Category Archives: the world

Ishmael

 

Some folks have found my repeated reference to the Tao Te Ching to be puzzling.  Some Scientologists have simply used it to write me off as being lost. The Tao is such a radical departure from the ‘philosophy’ Scientologists learn and abide by – even while denying to themselves such adherence exists – that some dismiss it as philosophical gobbledygook.  I have commented on the polar nature of those philosophies (Scientology and the Tao) and noted it as an important reason to become acquainted with the Tao, e.g. The Tao of Scientology.

The fact of the matter is that a consistent construct in Scientology requires the adherent to mock up and act out the identity of conquerer.  For example, a Scientologist is taught to view the universe as an epic struggle of the spirit’s sole mission as the conquest of the physical universe.  Such a view can and often does, if not mitigated by deeper understandings, result in destruction of that which one programs oneself to conquest; not to mention the weakening or destruction of the ‘conquerer’ himself.

Many have recognized this on some level and have departed the church because of the dangerous environment such a philosophy ultimately creates.  Many of them spend years then applying an harmonic of this same warlike philosophy toward the church, ‘it is the church or current management that needs to be conquered.’  Others facilely write off the ‘conquest’ attitude as an attribute of church management and go off to apply what they call ‘real Scientology’ independently.   Inevitably, to the degree they avow to remain loyal to Scientology ‘philosophy’, those independents wind up playing the conquest game against one another.  It happened with the first independent movement in the eighties and the second one more recently.

To the extent one recognizes this mentality in himself he objectivizes it and can thus let it go.  An increase in equanimity and personal peace can ensue.  That which was useful and survival for someone in his or her Scientology experience can more easily and naturally be recognized and reinforced.  That which was of negative worth and non-survival can be recognized and let go of.

The continuing recommendation of the Tao as integral reading and understanding was meant to set this salutary evolution in progress.

But, I understand how ‘left field’ this recommendation can seem to those living the Scientology construct of ‘conquest of matter, energy, space and time’, ‘conquering the reactive mind’, ‘putting ethics in on the planet’, ‘gaining territory for Scientology’, etc.

I just read a book that may help to bridge the gap between the necessity-of-conquest think and learning to let go or living and letting live.  It communicates the essence of the Tao (without ever making any reference to it) in more modern terms.  It does so in an entertaining and currently-relevant fashion.   That book is Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit by Daniel Quinn.  It is a novel that tells a story in a creative, unique and interesting setting  – a story that is captivating in and of itself.  It explores some scientific, philosophic and religious constructs that Scientologists are taught early-on to discard in their entirety – the Bible and Evolution of Species.  In that regard, those who have bought into and scrupulously adhered to Hubbard’s wholesale rejection of such fields will learn a little something about perhaps the two most common poles of thought on this planet.  You don’t have to buy into either of those poles, but I bet you will never look at them (or those who believe in them) the same way.  You might recognize the parallels of both with Scientology philosophy and thus be more able to put Scientology and your experience with it in a sane and nurturing context. Maybe more importantly, you might begin to take a more realistic, informed view of the planet, humanity, and civilization and your participation in it.

My Practice

My practice is grounded in client-centered education techniques.  That is not because I sought to duplicate them.  Instead, I recently came to learn that the way I coach and counsel toward recovery and graduation from Scientology was discovered and written about long before I was born.  Reading of it helped me to improve what I was already doing.  Carl Rogers covered this approach in his book, On Becoming a Person, explaining how educational techniques logically evolve out of client-centered therapy.

That I gravitated in this direction during my own recovery and graduation should be no surprise, given the authoritarian, religious discipline all Scientologists studied under for so many years.  The client-centered approach is tailored to consulting the understanding of the client or student.  In that regard, it radically differs from Hubbard’s training approach that was memorialized as follows:

If you can’t graduate them with their good sense appealed to and their wisdom shining, graduate them in such a state of shock they’ll have nightmares if they contemplate squirreling (defined as departing one iota from the letter of what is taught).  – L. Ron Hubbard, Keeping Scientology Working

That learning philosophy was explained further in Hubbard’s highest level instructions (Class VIII course) wherein he told the most advanced Scientologists that humanity was incapable of being appealed to through understanding; and so, instead, it was their duty to command people and make them ‘obey.’   (See Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior, Amazon Books 2012)

Irrespective of the fact that much of the technology such methods sought to impart was geared towards bringing a person to self-determined understandings, that system of indoctrination ultimately implants fixed, subjective ideas about living, God and ultimate spiritual concerns.  At the end of the day, the methods place a glass ceiling on growth (in fact create regression) by means of enforced belief that curiosity and thirst for continuing education inherently stem from aberration.

