Category Archives: Integral Theory

Awakening – Part III

 

references:

Awakening from scientology

Awakening – Part II

By now, some Scientologists might have suspected that I am setting the stage to redirect them from following L. Ron Hubbard to following David R. Hawkins.  In fact, while my third recommended reading assignment is Hawkins’ Power vs. Force, I would suggest to people at the outset not to latch onto Hawkins as they once latched onto Hubbard.

While Hawkins simply and eloquently describes states of consciousness above and beyond those contemplated in scientology (i.e. non-duality) a study of his arc of evolution finds him paralleling Hubbard in certain limiting senses.  Both found workability in utilizing simple true/false detectors of energy connected with thought.  Hubbard’s of course was the e-meter.  Hawkins’ was the use of applied kinesiology.  Both chartered and described the realms of higher states of awareness and consciousness discoverable by disciplined utilization of those thought-energy tools.  On the other hand, both became so enamored with the efficacy of their tools that they lost the plot.  First, by buying into the infallibility of their chosen mechanics, they in some ways dragged spirit/life down to the mechanics they used to explore it.  Second,  by overvaluing the adoration that the workability of their paths engendered, they succumbed to the seduction of guru status and the debilitating judgmentalism such positions breed.  In a word, both ultimately eschewed the aforementioned lesson of the Tao that permitted them to discover what made them so popular in the first place.  Power vs. Force is a very good read because it betrays little of those ultimate Hawkins failings – aside from the absolutist terms with which he promotes kinesiology.

A signal, critical difference between Hubbard and Hawkins is that the former attempted to force the world to accept his ideas and created a slave cult to accomplish that.  Hubbard sought to command whereas Hawkins sought to teach.

Hawkins is recommended  as a good first exercise in comparing scientology to data of comparable magnitude.  You are likely to see independent validations of some core scientology principles and practices.  You are also liable to begin to see the limitations of one’s scientology-controlled thinking.  Power vs. Force can at once reinforce what of value one may have gotten from his scientology experience while piquing interest in other potential horizons beyond it.  The latter are written about in a modern, mysticism-free manner in Power vs Force.

Another important distinction between Hubbard and Hawkins that makes study of the latter worthwhile for the scientologist is that Hawkins recognized – as does the traditional eastern wisdom I repeatedly suggest people devote some study to – the crippling effects of clinging to personal identity; ego.  Power vs. Force also recognizes the value of graduating from constructs, as summarized here:

In overview, we can see that from time immemorial, man has tried to make sense of the enormous complexity and frequent unpredictability of human behavior.  A multitude of systems has been constructed to try to make that which is incomprehensible comprehensible.  To ‘make sense’ has ordinarily meant to be definable in terms that are linear – logical and rational.  But the process, and therefore the experience, of life itself, is organic – that is to say, nonlinear by definition.  This is the source of man’s inescapable intellectual frustration.

It is a lesson lost by many who have attempted to bottle and market the magical animation agent called ‘life.’   The most famous warning about that trap was summed up in one now-famous saying by Hubbard’s perhaps most important influence, General Semantics founder Alfred Korzybski, ‘the map is not the territory.’   Eastern wisdom has been communicating that in various ways for millennia.  More recently, advanced theoretical physics is validating it as demonstrable.  It is my observation that Scientology, applied exclusively as it requires itself to be applied, not only confuses the map for the territory, it has a tendency to convert the territory into the map in the follower’s mind.

In this book I am sharing my own journey toward recognition of the difference between map and territory and how I believe that that recognition can lead to broader spiritual horizons.  I am fully cognizant of the fact that there are many people who are more intelligent or more spiritually attuned than me.  What I see that I have to contribute to the mix is not necessarily wisdom or enlightenment, but instead the willingness to explore and communicate what a lot of Scientologists and former Scientologists have intuited but haven’t been willing or able to follow through with overtly.  Therefore, it is quite likely that at various points along the line you might find my assistance has served its purpose and lose interest in continuing to follow this particular trail of exploration.  It is after all only a map thus has served its purpose once someone is out of the ditch and heading in the direction he wants to go.

