Project: Hubbard 1954: The Phoenix Lectures

This paper presents Chapter 16 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.


AXIOMS (Part 4)

Having these Axioms, we are now particularly interested in this whole subject of truth and its actual use in auditing. We see immediately that any problem of any character or scope is the basic business of a Scientologist. If you have someone who wants to know about solutions, you had certainly better give him not a solution to a problem but the solution to problems, and that of course would be a basic and ultimate truth. Well, if you can describe a basic and ultimate truth, and describe it exactly, you have no problem at all in solving problems.

We see that failure to discover truth brings about stupidity. A person begins to believe he’s stupid if he can’t As-is.

We see that the discovery of truth would bring about an As-is-ness, by actual experiment, and thus we see that an ultimate truth would have no time, place or form. Whatever we had there would simply disappear if we discovered an ultimate truth. The ultimate truth is a perfect duplicate and therefore a Static. And, operationally, to achieve a Static would be to make a perfect duplicate.

We see that a lie as we understand it is an alteration of time, place, event or form, and that only lies persist.

We have to have a basic postulate, and then another postulate, before we get time. Two postulates. We can’t have time with one postulate unless it is the postulate that there will be time. That could be one postulate. But normally in operation we find that two postulates are necessary to achieve time.

Now which one of these postulates is going to persist if the two postulates deny each other: the second one is going to persist, because it is the time postulate.

Lying becomes an Alter-is-ness and becomes stupidity. In other words, we don’t discover where the thing is, we don’t discover exactly how it is, so we can’t unmock it, and there we are. The only thing that we can do with it possibly is to Not-is it or Alter-is it some more or do what a Black V does — just stir it around and hope it will disappear. He doesn’t As-is it. It doesn’t disappear.

Oddly enough, lying will develop into a stupidity. It also develops into a mystery — into this blackness which individuals are so upset about. It’s just an alteration of time, place, event or form after the fact of its having been created.

There would be two kinds of lie here. A mechanical lie does not lead to blackness. Mechanical lie: we mockup some space, and we put an object in that space and then we move it. The moment we’ve moved it we’ve lied about it. We’ve said it’s over there when as a matter of fact it was created in the first location. Now in view of the fact that there is only consideration this of course would bring about mechanically a lie. It doesn’t disappear, it doesn’t do anything peculiar simply by moving it around. The mere handling of energy does not bring about a stupidity. It takes another consideration than simply moving something to bring about an occlusion.

We are looking at the subject of truth and its use in auditing of the mind and subject clearing. If you are interested in truth, you must attain a viewpoint from which you can see things as they are. The ultimate truth is seeing things as they are without filters, because a lie is the filter made up of our considerations that we interpose.

Hubbard is assuming that if we get rid of all our filters (considerations), there would be nothing left to see. Everything will reduce to a Static. In other words, anything that could be considered (including the observer) will simply reduce to a potential state.

But that is just theoretical speculation. There is a universe out there. We postulate and devise hypothesis to explain that universe. Our understanding of the universe is as good as our postulates and theories duplicate the universe. Religions have always proposed different hypotheses and theories to explain the universe.

According to the best theory, the basic substance of this universe is energy that operates on its own impulse. It has a large spectrum from thought to matter. Time is the duration of that energy. This duration increases as energy condenses from thought to matter. A postulate is a thought energy that hardly has a duration. It does not persist if it duplicates the universe, but if it does not duplicate, it persists as an idea to be worked upon.

If two postulates deny each other, we may not know which postulate is the first and which is the second, but both are persisting as part of an anomaly in our understanding, which does not duplicate the universe. There is a lie underlying that anomaly. We have taken that lie for granted. It is an ALTER-IS-NESS or NOT-IS-NESS of some aspect of this universe. We discover it by following the anomalies in data. And when we discover it, the misunderstanding vanishes, and we duplicate the universe better.

When a person cannot even see the anomalies then it becomes difficult for him to discover the lie. He cannot AS-IS the situation. He is stuck with the lie. This develops into stupidity and mystery. That lie is an alteration and denial of time, place, form and event. ALTER-IS-NESS is a form of a lie, but it does not bring about stupidity, but NOT-IS-NESS does. A person NOT-ISES to justify some fixation, and that fixation is the cause of stupidity. Miracles are a form of mystery and stupidity because something about the universe is not understood, but it is explained away.

Now, anything to persist must avoid As-is-ness, and thus anything to persist, really to persist, must contain a lie. And we get the next Axiom:

IS-NESS that is persisting is being filtered through one’s considerations. It will be perceived more clearly if those filters are removed. These filters avoid AS-IS-NESS in order to persist. So, they are like lies.


