SCN 8-8008: Differentiation, Association, Identification

This paper presents Section 20 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) based on the present understanding.  Feedback on these comments is appreciated.

The heading below is linked to the original materials.


Differentiation, Association, Identification

A special condition of start, change and stop manifests itself in the very woof and warp of the MEST universe and can be plotted on the tone-scale.

Differentiation is at the top of the tone-scale and is a condition of the highest level of sanity and individuality. Association or similarity is a condition which exists from the upper to the very low range of the scale. And identification is at the bottom of the scale.

Objectivity relates to complete differentiation at 40.0 on the Tone scale. Here things are seen as they are. Down the scale we have increasing use of assumptions to associate things that are not really associated. That means reality is increasingly becoming subjective. At 0.0 on the Tone scale, we have complete subjectivity of perceiving everything as the same.

The condition of the preclear can be established readily by his ability to associate. He can, however, associate much too well. Association is the essence of logic. Logic is the gradient scale of relating facts one to another. As logic reaches the lower part of the scale, this relationship becomes finer and finer until at last identification is reached and thought could be expressed in terms of A = A = A = A.

Down the Tone scale, what was previously differentiated is now increasingly seen as associated through assumptions. Thus there are increasing inconsistencies. This is increasing subjectivity. This is also degradation of logic because logic depends on correct perception of data. If data is not perceived correctly then logic also degrades.

An excellent rendition of this—although one not related workably to experience and which did not have with it a truly workable therapy—is to be found in general semantics in the book Science and Sanity by Alfred Korzybski. Insanity is the inability to associate or differentiate properly. Experience itself becomes ungovernable at the lowest depth of identity. The more fixed the identity of the person may be, the less the experience of which he is capable. Fame has at its end a completely fixed identification which is timeless, but which unfortunately is matter and which equally unfortunately, is inaction.

The bottom line is to see things as they are. One should be able to recognize differences, similarities and identities when they occur. One should also be able to recognize assumptions that do not belong where they are inserted.

If you cannot identify things correctly then you cannot associate or differentiate them properly. Here the word “identify” is being used as, “to recognize something for what it is”. But Hubbard uses “identify” also to mean, “to treat two different things as the same or identical.” When these two definitions are confused great difficulty in understanding arises.

Everything has a recognizable form, which is called IDENTITY. Among humans, a person has an idea of his identity in terms of his body and also viewpoint. He wants his identity to be recognized and appreciated for what it is. Identity as the body is sort of fixed, but the identity as a viewpoint can be changed. When the identity as a viewpoint also becomes fixed then the person becomes limited in his experiences.

The widest possible differentiation exists at the moment of creation. At this moment, one is committed to a cycle of action which, as it continues, is less and less governable by himself and is more and more governed by his environment. As his degree of havingness increases, he is increasingly governed by what he has had and what he has, and this determines what he will have which, of course, is less freedom, less individuality and more havingness.

The widest possible differentiation (in terms of choices) exists at the start of a cycle of action. Once he starts he is committed to a course of action that limits his choices. He must confirm to the applicable physical and spiritual laws. To Hubbard this is less freedom and less individuality at the cost of havingness (the results one has).

In Hinduism, one commits to a cycle of action in a non-controlling, detached manner. One simply takes care of the inconsistencies, and lets the objective reality take care of the rest. His attitude is one of non-attachment. This gives him total freedom. But Hubbard wants to eat his cake and have it too. Havingness is the outcome at any point in a cycle of action. One can enjoy it without being attached to it.

Association expresses itself in the preclear in terms of the way he thinks. When he reaches a low level of association, he supposes himself to be thinking connectedly, but is actually thinking in a completely disassociated fashion, for he identifies facts with other facts which should not be identified. The actions of a man about to die or in extreme fear are not sane. Identification brings as its manifestation a solidity to all things including thought. The auditor who processes a preclear very low on the tone-scale who is neurotic or psychotic will readily discover that thoughts are objects to this preclear and that time itself is a matter of enormous concern to the preclear in many cases. Thoughts and incidents and symbols are objects. This is commonly seen in the society in the matter of over-concern about words. A person who has sunk low enough on the tone-scale so that words have become objects and must be handled as such, and exist without any real relationship to ideas, will stop a flow of ideas by an outrage of his word sense which, if he is low on the tone- scale, is easily outraged.

