Tag Archives: Stephen Mitchell

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.

Tao Te Ching

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Reference:   Pursuit of Understanding

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you have the patience to wait

till your mud settles and the water is clear?

Can you remain unmoving

till the right action arises by itself?

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

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

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.

Forgiveness

What follows may shed light on why Jesus Christ is nullified in Scientology.

In The Gospel According To Jesus, Stephen Mitchell performs a rather competent analysis that shows Christ’s reported teachings for the most part were Middle Eastern iterations of what Lao Tzu and Siddhartha Gautama and other philosophers had communicated for four or five hundred years.   If there were distinctions to be made, they were based more upon emphasis than anything else.  His conclusion was that in essence what Jesus Christ most uniquely brought to the philosophical mix was the all-healing, all-powerful teaching of forgiveness.

Mitchell quoted from William Blake for support:

There is not one moral virtue that Jesus inculcated but Plato and Cicero did inculcate before him. What then did Christ inculcate?  Forgiveness of sins.  This alone is the gospel and this is the life and immortality brought to light by Jesus, even the covenant of Jehovah, which is this: if you forgive one another your trespasses, so shall Jehovah forgive you, that he himself may dwell among you.

By comparison, Scientology inculcates the following.

People attack Scientology; I never forget it, always even the score.

–          HCO Manual of Justice (1959)

On further living I found that only those who sought only peace were ever butchered.  The thousands of years of Jewish passivity earned them nothing but slaughter. 

–          Ethics, The Design Of (1969)

There was no Christ.*

–           Class VIII, lecture 10 (1968)

When I walked down the street and away from the church of Scientology for the last time, I had settled in my mind that I was going to forsake twenty-seven years of dedicated service in favor of experiencing the two most important human virtues.  Both of those virtues I found wanting – even prohibited –  in Scientology.  Forgiveness was one of them.

* the context of the quotation:

In R6 (a matrix implanted into every earth being’s mind 75 million years ago which dictates future behavior until ‘handled’ with Scientology) everybody is shown crucified. So is the psychiatrist shown crucified, although the psychiatrist is a dominant character and that’s how he gets away with what he gets away with. He electric shocks people. The medical doctor is not really represented in R6. It is only the surgeon. The surgeon is shown cutting bodies to pieces. That’s the right thing to do. Actually he shreds a body down to just raw meat down to a skeleton and the skeleton is in agony and then it too is chopped up. Anyway, every man is then shown to have been crucified, so don’t think that it’s an accident that this crucifixtion…they found out that this applied. Somebody, somewhere on this planet, back about six hundred BC, found some piece of R6. And I don’t know how they found it either by watching mad men or something but since that time they have used it and it became what is known as Christianity. The man on the cross – there was no Christ – but the man on the cross is shown as every man so of course each person seeing a crucified man has an immediate feeling of sympathy for this man.

The Gospel According to Jesus

That is the title of another book by Stephen Mitchell, whose translation of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching I have many times recommended on this blog and in my books.  The subtitle is: A New Translation and Guide to his Essential Teachings for Believers and Unbelievers.

Mitchell undertakes an effort begun by such noted Americans as Thomas Jefferson and Ralph Waldo Emerson, both of whom assayed to differentiate the life and words of Jesus from the hype, falsehood, misdirection and fear they perceived had been added to the Scriptures by others.

I am going to share one passage from the introduction of Mitchell’s book that I believe might resonate on several levels with people who have invested in the Scientology experience.

Excerpt from The Gospel According to Jesus:

He enjoys eating and drinking, he likes to be around women and children; he laughs easily, and his wit can cut like a surgeon’s scalpel.  His trust in God is as natural as breathing, and in God’s presence he is himself fully present.  In his bearing, in his very language, he reflects God’s deep love for everything that is earthly: for the sick and the despised, the morally admirable and the morally repugnant, for weeds as well as flowers, lions as well as lambs.  He teaches that just as the sun gives light to both wicked and good, and the rain brings nourishment to both righteous and unrighteous, God’s compassion embraces all people.  There are no pre-conditions for it, nothing we need to do first, nothing we have to believe.  When we are ready to receive it, it is there.  And the more we live in its presence, the more effortlessly it flows through us, until we find that we no longer need external rules or Bibles or Messiahs.

“For this teaching which I give you today is not hidden from you, and is not far away.  It is not in heaven, for you to say, ‘Who will go up to heaven and bring it down for us, so that we can hear it and do it?’ Nor is it beyond the sea, for you to say, ‘Who will cross the sea and bring it back for us, so that we can hear it and do it?’  But the teaching is very near to you: it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.”

The Blame Game

I just received another volley from an irate, prominent self-anointed  ‘with Ron’  type of ‘Independent Scientologist’.  It was actually an attempt to control through command, assigning me a Treason condition with instructions – after lengthy evaluations – to first apply the Confusion formula.

I only raise the matter here because it is live evidence of two of the most insidious elements of Scientology that in my estimation are at the root of its demise.  It is a great learning opportunity.

The first I will address here, blame.  The propensity to find and assign blame is woven into the woof and warp of Scientology, making it perhaps one of the most difficult character deficiencies to remedy in a veteran member.

The rather lengthy screed I received pronounced me guilty of the current horrid state of Scientology on the planet today.  One central allegation was that I allegedly totally mishandled the corporate Scientology attacks upon me and my family, by …’  Your response to the attack of Miscavige is quite predictably stimulus and response…rather than tangling with the cur dogs nipping at the wheels of the fire engine, you have become one of them.’                            .’

Not more than a month ago two other prominent ‘Independent Scientologists’ as much as accused me of being a suppressive person for failing to automatically and continuously attack David Miscavige and blame him for virtually every shortcoming of Scientology – really on a stimulus-response basis.

The common denominator of these self-professed ‘with Ron’ Indies on both sides of the GPM (goals problem mass – the resultant mass from the collision of opposite intentions or flows colliding) is the seemingly stimulus-response tendency to blame.  In all of their authoritative, judgmental communications the overriding theme is to assign responsibility for whatever it is they are suffering upon another.  Ironically, anyone who witnessed much of Miscavige in action knows that his stimulus-response habit of blaming is perhaps his most destructive and prevelant tendancy.

Here is a central dichotomy with Scientology.  The technology, in pure, sane application can deliver a person to the state where he or she truly understands that he or she is responsible for his or her own condition.  In fact, a person only reaches the pinnacle of the state of Clear, by recognizing this fully and thus losing all inclination to engage in blame.  Yet, I ask you to examine the matter for yourself and see whether there are not other conditionings added to the mix along the route that make that realization in practice short-lived.

I was also accused of ‘You are not getting people to do, you are getting people to question and think about.’

Good point.  Here, I’ll ask people to do something.

Get yourself a copy of the Tao Te Ching, preferably ‘a new English version’ by Stephen Mitchell.

Read it more than once at your leisure, and particularly when you sense the onset of anxiety.

Learn to let go.  I assure you that if you work on it it will move you on up a little higher in disposition and character.

Since apparently the ‘with Ron’ guys won’t listen to Ron on the matter of blame, maybe they’ll listen to Lao Tzu:

Failure is an opportunity.

If you blame someone else,

There is no end to the blame.