It may well be that I was also influenced in the client-centered approach through my own earlier education, some of which was influenced by, or was even attempting to experiment in, Roger’s educational recommendations.  The middle school I attended was a fail-pass (no grade), choice of curriculum, self-scheduling format with emphasis on consulting students’ interests.  I also attended a semester of similar organization at University of California Santa Cruz.  I never knew until I read Rogers where these ideas came from.  Perhaps my Scientology study contributed to this leaning too, since I have noted in the post On Becoming A Person, Scientology’s central practice (auditing) is a modified, structuralized form of Rogerian client-centered therapy.  No matter what led to which along this road, it is interesting to note how what gets around comes around.

Having studied all of Scientology and a great deal on the subjects that led to its development (including their continued evolution while Scientology has remained static), a simple, workable rule of thumb has materialized for me.  That is, the degree to which Scientology departs from its client-centered philosophical and technical roots is proportional to the degree it harms rather than helps.  This in large part has become evident to me in helping people who were disappointed with their Scientology experience over the past five years.  Almost to a one, somewhere along the line each individual’s intent and purpose for engaging in Scientology in the first place were tampered with, rejected and replaced entirely by imposed intents and purposes.

Somewhere along the line in the Scientology experience the magic of the technology – each of its efficacious results marked by its adherence to its client-centered philosophic roots – is replaced by inculcation of the client rather than consultation and service of his or her needs, wants, aspirations and purposes.  Those goals do, and ought to if a positive evolution of awareness and ability is being achieved, change along the road.   But evolution in Scientology is geared solely toward achievement of goals that do not involve the client’s participation in establishing, except to the extent means are employed to obtain the client’s agreement to pursue them.  The attainment of those implanted goals turns out to be purely subjective – no matter how clothed in science its claims and promises are presented.   An objective examination of the result of those who pursue the implanted goals to their ends – no matter how convincing its achievers may be in professing their alleged subjective feelings of happiness, power, ability and bliss of self-actualization – proves their actions often betray their vigorous assertions of equanimity.  For the most part they have turned their own self-determinism (the restoration of which is promised) over lock, stock and barrel to their teacher (See What Is Wrong With Scientology, Amazon Books 2012).  They will lie, steal, and cheat for their religion without a twinge of conscience – all while attempting to exude a vibrant, open, extroverted appearance. Thus, they cannot be trusted by ordinary mortals, not even by their mothers, fathers or even their children. In any values computation, their religion trumps conscience.  And thus the price of the ultimate ring in Scientology is the forfeiture of one’s conscience.

That result is patently evident from counseling a number of people who have completed much of, or all of, the Scientology route both inside and outside of Scientology.  To a one, of those who graduated and moved on, their departures from Scientology were occasioned by their consciences failing to succumb to Scientology demands that they be forfeited.  To a one, of the dozens I have counseled.  The top Scientology achievers who remain, who forfeit their consciences to achieve (or at least assert) the ultimate super human powers Scientology promises, are in the somewhat schizophrenic condition of apparently being as happy as hell but in fact having nowhere to go. The result is continued, slavish adherence to the goals and programs of an organization that – by the time it has ceased delivering client-centered techniques – offers no purpose beyond self-perpetuation and world dominance.  The resultant super-amped adherent’s course is described well by Abraham Maslow, as apparently a common result of many paths that lose sight of client-centered principles:

The better we know which ends we want, the easier it is for us to create truly efficient means to those ends.  If we are not clear about those ends, or deny there are any, then we are doomed to confusion of instruments.  We can’t speak about efficiency unless we know efficiency for what.  (I want to quote again the veritable symbol of our times, the test pilot who radioed back, ‘I’m lost, but I’m making record time.’)

Client-centered education begins with finding out where the interests and purposes of the student (client) lie.  One encourages open communication in that discovery process.  Viktor Frankl’s work Man’s Search For Meaning is helpful in that regard.  Knowing the individual before you proceed is essential in working to recover and strengthen that person’s determinism.  Omitting this step tends to usurp determinism.  One doesn’t rehabilitate and enhance the faculty of determinism by indoctrination that conflicts with the client’s interests and purposes.  For example, one does not force a student who is inspired by, inclined toward – and thus usually gifted in some way – the arts to become an arms manufacturing specialist.  Similarly, one would not attempt to enforce upon a person seeking spiritual awakening the behavior and habits of a para-military religious zealot.

