Project: Hubbard 1954: The Phoenix Lectures

This paper presents Chapter 8 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.



There are extremely elemental processes we discover could be designed when we look at the various factors in Scientology which we would call very upper echelon factors.

How much in the way of processes could we get just out of the concept of Is-ness? Just that one datum. Well, actually we could get a very great many.

We could get very many processes just out of the concept of Is-ness.

But let me call your attention abruptly to the singular fact that to give a thetan exercise in getting ideas is of minimal use. A thetan can always shift around his considerations one way or the other, but it all depends upon the scope he is willing to shift them around on.

An individual on one point, let’s say the receipt point in the communication formula, would feel himself limited to the degree that he had to be on receipt point. So, he would then feel that the consideration that he was on receipt point or was being the effect of existence would monitor his ability to make considerations.

That is to say: he would not feel then that he was free to make any other considerations above the level of the fact that he was on receipt point. And all of his other considerations would fall below this level.

A person who is being at effect would feel constrained by that basic consideration.

The formula of communication — “Cause-Distance-Effect” is the most elementary statement of it — “and involving attention and duplication”. We would discover that if an individual were monitoring himself with one basic consideration, his considerations would then fall below, and his ability to change his mind would then fall below, that basic consideration.

A person is monitored by his basic consideration.

A basic consideration could be “I am on an effect point. I am being the effect of many blows” — and messages and that sort of thing — “and this is very bad”. His considerations are various. “I must get off this point”. Or, “I am on this effect point and I do not like this”. Therefore, he makes the consideration that he must get off of this point. Well, what is monitoring the consideration that he must get off that point?

The fact that he’s on it, of course.

All his considerations are subject to that basic consideration.

Now let’s take it reverse end to, and let’s get an individual who finds himself on source point. There he sits on source point and he’s being cause. He’s being the source of the impulses or particles which are going across the distance and hitting effect point. And then this individual is saying: “Well now I mustn’t cause anything bad. I must cause only good things” and he must do this and that for this or for that.

And what is this host of considerations being monitored by? Of course, the fact that he is on a cause point. He’s on a source point of a communication. (Synonymous here: cause and source, effect and receipt.) And if he discovers himself suddenly on the receipt end of something, this fellow is really dismayed. Here he has this basic consideration that he’s being cause point, and then all of a sudden, he receives something! Now that would be a breakdown — basically and primarily — of his Is-ness. His reality.

If a person’s basic consideration is violated it would be a breakdown of his Is-ness.

He then can have a break of reality only to the degree that other-determinism brings into question the postulate on which he is operating. You see, you could have a break of reality only to the degree that other-determined-hammer-pound brings about an invalidation of the postulate on which he is basically running.

There is other-determinism that brings his basic consideration into question.

He says, I am cause and I am being a good fellow and I am doing this and doing that — and all of a sudden, he gets jailed. My, this is upsetting. But what is his basic consideration? That he is occupying a cause point.

This can be very upsetting.

Let’s take the example of somebody who is in a condition and who is trying to change this condition. Now we’ve entered into another level. We’ve entered into Not-is-ness and then we’ve entered into Alter-is-ness, you see. He has a terrible ill. He has this mental difficulty. He has some other difficulty or other and he now says it mustn’t exist. And in his next statement he says, all right now, don’t exist.

Well, what do you know, it keeps on existing. Well, all right, he says, I’ll change it on a gradient scale. I’ll chip away at the corners of it.

He’ll at length decide that he can’t do anything about it.

One of the actions that he would finally do would be to draw a black curtain over the whole thing. That’s one of the basic reactions of Not-is-ness. He says, Now, look, I can’t change it at all, so he’s trying to affect a Not-is-ness by using Alter-is-ness. Not-is-ness would not take place by a postulate, he discovered (or thought he discovered), so the basic thing he must do immediately then is start changing it on a gradient scale, which is to say Alter- is-ness — and it just stays right there. And he is already running on a failed postulate of Not-is-ness. His activity of change is then proceeding from the basic postulate that it must not be, which is proceeding from another basic postulate that it is, which is proceeding from the basic postulate that he’s there in the first place. You see that we’re just proceeding from the basic postulate that there must be a there for him to be at.

