I want to share a few thoughts concerning the debate raging over spriritual philosophies and practices.
First, I don’t believe there is any substantive, divisive differences between Scientology philosophy and Eastern philosophies, including Buddhist, or even Judeo-Christian and Islamic philosophies. I agree with L Ron Hubbard when he said in the Phoenix Lectures that they are all best summed up – and perhaps were even divined from – the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu.
What I think is most unique about Scientology is that it contains a practice, that does not require belief or faith (and thus does not conflict with any of these brethren philosophies), that can and does enhance understanding of that common set of truths best distilled in the Tao. Scientology is sometimes difficult to understand because it is a doingness, a practice that assists one to freely change his or her considerations. It is not an intellectual debate toward enlightenment. Instead it is a methodology that assists one in achieving enlightenments. Note, the plural form of enlightenment. The entire subject being based upon infinity logic (there are no absolutes) the quantity of potential enlightenments is unlimited and inestimable.
I think the trap we get into, and the trap Corporate Scientology became, is the insistence upon absolutes. The constant and obsessive assert that the practice is the philosophy, that the philosophy is completely original and absolute and exclusive of any other philosophy, can serve no other purpose than to alienate and make people withdraw from it. As such it no longer serves as the unique methodology that can assist anyone increase his or her enlightenments and go out into the world exercising the ability of knowing how to know. Corporate Scientology then became the antithesis of Scientology philosophy by erecting walls and enforcements to dictate what it is an individual can go out into the world and know.
Knowing how to know is the definition of the word Scientology.
If involvement in Scientology creates the mindset that one knows all there is to know then what good does attaining ‘knowing how to know’ achieve?
The highest attainment I have seen someone reach through Corporate Scientology is KNOW ABOUT on the Know to Mystery scale. And when it is static, a destination, it becomes something far less, an arrogant sort of assert.
I’ve seen many an Independent Scientologist reach a far higher plane on the scale, called NOT KNOW. And from there,with some courage and curiosity (the very qualities that I believe LRH possessed in spades and led to his own discoveries), I’ve seen them get increasingly extended glimpses of KNOW on the scale.
And the real sharp ones recognize that an obsessive must-KNOW all the time leads to a motionless, timeless, lifeless, lack of game. This passage from L Ron Hubbard’s lecture of 9 July 1954, The Nature and Effect of Communication in Games is apt:
Well, if the state of total knowingness and total serenity were not horrible, then one would certainly stop communicating and simply assume it. Is that right? He’d simply assume this state, wouldn’t he? All that’d be necessary for him to assume any kind of a state of this character would just seem to be — to simply abandon all parts of the communication system – swish! Abandon them all, though, and abandon them all simultaneously, with no hangovers in any direction, before the system can police itself back into existence. Just have to skip everything. And if you did that, why, theoretically you’d get out into this state of total knowingness and total everything.
There must be something bad about this state. Must be. Just must be something horrible about that state. Or there’s something very, very betraying in the first considerations that came through, that you ought to start communicating in the first place. That must have been a trick then; it must have been based upon a base betrayal. And this base betrayal, then, must have led one into communication. Because nobody would start communicating at all, you know, and of his own free will and accord, knowing very well where it would lead to. That’s obvious, isn’t it?
Oh, so there must be something horrible about being totally knowing, totally serene and without any time of any kind, so on. This must be dreadful and probably is — probably is. Undoubtedly is. You probably got that way and were awfully bored. Only trouble with boredom is it’s a problem in barriers. You can always solve boredom. And barrier — boredom doesn’t exist unless you’re trying to go someplace, so we find boredom is part of the communication system — it’s the affinity corner.
Well, then, there isn’t anything bad about this state of total serenity at all, is there?
Well the way to assume it is simply drop all communication lines and all parts of the communication system and never do it anymore. That’s what Buddha said, Gautama. He said in one of his lectures to — discussions or discourses to a fellow by the name of Ananda: There are twelve things which you would just have to abstain from and any two of them would bring you bliss. He’s a great man but, right there, there was a great big raw-tooth bear trap laid on the track. If anybody abandoned any of these two parts of anything – by the way, they’re not the parts of communication but they’re wonderfully similar to some of the processes which we handle. That is to say, he just groups a number of actions. And if you didn’t ever do these actions anymore and if you just abstained from all these, then you’d get total serenity and so on.
Well, it looks to me like life is just life, isn’t it? That it isn’t bad or good unless you want to make it so. And that an individual could go into a 18 billion, trillion year communications spasm and then come out the other end unscathed. And — but think, he would have had all of the randomity. But, look, that’s a consideration too, that one has to have a game is consideration too.
Oh look, this is too much of a problem. I mean, it’s just too much of a problem, so let’s not maunder around about it. We’ll just look at the component parts of communication, restore the ability of an individual to conform with each of them and say, “All right now, you want to go be a personalized nirvana. Well, goodbye. And if you want to sell groceries, that’s all right with us too.” Because the truth of the matter is the primary violation which one could perform is a violation of an individual’s self-determinism.
Finally, let us never lose sight of the end object of Scientology, very concisely memorialized in Professional Auditor Bulletin 86, 29 May 1956:
The end object of Scientology is not the making into nothing of all existence or the freeing of the individual of any and all traps everywhere. The goal of Scientology is making the individual capable of living a better life in his own estimation and with his fellows and the playing of a better game.