SCN 8-8008: Certainty Processing

This paper presents Section 52 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.


Certainty Processing

SOP—8 Appendix No. 2

The anatomy of maybe consists of uncertainties and is resolved by the processing of certainties. It is not resolved by the processing of uncertainties.

A person who is uncertain is oscillating between two opposite certainties. We resolve his uncertainty by having him consider the opposite certainties one by one.

An uncertainty is held in suspense solely because the preclear is holding on so hard to certainties. The basic thing he is holding on to is “I have a solution,” “I have no solution.” One of these is positive, the other is negative. A complete positive and a complete negative are alike a certainty. The basic certainty is “There is something,” “There is nothing.” A person can be certain there is something, he can be certain there is nothing.

It is like thinking in black and white and unable to see the shades of gray. There can be a partial solution or a gradient of existence.

“There is something,” “There is nothing” resolves chronic somatics in this order. One gets the preclear to have the centre of the somatic say “There is something here,” “There is nothing here.” Then he gets the centre of the somatic to say “There is nothing there,” “There is something there.” Then the auditor has the preclear toward the somatic say “There is something there,” “There is nothing there.” And then he gets the preclear to say about himself “There is something ‘here” “There is nothing here.” This is a very fast resolution of chronic somatics; quite ordinarily three or four minutes of this will resolve an acute state and fifteen or twenty minutes of it will resolve a chronic state.

There should be flexibility when assessing a somatic. One should be able to think in terms of the position on a scale as to how much of somatic is there.

This matter of certainties goes further. It has been determined by my investigations that the reason behind what is happening is the desire of a cause to bring about an effect. Something is better than nothing, anything is better than nothing. Any circuit, any effect, any anything, is better than nothing. If you will match terminals in brackets “There is nothing,” you will find that a lot of your preclears become very ill. This should be turned around into “There is something.”

There is no absolute in terms of nothing. There is always a degree of something.

The way one does Matched Terminals is to have the preclear facing the preclear or his father facing his father; in other words, two of each of anything, one facing the other. These two things will discharge one into the other, thus running off the difficulty. By bracket we mean, of course, running this with the preclear putting them up as himself to himself as though they were put up by somebody else, the somebody else facing the somebody else, and the matched terminal again put up by others facing others.

The whole idea is to look at things objectively without any filters. The techniques of matched terminals allow you to consider the terminals objectively.

The clue to all this is positive and negative in terms of certainties. The positive plus the negative in conflict make an uncertainty. A great number of combinations of things can be run. Here’s a list of the combinations: —

The button behind sex is “I can begin life anew,” “I cannot begin life anew,” “I can make life persist,” “I cannot make life persist,” “I can stop life,” “I cannot stop life,” “I can change life,” “I cannot change life,” “I can start life,” “I cannot start life.”

A very effective process, “Something wrong…,” “Nothing wrong…,” with “you, me, they, my mind, communications, various allies.”

By looking at the opposites of any condition of an item you can assess the condition accurately.

A very basic resolution of the lack of space of an individual is to locate those people and those objects which you’ve been using as anchor points such as father, mother and so forth and putting them into matched terminal brackets with this: —“There is father,” “There is no father,” “There is grandfather,” “There is no grandfather.” In the compulsive line this can be changed to “There must be no father,” “There must be a father.” One takes all the allies of an individual and runs them in this fashion.

Here one is examining the extremes of anchor points (points of dependence) to assess them objectively.

The basic law underneath this is that a person becomes the effect of anything upon which he has had to depend. This would tell you immediately that the sixth dynamic, the MEST universe, is the largest dependency of the individual. This can be run out, but then any dynamic can be run out in this fashion. “There is myself,” “There is no self,” and so on up the dynamics. “(Any dynamic) is preventing me from communicating,” “(Any dynamic) is not preventing me from communicating” is intensely effective. Any such technique can be varied by applying the sub-zero scale as found earlier in this book.

BASIC LAW: A person becomes the effect of anything upon which he has had to depend.

A person is part of the universe that he knows and understands. That is not dependence. That is being what one is. One is dependent only on what one takes for granted without understanding. The primary dependency is on one’s assumptions. The process described above helps one examine one’s assumptions.

Real communication depends on knowing what one is dealing with, because there is complete openness and honesty. Communication suffers to the degree there are assumptions, prejudices, fixed ideas and deception. The process described above helps one examine such assumptions, prejudices, fixed ideas, etc.

One runs any certainty out because he knows that for this certainly there is an opposite negative certainty and that between these lies a maybe, and that the maybe is suspense in time. The basic operation of the reactive mind is to solve problems. It is based on uncertainties about observation. Thus one runs out certainties of observation. The most general shotgun technique would have to do with “There is sex,” “There is no sex,” “There is force,” “There is no force.” This could be run, of course, in terms of matched terminal brackets or even as concepts, but one must not neglect to run the overt act phenomenon which is to say getting somebody else getting the concept.

One is actually running out fixations posing as false certainties. Correct computation requires flexibility in considering. It is okay to start with a certain premise (postulate, assumption), but one should not treat that premise as fixed. One should also look at what one has done to convince others about what as overt act phenomenon.

The processing out of certainties would then embrace “I have a solution,” “There is no solution.” These two opposite ends would take care of any individual who was hung on the track with some solution, for that solution had its opposite. People who have studied medicine begin by being certain that medicine works and end by being certain that medicine doesn’t work. They begin by studying psychology on a supposition that it is the solution, and finish up that it is not the solution. This also happens to superficial students of Dianetics and Scientology, thus one should also run “Dianetics is a solution,” “Dianetics is not the solution.” This would also get one off the maybe on the subject.

Black and white thinking is an aberration. One must think in terms of a scale of values to get rid of one’s fixations.

