Recommended Reading: Tao Te Ching

I have added the Tao Te Ching to the “recommended reading” section of this blog.

There is a particularly good translation by Stephen Mitchell currently on the market and available at major bookstores or on Amazon.

It is a book one can read over and over and get something new and useful from each time.  It is a pleasant read.  In a simple and poetic manner it captures the fundamental truths upon which Scientology is based.  The Factors and Axioms and basic truths of Scientology stem from the Tao.  LRH made that clear in the “Scientology, Its General Background” lectures – part of the Phoenix lectures series. He said there, “…who knows but what if we took the Tao just as written and knowing what we know already about Scientology, we simply set out to practice the Tao, I don’t know but what we wouldn’t get a Theta Clear.” 

I believe that statement is true.  That organizationally things did not go in that direction does not make the statement untrue. How Scientology diverted from the Tao is a major theme of a long-term investigation of mine; the results of which I’ll share when I’m there.

One thing I believe the Tao can do for you is to help distinguish the positive you may have gotten out of Scientology from the negative.  It might help you to validate and reinforce the positive, while jettisoning the negative.

121 responses to “Recommended Reading: Tao Te Ching

  1. Marty — beautifully stated.

    The Taoists I’ve met are certainly close if not Theta Clears.

    Same could be said, I believe, for those buddhists who practice AND study.

    It’s heartening to know, that you are doing this invest as well as heartening to know that AT ITS CORE, Scientology
    has a kindness, toughness, and certainty extant within the Tao and Buddhist thought.

    Somewhere along the way, it appears to me that Scientology did a left turn and became hard, harsh and not particularly kind. But, that could have been just my experience. Some of that probably came to be because of the pressures upon LRH personally (IRS etc).

    I know that LRH’s intentions were to help mankind. How that went off the rails is going to be a fascinating read.


  2. Independent Scientologist

    It’s nice to feel free to study other religious texts such as The Tao, and wind up as an ethics particle for engaging in “other practices”!

    When I got into Scientology many years ago, I recall lots of other Scientologists being very interested in Eastern religions and philosophy. In fact, that was what sparked their initial interest in Scientology.

  3. Thank you Marty for this.
    I found that studying this and other similar philosophies gives me a better and broader understanding of Scientology…
    hugs and love

  4. Guillaume du Houx
  5. martyrathbun09

    I highly recommend those “Background” lectures. LRH says in there that there is no historical “evidence” for it, but he is damn sure Buddha somehow got his hands on a copy of the Tao.

  6. martyrathbun09

    Guillaume, Thanks. The book has a number of pages of great annotations in the back – which I don’t see on your link.

  7. Marty, Thank you. I’m still reading ‘The shack’
    but ordered the Tao. My next read. I can’t beleive I never read it but its been referenced
    a lot in many books I’ve read.

  8. Marty

    you say: “How Scientology diverted from the Tao is a major theme of a long-term investigation of mine; the results of which I’ll share when I’m there.”

    I am very much looking forward to that analysis!
    Thanks. Fidelio

  9. Marty, I’m with you. Stephen Mitchell’s translation is beautifully done. I have a copy that also includes some gorgeous Chinese art (selected by Dr. Steven Little). Look for “Tao Te Ching: An Illustrated Journey”.

  10. So true! Each time I read this book again I get something new or a refreshing viewpoint. The Tao Te Ching, as well as its companion, the book of Chuang Tzu, gives also an interesting look on the current state of the Church of M. For instance:
    “Without the tao,
    Kindness and compassion are replaced by law and justice;
    Faith and trust are supplanted by ritual and ceremony.”
    I am not sure the Buddha did read the Tao Te Ching, but Truth, after all, has no time, no location 🙂
    The Phoenix lectures series, btw, are also one of my all times favorite!

  11. martyrathbun09

    Don’t know if it is a different take on the same passage or another passage, but here’s from the Mitchell translation:
    When the Tao is lost, there is goodness.
    When goodness is lost, there is morality.
    When morality is lost, there is ritual.
    Ritual is the husk of true faith,
    the beginning of chaos.

  12. Marty, thanks for this reading suggestion. I’ve never read it before and have now ordered it.

    My life is too complex right now. I welcome any ideas that will help me focus more on the basics and make things simpler, more sensible.

    Relative importances matter.

    Just Me

  13. And on a completely different note …

    For those of you with HUSHMAIL , some users’ hushmail accounts are now down (including mine).

    Hushmail put a notice up, saying the problem would be resolved within eight hours, but we’re now past that eight-hour window.

    (Just putting this up here for those who needed to know this, but weren’t aware of it.)

    Just Me

  14. martyrathbun09

    It is great for travel, doesn’t require a lot of time;

  15. Thanks for the recommendation.
    If you run across a link with annotations in the back, please let us know.

  16. Good recommendation Marty. After having experienced the early promises of Scn, similar in content to the promised states and mindful, ego-free, inner peace Taoists and Buddhists strive for, I think the decision made in the early 50s to organize as a central “command center”, authoritative entity (which inevitably leads to an “our way or the highway” mentality), was a major if not initiating factor in the diversion you seek to investigate.

    I bet if you could ask every current and former church member, they’d more than likely wish to cast out the organizing aspect if they could retain the singular relationship with the subject.

    In my now “experienced” opinion, all spiritual journeys are in the end, personal and ultimately between you and yourSelf, whether that “Self” is labeled God, Source (not LRH), Allah, Holy Spirit, Great Spirit, Gaia, Zeus, Love or any other comforting, divine label that is apropos.

