OT 1948: An Analogy of the Mind

Reference: DIANETICS: The Original Thesis

This paper presents Chapter 3 from the book DIANETICS: THE ORIGINAL THESIS by L. RON HUBBARD. The contents are from the original publication of this book by The Hubbard Dianetic Foundation, Inc. (1948).

The paragraphs of the original material (in black) are accompanied by brief comments (in color) based on the present understanding.  Feedback on these comments is appreciated.

The heading below is linked to the original materials.


An Analogy of the Mind

It is not the purpose of Dianetics to reconstruct the human mind. The purpose of Dianetics is to delete from the existing mind those physically painful experiences which have resulted in the aberration of the analytical mind, to resolve the physical manifestations of mental aberration, and to restore in its entirety the proper working function of a brain not otherwise physically deranged. Dianetics thus embraces the various aspects of psychosomatic conditions, including the glandular balance or imbalance of the organism, as influenced by painful physical experience. However, its purpose is not one of healing, and its address is not to such psychosomatic manifestations specifically, but rather to those aberrative experiences in which these conditions have their roots.

Dianetics assumes that physically painful experiences are the cause of all mental and psychosomatic aberrations.  

The initial adjustments of the individual are included in Child Dianetics and Educational Dianetics. Judicial Dianetics, Political Dianetics and Military Dianetics are elsewhere touched upon or allocated for study. Dianetics, as a family of sciences, proceeds however from the axioms cursorily touched upon in the last chapter and is uniformly governed by the principles of the behavior of the human mind.

When an individual is acting contrary to survival of himself, his group, progeny, race, mankind, or life he can be considered to be unintelligent, uninformed or aberrated. Every single instance of aberrated conduct threatening the general goal of the individual as outlined in the last chapter can be proven to have a source which will specifically be found to be a painful experience containing data not available to the analytical mind. Every single instance and facet of aberrated conduct has its exact causation in the physically painful error which has been introduced during a moment of absence of the analytical power.

The content of these physically painful experiences is not available to the analytical mind.

Dianetics consists of discovering the aberration in the individual, finding the physically painful experience which corresponds to it and placing the data therein contained at the disposal of the analytical mind. More as an effort to demonstrate how that is accomplished than as an actual outline of the character of the mind, the following analogy is offered.

First there is the physio-animal section of the brain, containing the motor controls, the sub-brains, and the physical nervous system in general, including the physical aspect of the analytical section of the brain. The control of all voluntary and involuntary muscles is contained in this section. It commands all body fluids, blood flow, respiration, glandular secretion, cellular construction, and the activity of various parts of the body. Experimentation has adequately demonstrated this. The physio-animal mind has specific methods of “thinking.” These are entirely reactive. Animal experimentation—rats, dogs, etc.—is experimentation on and with precisely this mind and little more. It is a fully conscious mind and should never be denoted by any term, which denies it “consciousness” since there is no period in the life of the organism from conception to death when this mind is not awake, observing, and recording perceptics. This is the mind of a dog, cat, or rat and is also the basic mind of a man so far as its operating characteristics are concerned. A man in the deepest possible somnambulistic sleep is still in possession of more mind and thinking and coordinating ability than a lower animal.

Hubbard’s model of the mind puts the physio-animal brain at the core. It controls all mechanical functions of the body through electro-chemical laws.

The term “consciousness” is no more than a designation of the awareness of now. The physio-animal mind never ceases to be aware of now and never ceases to record the successive instances of now which in their composite make up a time track connecting memory in an orderly chain. Cessation of life alone discontinues the recording of perceptions on this orderly track. Unconsciousness is a condition wherein the organism is discoordinated only in its analytical process and motor control direction. In the physio-animal section of the brain, a complete time track and a complete memory record of all perceptions for all moments of the organism’s existence is available.

Dianetics assumes that all electro-chemical-mechanical activity is recorded in an orderly chain, which is potentially available.

As life progresses, for instance, from a blade of grass, greater and greater complexities and degrees of self-determinism are possible. Energy in its various forms is the primary motivator in the lower orders, but as the complexity of the order is increased into the animal kingdom, the physio-animal brain attains more and more command of the entire organism until it itself begins to possess the second section of the mind.

All animals possess in some slight degree an analyzer. This, which we designate the analytical mind, is present even in lower orders, since it is only that section of the brain which possesses the self-deterministic coordinative command of the physio-animal brain and thus of the body. In a rat, for instance, it is no more than its “conscious” awareness of now applying to lessons of then without rationality but with instinct and painful experience. This is the analytical section of the mind in a lower animal but it is the reactive mind in a man whose analytical mind is so highly attuned and intricate that it can command entirely the physio-animal brain and thus the body.

