DIANETICS: The Four Dynamics

Reference: Hubbard 1950: Dianetics TMSMH

These are some comments on Book One, Chapter 4, “The Four Dynamics” from DIANETICS: THE MODERN SCIENCE OF MENTAL HEALTH.


Comments on
The Four Dynamics

[NOTE: Hubbard’s earlier writing on these Dynamics appears at The Dynamics]

Man’s behavior can be explained fully only in terms of his brotherhood with the Universe. Man is the result of the evolution of the universe, and now he is acting as a catalyst to further evolution. Man’s behavior cannot be explained by focusing just on self, sex, group or even mankind. 

Hubbard asks, “Exactly for what is man surviving?” He then comes up with four dynamics (DYNAMIC = “innate impulse or urge”). 

“DYNAMIC ONE is the urge toward ultimate survival on the part of the individual and for himself. It includes his immediate symbiotes, the extension of culture for his own benefit, and name immortality. (SYMBIOTE = “any or all life or energy forms which are mutually dependent for survival.”)

“DYNAMIC TWO is the urge of the individual toward ultimate survival via the sex act, the creation of and the rearing of children. It includes their symbiotes, the extension of culture for them, and their future provision. 

“DYNAMIC THREE is the urge of the individual toward ultimate survival for the group. It includes the symbiotes of the group and the extension of its culture. 

“DYNAMIC FOUR includes the urge of the individual toward ultimate survival for all Mankind. It includes the symbiotes of Mankind and the extension of its culture.”

As explained in the previous chapter, this “ultimate survival” is not immortality but attainment of a STATIC viewpoint from which further evolution of the universe may be catalyzed.

Attainment of STATIC viewpoint requires Man to expand his viewpoint from self to families, to groups, to species, and to all mutually dependent entities.

As a person grows up, his viewpoint naturally expands from dynamic one to dynamic two, three and four. A higher dynamic is naturally inclusive of the lower dynamics. Any exception would only mean fixation on a dynamic to the exclusion of other dynamics. A fixation would simply amount to the aberration defined as a “narrow viewpoint.” A rational person shall be operating harmoniously on all dynamics.

Any competition among dynamics, if not harmonious, would constitute an anomaly that needs to be resolved. An anomaly, if considered to be something normal, shall be an aberration.

Any solution must resolve the anomaly (disharmony, discontinuity or inconsistency) completely, and that would bring about an optimum scene. The categorization into four dynamics is for the sake of dealing with the complexity of a situation only. 

Hubbard says, “The case of a sailor giving his own life to save his ship answers the group dynamic. Such an action is a valid solution to a problem. But it violates the optimum solution because it did not answer for Dynamic One: self.”

Of course, it would be optimum to save oneself while also saving the group, but the safety of the group comes first, and the group must be saved even at the expense of self, depending on its value to mankind.



The next ten axioms of Dianetics are also presented here. These axioms were put together by Hubbard to demonstrate the preciseness of Dianetics. Revisions are proposed based on consistency with Buddhism.


DN AXIOM 31: Wrongness is always miscalculation of effort.

DN AXIOM 31 (proposed): Wrongness is always miscalculation or misalignment of effort.


DN AXIOM 32: THETA can exert itself directly or extensionally.
THETA can direct physical application of the organism to the environment or, through the mind, can first calculate the action or extend, as in language, ideas.

DN AXIOM 32 (proposed): The life organism can exert itself on the environment directly, or by extending ideas.


DN AXIOM 33: Conclusions are directed toward the inhibition, maintenance or accelerations of efforts.

DN AXIOM 33 (proposed): The organism may direct conclusions to inhibit, maintain or accelerate its efforts.


DN AXIOM 34: The common denominator of all life organisms is motion.

DN AXIOM 34 (proposed): The common denominator of all life organisms is alignment of motion.


DN AXIOM 35: Effort of an organism to survive or succumb is physical motion of a life organism at a given moment in time through space.
DEFINITION: Motion is any change in orientation in space.
DEFINITION: Force is random effort.
DEFINITION: Effort is directed force.

DN AXIOM 35 (proposed): Effort to evolve is the alignment of motion of a life organism at any given moment.
DEFINITION (proposed): Alignment of motion is the establishment of harmony, continuity and consistency.
DEFINITION (proposed): Force is the effort to overcome the resistance to alignment.
DEFINITION (proposed): Effort is directed alignment.


DN AXIOM 36: An organism’s effort can be to remain at rest or persist in a given motion.
Static state has position in time, but an organism which is remaining positionally in a static state, if alive, is still continuing a highly complex pattern of motion, such as the heartbeat, digestion, etc. The efforts of organisms to survive or succumb are assisted, compelled or opposed by the efforts of other organisms, matter, energy, space and time.
DEFINITION: Attention is a motion which must remain at an optimum effort. Attention is aberrated by becoming unfixed and sweeping at random or becoming too fixed without sweeping. Unknown threats to survival when sensed cause attention to sweep without fixing. Known threats to survival when sensed cause attention to fix.

DN AXIOM 36 (proposed): An organism’s efforts can be either free or fixed, and they are assisted or opposed by the efforts of other organisms and environment.
DEFINITION (proposed): Attention is a motion which must remain free. Attention is aberrated by becoming fixed. Known or unknown threats, when sensed, cause attention to fix.


DN AXIOM 37: The ultimate goal of LAMBDA is infinite survival.

DN AXIOM 37 (proposed): The ultimate goal of living organisms is continued evolution.


DN AXIOM 38: Death is abandonment by THETA of a life organism or race or species where these can no longer serve THETA in its goals of infinite survival.

DN AXIOM 38 (proposed): Death is the disintegration of a life organism into its elements, which then recombine into a more evolved form.


DN AXIOM 39: The reward of an organism engaging upon survival activity is pleasure.

DN AXIOM 39 (proposed): An organism engaging in further alignment of motion feels joy.


DN AXIOM 40: The penalty of an organism failing to engage upon survival activity, or engaging in non-survival activity, is pain.

DN AXIOM 40 (proposed): An organism failing to engage in alignment of motion, or engaging in misalignment, feels pain.


Summary of Axioms

A life organism evolves through the alignment of motion. Pleasure is an indicator of alignment. Pain is an indicator of misalignment or lack of alignment.


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