UNDERSTANDING THE SOCIETY - Sub-Apathy
Excerpt of the book "Problems of Work"
The Tone Scale starts well below apathy. In other words, a person is feeling no emotion about a subject at all. An example of this was the American attitude concerning the atomic bomb; something about which they should have been very concerned was so far beyond their ability to control and so likely to end their existence that they were below apathy about it.
They actually did not even feel that it was very much of a problem. Americans processed on this particular subject had to be worked with for some little time until they began to feel apathetic about the atomic bomb. This was really an advance over the feeling of no emotion whatsoever on a subject which should have intimately concerned them.
In other words, on many subjects and problems people are actually well below apathy. There the Tone Scale starts, on utter, dead null far below death itself.
Going up into improved tones one encounters the level of body death, apathy, grief, fear, anger, antagonism, boredom, enthusiasm and serenity, in that order. There are many small stops between these tones, but one knowing anything about human beings should definitely know these particular emotions.
Actually the below apathy level is so low as to constitute a no-affinity, no-emotion, no-problem, no-consequence state of mind on things which are actually tremendously important.
The area below apathy is an area without pain, interest, beingness or anything else that matters to anyone, but it is an area of great danger since one is below the level of being able to respond to anything and may accordingly lose everything without apparently noticing it.
A workman who is in very bad condition and who is actually a liability to the organization may not be capable of experiencing pain or any emotion on any subject. He is below apathy.
We have seen workmen who would hurt their hand and think nothing of it and go right on working even though their hand was very badly injured. People in dispensaries working in industrial areas are quite amazed sometimes to discover how little attention some workmen pay to their own injuries.
It is an ugly fact that people who pay no attention to their own injuries and who are not even feeling pain from those injuries are not and never will be, without some attention from a Scientologist, efficient people. They are liabilities to have around. They do not respond properly.
If such a person is working a crane and the crane suddenly goes out of control to dump its load on a group of men, that sub-apathy crane operator will simply let the crane drop its load. In other words, he is a potential murderer.
He cannot stop anything, he cannot change anything and he cannot start anything and yet, on some automatic response basis, he manages some of the time to hold down a job, but the moment a real emergency confronts him he is not likely to respond properly and accidents result.
Where there are accidents in industry they stem from these people in the sub-apathy tone range. Where bad mistakes are made in offices which cost firms a great deal of money, lost time and cause other personnel difficulties, such mistakes are found rather uniformly to stem from these sub-apathy people.
So do not think that one of these states of being unable to feel anything, of being dumb, of being incapable of pain or joy is any use to anyone. It is not. A person who is in this condition cannot control things and in actuality is not there sufficiently to be controlled by anyone else and does strange and unpredictable things.
Just as a person can be chronically in sub-apathy, so a person can be in apathy. This is dangerous enough but is at least expressed.
Only when we get up into apathy itself do we have the A-R-C triangle beginning to manifest itself and become visible.
Communication from the person himself, not from some circuit or training pattern is to be expected.
People can be chronically in grief, chronically in fear, chronically in anger, or in antagonism, or boredom, or actually can be “stuck in enthusiasm”. A person who is truly able is normally fairly serene about things.
He can, however, express other emotions. It is a mistake to believe that a total serenity is of any real value. When a situation which demands tears cannot be cried about one is not in serenity as a chronic tone. This sub-apathy can be mistaken rather easily for serenity, but of course only by a very untrained observer.
One glance at the physical condition of the person is enough to differentiate. People who are in sub-apathy are normally quite ill.
Just as we have a range of the Tone Scale thus covering the subject of affinity, so do we have one for communication. On the level of each of the emotions we have a communication factor.
In sub-apathy an individual is not really communicating at all. Some social response or training pattern or, as we say, “circuit" is communicating.
The person himself does not seem to be there and isn’t really talking. Therefore his communications are sometimes strange to say the least. He does the wrong things at the wrong time. He says the wrong things at the wrong time.
Naturally when a person is stuck on any of the bands of the Tone Scale, sub-apathy, apathy, grief, fear, anger, antagonism, boredom, enthusiasm, or serenity, he voices communications with that emotional tone.
A person who is always angry about something is stuck in anger. Such a person is not as bad off as somebody in sub-apathy, but he is still rather dangerous to have around since he will make trouble, and a person who is angry does not control things well.
Sub-Apathy is a state of disinterest, no affinity, no reality, no communication. There will be social machinery, valences, circuits, etc. but the pc himself will not be there.
In Sub-Apathy a person can tolerate considerable effects, apparently. This can fool you. The effects are not real and he does not experience them. While he believes all his effects must be created for him, he is unwilling to receive any.
L. RON HUBBARD