  17. Just me, Mines down too. Bet some crazy little punk tried to hack em. Ya think?

  18. Marty or anyone else who knows about this,

    Are any of these lectures in digital format that I could download to my iPod?

    I’m not yet very informed about which tapes / lectures / CDs are online and which is not and where to find any that are.

    (Perhaps the answer is “Not yet.”)


    Just Me

  19. Marty,
    Great suggestion and great addition to recommended reading. I just started looking at the Tao Te Ching recently, and found myself seeing the parallels to LRH source and Scientology immediately.

  20. Same passage, better translation from Mitchell. I am french speaking and Chinese being a so difficult language to translate, I own several translations with sometimes big differences. This passage of the Mitchell translation is for me like a poetic rendering of “An essay on magement”.

  21. Oups! I mean: “An essay on Management!

  22. 44

    “Fame or integrity: which is more important?
    Money or happiness: which is more valuable?
    Success or failure: which is more destructive?

    If you look to others for fulfillment,
    you will never truly be fulfilled.
    If your happiness depends on money,
    you will never be happy with yourself.

    Be content with what you have;
    rejoice in the way things are.
    When you realize there is nothing lacking,
    the whole world belongs to you.”

    Anyone remember the “postulate perfection” process?

  23. Good selection Marty. I have the book, copyright date 1972 by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English. This was given to me by a dear Chinese friend I had worked with years ago. It is beautifully illustrated.

  24. Ne Obliviscaris


    I’ve read “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl, “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave” by Frederick Douglass and “The Shack” by William P. Young. All great books and great recommendations that have expanded my horizons and brought hope to my future.

    I’ll now read the “Tao Te Ching” by Lao Tzu – Translated by Stephen Mitchell. I’m sure I’ll benefit enormously.

    All of these books you have recommended speak to “The Hope of Man” and to the type of man you are, as well. Thank you, Marty, for doing what you do, letting us have what you have – and being who you are.

    Now I have a book recommendation for you. It is, “Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah” by Richard Bach. This is a fantastic story that illustrates the beingness and potential of an OT. I guarantee you’ll love it.


  25. I’d also like to endorse a second (or tenth, eleventh…) listen to that lecture you mentioned, Scientology: Its General Background.

    I remember listening to it for the first time and becoming quite a bit detached from that segmentation of existence that individual lifetimes strung together can create.

    I look forward to reading Stephen Mitchell’s version of the Tao. Thanks for that recommendation!

  26. Just Me I have found this Account very intresting.

  27. So far as I comprehended, the current Bridge is the most valid optimum theta benificial route is’nt it. Most safestly worked out and optimum across the dynamics. Which handles the items that need really handling before there is safe freedom for all. I would n’t want to suffer more than one Lord Loki Urchin lurking about. Or am I talking “As” again.


  28. Marty, this is your best post to date by far.

    You’ve written much truth and about much hope for the future in your last two paragraphs.

    This is the road to truth I believe.

    I’ve had the book for twenty years or so and it’s been a touchstone for my life — apart from LRH.

    Bulls eye, Marty.


  29. Mockingbird6

    I looked at the link to the Tao Te Ching. Those verses seem familiar. Must have studied them a few times. Just one question. If that’s so powerful, how come I’m still here?

    Looks like Ron must have wondered that too, and thus he went after more answers.

  30. That’s a very “western friendly” translation Marty and is available on iTunes for those who to listen to an audio version. It is amazingly elegant.

    However, the text that translation was based on was corrupted over time by scribal error.

    In 1973 the Ma-Wang-Tui silk manuscripts were discovered which predated the oldest know standard text by five centuries. In it, the chapters were in a different order.

    A version of this manuscript is published under the title “Tao Te Ching, The Classic Book of Integrity and the Way.” – Tranlsated by Victor Mair.

    A literal translation of the silk texts aimed at accuracy (with no regard for elegant prose) is “Tao Te Ching A Literal Translation” by Chichung Huang.

  31. crashingupwards

    Marty. I couldnt agree more.

    The flower(scientology) somewhere along the line decided it was the sun(source). And its been downhill ever since. LRH became almost diefied. Big mistake, plenty of blame to go around on that one.

    As useful as the processes are in Scientology, they are a bouquet of flowers. No more, no less. They are not the sun. Its ignorant and condesending of other practices from which they owe their genesis to believe otherwise.

    The flowers have become almost lost and choked off in and by the weeds(organizational practices) that have grown up around them.

    We need to free those flowers from the darkness shutting them off. There once was a garden of hope and beauty. Its a worthwhile effort for them to be restored so they can be seen and used once again.

    Your certainly doing your part. Thanks.

  32. Tory Christman

    I agree—excellent suggestion, and Yes! Isn’t it fantastic to enjoy the freedoms of reading whatever each wants? (to those lurking, think about that one…)
    I was studying the Tao back as a teenager. Then it seemed so new, so unusual, in many ways, difficult.
    It was one of the key reasons I joined Scientology.
    (The person who mentioned it said: “It’s an applied philosophy” and at the time, I was having a difficult time applying the Tao.)

    Now? I get it–I so get it. “One who knows others is wise; one who knows himself is wisest. One who conquers is strong; one who conquers himself is strongest”.

    I joined C of $ because of the Tao—and actually I left because of it, also. Amazing, and true. Love to all 🙂

  33. martyrathbun09

    Thanks, I’ll get it.

  34. I haven’t studied the Tao Te Ching deeply enough to answer but from a Buddhist perspective, many of us are still here because of our deep yearning, desire and vow (Bodhisatva Vow) to return again and again until all sentient beings realize their own innate nature. Their own basic goodness and are free from suffering.