In animals, the mind develops the capability of being programmed by experiences containing pain and pleasure.

Man not only possesses a superior physio-animal mind but possesses as well an analytical mind of such power and complexity that it has no real rival in any other species. The analytical mind of man cannot be studied by observing the reactions of animals under any situations. Not only is it more sensitive but it possesses factors and sensitivities not elsewhere found.

In Man the mind develops the capability to analyze all experiences rationally in much finer details and implement the solutions.

Continuing this analogy: Lying between the analytical mind and the physio-animal mind may be conceived the reactive mind. This is the coordinated responses of the physio-animal mind, the “analytical” mind of animals, and the first post of emergency command in man. All errors of a psychic or psychosomatic nature can be considered for the purposes of this analogy to lie in the reactive mind. The first human analytical mind took command of the body and physio-animal mind under strained and dangerous circumstances when man was still in violent contest with other species around him. It can be considered that the analytical mind received command with the single proviso that instantaneous emergency would be handled by the outdated but faster reactive mind.

Hubbard’s reactive mind comes about from the short-circuiting of the normal mind.

Any and all errors in thinking and action derive from the reactive mind as it is increased in strength and power by painful experience. It can be called a shadow mind, instantaneously reactive when any of its content is perceived in the environment of the individual, at which time it urgently bypasses the analytical mind and causes immediate reaction in the physio-animal mind and in the body. Additionally, the reactive mind is in continual presence when chronically restimulated by a constantly present restimulator—which is to say, an approximation of the reactive mind’s content or some part thereof continually perceived in the environment of the organism. The reactive mind is in action so long as it is activated by an exact or nearly exact approximation of its content. But given too continuous a restimulation, it can and does derange both the physio-animal mind and body below it and the analytical mind above it. It was created by deranging circumstances of a physical nature, hence it deranges.

According to Hubbard, this short-circuiting is caused by painful experiences. It can become dominant when activated continually.

The entire content of the reactive mind is records of physical pain with its accompanying perceptions during disconnection of the analyzer. All aberrated conduct and error on the part of an individual is occasioned by restimulation of his reactive mind.

None of these minds are “unconscious,” nor are they subconscious. The entire organism is always conscious but the temporary dispersion of the thought processes of the analytical mind brings about a condition whereby that mind, having been dispersed and considering itself the residence of the person, is unable to obtain and reach data perceived and received by the organism during the analytical mind’s condition of dispersion. That the analytical mind can be thrown, by pain or shock, out of circuit is a survival factor of its own: as sensitive “machinery” it must be protected by a fuse system.

Mind is always functioning. Analytical consciousness exists only when mental circuits are functioning normally as they should.



KEY WORDS: Analytical Mind, Aberration, Psychosomatic, Consciousness, Reactive Mind.

The mind is a structure of thoughts, which may be described as a matrix of data elements. A thought may appear in the mind as a concatenation of data elements. Ideally, all the data elements are well-assimilated in the matrix, such that no association is missing. All incoming perceptual data is continually broken down into fine data elements and assimilated. Assimilation removes all duplication of data and it indexes the data elements for efficient retrieval. Past experiences are easily recalled and any desired associations among data are easily retrieved making the thinking very quick. The state of mental matrix represents the consciousness of the individual.

Associations made in the mind immediately release electrical and chemical signals to activate the mechanical elements in the body. There is immediate feedback to the mind of the activity of the mechanical elements, which then releases further signals. Thus, any intended action is executed correctly with certainty.

Errors in the mind occur when the assimilation of data elements is not complete. As a consequence, proper associations are missing and the concatenation of data elements is short circuited. This results in thoughts that cause aberrations in thinking and pain in the body. This leads to the organism behaving erratically and abnormally.

This lack of assimilation appears to a person as unconsciousness, confusion and physically painful experience that may appear in dreams and nightmares. The unassimilated content of the mental matrix is not available to the consciousness of the individual. It is only the knowledge of what triggers these aberrations that may lead to the discovery of the unassimilated content and its re-assimilation into the overall matrix.

The functions of “physio-animal”, “analytical” and “reactive” minds, and memory as postulated by Hubbard can easily be derived from the mental matrix model described above. The whole matrix is always functioning, but the consciousness of the individual comes only from the assimilated portion of the matrix.


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