Tag Archives: Fritjof Capra

Effect and Cause

Aristotelian and Newtonian two-valued, space-time logic  philosophy and science are demonstrated to be essentially of a mind construct basis by developments in quantum mechanics and the related fledgling field of science of consciousness.   Those historical three-dimensional views were popular for a couple thousand years because they proved so workable in taming the wild, creating material comforts, and suppressing and killing competitors for those comforts (fundamental motives driving the evolution of civilization).  Aristotle and Newton were not only worshipped by scientists for centuries, their theories were ruthlessly enforced on society by the predominant Western church as it considered their theories ‘proved’ that an anthropomorphic God was at the center of the universe who set the whole frenzied cosmos in motion.  Having monopolized the communication channels to God, a tremendous continually increasing fortune was at stake in promoting those views.  That binary thinking remains a mainstay of social darwinists today who preach ‘survival of the fittest’ or as Hubbard’s mentor Aleister Crowly put it ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law’ to justify their rapacity and greed.

This is not to say Aristotle and Newton were not pillars in humankind’s evolution toward greater understanding.  In fact, few compare to their contributions.  It is to say, however, wisdom and understanding like life itself continually evolve.   And that mental and spiritual philosophies grounded in limited logic are to some degree obsolete.  Just as many of Newton’s and Aristotle’s principles are defied and transcended by nuclear and quantum physics (whose breakthroughs at least 70% of our economy is based upon), so are those of the mental and spiritual philosophies based upon  their systems of thought.

In the traditional Cartesian (strict mind vs. matter view, as validated and supported by Aristotelian and Newtonian thought) construct, in the beginning there was a cause and the entire purpose of the cause was the creation of an effect; and we are all more or less the effect of the resultant infinity of cause-effect sequences.   Therapies that promise to wed one or return one to the native, original cause in all this set themselves up for lifetime income from clients/adherents.  Their ‘why traps’ are outfitted with an infinity of divining in the never-ending cause-effect sequences.  It is akin to charging a squirrel for running in a wheel for eternity when modern science has demonstrated that ‘cause’ isn’t any more important than ‘effect’ and that in ultimate reality (read beyond the traditional five animal senses) does not even necessarily precede it.

If this sounds intuitively similar to the ideas you may have experienced in studying Buddhism or the words of Lao Tzu, others have too.   Many have written about that correlation.  The most easy to follow and enjoyable to read for me has been Fritjof Capra’s The Tao of Physics.  Any mind yet somewhat intact after years of adhering to scientology sci-fi mythology as cold, hard reality, still has the potential for seeing through the self-limiting constructs it has been persuaded to abide.  The greatest difficultly with that is getting the person to give ‘the highest purpose in the universe is the creation of an effect’ a rest for a moment. That is followed by the next greatest difficulty which is getting the person to spend a little time learning of the evolution of thought on planet earth.  The Tao of Physics, again, is a great – relatively easy to follow – place to start on that score.  There is not a single generic phenomenon (unpatentable) that Hubbard attempted to monopolize by complicating and masquerading with his inimitable, sci-fi fanasty universe view that is not explained in simple, scientifically-supported terms by Capra.

One last word of advice.  Should absorbing intellect not crippled by compliance to two-value logic prove impossible for the binary thinking scientologist, a primer may be in order.  The End of Suffering by Russell Targ and J.J. Hurtak gives a wonderful introduction to four-valued logic, the real thing Hubbard began to introduce – but ultimately eschewed in scientology – under the heading of ‘infinity logic’.

Myth, Mysticism and Insight


In The Tao Of Physics, Fritjof Capra makes some interesting observations on the subject of myth in mysticism and what those of insight come to understand about such.   I had as much in mind when I wrote of constructs in the book ‘What Is Wrong With Scientology?’,  but clearly did not articulate it nearly as well.

“Indian mysticism, and Hinduism in particular, clothes its statements in the form of myths, using metaphors and symbols, poetic images, similes and allegories.  Mythical language is much less restricted by logic and common sense. It is full of magic and paradoxical situations, rich in suggestive images and never precise, and can thus convey the way in which mystics experience reality much better than factual language.  According to Ananda Coomaraswamy, ‘myth embodies the nearest approach to absolute truth that can be stated in words.’