Now what do we find here, in a problem? We find something which is persisting, the As-is-ness of which cannot readily be obtained and would be the definition of a problem. Now to solve that problem it would be necessary to get its As-is-ness. Well, how do we prevent something from being As-ised, in other words vanished? We introduce a lie into it.

There are problems in life. Some problems get solved. Others persist. The problems that persist are difficult to AS-IS. In other words, in these cases, it is difficult to see what is really there. Something is preventing AS-IS-NESS. That something is a lie and underlying that is a fixation.

KHTK AXIOM 39: Life poses problems for its own solution.


When the preclear is being a problem, we know very well that there’s a lie somewhere on the track that he’s trying to obtain the As-is-ness of. It’s not necessarily his lie, but it certainly is a lie. And under Axiom Forty we get:

An “unsolvable problem” would have the greatest persistence.

It would also contain the greatest number of altered facts. To make a problem, one must introduce Alter-is-ness.

In other words, this problem must have been moved and shifted and shoved around considerably to be unsolvable.

We come across problems that appear unsolvable. We have to start with some postulate to solve such a problem. If a postulate is letting us nowhere close to a solution, then that postulate is not the truth. We need to come up with a different postulate. Such trial and error may finally lead to overcoming some fixation and finding the lie. The truth would be the solution.

KHTK AXIOM 40: Any problem, to be a problem, must contain a lie. If it were truth, it would unmock.


Any time you Alter-is something you’ve got a problem on your hands.

This whole universe, then, is a problem. Therefore, this whole universe must contain a lie to go on persisting the way it does. It certainly does contain Alter-is. It certainly does contain a lie. It contains a variety of lies about its creation, and there are all sorts of things about this universe which cause its persistence, and all of those things boil down to the one fact that it must be based upon a lie and it must be very definitely altered.

Axiom Forty-one tells us that it was alteration which brought the preclear into a problem, thus we find any child who has moved extensively, who has had his home changed, who has been shoved around to various parts of the world, eventually becomes a problem, first to the environment and then to himself.

Any time you ALTER-IS something you add another wrinkle to IS-NESS. This may generate or worsen a problem. The universe is not a problem, but its altered view is. We postulate that it was created. We don’t know if that postulate is correct.

When we say that the universe is persisting, it is actually our view of the universe that is persisting. It comes down to examining our considerations about the universe for ALTER-IS. It is the ALTER-IS we are not aware of, which causes a problem.

KHTK AXIOM 41: That into which alter-is-ness is introduced becomes a problem.


It is a problem because it contains Alter-is-ness.

Your physicist is busily at work trying to unmock it but he is unmocking it by Not-is-ness. He’s using force to alter force, and because he keeps altering it, it all naturally just gets worse and worse. He will solve nothing with an atom bomb. He will simply make things go worse, more complicated, more confused, more dispersed. The atom bomb is a dead-end track and is folly, it is great folly.

If an atom bomb were introduced into a war the number of particles and the amount of MEST which would be altered, we would discover immediately, would have introduced a great number of lies into the situation, it would have deteriorated the society and everything else. If we were foolish enough, for instance, to atom bomb Russia, or if Russia were foolish enough to atom bomb the United States, enough confusion would have been introduced into the cultures of earth so that probably there would be no other choice but to sink into a barbarism, in the absence of an understanding of life itself.

MEST is a problem because it is an altered view of the universe. Scientology postulates that MEST (physical) universe produced by the Theta universe. This could be an ALTER-IS. KHTK, therefore, postulates that Theta-MEST is a single universe.

The physicist has been focusing only the physical aspect of the universe. He has been ignoring the innate impulse that underlies energy. The atom bomb simply releases this impulse in an uncontrolled, destructive manner. The same impulse is better controlled in the computer technology.

KHTK AXIOM 42: MEST (matter, energy, space, time) persists because its Theta aspect is being ignored.


Time states the untruth of consecutive considerations.

I call your attention to interest, as an interesting thing to observe. There are two classes of interest, and we want to know why we’re thinking about this in terms of time, and this is because time is the basic lie behind all lies. We believe there are consecutive moments. We see consecutive motions and this all very pleasant — we agree to this — and it’s only when we have masked them with some vicious intent that we really get a kick-back from the progress of time.

But we discover here in the matter of interest that we have two facets: one is “interested”, and the other is “interesting”.

