SCN 8-8008: Identity versus Individuality

Reference: Scientology 8-8008

This paper presents Section 10 from the book SCIENTOLOGY 8-8008 by L. RON HUBBARD. The contents are from the original publication of this book by The Church of Scientology (1952).

The paragraphs of the original material (in black) are accompanied by brief comments (in color).

The heading below is linked to the original materials.


Identity versus Individuality

The most common confusion on the part of a preclear is between himself as an identified object and his beingness. One’s beingness depends upon the amount of space which he can create or command, not upon his identification or any label. Identity as we know it in the MEST universe is much the same as identification, which is the lowest form of thought. When one is an object and is himself an effect, he believes that his ability to be cause is dependent upon his having a specific and finite identity. This is an aberration; as his beingness increases his individuality increases, and he quickly rises above the level of necessity for identity for he is himself self-sufficient with his own identity.

One may say that one’s beingness develops as one goes through life. Actually, the beingness develops as one makes postulates to resolve the anomalies that life throws at him. In fact, the better one understands the postulates underlying this universe, the better one can solve such anomalies. To become “one with the universe” actually means to understand all the postulates underlying this universe. An individuality is how one goes about “creating and commanding” the postulates. An identity is what one acquires as a result of the postulates one makes. 

The individuality and identity are natural to one’s beingness. What is unnatural is to get fixated on them.

The first question a preclear undergoing theta clearing asks himself is quite often: “How will I establish my identity if I have no body?” There are many remedies for this. The worst method of having an identity is having a body. As his individuality increases and his beingness expands—these two being almost synonymous—he is less and less concerned with this problem; that he is concerned with the problem tells the auditor where he is on the tone-scale.

A person who is asking the question, “How will I establish my identity if I have no body?” has his attention fixated on the body. There nothing wrong with having a body. But it is wrong to have attention fixated on the body. Unfixing attention from the body does not mean that one would lose the body. One may assess a person’s position on the tone-scale by observing how much of his attention is fixated on the body. It is an aberration to have attention fixated on the self as well.

One of the control mechanisms which has been used on thetans is that when they rise in potential they are led to believe themselves one with the universe. This is distinctly untrue. Thetans are individuals. They do not as they rise up the scale, merge with other individualities. They have the power of becoming anything they wish while still retaining their own individuality. They are first and foremost themselves. There is evidently no Nirvana. It is the feeling that one will merge and lose his own individuality that restrains the thetan from attempting to remedy his lot. His merging with the rest of the universe would be his becoming matter. This is the ultimate in cohesiveness and the ultimate in affinity, and is at the lowest point of the tone-scale. One declines into a brotherhood with the universe. When he goes up scale, he becomes more and more an individual capable of creating and maintaining his own universe. In this wise (leading people to believe they had no individuality above that of MEST) the MEST universe cut out all competition.

Individuality depends on having unique postulates. This gives one a unique identity. Rise in potential means greater ability to postulate, and having more colorful identity. To become “one with the universe” means that he has understood the postulates underlying the universe so well that he has absorbed the universe within him. It means to have consistency between one’s postulates and the postulates underlying this universe. It does not mean that one has his attention fixated on the universe.

Hubbard’s phobia of the universe comes from his confusion between “having consistency” and “becoming fixated”. Consistency is natural. It is used as the criterion in the scientific method. It is expressed in the belief that God is one. It has nothing to do with “becoming fixated,” which happens only through blind agreement and belief. 

Nirvana is not some fixed idea like “I am one with the universe.” Nirvana is the freedom to postulate in this universe because one understands all the postulates underlying this universe. Such an understanding does not mean that one’s individuality is compromised. In fact, one’s ability to postulate is such that one has become larger than the universe.




The goal of Buddhism has been to attain one’s objective beingness in total harmony with the universe (the eighth dynamic). Buddha knew that a human being was at the evolutionary peak of the universe, and was responsible for evolving the universe further. To Buddha, the human being was the universe.

To Hubbard individuality was the most important thing that needed to be preserved at all costs. Harmony with the rest of universe, and cooperation with it, meant losing one’s individuality to it. Therefore, to Hubbard the goal of Scientology became: “To make a person free to attain the subjective beingness he wants DESPITE THE PHYSICAL UNIVERSE.”

The error in Scientology is to put too much attention on self. It interiorizes a person into his self rather than exteriorize him as Buddhism does.

This section really throws light on Hubbard’s case. Hubbard was very careful about preserving his own individuality. It was something fixed for him. He could not control the universe from that fixed vantage point. So, anything in this universe that disagreed with his vantage point became an adversary.


Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
%d bloggers like this: