QUESTION: Is the Scientology conception of thetan-mind-body an example of Cartesian dualism? If so, did Hubbard have anything to say about the mind-body problem?
ANSWER: Actually, no. Per Scientology, the mind is a) entirely physical and of the same sort of substance of the body and b) entirely different from the body. Neither is a part of the other. The thetan is entirely non-physical, and entirely different from both the mind and the body.
Thetan is entirely senior to mind and to body, and mind is senior to body. Thetan operates in the realm of pure intention and through such monitors and directs the mind and to some degree the body. The mind monitors and directs body and relays information between thetan and body as needed.
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QUESTION: Um, interesting. The mind-body problem (how can an immaterial substance such as a thetan causally interact with a physical substance such as the body) is considered a perennially intractable problem in philosophy. I wasn't aware Ron had solved this.
He never addressed the problem as such, but if one approaches the idea of existence, awareness and intention the way Ron did, one would have to consider it a false statement of a "problem."
The root concepts of Scientology posit that physical things or events are, or are not; happen, or don't; start, change or stop; merely because theta considers that they exist, or act, or create effects. There is no "how" involved. The fact of theta considering a thing to be true makes it, per se, true - without an intervening mechanism.
The universe of physical things adheres to a set of laws, one aspect of which is that in order for there to be cause and effect, there must be direct or indirect interaction. Theta is not a part of the universe of physical things, and is bound by laws of the "universe of theta," rather than physical laws. The characteristics of theta do not require there to be an interaction or chain of events between "cause" and "effect." One could say that the effects of theta inhere in the causes of theta. The IDEA that a thing is so, IS that thing being so, without intervening times, spaces, energies or particles of matter. There is no matter, energy, space or time as it relates to theta. Hence, to require theta to "interact" with the physical universe in order for its intent to be manifest would require theta to a physical thing rather than what it is, which is non-physical.
If there is a "problem" here, it would be "how do THETA and the physical universe interact?" And the Scientology answer to this is that they do not interact.
The mind-body problem is no more a problem than the hand-tool problem. The mind and body can and do interact because they are each physical in the same way the other is physical, although they are separate things.
The sun shines on the plant the the plant grows warm, though they do not touch and are not part of each other. They interact through physical means which do not imply a similarity in character beyond the fact of each being manifestations of physical energy.
To get what I'm talking about, it would help one to study and understand The Factors and The Axioms of Scientology, available here: http://www.bonafidescientology.org/Append/01/page03.htm
as well as the Logics, here: http://www.whatisscientology.org/html/Part14/Chp41/pg0745.html
, and the Prelogics, seen here: http://www.whatisscientology.org/html/Part14/Chp41/pg0771.html