By Steve Spargo

People will often advise you to be true to yourself.  Good advice.  But how do you do it? Scientology Axiom 37 gives some important clues:


It sounds pretty innocent.  But this axiom goes right to the heart of all the pain and misery you ever saw.

Example of How It Works

Suppose that one day Mary wakes up and decides that from now on, her main purpose will be to make  beautiful music which makes people happy (primary consideration).  And she proceeds to do just that.

The entire physical universe however, immediately lines up and tries to change her purpose.


Well it is because of a bad habit we all picked up a long time ago.  For some reason we decided that SURVIVAL was the most important thing there is in this universe.  Unfortunately, the only way to make something survive is to alter it or not-is (suppress) it.    I know that sounds odd but it is all explained in the earlier Axioms.  Axiom #14 for example, says “Survival is accomplished by alter-is-ness and not-is-ness”.

The result of this is that we have an automatic impulse to change things all the time.

Therefore some people will soon come along to convince Mary that her purpose is actually: to make beautiful music which makes people happy AND GET RICH.  One of them is her body which insists on being fed and others will volunteer to look after all the irksome business details for her in exchange for just a small commission.  So she thinks, “Why not? I’m still doing what I love?”

Of course that is the thin edge of the SURVIVAL wedge.  Now it says in her contract that she can’t go down to the mall and sing to make people happy any more.  She can only do it in the time and places where her manager can extract commissions.    She can’t sing too often as that would be over-exposure and bad for her voice.  And now she will find herself doing a lot of publicity interviews where she doesn’t sing at all and only talks about her last album.  Next thing you know, the critics will be saying mean things about her voice, her style or even her bottom and she will be changing all sorts of things to improve her survival.

As time goes by, Mary gets more and more involved in activities which are NOT her original purpose to make beautiful music which makes people happy.  And wow, do these altering considerations have persistence!  Her life is getting more and more unhappy.

At Work

This happens to me at work all the time.  As a Project Manager I get given a primary consideration.   It starts very simply: “We want you to install a new computer for us.”

The very next thing I know, people are lining up to tell me why I can’t do what I’ve been asked to do.

 Apparently I need a lot of money to install this computer.  But I can’t have any money unless Joe approves it.  Joe won’t approve it until somebody else works out exactly what is needed.  That guy tells me to get lost.  He isn’t going to do anything at all for me until I have the money approved!

When I finally break out of that deadlock, there are forms to fill in, people to persuade, problems to solve.  All these people are lining up to help me by altering or suppressing my purpose.  Yes, they are helping me to survive by giving me lots of altering considerations (problems).

It is fairly routine to end up bogged down in altering considerations while time and budget are running out.

The Solution

The solution is simple.  Get back to my original consideration. In other words … be true to myself.  Do what I set out to do.

There are a million ways of doing this and one can be as creative as you like.  Simple ways I use include repeating the primary consideration every time we have a meeting.

Eg. “Our purpose here today is to work out exactly how we will install this computer.”

You use every opportunity  to restate the purpose.  If you don’t do this, you will get lost in a maze of altering considerations and forget what you were trying to do in the first place.

Scope Management

In project management we have this thing we call Scope Management.  It’s mostly about figuring out exactly what the primary consideration is in the first place.  If you know that, you’ll save tons of money and time.

As a simple example, I often find myself trying to fill in complicated request forms.  The form is difficult to understand, asks for information I don’t have and when it is filled in there will be a 2 week lead time before anyone will even respond to the request.

Then suddenly I remember to look for what the primary consideration is.  Oh, that’s right, I’m trying to ask somebody for something!

So I put the form down and ring the guy up – or even better, if he’s nearby I go see him.  In 5 minutes he explains all the acronyms and tells me to ignore Section 6 because even he doesn’t know what that is about.  I establish a rapport that I never could have established with the form by itself.  In fact, he says to send the form over now and he’ll process it right away.  Saves a couple of weeks.

This is one of the most amazing, time-saving, productive datums you will ever run into.  Fair dinkum! (that’s Australian for “no kidding”). 

No matter what you are doing.  Wooing a girl, planning a dinner party or choosing a holiday.  The way to achieve your dreams is to always look for the primary consideration.  Your fondest and most exciting dreams are made out of primary considerations.

