By Joe van Staden
How often, when a love affair comes to an end, have we been told that the quickest way to get over it is to get involved with another. As impossible as this may seem at the time for all sorts of reasons, in most cases it turns out to be sound advice.
To many who have had a committed “love affair” with Scientology the idea of really “letting go” and moving on remains difficult. Many feel they need to remain “connected” even if just by a thread. Of course there is nothing wrong with remaining in touch with an “ex-lover” – unless it becomes an obstacle to finding someone new.
In the case of a special lover, what makes this person so special is that through them we experienced falling in love. Through the relationship our heart opened up making it possible to experience “the magic”. And here is the thing; it was the EXPERIENCE of being in love that we essentially sought – the experience of being connected and in touch with “something” exceptional. Naturally the person with whom we shared that magical time, more often than not, takes up a valued place in our heart. Yet, though we sometimes come to believe that we can’t live without him or her it is the experience of being in love we really cherish.
When it comes to a belief system of whatever kind there is no particular doctrine or methodology that we can’t do without – unless we believe we can’t. In the case of a Christian, Muslim or Scientologist, for instance, their commitment is first and foremost about the EXPERIENCE of being “in touch” and “connected”. Even though we may not always be able to state exactly in words what that “something” is, we can “feel” it. It’s a sense of being connected to something meaningful and in touch with a higher value or higher power – a “source” by whatever name.
Being “connected and in touch” means being well oriented, having reliable and meaningful stable data – a sense of self – enabling us to focus and function. Orientation nullifies confusion and provides purpose – a channel for self-expression and creation.
As evidenced throughout the ages, people’s beliefs change from time to time. This is inevitable in an ever changing world. What doesn’t change is why we have beliefs – assumptions, values and a point of view in the first place. In the absence of a frame of reference – a defined context within which to experience a reality and existence that makes sense, we go nuts. It truly becomes a case of; have something to relate to or get “splattered all over the universe”. What that something is is secondary. That it serves as a beacon for orientation in a “universe” of infinite possibilities is primary.
My views on this and related matters are extensively outlined in my blog. Nonetheless, if permitted, I would like to take this opportunity to briefly answer a few Frequently Asked Questions by people who have walked away from the church.
DOES SCIENTOLOGY WORK? Can Scientology methodology, for instance, alleviate certain unwanted feelings or successfully address certain physical conditions as claimed? Yes, without a doubt – I have been there, seen it and experienced it. The thing is, every other belief system (healing methodology) gets its “share of magic”, why not Scientology. Psychiatrists, medical practitioners and even witch doctors have a success rate in alleviating emotional and physical pain. In all cases the key is what people believe.
The psychiatrist’s colored sugar pill is turning out to be more effective in relieving depression than expensive high tech anti-depressant drugs. Doctors daily perform miracles so to speak. They successfully handle very real physical conditions by administering sugar pills, fake injections and bogus operations. Isn’t it a bit of magic to cure asthma, in spite of physical damage to the bronchial system, by simply getting the patient to believe that his new inhaler is the latest breakthrough by science, when in fact the inhaler has no medicinal properties at all? How about 80 heart patients, all recovering after receiving pacemakers, even though only 40 pacemakers were activated?
Devout Christians believe Christ performed miracles, as in the case of turning water into wine. Most people these days oriented in material realism will tell you the “water into wine” story is a myth. Yet experiments conducted where people were drinking tonic water and lime and not vodka, as they believed, resulted in typical inebriated behavior. Similar experiments have been conducted with non-alcoholic beer getting people drunk as confirmed by physiological tests.
So concerned are medical practitioners about the placebo and nocebo effects – the mind’s role in healing and causing illness – that they have openly admitted that it threatens their livelihood.
It’s amazing what the mind can achieve. By simply creating the right circumstances and atmosphere – by providing the appropriate setting and props – as in an auditing session for instance, the scene is set for a bit of magic.
DID LRH NAIL IT – need we look no further than what is contained in Scientology? For Scientology to be the ultimate answer it would require that the “system be closed”. In other words, Scientology has all the answers only so long as we don’t look beyond its teachings. As long as we stay within the parameters determined by the works of L Ron Hubbard we will have our wins – very real wins. But peak beyond the “truths” of Scientology and you are likely to forfeit its workability to some extent. Obviously the C of S is aware of this – observe its efforts to keep its members looking only inward.