Down the Tone scale, as a person is unable to see clearly he associates things where no associations actually exist. He cannot see the gaps where gaps exist. He is, therefore, not aware of the inconsistencies that need to be resolved.

A neurotic or psychotic is suffering from inconsistencies generated by his mental matrix, but he is unaware of them. And so he is unable to resolve them. To him, thoughts are condensed as if they are objects. Thoughts are enduring so time becomes a matter of great concern. Such a person interprets words in a text literally, unaware of their finer meaning.

Differentiation, association and identification belong, rightly, on the tone-scale, and can be processed as part of the scale above. But they are a close gauge of thought itself and of ideas. An adequate tone-scale can be drawn for any individual using only the above three words.

As one moves down the Tone scale, differentiation is increasingly replaced by assumed associations, until such association condense into sameness of identification. The differentiation exists but the person’s viewpoint has narrowed so much that he can only see gross relationships unaware of the fine details. A person may be plotted on the Tone scale this way.

The auditor will very often find an individual who is intensely logical and quite brilliant who is yet very difficult to process. This person has agreed with the MEST universe to such a degree that his association has assumed the proportions of near-solidity; the facsimiles and ridges of this individual have become much too solid and are consequently quite difficult to process. This condition of solidity may refer only to the body of the preclear which itself is old, and it may be found that the thetan—the preclear himself—is quite vital and capable of wide differentiation, but that this differentiation is being grossly limited by the ridges and facsimiles which surround the body. Such bodies have a heavy appearance. It requires an enormously powerful thetan to handle them in spite of the solidity of the ridges surrounding the body.

Some people can be very logical in some areas but, at the same time, they can be very fixed in their thinking in other areas. For example, a person may be misapplying physical laws to spiritual areas that follow different laws but he cannot differentiate that. His fixed ideas may prevent him from being audited with Scientology procedures.

Mathematics could be said to be the abstract art of symbolizing associations. Mathematics pretends to deal in equalities but equalities themselves do not exist in the MEST universe, and can exist only conceptually in any universe. Mathematics are a general method of bringing to the fore associations which might not be perceived readily without their use. The human mind is a servo-mechanism to all mathematics. Mathematics can abstractly form by their mechanics coincidences and differences outside the field of experience in any universe and are enormously useful. They can best be used when considered to be a shorthand of experience and in the light that they can symbolize what is beyond actuality. The essence of mathematics lies in differentiation, association, identification, which is to say, equalities must not be viewed as fixed in the real universe. Absolutes are unobtainable in experience but may be symbolized by mathematics.

Mathematics is a very fine form of logic that is capable of modeling reality to quite some degree and brings forth hard to perceive associations through its abstraction. However, mathematics cannot fully model the incredibly complex associations of life. It may only approximate them. Therefore, the thinking of a person who has fixedly agreed to mathematical and scientific principles can become very rigid.



As a person moves down the Tone scale his viewpoint narrows. His awareness of finer details becomes less and his attention focuses on grosser details only. Thus, he misconstrues finer associations from grosser details by making assumptions. This introduces subjectivity and he becomes unaware of inconsistencies that are there. This subjectivity increases until the person can think only in terms of very gross details.  Thus his viewpoint becomes very fixed and so does his identity. He becomes incapable of experiencing new things.

The reason for this narrowing of viewpoint is increasing attachment to ideas. The person does not want to re-examine the ideas he has become attached to. Therefore, he cannot see the inconsistencies that follow from those ideas. His thoughts have become quite condensed and channeled along certain lines. By observing this condition, a person may be plotted on the Tone scale.

In spite of such condensation of viewpoint, some people can still be quite logical in some areas. Tools, such as mathematics, and the knowledge of laws, may help them resolve problems in certain areas, yet they can be so dense and rigid in their life that it is impossible to broaden their viewpoint.


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