The Goal of Life

Late afternoon sun over the lake. Dianetics and Scientology Canberra.


This is an essay by L. Ron Hubbard.

The concise statement of the goal of life itself was one of the most fundamental breakthroughs of Dianetics. This, the dynamic principle of man’s existence, was discovered by L. Ron Hubbard and from this many hitherto unanswered questions were resolved. 

The goal of life can be considered to be infinite survival. That man seeks to survive has long been known, but that it is his primary motivation is new. Man, as a life form, can be demonstrated to obey in all his actions and purposes the one command: “SURVIVE!”

This is the common denominator of all life and from it came the critical resolution of man’s ills and aberrations. Once “Survive!” was isolated as the primary urge which explained all of a life form’s activities, it was necessary to study further the action of survival. And from that research it was discovered that when one considered pain and pleasure as part of the equation, he had at hand the necessary ingredients with which to understand all of life’s actions. 

Survival is not only the difference between life and death. There are various levels of survival. 

The better one is able to manage his life and increase his level of survival, the more he will have pleasure, abundance and satisfaction. 

Pain, disappointment and failure are the result of actions which do not promote survival.


Dianetics states that the purpose of the mind is to solve problems relating to survival.
The mind directs the individual in the effort of survival and bases its operations upon the information that it receives or records. The mind records data using what are called mental image pictures.

Such pictures are actually three-dimensional, containing color, sound and smell, as well as other perceptions. They also include the conclusions or speculations of the individual. Mental image pictures are continuously made by the mind, moment by moment. One can, for instance, examine the picture of what he had for breakfast this morning by recalling breakfast; and similarly recover a picture of an event which occurred last week by recalling it; or even recall something which happened a much longer time ago.

Mental image pictures are actually composed of energy. They have mass, they exist in space, and they follow some very, very definite routines of behavior, the most interesting of which is the fact that they appear when somebody thinks of something. If a person thinks of a certain dog, he gets a picture of that dog.

The consecutive record of mental image pictures which accumulates through an individual’s life is called the time track. The time track is a very accurate record of a person’s past. As a rough analogy, the time track could be likened to a motion-picture film — if that film were three-dimensional, had fifty-seven perceptions and could fully react upon the observer. 

The mind uses these pictures to make decisions that promote survival. The mind’s basic motivation, even though a person might fail in an undertaking or make a mistake, is always survival.

That being the case, why don’t all of the actions dictated by the mind result in enhanced survival? Why do people sometimes experience irrational fears, doubt their own abilities or entertain negative emotions which seem uncalled for by circumstances?


Here is also a set of DVDs to also help you quickly understand the concept of the book.

There is also Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.

There are other Dianetics Books at Dianetics and Scientology Canberra.

And there are lectures of Dianetics that were recorded over seventy years ago.

And here is more information about the author, L. Ron Hubbard.

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