A thetan is interested, and an object is interesting. A thetan is not interesting. He is interested. And when a person becomes terribly interesting, he has lots of problems, believe me. That is the chasm that is crossed. That is the chasm, which is crossed by all of your celebrities, anybody who is foolish enough to become famous. He crosses over from being interested in life to being interesting, and people who are interesting are really no longer interested in life. It’s very baffling to some young fellow why he can’t make some beautiful girl interested in him. Well, she is not interested, she is interesting.

Time denotes duration of energy. This duration increases as the energy condenses from thought to matter. As a result, less condensed energy appears to be in motion compared to more condensed energy. We incorrectly focus on the duration associated with matter (condensed energy) only as the characteristic of time.

It seems that as energy gets more condensed it becomes “interesting”. A less condensed energy appears to be “interested”. When a person becomes more “interesting” he has become more condensed in his considerations. Fixations come about as considerations become condensed. The person then becomes more of a problem.

Consecutive moments appear only because of the play of energy of different condensations. A shock in time is a sudden shift in the gradient of energy.

KHTK AXIOM 43: Fixation is the primary source of untruth.

Fixation condenses consecutive considerations thus generating untruth.


We have put it right in there again just to drive it home well. There’s no time in this Static. Time is a lie.

Time can be postulated by the Static but is only a consideration and thereafter a thetan gets the idea that he is persisting across a span of time, and he is not.

He is not persisting. Objects are going across time, and energies and spaces are changing, but he is not. At no time does he actually change. He has to consider he is out of his head before he can be out of his head.

A Step V, or Black Five, is quite interesting in this regard. He is always thinking the auditor’s going to reach in and pull him out of his head. He’s waiting for something else to do it! Of course, you could probably hypnotize him and tell him that he was, and he’d probably react in various ways, but he has to say, “I am now out of my head,” and then he will be out of his head. But “waiting to see” whether or not he’s out of his head is complete nonsense. The only way that he can get anything done, is to consider that it is done, or consider that that is the condition which exists.

Static is the potential state of the Theta-MEST spectrum. Theta is thought energy part of the spectrum. It has vibration. It is not the same thing as Static. This conflation between Theta and Static is the key error in the hypothesis of Hubbard.

Time is the duration of energy. It is extremely small for thought energy. Considerations do not persist unless they are anomalous with the universe and are waiting to be resolved. A Thetan is the sum total of persisting considerations. This persistence (fixation) becomes a problem when it is not resolved. A persisting condition of the thetan is fixation on the body. The only way not to be “inside the body” is simply not to have any attention on the body.

KHTK AXIOM 44: Theta is the thought energy aspect of the Theta-MEST spectrum that constitutes considerations.


Any time we fall away from Axiom One, which is repeated as Axiom Forty-four, we discover that we have less of a Static than before. In other words, we just place this Static, and it’s less of a Static. A thetan, then, can have a problem, just by being placed. Quite in addition to that he ceases to be quite as interested.

He himself, placing himself, can get away with it. This isn’t very hard for him to do. And he can perceive from this new place, and so forth, but as long as he is placed, he will be less than the Static. Just remember that. He is to that degree a problem.

When Theta is not Static, it is manifesting itself. In other words, its innate impulses are firing away. A thetan can have a problem only when it gets fixated and cannot resolve that fixation. He is then being more interesting than interested.

But if he can be fixated and un-fixated at will then there is no problem. He may be somewhat of a problem only during the period he is fixated.

KHTK AXIOM 45: Theta can consider itself to be fixated, at which moment it becomes fixated, and to that degree a problem.


A problem is to some degree MEST, MEST is a problem.

What is this MEST? We find that an interested thetan is a thetan, but an interesting thetan has become MEST. What is MEST? Well, it’s actually simply a composite of energies and particles and spaces which are agreed upon and which are looked at.

We have the difference between inflow and outflow. A thetan who is being interested is simply outflowing. Interested — outflowing. Interesting — inflowing. He wants the attention of others to flow in to him: interesting. That’s MEST. Attention of others flows to it. That doesn’t tell you that all MEST is is a series of trapped Thetans.

It says that it is a type of life which is being interesting, as opposed to something which is being interested in it.

Now, Number Forty-six: Theta can become a problem by its considerations, but then becomes MEST, is followed by this, that MEST is a problem, and will always be considered a problem, and is nothing else but a problem. MEST is that form of theta which is a problem. That’s all. Therefore, it is that form of theta which has a lie introduced into it. And so, of course, it is a problem.

When Theta is kinetic then, of course, it is energy of very low frequency, and there is corresponding space and time. But there is no matter.

