Project: Hubbard 1954: The Phoenix Lectures

This paper presents Chapter 6 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.



We start out at the beginning or anywhere along the road with this as the highest truth. We are dealing with a static which can consider. That it can consider and then perceive what it considers, makes it a space-energy-mass-time production unit.

From Buddhist viewpoint, the phenomena (universe) simply exists. It may be modeled through the idea of considerations.  A consideration may be considered, most properly, from EMPTINESS, which acts as the reference point of “zero” for phenomena.

Now don’t ever get hung up on whether or not the actuality that is made is an actuality. This is the wrong way to approach this problem. It’s the way people have been approaching this problem for so long that the problem has remained wholly abstruse. That you can perceive something and that you can perceive that somebody else also perceives something qualifies only one of these conditions of existence, and that’s Is-ness. And that is reality: Is-ness.

Is-ness is the reality (apparent universe) as it is perceived by a person from his viewpoint.

Now, that you simply say something is there, and then perceive that it is there, means simply that you have put something there and perceived that it is there. That’s what it means. It’s no less an Is-ness. That nobody is there to agree with you at the time you do this does not reduce the fact that you have created an Is-ness. It is an Is-ness. It exists. It exists, not “just for you”. It just exists, you see. Now if you were to desire that that persisted, you would then have to go through a certain mechanical step, you would have to make sure that you did not perfectly duplicate it. That is: create it again in the same time in the same space with the same mass and the same energy — because it would no longer be there.

But what have you done really when you’ve done that? You’ve just taken a thorough look. And what you create will vanish if you simply look at it, unless you pull this trick: unless you pull the trick that it is alterable, and that you have altered it. Now if you say that you have altered it, and now that you have forgotten the exact instant it was made and the character of it, it of course then can persist. Because you can look at it all you please — with your first look, you might say — and it won’t vanish. Don’t look at it however with your second look because it will be gone.

When you are simply perceiving something, that is your reality, or is-ness. When you put something out there and perceive that it is there, then that is your imagination. But it is no less an is-ness. It exists because you are aware of it. If you forget that you put it out there, then it will persist for you like any other reality.

For instance — if we looked at the front of a room and saw an object, we would simply have to look at it and conceive ourselves to have made its exact duplicate, or counterpart, which is to say conceived ourselves to have made it. No more, no less than that. And of course, it will get rather thin. To some who are having a rough time with conditions of existence it will first get brighter and brighter and brighter, and then get thinner and thinner and thinner, and it’ll disappear for one. This is a curious thing but is immediately subjected to and you can subject it to a very exacting proof.

As you perceive a situation carefully, you start to get more details first. Therefore, it shall appear to get brighter. But then those details may add up to the realization that the situation is the result of some misinterpretation of yours. At that point the whole situation will disappear, being replaced by a clear understanding. This shall now be a new Is-ness.

Let’s look at this very carefully — at what reality is. Reality is a postulated reality. Reality does not have to persist to be a reality. The condition of reality is simply Is- ness. That is the total condition of reality.

Reality is simply what is perceived from a viewpoint in reaction to the phenomena there. It is what the viewpoint is considering to be there. This is the total condition of is-ness.

Now we get a more complex reality when we enter into the formula of communication because this takes somebody else. We have to say we are somebody else now viewing this and that we don’t know when it was made or where it was made, to get a persistence of the object for that somebody else.

But let us say we just more or less accidentally go into communication with somebody else, and we have an argument, a chitter-chatter back and forth, about what this thing is. If that other person perfectly duplicates exactly what we have created, it will, again, disappear. It doesn’t matter really who created it, he only has to assume that he created it for it to disappear for him. In other words, he has to duplicate it in its same space, same energy, same mass at the same instant it was created, and it will disappear for him. So, you and he had better alter this thing which you made so that you can both perceive it. And then we get what is known as an agreed upon reality, and that is an Is-ness with agreement.

Now actually the word reality itself is commonly accepted to mean that which we perceive. This then is the real definition for reality, the one which is commonly used, and that would be: an agreed upon Is-ness. That would be a reality.

When two people are communicating, each has his own reality about what is there. When either sees it for what it is, the misperceptions will disappear for him, no matter who created them, and the reality may converge. But when neither sees it for what it is, and both agree on the same misperceptions. Then we get agreed-upon reality.