    Which is — actually — similar to the SO contract in it’s original intention.

    It isn’t enough to free oneself from pain and suffering — once that is done, it’s only decent to what to help others, have similar gains to yours 🙂


  35. Robert Pirsig in “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” used the Tao Te Ching to “word clear” the term “Quality.”

    And then Mr. Pirsig and his friend Phaedrus promptly met the zappity-zap-zap of 1960’s psychiatry!

    “And what is good Phaedrus? And what is not good? Do we need anyone to tell us these things?”

  36. martyrathbun09

    The SO used to be full of Bodhisatvas – many are with us now.

  37. (had to post this under my post as there was no reply to yours)

    To Marty: I completely agree — most of the old gang were exactly that — Bodhisatvas.

    In my mind, many were actually Buddhists in a prior life (lives) who found LRH this life and it completely resonated.

    Many of us, old timers, were more interested in helping others than going up the bridge ourselves. That 24/7 driving desire to help.

    Of course, there are others — like Peter White — who are Bodhisatvas and are new to the Scientology game.

    I just know the old timers.


  38. NOTE to Blog Moderator…Hi! ooops I posted my comment in the wrong place above, so will report it here (following this) so it is not a reply to the comment about Hushmail!

  39. I love the Tao. I love the truth in it and the aesthetic way it’s encapsulated. Marty, I got the edition you recommended, the Mitchell translation.

    The sham Co$ claims it is nondenominational but I too experienced exactly the opposite, its actions are opposite of what it purports to be. (One of my pcs was yanked to ethics for going to a catholic Mass, for example).

    (and speaking of opposite from what is purported: Watching the Human Rights commercials put out by Gold the other night, I was agog that the Co$ is violating each one…BIG TIME. But I digress…)

    The thing is, that Scientology and Dianetics are original brilliant procedures developed by Hubbard. In my experience, they are the most effective tools, when applied, to address and resolve negative issues, as well as catapult positive gain (the quest for enlightenment!) with immediate, wonderful results.

    and they are just that: techniques. THAT is what I, personally, don’t alter or mess with — why? Because per my personal experience they work. Why use a spade when you have a bulldozer?

    However, where the sham Co$ gets off the rails in an inverted, misunderstood, rabid execution of KSW (Keeping Scientology Working) is making an A = A between Scientology/Dianetics Tech and Truth.

    Truth is life. Scientology is a tool that helps access/understand and liberate it.

    No one necessarily creates or invents truth (arguably we are capable of creating universes, but for the purposes of this point…Truth is Truth.) It is perceived. Many wise people have perceived it. LRH read and loved them all!

    LRH perceived it and created a technology with gradients to bring all human beings up.
    Wow. That is no small thing the intention of his life work is evident. (and why I love him forever).

    Philosophers, artists all deal with truth. It is their calling and their stock and trade.

    Does anyone have the reference for what I recall as being something LRH said: Life is a process.

    Life itself is a process!

    The irony is that because I reserved the right to communicate with anything and everything of my choosing, my certainty and ability to evaluate and understand the brilliance of Scientology the TECH is empirical, personal and … let me put it this way: I haven’t found anything that tops it for efficacy.

    If I do, that doesn’t make me a heretic…knowing my penchant for empirical results and dedication to fairness and love … if such a thing exists, that will be one happy day!!

    For now, within the nomenclature that L. Ron Hubbard developed, I find explanations for WHY and WHAT, the woof and warp of existence on an axiomatic level.

    To that degree, there is truth in Scientology. But it is not Truth. It is not a “belief”.

    Aristotle said: “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

    I would add it is the mark of a free and healthy mind and soul to communicate and connect dots and explore and consider anything and everything and understand. Why else would LRH have dedicated his life to a technology of “knowing how to know.”

    LRH acknowledges thousands of years of thinking men.

    The C of $ is a $ham. They should not be allowed to use the term Scientology.

    But a rose by any other name smells as sweet. and Truth is gorgeous no matter what its wearing 😉 and please excuse me if this post went on too long!

  40. “Law is mind without reason.” -Aristotle

    Ethics (optimum survival to the max) is the ability to reason.

    To reason we need data and direct personal observation, understanding.

    To the degree the Co$ lays down arbitrary “laws” based on per$onal agendas of greed and self-importance of a sicko whack job … it is prohibiting people to be ethical, and it is, in fact, the direct opposite of Scientology.

  41. To Mockingbird6, The Chinese character Tao or Dao is made up of two parts, a head which could imply a person,
    and movement or ‘to go’ . It implies a path. You’ve got to walk it, like the bridge. I do not think any text exists that will deliver spontaneous enlightenment.
    As my teacher always says in his broken English whenever students become disilussioned at the work involved, ‘If so easy, I think everyone become master already!’


  42. Thanks for the lead Marty, will check it out.

  43. Aww, my personal fave is The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo. Beautiful!

  44. ASGARD,
    Talking ‘As’ again. That’s funny dude.

    I’m not quite sure about some of the symbology, but I think I get the gist. I agree with what I figure you are saying in the fist sentence. We’ve got some vital things in Scientology, not available before, to achieve those postulates and states of being that have been so long sought to return to.

  45. William,
    DAMN EVIL TRANSCRIPTIONISTS, is nothing sacred?


  46. Veritas,

    You are so brilliant! And lovely, too.

    Your post above puts so many things the way I think (and like to think.

    “Life is a process.” Oh, yes!

