Scientology/Opposites of tones


QUESTION: What are the opposites of tones? Id love to know!

ANSWER: You'll need to clarify your question - where you heard of the idea of "opposites" of tones, and what the context of that mention was.

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QUESTION: Sorry. I meant like Yin Yang. Enthusiasm would be opposite of apathy it seems, but I'm not sure.


"Opposite" is a concept that lends itself to multiple interpretations.  It is NOT a concept which is addressed, as such, in Scientology.

In truth, there may be no exact "opposites" to emotions, as emotional tones exist in THREE states of flow - flow, disperal, and ridge (two flows opposing each other, and therefore causing a stasis) OR, "no-flow," which is motionless but without opposing forces.  Tone 40, Serenity of Beingness, contains no flow or dispersal, and no motion, but also contains no opposing forces.  You will notice that none is the "opposite" of another, and that three is an odd number, and therefore does not lend itself to "opposites."

For instance, antagonism is a flow, anger is a ridge, and rage is a dispersal.  They are all in the "anger" band of emotion, none is opposite of the other, and they manifest in very different ways.  What is the "opposite" of anger?  It is contentment? Is it fear?  Is it victim?  You tell me.

If you are looking for the "opposite" of any one of these, there are at least a couple of different ways (maybe more) to go about it.  For one, you could look at the direction of flow (if any) and try to find the similar quality in a reverse flow direction; and for another, you could look at the numerical value of any given tone, and then try to find its opposite value on the negative numerical side of the values of the tone scale.  A third way, if you are considering the values of "yin and yang," would be to look for the COMPLEMENT (ie the value that completes, rather than opposes) of the emotion you are considering.

The idea of yin and yang is, itself, imprecise, and is not completely compatible with Scientology.  It represents the idea that everything has a complement or opposite, that all values can be dark or light, positive or negative, good or bad, constructive or destructive, warm or cold, etc.  Scientology does not address existence or activity in this manner.  What is the "opposite" for instance, of theta?  Entheta?  Death?  Anti-theta?  Absence of theta?  Matter?  We do not address that.  Theta simply is what it is, and other things are what they are.  Value judgments need not, and often can not, be applied to everything.

Given the above discussion, I will leave it to you to obtain a full copy of the Tone Scale, including all values above zero (death) as well as all values below zero, and let you work out for yourself if there are "opposites."

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I think that the opposite of 3 is -3. To have space you must have mass, otherwise there is nothing to define space. To have mass you must have space to put it. To be extant we must also have non existance. I was leaning more towards complimentary opposites. For example hot and cold are two extremes of the same thing, but cannot exist without one another. Take away cold we must also take away hot because they are two extremes of the same thing, temperature. Big and tall; size.

The complimentary opposite of anger I think would be boredom. While boredom is a slow action, anger is quick acting to destroy. Although I'm not sure how they compliment. Perhaps because one doesn't care and allows anger to do its thing, destroy. Can anger exist without bordom? If anger was stopped completely and didn't have bordom to allow it, it couldn't exist. Theta and entheta would be opposites for sure. One is disorder, but in order for disorder to exist there must be order. Without disorder there wouldn't be order to fix the disorder. They depend on each other to have a game maybe?

You said, "flow, disperal, and ridge". A ridge is a flow? Ridge seems more like a stop or mass to me. A flow is not a state of flow it is direction, no? The only flow I see is dispersal, to go in all directions. I think that the bands may have complimentary opposites. I think fear cannot exist without without hostility. To be scared we must have something hostile to scare us. To have danger we must also have risk.

I think you misunderstand what flow, dispersal and ridge are.  A flow is directional - everything going in a single direction.  The two most basic flows are outflow and inflow.  

A dispersal is a scattering - things going every direction.  A ridge is motionlessness resulting from opposing flows stopping each other, causing a pile-up that is going nowhere.  If you understand physics or electronics, think of a ridge as a standing wave - There is no apparent motion because everything is oscillating at a standstill.

Antagonism is a flow because it is directed - outward - toward a specific terminal.  I can be antagonistic toward you, etc.  Anger is a ridge, because it is internally opposing forces.  It is a state of being upset, in turmoil, aggravated, but it need not be caused by or responsive to any particular terminal.  It is simply the instinct to strike out at or object to any stimulus that comes along.  The internally opposing forces are in the nature of "things must be this way but they are not this way, and therefore the current status is unacceptable."  Rage is a dispersal because it is a striking out at all things, all the time, indiscriminately.  Nothing is safe from rage whether it moves or not.  These states help you to envision flow, ridge and dispersal.

Fear is a flow, because there is a definite threat from which one can flee in a given direction.  Anxiety is a ridge, because there is indecision.  Maybe something is dangerous.  Maybe not.  There is no ability to flee because there is no specific threat, but there may be, and may be versus may not be, causes opposing flows which pile up into a ridge, and thus motionlessness.  Terror is a dispersal.  Every and any thing are threats, and one flees in any and every direction, without guidance or specific hope of evading a specific threat.  One's attention is scattered, not directed.

Does this help in seeing flow vs dispersal vs ridge?

I would not envision anger and boredom as being anything like opposites.  They are actually similar in that both contain a lack of affinity for the status quo.  One is a dispersed and low-energy dissatisfaction or non-excitement and the other is a rigid and high-energy rejection of the status quo.

Do you see the problem?  Opposites may not be an appropriate way to envision emotions.


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Laurie Hamilton


I am able to answer questions regarding Scientology practices and procedures, religious philosophy, donations, religious rites, management, administrative and staff matters.


I am a second generation Scientologist whose parents began in Dianetics in 1950 and studied directly with L. Ron Hubbard. I have been personally active in the church for nearly 50 years, have eleven years former staff experience in both technical and administrative areas, and extensive technical and administative training and counseling. I am "clear" and "OT." I come from an extended family of many religions, but my spouse and children are Scientologists, as are my siblings and their spouses, several cousins, nieces, nephews, an aunt, and an uncle. Between us we have had every good and bad experience one might go through in the church at every level.

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