A NOT-IS-NESS is a protest. The common practice of existence of course is to try to vanish Is-ness by using it to destroy itself — taking a mockup such as a building or something of the sort and trying to destroy it by blowing it down with dynamite. This is very practical application, this material. It isn’t esoteric, it doesn’t apply only to the Engram Bank (Engram: A mental image picture of an experience containing pain, unconsciousness, and a real or fancied threat to survival; it is a recording in the reactive mind of something which actually happened to an individual in the past and which contained pain and unconsciousness, both of which are recorded in the mental image picture called an engram. “Engram bank” is a colloquial name for the reactive mind. It is that portion of a person’s mind which works on a stimulus-response basis) — this is just existence.

Is-ness can be translated quite generally as existence. We get a Not-Is-ness being enforced upon an Is-ness by the quality of the Is-ness itself, or, by a new postulate with which the individual is saying it’s not there.

This new postulate, in which you simply say “It’s not there” does not pattern itself with the mechanics of the creation of the Is-ness, the exact time of creation, the exact space, the exact continuance, same mass, same space, same time. And as a consequence, saying, “All right it’s not there”, it will probably dim down for you. But you have to do something else. You have to put a black screen up or push it away, or chew it up, or do anything to it here rather than giving it a perfect duplicate.

So, it’s a Not-is-ness when we say something doesn’t exist which we know full well does exist.

Now you have to know something does exist before you can try to postulate it out of existence and thus create a Not-is-ness.

The definition of Not-is-ness would be simply: trying to put out of existence by postulate or force something which one knows priorly, exists. One is trying to talk against his own agreements and postulates with his new postulates or is trying to spray down something with the force of other Is-nesses in order to cause a cessation of the Is-ness he objects to.

And this is the use of mass to handle mass, of force to handle force, and is definitely and positively wrong if you ever want to destroy anything.

When we destroy things by blowing them up, we are practicing NOT-IS-NESS. It’s a Not-is-ness when we say something doesn’t exist which we know full well does exist. It is a protest.

The world consists of different viewpoints with their own unique is-nesses. This generates differences and disagreements. A viewpoint may be unable to practice as-is-ness after too much alter-is-ness has taken place. So, it enforces Not-is-ness. Thus, two viewpoints may try to push their version of “reality” on each other by force.

That is the way to destroy yourself, which is why nations engage in it. Force versus Force. We see a very badly misunderstood rendition of this in early Christian times with the introduction of the idea that if you were hit you should tum the other cheek. The truth of matter is that if it were rendered in this wise it would have made much more sense: when you encounter force don’t apply more and new force to conquer the force which has been exerted because if you do you will then be left with a chaos of force, and pretty soon you won’t be able to trace anything through this chaos of force. So turn the other cheek is actually very workable if it’s simply translated to mean force must not be used to combat force. The way to properly handle such a situation is just to duplicate it perfectly.

Now, let’s go into this business of a perfect duplicate. A perfect duplicate, again, is creating the thing once more in the same time, in the same space with the same energy and the same mass. A perfect duplicate is not made by mocking the thing up alongside of itself. That is a copy, or more technically a facsimile, a made facsimile. Copy and facsimile, by the way, are synonymous, but a facsimile we conceive to be a picture which was unknowingly or automatically made of the physical universe, and a copy would be something that a thetan on his own volition simply made of an object in the physical universe with full knowingness. In other words, he copies it and knows he is copying it. A facsimile can be made without one’s knowledge by mental machinery or the body or something of that character.

Force versus force is the way to destroy yourself. That is why Jesus preached “turning the other cheek.” It meant that when you encounter force don’t apply more and new force. Simply block the force if you can and nullify it with as-is-ness. As-is-ness is making a perfect duplicate. It is perceiving something for what it is. It is different from making a copy of something. It is not a facsimile or belief. It is operating with an intimate understanding.

What we are talking about here is a perfect duplicate, mechanically, but it is more important to recognize it in the terms of our four categories of existence. It’s AS-IS-NESS. If we can recognize the total As-is-ness of anything, it will vanish. Sometimes, if it had many component parts, we would have to recognize the total As-is-ness as including the As-is-ness of each component part of it. And in that lies the secret of destroying actual matter. And actual matter can be destroyed by a thetan if he is willing to include into the As-is-ness which he is now postulating toward any objects which exist — toward any Is-ness — the As-is-ness of each component part.

If we recognize the total as-is-ness of the components of matter, all fixation on matter will vanish. But matter itself, as Hubbard postulates, may not be destroyed.

NOTE: The considerations of matter as THE substance is a fixation of Hubbard because “substance” (as matter) consists of whole scale of electromagnetic frequencies. Similarly, the consideration of thetan as THE beingness is also a fixation of Hubbard because the nomenclature of “thetan” substitutes for a whole scale of beingness (viewpoints).