    Just Me

  47. Sarge,

    Unlikely to be something malicious. When big systems go down it can take a while to get them back up. Total database failure for instance, can take 24 hours.

    On my systems for instance, I tell the users it’s 2 hours to recover. That makes them shut up, go away and let me get on with the real job. Truth is, 24 hours is closer to reality for complete recovery. [It’s much easier to get forgiveness than permission :-)]

  48. Thought Provoking

    Great post Veritas!

    In many places LRH talks about other philosophies that contributed to the creation of and were aligned with Scientology. Even in the Minister’s Course you read Great Religions so that you can understand the common spirituality of all religions.

    If one just looks at the top end of the Know to Mystery Scale you see:

    Not Know
    Know About

    If you observe the alterations of tech and enforced disconnections you can see that the church operates more at the low end of this scale:


    The suppression of looking at materials is just another way to stop the public from communicating, from living. Only dead people can be controlled.

    I agree with your comment on the Human Rights video. It was after watching all of them in a new unit of time that I was able to see the blackness of the church and I resigned shortly after that.

  49. “Quality is what you like”

    It’s a very profound statement, also easy to brush off as obvious. I guess that’s why not many folk I spoken to about the book “get it”.

    It’s profound because it’s the same thing as ARC, expressed differently.

  50. “Law and justice are not always the same. When they aren’t, destroying the law may be the first step toward changing it.”

    – Gloria Steinem

  51. Rory Medford

    C of S has many hidden agendas

    They are NOT honest

    They are NOT clean

    They are NOT forthright

    They use FORCE, THREATS and any other technique to get you to comply to their wishes

    The MOMENT you disagree with their greedy game they consider you trash and they discard you like a bad piece of meat

    Is that a group you really want to belong to?

    The MOMENT you are NOT toeing the line you are considered ethics bait and a person to watch out for

    It’s NOT a good group to be a part of REGARDLESS of the story (s) they tell you when they talk to you

    It’s a dirty game they play and its coming to an end as they know it.

    Be patient: Time and people like US will continue to expose the truth

    Eventually people on the INSIDE will wake up and come to their senses

    Its so niceeeee to be OUT!!

  52. “Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.”

    Anais Nin, “Winter of Artifice”
    US (French-born) author & diarist (1903 – 1977)

  53. “The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction not a destination.
    Rogers, Carl”

    Carl Ransom Rogers (January 8, 1902 February 4, 1987) was an influential American psychologist, who, along with Abraham Maslow, was the founder of the humanist approach to psychology.

  54. Maxim Zbitnoff

    Marty, love it when you get tao-y.

    You might also consider A Thousand Names for Joy… a commentary on the Tao Te Ching dictated to Mitchel by his wife Byron Katie who at the time was losing her sight but not her insight.

  55. Marty,
    It goes without saying, READ!

    It sort of dismays me when I hear a Scientologist, one who has the purpose of knowing and the skill of knowing how to know, has accepted another’s idea or limits on what that Scientologist may or may not know.

    LRH’s library was HUGE. He read, anything.

    W. Shakespeare, in Hamlet: ‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.’

    The top most reaches of the Chart of Human Evaluation refer to ‘searches for different viewpoints in order to broaden reality. Changes reality’. (Column M, REALITY).


  56. It wasn’t LRH’s fault that C of S changed. He researched the tech and made it available to us. Those who are smart enough tried it out without prejudice and found it remarkable.

    It’s like blaming god when a person commits a crime. We can’t blame LRH when some people don’t follow LRH’s humane ways. It’s their (stupid) choice. All what LRH could do was laying out a route map for us, which he did perfectly and it is more than anybody else did for fellow man.

    He never wanted SCN to become a cult and that is why he shouldn’t be blamed on it. Somebody should gather all the statements that he made for people to be themselves and not robots cult-like and they would fill volumes.

    I agree with all those who say that it is unfair to blame LRH on what Miscavige did. They are different like day and night.

  57. Balloney! All you need is the intention to duplicate Scientology!

  58. WH, Your wisdom is shining again. Love it.
    I consider myself a Scientologist/Buddhist/
    Christian suedo intellectual hippy type

  59. Jim — you are getting funnier by the day.

    Humor and wisdom seem to go hand in hand!!

    How about that Sarge – scientology/buddhist/christian hippie intellectual cowpoke! Now what would the acronym be … 🙂


  60. Your humble servant


    That’s a beautiful passage and a good book recommendation, thank you! The passage reminded me that Mr. DM has been seen to preach about societal “immorality” from time to time in the past few years, something Ron would have never done because he is not a criminal hypocrite like DM. Even so, one would see that “morality” would be arrived at only when the Tao was lost and goodness was lost.
    I think you go a bit too far in saying that the Factors and Axioms “stem from” the Tao. There is so much more to them than you will find in the Tao, very precisely and usably expressed. I would prefer to say “influenced by” the Tao. Ron’s work is a broad highway. The Tao is a gossamer thread, poetic but difficult to grasp and understand–unless you already know Scientology!

  61. I’ll put in a plug for one of my favorites:

    The Dhammapada: The Sayings of the Buddha — best translation I’ve found by Thomas Byrom (publisher Shambhala) … small tiny pocket size. Fits easily in a purse, back pocket etc … great for travel 🙂 (approx $6.00)


  62. I like this site: compared/index.htm

    It shows 29 different translations, each chapter side-by-side if you like, including the Mitchell translation.

  63. Yes, I’ve always love the book “Illusions” by Richard Bach. Excellent recommendation.

  64. Marty,

    I read on the natter-boards that Marc and Claire’s lawsuit took a bad turn.

