Dianetics and general semantics

Some similarities and differences

I differentiate between Dianetics and the religion Scientology that allegedly springs from Dianetics. I am not interested in Scientology. The popularity of Dianetics over Science and Sanity possibly bears looking into, especially since Dianetics follows general semantics.

Google: dianetics - 114,000 hits.  general semantics - 10,400 hits.

Dianetics, p. 445.

There are two axioms about mind function with which the auditor should be familiar.

  1. The mind perceives, poses and resolves problems relating to survival.
  2. The analytical mind computes in differences.  The reactive mind computes in identities.

The distinction in Dianetics between the way the "reactive mind" computes and the way the "analytical mind" computes corresponds roughly to the distinction in general semantics between "signal reaction" and "symbol response". While Hubbard and many general semantics practitioners tend to make a somewhat binary distinction between these, I differentiate between them as relative directions along the continuum of time of responses. (See Semantic Reaction for a deeper discussion.)  Korzybski emphasizes that delaying one's responses permits one to move from signal reaction to symbol response, but this subtlety appears to be lost on some general semantics practitioners - particularly novices.


Annotated bibliography of general semantics papers
General Semantics and Related Topics
This page was updated by Ralph Kenyon on 2009/11/16 at 00:27 and has been accessed 4392 times at 28 hits per month.