A thetan created a mockup, and this mockup was agreed upon very widely, and another process, Alter-is-ness was addressed to it and it became more and more solid and more and more solid — and then one day somebody cut it in half and dragged part of it up the hill to make somebody’s doorstep.

That’s already, you see, out of location. Same place is part of a duplication, and it’s already been removed from the place where it was mocked up and moved up to the top of the hill and now it’s making somebody’s doorstep. Those people themselves wouldn’t quite remember where the doorstep came from if asked suddenly, but after a while those houses up there — by the way, just mockups like everything else — are torn down, and somebody picks up this doorstep and chews it up for road ballast, throws it out in the road to be used as road.

And the road they make with it just runs just fine, and it runs alongside of some wharves, and one day the road is no longer being used. They now have a big long steel pier coming out there, and somebody uses a steam shovel to pick up a load of rocks and gravel, dumps them into the hold of a ship which is going to South Africa, and they unload this ballast in South Africa, and the natives use it to gravel the garden, and at length there’s a volcanic explosion it’s buried under twelve feet of lava, and time marches on, and this thing is getting more and more remote from its agreed upon time, its agreed upon original position — and the moment it was postulated, as related to the time span of the people who were agreeing upon it.

You see they’ve agreed upon a time span, so this thing is aging and they’ve agreed upon this space too and it’s getting moved around in this space, and here atom by atom as the eons move along, this object which was part of an original mockup is now distributed all over the planet.

It would all be fairly hard to trace unless as a thetan you suddenly took a good look at it and sort of asked it — or just located it easily. And the law of conservation of energy blows up right here.

Hubbard’s example given here is rather a concrete representation of the principles being considered. The practical application of these principles, however, is in the field of human aberration.

Some kind of is-ness (mockup) and viewpoint (thetan) is always there. As the viewpoint increasingly practices alter-is-ness with his considerations, he loses track of them sooner or later, and becomes increasingly fixated on the considerations he now has. But it is possible that he can take a good look and suddenly recognize the not-is-ness and come back to present time.

Hubbard thinks incorrectly that the law of conservation of energy blows up. He does not realize that law of conservation takes into account both energy and matter. Alter-is-ness causes condensation of energy into matter. As-is-ness causes the dispersal of matter back into energy.

In view of the fact that the time itself is a postulate, it’s very easy to reassume the first time of anything. Just as you ask a person in Dianetic auditing to “go back to the moment when”, he could reassume the time, and if we had just added “the place where” and then said “Okay, now duplicate it with its own energy”, why it would have blown up.

This is not a process we would use today particularly but is one you should know about.

To create an As-is-ness one would have to create the As-is-ness of the object itself and all of its parts, and only at that moment would he escape the law of conservation of energy. Conservation of energy depends upon the chaos of all parts of all things being mixed up with all the parts of all the things. In other words, we couldn’t have any conservation of energy unless we were all completely uncertain as to where this atom or that atom originated. And if we were totally uncertain as to the original creation spot in the space of the atom, molecule, proton, whatever — if we were to remain totally ignorant, we of course could not destroy it, because force will not destroy it. Force will not destroy anything made of force.

Time is tied to the duration of energy and matter. Therefore, one can always trace back to the moment, when anything was persisting in a certain way and as-is it in that state. Any as-is-ness of that thing will bring it back to its previous unaltered state. One can repeat this procedure of as-is-ness back to the very origin of the universe. But since the law of conservation is there, we can’t assume an ultimate beginning of the universe.

In view of the fact that you would have to make as many postulates, practically as many As-is-nesses, as there are atoms in the object, why it looks awfully complex unless you could span your attention that wide and that fast, at which point you would be capable of doing an As-is-ness of it and your operational level would be such that the conservation of energy (itself a consideration) is exceeded.

Now we’ve taken care of As-is-ness by the mechanics of a perfect duplicate. The As- is-ness would be the condition created again in the same time, in the same space, with the same energy and the same mass, the same motion and the same time continuum.

In science, we have as-ised all objects to their atoms, and all atoms to a set of quantum particles. Further as-isness of the particles only leads us down the spectrum of electromagnetic energy. We don’t know if this spectrum lead down to NOTHING in violation of the law of conservation. Hubbard assumes that it does. But it seems that As-is-ness occurs in gradients, and there is no absolute As-is-ness.

This last, the same time continuum, is only incidentally important. It only comes up as important when you’re crossing between universes, and particles do not cross between universes. A particle is only as good as it’s riding on its own time continuum. Destroy the time continuum, and of course no activities can take place from that moment forward.

