THE PROCESS CHURCH OF THE FINAL JUDGEMENT 1965 revised May 1969
1. 1 IN ANY IMPORTANT SITATION, BEFORE A PERSON COMMITS HIMSELF TO ANY SORT OF INVOLVEMENT OR DEPENDENCE, HE FEELS HE MUST ENSURE THAT THE SITUATION CAN GIVE HIM THE SECURITY HE REQUIRES. THEREFORE HE TESTS IT.
2 TESTING IS PERFORMED UNCONSCIOUSLY.
3 It follows the rules of the accepted scientific method, which requires that the scientist forms a theoretical hypothesis and then tries systematically to destroy it. It is then considered valid only to the extent to which it survives the destruction.
4 If A contemplates an involvement in some sort of relationship with B, he will systematically try to destroy the possibility of such a relationship, meanwhile gradually involving himself more and more, according to the extent that the relationship survives the tests.
5 If he manages to destroy any likelihood or possibility of having the kind of relationship he requires, he abandons the situation. If he cannot destroy the possibility of a relationship with B, he continues to involve himself to a greater and greater extent, his tests becoming more and more extreme.
6 How far he is prepared to go depends on how deeply his own compulsive needs require him to be involved in and committed to that particular relationship. If he requires - and the situation seems to promise - a very intense degree of involvement, perhaps to the point of his total dependence upon it, then his tests will be carried to the ultimate. If he is prepared to settle for a lesser degree of involvement, and there is no sign that the relationship will offer anything further, then his commitment will increase to a certain point and stop. He need not abandon the situation. So long as it offers him part of what he requires, and does not preclude him from deeper involvements in other relationships that can offer him more security, there is no reason for him to abandon it.
7 Take the example of A contemplating a relationship with B. He may find that an association with B offers nothing more than a casual friendship. If he wants such a friendship he can maintain it and test the relationship no further. If, however, such a friendship either gives him no satisfaction or threatens to prevent him from satisfying his deeper need in some other relationship, he abandons it and looks for that other relationship.
8 TESTING IS CARRIED OUT IN THREE STAGES.
9 THE FIRST MOVE IS TO CREATE EFFECTS AROUND THE SITUATION.
10 For security, a person needs something that is capable of being stronger than him, something that he can depend on rather than something that is totally dependent on him. He is very much aware of his own inadequacies; and consequently he must find situations and relationships that will absorb these inadequacies; neutralise, supplement or offset them, and not be total effect of them. So if the situation is too susceptible to his effects, moves with every wind he blows at it, has no strength or identity of its own separate from him, then it has proved weaker than him in all directions. He can be sure it will give him no security.
11 Taking again A's relationship with B. If A finds that B is complete effect of him and gives nothing of his own volition, causes nothing, influences none of his moves, creates no effects of his own, then A knows he can expect no security from the relationship. He may, if there is some satisfaction in it, maintain the association, but he will not involve himself, he will sacrifice nothing to the relationship and place no trust in it. He may also become suspended by B's dependence on him, either through guilt or through a need to boost his ego. But whether A abandons his relationship with B or uses it for some secondary purpose that involves no dependence on it, the fact remains that it has fallen down on the test. He has destroyed it by proving its complete incausativeness and inability to support or sustain him in any direction.
12 If, however, a situation survives this initial test, if in the example A is unable to create all the effects he wishes, the relationship has a strength of its own; B, in other words, is capable of meeting his effects and changing, modifying, or preventing them, and of creating effects in return; A may not consciously like this, but unconsciously, for him, the test is going well. There is the promise of security, or dependence, sustenance, help, contribution; of a relationship in fact to which he can safely commit himself.
13 THE CONSCIOUS ANTI-REACTION (mentioned above) IS USED AS A SPUR TO THE SECOND STAGE OF THE TEST, WHICH IS DIRECT DESTRUCTION.
14 This begins mildly enough. A might start this stage of his test with B by creating a disagreement between them, or by mildly ridiculing B, or by letting him down, or by ignoring him. If either B or the relationship collapses under this gentle barrage, that's that. A may need quite a lot of convincing, so he may pick up the pieces and apply the test again, but when he is finally convinced that the relationship cannot take it, the test is over.
15 If on the other hand, the relationship sustains the barrage, A will involve himself even further and step up the intensity of the destruction.
16 The extent to which he will go in bringing his entire armoury of weapons to bear on this, will depend on both the nature of the relationship, and how much he is demanding and expecting from it. If he foresees and wants a deep and lasting and intense relationship with a high degree of mutual trust and dependence, he will bring out every destructive force he can muster, both open and disguised.
17 THE MOST EFFECTIVE FORM OF DIRECT DESTRUCTION IS TO BRING FAILURE ON THE PERSON OR SITUATION BEING TESTED.
18 For example, A puts B into a position where he is bound to have a personal failure, introduces him to someone else who he knows will not like B, or brings him into an environment where he knows B will show up unfavourably, gives him a challenge that he knows he cannot possibly meet, gives him some important misinformation that he knows B will act on with disastrous results. Or A attempts to create a sense of failure WTHIN his relationship with B. He brings discord into it, causes strife between the two of them, creates barriers and presents difficulties that put a price on the relationship, thus testing its strength and value.
