This is the second part of Missing in Study Tech.
Straight to the point:
There are several prerequisites to study:
- A distraction-free body (enough food and sleep, no distracting body conditions)
- A distraction-free environment
- A subject to study with adequate material
- A willingness to study (subject aligning with own goals and motivations and a belief that one could and should study the subject)
Then there is the first class of barriers to study – the teacher or material:
- The teacher or material is wrong (the concepts cannot be demonstrated as it is incorrect)
- The teacher or material is badly conveyed (overly complex, unnecessary stuff interjected or there are holes in the explanation such as missing raw data or case studies – a skipped gradient)
- The teacher or material has a misunderstood (using a wrong word or symbol or using it the wrong way)
Then there is the second class of barriers to study, covered by LRH in the bulletin “Barriers to Study” as detailed in the previous blog post:
- Lack of mass
- Skipped gradient
- The misunderstood word
Beyond all this there is the ability to evaluate and use the data. That is a skill that can be fostered by the Data Series as well as other bodies of knowledge (like studying logical fallacies).
The second class of barriers to study is part of Scientology Standard Technology. The first class and the prerequisites are not. Some of those points are however covered in Hubbard’s lectures and articles and have found their place in various courses such as the Basic Study Manual. I have never seen Hubbard touching on the third point of the first class of study barriers (misunderstoods in the materials themselves).
You can see how the three barriers that LRH describes have one for one a counterpart in the first class of study barriers. What can be wrong in a student’s study can of course also be wrong with the material.
If a student disregards the first class of barriers as even more primary than the second class, he could find himself thinking he himself have lack of mass, a skipped gradient or a misunderstood, when all along the materials or teacher were at fault. A teacher could even go so far as insisting the student has a misunderstood because he was in disagreement with erroneous material.
A student should be taught Study Technology in the sequence outlined above: First we need the prerequisites taken care of, then we need the first class of barriers out of the way, then we tackle the second class of study barriers.
One should of course be very alert to a student claiming that prerequisites are out simply because he has run into any of the three barriers of the second class. He could claim he was hungry because he has lack of mass, just to get out of the classroom. Or he could claim that the author has a misunderstood when the student is the one using the wrong definition for a word.
But, one should always be aware the prerequisites and always be open for errors in the materials or in the teacher, even when that teacher is a guru one looks up to.
And finally, there are always shades of gray and nuances in the colors. Materials could be more or less wrong – maybe they are right but could be even more right. Very, very little material in human history has not been rightfully improved upon by later generations.