Let’s say that Group A has made a set of postulates which gives them certain energy and mass, and over here is Group B, and they get together and mutually agree to accept each other’s masses. This would never get to the point where the mass created by Group A and the mass created by Group B would interchange. Somebody has to be around always who was part and parcel of the creation of the mass looked at, at least by agreement — and then we would get a time continuum, we would get a continuous consciousness. It’s this they are talking about when they talk about Cosmic Consciousness, which is a very fancy word for saying, “Well, we’ve all been here for a long time”.

A time continuum is a gradient of the duration of energy/matter. In other words, it is a gradient of is-ness on the Know-to-Mystery scale. We simply have one universe by definition, and a gradient of reality within that universe. Cosmic consciousness is a continuum of consciousness.

Now let’s take this As-is-ness and let’s discover that a thing will disappear if a mockup will disappear, and that too can be subjected to proof very easily.

If a mockup can be vanished simply by creating it in the same time and the same space with the same energy and the same mass, in other words by just repeating the postulate, if it would disappear the moment you applied As-is-ness, then people would begin to avoid As-is-ness in order to have an Is-ness, and that is done by Alter-is-ness.

We have to change the character of something, we have to lie about it for it to exist, and so we get any universe being a universe of lies.

When a viewpoint does not want to change it would alter the is-ness of the other viewpoint in a way to maintain itself.  Thus, the is-ness is made up of the last alter-is.

When this universe of lies compels you to tell its truths you can get very confused.

Going back in history, we find people on every hand telling us, “Well, maybe there was such a person as Christ, and maybe there wasn’t, and maybe he said this and maybe he didn’t and maybe the material came from here or came from there”, and boy are they giving him survival! Survival itself is dependent upon Alter-is-ness.

They are not giving survival to Christ. They are giving survival to some altered version of Christ.

In order to get an As-is-ness to persist it is absolutely necessary that its moment of creation be masked. Its moment, space, mass and energy, if duplicated, would cause that to cease to exist. The recognition of As-is-ness will bring about a none-ness — a disappearance. In other words, a return to the basic postulate. You’d have to make the postulate all over again, and then, to get it to exist any further, why you would then have to go forward and change it in such a way that people would not actually be able to recognize its source at all. You have to thoroughly obscure the source to get a persistence. Be sure you see that. You’d have to say it came from somewhere and someone other than the actual source. People have done this with such things as Dianetics.

We make postulates from which to generate theories. If a theory is good, it brings clarity to the is-ness by dissipating misconceptions. This validates the postulate of the theory.

One rave on the subject claimed it was really invented in the late part of the eighteenth century by a fellow by the name of Hicklehogger or Persilhozer or something of the sort. This is a fact. Here we had something which could be unmocked very easily because it was set up to be unmocked, to get at the As-is-ness of things, and in view of the fact that it was set up to unmock, then it becomes very, very easy to simply say that its As-is-ness was such and such and so and so, and it would have practically disappeared if you’d continued to assert that its As-is-ness was what its As-is-ness actually was. In order to get a persistence of it of any kind, we would have had to have done something very strange and peculiar, we would have had to alter it. We would have had to enter the practice of Alter-is-ness. And if we try to alter something bad — then, too, we’ll make that persist.

In this example, somebody is altering the source of Dianetics by giving out a lie. To unmock that lie, we simply say, “This person is altering the source of Dianetics by giving out this lie.” This is As-is-ness of the lie.

Knowing that life is basically a consideration of a Static which is not located in time- space, which has no mass, energy or wavelength, and knowing also that As-is-ness is a condition which will unmock or disappear, that you have to practice Alter-is-ness in order to get an Is-ness, and that after an Is-ness has occurred the mechanism of handling it is to postulate a Not-is-ness, or use force to bring about a Not-is-ness, and that any further Alter-is-ness practiced on it will only continue to create an Is-ness of this new condition, and that every new Is-ness is going to be met by the postulated or force-handled Not-is-ness, and that every Not-is-ness is going to be followed by an Alter-is-ness which is going to result in a persistence of what we now have, we begin to see after a while that there is no way out of this giddy little maze of mirrors except this recognition that we have a static that can consider, and that the pattern by which we arrived at what we call reality, solidity, is contained in these four conditions.