    I don’t know if this is true or not, but here is the posting that started it all:

    Is this true? did the CoM screwed us yet once more??

  65. I like this site:

    It shows 24 different translations, each line side-by-side if you like, including the Mitchell translation.

  66. A bit of background on the Human Rights Video (as well as The Way to Happiness Video, and even the Scientology TV commercials … the “Know Yourself. Know Life” commercials with “You”, “Life” and “Truth” themes) …

    They were all created by a 2nd generation Scientologist — Taron Lexton — now in his late 20s. His mother (Mary Shuttleworth) ran Mary’s Schoolhouse for many years, and from all indications raised Taron in an incredibly sane manner and environment. I believe Taron went to Scientology schools for high school (or was home-schooled by Mary), and then he graduated from an LA Film School about 5-8 years ago. His debut film was the “United” video produced for the CoS.

    I’ve met both Mary and Taron socially, and although Mary now runs the Youth for Human Rights Campaign, and is technically “aligned” with the CoS, I have no doubt that she is torn internally about the abusiveness of the CoS (what little she is probably aware of).

    Taron and Mary are both “public Scientologists” and in my opinion exemplify and try to live by the fundamental goodness and philosophy of Scientology. Taron has befriended Tom Cruise in recent years (you can see Taron sitting next to Tom in some front rows of events 2-3 yrs ago [Taron is the young guy with the beard]), and I’m guessing that the two of them collaborated to one degree or another on the Scientology TV commercials … Tom probably introduced Taron to some big hitters in Hollywood to help him do such a professional job with those TV commercials.

    Sadly, Taron is an unwitting pawn of Miscavige and Taron’s brilliant talents are being squandered by the dying church.

  67. DFB aka Dfb99

    Maybe it’s not the psychs we should be after.

    It’s actually the transcriptionists. They tried to ruin LRH’s basic books and now this.

  68. Typo correction: Taron’s last name is “Lexton”.

  69. Recently a man did a PhD Philosophy thesis on Pirsig’s Metaphysics of Quality – successfully getting his ideas some academic acceptance.

    Pirsig’s enlightenment experience occurred when he substituted the word “Quality” with the word “Tao” and read completely through the standard text with that substitution.

    You can find how to get the paper on the site.

  70. martyrathbun09

    I didn’t read the thread. The judge verbally indicated she was punting (literally, and fearfully). I’ll comment on it extensively when she issues a ruling. Don’t get too caught up in the peaks and valleys. They come rather rapidly in this ball game.

  71. I would like to offer a poem of mine at this point

    Do You Feel It?

    Do you feel that gentle, warming fire,
    the flick’ring flames of your desire
    to rise above this earthly plane
    and walk amongst the Gods again?

    Do you hear that simple, heartfelt song,
    a tune that quiets all that’s wrong
    and takes you with its soft refrain
    to walk amongst the Gods again?

    Do you see the beauty of the scene
    that causes you to feel serene
    and feel a need you can’t explain
    to walk amongst the Gods again?

    Do you sense that feeling in the air,
    the feeling that we’ve all been there,
    and since, on earth, we have remained,
    you walk amongst the Gods again.


  72. ΘTater/GaryLerner

    veritas, So very well said, written and viewed!

    Truth when viewed brings clarity and wisdom.

    Truth when spoken allows the wisdom to flourish.

    Truth when written makes it so.

    ΘTater/Gary 🙂 (the room is disappearing…)

  73. I must admit this is a “study assignment” for me, as I never read much before LRH and only got myself literate since LRH.
    (I am a living example of LRH’s study tech bringing a being back to life, by the way. I am still shocked sometimes at how dumb I truly was.)
    I started reading this and of course, had to clear just about every word in even the title, who wrote it, when, why…but that’s OK.
    As I am reading it, I do go back to KTL and LOC, as these were the embodiment, the pinnacle of what is most basic to MOI…Me with the words, but without the words, my conceptual likeness. 🙂

  74. The right to play~yeah right! Those ads are incredulous!

  75. What room? 😉
    Veritas~I wouldn’t know if it smacked me in the face! Before LRH taught me how, that is. 🙂
    Brilliantly stated post. Thank you!

  76. LoL Yes, not so easy, me not master, not close. I got that!

  77. Hey, I represent that! 😉

  78. (I transcribe for NASDAQers)

  79. Veritas, marvelous statement. Thanks for that.

  80. Concerned Citizen

    Hello everyone,

    Long absence, had some fires to put out. Just want to say that both these books are among my favorites. I don’t know whose translations I have, but I love every bit of it.

  81. In recent auditing, I’ve run across an influx of OTs into Earth culture, dating (so far) from slightly before the Tao. For several hundred years, until just after Christ, there was a widespread attempt to investigate, record and distribute information on how to understand the spiritual nature of man and rise above being a mere body.

    There have been other influxes. And there have been resurgences of this attempt. But, this was a very significant period for spiritual development on this planet.

    Buddha probably would not have had to read the Tao as they were both looking at the same thing. Just like a man who writes about Yosemite and its wonders does not have to be the source for another man who wanders into Yosemite and writes about what he sees.

    Another possibility (and likely) is that Buddha and the author of the Tao knew each other when they came here and shared the same information and experiences.

    We are in communication as spiritual beings on a level that does not require physical contact or exposure.


  82. Mickey,

    Yes, they may be personal, but are so much better shared. Sharing seems to amplify the experience.


  83. Veritas,

    You, my dear, are a formidable being.


