Returning to the United States to further his education, Ron enrolled in the engineering school of George Washington University where he joined the first classes on nuclear physics — then called Atomic and Molecular Phenomena. It was very much a pioneering field at this time and involved the study of the smallest energy units known to man. But while other students in this class were intrigued with the physical possibilities of atomic fission, Ron looked at this subject and saw very different possibilities.
“Is it possible,” Ron asked, “that with this new branch of nuclear physics we might be able to locate the energy of life?” He had been engaged in a search to find out how memory could be stored and was convinced that it was not retained in the brain’s energy units as then “modern” theory held. After extensive calculations, he proved conclusively to leading psychologists and psychiatrists associated with the university that the brain was incapable of housing more than three months of perceptics and memory — and left the authorities dumbfounded. No one, he discovered, had uncovered the secret to memory storage.
Ron was convinced that the answers lay in the field of energy. He knew man stored thought in pictures, but where and how? Existing texts on the subjects and professors had no answers.
Ron knew that the answer lay in man himself. There was something common to all mankind that had not been identified. Man was more than just a body that had emerged from a primordial sea of ammonia. He began to experiment with his fellow students to see if he could find a common denominator.
One day, experimenting with a device to measure sound vibrations, known as a Koenig photometer Ron stumbled upon a discovery of major philosophic significance.
Essentially he found that when a student read a section of poetry on the photometer the device identified the speech as poetry regardless of language. Thus when haiku was read in the original Japanese, for example, the wavelengths produced by the Koenig photometer were precisely the same as those it produced when English verse was read.
“I was suddenly struck by the fact that a japanese poem and a poem in English both gave the same rhythm patterns and obviously seemed to be striking the same chords in the mind, so that what the Japanese recognize as poetry in Japanese registered the same way in English when deprived of the significances.”
Ron had made a significant discovery common to all men. But he found that his findings were falling on deaf ears.
“Here were two races which were worlds apart which yet responded identically to the same stimuli even though they were in different languages. I took this to the Psychology Department of the University and they didn’t know what I was talking about, and on interrogation I found out that they did not have any inkling of Eastern know-how in the field of the mind, that they were not interested in research, that they did not think mental responses had any application to their field and a lot of other amazing things which brought me to the immediate conclusion that there was a hole in our culture which it would be very worthwhile to fill.”1
- The first steps to discovery (continued). (n.d.).lronhubbard.org. Retrieved on 10 March 2010 from http://www.lronhubbard.org/philo1/disc5.htm ↩