(Pronounce each letter separately when saying the term ARC. Listen to the pronunciation in the above audio clip.)
The ARC Triangle is a key tool in Scientology. ARC stands for ‘affinity,’ ‘reality,’ and ‘communication.’ These 3 points are interrelated, and, when used well, can add up to ‘understanding.’ Communication is the most important component of this triangle. If one uses ARC wisely and well, they can improve their understanding. Understanding could apply to how one relates to another person, another group, or even ideas.
Understanding deconstructed is made up of affinity, reality, and communication. In a nutshell, ‘affinity’ is how much you like someone or something, ‘reality’ is how much you have in common with or agree about things with someone or something, and ‘communication’ is how well ideas are exchanged between someone and another someone or something.
Example: Tim and Amy are in a great relationship and looking at spending the rest of their lives together. However, they got in a fight about whether to have children and harsh words were said. When people are upset, sometimes they quit communicating, or communicate in non-optimum ways, like yelling at one another. So Amy and Tim aren’t speaking (no communication) they can’t stand to near one another (low affinity) and they really disagree about having children together (low reality). They can use the ARC triangle to get past this. Since communication is the most important point of the triangle, it’s usually a good idea to start there. Amy might approach Tim with a disgruntled, “We should talk.” Tim reluctantly agrees. And here’s where A and R come into play. If they just use C without using A and R, nothing will resolve and they’ll either end up fighting again or possibly avoiding the issue completely and talking about something else. Talking about something else might be OK to simply open up communication, but at some point they need tackle the elephant in the room. They can increase the reality between them if they can take turns listening to one another about their own personal realities on why they should or shouldn’t have children. Perhaps it comes out that Amy doesn’t want to have kids because she’s worried it will keep her from being able to pursue her career as a dentist. Tim hadn’t even considered that as a potential problem. But by listening, he gets some reality on why Amy feels this way. Amy feels heard and her affinity for Tim increases, as does his for her once he grasps what she is struggling with. Tim tells Amy that he worries if they don’t have children very soon, he’ll become too old to be a good father all the way through their childhood early adulthood. By hearing Tim and grasping his reality on the situation, they feel more affinity toward one another. All of this adds up to better understanding of the whole situation between them. Now they have a chance to think about the best way for them to approach the problem together and hopefully find a solution that works for both of them.
When this triangle is drawn out the top point is C for communication. The bottom left corner is A, and the bottom right corner is R. The ARC triangle is discussed in numerous Scientology materials. (Notes on the Lectures, ‘The Tone Scale’)« Back to Definitions