  84. Thought Provoking


    WOW, great info on the films. I must say that they were all very high quality, high impact communications. I remember feeling proud to be connected to Scientology when I first saw them. Too bad the church didn’t apply what they promoted so well. It will be up to us on the outside to wear that hat.

  85. Homo Ludens (book)

    “Homo Ludens or “Man the Player” (alternatively, “Playing Man”) is a book written in 1938 by Dutch historian, cultural theorist and professor Johan Huizinga. It discusses the importance of the play element of culture and society. Huizinga uses the term “Play Theory” within the book to define the conceptual space in which play occurs. Huizinga suggests that play is primary to, and is a necessary (though not sufficient) condition of the generation of culture.”

  86. I had to smile

    “St. Xenophon Seminary”

  87. Okay, been in the yard weeding and thinking about this. Here’s the thing:

    Most of us have been exposed to the Tao in other lifetimes. Some of us probably even studied with its author or his “master” or under Buddha himself. Some of us have most likely gone clear and OT using this “ancient” tech.

    But, we’re still here.

    And still in a mess.

    Certainly, some of us might be bodhisattva, filled with enlightenment and returning lifetime after lifetime to bring enlightenment.

    But the thing is, that particular “tech” did not completely free one from case. Not all case. It remains to be seen if Scientology tech will free any of us completely from the bank across the dynamics.

    A being goes through dwindling spirals of enlightenment. He hits rock bottom on that cycle, then sort of exteriorizes from it all and is sort of OT again. But, not the same level of OT he was at the beginning of that cycle/spiral. He’s reduced.

    And the OTs produced by Oriental philosophies may be enlightened and powerful by human standards, but they are certainly reduced OTs. Exterior, but full of case and subject to being introverted and caved in.

    Anytime you exteriorize someone he will have an improved awareness of the state of theta and of operating as theta. This awareness does not translate into a permanent condition of OT.

    All of us are unknowingly operating as thetans. All of this that we see and experience is the result of our creativity and causation. Yet, that we are simultaneously operating at the top and bottom of the scale does not make us “OT.”

    I don’t know what condition LRH was in when he dropped the body. I know DM gave some BS speech. Other reports weren’t so flattering.

    No matter how OT any of us have gotten, we’ve always managed to get stuck in a dwindling spiral. We’ve managed to cave in.

    And then come back.

    Point is, no matter how elegant and insightful the Tao Te Ching might be, it is only a small piece of a very large puzzle. I just want to keep my eyes on the larger prize: a freed universe where all beings have attained enlightenment.

    Each of us is capable of the insights available in the Tao without ever having read it. Just by being exterior and making observations about existence. The Tao might give voice to those insights. The Tao might validate those insights. But it is our own observations which have the most value, and which should take precedence.


  88. Jim,

    I love the top of the scale. “Searches for different viewpoints in order to broaden reality. Changes reality.” Damn, if we could all just live by this one stable datum this world would be so much easier to abide.


  89. TAO TE CHING Verse 3

    Particularly apropos to David Miscavige (and Tom Cruise for that matter), here lies a section from Verse 3 in the translated version by Jonathan Star:

    “Putting a value on status
    will cause people to compete

    Hoarding treasure
    will turn them into thieves

    Showing off possessions
    will disturb their daily lives”

    I think the church might just have a few problems in this area…

  90. I absolutely agree.

  91. The crux of Justice …

    Morgan Freeman in Bonfire of the Vanities

  92. Felicitas Foster

    I found a German translation
    from Stephen Mitchell on The title is “Tao Te King: Eine zeitgemäße Version für westliche Leser”
    which means
    “Tao Te Ching: A contemporary version for western readers.”

  93. john Boice,
    Speaking of balgona, we have a saying up here in Northern Nova Scotia, (northeast of Truro, go, go, it gets better after Mount Thom) and that is ‘dumb as balogna’. An alternate, ‘dumb as my arse’.

    Now, you can’t beat that. G’head. Give ‘er.

  94. Ooops, meant boolaqqua. Umm, bologna, oh, there is it.

  95. Marty,
    I just wanted to add my thoughts to the discussion of the Tao. verse 19 states:
    “The essence of my teaching is this
    See with original purity
    Embrace with original simplicity
    Reduce what you have
    Decrease what you want”
    An important concept in Taoism is “Wu wei” which means “without action or without effort.” From the Tao flows the perfect natural order. To be aligned with the Tao means to coordinate ones actions with this flow. To use excessive effort in the exertion of ones own selfish will is to be in opposition to the Tao and will bring about discord and unhappiness.
    Man is in the process of becoming his true perfect form. The great sages of antiquity sought to enlighten man and assist him in this natural development. They all stressed a life of simplicity and virtue as the path to enlightenment and freedom from the prison of material desires.
    LRH was the 20th century incarnation of such a sage.
    I belive that the CofS went off the rails when it broke with the natural laws of economics and began to use intimidation and fear of threat to coerce parishoners into committing financial overts for the sake of their eternity. Aquisition of MEST became command intention and is in direct opposition to the original purity and original simplicity which is the Tao and Scientology. One has only to look to see the devastating results of this aberrated action.

  96. Concerned Citizen


    I have been chewing around this point you made, I have a coupple questions for you. honest not rethorical questions:

    Do you find any administrative tech found in LRH’s or other works of particular use to you personally? if so what?

    In your opinion, what is the function of administrative policies and systems? again LRH’s or others.

    I’d truly appreciate an answer.

