IS MAN A SPIRIT?
Yes. A short exercise can quickly answer this for anyone: Ask someone to close their eyes and get a picture of a cat, and they will get a mental image picture of a cat. Ask them who is looking at the picture of the cat and they will respond "I am." That which is looking at the cat is you, a spirit. One is a spirit, who has a mind and occupies a body. You are you in a body. Some of which is decribed here is this site.
HOW DOES ONE KNOW THAT THEY ARE A SPIRIT?
It is a matter that each individual must examine for themselves. Scientologists believe Man is more than a mind and body and that it is he, himself, the spirit, who can control the mind and the body. (See? Is Man a spirit?)
DOES SCIENTOLOGY HAVE A CONCEPT OF GOD?
Most definitely. In Scientology, the concept of God is expressed as the Eighth Dynamic-the urge toward existence as infinity. This is also identified as the Supreme Being. As the Eighth Dynamic, the Scientology concept of God rests at the very apex of universal survival. As L. Ron Hubbard wrote in Science of Survival:
"No culture in the history of the world, save the thoroughly depraved and expiring ones, has failed to affirm the existence of a Supreme Being. It is an empirical observation that men without a strong and lasting faith in a Supreme Being are less capable, less ethical and less valuable to themselves and society....A man without an abiding faith is, by observation alone, more of a thing than a man."
Unlike religions with Judeo-Christian origins, the Church of Scientology has no set dogma concerning God that it imposes on its members. As with all its tenets, Scientology does not ask individuals to accept anything on faith alone. Rather, as one's level of spiritual awareness increases through participation in Scientology auditing and training?, one attains his own certainty of every dynamic. Accordingly, only when the Seventh Dynamic (spiritual) is reached in its entirety will one discover and come to a full understanding of the Eighth Dynamic (infinity) and one's relationship to the Supreme Being.
CAN'T GOD BE THE ONLY ONE TO HELP MAN?
Scientologists take the maxim quite to heart that God helps those who help themselves. They believe that each person has the answers to the mysteries of life. All one requires is awareness of these answers, and this is what Scientology helps one achieve. Man is accustomed to asking for pat answers. Scientology requires that the person think for himself and thus help himself become more understanding, able, happy and healthy.
WHAT ARE SCIENTOLOGY RELIGIOUS BELIEFS ABOUT THE CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE?
Most of the world's religions express some view of the creation of the world. Some religious traditions, such as Hindu and Buddhist, see the universe as essentially eternal, without beginning or end. The first books of the Bible contain an account of the creation of the universe, which some Christian faiths hold to be allegorical and others regard as an expression of literal fact. Other religious traditions have other views, but each attempts to explain this ultimate question of where we came from and how it occurred.
In Scientology, this view flows from the theory of theta (the life force, or spirit) creating MEST (a coined word for the physical universe, Matter, Energy, Space and Time). In fact, it could be said that the creation of the universe is an inseparable part of that theory. The origins of theta and the creation of the physical universe set forth in Scientology are described in The Factors, written by L. Ron Hubbard in 1953.
DOES SCIENTOLOGY BELIEVE IN BROTHERLY LOVE?
Yes, and perhaps goes a step further. In his article "What is Greatness?" L. Ron Hubbard wrote that "To love is the road to strength. To love in spite of all is the secret of greatness. And may very well be the greatest secret in this universe."
WHY DO SCIENTOLOGISTS WANT TO HELP PEOPLE?
For several reasons. First, because Scientologists themselves have been helped enormously and they want others to share the same successes. Second, Scientologists understand that life is not lived alone. Rather, life is comprised of eight parts-the Eight Dynamics. Therefore, Scientologists know that true survival also requires the survival of one's family, one's groups, Mankind itself and all living things.
DOES SCIENTOLOGY RECOGNIZE GOOD AND EVIL?
Yes, in Scientology, a very clear distinction is made between good and evil. Those actions which enhance survival on the majority of the eight aspects of life (the Eight Dynamics) are good, and those which destroy or deny these aspects of life are evil. Scientologists strive to make decisions that will enhance the majority of these dynamics of life. Good may be defined as constructive. Evil may be defined as destructive.
DOES SCIENTOLOGY BELIEVE MAN IS SINFUL?
A fundamental tenet of Scientology is that Man is basically good; that he is seeking to survive; and that his survival depends upon himself and upon his fellows and his attainment of brotherhood with the universe. However, his experiences in the physical universe, through many lifetimes, have led him into evil, where he has committed harmful acts or sins, causing him to become aberrated (departing from rational thought or behavior). These harmful acts further reduce Man's awareness and innate goodness as a spiritual being.
Through Scientology, one confronts these acts, erases the ignorance and aberration which surrounds them, and comes to know and experience truth again.
All religions seek truth. Freedom of the spirit is only to be found on the road to truth. Sin is composed, according to Scientology, of lies and hidden actions and is therefore untruth.
WILL SCIENTOLOGY PUT ONE IN CONTROL OF HIS MIND?
Yes. Scientology addresses the spirit and, through application of its principles, increases one's awareness and ability as a spiritual being. As Man is a spiritual being, quite separate from the mind and body, Scientology will help one achieve a far better command over the mind-just as it helps one to control, in an intelligent way, all aspects of one's life.
IS SCIENTOLOGY ABOUT THE MIND?
No. Scientology is about the individual himself as a spiritual being separate and distinct from the mind.