So, we trace back these basic postulates and we discover a little rule here. An individual has a condition and the condition continues to exist as long as the individual has a condition. It sounds like an idiotic little rule but it’s a very, very true little rule. It will continue as long as he has a condition. So, every time you find a condition? He must have a postulate about the condition before he has the condition. So, every time you find a condition there’s a postulate.

In order to get over something you have to have postulated that you have it. In order to recover you must postulate that you have something from which to recover. In order to go through the actions of emptying a pocketbook you had to have postulated that it was full and should be emptied.

Every time you find an unwanted condition there is a postulate that is keeping that condition there.

One is all too prone to look at existence and say, well, there’s existence there and now we’ll make some postulates. No. This is not quite the direction of drift. You’d have to make the postulate to have existence there so that you could make some postulates to recover from having the existence there. And any condition to have any existence or persistence must be based on time of some sort. There must be a time postulate.

And we find that an individual doesn’t have time unless he continues to postulate it and ceases to have time to the degree that he ceases to postulate it.

When I say cease to postulate time, I wouldn’t want you for a moment to get the idea that there is any witchcraft involved, that you have to go out with spider-webs and mix them up with four quarts of morning sunlight and stir them all up with a whisker. There’s no witchcraft involved in making this postulate. It’s simply this kind of a postulate: Continue: Just get the notion of continuing something and you’ll have a time continuum. Get the idea of a piece of space out in front of you and have the notion, Continue, about this piece of space. That’s making time. You’ve made time. That’s all the postulate there is. There isn’t even the words, “Now I am going to make some time and I am going to cause the time to persist and continue.” No, its just continue. You didn’t say continue.

Any condition is enduring because it is somehow being postulated continually.

This time continuum is a tremendously interesting thing particularly in view of the fact that so many people have agreed upon it, but their apparent agreement with it leads them to depend on other people, finally, to carry on the agreement while they just sit there. And what do you know, eventually they do just sit there. You’ll find many a person in this state, simply sitting at home in his bedroom, just sitting there. Well, he couldn’t have any motion, he says.

Motion consists of this: consecutive positions in a space. He’d have to conceive that he had some space, and that he’d have consecutive motions in it.

That continual postulate has become automatic. It has become integrated into a system.

If you could just ask such a person to go out and trim the hedge, just no more and no less than that, or if you asked him to go out and put pieces of chalk on the sidewalk all the way around the block every five feet — you would see considerable recovery in his case. Why? Well, he knows that he’d have to go all the way around the block or he knows that he would have to finish trimming the hedge, or he would have to come around to his door again in the block, or come around to the other side of the yard. In other words, he can continue to postulate a time continuum against the objects that are already there.

You could just say to this fellow, Get the idea of moving this dish. Now move it. Now get the idea of moving this dish again. Get the position you’re going to move it to now. Now move it. Now get the idea of moving this dish, now get the place you’re going to move it to and move it. Surprisingly enough an individual will sometimes turn on a violent body reaction on this.

By actively doing something different a person is departing from that condition of automaticity.

What’s kicking back there? It is the thetan’s agreement with the body, to the point where he’s saying he is the body, the body is himself — therefore everything that happens to the body is what happens to himself and everything that happens to himself happens to the body. In other words, he’s in a super-identification. And he would come through this to where he could have some future.

He is up against the automatic system.

What postulate is this individual already riding with? Let’s take a look at the Is-ness of this. He has to conceive that he has a body before he can recover from one.

And we get the salient and horrible fact that this whole thing is monitored by Is-ness. No matter how much Not-is-ness is taking place, you see Not-is-ness always pursuant to Is-ness. No matter how much Alter-is-ness takes place — you’ve got an As-is-ness, then Alter-is-ness has to take place to get an Is-ness. Is-ness is something that is persisting on a continuum. That is our basic definition of Is-ness. As-is-ness is something that is just postulated, or just being duplicated — no alteration taking place.

That automatic system is the Is-ness. It is the background fixation.