  97. Concerned Citizen

    If I may interject an observation here- not so much to comment on your post but as a corollary, just something I thought of reading it.
    Our Bridge is perhaps the fastest, most workable route, or may be the only route, or may be just the best one available to us now as far as we know. To me that is such a mute point- it is the route I found now and I’m not taking any chances of it getting closed before I find a better one or confirm there is no other etc.
    Be that as it may, some people have voiced concerns that reading other material may cloud one’s ability to assimilate Scientology data or color one’s understanding- A kind of purist attitude mixed with jealous vigilance lest one may be misled.
    I find the idea that information such as that contained in books (many of which the Church considers “other practices”) is somehow harmful, ludicrous and appalling, it is nothing more than a control mechanism. The concept of purity of the tech as many interpret KSW 1, does correlate to one’s ability to get up the bridge, but it does not in any way restrict one’s ability to evaluate data and to acquire data of comparable magnitude.
    Such information is only dangerous to DM and his plot, and in other fields people like him, it is the infamous apple and serpent trap.
    I find that as I increasingly find and understand other view points, my understanding of Scientology is amplified and vice -versa. Chances are that if those “in” took the time to read all these works, their own view of Scientology would get unclouded and DM would be out of business much sooner.
    None of the information on these works modifies the Bridge or the actions one must take to progress in it.

  98. Concerned Citizen


    Personally I think it is a 4 part combination

    1.Commitment – Bodhisatva

    2.Doingness required- getting the data and applying it are 2 different things. Me not master yet either.

    3.More to it than at first thought- further research, resulting in auditing procedures for example.

    4.From Illusions- Richard Bach’s great book- plain interest. There is nothing wrong with playing this game, if you do so fully aware and able to walk away anytime you want to. Me thinks 🙂

  99. martyrathbun09

    Brad, thanks for this insightful observation.

  100. I am reading it from this site. There are a few typos, just so you know.

  101. I made it through the historical data and onto the Tao Te Ching.
    ~Giving birth and nourishing, having without possessing, acting with no expectations, leading and not trying to control: this is the supreme virtue.

  102. It is interesting that the followers of Buddha, those who are accomplished lamas usually say that Buddhism is not a religion but rather a science of the mind.
    On the other hand, the very heart of the teachings of Buddha are much older than the times he appeared here on Earth. There were Buddhas before Shakyamuni. The essence of the teachings are universal and are not tied to one specific religion and are not intellectual by nature.

  103. I do not know anyone around my place who got into Scientology because he was interested in Buddhism or other Eastern religions. Partially because when someone is really interested in Eastern religions and made some progress he has a much respectful and humble attitude towards the world and he has real spiritual “tools” and proofs. LRH basically said that only Scientology has a way out and he questioned any previous knowledge. In Hymn of Asia he suggests that Maitreya Buddha – himself – will finish the work of Buddha. Sorry but this is arrogance and ignorance of the real facts.

  104. It is very unlikely that a person who can manifest phowa or tummo just to mention the lesser “miracles” are under the influence of the “mind” or his “case”. There are more to be learned and experienced in this subject from a real accomplished being.
    The Tao Te Ching is not only elegant and insightful 🙂 But the problem with the Tao Te Ching is that you can’t intellectually “understand”. And the translation can be misleading at many places. Maybe the original text as well.

  105. martyrathbun09

    The overt doth speak loudly in accusation. If you were to read and understand the Tao you might lean a little something about arrogance and ignorance. And, Scientology can make that text understandable. But not if you study it in a state of arrogance.

  106. LRH was quite wise in his earlier writings that got me into Scientology but you can say a lot about KSW except that it has anything to do with Taoism.
    Think about “without action” in the context of “this world as a dream”.

  107. Marty, true, there are many wisdom in Scientology. Only when it went paranoid, it went wrong. I do not say that as a critique but I have the responsibility to speak out for the sake of others. The foundation for the present situation were laid down by LRH himself. This does not cancel the fact that there were many wise things in Scientology earlier. Geir said in a post that LRH said that Scientology is not for everyone when a Scientologists wife did not want to be a Scientologist. And some other person said that LRH let him quit the SO without sec checks or anything. But at the same time he wrote 180 degree different policies on the same things.
    There are much wisdom in the East and much accomplishment. The real story of Maitreya is different than what is written in Hymn of Asia. And if LRH was a wise man why he said he was a medical doctor and a nuclear physicist and that he did not have a second wife, etc… If he accomplished the Tao, (sorry it is not about understanding) than why did he do those stupid things? Please, it is not arrogance, I just does not get it and feel disappointed.

  108. Thanks Marty for letting my communications through although I see we are not 100 percent in agreement. But besides this I get your point and I myself feel that Scientology can be a really useful body of knowledge for mankind if it is in the correct hands and used from the heart. (Sorry if my English is strange this is not my native language.)

  109. Marty, I’ve read your post again and I have to say that I very much appriciate your honest efforts.

  110. martyrathbun09

    I address all of that in my upcoming book.

  111. What Miscavige did should not be atributed to the founder that is correct. He is like a Mobster.

    “It wasn’t LRH’s fault that C of S changed.”

    KWS was a Game changer, Things always change that is a certain (axiom? factor ?). Than came the Sea Org. My opinion is that a church should not have a military branch.

    “We can’t blame LRH when some people don’t follow LRH’s humane ways.”

    He had other ways too that were less humane for example and discipline on the ship. Unless you ment his words yes they were mostly humane with the exception of certain policy orders.

    “They are different like day and night.”

    I do see that they are different anyone can see that I would say one is both day and night while the other is only the darkest black of the loneliest night.


