Category Archives: acknowledgments

What Are You Grateful For?

What is it that makes Thanksgiving such a powerful notion and valued celebration?  In studying all manner of philosophy and contemplative practice of late, I have noticed a widespread, repeating thread that might begin to answer the question.  That is, the power of the practice of gratitude.  To get an idea of how popular the idea is, try googling ‘practice of gratitude’ and explore the results.  One high-rated result is a short spot by Brene Brown (who was featured earlier on this blog) that serves as a great introduction to the subject:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Freedom From Slavery

A new friend of mine handed me a copy of a remarkable little book on Sunday.  It is called As a Man Thinketh, by James Allen.  The book contain this little, precious pearl on freedom from slavery:

It has been usual for men to think and to say, ‘Many men are slaves because one is an oppressor; let us hate the oppressor.’  Now, however, there is among an increasing few a tendency to reverse this judgment, and to say, ‘One man is an oppressor because many are slaves; let us despise the slaves.’  The truth is that oppressor and slave are cooperators in ignorance, and, while seeming to afflict each other, are in reality afflicting themselves.  A perfect Knowledge perceives the action of law in the weakness of the oppressed and the misapplied power of the oppressor; a perfect Love, seeing the suffering that both states entail, condemns neither; a perfect Compassion embraces both oppressor and oppressed.

He who has conquered weakness, and has put away all selfish thoughts, belongs neither to oppressor nor oppressed.  He is free.

Scientology: Hypnotism or Persuasion

Jefferson Hawkins began an insightful deconstruction of Scientology ethics in an interview with Tony Ortega at his Scientology Underground Bunker page.   I believe the techniques Jeff exposed had (have) broader application in the process that Scientology employs in implanting its constructs as hard-bound reality.  It is not limited to the indoctrination on ethics. I had noted this myself while spending several months of each day listening to a Hubbard lecture from the fifties and sixties.

In an early chapter of The Tao of Physics, Fritjof Capra gives an accurate and concise history of the evolution of logic and thought in the West and the East.  In doing so, he necessarily mentions virtually every significant philosopher who lived and wrote over the past couple millennia. I read that after the stint of listening to dozens of Hubbard lectures given over a two decade period.   Here is my contemporaneous margin note at the end of the chapter on evolution of thought in The Tao of Physics:

‘By this point (20th Century) in history, Hubbard has invalidated and laid to waste every great thinker who made possible and contributed to his way of thinking.’

One might recognize that Hubbard’s techniques of persuasion are used far and wide in today’s society.  In politics, in business, in advertising, in self-help, in religion, you name it.  Whether one wants to label it ‘hypnotism’ or ‘how to influence people’ or ‘persuasion’, it cannot be gainsaid that the  technique of indoctrination Jeff breaks down for us was employed throughout the history of Dianetics and Scientology.  And L. Ron Hubbard was a master of it application.

Breaking Free

Breaking free from sophisticated mind control is not easy.  I don’t think I have seen anyone do so in as bold and spectacular a fashion as Leah Remini has.  Tony Ortega breaks it down at the Scientology Underground Bunker.  I hope folks who have been (or are) similarly situated appreciate what Leah is doing for them at considerable personal risk to herself.

Tao Te Ching

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Reference:   Pursuit of Understanding

  1. Tao Te Ching, A New English Version by Stephen Mitchell.

Scientology begins with the Tao.  It works to the extent it parallels the Tao. It ends up going against the Tao.  Scientology departed from attaining toward harmony and equanimity and headed instead toward attempting to conquer the natural balance that is the universe in which we live.  That leads to the creation of ego, mental mass, conflict, individuation, and ultimate misery.  It effectuates that departure by mocking up constructs as reality, complete with imagined or created or adopted nemeses, enemies, fears, paranoias, and delusions of superiority.

In a later recommended reading selection, Ram Dass relates the following in its preface:

When my Guru wanted to complement me, he called me simple; when he wished to chide me, he called me clever.

Somewhere along the line Scientology strayed from assisting toward simplicity and attempted to instill cleverness.

There is no better orientation, or re-orientation, to the power and truth of simplicity than the Tao Te Ching.  Of the many translations I have read, Stephen Mitchell’s best captures that simplicity by not tacking on the cleverness that other interpreters have injected into it.

After faithfully applying all that Scientology has to offer, and after thirty-five years of interacting with and observing the best of those who did likewise, the following passage from the Tao Te Ching struck me like a bolt from the blue:

Do you have the patience to wait

till your mud settles and the water is clear?

Can you remain unmoving

till the right action arises by itself?

I asked myself, ‘have I mastered this ability?’  The answer was ‘no.’  I asked myself whether I had seen other Scientologists who had, including L. Ron Hubbard.  And the answer again was ‘no;  quite the contrary.’ With some work, including following the course of study I have outlined in the recommended reading, I began to learn why the answers to my questions were ‘no’.  Through practice I learned that this ability alone was far more powerful or ‘OT’ than anything Scientology had to offer.  In fact, following Scientology assiduously, and exclusively as it dictates it is to be practiced, barred the door to its attainment.

The first step toward its attainment was to learn a little something about the Tao.

Comal County, Texas

From some recent visitors:

Thank you both so much for having and sharing your beautiful space with me.  The environment here is really perfect for working on spiritual advancement.

This visit has been exactly what I need to sort out ‘confusions’ that lingered – some I didn’t even know were there.

I am looking forward to living with my new awareness.  Thank you.

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Guadalupe River

Marty and Mosey,

Today is 5 of 7 and I woke up this morning asking myself ‘if this is what auditing was meant to be by Hubbard,  then what-da-f___  was I doing while in the church?  I do not recall having the kind of experience I’m having here at Casablanca.  I came here with the intention of wanting peace and quiet – and time to reflect on all that has happened in my life.  Since I left the cult I have been trying to sort out all the confusion in my head, and it is being sorted out in the sessions you have been doing on me, Marty.

There is something serene about having deer roam about your property and as I watch them from my bedroom window the song ‘long time sun’ by Snatam Kaur comes to mind.  You can find it on Youtube, it’s four minutes long.

Namaste,

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Sweet Pea

Came here with ‘stuff.’

Now – so quiet, so at peace.

This has been a most amazing experience.

I leave with clean water at all levels.  The mud has settled.

Mark, Monique and all the animal friends became part of my life.  I will forever feel this is a second home, a safe refuge, a place of memories and experiences.

The ‘life coaching’ – more than just auditing – was spot on and very validating of native beingness.

Thanks to all.

Loving kindness,

A visiting soul on the awareness journey we call life

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Pedernales River

Scientology and the Sea Organization

The report on Laura Decrescenzo’s ordeal filed by Tony Ortega is a must read.

It is sobering. It probably catches the reality of being subjected to Sea Org captivity more authentically than anything I have read to date.

Godspeed to Laura and her team.