Project: Hubbard 1954: The Phoenix Lectures

This paper presents Chapter 12 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.



Time is the subject which was introduced very early into this universe, and it has been with it ever since. The very obviousness of time has obfuscated time. Time is something that one can easily not have enough of and at the same time have too much of. And at the same time not be in.

Time is the duration of energy. Energy came about as a Static potential transformed into a Kinetic form similar to a pendulum starting its swing. With energy came time. Time depends on the energy one has and how long it is lasting.

The whole subject of time is a confusing subject because it is a consideration which took place along with — not after or before — because there wasn’t any time at the moment the consideration called time was made. It took place along with space-energy. So, it was space-energy-time or energy-space and time.

Time is part of the definition of energy. Space is the energy of lowest vibrations Mass is the energy of highest vibrations. So, we have space-energy-mass as the spectrum of energy and time. These may be seen as very fundamental postulates and considerations.

Time was created immediately after these basic postulates with the postulate of change, or the introduction of policy, and as soon as policy comes in or new considerations come in then we begin to get consecutive time.

Energy endures while its form changes. Thus, a sequence of changing forms appear. This gives the impression of time passing.

The first few Board Minutes of any corporation are more or less nebulous with regard to time. They might as well have all taken place in zero minutes at the beginning of the world. You see that it doesn’t matter. The people who elect the Board of Directors are the Board of Directors before they elect the Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors precipitate from an idea of Board of Directors. It is potential becoming actual. Time comes about as energy transforms from potential to actual.

Now you are the space before you make the space. You are the energy before you make the energy. After you make the energy you are before the energy. The time which is postulated at that point is postulated at a time when there is no time, which is not any time at all, which might as well be now as then. You might as well be postulating time just this very instant which is the time you postulated at the beginning of this universe.

At the beginning there is potential only and nothing exists actually. Even consciousness is potential. One may say potential comes before actual but those are two very different levels. Time applies to actuality only. Time begins for a cycle of action whenever it transitions from potential to actual.

This instant in absence of the consideration called time is the instant of the creation of this universe, is the instant of the end of this universe. If no time has been postulated, then all time would be one time.

A potential is totally static. There is no differentiation of beginning from end. Time exists only as a potential.

A preclear who ceases to postulate time ceases to have time. And that’s the first thing you can learn about time. Unless you’re putting things on the future time track consistently and continually, you will not have any time track, because — was there a Board of Directors or a single Director at the beginning of track of this universe who made all the postulates, then elected you to the Board afterwards? Or were you part of the Board?

To “postulate time” is to make a transition from potential to actual. If a person does not make that transition, he would have neither energy nor time. One must continually postulate future to have it. If there were consciousness at the beginning it was potential too. It also becomes actual with the transition.

Well, you could be running on this very well simply being recruited to this particular organization called Physical Universe. You could be — and have been — recruited to it afterwards, but the moment you were recruited to it you could only have been recruited to it if you had agreed to its time continuum. In other words, if you had agreed to a uniform rate of change, and had you agreed to this uniform rate of change you would then have a uniform rate of change. Otherwise you’d be in 1776, or 2060, while everybody else was in 1954. You see, you’d be somewhere, something, and sometime.

The so-called “physical universe” is simply the physical aspect of the Universe (Eighth Dynamic). You were part of theta aspect of the Universe, and in sync with its time before you separated as a “thetan”. You are simply making your way back to the original state.

You are not being “recruited back by the physical universe”. You are not being made to agree to the uniform rate of change of the physical universe. That is merely the fixation of Hubbard.

Well, in view of the fact that the particles themselves of this universe are a matter of consideration, stem from consideration, are themselves consideration — the space in which those particles exist are themselves considerations — we are not then at any time dealing with anything else but considerations.

Considerations are relatively potential. They become actual in the form of “space-energy-mass” with duration (time). Underlying this spectrum of energy with varying duration are universal principles, which are part of the universal consciousness.

