Project: Hubbard 1954: The Phoenix Lectures

This paper presents Chapter 21 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.



This is a process which is very simple, very easy to use, and makes continuous advances. This process is not mixed with other processes, it is not part of any Standard Operating Procedure. It is not part of anything you would do ordinarily. It doesn’t particularly apply to one case level or another case level. It is an independent process which in itself is very simple to administer.

Viewpoint straightwire is not part of any Standard Operating Procedure. It is an independent process that applies to all case levels.

The formula of this process is: All the definitions and Axioms, arrangements and scales of Scientology should be used in such a way as to bring about a greater tolerance of such viewpoints on the part of the preclear. That means that any scale there is, any arrangement of fundamentals in thinkingness, beingness, could be so given in a straightwire process that it would bring about a higher state of tolerance on the part of the preclear.

The concept underlying this process is to use the definitions, Axioms, arrangements and scales of Scientology in such a way as to bring about a greater tolerance of viewpoints on the part of the preclear. This means broadening the viewpoint of the preclear.

To make this more intelligible you should understand what a great many preclears are doing, and why an auditor occasionally has trouble with one preclear more than another. A great many preclears are being processed solely and entirely because they are unable to bring themselves to tolerate an enormous number of viewpoints, and being unable to tolerate these viewpoints they desire processing so that they can fall away from them and not have to observe them, and the auditor is auditing somebody who is in full retreat, and Scientology is being asked to aid and abet the retreat by, for instance, taking the charge off an engram. The auditor at the same time, if he does this, gives the preclear something in the way of a change of viewpoint in that he erases something so that the preclear doesn’t have to view it anymore.

Well, as you can see, this is a weak direction. What the auditor then is doing is to some degree holding in question the ability of the preclear to tolerate viewpoints. Time itself may very well be caused by an intolerance of past viewpoints — a person doesn’t want viewpoints in the past, and so at a uniform rate he abandons past viewpoints, and when he no longer is following this uniform rate but is abandoning them faster than the uniform rate, he starts to jam up in terms of time, and becomes obsessed about time, becomes very hectic, begins to rush time, push hard against the events of the day, feels that he doesn’t have enough time to accomplish everything he is supposed to accomplish, and this falls off on a very rapid curve to a point where an individual will simply sit around idle, fully cognizant of the fact that he doesn’t have enough time to do anything. And so, doesn’t do anything, but knows he should be doing something but can’t do anything because he doesn’t have enough time. This is idiocy itself but is the state in which you find a very great many people.

Time is the single arbitrary entered into life and is well worth investigating on the part of an auditor. An unwillingness to tolerate viewpoints will cause a jam in time. The fewer viewpoints which an individual will tolerate, the greater his occlusion and the worse his general state of beingness is. As I said, an auditor can remedy this in various ways. He can erase locks, secondaries and engrams (Lock, Secondary, Engram: A lock is a mental image picture of a non-painful but disturbing experience the person has experienced, and which depends for its force on an earlier secondary and engram which the experience has restimulated. A secondary is a mental image picture containing misemotion [encysted grief, anger, apathy, etc.] and a real or imagined loss. These contain no physical pain — they are moments of shock and stress and depending for their force on earlier engrams which have been restimulated by the circumstances of the secondary. An engram is a mental 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). And by erasing these, he can make it possible for the individual to “tolerate the view”, as he finds it in his own bank. Or, an individual can be so processed, as in exteriorization, that he can be caused to go around and look at various things and find out that they are not so bad.

Generally, a preclear is unable to bring himself to tolerate many viewpoints, because his own viewpoint is quite narrow. He desires processing to get rid of viewpoints he cannot tolerate, such as, taking the charge off an engram. This does not, however, broaden his own viewpoint toward greater knowingness.

Now, let’s just take the mean between these two, and realize that a person who doesn’t exteriorize is a person who does not want an exteriorized viewpoint. He does not feel he can tolerate an exteriorized viewpoint. He may have many reasons for this and one of the main reasons he will give is the consideration that someone may steal his body. In other words, here you have a tremendously valuable viewpoint which he’s likely to lose if he exteriorizes. Viewpoints then must be scarce; viewpoints are all obviously too valuable to be used. And this comes about by viewpoints becoming intolerable.

