[I]f there’s anybody in the world that’s calculated to believe what he wants to believe, and to reject what he doesn’t want to believe, it is I.
L. Ron Hubbard, taped lecture The Story of Dianetics and Scientology, 18 Oct 1958
What Ron describes above is typically referred to as being “closed-minded”. It is, in today’s society, considered a Bad Thingtm. I’d like to present the case that it is not.
There is a sort of “closed-mindedness” that rejects and brands as heresy things like the Earth being round. This sort of closed-mindedness has been practiced by science and religion for hundreds or thousands of years. If you try to argue that science has not done this, you clearly have not studied the history of science. History is rife with examples of mainstream science ignoring and attacking theories and conclusions which did not conform to the orthodoxy of the time. One such example persists today in the subject of “global climate change”. Anyone who disputes global climate change is branded a heretic and holds in peril his future career by positing the idea that climate changes is not anthropogenic. Need proof? Try and get funding for a study intending to prove the opposite of current orthodoxy on the subject.
In any event, the above type of “closed-mindedness” is based on fixed ideas and (normally) false data. It would be appropriate to brand this type of closed-mindedness as unreasonable. It is.
However, there is another type of “closed-mindedness”, to which Ron refers, which is a different matter entirely. I practice this type of closed-mindedness, as do many others. If involves this: having observed something to be true, one then asks why such a thing would be. Going back to fundamental axioms and extending them forward, it then becomes clear why the observation is true. Once one reaches this plateau, further investigation and discourse is no longer necessary. The observation has become a fact.
In my youth, I did a fairly extensive survey of Eastern and Western philosophy. What I found was that the useful and/or true principles per square inch of ink were negligible. Moreover, there were just enough isolated truths to entice students into further study, and enough falsehoods to wrap a student around the nearest tree. But in Scientology, the opposite was true. Thus, I came to reject all older philosophies in terms of their usefulness. If you wanted to study them for the purpose of context in explaining history, then perhaps they might have some utility. But otherwise, not. This is why I rather discourage Scientologists, who, now free of the Church, seek wisdom and understanding by studying older philosophies and religions.
Ron, in the early days of his research, sought tools which would further his research and serve him in developing what he was discovering into a workable practice. He rejected, one after another almost all fields of human knowledge except science, and most particularly, the scientific method. This would give him a solid base from which to gauge his research and draw conclusions.
Getting back specifically to this idea of “positive” closed-mindedness (paragraph six above), I’m willing to listen to those who wish to argue some alternative conclusion, but their burden of proof will be significant. My overall experience with people like this is that they either haven’t thought the thought through, or are ignoring facts which contradict the conclusion they are trying to sell you on.
This type of “closed-mindedness” seems like a piece of arrogance to a lot of people who consider themselves “modern” and “enlightened”. However, popularity should never be substituted as something desirable over workability. By way of example, there is at least one auditor in the Independent Field who advocates for using Power Processes (Grade V) to handle exteriorization problems. This person would consider those of use who follow LRH’s tech to the letter “closed-minded”. That’s okay. We’re not here to be popular or to cater to someone’s “better idea”. We’re here to practice the workable technology Ron developed.
So be careful when you toss around the term “closed-minded”. Don’t mistake the one kind for the other.