A client-centered educator does not preach and teach as much as find out and only then guide. He puts more emphasis on assisting an individual in finding and following his own purposes and interests.  He then does what he can to help the person move along that chosen path with the best possible chances for success. He acts more as a facilitator than an instructor.  He operates more of a resources center than a rigid curriculum school.

I have been asked, and challenged, to publish the specific route I recommend several times.  I have tried to do that.  But, each time in the process I find myself thinking of particular individual whom I have assisted in the past and recognize that a given reference for that person would not be of interest or applicable to another individual I had worked with.  No two paths are exactly the same.   I have learned through life that to the extent one tries to convince you otherwise that person is trying to lead you to where he wants you to go – irrespective of how eloquently he might convincingly represent otherwise. To the extent one attempts to enforce one way for all, one deviates from the client-centered approach – and some other interest or evaluation is entered into the equation for someone to whom it may not apply or serve any salutary purpose.

There are a number of recommendations I have made in the recommended reading section of the blog that I find myself recommending over and over again to people.   For the most part those are applicable to the Scientology decompression and contextualization process, and lead toward freeing one from Scientology’s injunctions against exercise of conscience and awareness.  Most of them were chosen because of their effectiveness in expanding people’s intellectual and spiritual horizons after years or decades of having those horizons treated as forbidden terrain.

I am working on a book that will make many more recommendations for those seeking to move up the Scientology Bridge in an integral fashion (non-cult, integrated approach), and another for those seeking to move up from and beyond the Scientology Bridge.  In the meantime, I strongly recommend that those embarking on the Scientology path – whether in the church or out – read  What Is Wrong With Scientology?, before doing so.  It will help you avoid the pitfalls inherent in the system.

1. Body, Mind and Soul

Spirit is the invisible-to-the-eye animating agent that brings vitality to otherwise lifeless matter.

A soul is an individual unit of sentient life.  It is the spiritual being.

Souls, so far as we can tell, are of the same quality as spirit. Souls seem to be distinguishable from spirit by carrying the notion of individuality or demonstrating it through operation of, and identifying with, an organism and exercising some measure of sentience.

Thoughts are those considerations, ideas, intentions, and similar units of mental creation of other descriptions that are produced by souls.

Mind is the combination of, or repository of, thoughts generated by souls, including mental mechanisms and systems devised by individual souls to satisfy interest, curiosity, and convenience.

Physical matter reality consists of the observable, measurable components and combinations of energy and matter in space and time.

The body is the physical human organism that is distinguishable from soul or spirit, but which is animated and operated by spirit or soul.  When imbued with soul or spirit the body is alive.

Spirit, soul and thought can only be measured indirectly.  That is because they do not apparently consist of energy and matter located in space and time.  However, they can be observed to create effects in physical matter reality. They can only be objectively evaluated against those effects that they create in the physical matter reality universe.  Because soul and spirit cannot be observed directly through the five senses nor measured by physical matter reality instruments, they have largely been ignored or denied by many sciences.  That ignorance is more recently being challenged by modern thinkers conversant in both advances in science and traditions of spirit.

Whether souls are actually separate units or individual manifestations of a greater, all-encompassing body of spirit is a philosophical question that has been argued through the ages.  Since neither can be measured and directly scientifically evaluated nor described precisely by words, ultimately that question is answered by each individual in accordance with his or her own perceptions, awareness, experiences, knowledge, beliefs, and conscience.

This work is designed to assist an individual become more acquainted with soul and spirit.  It is based upon the idea that increasing such familiarity can lead to more spiritually fulfilling states of awareness or consciousness and more meaningful lives.

A soul is capable of the creation of effects on other souls and physical matter reality.  It does so through animation, the as yet scientifically inexplicable process of bestowing life.  It also apparently does so through thought.  A being’s considerations are so effective that they seem to dictate how others and the world itself appear and how they affect the individual.  Wayne Dyer has said, ‘when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.’   That would serve as a fine exercise to test for yourself to determine whether the ideas conveyed here have any validity or appeal for you.   Before you continue reading try it for yourself.   Alter your own viewpoint in any fashion you choose, then go out and take a walk or a ride or a drive and see how the world appears from that new viewpoint.   If you are undecided on how to change your viewpoint, try to assume a more optimistic, positive outlook; then take your walk or your ride with that attitude.  From this new point of view talk to people you have talked to before from an earlier viewpoint or outlook.  See whether your change of viewpoint and outlook creates an effect upon others and whether it changes the way things look to you; even if only ever so slightly.