Let’s take somebody standing and watching his family being butchered by soldiers or something of this sort, Indians or other wild people. He would go along afterwards so intolerant of this viewpoint that he would fixate on it. It’s the fact that he refuses to tolerate the viewpoint which makes him fixate on it. Now the reason for this lies in the various Agree-Disagree scales in the Philadelphia Doctorate Course lectures — the fact that if you want anything, in this universe, you can’t have it, and that if you don’t want it, you’re going to get it. This is an inversion, and when this inversion comes about, an individual finds himself overwhelmed each time on whatever his own determinism is. If he starts to desire something, he will find out immediately that he can’t have it. Actually, he himself will take steps to make sure that he can’t have it.

When he wants something to flow in, it flows out, when he wants something to flow out, it flows in. There is nothing more pathetic, for instance, than watching a psychotic try to give up any material object — trying to make them hand over or give up, or throw away one possession, such as an old Kleenex, almost anything — just try to make them give it up. No, no, they just won’t do it. They clutch it to them, and I swear that if you handed them an adder, wide-mouthed and fully fanged, they would clutch it to their bosom. Anything that comes in they immediately seize and that’s that.

Now you as an auditor, every time you are trying to get someone to give up something, are asking them to give up a compulsive viewpoint. You will see that every time you ask someone to give up something, he is likely to hold it closer.

Now there are many processes. There are a great many processes, there are all the Standard Operating Procedures, and in good hands they all work. There’s Universe Processing, there’s Advanced Course Procedure, there’s Creative Processing, on and on and on and on, a tremendous number of techniques, which can be applied with good sense to preclears. There are an enormous number of Straightwire processes, there’s old-time Straightwire. The earliest Straightwire we had, which, by the way, was a marked advance on Freudian analysis, went like this: say we noticed that the preclear is afraid of cats. We would say: “Recall a time when you were afraid of cats”, then: “Recall somebody who was afraid of cats”, and then: “Find a time when somebody said you were like this person”. That was approximately its formula — just Straightwire, and you sprung apart these valences very gently. However, it required a great deal of good sense on the part of the auditor.

An auditor now and then would become a Straightwire expert, and by just asking searching questions and causing the individual to recall certain things he would bring about a great deal of relief on the case. Why did the relief take place? The individual has been going along in the full belief that he could not tolerate a certain viewpoint and the auditor has come along and demonstrated to him that that viewpoint was in the past and therefore is tolerable. There, in essence, are the fundamentals of such Straightwire. You get key-outs (Key-out: Release or separation from one’s reactive mind or some portion of it) on this — the individual comes up to present time so that he isn’t looking in the past — assuming a past viewpoint. That is a goal of a great many processes and is quite different from “wipe out the past so he won’t have to look at it or experience it”.

A person’s viewpoint is narrow because it is fixated on something that was overwhelming. Exteriorization can definitely broaden the viewpoint. We do not have to erase overwhelming viewpoints because we can use straightwire to show that they are in the past and therefore, tolerable.

We have in Viewpoint Straightwire a very, very, new type of thinking. This is not to be confused with what we have been doing for all these many years. It hasn’t any connection with it. It has an entirely different goal from that of any process you’ve ever done on a preclear. It takes the benefit of exteriorization and reduces it to Straightwire. We get an individual to race around the universe to look at things observe things, experience things. That’s a Grand Tour (Grand Tour: The process R1-9, in The Creation of Human Ability by L. Ron Hubbard.) — that sort of drill — and here we reduce it right down to a Straightwire which is done interiorized or exteriorized.

One simply goes on the basis that the preclear is in the state he’s in because he’s not tolerating many viewpoints, and the entire goal of the process is to bring him to a point where he will tolerate viewpoints. That’s all there is to the process.

We have in Viewpoint Straightwire a very, very, new type of thinking. It takes the benefit of exteriorization (freeing fixated attention) and reduces it to Straightwire (looking directly at a memory or a concept). The entire goal of this process is to bring the preclear to a point where he will tolerate viewpoints (have a broad viewpoint).