19 THE EXTENT OF PEOPLE'S INTENTION AND ABILITY TO DESTROY ONE ANOTHER AND THEIR RELATIONSHIPS WITH ONE ANOTHER, IS ENORMOUS, AND GENERALLY TOTALLY UNRECOGNISED EITHER BY THEMSELVES OR BY ANYONE ELSE. EVERY DISASTER IS MORE THAN ADEQUATELY COVERED BY A BATTERY OF JUSTIFICATIONS THAT BLIND EVERYONE CONCERNED TO ITS REAL CAUSES.
20 So the test goes on; A, confident in his protection against having to take responsibility for what he is doing, by reason of the justifications, and B, utterly unaware of what is going on.
21 There are five ways in which the relationship can manifest failure at any point of the 'direct destruction' stage of the test.
1. B collapses. This is not necessarily conclusive. A will probably pick up the pieces and try again. But the final failure is when A finds he no longer has the inclination to pick up the pieces. He has then proved to himself that the relationship is not important enough to him to make this worthwhile.
2. B has a major failure which shows him in a very poor light, and A finds that as a result of this he loses interest in his relationship with B.
3. B rejects A. This also is not necessarily conclusive on its own. A then assesses his own attitude. If he feels inclined to effect a reconciliation then the relationship is not finally destroyed for him. It is still able to hold him. If he at once loses interest and feels the relationship is not worth the trouble of patching it up, then it has failed the test and he abandons it.
4. B rejects A and in no circumstances can be reconciled. This is conclusive when A feels he has given all he is capable of giving towards recreating the relationship and still B rejects him. This satisfies him that the relationship is invalid; B is not dependable. (If A is not prepared to give whatever is required to bring about a reconciliation then the test has failed on basis 3).
5. A reduces his evaluation of his relationship with B to a point where he can reject B, abandon the relationship and feel no 'hang-over' of involvement with B - apart, perhaps, from some guilt for the destruction perpetrated.
22 There are also five ways in which the relationship can manifest survival of the test.
1. B prevents the destruction, or, when it is directed straight at him, is unaffected by it. He does not fail when he is supposed to, or avoids the failure situation set up for him. Again A goes as far as is necessary for his demands, and if B and the relationship prove indestructible they have survived this stage of the test.
2. B has a major failure in a situation which A has set up for him, but A finds that instead of losing interest in the relationship as a result of this, he is still drawn to B, either in spite of the failure or even because of it.
3. B is aware of the destruction that is being directed at him and the relationship, confronts A with what he is doing, and so demonstrates his own control of the situation.
4. B rejects A, but A finds that the relationship is of such value to him that he is prepared to do whatever is required to bring about a reconciliation, and that a reconciliation is possible.
5. A attempts to reduce his evaluation of his relationship with B, to reject B and to abandon the relationship, but finds that he cannot destroy his feelings of involvement with B. The relationship has survived, resist though he may.
23 THE THIRD AND FINAL STAGE OF THE TEST IS SELF-DESTRUCTION.
24 This ranges from mild self-reduction to driving oneself into the depths of abject misery and despair. Still the test is directed ultimately at the overall situation, which can fail it in the following four ways, again taking the example of A's relationship with B.
1. At any point in this stage of the test, B rejects A for his failure or his uselessness or the fact that his depressions are a bore, and A finds he is not himself sufficiently interested to do whatever is required for a reconciliation.
2. B rejects A and nothing that A is capable of doing will make him change his mind.
3. A identifies his failures, inadequacies and misery with his relationship with B, and decides that the relationship is not worth the suffering it brings him.
4. A finds that he can reduce himself into an abysmally low state, and that B is either unable or unwilling to bring him up again. There is no security there.
25 Success at this last stage of the test also manifests in four ways.
1. B accepts A's failures and inadequacies and maintains the relationship in spite of them.
2. A finds that in spite of occasions of misery, failure, despair and degradation around the relationship, he still feels it is worthwhile.
3. B is both willing and able to relieve A of his unhappiness whenever necessary.
4. B rejects A for his failings but A finds he is prepared to do whatever is required to bring about a reconciliation and that a reconciliation is possible.
26 This is the final stage of the test. If after all this the relationship seems to provide security for him a person commits himself to it to the limit of intensity and involvement that the extensiveness of his test allows.
27 Of course, the testing does not end there for all time. The human mind is devious, suspicious and never fully satisfied, there will be tests from time to time in various directions. A will always be wondering how far and in how many directions the security of the relationship will go, whether its degree of security has changed for the better or for the worse, and so on.
28 In addition to this, if B is also seeking security in the relationship, he too must test it in whatever way is applicable and natural to him. This, of course, complicates the situation.
29 In our example we have looked at only ONE side of ONE personal relationship, but remember:
30 IN ALL RELATIONSHIPS THERE IS TESTING OF ONE KIND OR ANOTHER GOING ON ALL THE TIME ON BOTH SIDES. THIS APPLIES NOT ONLY TO PEOPLE'S INDIVIDUAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH ONE ANOTHER, BUT TO THEIR RELATIONSHIPS WITH GROUPS, IDEALS, BELIEFS AND ENVIRONMENTS. PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS TESTING ALL THEIR RELATIONSHIPS TO ALL THINGS.
As it is, so be it.
3rd June 1968 ROBERT DE GRIMSTON
THIS MATERIAL IS THE PROPERTY OF THE PROCESS
Return to Logics Return to Process Teachings