If and when you see that your considerations can change the world and even the people in it, you may wish to continue reading.

Time and Space

Time_and_space_Wallpaper__yvt2[1]

Studies in science and consciousness (e.g. Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra, Biocentrism by Robert Lanza, The Field by Lynne McTaggart, My Big T.O.E by Thomas Campbell, etc.) have demonstrated through a variety of means that time and space are constructs of  human and animal minds.  They have no independent, observed or tangible reality in and of themselves.  We create them in order to establish dimensions within which to survive amongst and with other organisms and to play games.

Transcendent experiences, such as enlightenments, peak-experiences, even Scientology releases, are instances where the automaticity of creating time/space constructs are ceased – even if for the briefest of spans.  At those moments we experience more of the true nature of the universe and its interconnectedness. Here is the realm where psi (psychic phenomena – or theta perceptics – such as clairvoyance, precognition, psychokinesis, and telepathy) activities are observed and exercised. That reality only appears perceivable and achievable outside of our mental time and space constructs, which by their very purpose and definitions create the apparency of separateness.  Those transcendent experiences are often far and few between for folks because they have so permanently implanted upon themselves – and begun to mistake for ultimate reality – the reality of the time and space constructs they create. But, the more frequent a practice makes their experience possible, the more chance we have of, as Ken Wilber put it, converting temporary states more toward more permanent traits.

L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics and Scientology processes are exercises in restoring the ability to cease the automaticity of creation of time and space.  Understood in this context, it is very easy to run processes, to run groups of them (grades/levels), or even the complete program (or Bridge), to their fullest potential gain.  Not a lot of duress and dogma designed to instill unswerving devotion and surrender is required to bring about ability when that simple, if all-encompassing, framework is kept in mind. When viewed against this scientific/consciousness field of evolving, tested context Hubbard processes can become as natural and simple to deliver as driving an automobile.

I think the more a practitioner appreciates these facts, and our increasing objective (scientific) understandings and how they relate to consciousness, the more proficient, effective, and empowering his or her practice becomes.

This ability can become unachievable in Scientology; much in the way it has in many other practices.  There are a number of reasons for this.  However, all of those factors can be recognized and understood to one degree or another as invitations or commands to build further time/space constructs, and to believe so implicitly in them that one – once again – puts the process on automatic.  Whatever titillating or inviting backdrops against, or foundations upon, which one presents such enticements to build new mental constructs, they still have the same regressive effect ultimately.  They send one back down the rabbit hole of time/space construction, which after enough practice ultimately to one degree or another goes back onto automatic.

Consequently, a simple axiom evolved for me that I have found useful in studying and applying any work in the fields of spirit, philosophy and psychotherapy.  To those cemented into the permanent constructs some paths tends to embed one in, this will sound like the most rank heresy.  To those not so embedded, it might help keep you from falling into the wet concrete looming along certain paths.  It is simply this, to the degree data assists with relieving additives to the mind that enforce automatic time/space construction it is valuable; conversely, to the degree data invites introduction of additives that further automatic time/space construction it is destructive of higher awareness and states of consciousness.

What’s Going On?

I came across an interesting passage in a book – the passage originally published in 1963 – by a prominent psychologist predicting quantum advancements in human consciousness by the marrying of religious and philosophic wisdom with rapidly evolving science. It is fifty years later and it seems Scientology is only now beginning to go through the throes of differentiating the adults (truth seeking spiritualists and values inspired scientists) from the children (flat earth religionists and reductionist-mechanistic inclined scientists).  Scientology seems, to steal a verse from U2, stuck in a moment that it can’t get out of.  From Religions, Values, and Peak-Experiences, by Abraham H. Maslow:

These two groups (sophisticated theologians and sophisticated scientists) seem to be coming closer and closer together in their conception of the universe as ‘organismic’, as having some kind of unity and integration, as growing and evolving and having direction and, therefore, having some kind of ‘meaning.’ Whether or not to call this integration ‘God’ finally gets to be an arbitrary decision and a personal indulgence determined by one’s personal myths.  John Dewey, an agnostic, decided for strategic and communicative purposes to retain the word ‘God’, defining it in a naturalistic way.  Others have decided against using it also for strategic reasons.  What we wind up with is a new situation in the history of the problem in which a ‘serious’ Buddhist let us say, one who is concerned with ‘ultimate concerns’ and with Tillich’s ‘dimensions of depth’, is more co-religionist to a ‘serious’ agnostic than he is to a conventional, superficial, other-directed Buddhist for whom religion is only habit or custom, i.e., behavior.