The key wording of the process is “you wouldn’t mind”. Why do I announce this as something important, something new, something that is very useful to you? There are many varieties of viewpoint. If we were to take Full Knowingness, and squash it, we would find we were first getting into space, which would be perception. We have to perceive to know. This is the level of Lookingness. Now if we condense that we find out that we have to get Emote to know. A person has to emote. We squash perception, and we go into Emotion to know. Now, if we squash down and condense even further, we get Effortingness, and if we condense Effort even further, we get Thinkingness, and if we condense and package Thinkingness, we get Symbols. As an example of this, what is a Word but a package of thought, and if we were to condense Symbols, we would get actually the wider definition of the symbol — we would get animals. You are probably thinking of it in terms of a viewpoint of a body, if you don’t see that clearly, but the definition of a symbol is a mass with meaning, which is mobile. That is a symbol and of course that is an animal, too. An animal has certain form which gives him certain meaning and he is mobile, and if you see that the Thinkingness condenses, then, into form, you will understand art. Just in so many words, a very simple thing.

We have Thinkingness condensing into Symbolizingness, ideas condensing into actually solid objects, and when these are mobile, we have symbols, and when these symbols are observed, they are found to wind themselves up with other symbols and take an associate, they associate with one and another, and take things from one and another, and you get Eatingness. That’s a big, big band we’re covering in there, that’s the whole business of: “I have an idea about a form in this space and matter, and I’m going to get it all together, and I’m going to make this all mass together.” Well, the second we’ve done that, something has been created. Now don’t expect that thing which has been created to create anything. This is a thing which isn’t creating, and therefore must subsist on an interchange of energy, and we get eating. Now we take eating and condense it down, that is to say, let’s make food scarce, and let’s make it very hard to get, and we get a condensation which completely escapes time itself, and you go outside of time and you get Sexingness.

That is to say that outside of present time, you get future time, which is sex.

An individual is right straight off the time track between Eating and Sex, and there’s nothing will float on a time track like a sexual engram. They just float all over the time track. They don’t nail down at all. They are very mobile. The individual, in Eatingness, starts to slide out of present time by this token alone, and people are terribly worried about how are they going to eat tomorrow, and when they have reduced this down to the reductio ad gastronomy you get to a point where “I can’t solve this problem of eating tomorrow, therefore I’d better just leave it all up to somebody else,” and slide in on the genetic protoplasm line and go up the line a little bit, and get another form, and be that.

That’s the best way to solve eating — just to live tomorrow and maybe tomorrow there will be more food.

A very readily available test will demonstrate this. Notice those countries of the world which breed faster and harder than other countries of the world. We find India and China doing this. And we find that these are two countries which have extreme, chronic food scarcity. Now we can say, well look, they have the greatest food scarcity because they keep breeding people, and that eats up all their food. No, it’s the other way around. They eat up all their food, and so they breed like mad. This can be tested also with animals. If you starve an animal, an animal will procreate faster. If you were, for instance, to give any family of homo sapiens a carbohydrate diet with a very, very low protein content — by the way this would be, you’d say, terribly unconducive to the production of estrogen, androgen. It’s proven to be very unproductive of it — but if you give them a high carbohydrate, very low protein diet, the next thing you know they’ll start to get very anxious about breeding. That’s because you’re telling them in essence right where they can understand it in their stomachs that they are unable to obtain enough food today, and so must eat tomorrow. Therefore, you get countries of the Western hemisphere, which are very heavily starch dieted, and you find out that these countries are the most anxious about breeding and about tomorrow. There is no reason to stand around and prove this for hours. It’s just the Know-to-Sex scale. Condensed knowingness.

