitive individual growth. Unfortunately it comes with an instilled mores that devalues and prohibits meaningful horizontal growth. In my opinion, vertical growth, absent a horizontal foundation can cause spiritual vertigo.”

    The horizontal foundation includes a desire and willingness to be in ARC with all eight dynamics. This requires an ability to allow others to have thier own opinion regarding THEIR dynamics. There are eight billion folks on this planet and the “only one” attitude fostered in the “church” isn’t going to cut it with the vast majority of them. Want to clear them? Better find out what their R is or you’re just gonna mock up your own GPM, in your own universe and you’re going nowhere with that game.

    There are a lot of people with a forward look who are trying to create a better civilization. Help them if you can and if you wish.

    Personally, I like going Up the Pole once or twice a year. Then I come back down to earth and audit some folks. Not because I have to, but because I like to help.

  13. Part of my evolution in leaving the church had to do with noticing some non-Scientologists who were extraordinary human beings – kind, compassionate, honest, and really attempting to be good people – these are people I would trust my life to. I thought about getting them “in” and knew that it would just not work. These individuals would absolutely not tolerate the “values” practiced in the church and it would end in a mess. Two events happened almost simultaneously that illustrate what I was seeing: 1) A church reg extracted money from my elderly mother by lying and deceit, 2) A non-scn man who was in a position to benefit monetarily from my doing something, advised me against it. The reg, I would not trust as far as I could spit, the other man earned my trust, not only from this one action, but from the way he conducted his entire life. I justified my tolerance of amoral behavior by the church by agreeing with the oft-cited excuse that it is only a few individuals who are not following policy and also, that since I know what scientology can do, I can overlook many faults. (The end justifies the means.) I came to see that one can’t create a world without war, etc., by the use of violence and cruelty. And, if I had to choose, I would rather be a person of high character any day, than high power. The information is there in scientology to encompass this (TWTH, etc.), but it is given far less importance, when it is really the most important. From my experience at Flag, TWTH was followed there less than in any other environment I had ever been. I have made tremendous horizontal gains, but only since leaving the church.

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