SCN 8-8008: I Am-I Am Not

This paper presents Section 38 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.


I Am-I Am Not

On the Chart of Attitudes which accompanies the Handbook for Preclears, it will be found at 22.0 “I am myself.” The only true identity is “myself.” It is not a name, it is not a designation. Orders, titles, ranks, praise and enduring fame alike do not bring about the condition “I am” or an actual identity; they bring about instead an identification, with all the liabilities of identification. The finality of identification is 0.0 or lower on the tone-scale.

A person is the viewpoint he generally maintains. It is not identified with anything else.

The concept of infinite mind is not new, but it has always been assigned to another beingness than self. The preclear will be found to be intensely aberrated who has sworn allegiance to some infinite beingness and has then agreed that all space belonged to that beingness, and that the rights of creation and energy belonged to that beingness and did not belong to self. This is a handy and, to the very badly aberrated, acceptable method of denying any responsibility for anything. It is also the shortest route toward I AM NOT. Infinite mind is individualistic. All mankind does not depend upon or share a portion of the infinite mind. On the contrary, the highest individualism attainable is the individualism of the infinite mind. It was beyond the power and grasp of the intellect applying itself to the field of philosophy, to conceive a multiplicity of infinite minds, and these commentators had agreed sufficiently with the MEST universe to conceive that the only space was the MEST universe space and they could not understand that this was an illusion, and that the existence of space does not depend upon existing space. Just as there can be an “infinity” of ideas, so can there be an “infinity” of “infinities” of space. Two beings theoretically, each with an infinite mind, and each capable of the production of an infinity of space, could yet co-produce sufficient space to communicate with each other. This may be difficult to conceive until one has attained a level of the tone-scale sufficient for an expansive viewing of his potentialities at which moment it becomes simplicity itself.

The viewpoint can expand to become universal, and so a person can be completely objective and, in a sense, fully responsible.

This is possible for every person. It will bring about a natural agreement due to complete objectivity of viewpoint. Thus there will be natural affinity and perfect communication and understanding.

There is a psychosis which has as its manifestation the illusion that one is God and the ruler of the universe. This psychosis comes about from the effort of an individual who is well below complete agreement with the MEST universe, to shift into the valence of what he has already accepted to be the creator of the universe. Instead of being himself, he has become unable even to be a MEST body in a sane condition, has conceived God to be MEST, and has then shifted into the valence of God. God, in this case, will be found to be conceived to be a MEST object. As an aside to this, below the level of complete agreement that the MEST universe is the only reality, begins the state which could be described by the statement, “I agree, I am still agreeing, and yet you are still punishing me.” The unfortunate fact about the MEST universe is that it is MEST and is designed to punish and cares nothing about agreement with it beyond the point that one agrees with it, and has no spirit of fair play whereby punishment ceases when one has acknowledged the winner. Recognition of this brings on insanity in an effort to further back away from responsibility and further escape from punishment. In the MEST universe, this escape from punishment is, of course, impossible. Thus there is a level below 0.0 for any immortal being.

A person can have the illusion that he is God. His reality is limited to the physical universe. To him God is a physical entity. He has become mechanical like the physical universe. He believes in eternal punishment. There is no spirit of fair play.

One of the first confusions on the part of the preclear which the auditor will encounter is the fact that the preclear considers himself to be in the state of I AM when he has a body and a name. This is high-tone compared to the subzero state in which the thetan quite often finds himself, but it is very far from optimum. Here the preclear is confusing identity with his own sense of beingness. His sense of beingness does not depend upon and, indeed, is confused by a MEST identity such as a name assigned to him and a body with which he can be recognized.

A person generally thinks of himself as his name or his body, but he feels uneasy about it. Actually he is much more than just a name and a body.

To a large degree the society of Earth requires, as part of its structure, names and the means to identify. The state finds itself very satisfied whenever it increases its ability to readily identify its citizenry, and will resort to almost any pretext to collect the fingerprints and dossier of one and all.

A name is a useful way to identify somebody. There is nothing wrong with having such identities (professional labels, social security number, etc.) as long as a person understands that all these are references to him. But the body and mind are definitely part of oneself as is the viewpoint.

Identity is such a liability and is so thoroughly MEST that individuality is really not possible in the presence of sharply defined identity. Reaching down into the sub-zero tone- scale, the thetan finds it expedient not only to mask his beingness, but to hide his identity with great thoroughness even from himself. This passion for non-identity is the spasm of clinging to the last shreds of individuality which would otherwise be lost. Thetans from some of the corps operating in space have thoroughly agreed to be amongst themselves completely black, the better to hide in the blackness of space. This blackness is found in the occluded case in many instances.

