Scientology is a religious philosophy in its highest meaning, as it brings man to total freedom and truth.
The essential tenets of Scientology are these: You are an immortal spiritual being. Your experience extends well beyond a single lifetime. And your capabilities are unlimited, even if not presently realized.
Furthermore, man is basically good. He is seeking to survive. And his survival depends upon himself and his fellows and his attainment of brotherhood with the universe.
In Scientology, you are called a thetan (from the Greek letter theta, for thought or life or the spirit). This is to avoid confusion with previous conceptions of the soul.
The thetan is the spiritual being himself. It is the individual. It is you.
You are a thetan, a spiritual being. Not your eyes, not your brain, but you. You do not have a thetan, something you keep apart from yourself; you are a thetan. You would not speak of my thetan; you would speak of me.
Although much of what Scientology holds true may be echoed in many great philosophic teachings, what it offers is entirely new: An exact route through which anyone can regain the truth and simplicity of his spiritual self.
Scientology, then, is a religious philosophy in the most profound sense of the word. It is concerned with nothing less than the full rehabilitation of the thetan, to increase his spiritual awareness, native capabilities and certainty of his own immortality.
Scientology is organized along specific axioms that precisely define who we are, what we are capable of and, most importantly, how we might realize those abilities. The axioms further define the underlying causes and principles of reality as we know it, and thus unlock the very riddle of existence.
These axioms form the foundation of a vast area of observations in the humanities, a philosophic body that literally applies to the entirety of life. From this has been developed a great number of fundamental principles men can use to improve their lives. In fact, herein are found the methods and means of creating new ways of life.
The discoveries of Scientology are not only major philosophic breakthroughs, they are applicable principles; they explain the fundamental laws of life, why people behave the way they do, the impediments to survival and how best to overcome them. Indeed, Scientology offers nothing less than practical methods to better every aspect of our existence.
More than that, however, Scientology offers us the way to reclaim our spiritual heritage.
How is it that this potentially powerful spiritual being became but a puppet dancing on the end of unseen strings? How is it that he has become so burdened with the care and liability of a body, he has forgotten his own identity and believes he is a body? And that he now goes blindly from life to life, lacking memory, his self-awareness growing ever dimmer?
How is it that we cannot gain control of our lives, much less our destiny?
The answer is found in the nature of man's mind.
Just as you are not a body, neither are you a mind. While the nature of the mind has been argued endlessly in fields from philosophy to science, in Scientology it has been discovered that the mind is simply an accumulation of what are called mental image pictures. These mental image pictures are what we often think of as memory. They are three-dimensional color pictures with sound and smell and all other perceptions, plus the conclusions or speculations of the individual.
These pictures are actually composed of energy. They have mass, they exist in space and they follow some very, very definite routines of behavior, the most interesting of which is the fact that they appear when somebody thinks of something. For example, if you think of a cat, you will get a mental picture of a cat. This is what is called the analytical mind. This is the rational, conscious and aware mind which thinks, observes data, remembers it and resolves problems.
But there is more to the mind than this.
The accumulated record of all one's mental image pictures is called the time track, and it stretches very, very far back into the past.
Although these experiences -- good and bad -- were long ago and long forgotten, the past trauma of painful moments is all too real in the here-and-now. In fact, that trauma is the source of much of what seems to trouble us today, including our problems, upsets, frustrations and the deeply rooted feeling that life is not what it should be.
Specifically, it is the mental energy within those pictures that impinges upon the individual. The energy and force in pictures of experiences painful or upsetting to a person can have a harmful effect upon him. This harmful energy or force is called charge.
The sum total of pictures that contain charge makes up another division of the mind, and this is called the reactive mind. All told, this reactive mind exacts a terrible toll. Although we are not conscious of it and it is not under our volitional control, this mind exerts force and the power of command over our awareness, purposes, thoughts, bodies and actions.
Until L. Ron Hubbard's discovery of it, the reactive mind remained hidden, as did the key to unlock it. Nor was there any way to regain what it had taken from us, including the awareness, the goodness and remarkable abilities inherent in all spiritual beings.
The primary means by which Scientology's basic truths are applied to the rehabilitation of the human spirit is called auditing. It is the central practice of Scientology, and it is delivered by an auditor, from the latin audire, "to listen." An auditor is "one who listens."
