Truth is beauty, and beauty truth. I have forever gazed upon beauty and am thus moved to engage its dark shadow.
Scientology came about as much good science fiction does. L. Ron Hubbard is the founder, and he did extensive research into world cultures, beliefs, religious experience in general, and he noticed as many do, that there is a common thread in all these efforts, all these creeds and bodies of practice. I have read his written works regarding his beliefs, and he was by no means a fool. Though his work in the field of spirituality was more of an effort to glean insight, I didn’t find his thinking on spiritual matters especially novel.
Regression is his thing? Actually revere is, but it is sort of related and it is an old shamanic practice. He didn’t actually invent much but context.
Is it fiction? In a sense, but if you hear someone relate a dream to you in a sense it is fiction, yet it still has real impact and meaning for them.
Maybe we can address how they are seen to err. They fault Buddhism for not offering a way. To date in my experience, no one has offered a codifiable way. Scientology says that the goals of Buddhism were not adequately provided for. As I was saying earlier he did study world beliefs broadly, and had a predominantly “humanistic” ideal. To date, I have not seen a creed or body of practices that was all encompassing, but Scientology tries.
The “heal promise” is a concept that Scientology uses, save instead of ‘bodhi’ they use the word ‘thetan’. Essentially the ideal of Scientology, and where they differ from humanism, is represented by a Greek letter/concept, theta. The source of life as more of a force or life principle than a deity. They in a sense embrace psychism. So to the Scientologist the thetan is a sort of psyche/soul, but they feel it gets lost in the organic function of the mind. So their primary practices for achieving “salvation” are basically forms of analysis, as well as a health regimen. They feel like some older mystical schools did, that the thetan, or soul, can be liberated by realization. Testing and expanding the powers of the mind, and the understanding of the mind. They had some rather high minded goals, but in my own contact with them, and reading of their work, as well as other people’s observations, they have degenerated much as other organizations have into a primarily political body. Religion is big business. They, like others, follow the golden rule. They who have the gold make the rules.
The focus on the mind seems similar to Buddhism? Yes, they do have concepts in common with Buddhism, and is very likely a big part of their appeal since Buddhism is the faith on the world with the greatest numbers. Scientologists boast the spread of their beliefs, and it’s not false. They have a large following in part because people like the demystified tenants that Scientology didn’t itself invent.
It always bothers me when I hear somebody bragging about how fast their religion is growing. It’s ad populum. Yes, they have token insights that previously existed, and now are big critics of those who adopt any of Scientology’s methods for another purpose. They consider it highly immoral. Their own stated values are that they are showing people how to think for themselves, but revile what they call squirreling.
As if no one ever used their belief in god for immoral purposes. Oh, they have, and that hasn’t changed. I think the zealot I met earlier took offense at my look. Imagine being treated like that when you look like a normal human being, and even still want to attend church, still want to believe.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.