We are essentially processing communications systems. The entire process of auditing is concentrated upon withdrawing communications from the preclear as predicated on the basis of the body and the preclear cannot handle communications. Thus “The preclear can handle communications,” “The preclear cannot handle communications” is a shotgun technique which resolves maybes about his communications.

The preclear is using body as his stable datum and believes that he himself cannot handle communications.

An intensely interesting aspect of Certainty Processing is that it shows up intimately where the preclear is aberrated. Here is the overall basic technique. One runs “There is…,” “There is not…” the following: Communication, talk, letters, love, agreement, sex, pain, work, bodies, minds, curiosity, control, enforcement, compulsion, inhibition, food, money, people, ability, beauty, ugliness, presents and both the top and bottom of the Chart of Attitudes, positive and negative in each one.

It is good to question whatever the mind is taking for granted and its opposite on any subject; and then freely associates the reactions. One finds that generally there is only superficial understanding. People talk to be interesting. They mainly assert their opinions and fixed ideas. Love is defined by the feeling of security and self-preservation, etc.

Basic in all this is the urge of the preclear to produce an effect, so one can run “I can produce an effect upon mama,” “I cannot produce an effect upon mama,” and so forth for all allies and one will resolve the fixations of attention on the part of the preclear. Thus fixations of attention are resolved by Certainty Processing, processing out the production of effect.

Certainty processing can be used to handle fixed attention by processing the desire to create effect on others.

One can occasionally, if he so desires, process the direct centre of the maybe, which is to say doubt itself, in terms of Matched Terminals. This, however, is risky for it throws the preclear into a general state of doubt.

It is risky to process uncertainty directly because it may throw the preclear in a general state of doubt.

The key to any such processing is the recovery of viewpoints. “I can have grandfather’s viewpoint,” “I cannot have grandfather’s viewpoint,” and so on, particularly with sexual partners, will prove intensely interesting on a case. “There are viewpoints,” “There are no viewpoints,” “I have a viewpoint,” “I don’t have a viewpoint,” “Blank has a viewpoint,” “Blank has no viewpoint,” resolves problems.

Certainty processing can be used to recover viewpoints. Get certainty on the concept of viewpoints, the preclear having a viewpoint, relatives having viewpoints, sexual partners having viewpoints, etc.

One should also realize that when one is processing facsimiles, he is processing at once energy, sensation and aesthetics. The facsimile is a picture. The preclear is being affected by pictures mainly, and so “There are no pictures,” “There are pictures,” forwards the case toward handling pictures; which is to say facsimiles.

Certainty processing can be used to process the existence, energy, sensation and aesthetics of facsimiles.

A person tends to ally himself with somebody, whom he considers capable of producing greater effects than himself, so “I, she, he, it can create greater effects,” “I, she, he, it can create no effect,” is quite effective.

A person tends to ally himself with somebody, whom he considers capable of producing greater effects than himself. One may run certainty processing on that.

When one is processing, he is trying to withdraw communications. Reach and Withdraw are the two fundamentals in the action of theta. Must Reach and Cannot Reach, Must Withdraw and Cannot Withdraw are compulsions which, when run in combination, produce the manifestation of insanity in a preclear.

“I can reach,” “I can’t reach,” “I can withdraw,” “I can’t withdraw,” open up into the fact that remembering and forgetting are dependent upon the ability to reach and withdraw. You will find that a preclear will respond to “You must” or “You can,” “You must not,” “You cannot,” “There is,” “There is not,” forgetting and remembering.

“Must” and “cannot” seems to require quick solution and generate anxiety. Processing may consist of slowing down of all activity so one may examine each step carefully. This is mindfulness. The solution to forgetting and remembering is staying in the mindfulness mode and let it happen.

The only reason a person is hanging on to a body or facsimile is because he has lost his belief in his ability to create. The rehabilitation of this ability to create is resolved—for instance, in a person who has had an ambition to write with “I can write,” “I cannot write”—and so forth. The loss of this creative ability made the person hang on to what he had. The fact that a preclear has forgotten how to or no longer can himself generate force makes him hold on to stores of force. These are very often mistaken by the auditor for facsimiles. The preclear doesn’t care for the facsimile, he simply cares for the force contained in the facsimile because he knows he doesn’t have any force any more.

When a person is holding on to something compulsively, one may run certainty processing to handle his ability to create it.

It should be kept in mind that reaching and withdrawing are intensely productive of reaction in a preclear. But that preclear who does not respond to reaching and withdrawing and certainty thereon, is hung up in a very special condition: he is trying to prevent something from happening, he is trying to maintain control. If he prevents something from happening, he also prevents auditing from happening. He has lost allies, he has had accidents, and he is hung up at all those points on the track where he feels he should have prevented something from happening. This is resolved by running “I must prevent it from happening,” “I cannot prevent it from happening.” “I must retain control,” “I must lose all control.”

When a person is fixated on preventing something from happening, it can be addressed through certainty processing.

Blackness is the desire to be an effect and the inability to be cause.

“I can create grandfather (or ally),” “I cannot create grandfather (Or ally),” solves scarcity of allies. “I want to be aware,” “I want no awareness,” is a technique which is basic in attitudes. Run this as others, in matched terminal brackets or in Expanded GITA.

Blackness is no awareness, therefore, he can’t be cause. He cannot even visualize.

Certainty there is a past, certainty there is no past; certainty there is a future, certainty there is no future; certainty it means something else, certainty it does not mean anything else; certainty there is space, certainty there is no space; certainty there is energy, certainty there is no energy; certainty there are objects, certainty there are no objects.

The process seems to be the mimicking of fixed attention. That may loosen actual fixed attention.



By auditing the extremes of a scale one may finally arrive a point of equilibrium, or understanding, somewhere on the scale. This is a very general process.


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