Christine Norstrand

In our earlier training, we learned that a person goes out of present time to the extent that they fail to confront the physical substance of present time, the matter, energy, space and time of daily life. Functionally, present time is the only reference point that exists; in its absence, we are left with only reactive evaluations, misemotions, and a plethora of unwanted sensations.

As counselors and facilitators, we took this data to heart, coaxing and dragging our viewers into the present by way of processes that we call BOPs (basic objective processes) or simply, objectives. Professionally, we considered them necessary Ė increasing the viewer's ability to confront mass and force in the physical universe also made them more able to confront the forces and masses that were triggered by subjective processes. We saw that significance-oriented processing was more effective when preceded by BOPs. Still, we talked about "having completed oneís objectives" in the same tone of voice we used when we said weíd completed our military service. In short, they were neither fun to give nor to receive.

Still, we managed to get through the ordeal and here we are in present time. But what does being in the present mean? We mean that our attention is in this place and time, that we are engaged with our life, that we approach it rather than avoid or deny it. When we are in the present, we are a part of our lives, living them intimately rather than considering them from the distance of intellectualization.

Living in the present, we enjoy improved reaction time, increases in intelligence by traditional standards, greater sensitivity and perception of others -- all leading to improved emotional intelligence. Insofar as we have to function as machines (cooking, cleaning, working machines), such abilities enhance our ability to function and to realize our own goals. Yet, it is especially when we are in the present, engaged with our condition as infinite beings living a finite existence, that we are able to learn.

Lessons of the Soul

By "able to learn", I donít mean learning facts and figures, or techniques and procedures. I donít even mean higher-level analytical skills. We have more than enough of those sorts of cognitive learning. What I am talking about are the soulís lessons, those things that arenít taught in school. These are often the things that donít make sense analytically yet we know to be true. To illustrate, we visit a friend who is ill and we see that the visit has meaning for him and comforts him. No, it isnít a perky and sparkly experience but it is a giving of ourselves that gives us back more than we gave. This makes no rational sense but we know that itís true. These are the lessons of the heart and soul.

We can claim years of formal education and post certificates on every wall, yet still find it difficult to make friends or to make any sense of what we are doing with our lives. Both our traditional school experience and much of our professional training imply that if we only have the correct formula or technique, we can bring about the results that we desire without actually participating in our own lives. Is there any little evidence that this is the case?

Knowledge occurs at many levels, not just intellectual knowing. To flourish and prosper, to enjoy our relationships and communities, several kinds of knowledge are needed. Emotional knowledge, the knowledge of our own true identity, and the knowledge of ourselves as extended "selves", our domains or dynamics, are among these. Rational knowledge may be the least of these.

It Doesnít Have to Hurt

Objective processes have fallen on hard times. BOPs are often considered a series of low-level processes solely to get a new viewer to give up drugs or appropriate for resistive cases. BOPs are not easy processes to run for they process the facilitator as much as the viewer. The truth: Objectives are neither exclusively low-level processes; neither are they necessarily difficult to run or be run on.

Several years ago, when I was the case supervisor at Narconon, a residential drug rehabilitation program in Los Angeles, I participated in an objectives pilot that was supervised by Rich Cohen and David Mayo. We used a pack of several hundred objectives processes that had been culled from tapes and bulletins. All of the material had been published; there were no confidential or unpublished processes. Many of these were considered "objective undercuts" that were lighter to run than the traditional objectives battery. These processes ran lightly, often 10 to 15 minutes to an end point. No screams, no wailing and gnashing of teeth. Just a gradient of small wins.

These undercut processes did not replace the standard objectives battery, they preceded it. Time on the standard objectives processes (those that were required to be run as part of initial drug handling or in problems handling) was slightly less than it had been without the undercuts. Overall time on objectives was slightly longer. The number of processes run to an objectives end point of a person who is stably in present time and knows it was slightly more than double.


By now, you are wondering what sort of process would comprise an objective undercut. The answer is: anything that invites the person to look at the present time environment and get in communication with it. "Look at that ______. What is it called. What else could you call it" or "Notice something about that ______. Compare that to that _______. How is it similar? How is it different?" You can make them up yourself and the possibilities are as limitless as the physical universe. Just make them light, make them fun, and make them consult the personís perceptions of the present environment. Donít intentionally select things that might be difficult for your viewer to look at. Itís as easy as that.

The standard battery of objectives will still require some determination to confront, as well as sheer willpower. Such things as strong emotions, physical conditions and discomforts can and do turn on. Find your courage. With a foundation of wins on undercut objectives behind her, your viewer will find it easier to commit to continuing the process to the end point. She knows because sheís been there on the undercuts.

High level objectives

No, it isnít a contradiction in terms. The objectives pilot began with no more than a culling of every objective process that was known at that time. Many were many high-level BOPs, processes that supplemented the standard objectives battery. Arrival in the present is the first step. Then what? Processes that invites a view to change her orientation to the physical universe independent of her body, and to make decisions from that changed orientation are truly high-level processes. Stability is the fundamental here. When your viewer is stably in present time, when exteriorization or out-of-body experiences are not uncommon, she is a candidate for higher-level objectives.

What about creativity?

The title of this column promised a discussion of objectives and creativity and we havenít even touched on the C-word yet. Letís start with a definition: Creativity is the knowing continuous creation of the present. The power of our considerations and postulates (fiat statements) are dependent on our being in the present. In fact, one modern religion defines therapy in these terms: The goal of processing is to bring an individual into such thorough communication with the physical universe that he can regain the power and ability of his own considerations (postulates) (Hubbard, "Consideration and Mechanics").

How does that work? You have no power over something you are avoiding, denying, or running away from. Creativity assumes that you know your tools well, tools that are physical universe elements or instruments. And you must control the material elements enough to order and arrange them in a new and pleasing way, whether those elements are sound waves or marble. The idea may seem inspired or to come from the Platonic realm. The realization and actualization of that idea is dependent on your engaged experience with the present. Musicians know this. Poets know this.

The traditional arts have no corner on creativity. A well-written viewer program, a flower arrangement, and the clothes we choose to wear each day are all creative acts. Our creativity is boundless. And as infinite beings living a finite existence, infinity takes form in each of our creative acts in the present.

By now, you have noticed the parallels between the light touch of the undercut objectives that invites a creative response ("What else could you call it?") and the subject of this column. Creativity is a native quality in a being, you can reach your viewer at any level with it. Sheís already creating obsessively and unknowingly. You are ever so lightly inviting her to take control of the ability. As she does so, you will both discover that she already is where sheís going: the present.

(published in International Viewpoints 34, November 1997)

BOPs Processes.