Auditing is not some vague form of mental exploration, and the auditor does not offer solutions, advice or evaluation. One of its essential principles rests upon the fact that only by allowing an individual to find his own answers to life's problems can improvements be made. This is accomplished by gradiently helping one examine his own existence and improve his ability to face what he is and where he is -- peeling away the layers of experience that have weighed so heavily upon him. Thus, auditing is not something that is done to a person. Its benefits can only be achieved through active participation and good communication.
The specific techniques that have been developed to guide the person along auditing's road to self-discovery are called processes. A process is an exact set of questions asked or directions given by the auditor. There are many, many processes in Scientology, and all are aimed at improving one's perceptions and awareness, while removing unwanted impediments to spiritual growth.
The period of time during which auditing occurs is called an auditing session. Auditing requires a quiet, comfortable environment with the auditor and the individual receiving auditing seated across from one another.
Given the precision of auditing and the fact it addresses long-hidden sources of travail, the auditor is assisted by a specially designed meter, called an electropsychometer or E-Meter for short. The E-Meter does not diagnose or cure anything. It simply measures the state or change of state of an individual.
When the meter is in operation and a person is holding its electrodes, a very tiny flow of electrical energy (about 1.5 volts -- less than a flashlight battery) passes down the wires, through the person's body and back into the E-Meter. This flow of energy is so small there is no physical sensation when holding the electrodes. Nevertheless, when one thinks a thought, one is actually moving and changing mental energy and charge; and these changes are registered on the meter.
In the hands of an auditor, skilled at recognizing and interpreting the E-Meter's reactions, the E-Meter becomes the tool by which otherwise buried experience may be located and viewed.
The E-Meter does nothing by itself. Rather, it serves as a guide by registering charge and thereby indicating what should be addressed with auditing.
Factually, there are no parallels to auditing. There is nothing comparable to having one's attention directed to some long-buried source of emotional charge and then -- simply by viewing it -- causing its instant vanishment and relief from the distressing charge.
Nor is there any parallel to what auditing brings in the way of awareness, well-being and spiritual fulfillment.
And because there are no parallels, no verbal descriptions are enough; one must experience it.
With the advent of Dianetics in 1950, a new era of hope for mankind began. Dianetics, a substudy of Scientology, is most accurately defined as what the soul is doing to the body through the mind. With L. Ron Hubbard's discovery of Dianetics, man at last possessed the key to unlock the riddle of the mind.
Men have always known of what Dianetics calls the analytical mind. The reactive mind, of course, was another matter.
Mental image pictures are stored in the standard memory banks of the analytical mind. In moments of intense pain, however, the action of the analytical mind is suspended and the reactive mind takes over. These mental image pictures -- ones containing pain and unconciousness -- are recorded by, and stored in, the reactive mind.
No matter how "unconscious" the person may seem, when the analytical mind shuts down, the reactive mind continues to record. These incidents are not memories as such. Rather, they are called engrams, and they are a complete recording of every perception present in a moment of partial or full "unconsciousness."
All of the many human perceptions such as sight, taste, color, depth, smell, touch and sound are recorded in an engram. Of these stored perceptions the most insidious are spoken words, for they are taken literally and can later act upon the individual as commands. An engramic phrase such as "Don't talk" might produce a stammerer. The words "He can't feel a thing" spoken during a moment of pain and unconsciousness could lead to a shut-off of both emotions and physical perceptions. These phrases and thousands of variations spoken within the hearing of an "unconscious" person could later be enforced on him by the reactive mind as literal commands that must be obeyed.
The reactive mind is not at all selective. It faithfully records everything during a moment of pain and unconsciousness and is composed exclusively of these engrams.
In one sense, this reactive mind could be regarded as a survival mechanism. During moments of emergency or danger, it throws these pictures back at the individual so as to dictate his actions along lines which have been deemed "safe." This is called the "restimulation" of the engram.
Unfortunately, the reactive mind is not rational or logical. All it takes to restimulate an engram during moments of upset or illness or tiredness is something in the current environment that approximates the perceptions stored in the engram -- words, sounds, smells, etc.
In such situations, the engram has the power of command over the individual's actions, body, thoughts, awareness and purposes. Thus we will find a person acting in a certain manner and not knowing why he is doing so. For remember, the reactive mind is hidden and below his level of conscious awareness.
So we have an obsessive strata of unknown, unseen, uninspected data which are forcing solutions, unknown and uninspected, on the individual.
