PHOENIX LECTURES: Chapter 4

Project: Hubbard 1954: The Phoenix Lectures

This paper presents Chapter 4 from the book THE PHOENIX LECTURES by L. RON HUBBARD. The contents are from the original publication of this book by The Church of Scientology (1954).

The paragraphs of the original material (in black) are accompanied by brief comments (in color) based on the understanding from Buddhism.  Feedback on these comments is always appreciated.

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CONSIDERATION, MECHANICS AND THE THEORY BEHIND INSTRUCTION

Here we go into some items quite rapidly which we find are of considerable importance to us in Scientology. It is demonstrable material, or doctrine. This is the basic theory which underlies instruction and indoctrination. 

Considerations take rank over the mechanics of space, energy and time. Considerations are senior to these things. 

These mechanics are the products of agreed-upon considerations which life mutually holds. The reason we have space, energy, time, objects is that life has agreed upon certain things, and this agreement has resulted in a solidification. And so our agreed-upon material is then quite observable. 

We have awareness and we are aware of things. We use considerations to define THAT, which we are aware of. We refer to the entirety of THAT as the universe. Hubbard is separating considerations from the mechanics of space, energy and time; but space, energy and time themselves are broader and more fundamental considerations. These fundamental considerations may be held individually, however, education brings us into agreement over them.

Mechanics have taken such precedence in Man that they have become more important than the considerations. “Doesn’t matter what you think,” is the theme. The mechanics of space, energy, objects, time, rooms, houses, earth, electricity, Ivory Soap — these things have a greater value than Man’s considerations. In other words, Man has become inverted. Having agreed upon these things so long — that they are so solid — he is now below the level of making agreements upon them, so his considerations do not apparently pack as much power as his immediate environment. This is what over-powers a man’s ability to act freely in the framework of mechanics although he invented them. His considerations are now of less impressiveness than the mechanics with which he is operating. The agreement is more solid than his new consideration. And so as he makes a new consideration he runs into the mechanics of existence — his agreements with people, space, energy, objects and time. 

All these considerations together make up a whole (consistent, harmonious and continuous) universe. To work with this universe we need to be aware of it as it is. The reason our postulates and considerations do not have power, is not because, as Hubbard says, “mechanics have taken precedence over considerations”. It is because any kind of fixation, reinforced by agreement, makes us unaware of what is really there.

A primary goal of processing in Scientology is to bring an individual into such thorough communication with the physical universe that he can regain the power and the ability of his own postulates. We discover an individual in an inverted state — that is to say, his considerations have now less value than the wall in front of him. And in processing, for example, in Opening Procedure 8C, we put him into sufficient communication with the wall that’s there in front of him — that he can then see that there is a wall in front of him. And at that exact point he has graduated upstairs, you might say, to a cognition of what his postulates have created. He can go on from there and can graduate up to where his considerations again have precedence over mechanics. 

In Scientology a primary goal of processing is to bring an individual into such thorough communication with the physical universe that he can regain the power and the ability of his own postulates. In Mindfulness the primary goal is to broaden the viewpoint by removing fixations so he can see things as they are. This can be done by bringing the individual into thorough communication with the difficulty.

The mechanics are so much in his road, they are such observable barriers, that he has become unacquainted with them. 

It is not the mechanics (energy, space and time) that, as Hubbard says, are in the road; but it is the fixation of the viewpoint, as it narrows, which becomes a barrier.

Now it would seem as if it shouldn’t be necessary to do this at all. All one would really have to do would be to get an individual simply to change his mind — all of a sudden to have an individual who could change his mind — but that is just not the way it is. It just doesn’t work out that way. The principle here is: get an individual into thorough communication with something, and then, when he has lost his fear of it, is no longer flinching, to demonstrate to him that he can change his mind about it. 

Both in Scientology and Mindfulness, the practice is pretty much the same, which is, to get an individual into thorough communication with something so that he is no longer afraid of it and can really see what is there. Only then he can change his mind about it.

But unless you get him over his blindness, his unreality about something he’s already agreed to, he is working against himself — he’s fighting his own agreements. He has agreed that there is a wall there so there’s a wall there — and now he’s fighting that agreement, and he’s saying there is no wall there. He is fighting his own postulates, so his own postulates are therefore very weak. Because the wall is there — that’s his own postulate. And now without undoing that postulate, he’s trying to change his mind about it and say “There is no wall there, there is no wall there”. And there is a wall there, all right. 

