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ENGLISH DOCS FOR THIS DATE- Anatomy of Failure (PAB-91) - PAB560703

The Oldest Continuous Publication in Dianetics and Scientology
Via Hubbard Communications Office
217a Kensington High Street, London W. 8
3 July 1956


Two things are of paramount importance in Scientology. They are WIN and LOSE.

Occupying the original Chart of Attitudes composed by myself in the autumn of 1951, Win and Lose have occupied ever since a predominant place in processing. A preclear can be stuck in either Wins or Loses. This might come as a surprise that a preclear could be stuck in a win, but the facts of a case are that a preclear is stuck in any reversal between intention or expectance. One knows of the man who lives forever after his having won the race and one knows as well the man who lives forever after the failure of his business.

Primarily, the person who is living forever after in some sort of incident is living the survival of something which overwhelmed him rather than his own survival.

The anatomy of winning or losing, either one, is the anatomy of postulate and reverse-postulate. One intends to do something by making a postulate that it will take place, yet something else takes place. This is a reversal of postulate.

Now let us consider exactly what a failure is. It is only a failure of postulate. It is the failure of an intention. The intention is one thing, the result of the intention is a reverse. This is a failure.

One would say, offhand, that a person who ran a car into a stone wall would have a failure. However, this is simply a social belief that one should not run cars into the wall. There are four conditions which could be involved with running a car into the wall. Running a car into the wall is not a failure without the addition of postulates.

One does not intend to run the car into the wall and yet runs it into the wall. This is a failure.

One intends to run the car into the wall and runs the car into the wall. This is awin.

One intends not to run the car into the wall and doesn’t run it into the wall. This isa win.

One intends to run the car into the wall and doesn’t run a car into a wall. This is a failure.

Thus we can see that running the car into the wall, or not running the car into the wall, do not themselves establish, except by public agreement as to the conditions of failure, an actual failure. The failure derives from failing to do what one intended to do. When one does what one intends to do one has a win. When one intends to do one thing and accomplishes something else one has a lose.

A person is stuck in “Wins” only when he intended to lose and won. A runner never expected to win. He was simply part of the field most of his career and thenspectacularly, and almost by accident, he won. It is certain that he will be stuck in that win. Therefore the only wins that a person gets stuck in are those which were not intentional.

Regret itself is entirely the study of the reversed postulate. One intended to do something good and one did something bad. Similarly it could also happen that one intends to do something bad and accidentally did something good. Either incident would be regretted. Examples of the first condition are easy to conceive. In the second category I once knew a man who intended to “get the best of” a woman of somewhat Herculean proportions. Somewhere in this contest the woman fell ill and he healed her and did it to such an excellent degree that the woman, to whom mercy was unknown, thereafter promptly overwhelmed him entirely. Here we have the public belief that to heal is good but in this particular case it was regretted by the individual and would have been regretted even though he did not experience a later loss.

It is an interesting commentary upon the mental anatomy of man that he seldom intends to do something good without actually accomplishing something good. One can always go upstairs into doing well. Failures are the most marked when one intends to do something bad and doesn’t accomplish it. For instance, a gunman misses his enemy. He generally lives to regret it because his intention basically was not for the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics — the definition of good.

It must be understood by the auditor that the preclear is not stuck in failures or wins. The preclear is stuck in reversed postulates. He intended to do one thing and another thing happened. This is only aberrative when the other thing that happened was a direct reverse.

There are several methods of running this particular phenomenon and it is a very important one in the repertoire of the auditor.

The first and oldest method was Rising Scale Processing. In this process, an individual was asked to get one of the lower postulates on the Chart of Attitudes and then carry it “upward” until he could get the higher idea. In this particular case one would ask the preclear to get the idea of losing and would then ask him to change that as nearly as he could to the idea of winning. This process might be improved by asking the preclear to get the idea of losing and then get the idea of being engaged in a game and have him do this over and over until he could hold the idea of being engaged in a game. One would then have him get the idea of winning and would thereafter have him get the idea of being engaged in a game. You see, both winning and losing are no-game conditions. One can be as afraid of winning as of losing, because one always loses when one wins or loses, the difference being that one loses the game.