As energy condenses, it starts to acquire properties that make it observable in terms of interactions. That makes it “interesting”. And that which is observing is the uncondensed thought energy. So, that thought energy is being “interested”.

Uncondensed energy can flow around very rapidly but condensed energy cannot flow or move that fast. That means problem is characterized by lack of motion and flexibility.

KHTK AXIOM 46: Theta becomes a problem by losing its motion and flexibility due to condensation.


Resolution of problem means reversing the process of condensation. It is lessening the rate of vibration. It is calming down. It is becoming less fixated and more flexible. That process is occurring in the field of computers and robotics; but it is very much in its infancy.

KHTK AXIOM 47: Theta can resolve problems.


Now that means that theta is the Static, and theta is the object? Yes, indeed. It can be both ways.

It all depends on which one is being interested and which one is being interesting. And we find that a preclear gets more and more solid the more interesting he becomes, and the more problem he becomes, the more problems he has and the more figuring he does on his problems, the more solid he is going to get.

“Theta as static” is the uncondensed energy. “Theta as MEST” is condensed energy. All energy is connected. The uncondensed energy can decondense the condensed energy. This is what happens when we help each other.

Energy get more condensed by being interesting and focused on itself. This is called interiorization. It decondenses by being interested in its environment and focused on others. This is called exteriorization.

KHTK AXIOM 48: Life is a game wherein Theta as un-condensed energy solves the problems of Theta as condensed energy.


That is a very, very important Axiom. That tells you why SOP 8C Opening Procedure works. It works because the main form of theta which we find desirable, which has mobility, which has freedom, which is happy, which is cheerful, which has all those qualities on the top of the Chart of Attitudes is an observer of problems and a solver of problems. So if you get somebody to simply look around the environment, he will cease to be a problem and will become the solver of problems. That’s all. Just looking.

Get him to look around and recognize a few problems and he will feel better. Somebody then who is worrying about himself constantly, well, he’s all mixed up in a problem and his affinity is at a closure with this problem. He’s having an awful time. Well let’s take this and turn it around the other way and let’s have him observe himself as a problem, and we get that part of the process which is “Problems and Solutions”. And naturally, if we asked a thetan to be a solution often enough, he would eventually become a Static. That’s all. If we asked him to observe problems long enough, he would simply become a Static. In other words, he would go out of it both ways.

A Thetan could become a problem, more of a problem, more of a problem, more of a problem, more and more and more and more and more and more — static. You see he could go “out the bottom”.

Or, he could go: less of a problem, less of a problem, less, less — static. He could go either way. So there’s no avoiding it, you’re going to survive anyway, and so are your preclears, but we’re going to have a better world doing it.

The SOP 8C works by getting a person to looking at the environment and getting interested in others rather than have attention on oneself and be interesting.

The key point is extroversion. One may even look at oneself from an extroverted viewpoint. He can do that by viewing oneself as a problem in the context of the present time environment and by not getting sucked into the mind in its past.

KHTK AXIOM 49: To solve any problem it is only necessary to become extroverted in one’s attention rather than introverted.


In other words, there isn’t a single piece of MEST in the world which isn’t to some degree lying.

Looking at that, then, we find that the only crime that you could possibly commit in this universe is being there. It doesn’t matter where. This is the only crime that you could commit. And this is all your parents objected to, and this is all the preclear objects to when you’re auditing him, and he growls at you. They add tremendous significances into this, but all they object to is being there. Now if you ran SOP 8C, Opening Procedure, and you ran it very, very definitely with that postulate: to get the fact that the wall is there. Get the fact that the chair is there, that something else is there, etc., you’d be likely to knock your preclear flat at some point. I am not advising you to use this form of Opening Procedure. It’s a violent process. If you get almost any preclear and just have him stand in the middle of the room, and say “get the idea”, to that empty space out in front of you there, “that it’s there”, it’s there, it’s there — his mother will show up and eight or nine of his wives and all sorts of other things will show up all the way down the line. He’ll have all kinds of people standing in front of him. They’re all “there”. But that’s the only crime a thetan can commit. It’s a lie, you see. That theta can be THERE is a lie, and that’s the only bad thing that anybody has ever done is to be there. Now, that’s all, actually, that the body is doing. He’s got a body and he’s visible. He is being there. And we must have introduced a lie. And the basic lie which is introduced is Time.