With Dianetics came the discovery of the source of man's irrationalities, psychosomatic illnesses, inappropriate emotions, neuroses and compulsions. And, through Dianetics auditing, a method for man to discover these engrams and eliminate their effects by erasing the charge connected to them. The experience is then refiled in the standard memory banks of the analytical mind.
The end result of Dianetics auditing is a new state for man -- Clear. A Clear is very simply defined as a person who no longer has his own reactive mind. The spiritual ramifications of this breakthrough are profound.
The Clear has no engrams which, when restimulated, throw out the correctness of his computations by entering hidden and false data.
Becoming Clear strengthens a person's native individuality and creativity and does not in any way diminsh these attributes. A Clear is free with his emotions. He can think for himself. He can experience life unencumbered by inhibitions reactively dictated by past engrams. Artistry, personal force and individual character are all residual in the basic personality of the person, not the reactive mind.
But with Dianetics came another vital question: Who exactly was looking at the pictures in the mind? The answer, of course, was the human spirit itself, the thetan.
And therein lay the answer to what constitutes the human being.
Man consists of three parts: the body, little more than a machine; the mind, divided into the analytical and reactive, which computes and contains little more than a collection of pictures; and the thetan, life itself, the spirit which animates the body and uses the mind.
The thetan is senior to both body and mind. It is none other than the thetan who actually erases engramic charge. In fact, as he gains control over his reactive mind through auditing, he likewise gains more control over the whole of life -- regaining abilities and certainty of himself. But what are his limits? How high can he ultimately ascend?
From the search for these answers came the subject of Scientology, and the door opened to the full realization of spiritual potential.
That state is called Operating Thetan, and it is nothing short of what was delineated in that description of a spiritual being's native state: Although without mass, motion, wavelength or location in space or time, the thetan is nonetheless capable of accomplishing anything. Thus the Operating Thetan, or OT, may be defined as one who is at "knowing and willing cause over life, thought, matter, energy, space and time."
It is an ancient dream, this state of OT; and all great philosophic works either touch upon or echo it. Although it may seem remote to some in this postindustrial age, the thinking men of every major civilization up to this century not only would have grasped its meaning, but were themselves seeking on some level to attain it. For when one speaks of OT one is speaking of a transcendence over the travails of existence, and therein lies the ultimate dream of spiritual freedom.
It is not for nothing, then, that Scientology has been described as realizing man's most basic hope for spiritual freedom -- by stripping away the accumulated impediments of the ages and returning to our native state, with all the abilities that are inherently ours.
Although the goal of OT is one every Scientologist has in common, one does not have to attain that state in order to realize he has embarked upon a journey the likes of which has never existed before. Every step, from the very first auditing session, is a landmark of realizations, increased awarenesses and regained abilities.
Unquestionably man is a troubled being in very troubled times. Since the start of this twentieth century, an endless parade of convoluted ideas have been proposed to account for our lot: left-brain/right-brain theories, chemical imbalances, genetic flaws, pop-psychology pronouncements and New Age speculations.
Such theories left only questions: What is the real source of our problems? Why is our happiness so frail? Why are we so afraid of old age, illness and death? Why must we continue to be surrounded on all sides by the turmoil, discontent and dangers of our "modern" society?
What is unique about Scientology is the way in which these matters are addressed -- and the fact they are finally resolved only by recognizing man's essential nature. For if the human spirit is the source of all man's innate wisdom, capabilities, goodness and strength, it is also the source of his failings -- and thus only by directly addressing it can one right what is wrong.
Whereas society today has spent literally billions of dollars in fruitless pursuit of solutions to symptoms, only Scientology addresses the true source -- the spiritual realm.
This is true for the individual; it is true for a society.
Could a social worker unable to live an honest life then be able to rehabilitate hardened criminals? Or an educator unable to communicate to his children handle a school system gone wrong? Or a statesman unable to settle a dispute with his neighbor bring peace to warring nations?
Providing a man workable tools to handle his own life is the first step toward mending a broken society and rebuilding a shattered world.
This is what Scientology is all about and why it is defined as the study and handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, universes and other life.
Therein lies the path to real solutions.
With the 21st Century scant years away, there are still many who hope that the next 100 years will bring the dawn of a new hope for Man.
Scientology provides a way to make that dream a reality.
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