A Key to the Unconscious
L. Ron Hubbard
THE WORK IN THIS VOLUME* IS DERIVED
FROM THE BASIC AXIOMS OF DIANETICS
While this book* is primarily designed for counseling, it may be employed by
less skilled operators in the alleviation of either anxiety or psychosomatic illness.
So long as study is given to the text and the question pages are used without
departure, only benefit may accrue.
Symbols have often been used hopefully in an effort to unlock the unconscious
mind and derive some answer to its terrible power over Man. The use of symbols is not
new. Their employment with these evaluation techniques is new for here they are
solidly backed by an understanding of what the unconscious may be expected to
The symbol is not the thing. The symbol is a code form of the thing. Here we
use symbols to discover reality, here there is no effort to codify symbols for the sake of
codifying symbols. Attempts to standardize symbols have often been made. It had not
occurred to past workers that symbols were not standard, but varied wildly from
individual to individual.
Here the individual is permitted to evaluate for himself what certain symbols
may mean to him and he is further pressed into seeking the reality of these symbols he
has himself envisioned with these aids.
It is hoped that this volume will answer the many requests to produce a simple,
workable method of counseling which would yet not interrupt the self-determinism of
the individual or increase his dependence upon the counselor.
A BRIEF SUMMARY
OF HOW TO USE THIS BOOK
The goal in using this volume is the rehabilitation of the individual ability to
differentiate in general.
The process is based upon the axiom that identification is irrational and
differentiation is rational.
It is further based upon the axiom that the psychotic is wholly concerned with
the past and the problems of the past, the neurotic is concerned somewhat with the past
and then only with the present, and the very sane is concerned only slightly with the
past, somewhat with the present and energetically with the future.
The volume is used three ways by the same person:
1. It is used first without writing in it.
2. It is used second by finishing the symbols with colored crayon.
3. It is used third by labeling the separate parts of the symbols drawn.
The person being processed goes through the book first without making any
marks in it. Page by page he views the unfinished symbols and decides what to make
of them. The counselor then requires him, each time he has decided on a symbol, to tell
what person or object or thing in the real universe, or what circumstance or state of
Copyright (©)1952 by L. Ron Hubbard. All Rights Reserved.
[* References to "this volume" or "this book" refer only to this immediate text (pages 239-263) which
was originally published as a mimeographed, staple-bound, 81/2" x 11 " booklet. ]
239being, the symbol represents. The person being processed then is required to recall an
incident involving this person or object or state of being.
The volume is then turned upside down and the processee goes through it
again, first completing the symbol, then finding a real person or object it represents,
then discovering an incident involving the person or object. This incident is then
identified with every precision so that the exact moment and circumstances are in view.
And for each, the counselor demands another involving something this object or
person, or similar object or person, did TO the processee. And each time the incident,
or incidents similar to it or containing some of the elements of it, is recalled the
processee is required to describe it and its elements until it is completely real to him.
And if the incident seems of great seriousness to the processee, all similar incidents are
recalled until the matter seems no longer important.
Now, working a section or five pages at a sitting, the processee finishes the
symbols with colored crayons. And the symbols are then reduced to real incidents. And
the color is identified for what it is to the processee, for it may mean much to him. But
now the counselor wants to know what the processee did to the person or object and
wants to know the action or emotion or thought which was overt or covert toward this
object or person.
In other words, when the processee has completed a section, the counselor goes
over it with him thoroughly, reducing each symbol into an actuality and then requiring
the processee to discover what he did that was vicious and destructive to this actuality.
The questioning of the counselor is as follows:
"What do these marks mean to you in terms of symbols?"
"What does the symbol you have just named mean to you?"
"Who or what does the symbol represent in the real world?"
"Whom did you know in the past who was like that?" (Or "Who used such an object?")
"What did this person (or object) do to you?"
"Recall an exact incident when it happened."
"Where were you standing when it happened?" (And other questions which put the
processee into the actual scene.)
If there were several times, "Recall the time most real to you."
"What is the earliest incident of this kind you can remember?"
Orient the processee in the incident. Have him glance through all such incidents
until he is again in present time. (The less talking he does about what he THINKS
about it, the better.)
Glance over this entire chain of incidents time after time until they no longer
interest the processee.
WHEN THE SYMBOLS HAVE BEEN DRAWN follow the same process but
this time alter it so that the processee addresses only incidents which the PROCESSEE
has done to the object or person the symbol represents.
IN SCANNING THROUGH CHAINS AVOID ACTUAL PHYSICAL PAIN.