There are walls in this universe, but if a person is operating on a fixed belief that there are no walls, then he would be running into difficulties, simply because he is not seeing things as they are.

So this is the state in which we find Man. He has agreed that there is a physical universe, and then having agreed upon it he’s sorry about it and now he wants to change his mind about it but to change his mind about it would make him wrong. An individual who has already said that there is something there, if he now says, without changing the first postulate, that there is now nothing there — of course he has got to make himself wrong before he can be right, and if you’re wrong, your postulates don’t stick. That’s what Man is up against. 

Hubbard is assuming that the universe is the result of a person’s considerations. But the universe is something that includes the person as well. We are simply using our considerations to describe that universe. It is not just the “physical universe”. To ascertain what is really there, we need to examine our own considerations for anomalies and straighten them out.

Scientology is the science of knowing how to know answers. That’s extended a little bit. We have defined it as the science of knowing how to know, but we’d better say what we’re trying to know. We’ll just add that it’s the science of knowing how to know answers. 

In mindfulness, we are resolving anomalies in our in own considerations to understand what the reality is.

A Scientologist is expected to be able to resolve problems in a great many specialized fields, of which auditing is the first field he addresses. If you know the principles such as, for instance, the principle of A-R-C (Principle of A-R-C: The “A-R-C” triangle is Affinity, Reality and Communication. The basic principle here is that as one raises or lowers any of the three, the others are raised or lowered, and that the key entrance point to these is Communication) — when you know this as the modus operandi and the mechanism of agreement (which has been agreed on itself) you can do many things. You can take an organization, an industry, a store, a troop of Boy Scouts, or whatever, and you will certainly know “how to straighten out this mess”. 

You are using communication when you are examining something closely. You resolve problems by examining the considerations in an area. For an individual, it is the individual’s consideration. For a group it is the group’s consideration expressed as agreements or policies.

We know the anatomy of confusions: an unpredictability, followed by a confusion, which then goes into a mystery. There is a mystery because someone didn’t predict something and this made them wrong. The only reason a person thinks things are mysterious is that the amount of unpredictability became too great. So he closed it all off and said: “It’s a mystery!” and, “I now don’t know anything about that”. 

The anatomy of confusions is: an unpredictability, followed by a confusion, which then goes into a mystery.

If an individual knew that, and ARC — a few of the principles and applications of Scientology — he would see that in the case of this troop of Boy Scouts or this business or this disaster area, or anything else that he might be dealing with, it would be necessary to bring the individuals in it to follow a certain pattern in order to regain a communication, and having regained communication, why, he knows that other matters would remedy themselves. He would not have to be an expert in turbines to straighten out a factory which made turbines. All he’d probably have to do would be to get management in touch with the foreman and the foreman in touch with the workman and the workman in touch with the management, and the plant would make turbines. He would be a specialist in knowing how to know answers but this does not mean that he would have to accumulate an enormous amount of specialized information. What he would do would be to get the people who had the specialized information and put them into communication and the job would get done. 

To straighten out the mess in a group, the “considerations” in the group must first be examined for anomalies. Any anomalies found must be resolved and the results issued as policies. Then the members of the group are put in thorough communication with those policies so they can predict group’s actions. One does not have to be an expert in turbines to straighten out a factory which made turbines.

The world is every day more violently impressed with mechanics. The little wheel that goes spin, spin, spin is far, far more important than the little boy who is going spin, spin, spin. The care of the body and the transport of the body, the conducting of electricity — these are far more important than any activity of Life itself. The world is terribly impressed with space and energy and machines and objects which, any of them seem to be more important than a mind — the mind which makes them. And this is curious, but it brings a person down, as he gets more and more impressed with mechanics, to lower and lower levels of being mechanical. So, if you could conceive it, the individual, the thetan, a life-energy-production unit, has actually dropped out of sight to such a degree that people don’t even know they are one any more. Now that is attributable to a dependency on mechanics and the validation of mechanics. It isn’t that you should just withdraw from mechanics and leave them all alone and let’s all go off and quit. No, an individual has to be put back into communication with them, mostly because he’s afraid of them, and after he’s done this he says, “Now, lookee here, I don’t have to depend on these things. That’s nonsense!” 

And the next thing you know he has regained some of his own power and ability. 

The problem today is the dependence on mechanics. In other words, we are terribly fixated on the fundamental considerations of energy, space and time without understanding them. The solution is to get back in communication with these fundamental considerations until we are not afraid of them. And the next thing we know we have regained some of our power and ability.

