OT 1948: The Dynamics

Reference: DIANETICS: The Original Thesis

This paper presents Chapter 4 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.


The Dynamics

The basic dynamic, SURVIVE, increases in complexity as the complexity of the organism evolves. Energy may be considered to have taken many paths through eternity to arrive intact at the infinite goal. The “why” of the goal may lie above the finite line but below it, demarked by the word SURVIVE, definite manifestations are visible. Energy collects into various forms of matter which collect and aggregate in various materials and compounds. Life evolves from the simplest basic into complex forms since evolutionary change is in itself a method of survival.

Beyond immediate survival there is long-term evolution. This is the visible goal.

Conflict amongst species and individuals within the species is additionally a survival factor. Affinity of individuals for groups, races, and the whole of its species, and for other species, is additionally a survival factor, as strong as or stronger than conflict.

There are trials and errors, the resolution of which leads to evolution.

Drive is defined as the dynamic thrust through time toward the attainment of the goal. Survive is considered to be the lowest common denominator of all energy efforts and all forms. It can then be subdivided specifically into several drive lines as applicable to each form or species. The unaberrated self contains eight main drives which are held in common with man.

The dynamics are: One, self; Two, sex; Three, group; Four, mankind; Five, life; Six, the physical universe; Seven, thought; Eight, universal thought or infinity.

The dynamic is the drive toward evolution. It may be subdivided into drives of self, family (sex), group, mankind, life, physical universe, thought universe and universe as a whole.

An entire philosophy can be built around each one of these dynamics which will account for all the actions of an individual. Any one of these philosophies is so complete that it can be logically made to include the other seven. In other words, all purpose of an individual can be rationalized into the dynamic of self. A philosophy exists which attempts to rationalize everything into the sexual dynamic, and so on with all the dynamics. Observing that each one can stand as a logical unity, one finds it necessary to retire to the lowest common denominator of the basic dynamic which actually does explain the eight subdivisions. As each one of the subdivisions is capable of supporting the whole weight of a rational argument, it can readily be deduced that each is of nearly equal importance in the individual. The aberrated conditions of a society tend to vary the stress on these dynamics, making first one and then another the keynote of the society.

The primary consideration is the universal survival and evolution. Other survival considerations follow in the order of importance as: thought universe, physical universe, life, mankind, group, family (sex) and self.

In an unaberrated individual or society, the validity of all eight would be recognized.

The unaberrated individual may physiologically possess or environmentally stress one or more of these dynamics above the others. In terms of basic personality, the physiological-environmental-educational aspect of the individual is of varied strength in the eight dynamics.

A cleared individual shall be totally objective in his viewpoint. It takes the universal viewpoint to be objective.

Each one of the eight dynamics breaks further into purposes which are specific and complex. Purposes and other factors entangle these dynamics, and varying situations and the observational power of the individual may conflict one of these dynamics against another within the individual himself. This is a basic complex factor of unaberrated personality.

Dynamics help one to narrow down the situation so it can be resolved.

I. THE DYNAMIC OF SELF consists of the dynamic thrust to survive as an individual, to obtain pleasure as an individual, and to avoid pain. It covers the general field of food, clothing and shelter, personal ambition, and general individual purpose.

The Dynamic of Self is the most complex dynamic because the concerns of all other dynamics are concentrated here. The ultimate pleasure comes from resolving situations and engaging in activities that help survive and evolve.

II. THE DYNAMIC OF SEX embraces the procreation of progeny, the care of that progeny, and the securing for that progeny of better survival conditions and abilities in the future.

On Dynamic of Sex one interacts with the opposite sex for procreation, one then takes care of children and future. Therefore, it would include understanding of others and general education.

III. THE DYNAMIC OF GROUP embraces the various units of the species man, such as the association, the military company, the people in the surrounding countryside, the nation and the race. It is characterized by activity on the part of the individual to obtain and maintain the survival of the group of which he is a part.

On Dynamic of Group there is a whole gradient from smaller to larger groups. The cooperation within groups aids survival and further evolution. Therefore, the most important consideration here is one of cooperation.