I think it is possible that by simply reading and contemplating the three recommendations that I have made in this introduction any individual is capable of graduating from Scientology in a positive sense.  That is, recognizing its map/construct nature, what one attained from it, and where one might turn to expand on whatever level of consciousness or awareness he or she got from it.  It might also occur at any given later juncture along the away.  The sooner one finds that point of departure – hopefully with a fresh, curious outlook – the better as far as I am concerned.

Awakening – Part II

 

Reference: Awakening from scientology

Using scientology parlance, we begin by attempting to help people move above ‘know about’ on the ‘know to mystery scale.’    I have found plenty outside of scientology that explains and validates the sequence of Hubbard’s scale; illuminating the reason for the relatively high position for ‘not know.’  Thus, the Tao Te Ching – a book Hubbard once credited as offering in application all that scientology could hope to attain through its psychotherapeutic methodologies and training – teaches:

The Master leads; by emptying people’s minds

and filling their cores, by weakening their ambition

and toughening their resolve.

He helps people lose everything they know,

everything they desire, and creates confusion

in those who think that they know…

 

…The ancient Masters

didn’t try to educate the people,

but kindly taught them to not-know.

When they think that they know the answers,

people are difficult to guide.

When they know that they don’t know,

people can find their own way…

 

…Not-knowing is true knowledge.

Presuming to know is a disease.

First realize that you are sick;

then you can move toward health…

 

Notwithstanding their seeming alignment with such concepts as the know-to-mystery scale, scientologists are taught to eschew such ideas in pursuing  and exuding certainty.  And yet it was application of them that led to their own indoctrination or ‘enlightenment’ in and with scientology.  Scientologists are plied with a continual diet of tearing down all schools of thought that preceded  scientology – even those that led to its creation.  These facts necessitate that our first several chapters focus on pointing out the inconsistency, illogic, and even absurdity of some of your core scientology conditionings.  Perhaps I haven’t done it as ‘kindly’ as the Tao would prescribe.   Nonetheless, I want to make clear the purpose for doing so.  I am not doing it in order to replace your faulty stable data in order to become a new director of your destiny, but instead I hope to assist toward ‘when they know that they don’t know, people can find their own way.’   In that regard, the second reading recommendation that I make (the first being The Tao Te Ching – An English Translation by Stephen Mitchell) is a classic novel called Siddhartha by Herman Hesse.

Siddhartha is the quintessential lesson on the virtue – even necessity – of blazing one’s own path.  Even if you read it many years ago, I suggest that if you are seriously exploring the idea of moving  beyond and above scientology that you read it again.  Evaluate your scientology experience against Siddhartha’s experience.  Siddhartha sublimely demonstrates that the very act of becoming a follower or belonging  is anathema to enlightenment.   If in being introduced to new ideas and horizons one in particular seems to be the golden goose that will continue to forever lay you golden eggs, hark back to Siddhartha.  Clinging to one-stop enlightenment sources can defeat the entire purpose of the quest. Siddhartha also reminds us that when in doubt or despair it is rejuvenating to turn to and fully enjoy the  wonderment of the simple present; the Zen transcendence of doing what one is doing while doing it.

A system of thought purporting to be the ‘science of certainty’, that overtly asserts the goal and product of boiling all of creation down to simplistic blacks and whites, can be seen in the light of the wisdom from the Tao (and even scientology’s know-to-mystery scale) to potentially be the conveyor of a sort of sickness.  The resultant awareness myopia  – the death of life-promoting curiosity – is held firmly in place by ego and pride.  It requires an adopted air of superiority to automatically dismiss any ideas or information beyond one’s own ism or ology.  The certainty that one need not continue to look and to search and to find is protected and bolstered by pride in having arrived, having achieved all there is to know.