A more modern idea of running this would be to get the preclear to make one postulate and then conceive that its reverse occurred, then to have him say, “That defeats me.”

An example of this would be the classical example of telling the preclear, “Command that wall to fall down.” “Now, observe that it did not.” “Now decide to do it yourself.” This will demonstrate to him primarily the mechanism of how he comes to do everything himself, because he knows that if he tells something else to do something it will disobey him and he will get a lose.

An even more advanced method of running this would be to get the preclear to hold two ideas at the same time and have him place out in front of him a person with the idea of living and a person opposite him with the idea of dying. When he can do this, have him make the first person say to the second person, “Die,” and have the second person live as a result. Use various types of postulates until the person takes much less personally the idea of a postulate becoming reversed. In other words, this and other mechanisms can be used to habituate the person to the idea that postulates can turn around and do something else. As soon as he relaxes on this subject he will become much easier and less apprehensive about losing.

Failure consists exactly of something else happening rather than the intention.

An example of this: We are taught that “all men are nice to everyone, that there is no murder or insanity or upset anywhere in life,” and so gradually we intend that a smooth, uneventful and fruitful life will result. Then we discover that people do bad things to people, that people nag us so that they impede us. That our goals, ambitions and accomplishments are not worthwhile in other people’s opinions, and so we have a failure. Here the failure is actually the failure of having a right intention toward life. What is the right intention toward life? To be very, very safe, it is the intention to have what happens what will happen. If one knows that life is going to be tricky, cruel, arduous and vicious at times, then one is not surprised by it. One does not hope so sanguinely, or one does not intend so ferociously that all will be “sweetness and light” and one is not so dismayed when “sweetness and light” does not occur.

Romantic novels teach us that the hero always wins and that good always triumphs. Now, it so happens that the hero doesn’t always win and that good does not always triumph. On a shorter view we can see villainy triumphing all about us. The truth of the matter is that the villainy is sooner or later going to lose in an entirely different way than the villain expects. One cannot go through life victimizing one’s fellow beings and wind up in anything but a trap — the victim himself. However, one doesn’t observe this in the common course of life. One sees the villains succeeding everywhere, evidently amassing money, cutting their brother’s throat, receiving the fruits of the courts and coming to rule over men. Without looking at the final consequence of this, which is there just as certainly as the sun rises and sets, one begins to believe that evil triumphs whereas one has been taught that only good triumphs. This causes the person himself to have a failure and actually causes his downfall. The safe way to intend life to go on happening is the way life goes on happening. A much healthier attitude is to change life where one can change it and not be heartbroken because one has not changed it further. In other words one can intend to change life for the better and can succeed. With Dianetics and Scientology, particularly, he can accomplish this. Before Dianetics and Scientology he probably couldn’t, so it would not have been safe or healthy to expect to change life in any way. But now he can at least change life in the sphere where he exists, and thus that things can become better becomes an actuality.

It would be a certain way to produce a failed attitude of mind in a person to indoctrinate him in one direction and have him experience the reverse.

In Dianetics and Scientology the auditor has maintained an optimistic attitude towards what is going to happen to his cases. By and large this is justified, but occasionally he intends to make somebody well and the person, even though he became a bit better, continues to complain about his bad state of health. This was much commoner four years ago than it is today when we understand more, but unfortunately has resulted in a series of failures for some auditors. If an auditor who has experienced this will get the idea that he is going to make the patient well and then have the patient in mock-up collapse and then get the idea that he is going to make the patient well and get the patient to collapse again, and carry this out by old Creative Processing, all of his past auditing failures will drop away as having no importance.

The first and foremost lesson taught by failure is that one’s postulate didn’t stick. There are several methods and processes of running postulates to practice their “sticking,” but the foremost of these would be to run out the idea that one should be dismayed simply because a something else happens. Actually if everything happened which you intended to happen there would be no randomity or interest in life whatsoever. People shudder back from the idea that their postulates and orders will always be obeyed. They will not always be obeyed and that is what makes the game of life a game; otherwise it would be one long continuous win, which is a no-game condition.