While I was getting my hair cut yesterday, my hair dresser, Julie, asked what I thought about Scientology. It dawned on me that I knew almost nothing about this religion. She suggested that it might be a good idea to do an article on Scientology. So, I have spent most of the morning on Scientology's website trying to get my mind around this strange religion.
We must begin by saying that Scientology is not in any way a "Christian" religion. It does not recognize the Bible or the God of the Bible. In my thinking it would be closer to Hinduism than Christianity.
I am going to try to be as accurate as I can, but Scientology makes it difficult. They have coined some words of their own, like thetan and MEST. All of the facts I am going to give came from their website and can be easily checked. All of the quotes in this article are from their website.
In 1950 L. Ron Hubbard published a book called Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. This book proved to be a best seller and from the principles in it the religion of Scientology was begun in February of 1954.
It is said that "Scientology is something one does, not something one believes in."
Scientology believes that man is a spirit being and has a body and mind. Although it is not called reincarnation, the church recognizes that men have had previous lives, reaching back to "time immemorial." Man is basically good but carries a lot of negative and bad with him through his previous lives.
The best I can figure is that Scientology believes it is helping people rid themselves of all of the negative and bad experiences in this and previous lives. With those out of the way a person can be taught to live a happy and productive life. "But because Man is basically good, he is capable of spiritual betterment. And it is the goal of Scientology to bring him to a point where he is capable of sorting out the factors in his own life and solving his own problems." "In Scientology, one is given the tools to handle upsets and aberrations [act of departing from the right, normal or usual course] from past lives that adversely affect the individual in the present, thus freeing one to live a much happier life."
"Auditing" is the process by which a person is led to identify any "spiritual disabilities" in this or previous lives. "Auditing provides a precise path by which any individual may walk an exact route to higher states of spiritual awareness." A trained auditor will use an exact set of questions (written by L. Ron Hubbard) or directions to help a person locate areas of spiritual distress, find out things about himself and improve his condition.
"In the Church of Scientology, parishioners make donations for auditing or training they wish to receive. These contributions are the primary source of financial support for the Church and fund all Church-sponsored religious and social betterment activities."
On a person's journey to a greater spiritual awareness, several Scientology teachings come into play, like "The Eight Dynamics," the "ARC Triangle," the "Emotional Tone Scale" and others.
Scientology teaches that: "The basic command 'Survive!' which is obeyed by all of life, is subdivided into eight compartments so that each aspect of life can be more easily inspected and understood. These compartments are called the eight dynamics (dynamic meaning urge, drive or impulse)."
The eight dynamics are:
1. Self, the effort to survive as an individual;
2. Creativity, the family unit and raising children as well as anything that can be categorized as a family activity;
3. Group Survival, the urge to survive through a group of individuals or as a group; 4. Species, the urge toward survival through all mankind and as all mankind;
5. Life Forms, the urge to survive as life forms and with the help of life forms such as animals, birds, insects, fish and vegetation;
6. Physical Universe, the urge of the physical universe to survive;
7. Spiritual Dynamic, the urge to survive as spiritual beings or the urge for life itself to survive;
8. Infinity, commonly called God, the Supreme Being or Creator, but it is correctly defined as infinity. It actually embraces the allness of all. That is why, according to L. Ron Hubbard, "When the Seventh Dynamic is reached in its entirety, one will only then discover the true Eighth Dynamic."
The "Emotional Tone Scale" is a list of emotions that have been given a numeric value. The emotions range from things like dying (rated at 0.01), useless (rated at 0.03) and apathy (rated at 0.05) to enthusiasm (rated at 4.0) and exhilaration (rated at 8.0) and beyond. By knowing where a person falls on the scale, one can precisely predict his actions and can respond appropriately.
Then there is the "ARC Triangle," which stands for affinity, reality and communication, which is known as the "Components of Understanding." Affinity is the feeling of love or liking for something or someone. Reality is "that which appears to be. Reality is fundamentally agreement. What we agree to be real is real." And, communication is the interchange of ideas or objects between two people.
The ARC Triangle answers the question of how to talk to someone�if one uses the triangle and chooses a subject on which the person being talked to can agree, affinity will rise and communication will be better. Using the principle that raising any corner of this triangle raises the other two, one can improve his relationship with anyone.
"The vast majority of Scientology scriptures are widely available to the general public and can be read and studied by anyone. However, a very small portion of the scriptures that deal with the most advanced levels of spiritual counseling is restricted to those parishioners who have attained the prior levels of spiritual awareness."
"Scientologists believe that people are immortal spiritual beings who have lived before and who will live again, and that their future happiness and immortality as spiritual beings depend on how they conduct themselves in the here and now." Therefore, there is no personal God, no Bible, no heaven or hell, no sin and no need for a Savior.
Where did everything come from? Scientology holds the view that theta (the life force, or spirit) created MEST (a coined word for the physical universe, Matter, Energy, Space and Time). I am not sure exactly what that means or how they came up with it. I like the Bible version better.
If I could sum up all of this in my own words I would put it something like this. In Scientology there is no personal identifiable God. Man is a spirit being that has lived through many, many lives. Man is basically good and with the help of Scientology can lift himself to a place of happiness and productivity by understanding himself and his relationship to others.