We’re dealing with considerations, and these considerations are only complicated and fixed to the degree that they are agreed upon. If you have agreed solidly with these considerations why then, you have the considerations with which you’ve agreed. It was not necessary for you to be the prime mover to be part of this universe.

These considerations exist midway between the potential and actual. They are constantly changing while maintaining continuity, harmony and consistency among themselves. They fall out from their natural state when they become fixed. Such fixation may arise when a gradient is violated because of a sudden change or shock. The fixation becomes stronger as it is further agreed upon. There is no Prime Mover. Motion is part of the characteristics of this universe.

The moment you have agreed to the considerations which compose this universe, you are at its inception, you are at its end, you are at its present, but you are running under the consideration that time is taking place. And as long as you are running under that consideration you say fine, we’ll go along the time track. Wonderful. Time is progressing. You start looking at clocks. Clocks are keeping time for me, the bus schedule’s keeping time for me, the motion of the earth is keeping time for me, the precession of planets and stars are keeping time for me, everything is keeping time for me, my wife keeps time for me by serving breakfast at a certain time, everybody keeps time for me… time? Time? Time… what… what time? What time is it? Do I have any time?

It appears as considerations when you look back, but it is one phenomenon and you are part of it. It is a matter of being, and not some kind of agreement after separation. Time is part of existence as its duration. The existence is going through its natural evolution. Clocks reflect a constant rate of progression of time and you use it as a reference point to coordinate your activities.

No, you’ve become motionless. You became dependent on everything else to keep time and make the considerations and then you didn’t continue to agree with those considerations that are made. All you’d have to do is just go on agreeing with those considerations — you’d move right on along the time track, just as nice as you please. But if you just drop out of the basis of consideration, drop your own consideration of the fact that time is taking place — at that moment time ceases to take place.

The background duration of the universe, through a constant progression of change, provides a basis for comparison for all activities including the motion of the planets. You may look at all time from a certain viewpoint but that doesn’t mean you have become motionless. You are simply aware of these considerations and not fixated on them. Shutting off that awareness would be Not-is-ness.

Because time is a consideration and these other things are consideration, it doesn’t mean then that after this consideration was made all considerations start moving. Should we make a consideration that there is time, then this doesn’t immediately put all considerations in motion or create anything more than that which is already created with considerations, with the changing factor of time.

The definition of time itself is very important to you. Time is the co-action of particles. You can’t have action of particles at all unless you have space. If you have space, then you can have change in space, and when you have a change in space then you have a different time.

The basic considerations of space-energy-time occur as one. Energy maintains its continuity despite any change. To co-action of particles takes place because there is time (duration).

There’s the time from the moment the particle was at position A — that’s one time, now another time when the particle has been moved to position B. There could have been no motion taking place whatsoever unless you had made a postulate of motion from position A to position B, and if you had made this consideration “from position A to position B”, then you would have motion and you would have time, because you said position B is then a later time than position A.

There has to be endurance of energy for it to be able to shift around. That shifting around must be in continuous infinitesimal steps.

A later time — what is this word time? You might as well have said this: “there’s a consecutive shift of position”. You ask somebody, “What consecutive shift of position is it?” And if he answered you truly, he would say, “It is the 15th degree position past zenith of the sun on its 200th revolution since its Winter Solstice.” Quarter after twelve to you. 200th day of the year. That’s time. If the sun hadn’t shifted 200 times you wouldn’t have had 200 days.

Different times are represented by different configurations of energy. Changes in configurations are measured from some reference point.

But it isn’t that that is making it simply because it marks it. Let’s look at that now. Just because it’s doing it is no reason it is creating it. It is simply a particle which is moving in space. Earth is a particle which is revolving in space. And the sun wouldn’t be there, unless we were running on the basic consideration and agreement that it was there.

We have the basic considerations of the spectrum of energy with its durations and shifts in configurations. This is the Is-ness. No agreement is necessary.

