PHOENIX LECTURES: Chapter 23

Project: Hubbard 1954: The Phoenix Lectures

This paper presents Chapter 23 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.

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DESCRIPTION PROCESSING

This happens to be the most important subject that you will cover in auditing. It may not be the most important subject in the universe, but it is the most important subject in auditing. This is a Step One, Two-Way Communication procedure. And this is the relatively advanced procedure of conducting a two-way communication, and someone who would have no concept of the four conditions of existence would not be remotely capable of running this process, therefore this would not come at the very early part of one’s study, although Step One itself comes early in training.

This requires two-way communication — every iron you can throw into the fire.

Here we look at this process as applied to oneself. This process boils down to looking at your condition as it is at this very moment.

It requires all of your knowledge of Scientology and its theory and practice, to conduct an adequate two-way communication with the preclear, because if you do that you can, just by that and with no further process, resolve his case in a relatively short time. So, this must be an extremely important process we are talking about here. It requires all of the knowingness you have of Scientology in order to do it. It is done by a clever auditor. It is not a process which is done by a fellow who, as his furthest effort of cognition toward the preclear, reads off a series of commands. It requires a continuous communication with the preclear — a two-way communication with the preclear. It requires that you establish it and that you maintain it and that you conduct it in such a fashion that the elements which compose the preclear’s difficulty are vanished. Just by carrying on a two-way communication with the preclear, you can cause any difficulty he is having, such as non-exteriorization, such as a failure to take responsibility in other Dynamics, and so on, whatever his difficulties, you can conduct a two-way communication in such a way as to make those difficulties vanish. You will have just as much good fortune with this process as you are willing to be a clever auditor and to follow the exact rules of this.

You can conduct a two-way communication with yourself. You want to know about your condition in different ways. You then listen to yourself very carefully. You may even write down the way you have formulated the question, and the response you get from yourself. The whole idea is to make the difficulties vanish. This is another way of meditating.

The primary difficulty with this process Two-Way Communication is that it apparently is entirely permissive, it apparently can wander into any field, topic, subject, address anything — thereby an individual who is not cognizant of its very, very precise fundamentals would go immediately astray. He would go as far astray as men have gone far astray. It’s a process which you can easily get entangled about. It’s a process which you can be argued with about.

This is a very permissive procedure, but at the same time it has very precise fundamentals that you must follow to not go astray.

A two-way communication could be a very broad field, but it has a particular precision area where you as an auditor can concentrate. If you know the exact mechanics of what you are doing, used cleverly, this becomes the best process you ever had. When you don’t know its mechanics, and you don’t use it cleverly, it becomes the gummiest, most misunderstood, non-advancing sort of a process you ever ran into. So again, here is a process that requires judgement yet is very easy to do.

You should know the exact mechanics of what you are doing and use it cleverly. This process requires judgment.

The part of Two-Way Communication we are taking up here could be given a name all of its own, and we would call it DESCRIPTION PROCESSING. It could be given this name, but it’s likely to get entirely lost if we always refer to it by this name. In the first place Description Processing would not be its entire description name. It would have to be DESCRIPTION RIGHT NOW Processing. But we had better call it a process known as Two-Way Communication, which is just exactly what it is labelled under Step One of Intensive Procedure, (Intensive Procedure: The Standard Operating Procedure, 1954, given in The Creation of Human Ability by L. Ron Hubbard.) and this comes at this distance into this material because it uses every single thing that you know about Scientology. And the main thing that it uses is this factor: If you establish the As-is-ness of your preclear’s condition to his satisfaction it will vanish. And you don’t establish its As-is-ness by tracing its consequences, by tracing its basics, by tracing its significances, by discovering what lies under the thing that lies under the thing that lies under the back of beyond the other side of, or “Let’s change it all, change it all, change it all,” because what will happen? The process will persist won’t it? This is a tricky one, then. It is a process which actually and overtly processes and achieves Alter-is-ness, by using nothing but As-is-ness. You can get a change of case with the preclear very simply, solely by taking his case as it is right now. We want right now, no place else, we want to know how it is right now.

This process is about describing the condition right now. It uses every single principle of Scientology. If you establish the As-is-ness of your condition to your satisfaction it will vanish. You do not dive into anything or change anything. You simply take up the case as it is right now.

The key question of this process can be codified. The process is not sloppy, it’s not all over the place, it is highly precise, and the key question is:

How does it seem to you now?

The key question is very precise: How does it seem to you now?

