In Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, L. Ron Hubbard writes: “The source of aberration has been found to be a hitherto unsuspected sub-mind which, complete with its own recordings, underlies what Man understands to be his ‘conscious’ mind. The concept of the unconscious mind is replaced in Dianetics by the discovery that the ‘unconscious’ mind is the only mind which is always conscious. In Dianetics this sub-mind is called the reactive mind.”
The reactive mind does not store memories as we know them. It stores particular types of mental image pictures called engrams. Engrams are a complete recording, down to the last accurate detail, of every perception present in a moment of partial or full “unconsciousness.”
“Unconsciousness” could be caused by the shock of an accident, anesthetic used for an operation, the pain of an injury or the delirium of illness. During these times, the analytical mind shuts down in full or in part and the reactive mind cuts in, in full or in part. An engram exists below the individual’s awareness level, yet it can be activated so as to enforce its content and can cause unevaluated, unknowing and unwanted fears, emotions, pains and psychosomatic illnesses.
In Dianetics procedure, the individual recounts an incident of “unconsciousness” from beginning to end until the engram is reduced, which means all the charge or pain is taken out of an incident, or erased, which means the incident has vanished forever. In either case, the individual is free of the aberrative effect of the incident and can experience enormous relief and a rise in emotional tone.
That is the miracle of Dianetics.