So, on the one hand we can close our minds to anything outside the domain of Scientology and see how far that gets us. Or, we can take ownership of our creation capability, create our orientation – become increasingly enabled to create our truths and beliefs – and use Scientology and any other belief system to work for us.
IS OT 3 REAL? The notion of people being possessed goes back to the dawn of human history as does the practice of exorcism. Tales of entities not of this world have been shaping belief systems probably before human beings discovered the benefits of fire. Folklore abounds with stories of demons, ghosts, angels, fairies, ancestral spirits and deities. How about succubus and poltergeists? Even today within the esoteric and metaphysical community people talk of a higher self, guardian angels and spirit guides. Academics in the fields of psychology and psychiatry have introduced us to the idea of MPD; multiple personality disorder. In the language of Scientology, other terms are used.
It should be self-evident that many problems and challenges can result where the “host” is entangled in such a kaleidoscope of viewpoints. Any wonder then that people aren’t always sure of “the self” responsible for how they feel and behave.
Nonetheless, whatever the stories behind multiple viewpoints or entities are, all are rooted in two fundamental characteristics of consciousness (theta).
- It is an innate characteristic of consciousness to assume different points of view. Possibilities for different viewpoints and experiences are infinite. It is something consciousness does all the time.
- It is also innately fundamental to the nature of consciousness to experience and assume the characteristics of that which is observed. Limitations to the experiences and perspectives available to consciousness are limited only by the prevailing mindset – what is believed to be possible.
Where OT 3 is experienced as real it is fundamentally because the individual has bought into the story. Without consciousness’s contribution to the story, its influence and relevance to the pc’s case will be zero. OT 3 may be real, but its significance and relevance is entirely dependent on how it is viewed.
IS THERE SUCH A THING AS A REACTIVE MIND? This and several other questions deserve attention, yet space does not permit. Regarding the question about the reactive mind, my view may very briefly be summed up as follows: Somewhere LRH makes reference to the connection between time and aberration. It has become conventional wisdom that time is not the defined corner stone of human reality and existence we believe it to be. Time is an “innovation” of consciousness (theta) meant to prevent everything from happening simultaneously. A change in how time is perceived and experienced is potentially capable of erasing big chunks of the so-called reactive mind. A complete shift in time perception – moving from the experience of time as past, present and future to the experience of the infinite now – will erase any form of mind; reactive, analytical or any other.
IS THERE AN ULTIMATE TRUTH? In other words; is there an ultimate source of everything? As I see it, it goes something like this.
It’s a case of; GOD BY ANY OTHER NAME. “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”. From Shakespear’s play Romeo and Juliet in which Juliet argues that the names of things do not matter only what they are.
Feelings of inexplicable dread, emptiness, a life without meaning and joy are symptomatic of having no higher value to relate to – nothing or no one to look up to – no higher power or source of inspiration.
It is said that one can feel alone in a room full of people. It is also the experience of many, that one can feel completely “connected” while being on one’s own – particularly when out in nature. The thing is, it does not matter how the source of our inspiration or higher value is defined; to the degree that we have a sense of being “in touch” with a “higher power” or higher value we tend not to feel vulnerable or lonely – our lives are not without meaning. A sense of “connection” gives meaning, relevance and value to existence. On the other hand feeling lonely coincides with our sense of being “out of touch” – disconnected from anything meaningful or extraordinary.
Essential to understanding this state of connectedness is that it does not only apply to being in touch with a supreme being or the like. A sense of being in touch is context specific. Many people have a strong sense of connectedness within the context of their family, friends or career, romantic relationship or a pursuit of value. As far as a 3 year old is concerned being “in touch” is being connected to mother. To many Catholics visiting the Vatican and receiving the Pope’s blessing leaves them feeling “in touch”. Muslims gain a sense of “connectedness” on their pilgrimage to Mecca. Many a French soldier felt “in touch” when serving directly under Napoleon. Most scientologists were in awe on meeting LRH for the first time, they felt that they had connected with “source”.