“The rich Indian imagination has created a vast number of gods and goddesses whose incarnations and exploits are the subject of fantastic tales, collected in epics of huge dimensions.  The Hindu with deep insight knows that all these gods are creations of the mind, mythical images representing the many faces of reality. On the other hand, he or she also knows that they were not merely created to make the stories more attractive, but are essential vehicles to convey the doctrines of a philosophy rooted in mystical experience.”

If there is truth to this, what does one make of the understandings or motivations of those who insist upon literal conceptualizations of imaginative religious mythology?   Are they of deep insight themselves?  Are they actively preventing others from developing or attaining deep insight?   You might have experienced some of the cognitive dissonance (or analytical and/or intuitive enturbulance) that is concomitant with inculcation of fantastic mythologies, not as part of an acknowledged ‘mystical experience’ but instead as cold, hard, unquestionable fact.  Or perhaps you are comfortable with the security that comes with faith and belief in mythology.

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.’

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.

Pursuit of Understanding

I am introducing my recommended reading list to anyone who has attained the Scientology state of Clear.  By doing so, I am not promoting or trying to win over anybody to a particular line of thought.  Nor am I attempting to dissuade people from continuing to worship their firmly held religious constructs. I respect their First Amendment rights to continue to do so.  Instead, I am responding to the relative few who have expressed genuine curiosity about from whence I have come and to where I am going.  Folks can take it or leave it, or pick and choose to satisfy their own curiosities. And, as is their wont, Scientologists can of course nitpick and snipe so as to kill the agent who brings news they will likely find is anathema to their Scientology religious beliefs.

I recommend that these materials, minimally, be studied before embarking on Scientology OT Levels 2 through 8.   Actually, I think anyone would gain a tremendous amount of insight by reading these books. But, I believe this (or a comparable) recommended study is essential to understanding from a scientific and spiritual view what it most likely is that makes a meter read on a Clear.  It also gives a much deeper understanding of what it is that Ron Hubbard was grappling with on the upper levels.  To pursue a subject calling itself a ‘science of the mind’, while subjecting oneself to religious mythological belief constructs (as one inevitably does by running headlong into the OT Levels of Scientology) sets up a vicious form of cognitive dissonance: religious belief masquerading as scientific certainty.   The result is the inability to perceive as-is; defeating the entire stated purpose of Scientology.  More debilitating, Scientology at the upper levels continues a process of self-affirmation and self-fixation that firmly shackles an individual from rising to greater heights; locked into a solidified ego as he or she becomes. I think this recommended study can alleviate that dissonance, freeing an individual to continue to move on up a little higher.

I am not creating some new study by this recommendation.  I am sure there is an infinity of gradients and steps one could, and some certainly have, take to navigate the mire that is implanted at the Scientology upper levels.  I did not follow this recommendation.  I went through numerous other valleys and peaks along my own way. For example, as part of my own study, I studied and evaluated what Hubbard studied and drew from in developing Scientology; and I haven’t included that byway on this list.  I reviewed my path and noted those studies I feel were integral in understanding Scientology in the only way Hubbard himself recommended anything could be fully understood. That is, studied against data of comparable magnitude.  When one does, I believe one cannot help but recognize that Ron was definitely onto something in his upper level research, but that developments in science and consciousness far more rationally and accurately revealed what it was.  One may or may not also see in the light of this understanding, that continued, blind adherence to mythological constructs supplied in Scientology might be crippling of spiritual evolution.

If sufficient interest is communicated, I may follow up with a series of posts on each of these references, explaining why I consider them important, connecting dots demonstrating relevance to the Scientology experience, and making sense of the sequence, etc.  In either event, I hope some people find this of some assistance in their graduation and transcendence process.

1)      Tao Te Ching – Stephen Mitchell translation

2)      Siddhartha – Herman Hesse

3)      The Prophet – Kahlil Gibran

4)      The Four Agreements – Don Migel Ruiz

5)      The End of Suffering – Russell Targ and J.J. Hurtak

6)      Buddha’s Brain – Rick Hanson

7)      A Brief History of Everything – Ken Wilber

8)     Kosmic Consciousness – ten part interview with Ken Wilber, Sounds True Productions.