The disability (or as the Tao puts it, sickness) concomitant with such pride is described in Power vs. Force:

In our discussion of the levels of consciousness, we noted that one of the downsides of Pride is denial.  Every mind engages in denial in order to protect its “correctness” – this begets the fixity and resistance to change that prevents the average consciousness from advancing much more than five points in a lifetime.  Great leaps in levels of consciousness are always preceded by surrender of the illusion that ‘I know.’  Frequently, the only way one can reach this willingness to change is when one ‘hits bottom’, that is, by running out a course of action to its end in the defeat of a futile belief system.  Light can’t enter a closed box; the upside of catastrophe can be an opening to a higher level of awareness.  If life is viewed as a teacher, then it becomes just that.  But unless we become humble and transform them into gateways of growth and development, the painful life lessons we deal ourselves are wasted.

Awakening from scientology

I have been administering a course in graduating from scientology for the past couple months.  While doing so, I have been writing and sharing with students the chapters of an in progress book on the subject.  I recently added an introduction to the course/book as I recognized it required a further undercut.  I am publishing that introduction in three parts here as it might serve to spark productive thought and discussion.

A course in graduating from scientology

Introduction – Part I

One of the most difficult traps that scientology creates for minds is that of creating an arrogant sense of certainty in the member.  It is ultimately the ceiling that keeps people beholden to scientology, afraid to explore outside of it, and thus serves to entrap them within its own limitations.  What makes it so binding for scientologists is that they are taught that such an attitude has that effect at the outset of their studies. That is, the first barrier to learning is the student thinking he already knows it.  Scientologists apparently never think that the datum might apply once they had learned all there was to know about the subject that taught them that very datum.  That type of tricky dichotomy is peppered throughout the subject.  It is one thing that makes reasoning, discussion or debate on scientology so confounding.  A scientologist is only permitted to view the subject within the parameters of its own nomenclature, constructs and logic. He must never permit the thought to enter his own mind, ‘is there more to life than I have been instructed?’

As we shall see as we progress, scientology is finite.  It consists of the words of one man who wrote and lectured on the subject between the years 1950 and 1986.  By firm policy scientology enforces the notion that those thirty-six years of observations by one man are all that need be known on the mind and spirit and a host of other subjects.  It even instills the idea that to think or explore outside of the box of Hubbard words is dangerous.  In the book Power vs. Force David R. Hawkins succinctly described how such mental mechanics generally obtain:

The truth of each level of consciousness is self-verifying in that each level has its native range of perception, which confirms what’s already believed to be true.  Thus, everyone feels justified in the viewpoints that underlie his actions and beliefs. 

Presumably, the reader has to some degree shaken the scientology tenet that if it isn’t written or spoken by L. Ron Hubbard it is not true nor worth knowing. Otherwise, why would you even pick up a book entitled Graduating from scientology?  Nonetheless, in my experience the notion of fully self-contained infallibility is so heavily implanted with scientologists that it tends to come off in stages or layers.  It is common for scientologists, and even former scientologists, to continue to weigh any new data they encounter on the mind and spirit against a hidden standard, ‘how does it measure up against what scientology holds?’  Measuring up is not the problem.  Our course of exploration is all about comparing and contextualizing scientology indoctrinations.  It is a virtual exercise in Hubbard’s Logic 8: a datum can be evaluated only by a datum of comparable magnitude.  The problem arises when your mind is trained to work on an automatic default (read thought stopping) where any data, no matter how vital and workable, is discredited and discarded to the degree it does not agree with one’s scientology indoctrination.  Scientologists come to know about scientology and in the process are convinced that they know all there is to know.

That is a perfectly normal state of affairs for a monotheistic religious belief system.  For those seeking the comfort and security that type of system lends to adherents, you would be well advised to drop this book right about now.  This course of exploration is for those who never signed up for such when they embarked on scientology study.  This exploration is for those who got involved in scientology from the beginning as part of a search for truth, wisdom, and enlightenment.

Scientology and Obsessive Causation

But for the first and last paragraphs, provided here only for context, the following is a newly included passage to venture seven of a course in graduating from Scientology:

How did the 14th Dalai Lama, Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King attain such world-transforming power? Certainly, not by coveting it. They more likely manifested the following passage from the Tao:

The Master doesn’t try to be powerful; thus he is truly powerful.

