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 a construct through 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 postulate that one’s witnessed experience objectifies. That is, one’s experience moves from the subjective (part of, and thus 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 matter 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. Your own choice in the matter of what to do, what to choose, what to pursue and what to react to is restored to you. Each time one witnesses in this wise one recognizes that much more the true nature of self, apart from, and thus less subject to, matter, energy, space and time. Witnessing led the Buddha toward recognizing the impermanent nature of matter, energy, space and time.
It is my view that any time devoted to honestly viewing the content of your mind, your experience, is progress in moving the external world back out of one’s head where it no longer drives you. 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 is net gain. There is so much emphasis included in Scientology about the attainment of grades and levels, and purported permanent states of consciousness that 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 site 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, et al), most forms of psychotherapy, and Scientology too, create a desirable effect to the extent the individual applying it fully, honestly views the mind.
Any meditator who discounts effective psychotherapy that accomplishes the same result as meditation, or any psychotherapist who discounts effective meditation that accomplishes the same result as psychotherapy, is as narrow minded and prejudiced as any Scientologist who discounts meditation and psychotherapy wholesale. Corollary, any former Scientologist who discounts his own blood, sweat and tears exerted in confronting his own demons with Scientology is selling himself short. Witnessing is witnessing. Meditation, effective psychotherapy, and Scientology are all different methods of helping – and are workable to the degree they allow – an individual to witness his own mind and its experiences.
Do yourself a favor. Try to consider that someone who has spent time in other similar practices has spent time witnessing just as you did in Scientology. See if that doesn’t open up an interesting world of increased affinity, reality and communication. Just as importantly, validate the time and effort you put in likewise. You might find you are in better shape than you have previously permitted yourself to believe.