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The ARC Triangle

Each of the three parts of understanding—affinity, reality and communication—are very closely connected to one another. If there is a change in one of these, the other two also change. Because each is so dependent on the other, you can think of them as a triangle: You raise or lower one corner of this triangle (decrease or increase the affinity or reality or communication) and the other two corners also raise or lower. This is called, therefore, in Scientology, the A-R-C Triangle.

Without affinity, there is no reality or communication. Also, without reality, there is no affinity or communication. And without communication, there is neither affinity nor reality. This can be seen by an example of two strangers who may find it hard to talk to each other (no communication), since they know nothing about each other (no reality) and are even slightly suspicious or fearful of the other (low affinity).

Some good affinity (liking or affection) must exist between two people before they can talk together with any trust. Before two people can be real to each other, there must be some communication between them. They must at least see each other, which is, in itself, a type of communication. Before two people can feel any affinity for each other, they must, to some degree, be real to each other. It is not possible to like something that doesn’t exist.

What happens when one corner of the triangle is suddenly greatly lowered (the level of affinity, reality or communication having dropped)? The two other corners will also drop as can be seen in an example of two friends whose friendship suddenly breaks apart and ends. This friendship, say, had been quite strong, both friends having high regard for each other, taking part in many common activities together and speaking to each other openly nearly every day. You could say they had high “ARC” for each other, or, in other words, they understood each other well. However, one day this understanding becomes broken suddenly when one of the two friends finds out that the other friend had just gotten involved secretly in illegal activities. This is a sudden change in the reality the person has had about his friend. With this new reality, he no longer likes his friend, in fact, liking has turned to hatred—a big drop in affinity. This also then results in him avoiding any communication with his friend, not wanting to talk to him as he no longer trusts or likes him, feeling betrayed.

All three corners of the triangle have now dropped, the drop having started with a sudden break in the reality between the two friends, the agreement that they would be honest with each other has been broken. If any corner of the triangle drops, the other two also drop.

Marriages can fall apart simply because of a failure of communication. When communication starts failing, the affinity starts dropping. People start having secrets from each other and their affinity starts going out the bottom.

But even more important than the examples of lowering the corners of the triangle, you can raise the level of understanding by starting to raise one corner of the triangle. In other words, it is only necessary to improve one corner of this triangle to start to improve the remaining two corners. In the example of the strangers on the street, if they start to speak to one another (communication), they may find they have something in common (reality) and are then no longer fearful of each other (raised affinity) and their understanding of each other starts to increase. This increased understanding between these persons would have started by raising one corner of the triangle—in this case, communication.

Communication is by far the most important of the three parts of the ARC Triangle. The triangle basically begins with communication since, by communicating, you can bring into existence affinity and reality. The more you communicate with something, the more real it will become to you and the higher your affinity will be for it.

The ARC Triangle can be used in many ways, from repairing broken marriages to simply getting a new plan accepted in a company. Any area of life can be improved using this triangle, since it is the tool to increase understanding itself.

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