The Reactive Mind

Amazingly, the whole reactive mind is built on the innocent little axiom I stated above.  Ron called it the Goals-Problem-Mass (GPM).   Goal refers to the primary consideration, Problem refers to the altering considerations and Mass is what you end up with.

In the example above, it is easy to see how Mary could start defending herself against critics and after a while, she will be attacking them.  Criticism and attacking are what the Axioms call Not-Ising and that is definitely something you don’t want to get into.

Why not?  Because you will eventually become the thing you are attacking.  Next lifetime Mary will likely become a critic who has a secret ambition to sing.  She will criticise mostly bad singers and in a future time she will become a bad singer herself who has secret impulses to criticise and attack other singers at the same time as wanting to make people happy.  She keeps flipping into the personalities she attacks and the goals (altered considerations) of all those personalities get mashed-up together into a horrible, confused, persistent mess.

Mary ends up with all these conflicting ideas and can’t figure out what she really wants to do in life.  She has become human in the worst sense of the word.

A Word About Not-Is

There are many ways to Not-Is something and they are all methods of preventing us from seeing what is (truth).  Avoiding and Ignoring are the two most commonly employed.  But they ALL lead us to the same destination.  Fighting something.


Suppose we read a Scientology book and exclaim to ourselves, “Hmmm.  I can use Scientology to help people” (primary consideration).  So we go along to the Church of Scientology to find out more and instead of saying “We’ll help you achieve your goal,” the Church says “Don’t worry.  For a small contribution we will do it all for you.”  That is the altering consideration and at the time we think it just a small compromise of our personal reality – or perhaps we don’t even notice the alteration it is so subtle.

One day, after quite a number of similar small compromises (further alterations) which we ignored, we notice that the Church may not be “doing it all for us.”  When we ask about it, we find it is because we  haven’t given enough money.  So we ignore the outpoints and give more money.

 After a few more violations of our reality we finally take issue with the Church over their failure to “do it all for us.”  Then we discover something else.  We find that YES, the Church IS doing it all for us and if we disagree then we may not be eligible to receive further auditing and maybe even our friends and family won’t talk to us any more.  But we don’t  think about it precisely in those terms because we long ago installed a firm policy of “avoid and ignore.”

By this time, there have been a sufficient number of alterations for us to have lost sight of our primary consideration to the degree that we are in that very human condition of confusion.  We are not sure what to think. We are uncertain.

Fortunately we attend a Church event shortly after we reach this state. At the event we are treated with a blaring, over-amplified assault accompanied by emotive words and images.  We sit down, stand up and clap on command and are then given a wonderfully aesthetic and stirring message from the leader of our Church. “We are the good guys!  They are the bad guys!”

Phew!  Our confusion is resolved and now we know who to fight.

 Or maybe we end up fighting our own Church.

Whichever way it goes one thing is always true.  If you are not-ising something, you are headed for trouble.

Key Messages

 1.    Have a Policy of Knowing What You Are Trying To Achieve

If you are struggling or having difficulty with anything at all in your life, one of the most productive things you can do is sit down for a few minutes and identify your primary objective.  What YOU originally postulated and not what someone else got you to do instead.

When you do this, you will nearly always find that you are wasting your time applying for some kind of license to do something when in fact you can just go out and do it.  It’s also possible to realize that you have no goal to do anything in that area and it’s a total waste of time.

2.    Fighting

If for any reason you find yourself criticizing or attacking someone or something, immediately indicate to yourself that you are way off-purpose and chasing altered considerations. 

You must immediately revert to #1 above and find your original goal.  You will always find something more direct and more constructive you can do to achieve your goal.

You may have to fight a few battles to get back on track.  But they will be temporary skirmishes and not the main game.  Soon you will be happily on your way to your goal.

In the example above, instead of fighting critics, Mary should recover her original consideration.  When she does, she will immediately see she needs to renegotiate her contract and get back to singing and making people happy.   She wouldn’t have time to worry about critics then and she would be a lot happier.

3.    Be True To Yourself

The secret of being true to yourself is to know what your own original considerations are and never, ever lose sight of them.  This is just another way of saying Point #1 above.

Others will definitely will want you to change your considerations.  They will offer you a lot of money to change your mind.  Take the money, but don’t change your consideration!!!!!  Say to yourself, “If I work for these guys for 12 months then I will have enough to …. [primary consideration]”

You don’t have to spurn all life and be disagreeable to everyone to “be true to yourself.”  You can go along with and be agreeable with the whole darn universe without liability.  Just as long as you yourself do not lose sight of your own goals and never agree with anyone wanting to change it.