As-is-ness contains no life continuum, no time continuum. It will just go — every time you postulate a perfect duplicate for anything: same space, same object, same time — boom! If you postulated it all the way through, without any limiter postulate hanging around at all, it would just be gone and that’s all there is to it. It would be gone for everybody else, too.

As-is-ness makes the fixations disappear.

Now this, then, Is-ness, is your monitoring postulate. An individual couldn’t possibly get into trouble with As-is-ness. Unless you considered losing everything trouble — but it would be losing things which you either now didn’t want or had just postulated into existence.

Is-ness is the basic consideration of the individual that is monitoring his reality.

All As-is-ness is doing is merely accepting responsibility for having created it, and anybody can accept the responsibility for anything. That’s all As-is-ness is, when it operates as a perfect duplicate.

As-is-ness is taking responsibility for your actions.

There are two kinds of As-is-ness:

There is the As-is-ness where you postulate it in the space and time — you postulate it right there, and there it exists.

And then there is the As-is-ness where you re-postulate it. You just postulate it again.

As-is-ness comes about when you take actions in a responsible way, and also bear responsibility for the actions you have taken.

The object already exists, there is an Is-ness being approximated as an As-is-ness, and then it becomes an As-is that isn’t. It becomes, then, an actual Not-is-ness. So, if you created it, if you just created it as an As-is-ness, unless you altered it rapidly, you’d get this Not-is-ness. And if you exactly approximated an Is-ness as an As-is-ness, you would again get the same result. Same result both times — Not-is-ness. As-is-ness, perfectly done, if not followed by Alter-is-ness, becomes a Not-is-ness. Quickly and immediately. You’ve seen that as an auditor, erasing parts of the reactive bank — facsimiles, etc.

As-is-ness, perfectly done, if not followed by Alter-is-ness, becomes an actual Not-is-ness in terms of disappearance.

It hasn’t occurred to anybody yet, fortunately, to simply exactly approximate the body! Treat the body as an As-is-ness and go your way. Well, you say the body has a lot of facsimiles and so forth. Alright, treat them as the same As-is-ness, all in one operation — boom. Of course, you had to assume you had a body before you could possibly As-is it.

The body, in a way, represents the core of a person’s system of considerations.

Now, existence goes this way — this is the only error you could make, and this is another method, slightly, of getting a continuation, because it is an Alter-is-ness. There is an Alter-is-ness right there between Is-ness and Not-is-ness. The moment you say, “There it is, now I don’t want it and it doesn’t exist”, you’ve postulated that you’re changing it. It’s a very abrupt and particular kind of Is-ness — it’s a Not-is-ness.

If instead of following Is-nesses with Not-is-nesses, we followed them with As-is- nesses, nobody could ever possibly get into any trouble. The way you get into trouble is to follow an Is-ness with a blunt, thud, Not-is-ness. (1) There it is. (2) I don’t want it. (3) It isn’t. Oh ho! What’s the difference between these two operations? It’s a very interesting difference:

You’ve got an Is-ness. You have an ash tray, you don’t want the ash tray anymore, so the one operation, a correct one as far as you are concerned if you just really didn’t want it anymore, would be simply to do an As-is-ness. A perfect duplicate. Gone. You haven’t got an ash tray anymore. To follow an Is-ness with an As-is-ness, brings you into an actual Not-is- ness right there.

To follow an Is-ness with an As-is-ness, brings you into an actual Not-is-ness right there.

Or, on the other hand, you didn’t do an As-is-ness. And you’ve done what? You have refused the responsibility for having created it, and you have said, somebody else creates it and I don’t want it. You’ve said somebody else. You’ve postulated the existence of somebody else with regard to this thing and you’ve said, “Another determinism is placing this thing before me and therefore I don’t want it, so I’m going to say that it isn’t, but it really belongs to somebody else. We have to postulate another determinism, which is to say, refuse the responsibility for having created the object, before we can get such a thing as a Not-is-ness.

When you practice a large amount of Alter-is-ness, an unwanted Not-is-ness comes about.