However, whatever we are involved in there seems to be an underlying urge to widen the context within which our lives are defined. The desire for meaning, value and relevance seems to be an ever present aspect of every human being, even if not always actively pursued. Nonetheless, actively striving to get in touch with the determining source of existence, by whatever name, is not uncommon.
It seems that the most zealous of believers, rational academics and scientists as well as agnostics and atheists, all have a sense that there is some unique force behind the existence of everything. However we describe this force, be it as God or in terms of several theories proposed by science, it is interesting to note that people of all persuasions have this feeling in common. The labels used to describe IT may differ a great deal but a sense that there is an “ultimate source” is universal.
The challenge of describing the indescribable (God by any other name), has probably been the single most notable endeavor of religion, philosophy and science.
The trouble with attempting to describe the “ultimate source” – the indescribable so to speak – is that it seems inevitable that any description of IT invariably collapses it into a lesser value – into something it actually isn’t. Using terms like un-oriented consciousness, the unifying field, infinity, supreme-being, a higher power or the ultimate singularity may bring us closer to getting a handle on the indescribable, yet the question remains; what is IT really? Whatever we decide IT is the implication is that the “IT stuff” – the “God stuff” – is in everything.
The dilemma, so it seems, in finding answers to the IT factor really stems from the typical human perspective. We see ourselves as separate from IT in terms of measurable time and space, meaning, relevance and value. From such an orientation, based on logic and reason, how do we become aware of – get in touch with – something which itself is beyond measure, logic and reason – beyond orientation of any kind.
The conclusion arrived at here is that thinking about IT – analysis – will take us only so far. Once the intellect has pointed us in a particular direction it becomes a case of “feeling” our way to gaining a deeper sense of IT. Unless at some point we switch to feeling mode – intuition and empathy – a closer sense of the indescribable will continue to elude us.
It seems the more we think about and label IT the more we are likely to become separated from IT. And this is where the mind comes in. In fundamental terms, we are never really separated from IT – we are never not connected to the divine – we are always connected at some level to that with which we seek connection. The belief and experience that we are separate is due to mind – thinking, analyzing and rationalizing – identifying differentiating and so on – mind stuff. In other words, the prevailing state of our mind determines our sense of connectedness.
We see in Scientology and other belief systems the means by which to minimize the mind’s negative influence on our connection to a higher power or higher value – the source of our potential. Be that as it may, the mind has its place in the overall scheme of things. For instance, games are impossible without a mind and a functional mindset keeps us in touch in an ever changing world.
Consciousness in one form or another pervades all of existence. The defined consciousness – the self – we sense ourselves to be serves as a channel through which “higher consciousness” – IT – gives expression. Every individual with whom we come in contact is an expression of that higher power. But, more than that; not only does the higher power give expression through you, me and everyone else, IT also “experiences” a unique existence through each of us. In other words, IT receives constant feedback through the life you are living.
At some level all consciousness is connected in a way difficult to understand from a typical human perspective. Based on only this one premise I can tell those within the C of S who implement and enforce disconnection policy; you have no idea what you are doing.
For an organization claiming to be the universal experts on the mind and soul getting a child to disconnect from her mother is pretty stupid. But more than that, it reveals that they are completely out of touch with that something of “higher value” – God by any other name.
Metaphorically speaking, we are the channels through which God gives expression as well as the channels through which God receives feedback of ITS expression. The closer we are to God the more “out of this world awesome” is the flow through us from and to God Keep in mind, it’s a case of God by any other name.
The next time you listen to music which touches you deeply, which sends ripples of exquisite bliss down your spine from head to toe – music which evoke feelings beyond explanation – you have been touched by God and you have touched God – the channel has opened wide. The music is God being expressed through the performer and the ultimate listener is God listening through you. Falling in love unconditionally – experiencing the joy of love – Plaisir D’amour – is a manifestation of that connectedness.
By the way, falling in love along with dozens of other simple life experiences – experiences trashed as reactive “wog stuff” by the C of S – if engaged in with maximum heart and minimal mind, brings you closer to the source of your potential.
The life we choose to live determines what comes through us from God by any other name. We might well ask; is my life adding value to that higher power or not?