Here is an example of that simple change-of-position idea: I pick up a book, and just consider at this moment everything’s static, no motion at this instant — no time, no motion. A new instant. You see that it does not require articulation or verbalization or anything else. It’s so simple that it is overlooked. In order to conceive that this book can move from a position on the desk over to a second position, one must simple have conceived a new set of considerations which are consecutive in each position of motion over to this new position. And each one of these is after the consideration that the book was here. Now it’s very embarrassing when an auditor is running the process Opening Procedure by Duplication and he tells the preclear, every time he picks up an object, to duplicate it — if the auditor forgets to have him consider that it’s there again, because it’s an invalidation of the preclear — the preclear makes a perfect duplicate of it and the object isn’t there. When going back to that object a new time the auditor, if he’s using “make a perfect duplicate of it” as part of his routine, had better then also say just before he sends him back toward this book: “Consider there’s a book over there”. Because as far as the preclear’s concerned he’s just unmocked it, and if you’re working with a preclear who’s getting into good shape, that book will be invisible. So, he has to consider there’s a book there, then he has to consider that he has moved across to it there, and he has to consider that all these things are taking place, and if he does, he has time. Time is the co-action of particles.

So, there is a particular configuration of energy at the instant of picking up the book. Other configurations follow continuously as the book is shifted. Duplicating the book does not make the book vanish, only the misconceptions. The book is still there the next time, the person is supposed to pick it up. Maybe the person’s attention is no longer on it. You can simply say, “Look at the book over there.” The book is enduring. You just have to manage your misconceptions of it.

Now the time that we’re dealing with is a time with which we can stay in good agreement. It’s a uniform rate of change. In other words, we are considering and considering and considering and considering and considering. We could be doing it very rapidly with regard to a particle for instance in the wall. We consider that it’s there, and let’s say the wall is being pulled this way — we consider it’s there, it’s there, there, there, in other words we keep considering that that particle is coming closer. It takes a brand-new consideration every time to have a particle and to have a space to move it in. Every time you see a particle move, actually somewhere in some automatic fashion and so on, we don’t care about the mechanism, you have to consider space-particle-position, space-particle-position, space-particle-position, space-particle- position. You get motion. You’ll get an airplane going overhead, and for you to see it go overhead you’ll have to be saying space-airplane-position, space-airplane-position, space-airplane-position, space-airplane-position — and you’ll see a jet plane go across the sky. But if you aren’t at least agreed to this, you won’t see any airplane go across the sky, you won’t have any space, and it certainly will have no position.

In dealing with time it is simply a matter of being aware of changes in configurations as they take pace. Of course, you keep the reference of background duration in mind to keep your observation consistent. The closer to infinite is the background duration, the more uniform are your observations. It is not a literal considering again and again and again. It is simply the awareness of change against a uniform background. A “space-particle-position” simply means a “new configuration” of energy to be aware. You lose awareness when you don’t have active attention. Hubbard is using the word “consideration” to mean “attention”.

Now what happens to an individual when his time factor starts to go to pieces? He gets stuck in time. He gets stuck at those moments when he is sufficiently rattled, confused or upset, in other words is given a new consideration that all is confused, and he doesn’t at that moment have time to make new considerations that there is time or agree with the fact there is time. Or he resents the fact that there is time, and so he loses time, so he gets stuck on the time track.

It isn’t energy that sticks anybody on the time track. It’s this fact. Somebody told him to move, and he resented it, so he didn’t move. What’s he done? He has fallen out of agreement about the progress of particles.

Communication itself has been used to shift his consideration about considerations. Somebody demonstrates to him completely that these are time. They tell him to stay in one place. You can demonstrate that to an individual very easily with a bullet. He’s going ahead, beautiful automaticity, just mocking up things flying here and things flying there, regiments of soldiers marching here and marching there, and in one way or another why he’s just as much part of the enemy as he is part of himself, but he’s got a new consideration that he is part of himself, and this bullet comes through space, and if he were able to see it — a Civil War cannonball for instance he could have seen very easily, they only travel about sixty miles an hour — and he would have done this space-particle-position, you know, space-cannonball-position, space-cannonball-position, space-cannonball-position, space… BOOM. He has just considered himself into a complete confusion, hasn’t he? He’s considered himself right on down the line to an impact, so he says, “Now look, the best thing to do — when you see anything that even faintly resembles a cannonball — you don’t say ‘space-particle-position, space-particle-position’. No, you don’t. You say, Nothing.” The fellow’s learned to keep his mouth shut.