It is interesting to note that it is the second postulate which persists, because persist means time, and it’s the second postulate which introduces time, and this becomes elementary. Now let’s look at this one: let’s take this fellow who’s awfully sick. He’s terribly sick. Boy, is he a problem. He’s a problem to himself, a problem to his family, and a problem to his auditor. He is a problem. He’s terrific.

You know that he must have had an original postulate that he was well before he could make the second postulate that he was sick. And you know the postulate that he was sick must have denied the postulate that he was well, and so his original sickness was a falsity and he knew it at the time he made it — he actually knew it well. He knew — when he said he was sick that day to keep from going to school—that it was a lie. He knew it was a lie and he got a persistence of the sickness and now here he is eighty-nine years of age and all crippled up and we find out that the basic postulate was the fact that he was well. How could sickness ever get any power except through wellness?

Now we look underneath every lie to find out that it was the truth — the Static itself — which gave it power. The lie has no power itself because it is a perversion. Persistence has no power that is not based on the Static itself. So, we have the basic lineup at all times and in all places, that the lie is empowered by truth. Truth must have existed, and a good condition or quality must have existed prior to a bad condition or quality.

As we study the problem of goodness and badness in the world, we find out that we must be studying the second postulate, because that is all that persists.

Now let’s take a situation where something is persisting — and it’s good. We could say that that looks as if it must have been based upon a prior postulate which was bad. But you can’t make a prime postulate which is a lie. If you’ll just get the idea that there are no postulates, that you’ve made no postulates of any kind, that there are no postulates which have been made — now make a postulate. That would be a prime postulate. That postulate can’t be a lie. Now make a second postulate denying the one you just made. That’s a lie. Now which one of these two is going to persist? Of course, the second one. And it is going to get its power from the first postulate.

It would not matter what the prime postulate was. That is not the point, here. We’re not going on the basis of badness or goodness. A consideration is a consideration.

Now, do we mean reach back on the track, and find these postulates? — reach back and run it out with straight-wire? No, because there is no time, and all address to the past — every address to the past and every address to the future actually is validating a lie. There’s only now. There’s never been anything else but now. There’s a consistent change and a consistent series of postulates going on which give us a continuance of now, but the continuance of now is a lie.

You can move objects around, and that’s quite honest, that’s not bad. But we’re looking at two kinds of lie here, and we discover that when we are trying to make a condition change, we simply have to postulate, as though it exists in present time, the opposite condition. So somebody who hates the human race — he must have loved them desperately by prior postulate. There’s no hatred like that which can exist between two brothers or a nation torn asunder in war. Well, that’s because they loved each other so well, you see. And so they can hate with violence. But what is their hatred depending on but the fact that they loved each other? So if we have somebody hating madly somebody named Bill — we would say, “Now, get the idea of loving Bill.” Grrrrr, he’d go. “Now, get the idea of loving Bill.” Grrrr. “Get the idea of loving Bill.” Grr. “Get the idea of loving Bill.” “Well, he’s not too bad a guy.” We wouldn’t necessarily restore love, but we’d certainly run out the hatred for Bill.

MEST is the energy that is persisting because it is condensed and focused on itself. This is the situation with the body. Theta is activating the body through considerations, but these considerations come and go quickly. None of them persist.

But fixations persist. A person who is interiorized has his attention fixed on his body and on the facsimiles in his mind. SOP 8C is simply pulling the person’s attention away from himself and putting it on the environment. As you pull the attention away, these facsimiles show up.

What is actually being objected to are these fixations that are persisting. You may call them lies because they vanish once recognized. The anomaly is persisting in the present. Whatever lie that brought that anomaly is also persisting in the present. That lie brought about a change from the opposite condition.

By repeatedly postulating the original condition we can run out the lie, and the anomaly that has been persisting.

KHTK AXIOM 50: Theta as MEST must contain fixations which are lies.



The key error in Hubbard’s Theta-MEST theory is the conflation between Theta and Static. Theta-MEST spectrum is a spectrum of motion as stated by Hubbard. Static is the potential state of the Theta-MEST spectrum. Theta is thought energy part of the spectrum that has very low vibrations. It is not the same thing as Static. MEST is the physical energy part of the spectrum that has very high vibrations.

Time is the duration of energy. It is extremely small for thought energy, and extremely large for physical energy. Considerations do not persist, but objects persist. This is natural. Persistence of considerations is unnatural, which happens when considerations are anomalous with the universe and are waiting to be resolved.

A Thetan is the sum total of persisting considerations. The thetan becomes a problem when its persistence (fixation) is not resolved. A common fixation of the thetan is “fixation on the body”. Keeping attention extroverted is the solution.


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