Now, an individual can fail utterly. This is a very curious lot of phenomena that we are looking at here, and of course, we had no serious intent with this phenomenon, which is a fortunate thing. Otherwise, somebody realizing exactly how this is done, would sooner or later perhaps unmock the Republican Party or Russia, leave a hole, and of course to do that, you would have to accept the viewpoint of 200 million Russians. You could unmock Russia if you did that, but you would have to take full responsibility.

What is full responsibility? Full responsibility merely says: I created it. When you ask somebody to make a perfect duplicate of it, he’s going through the mechanics of creating it, therefore it disappears. He knows, unless he throws some other-determinism in on the thing, in other words practices some Alter-ism on its creator, that it’s not going to exist at all.

Full responsibility merely says: I created it.

The physical universe as we look at it right around us here is an Is-ness for one reason only. We all agree that somebody else created it, whether that is God or Mugjub or Bill. We agree that somebody else brought these conditions into existence, and so long as we are totally agreed on this, boy have we got everything solid. And the moment we agree otherwise, and we say, Well, we made it — it starts to get thin. This will worry a preclear for a moment. It’s just as if he feels he could never make another one. It’ll get thin.

The universe is not just physical. It is everything. The “physical universe” is a created consideration. That is the Is-ness for most people in the West.

In the processing of reality, then, if you handled Is-ness all by itself, you would simply have an individual start looking at what he considers to exist. And the most solid manifestation of that would be the space in the vicinity, the walls in the vicinity, and so on. That would be the most elementary process that we could do. Just start spotting spaces and walls and let what happens happen. That’s all. Just ask the individual to keep on spotting things, very permissively. Suppose he kept on looking at them with his physical vision — we find that he would get up to a certain level and then he’d start to have body somatics (Somatics: perceptions, stemming from the Reactive Bank, of past physical pain or discomfort, restimulated in present time) because making the body do this continually is actually processing a reality vaguely in the direction of an As-is-ness. It’s not bluntly or sharply in the direction of As-is-ness. It’s just asking them to process it a little bit in that direction:

“Let’s take the spaces around here just as you see them.” And of course, after a while, the walls are going to get brighter and brighter and duller and duller and — gone.

The most elementary process would be to compare your Is-ness (what you consider to be there) to what actually exists around you. Just start spotting spaces and walls and let what happens happen. That’s all. That will take care of a lot of your fixations.

Well, when they get brighter, that’s all right. The body will still feel all right, but when it starts dulling down the body doesn’t like this. It does not think this is the best thing to do. It would not recommend this as subject matter for an article in a body-building magazine. Because the body knows it will fall if it stands in space. Therefore, this very, very simple process would not necessarily have to be completed by remedying havingness, but just by getting the fellow to close his eyes, and spot anything he could see, no matter how vaguely, as a thetan. Just spot anything he sees. If he sees a nothingness, O.K., if he sees a somethingness, O.K. Just get him spotting. We don’t care what he sees. We might indicate various directions but we would make a very bad mistake if we indicated them as body directions. On your right. On your left. Above your head. Oh no, no. We just ask him to look around, and what he sees, spot a couple of spots on it. Did you do that? Now something else, spot a couple more spots on that. Well, we know already that if we’ve run it permissively in the environment, he’s had to point them out and walk around to them. He will obey orders. Now that we’ve got him to a point where he will physically obey commands we can trust him to close his eyes and spot spots or spot spaces or spot anything he wants to spot with his eyes closed. We just simply keep on spotting them, and that would be the most elementary process there is in Scientology.

Simply have him close his eyes and start spotting whatever is there in the space around him (not in any direction). These things would be his Is-ness mostly.



The automaticity of life is composed of all your considerations locked together forming a system. This system is your Is-ness that monitors your reality.

Every time you find an unwanted condition there is an automatic postulate that is keeping that condition there. When you actively do something different you are departing from that condition of automaticity. As-is-ness comes about when you take actions in a responsible way, and also bear responsibility for the actions of the past. It makes fixations disappear.

The most elementary process would be to compare your Is-ness (what you consider to be there) to what actually exists around you. Just start spotting spaces and walls and let what happens happen. That’s all. That will take care of a lot of your fixations. You may also close your eyes and start spotting whatever is there in the space around you.


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