You could just go on asking this question. That is all you want the preclear to give you. How does it actually seem to him right now? If he tells you about the room, or a manifestation of some sort, or something he likes, or something he dislikes, or something he knows or doesn’t know — whatever it is — what you want, and all that you want from the preclear about it in this process is how actually does it seem to him right now.

And by doing exactly that, you get change, change, change in the preclear, at a very fast rate — by doing what? — by asking for nothing but an As-is-ness. What is the condition as it is right this instant?

The response that comes back could be anything, which is fine. You ask for nothing but AS-IS-NESS: What is the condition as it is right this instant?

If you were a very, very clever auditor, all you would have to do is to take this basic question, How does it seem to you now, and couch it in a thousand different guises, always, always pointing straight at this one, that we want this individual to discuss exactly how it is. We want to know about it. And we don’t want any romance, we don’t want any embroidery, we don’t want any alteration so as to get our sympathy. We don’t want any super-pressure on us so that we will do something. All we want to know is how it is. That takes clever auditing.

You may couch the basic question in a thousand different guises. You simply discuss exactly how it is. You don’t want any embroidery, desire for sympathy, or super-pressure to do something. All you want to know is how it is.

It’s quite a fascinating thing to watch a preclear come into cognition — not recognition, because he probably never knew it before (re-cognition would be “I knew it but I forgot it”). Conditions exist through him, around him, above him, below him — considerations exist of which he has no cognition. These have come into beingness without any understanding whatsoever on his part. He’s never seen them before and yet they’re right there, so what we’re interested in is cognition — looking at it — and we want the As-is-ness of any and every condition which this fellow has.

You come to know about conditions that exist through you and around you; and considerations that have come into beingness without any understanding whatsoever on your part.

The preclear begins to change very rapidly. The first thing you know he is saying, “Well, there’s nothing wrong with my throat!” … “The back of my head’s perfectly alive.” If he doesn’t know the formula of what you’re doing, and he doesn’t track with it at all, and he doesn’t know Scientology, you have ceased at that moment to be entirely human as far as he’s concerned.

Now I have run this process on preclears who were intensely resistive to auditing, who knew nothing could happen, who generally finished up sessions saying nothing happened, and I received the most amazing sort of result. The person knew something had happened. Cognition had occurred. And it had occurred with considerable action. The person knew this extremely well, that something had happened. You can’t run this on anybody without changing his condition. It’s impossible to do so. Even if you ran it poorly, you’d change his condition.

This process brings about excellent results.

Running this process, you could do this occasionally. You could throw in where and when. Not often or repetitively. Once in a while. (Let’s not stick him back on the time track.) And recognize well that if he spots this thing even vaguely in the time and place where it began, you are likely to get a whole chain of things blowing, but we are not primarily interested in that, because where, and what, is present time. Time is not just beginningless and endless. It would seem so, but time is a continuing postulate. It is a postulate which continues to be postulated. All time is now. What we call the future, which is entirely hypothetical, is what will be, and that is not an As-is-ness. You could have an As-is-ness about the future, such as “I am worried about the future,” but you don’t actually have a future in that preclear. And as far as the past is concerned, it has no more actual validity than the future. All that exists of the past is what is in the present. And if it’s not in the present, so what? You could say, well, it might come into the present. No, it won’t. Not if you’ve got the present straightened out. If you have a preclear in a continuous state of beingness, in this present, which is rising and getting better, and his cognition is better and better and better — you’re turning on his knowingness. And if you turn on his knowingness in the present, his knowingness about the past will increase markedly.

You are interested in present time only but when and where something began may be checked sometimes. Time is a continuing postulate. All that exists of the past is what is in the present.

I’ve had a preclear start out with a statement like, “I am a body, I know I am a body and nothing but a body”, and tell me he has “heard things about Scientology and exteriorization” and so forth, and he recites all kinds of things he has picked up from the materialistic practitioners. Well, I read in a psychiatric text once upon a time (this is their knowingness level on this) that people occasionally had the delusion that they were not in their bodies, and that psychiatry used electric shock to move them back into their bodies. This would be more or less the level of practice of monkeys hanging from their tails — they really shouldn’t be fooling around with such things as the spirit. These practitioners sat in their chairs for fifty years and for, I’d say, several million if not several billion hours, and they didn’t notice this? Well they were starting out on the basic premise that man is mud is mud is mud, he’s a body, and there’s nothing you can do about it anyway — and going at it from this angle they were not likely to find out much of anything but the fact that there does happen to be some mud around.

Spiritual and physical phenomena are integrated with each other.