The cycle of existence is, then, for a static to consider an Is-ness as an As-is-ness. It just says: There is. And then to alter the As-is-ness even to his own recognition and obscure his knowingness as to that As-is-ness to procure an Is-ness. Then, having procured an Is-ness, he usually can be counted upon sooner or later to practice a Not-is-ness, and not liking the result since the Is-ness he was contesting doesn’t disappear, it simply hangs up, and he gets unhappy about it. He now would practice a new Alter-is-ness, which would get a confirmation of the Not-is-ness he now has, which would then persist.

And we find that life can enter itself upon a very, very dizzy cycle and these inversions then follow: the new Is-ness is treated with an Alter-is-ness, is followed by a Not-is-ness, and is followed again by a new condition, which is persisting — a new Is-ness. And so we get this back-and-forth and see-sawing around.

Now all this depends upon a basic postulate that we agree that things proceed in a fairly orderly fashion or uniform rate of spacing or at speed or at tolerance or something of the sort.

Time has to be entered in there, and we must have had a postulate right in there ahead of all of these Is-nesses that would determine when, and in the absence of that one you’d get no time continuum, so there’d never be any such thing as a persistence. So time fits right in there.

Hubbard is basically describing here the descent of a viewpoint on the scale of reality (is-ness) from a condition of As-is-ness toward a condition of Not-is-ness through repeated Alter-is-ness. At the top we simply have the Universal Viewpoint, which is synonymous with the Universal Is-ness. Hubbard describes it as the “static”. All these conditions depend on continuity, harmony and consistency with each other. Time represents the duration of is-ness. It increases with Alter-is-ness toward Not-is-ness.

Now do you see this progress of these various conditions? I think that the problem of existence now narrows down just to this: an examination of Is-nesses. But the agreements as to time itself are conditional upon what was created in the time stream, and we get a basic postulate in there resistant to all effects as being time itself.

Well, these are the four conditions of Is-nesses and the various definitions which accompany them and will explain any manifestation of life, human behavior, matter, energy, space or time.

There seems to be a condensation of energy/matter from thought energy to physical energy to matter. This condensation produces time. The condition of is-ness is what really matters.



From Buddhist viewpoint, the phenomena (universe) simply exists. It may be modeled through the idea of considerations (see below).  A consideration may be considered, most properly, from EMPTINESS, which acts as the reference point of “zero” for phenomena.

Is-ness is the reality (apparent universe) as perceived by a person. Is-ness is what the person is considering to be there from his viewpoint. The person’s viewpoint travels up and down the Know-to-Mystery scale, which may be sketched as follows.

As the person as-ises his considerations, his viewpoint moves up toward KNOW. As he alter-ises his considerations, his viewpoint moves downwards toward MYSTERY. Too much alter-is-ness leads to not-is-ness (unreality) and unconsciousness.

When two people are communicating, each has his own reality about what is there. As their viewpoints move up the scale toward KNOW their reality converges. As their viewpoints move down the scale, their reality diverges even when they may agree on the same misperceptions. As viewpoints diverge, they increasingly apply force on each other. To move back up the scale, a person should simply hold back the incoming force without applying new or more force, and then practice as-is-ness to nullify that force.

At the top of this scale the observer (VIEWPOINT) and the observed (UNIVERSE) merge into one. This results in a Universal Viewpoint observing itself. Hubbard defines it as STATIC. This is Buddhist NIRVANA.


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  • Sam Ayers  On February 5, 2020 at 7:51 PM

    Permit me to comment on your analysis (below) in order to clarify my previous comments:

    “At the top of this scale the observer (VIEWPOINT) and the observed (UNIVERSE) merge into one. This results in a Universal Viewpoint observing itself. Hubbard defines it as STATIC. This is Buddhist NIRVANA.”

    Here is my comment, re-stated based on the wording of your analysis:

    Humans do not possess sensors that are sufficiently complete and accurate in order to apply as-is-ness to a level that would enable a human to achieve Nirvana. It follows, there is impenetrable separation between humans and Nirvana. Now exchange the name “God” for the word “Nirvana.” God is separate from mankind and is an unachievable state. The story goes that Satan, aka Lucifer, aka the Serpent, aka the Devil tried to achieve the God state and was defeated.
    and will be punished (the subject of the Book of Revelation, last book of the New Testament.)

    The separation between God and mankind, and mankind’s demonstrated inability to achieve God status, lends itself to the notion that God and mankind are eternally separate entities, and to the notion that God was and is the Creator.


  • vinaire  On February 6, 2020 at 7:55 AM

    You must be associating with wrong humans.

    The humans I know have five major physical senses (seeing, hearing, touch, smell and taste). In addition they have a sixth sense called mental sense. It is this mental sense that has postulated God.

    So, humans do have the required senses.


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