 “We don’t see cannonballs.” Nope. But he’s in agreement with the man on the right and he’s in agreement with the man on the left, and they’re in agreement with the man on the right and the left, and he’s standing on the ground and he’s in agreement with the body, and all these things are thoroughly in agreement with the fellow who fired the cannonball, and so the cannonball will come across anyway. And boy, is he invalidated now! On his right and his left and behind him and below him he stayed in agreement with all other things which were in agreement on the subject of rate of change. He stayed in agreement with all these other things which were saying space-particle- position, so he’s saying “space-particle-agreement”, unwillingly unwittingly. And this will leave him really hung. This will leave him with a certain unreality.

Well, he’s postulated no time, and so he can get stuck on the time track. You see that? Only his mockup is kind of thin, because he depended for the solidity of mockups such as the material universe on all these other people mocking ‘em up too. Everybody’s mocking them up. He’s just staying in agreement with everybody, and he doesn’t quite have to mock them up, so what has he got now? He’s got a dependency upon the agreement to keep time for him. So, if he’s done this then he’s lost his power to completely unmock everything, hasn’t he?

A person’s time factor (awareness) starts to go to pieces when his attention gets stuck on a particular configuration of energy. The change was such that he got rattled, confused or upset, for example, when he got shot by a bullet. He couldn’t follow the bullet because it was extremely fast, and he could not get out of the way. He gets stuck at that moment.

Time as you conceive it, the time that is running on your watch, is simply the motion of a bunch of little wheels and a couple of hands and a second hand. And that’s just consecutive motions. Those are changes in space. And everywhere you look, mechanically you will find that time never amounts to anything else than a change of position of a particle in space. You see we have two conditions here. If something is postulating the change of position of a particle in space, and you’re agreeing with that something, then you will get a change of position of particle in space. It’s just a consecutive consideration, but that is all time ever is. The change of position of particle in space. To see anything, you have to have space-particle-position.

Space-particle-position is the change in energy configuration. It is visible because of the endurance of energy. Time is that endurance, which makes the change in form visible.

Now in order to stay in good agreement it would be a very, very good thing to have a uniform rate of change, wouldn’t it? “Let’s all together now chant” — the universe is saying — let’s all together chant space-particle-position, space-particle-position, space-particle-position, and we’ll chant it together so that we are all uniformly saying it and we will then have time because we’re saying it and not for any other reason. We are postulating it. And so, we’ve got space-particle-position, space-particle-position, space-particle-position as the hymn of time itself. And it goes right on running all the way down any years that are because those are the years.

The universe has infinite endurance. Stars and planets have nearly fixed rate of change in form. We use such change that may remain constant for the duration of the universe, as our reference to measure time.

Let’s not get divided up again on the subject of, “Well, now there’s thought”. The old Theta-MEST theory is a terrifically interesting theory simply because it led into this. The idea that there was a universe and that there was thought — theta without wavelength, without mass, without time, without position in space: this was Life. And that was impinged upon something else called the physical universe, which was a mechanical entity which did things in a peculiar way, and these two things together, theta-MEST interacting, gave us life forms. But then we get a further refinement of that.

Theta and Mest are simply the two ends of a continuous scale of the Universe (Eighth Dynamic). Both Theta and MEST are the Kinetic expression of Static potential. Both Theta and MEST are evolving together—MEST forms the things and Theta forms their vibrations, which appear as properties.

We find that the physical universe itself is simply this chanted space-particle-position, so MEST is coming from thought itself, so what do we get? We get the appearance of the physical universe having a seniority in mechanics. It appears to be above consideration, because of the agreements you have made with so many people concerning the continuation of it.