“I don’t know how I’m going to get along today therefore I’d better breed like mad and appear tomorrow and maybe I’ll know then,” is about the last ditch. Well, if you notice this, death must come, in this band, above sex. A person presupposes his own death to indulge in the protoplasm line. And so, we get people like Schopenhauer and The Will and the Idea closely associating sex and death, and we get certain animals and insects, which so closely associate sex and death that they have accomplished death when they have accomplished sex. Fear Merchants (Fear Merchants: The aberrative personality. This was an early description of what is known as a Suppressive Person, or the Anti-Social Personality) like to tell you about the black widow spider. I don’t know why the black widow spider is such an attractive beast to some people, but it is apparently so. I noticed that it exists mainly in California — Southern California. Lots of black widow spiders down there, and most California girls, if you get into any kind of discussion on the second dynamic at all, will sooner or later inform you that the female black widow spider eats its mate after consummation of the sexual act. Anyway, the main thing here is that actually when you go down this scale, although it doesn’t belong on the scale, you’ll find death just before sex. Know, Look, Emote, Effort, Think, Symbol, Eat, Death, Sex. Death doesn’t belong there, but this shows you where this mechanism comes in.

The key wording of the process is “you wouldn’t mind”. You can simply know, but as energy intervenes, you perceive. And as this energy condenses, you emote, exert, compute, symbolize, eat (fixate), sex (speculate), death (mystery).

Now, beingness might also be on this scale somewhere. Beingness might be on this scale, and if it were, you would have a tendency to look for it up toward the top, but the truth of the matter is, it’s all up and down the scale, and there is no beingness like that beingness at Symbols. You find the human race having been made into a form — a mass, meaning, mobility. A mass with meaning which is mobile — that’s a body, that’s a word in a dictionary, that’s a flag above a building, it can be moved around, and it has meaning. You’ll find that human beings indulge very, very heavily in being symbols. Well, you’ll find people around being sexual objects too. So that this scale sort of interlocks on beingness. A fellow could be some effort — and actually we don’t find beingness at the top of the scale at all, we find it down there pretty low on the scale, so when an individual has gotten to a point where he has to be something, he’s practically at bottom. A further examination would have to put beingness at least at Symbols. A person becomes things at that level, and you will frequently find a preclear mainly being his name.

Looking further, we find that there are different kinds of viewpoints. There is something you might call a know-point. That would be senior to a viewpoint. An individual would not have dependency on space or mass or anything else. He’d simply know where he was. There would be a viewpoint, which is a perception point, which would consist of look, and smell, and talk, and hear, and all sorts of things could be thrown in under this category, viewpoint. Ordinarily we simply mean at that level of the scale, looking, but you can throw all the rest of the perceptions in at that level of the scale.

Going down a little bit from there we get something we could call an emotion-point. It would be that point from which a person emotes, and at which he emoted, and then there would be something else called an effort-point, and the effort-point would be that area from which a person exerted effort, and that area into which that person received effort. And as we went down a little bit from that, we’d find we had a thinking-point, and there of course we get the “figure-figure-figure”. The person is thinking there, not looking. And if we go down a little bit further than this from a thinking-point, we get a symbol-point, and there, really properly, we get words. And below that we get an eating-point, and below that we get a sex- point.

The Know-to-Mystery scale basically provides different viewpoints. The viewpoints assume the forms of know-point, perception-point, emotion-point, effort-point, thinking-point, symbol-point, eating-point, sex-point, etc. Each viewpoint represents a certain beingness. At thinking, the beingness is in the form of individuality. At symbols, the beingness is in the form of a body, a word, a flag, etc. It can be moved around, and it has a meaning. Beingness becomes very solid from symbols on down to mystery.

If you considered each one of these points below known as an effort to make space, a great deal of human behavior would make sense. Let’s take an individual who is simply trying to make space with words. Words don’t make good space. So, an individual who tries to make space with words sooner or later gets into bad condition. Much lower than that would be a person who is trying to make space with eating. Of course, that’s inverted, isn’t it? And then there’s the person who is trying to make space with sex, and that is really inverted. That goes both ways from the middle. The lowest part of the eating scale is excreta and urine. People will try and make space with that. Dogs, for instance, are always trying to make space that way.

There are people who are trying to make space with effort. This is the use of force, this is Genghis Khan riding out and slaughtering villages. He’s trying to make space. You notice that the space had to exist before he could ride out any place.