The ordinary man keeps reaching for power; thus he never has enough.

By their philosophies and actions their extraordinary pacifist powers were consistent with James Allen’s universe view as articulated in As A Man Thinketh:

A man only begins to be a man when he ceases to whine and revile, and commences to search for the hidden justice which regulates his life.  And as he adapts his mind to that regulating factor, he ceases to accuse others as the cause of his condition, and builds himself up in strong and noble thoughts; ceases to kick against circumstances, but begins to use them as aids to his more rapid progress, and as a means of discovering the hidden powers and possibilities within himself.

Law, not confusion, is the dominating principle in the universe; justice, not injustice, is the soul and substance of life; and righteousness, not corruption, is the molding and moving force in the spiritual governance of the world.  This being so, man has but to right himself to find that the universe is right; and during the process of putting himself right he will find that as he alters his thoughts towards things and other people, things and other people will alter towards him.

In contrast, given its emphasis on – even obsession with – power and causation attainment, is it any wonder that all the most ‘powerful’ in Scientology, including Hubbard himself, wound up so powerless and miserable?

Scientology, Science and Squirreling

But for the first and last paragraphs, included for the purpose of establishing context, the following is a new passage added to venture three of a course on graduating from Scientology.

The further Scientologists proceed in their study, the more they are precluded from comparing their learning to any other discipline.  They are trained to treat any independent, evolved learning about the mind and spirit with disdain. The greater the degree of arrogant certainty with which the Scientologist identifies and authoritatively rejects incursion of data originated by someone other than Ron, is the degree to which an individual is considered valuable and is validated and promoted within the ranks of Scientology.  There is no more important standard of credibility within Scientology than this.

I began the search that lead to this course by attempting to do what L. Ron Hubbard proclaimed Scientology sought to do.  That is to reconcile science with spirit.  Quite evidently somewhere along the line Scientology divorced itself entirely from science and became a full-fledged religious belief system.   My journey gave me a much deeper appreciation for where and how that departure came about – some of which has already been summarized in books and blog essays.

For decades I was of the belief that there was good reason for Hubbard becoming so defensive of his creation.  After all, I had been thoroughly indoctrinated in Hubbard’s version of the war that the medical monopoly and psychiatry declared and waged against him.  Even as late as 2013 (Memoirs)  I was defending Hubbard on that basis.  But, in researching deeper into the philosophical seeds from which Dianetics and Scientology sprang I came to doubt the primary cause of Hubbard’s travails.

There are ample references in Hubbard issues and lectures to Dr. Joseph Winter as the original ‘squirrel.’  I became convinced of the fitness of that sobriquet given Hubbard’s oft-expressed revulsion for Winters.  That condemnation included Hubbard gloating over the fact of Winter’s death many years after he had departed the original Dianetics foundations.  Incidentally, his was not the only death Hubbard celebrated. He similarly implied another untimely death, that of John F. Kennedy, was somehow proof of divine retribution being in store for those who defy Hubbard and his ideas (even though Hubbard had not one shred of evidence that Kennedy even knew of Hubbard and Scientology, let alone opposed them).

After twenty years of directing attacks against squirrels, then another five fending off attacks against me and my wife for my purveying allegedly heretical views, I decided to read the book that the original granddaddy of squirrels had written.  That is, Winter’s 1951 publication Dianetics: A Doctor’s Report.  Hubbard characterized it as one of the first  American Medical Association and American Psychiatric Association backed assaults on mankind’s only hope.

I found Winter’s book to reflect much the same advice I suggested in What Is Wrong With Scientology?   From well before the publication of Dianetics Winter beseeched Hubbard to integrate, evolve and thus attain the ability to transcend.  A Doctor’s Report is not an attack on Dianetics.  Instead, the book is one of the most rational and authoritative endorsements of Dianetics ever published.  Winter’s scholarly validation of Hubbard’s ideas and general approach were eschewed wholesale by Hubbard because apparently the latter could not tolerate even polite, respectful, and wise counsel.  What apparently rankled Hubbard was Winter’s lament that Hubbard violently rejected Winter’s advices for making Dianetics less absolutist, bombastic, and individuated from related fields.   Winter made recommendations for making Dianetics more effective and potentially more capable of dissemination.   Winter’s book serves as the finest advice Hubbard could have received in 1949 when the two first met, or at any subsequent time up until the latter’s death. 