The physical universe is mainly identified with condensed energy, or matter, where vibrations are extremely high, and they fall in a narrow range of the energy spectrum. The bodies operate in this range. Their vibrations form the basis for our sense of time.

Continuation itself is another word which could be supplanted for time and so is survival. Now, what then would we say is the common denominator of time? Consideration.

Below this level, in the field of mechanics, what would we say is the common denominator of time? Change. That is the one thing we could say was the common denominator of all kinds of time anywhere, anyhow, in any universe.

Time is duration that appears as continuation of energy. While continuing, energy changes in form. This provides the sense of time passing. Considerations of space-energy-mass and time were set right in the beginning when Static transitioned into Kinetic. The varying considerations of form then bring changes. Both ‘duration of energy’ and ‘changes in its forms’ contribute to the sense of time.

Now let’s not lose that one. A certain set of particles or a certain body of individualized life forms, or an automaticity postulated by such life forms, could go on saying that there are a certain set of particles, they’re moving in a uniform rate of change, and they’re postulating the same space over and over again — and we would get at that moment a uniform time continuum. And that is a condition which has to exist in a universe, and it is that which makes a universe peculiar. It’s the time continuum for that universe. In other words, it’s this agreed upon chant. It’s where we are chanting and with whom we are chanting, that makes the universe.

The universe is made of a spectrum of energy. Each energy on the spectrum has its own duration. But these energies transform into each other. One or another form of energy is always present. Therefore, the duration of the universe is infinite. Matter particles have the highest duration, se we use that as the background duration (basis of our reference), or as the time continuum of the universe.

So, we have the people of earth and this universe chanting or simply agreeing with something that is chanting space-particle-position. And so, we’ve got time, time, time, time, time.

If all of a sudden, the chant stopped, nothing would move. You might still have some space on a hangover of a past consideration or something, but you wouldn’t have any new particles moving anywhere. The walls would simply vanish, the space go, to a very marked degree. Everything would kind of look like a Black V (Black V: a heavily occluded case characterized by mental pictures consisting of masses of blackness. This is a “Step V” in early procedures such as Standard Operating Procedure 8.) caving in on himself. That’s the way things would look if this stopped. It would look just like that because that’s what he’s done.

Then in order for a person to have time, to be in present time, it is necessary to be in contact, at least in contact, with those particles which are being formed by this continuous hymn to time. It’s at least necessary to be in contact with the particles. If we’re not, we’re out of time.

If we’re simply agreeing, then we’re out of time, and we get stuck on the time track, stuck in old facsimiles, all messed up — we’re not postulating any time at all, and we’re not looking at any time particles, not looking at any particles or their change, and as a result — where’s anybody going to get any time?

He has to either himself start chanting space-particle-position, space-particle-position, space-particle-position, until he gets time going again for himself, or you have him feel the walls, and feeling the walls, he’ll say, “Ah, what do you know!” He’s getting into time.

Agreement is a very important thing because the thetan begins to depend upon the universe keeping its own chant and stops chanting himself.

A person who is totally interiorized with attention fixated on his facsimiles has no time. To have time he must have some attention exterior to himself on his surroundings. When he goes around and feels the walls, his attention comes out of fixation and back into the time stream. It is simply a matter of freeing up of attention from fixation. Agreement simply fixes the attention.

What happens if he does things? He has to agree with something which is vibrating, doesn’t he? So, he himself becomes mass. And that’s how a thetan becomes mass. He’s not chanting anymore, so he goes one hundred percent into agreement with something that is doing the chanting and then he falls away from agreement with what he was depending on to keep on agreeing with him for.

A thetan is not a thing. It is a piece of theta that has individuated from the universal theta. The universal theta is vibrating with and duplicating everything. By individuating the thetan has ceased to vibrate with things around him. He tries to mimic them to be able to function. He starts to depend on them.

He depends upon that wall, decides that wall is harmful to him, and he’s no longer chanting. He’s no longer now in contact with the wall because it’s dangerous. Where’s he going to get any time? He isn’t going to get any. He may fish around and contact another time continuum in another universe and be to some vague degree in contact with that time continuum — another entire body of beings and automaticities chanting space-particle-position, space-particle- position, space-particle-position, space-particle-position. Another song going on.