Now, when it comes to atomic fission, there is produced in this society an enormous mystery. It couldn’t help but do so. It’s unpredictable. The first bomb, for example, was dropped without any warning and this was certainly an unpredictability. Nobody even knew one was being made. That’s nice and unpredictable, isn’t it? So that the world is living in an expectancy of an unpredicted atomic attack. Well, that looks interesting, too, doesn’t it? No more unpredictability. Now let’s take up subject of confusion a bit further. 

What do you suppose is the picture of all of these electrons and protons and morons exploding in all directions on a random pattern — would you possibly look upon that as a confusion of particles? What would be your chance, by the way, of tracing each of these particles individually, all through the entire mass? Well, your chance of doing that, if you’re in very good shape, is very good. But Johnny Q. Public knows that he can’t trace one card while it’s being dealt across the table (that’s what card sharks thrive on) and much less billions, and billions to the billion power, electrons and morons exploding all over space. And that is a confusion to him. So here you certainly have an unpredictability and then a confusion. 

What follows is mystery. And so we have everybody being very secret about all the formulas of fission. They’re only available in all of the library text books that are in all of the libraries in all the world. They’re very secret. They are so secret, that the notebooks of anyone who has taken a course in nuclear physics abound with the basic formulas, the material of atomic fission. It isn’t something suddenly discovered. They just decided to do it. It took billions of dollars to do it and it took a long time for somebody to put up that much money. But they’re being very secret about formulas that have been public property — some of them — for fifty years. And all of the material that the U.S. had on the manufacture of the atomic bomb has already been transported over to Russia by spies, who were since executed for it. So who are we keeping it secret from? Well; maybe we’re not keeping it secret from anybody. Maybe it’s just a mystery because it is unpredictable and confusing and therefore we’d better lower all our communication lines — and before you know it, government is going to be almost totally out of communication with its own people, just on this basis. You get more and more cut communication lines. There’s a big mystery building up. Well, how would you solve this? The way one might solve it would be to simply point out the fact to the government and to people that atomic disaster was not going to ruin the entire world and that if you accepted the disaster and predicted what was going to happen, then you could resolve the situation. Next, one would ask that the study of the manufacture of atomic fission be made a third or fourth grade subject, and get the children indoctrinated into this great mystery immediately — so it wouldn’t scare the kids. Actually all they’re doing is scaring the kids these days — which is not an honorable activity for big, grown men. 

Hubbard says, “The world is living in an expectancy of an unpredicted atomic attack.” This has produced confusion and mystery in the world (1954). The knowledge of atomic fission and manufacturing of atomic bombs has not been a secret for a while, but this whole subject is being made into a mystery. The confusion about atomic explosion may be resolved by understanding the mathematics of atomic fission. The rest of the mystery may be resolved by explaining the scope of atomic disaster so that  the situation becomes predictable.

Now the role of Scientology is, to impede any disintegration which is going on the realm of knowingness. Just to impede it. But if a disintegration does occurr, why, people who know Scientology ought to just be ready to pick up the pieces. You could have a society so organized and with such enlightenment and so functioning that it didn’t disintegrate people so quickly. 

You could have one where freedom itself could be achieved. 

But if you, all of a sudden, were looking at the complete smearing of a state or a country or a nation, you still, knowing the principles of communication — and just what a trained Scientologist knows — could play a very large role in picking up the pieces resulting from any disintegration. 

The disintegration you would be dealing with would be one not of mechanics but would be a disintegration of knowingness. 

The important thing is to know the principles of communication, because you apply these principles to examine situations and to impede the disintegration in the realm of knowingness or wisdom.

Now as far as any politics would become a concern of Scientology, I would say off-hand that it would probably hew to a democratic line — not Democratic Party — but democratic principles — because of our datum of self-determinism, but that does not make Scientology necessarily possessed of a political opinion. A body of knowledge cannot have an opinion on something. It simply extends what is found to be true, wherever it is found to be true — into greater truths. That’s all. And if something is true, that’s all right. And if something is false — well, one simply recognizes that it is false. So far as political opinion is concerned, Scientology as such, could not have, and does not have one. It knows that certain types of government could be very disintegrative to a people. It knows, for instance that facism, military control of areas, and so forth, would result in a knockdown of communication lines, which would be very, very unhealthy for that particular area. 

But this is in the field of Scientology, not in the field of politics. And one should remember well that Scientology has no political opinions or allegiances. If one political practice works better than another one, according to Scientology, that’s fine, but what’s working is Scientology — not the political practice. Don’t ever get detoured on this one, because if you do — you get lost. 