Winter noted that Hubbard’s invented, eminently disprovable claims of 100% invariable success were put in writing by Ron a year before he had even published the first handbook on the subject:

‘A very exhaustive research has located no exception to any axiom and broad application to types has discovered no exception to treatment technique – anything surrenders.’   – 1949 letter from Hubbard to Winter 

Ultimately Winter discovered no such research existed beyond Hubbard’s claims of one-hundred percent success. Hubbard originally approached Winter hoping to use him to infiltrate Dianetics into the medical/psychiatric field.  Winter attempted to do so.  He reported initial receptivity:

‘The professional people evidenced an interest in the philosophy of dianetics; their interest was repelled, however, by the manner of presentation of the subject, especially the unwarranted implication that it was necessary to repudiate one’s previous beliefs before accepting dianetics.’

In this short passage from A Doctor’s Report Winter accurately summed up what was wrong with Dianetics in 1950 and what remains wrong with Scientology to this day:

‘Insofar as the dangers of dianetic therapy are concerned, they are no greater than those inherent in many other therapies; in my opinion, the effectiveness of dianetics far outweighs its possible dangers. However, there is one danger which lurks in all forms of healing, no matter whether the efforts are directed at the psyche or the soma:  we should beware of overenthusiasm, especially when the enthusiast is unskilled and uncritical.  If one regards any hypothesis as a perfect, closed system, one which gives an invariably correct answer to every question, he is asking for trouble.  A persistent scientific skepticism and an ethical regard for the rights of one’s patients must be maintained in the practice of dianetics as it should be in any other form of therapy; in the absence of that attitude any therapeutic method is apt to be dangerous.’

As anyone knows who has engaged in Scientology in the decades since, no skepticism (scientific or otherwise) is permitted, and no rights are afforded the participants (not even its highly touted unconditional right to refund for bad results).  The two dangers Winter noted were inherent in all forms of healing have been systematically reinforced in Dianetics and Scientology for six and one half decades, while Hubbard’s designated bogeymen the psychs (psychiatrists, psychologists and psychotherapists) -have all that while been evolving – however haltingly and slightly – on both scores. Ironically, that evolution has been prodded by Scientologists while their ‘science’ continues to degrade for lack of evolution on either count.

Winter goes on to chronicle how the absolute prohibition against putting Dianetics to any objective test was fully in force from the earliest days, a policy that sealed the fate of Hubbard’s creation becoming a system grounded not in science but instead upon assiduously policed religious belief.

The result is that today to Scientologists, their discipline reigns supreme in all respects irrespective of any evidence to the contrary.  If another idea conflicts with Scientology it is energetically rejected and discredited, with no inspection or test for worth.  The most common method of discrediting is done by assignment of guilt by association to its originator.  The most common and convenient association ‘found’ by the Scientologist to discredit such ideas is some link, real or imagined, to psychiatry (actually ‘psychs’, which includes psychologists, psychotherapists or any other established mental practitioners).

 

Scientology: Witnessing and Prohibiting

The following is an excerpt from chapter one of A Course in Graduating From Scientology.

At its core scientology revolves around the auditing process.  The word auditing comes from the Latin root audire which means to listen, or to listen and compute.  The entire purpose of a scientology auditor is to provide an environment in which an individual may look at his or her life in such an honest fashion that that which is viewed no longer has a hold on that person.  Scientology postulates that ‘charge’ (mental energy) ‘erases’ through that process.  One could just as easily consider that one’s witnessed experience objectifies.  That is, one’s experience moves from the subjective (part of, and affecting oneself) to the objective.  In that construct, matters of the mind that tend to drive one on an automatic basis are no longer hidden and automatic.  Objectivized energy of the mind is no more capable of driving you than any other person or idea that you can clearly see as apart from yourself.  Given a workable methodology for pursuing such objectifying, your own choice in the matter of what to do, what to choose, what to pursue and what to react to can be restored to you.  Each time one honestly witnesses in this wise one recognizes a little more about the true nature of self and its relationship with matter, energy, space, time and life.  Witnessing is what led the Buddha – and many other sages – toward recognizing the impermanent nature of matter, energy, space, time, and life forms.

