top of page

Riddle of Self

Man today is wildly grasping for a method to contain the brutality of his companions or even of himself. And he is motivated in this brutality by all the crimes of his past.

Riddle of Self

There is adequate and long background to Dianetics and Scientology. For fifty thousand years Man has been faced with the enigma of himself and his fellows. And Man has been victimized by impulses and brutal instincts which have caused him to erect in self-protection, prisons and legal codes and complex social systems. Man has not felt safe from Man. And indeed, the conduct of men down the ages has not much justified belief or faith. Wars, murder and arson, treachery and betrayal, cynicism and destruction have marred his progress until history itself has become a long montage of battles, murders and running blood.

Confronted with this aspect in himself and his fellows, Man has long searched for an answer to the riddle of his own behavior and for ways to remedy that behavior. Long before Diogenes, Man was searching for such answers to his questions. In Babylon, Chaldea, India and even into distant and primitive times those men who could think found concern in the antisocial and unreasonable conduct of their fellows. Throughout all these ages, little by little, bits of the answer were forthcoming.

No flashing and spectacular result in modern times can gainsay the brilliance of achievement of the early searchers in the field of the human mind, for these, out of the morass of superstition and taboo, sorted out the first phenomena vital to the solution of the problem.

Man’s search for the answer to his own riddle was quickened during the last century by two things: the first was the energy and curiosity of Sigmund Freud and the second was the mathematics of James Clerk Maxwell who gave to us the fundamentals of energy.

To talk of the faults of Freud, as do those who practice psychoanalysis today, is ungenerous. This great pioneer, against the violent objections of medical doctors and the psychiatrists of his day, ventured to put forth the theory that memory was connected with present time behavior and that by talk alone a patient could be made well. Whatever the repute of the libido theory, whatever the disillusionment of this great man himself – for he admitted defeat before he died – his work and method of address were a valuable step toward an eventual solution.

The probable reason why this solution did not earlier appear has to do with the knowledge we have gained in this century about the physical universe and its structure. The mind was a problem which had to be solved from a knowledge both of humanity and of nuclear physics and modern mathematics. The final solution was simple. The route to it required the physical universe knowledge given to us by searchers in the physical sciences and mathematics.

The story of how Scientology and Dianetics came about will demonstrate this. It will illustrate the background knowledge which was apparently necessary to carry forth to conclusion work which was initiated by Freud and the countless generations behind him.

In the Twenties I was fortunate enough to know Commander Thompson of the Medical Corps of the United States Navy. He was a colorful man, poised, polished, greatly traveled, curious in half a hundred sciences. The United States Navy, having heard much of the work of Freud in Vienna, sent an officer, Commander Thompson, to study under Freud and bring back to the Navy any benefit from psychoanalysis. When I knew Thompson he was but lately returned from long study with the master.

And Thompson was not too impatient and not too bored to communicate something of Freud’s teachings to a boy. As a dashing and brilliant figure, Thompson was enough to incite enthusiasm in any youngster and I fear I imposed greatly on his patience and his time.

But a career in the humanities was not on schedule for me. My father, a naval officer, decreed that I would study engineering and mathematics and so I found myself obediently studying the physical sciences at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. A course called “Atomic and Molecular Phenomena” had been instituted there. Today we call it Nuclear Physics. I was fortunate enough to be an early student of that subject in what I believe was the first course in nuclear physics formally taught in the United States.

While at the university I adventured upon certain researches which were off curriculum. I wanted to find the smallest particle or unit of energy Man could contact. And, recalling Thompson’s teachings, decided to investigate the energy of the human mind.

Considerable travel and examination of the cultures of Man, considerable study in philosophy, occasional encouragement from such men as Will Durant brought me by 1938 into possession of the basic formulas of human behavior. They were rough, those early conclusions. They were crude. And they lacked a technique of application.

The basic nature of Man is not bad. It is good. One should realize that as a possibility. The basic nature of Man itself is not at fault. But the basic primitive adventures of Man were violent and savage and, as Freud supposed, it is that imposed brutality which Man must hold in check.

Living with the beasts of the jungle, caught at every hand by death and terror, early Man could not but develop brutal reactions. Murder and war were the commonplace. Man had not learned to control his environment and so he had to combat it. Every walk forth from his cave might mean death or battle. Every mischance might bring about catastrophe. Man had no choice to be anything but brutal and savage.

Then came civilization. Then came law and order and the right to eat without being killed. Then came the partial control of the surroundings sufficient to call Man’s state civilized.