A preclear gets out of time. He himself is sort of mocked up in agreement, therefore he gets to vibrating and he as a thetan vibrates out of phase with. He’s vibrating bobobobobobop, and the walls are vibrating bap bap bap bap bap bap. Oh, he’d say, what time is it?

He’d have to get some kind of a duplication to run this out or straighten it out. Just by having him contact the walls of any universe by the Opening Procedure of S.O.P. 8C you get him straightened out on his vibrations and he stops being so much mass — simply by getting him into good agreement.

The resolution of fixation that made him individuate from universal theta is the key. That is the main reason why he is not in touch with the things around him. That fixation may be made up of many misconceptions and resulting consequences. He may be living in an alternate reality. SOP 8C helps free up the attention of a person from deep fixation.

If the common denominator of time is change, then why do you think a preclear is so anxious to change? What is his anxiety about change? Well, he is doubly inverted — he finally depended on just agreement alone. He wasn’t postulating time anymore and he was just depending on this universe alone to say change change change change change — change of position of particle in space, change of position of particle in space, change, change, change.

He has (1) depended on that, (2) stopped depending on that, (3) fallen away from it, and (4) says:

“Look. Wait a minute. To have any survival or to go on with any of these items or any of these responsibilities or anything, something has got to change around here. So, let’s change, change. Let’s change other things. Oh, I can’t change those. People are easy to change, so let’s try to change those…. Well, I can’t change those. I’ll change myself, change myself, change myself, I’ll change myself, change, change, change, change, change, chan, chan, cha, cha, cha, chachacha …. BOOM.”

Totally-fixed-self-personal-time-track-with-no-agreement-any-place-else which looks like a solid mass, because it’s changing so fast and there’s nobody agreeing with it — and he’s gone out the bottom. And that is why people get into compulsive change.

8-C Opening Procedure will get people out of that. Opening Procedure by Duplication will resolve this because you’re changing at a uniform rate, and you, the auditor, are in agreement with him, and as a result he will be able to come on up out of it until he has re-timed.

The individual has simply fallen away from universal theta. It is no longer vibrating in sync with the rest of the universe. He is trying to get back in sync, and that puts him in the mode of compulsive change. Open Procedure by Duplication will help him get back in sync to some degree.

A preclear who is having any difficulty at all, the first thing that would be wrong with him is that he’d be out of time as a car gets out of time and its motor doesn’t run well. He’s going off on his own time factor which to he aberrative to him would have to be totally automatic. He’d have to have set it up and now be unconscious of it. And he’s out of time, and that’s why he’s obsessively changing, and why the individual who is worst off will want to change the fastest and the hardest and has the most compulsion and obsession about it.

The individual who is worst off will want to change the fastest and the hardest and has the most compulsion and obsession about it.

So, we see what this subject of time is all about, how it is possible to process it, and we see that we have been processing it all along.



Theta and MEST are simply the two ends of a continuous scale of the Universe (Eighth Dynamic). Both theta and MEST come about when the Static potential transforms into Kinetic form. We see this occurring when a pendulum starts its swing after stopping.

MEST stands for matter, energy, space and time. Matter is condensation of energy; hence, it is made up of energy of highest vibrations. Space defines the extents of matter; therefore, “empty” space is made up of energy of lowest vibrations. Space-energy-matter essentially provide a spectrum of energy. Energy endures while its form changes. The duration of energy is seen as time, while changes in energy forms give the impression of time passing.

Theta animates energy, and this natural animation is viewed as life. Basically, theta is the vibration of energy which manifests as various properties; but, the key manifestation of theta is thought.

The so-called “physical universe” is simply the physical aspect of the Universe. The spiritual aspect of the universe is thought or theta. These aspects are integrated together and form a continually evolving system. You were part of this theta, and in sync with the time of the universe before you individuated as a “thetan”. Now you are out of phase with the Universe’s time to some degree.


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