in reply to Variable number of words/fields in a line/record

Sorry to reply to my own post, but I think that I could state my problem a bit more clearly.

How can I capture each "element" of a line, and store it in a variable, regardless of how many elements are in the line? So, if LINE_1 contains 9 elements, I need to create 9 variables. If it contains 10, I need to create 10...and so on.

I know that if someone reads this, they're gonna ask what I'm really trying to do:

The program will grab each element as described, ie:
conduit permit tcp|host||eq|139|host|
then, it will ignore "conduit" and "permit", and insert the remaining variables into a database.