Engram (Dianetics)

Engram (Dianetics)

In Dianetics and Scientology, an engram is defined as "a mental image picture which is a recording of an experience containing pain, unconsciousness and a real or fancied threat to survival. It is a recording in the reactive mind of something which actually happened to an individual in the past and which contained pain and unconsciousness ... It must, by definition, have impact or injury as part of its content. These engrams are a complete recording, down to the last accurate detail, of every perception present in a moment of partial or full unconsciousnes." [" [http://www.scientology.ie/p_jpg/wis/wiseng/gloss.htm The Official Scientology and Dianetics Glossary] ". Church of Scientology International. Accessed 2004-06-17.]

The term "engram" was coined in 1904 by the German scholar Richard Semon, [cite book | last = Dudai | first = Yadin | authorlink = Yadin Dudai | year = 2002 | title = Memory from A to Z: Keywords, Concepts, and Beyond | publisher = Oxford University Press | location = Oxford, United Kingdom | id = ISBN 0198520875] who defined it as a "stimulus impression" which could be reactivated by the recurrence of "the energetic conditions which ruled at the generation of the engram." [cite book | last = Corydon | first = Bent | authorlink = Bent Corydon | coauthors = L. Ron Hubbard, Jr. | year = 1987 | title = L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman? | publisher = Lyle Stuart | location = Secaucus, New Jersey | id = ISBN 0-8184-0444-2 Convenience link at http://www.clambake.org/archive/books/mom/Messiah_or_Madman.txt .]

Semon's concept was re-used by L. Ron Hubbard when he published "" in 1950. He conceived of the engram as a form of "memory trace", an idea which had long existed in medicine. According to Dr. Joseph Winter, a physician who collaborated in the development of Dianetics, Hubbard had taken the term "engram" from the 1936 edition of "Dorland's Medical Dictionary", where it was defined as "a lasting mark or trace .... In psychology it is the lasting trace left in the psyche by anything that has been experienced psychically; a latent memory picture." [cite book | last = Winter | first = Joseph A. | authorlink = Joseph A. Winter | year = 1951 | title = A Doctor's Report on Dianetics | publisher = Hermitage House | location = New York, NY] He had originally used the terms "Norn", "comanome" and "impediment" before alighting on "engram" following a suggestion from Winter.cite book | last = Atack | first = Jon | authorlink = Jon Atack | year = 1990 | title = A Piece of Blue Sky | publisher = Carol Publishing Group | location = New York, NY | id = ISBN 0-8184-0499-X| pages=109]

Hubbard's concept of the engram evolved over time. In "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health", he wrote that "The word engram, in dianetics is used in its severely accurate sense as a 'definite and permanent trace left by a stimulus on the protoplasm of a tissue'", [cite book | last = Hubbard | first = L. Ron | authorlink = L. Ron Hubbard | year = 1988 | title = "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health" | publisher = New Era Publications UK Ltd | location = East Grinstead, United Kingdom | id = ISBN 1870451228 | page = 82fn] , which followed fairly closely the original definition in "Dorland's". He later repudiated the idea that an engram was a physical cellular trace, redefining his concept as being "a mental image picture of a moment of pain and unconsciousness". [L. Ron Hubbard "Ability: the Magazine of Dianetics and Scientology", Issue 36, Washington D. C., mid-October 1956]

According to Hubbard whenever an engram is stimulated it increases in power.


External links

* [http://www.scientologytoday.org/Common/question/pg10.htm ScientologyToday.org: What is an engram?]
* [http://www.essentialdianetics.org/page09.htm Essentialdianetics.org]

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