By Ryan Hogarth
There is a subject that I often find myself talking about when discussing my journey away from the church: Other people.
I have been continually astounded by what can be learned from people in this world. It is populated by clever, caring and amazing individuals. Having said that there is certainly a healthy population of assholes but I have not encountered these in the main.
This was a surprising thing to discover. After 25 years as a Scientology staff member I had an entrenched (fixed) idea about people at large: They were an assemblage of the bumbling, foolish, clueless and devious.
It is not that I didn’t like people or had an aversion to them. Far from it but there was this arrogance of superiority that acted as a barrier to real affinity. I have also discovered that my capacity to understand and empathise with people is greater now than during my entire time within the church. When interacting with people, public, inside the church there was always an agenda. I like to think I had a genuine desire to help but there always seemed an additional motive: To get him or her on course, to show them that Scientology can solve any problem, to get their support for something. Additionally the approach to help was always filtered through Scientology data: They’re down tone, reactive, keyed-in, out of valence. In a number of cases the label was even an excuse to not help as in “he should just get his ethics in”. This, in my observation, was the general view of help.
Outside of that system I have both helped and been healed by other people. After so long in one pattern of thinking I found that there was so much I didn’t know about the world, about business and about how things work in general. The people I have encountered have been generous, knowledgeable and incredibly helpful. I learn more every day and I feel so much gratitude and warmth for the people who freely give of their knowledge.
On the other side of the coin I have been delighted that the knowledge I gained in Scientology has had wonderful value. With an intent to actually improve a situation or help another the solid truths that do exist within the works of Scientology are immensely helpful. The liberation of using these with without an agenda has been personally fulfilling. However it has been the use of this information integrated with knowledge gained from other sources and direct observation of the world that has made the effort to help have some valuable. I make no claims about the data and don’t even have any desire to defend it. It is what I know and what I am comfortable with and I have had the freedom to genuinely discover for myself what is workable and what is not. I freely discard that which doesn’t make sense or does not work according to my observation. I freely adjust and add to the data I have to make improvements, according to my observation. There has also been freedom from nomenclature and the impulsive desire to put neat labels on people and their situations. And lastly being okay with not knowing how to help and seeking the wisdom of others in these situations.
All of this has helped me come to a simple realisation or rather has helped me establish, for myself, a firm truth: Doing well in this world is simple. Be nice and help where you can. With just this as a stable datum I have been able to heal from the betrayal and declare and move forward in a positive fashion and build a strong bond with the family I have left. It has helped us to avoid the easy bitterness that could have come from this situation.
Symbiosis is a beautiful thing. You succeed because others succeed.