  112. DEAR Just Me, ΘTater/Gary, Li Po, Tara, Michael Once Upon a Time, Cat Daddy & friends … I’m glad I wandered back here and saw your comments. I’m so glad to know when my communication arrives and especially when it serves. Thank you, I love you more! I treasure you and cherish your company. And yes!!! WHAT room? 🙂 ★。•*¨`*• .•*¨*★。•*¨*•..

  113. WW,
    I very much enjoyed that!

  114. I was introduced to the TAO by a Scholar of the work, and he said that the most accurate translation is from Stephen, the one you have.

  115. Overdriver,
    Every datum has a context and needs to be evaluated as such. The Idea of “no action or no effort” does not mean ” inaction”. It simply means that the action taken is appropriate in form and magnitude to handle the situation being confronted.
    I nor anyone I know is suggesting that Taoism, Buddhism, Jainism, Platonism or any other -ism should be introduced into Scientology. I said earlier that context is necessary if you wish to understand anything, including Scientology. LRH was well versed in the world’s philosophies and did not develop the tech in a bubble. The data that I have, I gained when I started to try and gain a better perspective on Scientology’s strengths and weaknesses.
    I think that it is a mistake of magnitude to write off everything but Scientology as out- KSW. I suggest that you read the Tao Te Ching. It is a beautiful and inspiring work that has improved the spiritual lives of millions. Read about Platonism and Stoicism and you will find much that is in agreement with Scientology philosophy. If you want to go back 5,000 years you can read about the philosopy of Hermeticism in the Kybalion. It is a simple and truly amazing text which provides basic axioms which I belive have influenced every great religious philosophy on earth.
    I can say without reservation that my research has given me a better understanding and renewed appreciation for what LRH accomplished in his life’s work. One of the things that appealed to me about Scienology was that it granted beingness to all religious philosophies and did not require slavish devotion to anything or anyone.
    Lastly, regarding your concern about what is to be considered reality. I would suggest that a thetan can exist on numerous planes of reality. While operating with a body, the material universe is most certainly real. Freed from the need to operate with a body in this material universe, a thetan might very well regard this universe as the manifestation of a dream.
    I hope this gives context to my original post regarding my appreciation for the Tao Te Xhing.

  116. There are many good translations. Lao Tsu . Tao Te Ching. [ by gia-fu feng and jane english]Since the work was not his but the recall of one of his student Who have compiled L.T. teaching from memory after his death. Lao Tsu never writen. He never believed his words were important enough. He had no ego. He said in many occasions that words , ideas are like wind moving through the forest.. Soon as it comes from new direction it’s old path forgotten.

  117. Lao Tsu was so called “Clear” by scientology defination when he had a body. Actualy an OT. He had no personal space therefore did not contain implants which makes the humans human. No collective considerations, believes such a things as ownership, me, mine, self, no concept as life, contenium, death and what ever other meanings, the words it self the dictonery contains. Lao Tsu was and is one with nature were there are no thought, conciderations, no beginning or end. Where there is no beauty therefore there is no ungliness. ETC….. Only considerations can bring energy into existance. So it is simple when there are no conciderations being made therefore there is no existance. The life force is all yet it it is nothing. Only with out considerations one is the Universe, yet there is no such a thing as one. When did a flower ever said I am being born therefore I will die?

  118. theta networker

    Tara, just noticed your post of August 5. Just a few things to share that I have come across since embarking on a spiritual journey of what Caroline Myss has called “leaving the shell of one’s religion and entering into the spiritual mysteries of all the great religions or at least a partnership of one from the west and one from the east.”

    I haven’t yet made it through the historical data and onto the Tao Te Ching, as you have, but I have in recent weeks been sharing some words of the Tao Te Ching, such as:

    The sage does not hoard,
    and thereby bestows.
    The more he lives for others,
    the greater his life.
    The more he gives to others,
    the greater his abundance.
    — Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching: A New Translation, by Sam Hamill

    And this passage, posted by Steve Wells as “I-Ching” at

    It is only when we have the courage
    To face things exactly as they are,
    Without any self-deception or illusion,
    That a light will develop out of events,
    By which the path to success
    May be recognized.

    Closer to home, Marty, I just re-read Hymn of Asia, which I have wished for a long time was “recommended reading” for Scientologists, as I have wished that Ron’s What Is Greatness was in the front of course packs along with KSW…

    With “new eyes,” I read — on the very first page of HYMN OF ASIA — Ron says: “I do not come as an officer of Church or Sect.”
    And a few pages later — similar to WTH Precept # 10 — he says:

    If a ruler rules
    Well assist him
    If he rules with violence
    Do not assist him
    And let that be
    his penalty.

    How about putting Hymn of Asia on the Recommended Reading list 🙂

    What theta we have here … a safe space to run out some of the 3D engram … Thank you so much

  119. theta networker~thank you for the ack and other quotes. I’ve made myself a fancy copy of the Tao Te Ching from the link way up there, added in some original calligraphy and a painting of Lao Tzu, and have gone back to it quite a lot. I very much appreciate it, but I will say that I feel that I have a very deep understanding of Tao through my study and application of LRH’s tech. Marty said “One thing I believe the Tao can do for you is to help distinguish the positive you may have gotten out of Scientology from the negative. It might help you to validate and reinforce the positive, while jettisoning the negative.”
    I did not get anything negative out of Scn. Anything negative I experienced was NOT Scientology and I’ve always felt that way. I am wiser now and appreciate what’s written in the Tao Te Ching, very deeply, and on an OT-like level thanks to LRH.
    Thank you for bringing up Hymn of Asia because that is something I’ve not re-read since doing the KTL course. I definitely want to read that now.

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