It is my view that any time devoted to honestly viewing the content of your mind, your experience, what arises in consciousness, is progress in moving the external world back out of one’s head where it no longer drives you.  That is so provided one is permitted to do so on a self-determined basis and to cease once one’s  attic is cleared to one’s own satisfaction.  Hubbard once described the mechanics of auditing in this very wise in the book Evolution of a Science.

There used to be a saying in scientology, ‘any auditing is better than no auditing.’  No matter what processes, what grades, what levels attained or not, every hour spent objectivizing the subjective was net gain.  As we shall see, all that radically changed along the development path.  At the upper reaches of the scientology way one is indoctrinated to believe that viewing certain aspects of the mind is a potentially deadly activity – not only possibly killing one today but keeping one comatose and crippled for millennia to come.  Because of indoctrinations like this and because there is so much emphasis included in scientology about the attainment of static grades and levels, and purported permanent states of consciousness,  the failure to attain very high on the Scientology Bridge (the chart of progressive grades and levels of spiritual attainment) tends to serve to invalidate the work a person did execute in witnessing his or her own mind.

Scientology contains so much dogma asserting superiority to and difference from all other forms of witnessing that people tend to lose sight that they spent a tremendous amount of time and effort doing just that, witnessing.  I use the term ‘witnessing’ because it is a generic term that captures what is at the heart of all effective psychotherapeutic and spiritual practices.  Most forms of meditation (Buddhist, Hindu, Taoist, etc.), most forms of psychotherapy, and Scientology too, create a desirable effect to the extent the individual applying it honestly views what arises within her own consciousness.

NOTE: To those who have already completed venture one, you’ll notice this passage has been revised.  As I learn from you all I find myself going back and adding to and revising.  I will continue to post significantly revised passages like the above as previews for blog readers, and a heads up to you that changes were made.

A Course in Graduating from Scientology

Given recent vicissitudes in these parts it is not practicable for me to be hosting visitors and engaging in lengthy, uninterruptible sessions.  Yet, the desire for guided tours out of the Scientology philosophical labyrinth continues to be expressed. I have come up with a solution that may be workable given current conditions and apropos given the evolution of what we do.  As noted recently, in essence my coaching or counselling has focused more on connecting dots to get people out of the ‘why trap’ Scientology has so effectively ensnared them into.

I am offering a Graduating from Scientology correspondence course.  It is designed for:

-Those who are Clear or higher on the Scientology grade chart and are not planning on doing any more Scientology OT levels.

-Those who find Scientology still occupies their attention and somehow holds them back from moving on with doing and experiencing new things.

-Those having difficulty correlating the gains they did get from Scientology with the outside world and other philosophies and religions.

-Those wishing to continue with spiritual growth, but who do not want to start from square zero.

The course is organized by reading assignments followed by one to one discussions after each venture.  I call them ventures (Oxford Dict. Definition: a risky or daring journey or undertaking) not because of any real danger.  I am simply highlighting the risk that Scientology contends faces people when they are invited to face and use their minds – something Hubbard once gratefully acknowledged Freud for discovering was not in fact dangerous.  The apparent daring or risk involved is simple – if Scientology is the only road to ultimate freedom, and Hubbard really is the unforgiving God set forth so strongly in Scientology policy, there will be hell to pay for those venturing along such a path. Follow up discussions after each venture will be conducted by e-mail, phone and/or skype as appropriate to the venture and individual.