Indeed, these ‘serious’ people are coming so close together as to suggest that they are becoming a single party of mankind, the earnest ones, the seeking, the questioning, probing ones, the ones who are not sure, the ones with a ‘tragic sense of life’, the explorers of the depths and of the heights, the ‘saving remnant.’  The other party then is made up of all the superficial, the moment-bound, the herebound ones, those who are totally absorbed with the trivial, those who are ‘plated with piety, not alloyed with it’, those who are reduced to the concrete, to the momentary, and to the immediately selfish.  Almost, we could say, we wind up with adults, on the one hand, and children, on the other. 

An Open Letter to Eddie King

I tried to walk in your shoes on Saturday.

The honor of acting as the father of Christie at her wedding was bestowed upon me.

Christie may have chosen me for this privilege because I remind her so much of you.  She has told me as much on many occasions over the past four years that I have known her.  Just about every time I flip a song, she says with her inimitable smile, ‘my dad and I used to listen to that.’   From Bob Marley to Van Morrison, it seems you and I ride to a similar rhythm.

christie.me

Several times Christie has come to me for life counsel that one would normally reach out to a father for.  And when it is done she often reminisces with a glimmer in her eye that that is exactly how you would have handled it.  Ironically, when such nostalgic moments turn into tears it seems I even console her in a similar way that you used to.

I want to thank you for giving me fulfilling learning and growing opportunities. My only potential child was aborted in compliance with the firm policy of the priesthood of your church that I served most of my adult life in.  But because of your chosen absence I have been graced with the chance to come in touch with a bit of perhaps humankind’s greatest developmental growth experience: parenting.    I have not had to shed the blood, sweat and tears you have in bringing children through birth, childhood, adolescence and into adulthood.   Instead, I have been given the opportunity to temporarily substitute for you for one graduate of yours of that evolution.

rinders

I gave Christie away on Saturday with no doubts or reservations whatsoever.   As noted, apparently I have walked through life with a similar perspective to yours.   Based on the accumulation of whatever wisdom I’ve  been able to retain during that journey, I can assure you there is no finer man to be found than her husband Michael John Rinder.   He is a man of conscience molded in a crucible of adversity that few are adventurous enough to ever experience.  Few have lived a life of such selfless devotion and weathered as many vicissitudes as Mike.  And of those few, I am unaware of any who came out the back end with so much love, hope and tolerance as Mike.  You could not find a better father for your grandchildren.

jackandshane

Your grandchildren are the living proof of what I am trying to convey to you.  At fourteen months of age, Jack is a veritable lighthouse.   I think anyone who has been in his presence will agree.  He lights up every space he enters.  Shane, all of six years old, is as intelligent, mature, and at the same time insouciant, as any child I have known.

And at the center of this family, the sun that nourishes it with life-giving light, of course, is the Queen of the Slipstream – your daughter Christie King Rinder.

Thank you for letting me know and be part of this incredible family.

I want you to know that I still abide by our shared team sports ethos.  I recognize and accept that I am merely a lowly substitute.  I am doing my best to simply not let the comfortable lead you – the star – created slip away while you starters catch your breath.

There is an old proverb that says, your home is where your heart is.  When you find it in your heart to come home I will gladly step aside and be the first (of thousands) to celebrate you.

Letting Go

When I write of the idea of cultivating the skill of ‘letting go’, some Scientologists react as if I am from the planet Farsec (the alleged origin point of the universe for all psychs, reference: Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior).   On the one hand this is surprising because it is precisely what one does when one experiences a spiritual ‘release’ in a Scientology session.   On the other hand, the idea of employing and refining that capability in life is looked upon as blasphemous.  It is in a way since so much in Scientology implants precisely the opposite idea in believers.