The As-is-ness of the preclear was what was in the road of all the materialistic approaches to the field of healing. This is not to imply that a medical doctor is out of order in practicing on broken bones, obstetrics and such things — in other words mechanical structure — but when it comes over to his doing something about the mind, he has to deal with the spirit, because there isn’t any mind. That was the thing they never learned about. They didn’t find out that what they were studying didn’t exist. They were studying a lump of computing machine made out of neurons and cyclotrons or something of the sort. Well, they could have studied it forever and never found out anything about it, because it has no As-is-ness. They could go on describing it forever, and of course it would continue to persist because it is itself an Alter-is-ness.

The spiritual phenomenon cannot be understood through physical phenomenon. It has to be understood directly.

Well, don’t you make the same mistake with a preclear. Don’t go chasing after all the endless significances and symptoms — in other words, Alter-is-ness, Alter-is-ness, Alter-is- ness — don’t make the mistake of addressing this, because all you will do is perpetuate the condition. Just don’t make that mistake. What you want to do is quite something else.

Don’t go chasing after all the endless significances and symptoms.

You want to find out how it seems right now. You don’t want any action on the part of this preclear who wants to go chasing after significances. He is so fixed on the idea of being an observer that let’s let him observe. So, there’s a white area. He says, “Uh… I don’t know… the back of the leg’s kind of white and the front of the leg’s kind of dark. And there seems to be something shooting up through the leg.” “Well, how does it seem to you now?” Keep him looking at it, keep him looking at it now. You just want him to describe it and describe it and describe it. And then communicate and communicate and communicate and communicate, and we don’t care if we seem to waste some time with it. So, he goes off into some wild excursion, something like, “Well, it seems to me like … I don’t know, I can’t quite look at the room when that pain is on. I try to look at the room. I wonder why that is. I wonder why that is. I’ve had a lot of speculation as to why this is.” You can let him talk for a while. It’s burning time, but remember you’re preserving a two-way communication, and throughout this process you’re preserving a two-way communication, and that is its keynote and that is why it continues to work so easily. Your preclear does not seem to be under duress at any time. Believe me, is he interested in his conditions! And in Description Processing you simply use that overtly to get him to describe them as they are.

You are interested in your condition. You simply use that overtly to look at your condition and describe it as it is.

But this requires a certain sensitivity on the part of an auditor. He’s got to know when the preclear starts weaving the fancy tales. How is he going to know this? The condition does not alter. That’s an interesting one, isn’t it? He’s describing how horrible it is. He goes on and describes this and describes it and describes it and describes it for three or four minutes, and there’s no change at all. He describes it for a few more minutes and there’s no change at all.

Don’t shoot him.

You could ask him how his feet seem to him. Get him off that subject, because you hit a lying machine, and if you’ll just get his attention off of it, why, maybe you’ll get some straight answers.

If you are not getting straight answers, don’t worry, just change the subject to some other aspect of the condition.

This is where you learn about people. But in what framework are you learning about people? You’re going entirely on the very, very basic material of the four conditions of existence. You will see a person run this cycle over and over and over as he does Description Processing. People become so fantastically patterned, they are so predictable when they start this sort of thing — and they become very easy to process. This is not restimulative, because you’re not trying to change the preclear. You’re trying to find out how he is. You can do this for hours. Cognitions will occur, such as, that he’s actually had a migraine headache for years and he didn’t even know it, except that all of a sudden it stopped. All of a sudden, he said, “Wait a minute. What’s happened to this pain? I didn’t ever know I had a pain here.” That sort of things happens in this type of processing.

You’re going entirely on the very, very basic material of the four conditions of existence.

“Description Right Now” Processing — Two-way Communication: Step One. This is how you get them into communication, how you keep them in communication and why you keep them in communication along this particular line. You could perform this in 8-C Opening Procedure, but you’re simply maintaining a two-way communication. “How does this (part of the room) seem to you now?” You’re trying to get the exact condition at that moment which he is observing. You will get continuous change. You are undoing all the change he has put into the condition. But it undoes with great rapidity, so there is some hope after all.

You’re trying to get the exact condition at that moment which he is observing. As a result you will get continuous change.

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FINAL COMMENTS

There is a very important lesson to be learned from this chapter. The spiritual phenomenon cannot be understood through physical phenomenon. It has to be understood directly. So, don’t go chasing after all the endless significances and symptoms. You simply discuss exactly how it is at this moment. You don’t want any embroidery, desire for sympathy, or super-pressure to do something. All you want to know is how it seems right now. You will get continuous change.

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