IF IT IS HIT ANYWAY, RUN IT UNTIL IT IS DESENSITIZED. Get in particular
when the processee administered this pain to another.
NEVER FORCE A PROCESSEE BACK INTO AN INCIDENT.
ALWAYS SCAN A CHAIN UNTIL IT HAS A HIGH SENSE OF REALITY
The general purpose of this volume is to increase the ability of an individual to
differentiate amongst persons and objects and times to the end that his orientation in the
environment is enhanced.
The process which is here set forth permits a wide range of self-evaluation and
brings about a condition of increased self-confidence.
The counselor’s skill is here expressed in his ability to widen the usages of the
actual incidents which are recovered to view by the processee, as well as the skill he
may employ in coaxing the processee to find actuality in the symbols he creates or
The process has a very wide latitude, depending mainly upon how much the
counselor may understand of the background technology of these processes, for the
volume may be used merely as outlined on the earlier pages, or it may be used with an
understanding of its texts, or it may be employed by a wide comprehension of the
subject of Dianetics, in which many techniques exist which, by this method of
discovering incidents by symbols, can alleviate the type of incident discovered.
The goal of the book is to bring into full view the latent and sometimes violent
conflicts and turmoils which lie out of sight in what was once referred to as the
"unconscious" mind. More bluntly, the use of this book brings to light those things for
which the processee will not take the responsibility and for which he was unwilling to
have been CAUSE.
In many individuals the symbol alone can be faced, but once that is faced, the
person or object of the incident can be faced, and then, at last, the incident itself may be
confronted and, by Lock Scanning or Repetitive Straight Wire, may be deintensified.
Skill in the use of Lock Scanning and Repetitive Straight Wire is very desirable.
More deeply, skill in deintensifying heavily charged incidents is desirable. More deeply
yet, the counselor may acquaint himself with the techniques of eradicating facsimiles
entirely. For this volume’s use may bring to view—and with forethought will always
bring to view—basic reasons why light and conscious level incidents have been
We examine in symbols, not the source of difficulty, but the key to a source of
And we carefully permit the processee the fullest possible freedom of evaluation
and self-determinism as this volume is worked, a thing many counselors, eager to help,
sharply ready with advice and evaluation, may discover difficult, much to the detriment
of the processee.
This volume permits the individual to find that he can help himself, easily the
most valuable step which can be taken toward a high level of sanity.
The employment of this volume by the counselor should follow a set procedure,
for if he is processing several individuals he may thereby keep an accurate accounting
of the progress of each.
Each book is made up in such a way as to permit the instruction pages to be torn
out. As a general rule, the processee should not be given the instruction pages, and it is
not necessary to explain to him what is required save as he approaches each separate
phase of the processing.
The volume, then, should have its instruction pages removed. Then it should be
labeled with the name of the processee. A data page for this purpose is provided in the
back of the instruction section and this, remaining in the book, keeps check on the
progress of the processee.
These two things done, the counselor then gives the processee the remainder of
the volume and lets him handle it and glance through it. The counselor does not need
241to indoctrinate the individual in any way and does not need to explain any of the
processes to him. He will find that processees, even children, even psychotics, fall
readily into the game of WHAT DO YOU SEE IN THIS?
The general steps covered in the earlier section and more expansively in this
section are then entered upon successively.
An important part of application is the attitude of the processing counselor. The
entire effect of the book can be destroyed if the counselor is challenging, sarcastic or if
he seems to want to "get something on" the processee. Additionally, an attitude of
constant evaluation, such as "The reason you saw this was ...," will enervate the
processee and bring him into apathy, for here the counselor is usurping the processee’s
right to evaluate. Further, the counselor should not become involved in arguments with
the processee. If the processee says that this is a fire engine in a beauty shop, it is a fire
engine in a beauty shop. The counselor should beware evaluating for the processee for
an excellent reason: This process is aimed toward restoring the ability of the processee
to evaluate. And there is yet another reason: The counselor unwittingly may begin to
force his own aberrations at the processee in an effort to process out of him what
should be processed out of the counselor.
Quiet, interested insistence that the processee see something and that he must
then recall a real incident and must then process that incident will produce results
which, while seldom dramatically painful to the processee, will be found to be very
beneficial to him.
In general this is a slow process, which is to say that no sudden results are
obtained, but in a certain percentage of cases results so sudden and startling as to
reverse an entire personality will occur. The counselor should be expecting the former
and only gratified at the latter.....
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A Key to the Unconscious Symbological Processing Ron Hubbard
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A Key to the Unconscious Symbological Processing Ron Hubbard
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