To help get the concept across I have many times recommended folk read and attempt to think with Tao Te Ching (my recommended translation, The Tao Te Ching, an English Translation by Stephen Mitchell).   A number of people have written  to or told me that they have done so, and find the idea of ‘letting go’ liberating and useful in their quests for self- actualization (equinimity attendant to becoming who one really is and attaining toward one’s full potentialities).  Still many want the ‘tech’ to it or an instruction manual of sorts.

I came across a good description of breaking ‘letting go’ down into a process on buddhanet. net.  It is below for your perusal.  I don’t know who the author is and I don’t even know what all is on buddhanet or who operates it. All that I know is that the following description of the process rings accurate in many ways and may communicate to, and be found to be useful by, some.

Letting Go from buddhanet

If we contemplate desires and listen to them, we are actually no longer attaching to them; we are just allowing them to be the way they are. Then we come to the realization that the origin of suffering, desire, can be laid aside and let go of.

How do you let go of things? This means you leave them as they are; it does not mean you annihilate them or throw them away. It is more like setting down and letting them be. Through the practice of letting go we realize that there is the origin of suffering, which is the attachment to desire, and we realize that we should let go of these three kinds of desire. Then we realize that we have let go of these desires; there is no longer any attachment to them.

When you find yourself attached, remember that ‘letting go’ is not ‘getting rid of’ or ‘throwing away’. If I’m holding onto this clock and you say, ‘Let go of it!’, that doesn’t mean ‘throw it out’. I might think that I have to throw it away because I’m attached to it, but that would just be the desire to get rid of it. We tend to think that getting rid of the object is a way of getting rid of attachment. But if I can contemplate attachment, this grasping of the clock, I realize that there is no point in getting rid of it – it’s a good clock; it keeps good time and is not heavy to carry around. The clock is not the problem. The problem is grasping the clock. So what do I do? Let it go, lay it aside – put it down gently without any kind of aversion. Then I can pick it up again, see what time it is and lay it aside when necessary.

You can apply this insight into ‘letting go’ to the desire for sense pleasures. Maybe you want to have a lot of fun. How would you lay aside that desire without any aversion? Simply recognize the desire without judging it. You can contemplate wanting to get rid of it – because you feel guilty about having such a foolish desire – but just lay it aside. Then, when you see it as it is, recognizing that it’s just desire, you are no longer attached to it.

So the way is always working with the moments of daily life. When you are feeling depressed and negative, just the moment that you refuse to indulge in that feeling is an enlightenment experience. When you see that, you need not sink into the sea of depression and despair and wallow in it. You can actually stop by learning not to give things a second thought.

You have to find this out through practice so that you will know for yourself how to let go of the origin of suffering. Can you let go of desire by wanting to let go of it? What is it that is really letting go in a given moment? You have to contemplate the experience of letting go and really examine and investigate until the insight comes. Keep with it until that insight comes: ‘Ah, letting go, yes, now I understand. Desire is being let go of.’ This does not mean that you are going to let go of desire forever but, at that one moment, you actually have let go and you have done it in full conscious awareness. There is an insight then. This is what we call insight knowledge. In Pali, we call it nanadassana or profound understanding.

I had my first insight into letting go in my first year of meditation. I figured out intellectually that you had to let go of everything and then I thought: ‘How do you let go?’ It seemed impossible to let go of anything. I kept on contemplating: ‘How do you let go?’ Then I would say, ‘You let go by letting go.’ ‘Well then, let go!’ Then I would say:

‘But have I let go yet?’ and, ‘How do you let go?’ ‘Well just let go!’ I went on like that, getting more frustrated. But eventually it became obvious what was happening. If you try to analyze letting go in detail, you get caught up in making it very complicated. It was not something that you could figure out in words any more, but something you actually did. So I just let go for a moment, just like that.

Now with personal problems and obsessions, to let go of them is just that much. It is not a matter of analyzing and endlessly making more of a problem about them, but of practicing that state of leaving things alone, letting go of them. At first, you let go but then you pick them up again because the habit of grasping is so strong. But at least you have the idea. Even when I had that insight into letting go, I let go for a moment but then I started grasping by thinking: ‘I can’t do it, I have so many bad habits!’ But don’t trust that kind of nagging, disparaging thing in yourself. It is totally untrustworthy. It is just a matter of practicing letting go. The more you begin to see how to do it, then the more you are able to sustain the state of non-attachment.

