The area below apathy is an area without pain, interest, or anything else that matters to anyone, but it is an area of grave danger since one is below the level of being able to respond to anything and may accordingly lose everything without apparently noticing it.
A workman who is in very bad condition and who is actually a liability to the organization may not be capable of experiencing pain or any emotion on any subject. He is below apathy. We have seen workmen who would hurt their hand and think nothing of it and go right on working even though their hand was very badly injured. People working in medical offices and hospitals in industrial areas are quite amazed sometimes to discover how little attention some workmen pay to their own injuries. It is an ugly fact that people who pay no attention to their own injuries and who are not even feeling pain from those injuries are not and never will be, without some attention from a Scientologist, efficient people. They are liabilities to have around. They do not respond properly. If such a person is working a crane and the crane suddenly goes out of control to dump its load on a group of men, that subapathy crane operator will simply let the crane drop its load. In other words, he is a potential murderer. He cannot stop anything, he cannot change anything and he cannot start anything and yet, on some automatic response basis, he manages some of the time to hold down a job, but the moment a real emergency confronts him he is not likely to respond properly and accidents result.
Where there are accidents in industry they stem from these people in the subapathy tone range. Where bad mistakes are made in offices which cost firms a great deal of money, lost time and cause other personnel difficulties, such mistakes are found rather uniformly to stem from these subapathy people. So do not think that one of these states of being unable to feel anything, of being numb, of being incapable of pain or joy is any use to anyone. It is not. A person who is in this condition cannot control things and in actuality is not there sufficiently to be controlled by anyone else and does strange and unpredictable things.
Just as a person can be chronically in subapathy, so a person can be in apathy. This is dangerous enough but is at least expressed. Communication from the person himself, not from some training pattern is to be expected. People can be chronically in grief, chronically in fear, chronically in anger, or in antagonism, or boredom, or actually can be “stuck in enthusiasm.” A person who is truly able is normally fairly serene about things. He can, however, express other emotions. It is a mistake to believe that a total serenity is of any real value. When a situation which demands tears cannot be cried about, one is not in serenity as a chronic tone. Serenity can be mistaken rather easily for subapathy, but of course only by a very untrained observer. One glance at the physical condition of the person is enough to differentiate. People who are in subapathy are normally quite ill.
On the level of each of the emotions we have a communication factor. In subapathy an individual is not really communicating at all. Some social response or training pattern or, as we say, “circuit” is communicating. The person himself does not seem to be there and isn’t really talking. Therefore his communications are sometimes strange to say the least. He does the wrong things at the wrong time. He says the wrong things at the wrong time.
Naturally when a person is stuck on any of the bands of the Tone Scale-subapathy, apathy, grief, fear, anger, antagonism, boredom, enthusiasm or serenity-he voices communications with that emotional tone. A person who is always angry about something is stuck in anger. Such a person is not as bad off as somebody in subapathy, but he is still rather dangerous to have around since he will make trouble, and a person who is angry does not control things well. The communication characteristics of people at these various levels on the Tone Scale are quite fascinating. They say things and handle communication each in a distinct characteristic fashion for each level of the Tone Scale.
There is also a level of reality for each of the levels of the Tone Scale. Reality is an intensely interesting subject since it has to do, in the main, with relative solids. In other words, the solidity of things and the emotional tone of people have a definite connection. People low on the Tone Scale cannot tolerate solids. They cannot tolerate a solid object. The thing is not real to them; it is thin or lacking weight. As they come up scale, the same object becomes more and more solid and they can finally see it in its true level of solidity. In other words, these people have a definite reaction to mass at various points on the scale. Things are bright to them or very, very dull. If you could look through the eyes of the person in subapathy you would see a very watery, thin, dreamy, misty, unreal world indeed. If you looked through the eyes of an angry man you would see a world which was menacingly solid, where all the solids posed a brutality toward him, but they still would not be sufficiently solid or sufficiently real or visible for a person in good condition. A person in serenity can see solids as they are, as bright as they are, and can tolerate an enormous heaviness or solidity without reacting to it. In other words, as we go up the Tone Scale from the lowest to the highest, things can get more and more solid and more and more real.