And we go up a little higher, and maybe you’ve known somebody who’s tried to make space with emotion. And we go up a little higher and we get to the way you do make space which is by looking. And actually, you get to make space by knowing. If you just knew there was some space, there would be some space, and that would be all there was to that. Just that simple. That’s an effective way to go about it and looking is another effective way to go about it, and when we get down to emotion, that is getting ineffective. People who try to make space with emotion don’t get very far. That’s literally, actually, figuratively, or any other way you want to look at it. It’s too condensed, and it kicks back. Yet that is above the individual who makes space by working hard or by pushing hard or by exerting force.

In other words, we see that there is quite a little bit of band there, at effort, and you’ll see that they get less far than people who try to make space with emotion. And now we get into the thinking band, and people who try to make space with thinking, which is about the most unworkable activity that anybody could engage in.

When we get down to making space with symbols, here is a nation trying to fly its flag over all the world, which doesn’t make much space, and then we go into eating, and an individual trying to make space by offering things to be eaten. A cattleman, for instance, is doing this. He’s making space with cattle. And a fat man is trying to make space with food, and so on. Now when we get down into sex, of course, if an individual could breed fast enough and far enough, he would wind up with all sorts of space, he thinks. Of course, he winds up with no space. This is the most condensed activity you can get into: sex. You can see somebody’s bank all short-circuited — jammed on sex. But remember, we are looking at a gradient scale that runs from Sexingness right on up through the levels to Knowingness.

And if anybody comes along and tells you that sex is the only aberration, please laugh. You could answer, Yes, that was how we entered the problem, we found out that people were loopy on the subject of sex. So, then we examined the problem further, and having examined the problem for many years, it was discovered that sex was part of a gradient scale of human experience which is basically an activity of trying to make space, and people try to make space in various ways. And when they get down too low on the scale, they are abandoning present- time life and at that point they have sunk to the level of Sexingness. They are trying in this way to get some future up there on the track and it is a chaos. It is an attempt to derive experience from external sources, and to pull experience in.

Operation at the level of Sexingness is really a cave-in.

Space comes about below know because there is energy, and space is the extents of energy. A person make space when he looks. Trying to make space with emotion is getting ineffective. At effort one is trying to make space with force. At symbol, one is trying to make space with words. At eating one is trying to make space through excreta and urine. At sex, making of space goes into future. It is an attempt to derive experience from external sources, and to pull experience in.

When you examine this band and its inversions up and down the scale you see that it gives us an enormous number of Straightwire questions.

The basic question would reduce this first from the stand-point of viewpoint of the whole scale, and that is where you catch your preclear most ably. You just take viewpoint of the scale, viewpoint of sex, viewpoint of effort, and so forth.

The systematic questions that go into this line would be as follows: you ask the preclear to give:

“Something you wouldn’t mind knowing.”

“Something you wouldn’t mind looking at.”

“An emotion you wouldn’t mind observing.”

“Some effort you wouldn’t mind observing.”

“Some thinking which you wouldn’t mind observing.”

“Some symbols which you wouldn’t mind seeing.”

“Some eating which you wouldn’t mind inspecting.”

“Some sex which you wouldn’t mind looking at.”

Just as mildly and quietly as that. And that’s Viewpoint Straightwire.

Please see the Know to Mystery Process.



Viewpoint straightwire is an independent process that applies to all case levels. The concept underlying this process is to use the definitions, Axioms, arrangements and scales of Scientology in such a way as to broaden the viewpoint of the preclear. A person’s viewpoint is narrow because it is fixated on something that was overwhelming.

The Know-to-Mystery scale shows that the viewpoint assumes the forms of know-point, perception-point, emotion-point, effort-point, thinking-point, symbol-point, eating-point, sex-point, etc. Each viewpoint represents a certain beingness. At thinking, the beingness is in the form of individuality. At symbols, the beingness is in the form of a body. Beingness becomes very solid from symbols on down to mystery.

A person make space when he looks. Trying to make space with emotion is getting ineffective. At effort one is trying to make space with force. At symbol, one is trying to make space with words. At eating one is trying to make space through excreta and urine. At sex, making of space goes into future.

From these basics we get the Know to Mystery Process.


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