By L. Ron Hubbard
Can I be sure to be a spirit?
Would you like to know who you really are? The individual himself is a spirit controlling a body via a mind.
The Spirit or Thetan – the living unit – taken from the Greek letter theta – Θ – the mathematic symbol used to indicate the source of life and life itself then, is not a thing. It is the creator of things.
Probably the greatest discovery of Scientology and its most forceful contribution to the knowledge of Mankind has been the isolation, description and handling of the human spirit, accomplished in July 1951. I established along scientific lines that that thing which is the person, the personality, is separable from the body and the mind at will and without causing bodily death or mental derangement.
In ages past there has been considerable controversy concerning the human spirit or soul, and various attempts to control Man have been effective in view of his almost complete ignorance of his own identity. Latterly spiritualists isolated from the person what they called the astral body, and with this they were able to work for various purposes of their own.
In Scientology the spirit itself was separated from what the spiritualists called the astral body and there should be no confusion between these two things. As you know that you are where you are at this moment, so you would know if you, a spirit, were detached from your mind and body. Man had not discovered this before because, lacking the technologies of Scientology, he had very little reality upon his detachment from his mind and body and therefore conceived himself to be at least in part a mind and a body.
The entire cult of communism is based upon the fact that one lives only one life, that there is no hereafter and that the individual has no religious significance. Man at large has been close to this state since at least the 19th century. The condition is of a very low order, excluding as it does all self-recognition.
Where is the spirit in relation to the body
The usual residence of the thetan is in the skull or near the body. A thetan can be in one of four conditions.
Condition # 1: It would be entirely separate from a body or bodies, or even from this universe.
Condition # 2: It would be near a body and knowingly controlling the body.
Condition # 3: It would be in the body (the skull) and
Condition # 4: It would be an inverted condition whereby he was compulsively away from the body and could not approach it.
There are degrees of each one of these four states. The most optimum of these conditions, from the standpoint of Man, is the second.
How to return to a better condition?
A thetan is subject to deterioration. This is at first, difficult to understand since the entirety of his activity consists of considering or postulating. He uses, through his postulates, various methods of controlling a body. That he does deteriorate is manifest, but that he can at any moment return to an entirety of his ability is also factual. He does not consider himself as having an individual identity or name unless he is connected with one or more of the games of life.
The many goals of auditing in Scientology is to “exteriorize” the individual and place him in the second condition above, since it has been discovered that he is happier and more capable when so situated.
Extract from the Fundamentals of Thought – L. Ron Hubbard