Hubbard tries to separate identity from individuality; but individuality is what provides the unique characteristics by which to identify a person intimately. A person cannot be without his body and mind, so these are intimate parts of him in addition to his viewpoint. The physical and spiritual aspects are part of a single system. The sub-zero tone scale, space opera and thetan of Hubbard simply describes the subjectivity of human psyche. They are inconsistent with objective reality.

The commonest plea on the part of the preclear is “Who am I?” He feels that if he could only answer this, he would be happy. He then ransacks his facsimiles for all of his past identities on his many spirals and as these amount to hundreds of millions, he finds no surcease. He succeeds only in damaging himself with the many injuries contained in facsimiles through which he is searching. He is identifying to the point where he is searching not for the state of I AM but for WHAT HAVE I BEEN LABELLED? The attainment of the state of I AM depends upon one’s ability to again be able to create space, energy and objects in and for his own universe, by himself or in co-operation with other thetans, and the rehabilitation of the many additional abilities of the thetan for the creation of energy is but one of a very large number. Thus the state of I AM is reached through creative processing and postulate processing rather than the processing of MEST universe facsimiles or endless searching with an E-meter to discover what one has been.

A person is generally confused about who he is. He is looking for an answer. He dives into his mind for an answer but that only adds to his confusion. He may even damage himself by randomly rummaging the facsimiles of his mind. But the truth lies in looking at him objectively. The body supports his mind, which is a matrix of all his perceptions. The mind then supports his viewpoint and generates his spiritual abilities. The state of I AM is reached through assimilating all perceptions by resolving all inconsistencies. That is how one becomes whole.

There are gods above all other gods. Anything which has wide acceptance and has been successful, wherever suns shine and planets swing, is based upon some fundamental truth. There is no argument here against the existence of a Supreme Being or any devaluation intended. It is that amongst gods, there are many false gods elected to power and position for the benefit and use of those who would control and make into the basest slaves the most sublime beings. As an ancient Greek said, when one has examined the descriptions of God written by men, he finds in that Being at best a thirst for self-aggrandizement and adulation which would be disgusting in any man. Man has sought to make his God a god of mud because the Early Greek and even more distant peoples, made idols in the form of men by which they thought to entrap the beingness of some local divinity who troubled them; more modern man has fallen into the error of making God into the body of a homo sapiens and posting him somewhere on high with a craving for vengeance and a pettiness in punishment matched only by the degradation of homo sapiens himself.

A universal viewpoint brings infinite capabilities. It is the opposite of ego, which is a very narrow viewpoint of self. How a person perceives God depends on his viewpoint. A narrow viewpoint thirsts for self-aggrandizement and adulation just like its view of “God”. But the universal viewpoint looks at things objectively as they are: concrete and abstract, beautiful and ugly.

There are gods above all other gods, and gods beyond the gods of universes, but it were better, far better, to be a raving madman in his cell than to be a thing with the ego, cruelty, and jealous lust that base religions have set up to make men grovel down.

One may easily visualize the viewpoint characterizing a god with ego, cruelty, and jealous lust.



A person is the viewpoint he generally maintains. It is not identified with anything else. The viewpoint can expand to become universal, and so a person can be completely objective and, in a sense, fully responsible. The body supports his mind, which is a matrix of all his perceptions. The mind then supports his viewpoint. The viewpoint then generates his spiritual abilities. The state of I AM is reached after all inconsistencies are resolved and all perceptions are assimilated. That is how one becomes whole.

A person has become cleared of inconsistencies when all his perceptions are assimilated. A cleared individual is not absolutely free of flaws, but he is very close to being completely rational. He has a mind in which perceptions continually break down into fine discriminative elements, and get freely associated and assimilated into an orderly mental matrix providing rational solutions.

The cleared individual does not avoid, resist, suppress or deny any thoughts, emotions, and sensations when thinking; and so he perceives things objectively with clarity. He is able to examine and overcome all prejudices, biases and fixations. He is keenly perceptive and knowledgeable and continues to explore new areas of knowledge.

The cleared individual is universal in his outlook. He rises above any idea of self or individuality. He is not subjective, self-centric, or human-centric. There are no conflicts within him. He would not hesitate to sacrifice himself if need be.

The cleared individual can look from the viewpoint of others as well as objectively from the viewpoint of all life and the environment. He continues to expand his understanding of the physical and spiritual aspects of the universe without resorting to superstitions.

The cleared individual is the first to realize his error and correct himself. Whenever he senses resistance or observes some oddity, he follows it up until it is cleared. If he suffers a painful experience, heavy loss, or confusion he is able to sort it out quietly in his mind.

The cleared individual is in good health and has no psychosomatic illnesses. He is purposeful in his demeanor, and graceful in his movements. He is strong and calm even in adversity. In no way is he trying to win or dominate, but he is passionately engaged in bringing order to his environment.

Above all, he is compassionate.


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