But Man could not wholly escape his heritage. Here today, when Man supposedly can reason, murder, arson and war stalk his shaded streets and homes.

Man, in an apparent civilization, is haunted by instincts he cannot understand. He has prisons where he puts men such as one cages wild beasts. He has institutions which house millions upon millions of men who are insane and can no longer reason. And Man gazes with collective horror upon the prospect of being obliterated by a weapon so sweeping and terrible that all of civilization may perish in the click of a button – the atomic bomb.

Man is grasping wildly today for some method of restraining the brutality of his fellows or even himself.

And he is motivated in that brutality by all the crimes of his yesterdays.

Man is subjugated and made afraid, he is made brutal and wicked by basic instincts. In order to be civilized Man must repress those instincts. The moment he represses them he becomes sick. Thus the solution is impossible. Unless Man can reach inside himself and eradicate in some manner the things which make him kill and steal and make war.

Can instincts be eradicated from the mind? They certainly can be and with less trouble than anyone ever suspected.

And is Man healthy and better with them gone? He is so much better, so much more reliable, so much healthier, so much happier that one immediately finds in him new hope for Mankind.

What is the basic nature of Man? Man is basically good. But between him and that goodness lies a savage and twisted past, inherited from all the centuries of his being, the instincts which he had to wear as a primitive, as a savage. They are still there, on full record, there in a world which now must be civilized if Man is not to perish from the earth.

The basic impulse of Man is to help his fellows. He is not a monomaniacal fiend, intent only upon his own gain. But the instincts, fears and rages he represses make him seem so. He wants to help his fellows. He wants Man to live. He wants the world to survive. But because he has been taught in the brutal school of tooth and claw that life can be treacherous, he seeks unreasonable and treacherous means of achieving his ends.

Take away the savage antisocial impulses of Man, of any man or woman or child, and he is free, free to act, to be happy, to gain and to be without fear of what he might do if he let himself loose.

Take away these unwanted brutalities and Man’s intelligence rises or even doubles. Take away these impulses and Man’s health of being evidently improves beyond past knowledge.

In 1938 I codified certain axioms and phenomena into what I called “Scientology”. Scientology is the science of knowledge or the codification of epistemology. Dianetics was evolved from these.

Over two hundred axioms comprise Scientology and embrace Dianetics. Over two hundred new phenomena concerning the human mind have been discovered and cataloged as to their relative importance.

In 1948 I wrote a thesis on an elementary technique of application and submitted it to the medical and psychiatric professions for their use or consideration. The data was not utilized. In 1950, I issued a popular book on the subject called Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. The book, much to the astonishment of myself and everyone else, became a best seller immediately and still sells regularly. Other books followed.

The address of Dianetics and Scientology is not to the ill, the insane or the criminal. It is effective in these fields. But its intention is toward the improvement of the able. Men who already can accomplish things can accomplish more. The problems of the society depend upon clear-thinking and sane men. Processing can bring about that state according to long experience.

Processing has now become relatively simple. The auditor first must understand the basic axioms of the subject and their meaning in processing. He must have a good grasp of his essential tools. He can gain this understanding in a few weeks if he is quick and intelligent. 

He must then be able to handle the techniques of application. These are effective and swift.

When one starts to handle primitive instincts in a human being, that human being sometimes has the sensation of having lived before. We know the instincts from distant times are there and we know where they are filed and we know how to change the record. It is relatively simple to call up in any human being the basic and underlying records which have haunted Man for generations. No matter how solidly he is repressing them, the instincts are there. When they are in sight and deintensified, he is able to relax, to be free, and to be effective.

The simplicity of the present techniques seems to belie the arduousness of their discovery. But they contain all the thousands of years of Man’s search for what makes Man hate Man.

Dianetics and Scientology are no more than reason joining research in the humanities and research in the fields of energy and the physical sciences. Once this knowledge was joined, the answers were readily available.

Perhaps now it may be possible, in an overwrought world, to do something about the criminals, the insane, about war and the antisocial hatred Man feels for Man. Can we do something for the savage in civilized garb before he ruins this world and all Man? That is a question which the future must answer. I cannot do more than the work I have done and to publish and make available what has been done.

Every facility which I have and every knowledge which we have gained is at your disposal. It is at your disposal to improve you, to make crime a thing of yesterday, to banish war forever. But it is up to you.

– L. Ron Hubbard – 06.02.1952

bottom of page