In politics, the idea of self-determinism leads to democratic principles (not Democratic party). Such principles simply extend what is found to be true, wherever it is found to be true. Scientology and mindfulness do not have any political opinion. But they know that a government that knocks down communication lines is disintegrative to a people. Political practice works better when the principles of Scientology are being applied.

Now the next one that comes up is — does Scientology have any religious conviction? Well, again we have the fact that a body of data does not have an opinion. I’ve known a lot of witch doctors who make more sense than a lot of priests. And I know a lot of priests who make more sense than a lot of preachers. I’ve seen the historical records and found that the Roman Empire didn’t kill many Christians. As a matter of fact in one year of that confusion Christians killed more Christians in the city of Alexandria than the Roman Empire executed during all its existence. One hundred thousand Christians were killed in one year by Christians in Alexandria. Well that’s because of a conviction — force without wisdom. There must have been some kind of a conviction running counter to some kind of a conviction, and — as far as having an opinion on this sort of thing is concerned, you can look at it on the basis of: this demonstrates that there must have been real bad ARC around there someplace! But beyond that it might be slightly amusing to you as a datum but it actually means nothing in relation to the body of data. 

So a Scientologist’s or anyone’s social, religious and political convictions would be those that he held to be true and that he had been oriented to. Trained to be democratic in his viewpoint, and trained to be a protestant, why then he’s certainly democratic in his viewpoint, and a protestant, unless he sees fit to alter his convictions to some degree because a greater wisdom seems to have penetrated those very convictions. What would he do in that case? He’d probably simply modify for the better his convictions. 

Scientology does not have any religious convictions either because a body of data does not have an opinion. Religious convictions can be very destructive when they use force without wisdom. Scientology only helps improve one’s social, religious and political convictions through communication and greater knowingness.

But one of the oldest things that was ever given into the training of wise men that I know of was simply this — the basic faith in which the individual has been trained and the basic political allegiance of the individual must not be tampered with by the Order training him. And it was the Order itself which laid that down. That’s an old, old one. They were training very wise men and that was the first thing that they made sure not to do. They did not tamper with these things. If the individual cared to alter these things himself nobody was going to tell him to or tell him not to. Nobody was even vaguely persuading him. It might be in the course of his study that he found certain things that men did laughable, or confusing, or he found certain things that men did remediable — but nobody was standing there trying to lead him into a higher religious or political conviction. And that is the case with Scientology. 

If you were to teach a tribal population on the banks of the Yap-Yap River Scientology, and they believed in the Great God Boogoo-Boogoo you would just be wasting your time to start in by training them on the basis that the great God Boogoo-Boogoo was nine feet tall not twelve feet tall. That’s about all you’d probably accomplish, too. You’d probably convince them he was not quite so tall, or something of that sort. A Scientologist has no business fooling around with a savage tribesman’s political or religious convictions or a very, very cultured, super-cultivated Oriental Potentate’s religious or political convictions. His customs are definitely his. You would produce at best new convictions, but that’s force, and that’s not the way to free a thetan! 

There are very, very many ways to live. All of them can be derived from the same source and the same sources. Just because they can be so derived doesn’t mean they’re not different, one from another. So Scientology does not tamper with an individual’s religious or political convictions. The total empire of a Scientologist and of Scientology and its organizations is an empire of wisdom. 

Scientology does not tamper with the basic faith and political allegiance in which the individual has been trained. If the individual cares to alter these things himself nobody is going to tell him to or tell him not to. The total empire of Scientology and a Scientologist is an empire of wisdom.

Now on the basis of mechanics, an auditor is expected to follow the Auditor’s Code of 1954. That is a very solid compilation of things an auditor can do wrong and it says don’t do them. Each one of those things has considerable importance. There is the one which tells you to run an auditing command until the Comm Lag is flat (“Comm Lag is flat”: Comm Lag is Communication Lag: the time it takes for a preclear to give an answer to the exact auditing question or to carry out the exact auditing command. “Flat Comm Lag” is the point at which the auditing question or command is no longer producing change of communication lag). And then there is the one which tells you to run a process until the process is flat. (“Process is flat”: A process is continued as long as it produces change and no longer, at which time the process is “flat”). 

These are the two most important parts of that Code. Very, very much the two most important parts of the Code. You should know that Code. It was put together to keep us from making mistakes. It depends for its authority only upon this — that when it is disobeyed in processing an auditor has a lot more work to do. That’s its total authority. It enforces itself. 