4.    Be Patient With Yourself

You should know about something that happened to me on this subject.

When I started looking at what I was really trying to achieve in life, I would find something uplifting.  Something that simplified my life and seemed so RIGHT.  I would work with it for a while and it would inspire some stirring sermons at Sunday Service.  Then suddenly I would realize it wasn’t quite right and that my original purpose was really …. (something different).

If this happens to you don’t worry.  You are not in a state of confusion.  You are just rolling back up the chain of altered considerations.  Just work with what you know and don’t be surprised if you find you really think something else after you have worked with it for a while.  It’s a process of you finding out about you.  Not somebody else telling you what to think.


You can use Axiom 37 to good effect.  And if you see someone in trouble, unhappy, striking out at life – remember that one of the simplest ways of getting him back on track is to help him recover his original objective.


Tom M
+2 # Tom M 2013-05-02 23:30
Steve, thank you for this wonderful article. Very well laid out and very helpful to people. Especially the ones who joined the Sea Org or staff to help "Clear the Planet". They will get a chuckle out of this if they do a demo - even a clay demo. Wow.
ML Tom
+1 # steve 2013-05-03 03:27
Thanks Tom. I'm sure they definitely would be chuckling if they were to remember what their original purpose was.
Ingrid Smith
+2 # Ingrid Smith 2013-05-03 00:52
Beautiful article. I think I have been pretty good about sticking to my purposes in some big issues-not so with say shopping-I go out to buy a pair of shoes then I get lost in some sale-next thing you know, I have a new and unnecessary sweater.I always feel like crap afterwards! I'm going to work on that.

As Scientologists this is an important article as so many of us started out with a huge purpose and stars in our eyes. So much work was put into that purpose. there is nothing wrong with the purpose, just the alterations of it that some nasty people along the way put there and convinced us that these alterations were necessary.

it is so amazing to deliver the Tech out here because it is so simple to do. And it is so simple to receive it. I feel very restored on my purpose.

Failed purposes can be handled!
+1 # steve 2013-05-03 03:33
Hi Ingrid.

My observation is that it pays dividends if you go into something with the right primary postulate. My wife for example, goes shopping with the intent to find something nice. That way she gets the shoes, the sweater and a few other impulse buys to boot and always comes home on a win (laugh).

Yes, we can resurrect those failed purps and give everyone a win.
calvin b. duffield
+2 # calvin b. duffield 2013-05-04 01:53

This post is exceptional! One of the very best I have yet seen on the concept of APPLIED Scientology! The Axioms laid out nice and simple in the work-a-day situation, so that anyone can grasp the effects of these simple, but far reaching "laws" which govern every consequence of

Magnificent job Steve! Always looking forward to your blog inputs, as you REALLY do exemplify the concept of "putting order into confusion".

ML, Calvin.
# steve 2013-05-04 06:59
Thanks Calvin.
Tom M
+3 # Tom M 2013-05-04 09:22
Not to derail this thread, but I have to announce that we had a NOTS, OT 5 completion a few days ago. Yea team!

ML Tom
# steve 2013-05-05 00:08
That is just brilliant.
Scott Campbell
+1 # Scott Campbell 2013-05-04 12:15
Excellent article Steve.

You have effectively illustrated the mechanism by which we have added complexity and via's to existence.

Without alter-is there would only be "is" and "as-is". In this case, things could be considered by some to be therefore too ethereal and impermanent. So in order to get things to survive and persist through Time and Space, one had to have a certain "acceptance level" for alteration of their considerations by others.

Interesting game. It's easy to see how one could get effectively trapped in such a game and how anyone getting involved in it could likewise be trapped.

I think that you are right on in your assertion that recovering one's original objective is essential to getting "Back on track".

Thanks for the Re-kindle!
# steve 2013-05-05 00:07
no worries Scott.
Jim Logan
# Jim Logan 2013-05-04 15:42
Now that's a good article!!! Thanks Steve.

P.S. I'm recovering from the jet lag "up" here and enjoying the snow that still sits in the woods.
# steve 2013-05-05 00:08
Ariel and I would love to see that snow up there Jim. Thanks.

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