The course does not prescribe a particular ology, ism, or path.  Instead, it is designed to equip an individual to choose and blaze his own way.  The course does seek to make sense of Scientology at the upper levels and to understand what in actual fact Hubbard was attempting to address. In that regard, following through with the full course requires a fair amount of study assignments.  That might be desirable to those who entered Scientology with the intention of learning the secrets of the woof and warp of the universe, but gave up when they recognized Scientology would not truly reveal them.  For others not so inclined, you may want to hang for the first several ventures which culminate in a break point that is called ‘Cutting To The Chase.’  It might be that you by then hit a point where Scientology is sufficiently contextualized for you that you can let it go and move on.  Others who find it simply uninteresting or lacking in other respects are free to drop out at any stage.

The only pre-requisite is that the participant has read What Is Wrong With Scientology?: Healing Through Understanding, The Scientology Reformation, and Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior.

In order to participate, simply set up a hushmail.com account and reach out to me at howdoesitfeel@hushmail.com.

Donations are voluntary on the basis of what each individual considers each venture was worth.

What Jesus Means

Here are some thoughts that may make Christmas more meaningful.

by Mohandas K. Gandhi:

My Christian friends have told me on a few occasions that because I do not accept Christ as the only son of God, it is impossible for me to understand the profound significance of his teachings.  I believe that this is an erroneous point of view, and that such an estimate is incompatible with the message that Jesus gave to the world.  For he was certainly the highest example of one who wished to give everything, asking nothing in return, and not caring what creed might happen to be professed by the recipient.  I am sure that if he were living here now among men, he would bless the lives of many who perhaps have never even heard his name, if only their lives embodied the virtues of which he was a living example on earth: the virtues of loving one’s neighbor as oneself and of doing good and charitable works among one’s fellow men.

What then does Jesus mean to me?  To me  he was one of the greatest teachers humanity has ever had.  To his believers he was God’s only-begotten Son. Could the fact that I do or do not accept this belief make Jesus have any more or less influence in my life?   Is all the grandeur of his teaching and of his doctrine to be forbidden to me?  I cannot believe so.

To me it implies a spiritual birth. My interpretation, in other words, is that in Jesus’ own life is the key to his nearness to God; that he expressed, as no other could, the spirit and will of God.  It is in this sense that I see him and recognize him as the son of God.   

The Scientology ‘Why’ Trap

“We’re in a society that is so psychology-ridden that it’s almost hobbled with ‘why did I do that and this and that?’  Although psychology has a powerful cleansing function, like any method it can become a trap, and it’s trapped many of us in the West. But the more we act from the heart, from that deep intuitional space, the less the spinning of the mind will interfere.  The more awareness with which we do something, the more heart we act on, the more that self-acceptance will allow us to trust those acts.”

–          from A Gradual Awakening by Stephen Levine

That is a very apt and insightful statement that, while not attempting to, precisely describes what might most be wrong with Scientology.  I have in the past noted the ingrained proclivity in Scientologists to practice excessive judgmentalism on others.  For example, see Sitting In Judgment.                           .

Perhaps the ‘why’ trap of the Scientology pop psychology scheme will be more apparent by viewing it on flow 0 – that is, what one does to oneself.  Please take a moment to review this.   Have you been saddled with the habit of asking yourself, or possibly seeking the answer from your auditor or the organization or even Ron,  ‘why did I do that and this and that?’  A valid target of psychology or psychotherapy, but as noted by Levine, up to a point.

If so, I believe it would behoove you to learn a bit about the crippling nature of aristotelian two-valued logic thought.   A great place to start is the first several chapters of a book called The End of Suffering by Russell Targ and J.J. Hurtak.  You will learn the uncredited provenance of Scientology’s purported ‘infinity logic’; which has been with us for millennia prior to Scientology.  For a deeper appreciation of, and thus potentially greater freedom from, the two-valued logic trap, the first few chapters of The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra will give you the history of how we in the West came to take two-valued logic for granted as a way of life.  A review of both books just might help you break that vicious cycle, should you find it present.

Recently, I summed up in one sentence what I have evolved toward doing with former Scientologists, ‘connecting some dots so that they can see that the only thing that is wrong with them is the ingrained belief that there always has to be something wrong with them.’

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!