SCN 8-8008: Black and White

This paper presents Section 23 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.


Black and White

Black and white are the two extreme manifestations of perception on the part of the preclear.

“White” seems to be associated with seeing things very clearly. “Black” seems to be associated with perception that is not clear at all. There are gradients of perception in between.

The thetan perceives best his own energy, but when he perceives energy he desires to perceive it in white or in colour. Colour is a breakdown of whiteness. Seeing whiteness or colour, the thetan is able to discern and differentiate between objects, actions and spatial dimensions.

Here energy refers to “fast moving thought substance”. Thetan refers to the “mental matrix”. External stimulus generates sensations that arrive through sense channels. These sensations break down into perceptual elements to be assimilated in the mental matrix. Perception comes about with assimilation in the mental matrix. “White” represents complete assimilation resulting in clear perception. Colors represent partial assimilation as certain wavelengths are not assimilated.

Energy can also manifest itself as blackness. A space containing black energy would be black, but a black space may be a space existing only without energy in it. This point of identification is quite aberrative, and drills to permit the thetan to handle blackness are mandatory in processing. If one remembers one’s fear of blackness when a child, and that evil is represented as blackness, one will see the necessity for doing this. Blackness is the unknown, for it may contain energy or it may be empty or may be black energy.

When all wavelengths are blocked there is “blackness” of perception. There is no awareness. One may simply recognize it as a vacuum of thought, or fill it with mystery, fear of evil, or confusion.

Black energy flows are common on the tone-scale of wavelengths. There is, for instance, what is known as the black band of sound.

Some thetans will not perceive anything at all because they conceive themselves to be surrounded by blackness and are not sure whether the blackness has substance or is simply empty, and they have a timidity to discover which. Such a case is resolved by making the case drill with blackness until blackness can be turned on and off and located in time and space. Although this is briefly mentioned, it is a point of the largest importance.

Some people may feel that mystery surrounds them. They are not sure if there is something that they are unable to perceive, or if there is nothing to perceive. They are afraid to explore it. There are Scientology drills to resolve this blackness. It is very important to resolve blackness.

Black and white running and black and white aesthetic running were old processes which are not necessarily vital today to processing. However, white energy runs easily, and where the preclear has a black spot of energy somewhere on an organ or somewhere in the environment of the body, the auditor asks him to turn it white in order to let it flow away. It may not flow away if it is black, either because it does not belong to the preclear (in which case he would see it as black) or because it is simply a spot of space with which he is not familiar. By turning it white he is able to handle it for he now knows it to be filled with his own energy.

In Black and White Processes, the black spots are areas of unknowingness. One may not be able to sense or perceive that spot. It may be a spot on the body or in the body’s environment. One simply focuses on such spots while letting the mind freely associate without interruption. This is called “turning it white”. It may simply be some knowledge that is missing, and can be looked up in a reference. One does that until the mystery is cleared up.

One can run own determinism, other determinism, as concepts. In this case the preclear runs the one as long as he gets an area white and then runs the other to continue its whiteness. In such a way all the energy in the area is drained away.

A person may also look at areas and recognize what is determined him by him, and what is not. When he recognizes something that is not determined by him, then he looks at it closely, until he himself figures it out.

The most common manifestation of a ridge is to have one side of a ridge white and the other side black. This is because the preclear conceives one side of it to have on it his own energy and the other side to have on it energy belonging to another. By running the concept that it is his own and then running the concept that it is another’s, one runs both sides of a ridge, if he is running ridges.

An example of ridge would be a situation that is persisting. In a persisting situation it is very common for a person to look at it from his viewpoint only. He does not look at it from the other person’s viewpoint. By conceptually looking at the whole situation from his viewpoint and then looking at it from the other person’s viewpoint he may get a better clarity about the situation.

Although live energy is generally conceived to be white, it can also be black. In running a preclear with an E-meter, it will be discovered as long as a flow is white and as long as a flow is running, that the needle will gradually rise. When a point of blackness appears in the field, the needle will halt and either will not rise again or will flick as the preclear gets a somatic. This flick is characteristic of the somatic. The stuck needle is characteristic of a black field. The auditor can sit watching a needle and be able to tell the preclear whenever the preclear has had a black area appear in the field. It is notable that somatics only occur in the presence of a black patch. This means that the unknown characteristic of the blackness is something the preclear has been holding away from him so as not to have it or that black wave energy is that energy used to impress pain. The latter case is the more probable although a great deal of work must be done upon this to establish beyond doubt the manifestation of blackness.

When the preclear comes across something that he does not understand the e-meter needle may react by halting its rise and, may be, getting stuck. When he needle flicks, it indicates a somatic.

A preclear who cannot see colour in his facsimiles, cannot see it because he is unable to use energy with which to perceive. He will see things in terms of blackness or whiteness.

He may be able to get black and white or he may be able to get only blackness. In the latter case he finds blackness in some way profitable and desirable; and running the concept of havingness, will have and have had blackness, and using drills in handling blackness—moving it from space to space in the environment and moving it into yesterday and tomorrow—will bring about control of blackness on the part of the preclear.

Black and White simply means that perceptions in an area are either clear or not clear. Looking at that area more closely may make the perceptions start to become clear. If he simply does not want to look at that area and avoids it then this may have some benefit for him. One may then run the benefits of avoiding such things in the past and in future and under different circumstances. This may help the person brings things under his control that he doesn’t want to look at.



Black and White simply means that perceptions in an area are either clear or not clear. In blackness there is no perception and one speculates or makes assumptions. This may lead to all kind of emotions. People are afraid to explore what appears black to them.

It is very important to resolve blackness. A person may simply focus on a black spot (a point of no perception) and let the mind freely associate. This is called “turning it white”. It may turn it white or require some study.

One may also look at those things that are not determined by him as black spots, and look at them closely to figure them out. In a persisting situation you may look at it from viewpoints other than your own to get a more comprehensive assessment.

If a person avoids looking at an area the he may look closely at the benefits of avoiding it. He may consider benefits under different circumstances in the past, or benefits that may accrue in future,


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