November 1995
IVy 24

Postulational Terminology
by Ralph Pearcy, USA


POSTULATING IS ONE OF THE fundamental attributes of a Being, the other attribute is perceiving, of course. "A postulate" is defined in Webster's dictionary as "a position or supposition assumed without proof..." — that is, an idea which is put forward either as self-evident, or as an arbitrary concept to argue from. This is the ordinary use of the term.

The use of "postulate" is far broader in Scn. LRH consistently uses the term to mean "having something be so", by direct creative action of a Being, without the intermediary of any mechanism such as hands or machines (though, of course, their use could be included in a postulate, if so desired). The Being in effect says, "Let it be!" and lo! it is: immediate magic.

Of course, we know that the magic often doesn't occur, because of counter-postulates: automatic cancellation of postulates by the agency of the Reactive Mind. A postulate and a matching counter-postulate together constitute a Problem; and this can be one of the components of a Goals Problems Mass, which is just a string of Problems deriving from a Goal (the Mass is just the mental mass of a bunch of problems, and accreted locks).


But besides counter-postulates ("I will... But should I?"), there are other subtleties to postulates. For instance:

Postulate 1 is your ordinary, everyday magic: there the pyramid is, in plain view.

Postulate 2 is a decision which is so indefinite as to verge on being a mere pious hope. Notice that it refers entirely to the undefined future. That is, it can in actual fact never eventuate in the present. The pot of gold at the foot of the rainbow recedes as it is approached in time.

To make Postulate 2 work, it has to be reformulated as a creative action in the present: "I am becoming richer", perhaps. But if reformulated in terms of the current reality, or even in terms of a defined future occasion, it may be of more practical utility. "Mr. X will agree to the deal at our meeting next Tuesday."

What about the large stretches of time past? Postulated alternative past events make good fiction. But to postulate one's own, real past as altered is merely a lie — and there are an awful lot of good liars around. However, the lie doesn't work any magic for an individual's state of beingness. There is a time track which rejects the lie, and which is locked in place by the mechanisms of the Reactive Mind. To superimpose a lie on an event on the time track merely adds a little more mass to the Reactive Mind. (And in fact, the Reactive Mind may even have been set up by "person or persons unknown" who by some kind of trickery induced gullible Beings to postulate lies about past events).

Auto Create

A fundamental action of a Being is, as LRH has called it, a Cycle of Action, the correct definition of which is: "Create... create, create, create... cease to create". Being a creative action, any postulate has a cycle of action. As indicated above, it has to have a clearly defined flow of events in order to reach the desired successful outcome. And it has to end.

In fact, we encounter Goals here: a goal is merely a postulated future outcome (= state of affairs). The goal may be for a definite future, either specified ("To go to Paris next Wednesday"), or with an implied time frame ("To become a concert pianist"). Postulate 2 never ends, because it is always indefinite, merely a vaguely floating hope.

Another way goals can be never-ending is for the "cease to create" end of the action cycle to be cancelled by the Reactive Mind, perhaps operating from an earlier postulate: "I'm not going to let this drop", "I daren't stop now", and so forth.

Indeed, to "cease to create" can appear to a Being as a major loss of havingness. And this has the apparency of being undesirable. "Havingness" in this context means having the use of creations retained for some given purpose: for example,


The word intention is closely related to postulates. In ordinary language, an intention is "a determination to do a specified thing or to act in a particular manner". But LRH defined intention very obscurely, as "a substitute for self". This is perhaps in line with the words for "reaching in" from which "intention" is derived. A Being "reaches in with his/her thetan", so to speak.

This fits with the use of "Tone-40" as a verb. To "Tone-40" someone to do something is to create a totally uncountered postulate that they do it. So they do it!

But this is more in line with a concept of "coercion" in mental terms, as used, for example, by Julian May in her masterly science fiction stories of telepathically "operant" humans.

It would be interesting to re-read all the axioms, substituting the term "coercion" wherever "intention" appears. I will leave this "as an exercise for the reader", as they say in the math books.