Dichotomized Religion & Sheep Production

The following is a 1964 analysis of what had happened to religions over the millennia. Interesting how it was happening in real time, first generation, to Scientology while the words were being typed.  It continues to play out in real time in the ‘independent field’ as evidenced by the commentary – and omission thereof – on this blog.  If you find yourself not to be one of the sheep described (or no longer wanting to be one), you might be interested in investigating more deeply how this applies to Scientology, by reading Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior.

From Abraham H. Maslow’s Religion, Values, and Peak Experiences :

When all that could be called ‘religious’ (naturalistically as well as supernaturalistically) was cut away from science, from knowledge, from further discovery, from the possibility of skeptical investigation, from confirming and discomfirming, and, therefore, from the possibility of purifying and improving, such a dichotomized religion was doomed.  It tended to claim that the founding revelation was complete, perfect, final, and eternal.  It had the truth, the whole truth, and had nothing more to learn, thereby being pushed into the position that has destoryed so many churches, of resisting change, of being only conservative, of being anti-intellectual and anti-scientific, of making piety and obedience exclusive of skeptical intellectuality — in effect, of contradicting naturalistic truth.

Such a split-off religion generates split-off and partial definition of all necessary concepts. For example, faith, which has perfectly respectable naturalistic meanings, as for example in Fromm’s writings, tends in the hands of an anti-intellectual church to degenerate into blind belief, sometimes even ‘belief in what you know ain’t so.’  It tends to become unquestioning obedience and last-ditch loyalty no matter what.  It tends to produce sheep rather than men.

A Little Perspective

Excerpted from “The Paranoid Style in American Politics”, a 1964 essay by Richard J. Hofstadter:

“The paranoid spokesman, sees the fate of conspiracy in apocalyptic terms — he traffics in the birth and death of whole worlds, whole political orders, whole systems of human values. He is always manning the barricades of civilization… he does not see social conflict as something to be mediated and compromised, in the manner of the working politician. Since what is at stake is always a conflict between absolute good and absolute evil, what is necessary is not compromise but the will to fight things out to a finish. Since the enemy is thought of as being totally evil and totally unappeasable, he must be totally eliminated — if not from the world, at least from the theatre of operations to which the paranoid directs his attention. This demand for total triumph leads to the formulation of hopelessly unrealistic goals, and since these goals are not even remotely attainable, failure constantly heightens the paranoid’s sense of frustration. Even partial success leaves him with the same feeling of powerlessness with which he began, and this in turn only strengthens his awareness of the vast and terrifying quality of the enemy he opposes.

“The enemy is clearly delineated: he is a perfect model of malice, a kind of amoral superman — sinister, ubiquitous, powerful, cruel, sensual, luxury-loving. Unlike the rest of us, the enemy is not caught in the toils of the vast mechanism of history, himself a victim of his past, his desires, his limitations. He wills, indeed, he manufactures, the mechanism of history, or tries to deflect the normal course of history in an evil way. He makes crises, starts runs on banks, causes depressions, manufactures disasters, and then enjoys and profits from the misery he has produced. The paranoid’s interpretation of history is distinctly personal: decisive events are not taken as part of the stream of history, but as the consequences of someone’s will. Very often, the enemy is held to possess some especially effective source of power: he controls the press; he has unlimited funds; he has a new secret for influencing the mind (brainwashing); he has a special technique for seduction (the Catholic confessional).

“It is hard to resist the conclusion that this enemy is, on many counts, the projection of the self; both the ideal and the unacceptable aspects of the self are attributed to him. The enemy may be the cosmopolitan intellectual, but the paranoid will outdo him in the apparatus of scholarship, even of pedantry. Secret organizations, set up to combat secret organizations, give the same flattery. The Ku Klux Klan imitated Catholicism to the point of donning priestly vestments, developing an elaborate ritual and an equally elaborate hierarchy. The John Birch Society emulates Communist cells and quasi-secret operation through “front” groups, and preaches a ruthless prosecution of the ideological war along lines very similar to those it finds in the Communist enemy. Spokesmen of the various fundamentalist anti-Communist “crusades” openly express their admiration for the dedication and discipline the Communist cause calls forth.”

One Good Reason To Read ‘Scientology Warrior’

Now for one reason you might want to read Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior. Tony Ortega hates the book, characterizing it as a love letter to the cult:  Ortega’s take.

Rattling both ends of the extreme is an indicia of hitting the sweet spot.  Reference:  The Great Middle Path Revisited.

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