IV. THE MANKIND DYNAMIC embraces the survival of the species.

The major concern on the Mankind Dynamic is that mankind must thrive and should not become extinct. This is achieved through the upper four dynamics.

Note: The first four dynamics belong to Dianetics. The upper four, introduced in late 1950, complete the full eight dynamics of Scientology.

V. THE DYNAMIC OF LIFE is the urge of the individual to survive for life and for life to survive for itself.

Life is an amazing step in evolution. Mankind survives in cooperation with other life. There is an ecosystem that one must become aware of.

VI. THE PHYSICAL UNIVERSE DYNAMIC is the drive of the individual to enhance the survival of all matter, energy, time and space.

The basis of life is the physical universe from which it has evolved, and which provides the ultimate sustenance. There is tremendous amount of knowledge here that one must be aware of.

VII. THE THOUGHT DYNAMIC concerns the urge of the individual to survive as thought.

Principles and knowledge develop as the existence evolves. These then become vital to one’s thinking to survive and evolve.

VIII. THE DYNAMIC OF UNIVERSAL THOUGHT is the urge of the individual to survive for the Creator.

Here is the comprehensive view of all existence. From this view evolve the other dynamics. The most important consideration here is that of objectivity.

While man is concerned with any one of the above dynamics, any one of them may become antipathetic to his own survival. This is rational conflict and is normally and commonly incidental to survival. It is non-aberrative in that it is rational within the educational limitation.

The conflicts may become easier to narrow down and resolve when approached with the knowledge of these dynamics.

The family as a unit is not a dynamic but a combination of dynamics. And in this and other societies it attains a position of interest which is not necessarily inherent in the individual or group.

Family is a combination of first and third dynamic where sixth and seventh dynamics enter as health and education.

Basically simple, complexity is introduced amongst the dynamics by individual and group irrationalities. The basic (unaberrated) individual has continual difficulty rationalizing the problems of importances and choices amongst these dynamics. When the basic individual becomes aberrated and is attendantly unable to reason freely on all problems, a selection of importances amongst these dynamics becomes nearly impossible and produces aberrated solutions which may resolve such an extreme as the destruction of the individual himself, by himself, under the mistaken solution that he may thus obey the primary command.

Note: All self-destructive effort is irrationality of a precise nature which will often be found by the auditor in his preclear (this term covers anyone who is not CLEAR; however, it is principally used to describe a person who, through auditing, is finding out more about himself and life) during auditing (the application of Dianetic procedures to a preclear by a trained Dianetic auditor) but which forms no part of the basic personality of that individual.

Irrationality may also be divided per these dynamics. Self-destruction, as part of sacrifice for a nobler cause, is not necessarily irrational.


KEY WORDS: Universe, Thought (impulse), Material (energy), Life (ecosystem), Mankind, Group (community, race, culture, nation), Family (sex, children), Individual (self).

The basic dynamic is not only SURVIVE but also EVOLVE. The universe cannot help but survive; so, it must evolve. This is the overall dynamic of the universe called the eighth dynamic. The universe, obviously, has an inherent impulse built in it. Therefore, we may say that the eighth dynamic subdivides into the inner impulse and the outer appearance as the seventh and sixth dynamics respectively.

As the universe evolves from gases to liquids to solids, to minerals, to animated life, to reacting organisms, to thinking mammals, and finally, to self-aware humans, we get life or the fifth dynamic. The humans are such a major step in evolution that they are called the mankind or fourth dynamic.

The human awareness has evolved under different geographic conditions and locations into different cultures, thinking patterns, abilities, etc. Thus we have subdivisions into many different groups, and each group is seen as a third dynamic. The keynote of a group is its common purpose and cooperation. Within the third dynamic we have the evolution of families to take better care of future generations. This is seen as the second dynamic. There is sexual activity within the context of second dynamic. The keynote here is taking responsibility for the future.

The second dynamic then provides an environment in which children develop their potential fully as individuals. The problem solving ability of an individual is the highest achievement of evolution. This is the first dynamic.

Hubbard describes the dynamics from the viewpoint of the individual, but it makes more sense to look at the dynamics from the viewpoint of the universe and its evolution as described above.


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