The first barrier to study he termed absence of mass, and explained it in terms of a definite physiological response to learning without the mass or physical object one is studying. That is, if one is attempting to grasp the function and operation of a tractor, the printed page and spoken word are no substitute for an actual tractor; and, in fact, lacking a tractor to associate with the word, or at least a picture of the machine, can inhibit all understanding. Among other adverse reactions stemming from an absence of mass, the student may, as Ron wrote, “wind up with a face that feels squashed, with headaches and with his stomach feeling funny. He’s going to feel dizzy from time to time and very often his eyes are going to hurt.”
The student may further suffer boredom, exasperation and, significantly, a good deal more of what psychologists have tended to categorize as learning disorders necessitating psychostimulants. (While rather more enlightened educators have instinctively understood the principle as regards younger students, it has never received the importance it warrants at all levels of education.) But appreciating the principle in its purity, LRH explains, the solution is simple; supply the student with the thing itself or a reasonable substitute as in a drawing or photograph.
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