The States Of Existence

An article by L. Ron Hubbard

Man is so visibly MAN that he overlooked in most of his philosophies and all of his sciences that there is more than one state of existence attainable by man.

Indeed, until we came along and changed their minds, all nineteenth century psychologists stated that man could never change. And described only one state of existence — mortal man.

If you think about it for a moment, you will see that there are many states of existence even in man. He is rich or poor, well or sick, old or young, married or single. If man can alter his state of existence as a man, could he be anything else than a man? Or a woman or a boy or a girl?

There are two or more lower (and abhorrent) states of existence.

The state of ANIMAL is quite often descended to by man as a chronic condition. Not only in mental hospitals, but in life, one can find such changes. Indeed, since 1870 the psychologists have said man was an animal.

Man can also change to a state of matter. This is also seen in mental hospitals.

But those are lower states. Are there any upper and happier states?

These are the whole of the horizon and attainment of Scientology. We are not seeking to make the insane sane. We are seeking to make a man into a higher being.

There are many states of existence besides that of man. This has been touched on by earlier philosophies. What is new about Scientology is that one being can attain several different states of existence in just one lifetime.

This is so novel an outlook that it is no wonder Scientologists are sometimes misunderstood and are taken for healers or psychiatrists.

In fact man at large has never thought of it before. That he personally and in this lifetime could become something far higher and better than a man is brand-new to him. He has heard of dying and his soul going to heaven or hell, and he has variously regarded the prospect as good or boring or terrifying.

But for John Doe to hear that he can become a higher being is a new thing.

Some savants amongst the Himalayas have worked in this direction. Gautama Siddhartha (Buddha) spoke of it. Fifteen or twenty years of hard work were said to result in a nebulous conclusion.

There are actually nine clear-cut states of existence higher than Homo sapiens.

A sick man would think the best possible states would be a well man or a dead man, and whereas these might be (to him) desirable states, they are still man.


The first state above man is a being who can communicate.

We instinctively revere the great artist, painter or musician and society as a whole looks upon them as not quite ordinary beings.

And they are not. They are a cut above man. That they were born this way and were not audited to it does not make them less higher beings. He who can truly communicate to others is a higher being who builds new worlds.

Auditing can achieve this higher state of being — he or she who can communicate. That is a Grade 0 Release.


What distinguishes civilized man as MAN is that he is mired into PROBLEMS which just get worse the more he “solves” them.

The being who can recognize the actual source of problems and so see them vanish is too rare to be easily comprehended. Man solves problems. A being in a higher state looks at them and they vanish.

There are fantastic phenomena here which man has never, before Scientology, examined.

When a being can do this — make problems vanish with a glance — he certainly is no longer man. And the problems artists have are legend.

A being can be audited up to being able to do this. It is a Grade I Release.


Man has never known, except in some of the rare miracle workers he regarded as saints, how to bring relief to various ills.

The secret was that one is connecting oneself to what he abhors.

To be able to easily bring relief to oneself and others from the hostilities and sufferings of life is a skill man has seen only in healers.

Relief is obtained at Grade II Release.


Man is chained to the upsets in his past.

He has never understood why he felt so upset and misunderstood about his family or people or situations.

Most men dwell perpetually on troubles they have had. They lead sad lives.

Freedom from the upsets of the past with the ability to face the future is almost an unknown condition to man.

It is attained as a Grade III Release.


Man’s abilities tend to be individually specialized. He is so intent upon some action that he is clumsy in performing others.

Moving out of a fixed condition and being able to do other things is attained as a Grade IV Release.


Man can seldom handle POWER. He retreats from it or abuses it. When he has it he often misdirects it.

To have it and handle it is attained as a Grade V Release.

Whole Track Release

Man is not even aware of his “time track.” It is a record of his consecutive moments of living stretching back as long as he has lived.

His past is his “time track.” There are three conditions concerning it. A being is first unaware he has one, then is fascinated by what he finds out about his own past and then finds what made him and it that way.

Some of this often shows up in lower auditing. But at this higher state, one comes to handle it.

At this grade it is hard to describe the state, it is so high above common experience and is totally missing in all man’s literature.

It is a Grade VI Release.


This state has often been described in Dianetics and Scientology. It has always been understated.

Release, for years, was mistaken for Clear and was even called Clear. But time has revealed that Clear was far above anything one had dreamed of previously.

Grade VII is not a Release Grade. It is a Clear.

Operating Thetan

This term, “Operating Thetan,” has meaning mainly to old-time Scientologists.

By “operating” is meant “able to act and handle things” and by “thetan” is meant the spiritual being that is the basic self. “Theta” is Greek for thought or life or the spirit. An Operating Thetan then is one who can handle things without having to use a body of physical means. “Poltergeist” is a learned term for only one of the phenomena of this state. Basically one is oneself, can handle things and exist without physical support and assistance. This state is really just “OT” but is numbered Grade VIII for convenience. It doesn’t mean one becomes God. It means one becomes wholly oneself.


Since 1952 we have been able to make man into a spiritual being in a few seconds.

It was startling. It was also unstable. A minute, a day or weeks later the person would become man again and the experience was often remembered dimly.

Recently we solved why this was so. It is fatal to overrun the processes of a Grade once that grade has been obtained. One can be audited on the processes of a new grade one has not attained. But not on the same grade one had already reached. Overauditing — auditing beyond a Grade of Release attained — is very upsetting to a person. He often does not really know why he got upset. He got better, then got worse again.

The same thing happened with the “Thetan Exterior” processes. We made a person exteriorize and then overaudited him by a few more commands. Or the person tried to audit himself into further “exteriorization.”

This state, however, is not a different state of existence. It occurs along with many of the higher Release Grades as a natural condition. And it is, of course, only a foreshadow of Operating Thetan.

Thus, there are nine definite states of existence above that of Homo sapiens and there are some intermediate states such as Grade VII A on the chart.

It is hard for man to grasp even that these states exist. He has no literature about them really or any vocabulary for them.

But they do exist.

Reach for them and you’ll see.

Once one starts going up there is no wish to stop. The whiff of freedom and the total reality of it after all this time is too strong.

L. Ron Hubbard