In mindfulness meditation, the equivalent of Auditor’s Code is the discipline of mindfulness, such as, observing the natural reaction without interfering with the mind. Auditor code is useful when you are interacting with others.

Not so the Code of a Scientologist. The Code of a Scientologist is put together on this basis: an aberrated society has in it a few who would try to keep the organization and organizations of Scientology from doing their job — by cutting their affinity lines. And the first part of the Code of a Scientologist, To hear or speak no word of disparagement to the press, public or preclears concerning any of my fellow Scientologists, our professional organization or those whose names are closely connected to this science, is simply an arbitrary slid in front of that one. When we don’t allow our affinity lines to be cut, auditor to auditor, auditors to organizations, and organizations to auditors, we certainly thrive much better and we survive much better and we are certainly a lot happier. And as we go down the line, on the various parts of this Code, this again is simply knowledge which if we had started following from the very beginning, we would have had far less difficulty than we sometimes have had. 

And the last paragraph of the Code of a Scientologist says don’t engage in unseemly disputes on the subject of Scientology with the uninformed. That is no effort to keep the material of Scientology closed up. That’s not what it’s about. We keep the lines open and flowing. But when somebody comes along — perhaps he’s a major in Phrenology at the university of something or other — and starts protesting, “Well, I don’t believe,” and “Is your conviction…?” — why don’t you just start talking about the weather. That is, please, an invitation not to go into a fight on the subject of demonstrating to somebody who doesn’t have any awareness to talk to anyhow — all about Scientology. We have always gotten ahead faster when we haven’t sat down and entered into verbal fisticuffs with everybody who disagreed with us on the subject of Dianetics and Scientology. He hasn’t any information on it, and now you’re going to sit there and give him a complete Professional Auditor course? Well, do you have any idea of how much work and organization it requires to bring somebody up along through the level of HCA? (HCA: Hubbard Certified Auditor) A lot of work is expended to bring someone that far. Nowadays, with codified training, it can be done easier, but you’re not going to do that in a drawing room. And this part of the Code says in effect: please recognize this and don’t make the party awful for eight other people while you and a psychology student argue. 

A reporter comes in — he “wants to know all about it,” although he’s going to write something different entirely or more likely — his story is already written before he comes to “find out all about it”. He comes from a profession which works this way. You’ll do best telling him all about the weather. You should never depend on anybody’s industry with regard to a society at large or carrying the word in the society. Never depend on anyone’s industry but your own. Other people, organizations and so forth are going to help you all they can. But don’t depend on that help. Depend on yourself. 

The Code of a Scientologist is intended to protect the organization from the aberrations in the society around it. But it does not help eliminate aberrations that have entered Scientology organizations. An important part of this code is Don’t get into dispute with a person who does not have enough awareness on a subject. Finally, never depend on anyone’s industry but your own with regard to a society at large or carrying the word in the society. Depend on yourself.

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FINAL COMMENTS

Here Hubbard is separating considerations from the mechanics of space, energy and time; but space, energy and time themselves are broader and more fundamental considerations. Together, these considerations make up a whole (consistent, harmonious and continuous) universe.

It is not the mechanics (energy, space and time) that, as Hubbard says, are in the road; but it is the fixation of a narrow viewpoint, which is the barrier. The primary goal of spiritual advancement is to broaden the viewpoint by removing fixations so he can see things as they are. We do this by bringing the individual into thorough communication with the difficulty.

The problem today is the dependence on mechanics. In other words, we are terribly fixated on the fundamental considerations of energy, space and time without understanding them. The solution is to get back in communication with these fundamental considerations until we are not afraid of them. And the next thing we know we have regained some of our power and ability. The important thing is to know the principles of communication.

Scientology does not have any convictions of its own. It simply helps improve one’s social, religious and political convictions through communication and greater knowingness.

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Comments

  • Sam Ayers  On February 3, 2020 at 7:03 PM

    If the Church of Scientology has no religious convictions, why did it fight so hard to be categorized as a religion? Why us it called a church?

    One of two things must be true. Either 1) the Church of Scientology has religious convictions, which makes Hubbard a liar, or 2) the Church of Scientology, as per Hubbard, has no religious convictions, which means it is not a religion but is rather a fraudulent avoider of lawful taxation.

    • vinaire  On February 3, 2020 at 9:22 PM

      I think that religion has much wider definition than what Christians believe.

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