9)      A Short History of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson

10)   The Biology of Belief – Bruce Lipton

11)   The  Unobservable Universe – Scott Tyson

12)   The Secret – Rhonda Byrne (book and video)

13)   The Intention Experiment – Lynne McTaggart

14)   The Field – Lynne McTaggart

15)   Entangled Minds – Dean Radin

16)   The Tao of Physics, Fritjof Capra

17)   Quantum Enigma – Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner

18)   Biocentrism – Robert Lanza

19)   A Gradual Awakening.- Stephen Levine

Some folks have already expressed dismay at such a recommendation in that it is a hefty amount of reading.  One person implied that I am asserting that one must become proficient in Quantum Mechanics in order to achieve enlightenment.  I am not suggesting that.

I am suggesting that if one devotes the better part of one’s life to following someone who implants in one’s mind a certainty that what he is following is proven scientifically to be the only road to spiritual freedom, one is demonstrating a large degree of gullibility in accepting and dramatizing that implant with no context explored against which to evaluate the truth of that implant.  Understanding is an universal solvent, in my opinion.

The Tao of Physics

Scientology technology is powerful  in lifting an individual from being effect up to being more at cause.

In accomplishing that Scientology focuses heavily on, and makes great use of,  Newtonian classic physics  principles.  Unfortunately, ultimately that world view tends to lock a Scientologist under a glass ceiling of sorts to further transcendence of awareness and qualities of equanimity.

Evaluated against the very axioms (including The Factors and Logics) Scientology is predicated upon one could easily reckon that to be the case.  Paradoxically, Scientology contains laws of interpretation that make one of its own Logics, critical to growth and transcendence, forbidden practice:

Logic 8:  A Datum can be evaluated only by a datum of comparable magnitude.

Thus, the first comprehensive fusion of Eastern thought with Western science ultimately disallowed study of either in the continuing search for truth and higher levels of consciousness.

A very good primer for a) evaluating what is valuable about one’s Scientology experience and what about Scientology makes it so effective, and b) beginning the process of transcending  from where Scientology might leave one in terms of consciousness, is the book The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra (recommended to me by the irrepressible Scott Campbell).

Even though the book was first published in 1975, and it has been followed by dozens of authors treading similar ground of analyzing breakthroughs in sub atomic physics to Eastern wisdom and consciousness, I have found it to be the most thorough, layman-friendly piece on the subject to date.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has experienced Scientology.   Most particularly to those who have completed the Scientology OT Levels, started the Scientology OT Levels, or who have any intention of pursuing them in the future.  It will provide vital context for your experience.   It might help prevent you from becoming fixated, and set up for a big lose, on the quest for total causation.  And it might help to take you to higher levels of consciousness not contemplated or permitted in Scientology (even through consequent practice of Scientology techniques).

As I have noted before, I believe that it is essential to the transcendence of Scientology to rise above the fixation on attaining to the permanent state of causation.  The fixation can ultimately result in a painful state of effect or an arrogant state of hallucinatory cause.  In either event, it parks one in any quest for continuing transcendence to higher states of being.

Here is an excerpt from the Tao of Physics that gives a brief description how the confluence of Eastern wisdom and Western science supports that view:

Many of the Eastern teachers emphasize that thought must take place in time, but that vision can transcend it.  ‘Vision’, says Govinda, ‘is bound up with a space of a higher dimension, and therefore timeless.’  The space-time of relativistic physics is a similar timeless space of a higher dimension.  All events in it are interconnected, but the connections are not causal.  Particle interactions can be interpreted in terms of cause and effect only when the space-time diagrams are read in a definite direction, e.g. from the bottom to the top (note: space-time diagrams are explained earlier in the book). When they are taken as four-dimensional patterns without any definite direction of time attached to them, there is no ‘before’ and no ‘after’, and thus no causation.

Similarly, the Eastern mystics assert that in transcending time, they also transcend the world of cause and effect.  Like our ordinary notions of space and time, causation is an idea which is limited to a certain experience of the world and has to be abandoned when this experience is extended.  In the words of Swami Vivekananda,

 Time, space and causation are like the glass through which the Absolute is seen…In the Absolute there is neither time, space nor causation.

The Eastern spiritual traditions show their followers various ways of going beyond the ordinary experience of time and of freeing themselves from the chain of cause and effect – from the bondage of karma, as the Hindus and Buddhists say.  It has therefore been said that Eastern mysticism is a liberation from time.  In a way the same may be said of relativistic physics.