Post about "Reference and Education"

Scientology – Its Origins and Spirit

Scientology is the name given to a system of thought initiated in modern times by L. Ron Hubbard in 1923. Since that date it has become known as the Church of Scientology and generally understood as a path to conscious realization and relationship with God, the Supreme Being. In this, its spiritual aim would seem no different from other religious and philosophical systems including Yoga.It has escalated into a popular system of personal development attracting many adherents as well as a measure of indirect public criticism, perhaps without reason but as little information on this is given out to the public through the media there is little opportunity for general interest and discussion. It is usual that without basic facts to consider, prejudice will tend to influence people’s attitudes, particularly about anything that introduces new ideas, philosophy or a religion that is regarded by many as a sect.So let us become familiar with the origins and aims of Scientology.In his early explanation Hubbard wrote in “Excalibur” that Scientology is “the study of knowing how to know” and that the publication was released simply in order “to discuss the composition of life.” His was a wide vision indeed.Hubbard’s writings followed in 1950 with another work “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.” This became a best seller and its popularity continues. The book “Dianetics: The Original Thesis” was published in 1951 and Dianetics, a system of therapy was established.Hubbard maintained that his research and life work that was ultimately directed to discovery of the ‘life source’. He wished to help free people from burdens upon the mind such as nightmares, unreasonable fears and a basic sense of personal insecurity. Once clear of blockages and baggage, those who followed the teachings would begin to experience deep memories related to the fundamental causes of their mental inhibitions. These realizations often involve recall of past lives. This is perceived as an important factor in the ideology of Scientology as it supports their belief in the immortal aspect of a human being, the existence of the spirit beyond mind and physical body.Hubbard’s release of hundreds of published written material, recordings and films, together with his teaching tours and travels around the globe helped to establish Scientology centres in many countries and cultures. This personal vital educational programme he maintained until his passing in 1986.Terminology used in the Scientology Teaching MethodThe individual human being is believed to be an immortal spiritual consciousness or ‘thetan’ that experiences innumerable incarnations throughout earthly civilizations and cultures and beyond. Greater awareness of one’s spiritual consciousness is encouraged by methods named ‘Auditing’ and ‘Training’ that relate to personal disciplines and aim to help a person grow to a point of total freedom that allows total self confidence and choices in developing inner abilities. The seed potential of these limitless talents is considered as inherent within each human being, awaiting cultivation through self discipline.Hubbard generally believed in Precision regarding Knowledge and that it is necessary to have no confusion in definitions regarding meaning of words. Scientology and Dianetics place a heavy emphasis on this aspect and Hubbard himself wrote a work ‘How to Use a Dictionary’ and also ‘Technical Dictionary’ around special words and terms used by Scientologists. He thereby departs somewhat from previous faithfulness to the standard Dictionaries by coining new words to suit his purposes. In this, some may argue that he has made a positive contribution to our vocabulary by introducing words such as ‘havingness’.Morals and EthicsStrong belief and adherence to high principles and moral and ethical standards is integral and is included in a newcomer’s first introduction before followed by a series of codes and advancing stages in the methods used to assist the individual in behavioural practices that contribute to a good and honourable life style.Symbols used in TeachingAn important symbol is the Scientology logo is the Triangle which is said to represent the three vital values of ‘Affinity’, ‘Reality’ and ‘Communication”. Scientologists stress the need for effective communication and incorporate action and effort to encourage study and faithful adherence to the unabridged standard dictionaries, presumably relating to each culture. This is an ideal eagerly supported by all scholars and educators who believe in preserving the evolved, inherited vocabulary of a people and understand the need for the continued exercise of mental discrimination in selecting appropriate words to express accuracy, intent and situation.Practices of the TeachingsThe method of advancement is seen to be carried out by an individual’s systematic study and diligent practical application of the principles and practices of Scientology. In this there is a shared bond with all teaching methods whether practical, philosophical, religious or spiritual.The presentation of the original teachings of Hubbard are preserved as the authoritative reference. In order to maintain the purity and purpose of the founder’s message, no alteration by individuals is tolerated. However, as is usual in most teachings that seek to establish firm patterns of ideas and theories, a degree of controversy has arisen since Hubbard’s passing, with some querying the interpretation and accuracy of transcription of his oral teachings.Learning methodLearning and personal growth is encouraged to be without undue haste and in precise order of progression within the method in order to avoid confusion. For outsiders who seek to understand the values of Scientologists it would seem reasonable to advance in stages. In practice, however, it has been the lot of many systems to fail, not only through lack of personal discipline of individuals but because of questionable use of powers and politics that intrude upon the wisdom of those directing issues of advancement and status. Only by adherence to the simple spiritual aim of complete Freedom of the individual can these clouds of human weakness be dissolved.Controversies are bound to emerge regarding the internal methods that unite members in their aspirations to share a union of mind and spirit and who seek to uphold high principles. It is natural that questions arise as to Scientology’s method or the attitude it adopts in important issues in human living. These arise not only from curiosity but in order to know how Scientology’s’ determined attitudes on sexuality hold with the erosion of previous codes of morality. Those who are not members of Scientology and are not privy to this aspect of the philosophy would for example, query how Hubbard’s description of marriage as “an essential component of a stable family life” is applied by Scientologists in our time.