DOES SCIENTOLOGY BELIEVE IN MIND OVER MATTER?
In practicing Scientology one addresses oneself-not your mind, not your body, but you. Scientologists have found that the spirit is potentially superior to material things, and that the spirit (you), if cleansed of past traumas, transgressions and aberrations, can make miraculous changes in the physical universe that would not otherwise be possible.
DOES SCIENTOLOGY BELIEVE ONE CAN EXIST OUTSIDE OF THE BODY?
Before entering Scientology many people experience the feeling of looking down on one's body, but they do not understand what is happening. Once they have achieved greater spiritual awareness through Scientology auditing and training they find that this experience becomes nothing out of the ordinary. In Scientology, this phenomenon is called exteriorization-the detachment of one's spirit from the body while yet fully conscious and aware. Scientology believes that Man is not his body, his mind or his brain. He, a spiritual force, energizes the physical body. Indeed, through the discovery of exteriorization, Scientology proved, for the first time, that Man is a spiritual being.
DOES SCIENTOLOGY BELIEVE IN REINCARNATION OR PAST LIVES?
The vast majority of the world's population believes in reincarnation and only in the last few hundred years, with the rise of the physical sciences, did a strictly materialistic view begin to eclipse the spiritual.
More recently, the traditional definition of reincarnation has been altered from its original meaning. The word has come to mean "to be born again in different life forms" (such as an animal, an insect, etc.) whereas its actual definition is "to be born again into the flesh or into another body." So what is commonly thought of as reincarnation is a definite system and is not part of Scientology. Rather, the Church ascribes to the latter, original definition.
Today in Scientology, many people have certainty that they have lived lives prior to their current one. These are referred to as past lives, not as reincarnation. Past lives is not a dogma in Scientology, but generally Scientologists, during their auditing, experience a past life and then know for themselves that they have lived before. To believe one had a physical or other existence prior to the identity of the current body is not a new concept-but it is an exciting one.
It is a fact that unless one begins to handle aberration built up in past lives, he doesn't progress. In Scientology, one is given the tools to handle upsets and aberrations from past lives that adversely affect the individual in the present, thus freeing one to live a much happier life.
DOES SCIENTOLOGY BELIEVE IN CHARITY AND WELFARE?
It does. However, Scientologists also believe in the principle that some form of exchange is necessary in any relationship. If a person only receives and never gives, he will lose his own self-respect and become an unhappy person. Therefore, Scientology-sponsored charity programs often encourage those receiving the charity to make their own contribution in exchange by personally helping others who are in need. Such contributions enable one to receive help and yet maintain their self-respect.
DOES SCIENTOLOGY HOLD ANY POLITICAL VIEWS?
Scientology is nonpolitical and does not engage in any political activity whatsoever. By the Creed of the Church, "All men have inalienable rights to conceive, choose, assist or support their own organizations, churches and governments." Scientologists are free to hold their own political views, vote for the candidates of their choice, etc., and are not given direction from the Church as to what position to take on political issues or candidates. The Church believes there should be a complete separation of church and state.
CAN CHILDREN PARTICIPATE IN SCIENTOLOGY? HOW?
Yes, many children do and there are no age restrictions as to who may participate in Scientology auditing or training. Some Scientology Churches conduct courses and study programs specifically designed for young people. Children below the age of majority must first obtain written consent from their parents or guardian to participate in Scientology services. Like adherents of other religions, Scientologists are very proud when their children join them in the practice of their religion.
WHAT DOES SCIENTOLOGY SAY ABOUT THE RAISING OF CHILDREN?
L. Ron Hubbard has written a great deal about raising children. In Scientology, children are recognized as spiritual beings, occupying young bodies. This does not make them any less a person and they should be given all the love and respect granted adults. Scientologists also believe children should be encouraged to contribute to family life and not just be "seen and not heard," as the old saying goes. Most children raised in good Scientology homes are above average in ability and quickly begin to understand how and why people act as they do. Life thus becomes a lot happier and safer for them.
CAN ONE MAKE UP HIS OWN MIND ABOUT SCIENTOLOGY?
One can and indeed one should. Scientology enables a person to think for themselves. There is no purpose served in practicing or studying Scientology because someone else wants one to. But if a person has taken a good look at his life and decided they want to make it better, the best thing is to start and find out for oneself what Scientology can do. What is real in Scientology for you is what you find in it that is real for you. One should read one of the beginning books by L. Ron Hubbard.
DOES SCIENTOLOGY HAVE DOCTRINES CONCERNING HEAVEN OR HELL?
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. As L. Ron Hubbard wrote in Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought:
"It is obvious that what we create in our societies during this lifetime affects us during our next lifetime. This is quite different than the 'belief' or the 'idea' that this occurs. In Scientology, we have very little to do with forcing people to make conclusions. An individual can experience these things for himself. And unless he can do so, no one expects him to accept them.
"The manifestation that our Hereafter is our 'next life' entirely alters the general concept of spiritual destiny. There is no argument whatever with the tenets of any faith, since it is not precisely stated uniformly by all religions that one immediately goes to a Heaven or Hell. It is certain that an individual experiences the effect of the civilization, which he has had part in creating, in his next lifetime. In other words, the individual comes back. He has a responsibility for what goes on today since he will experience it tomorrow."
The sense of social responsibility is reinforced when, in the course of participating in auditing and training services, Scientologists come to the realization that they actually are spiritual beings who have lived before and will live again. The corollary of this realization is a higher standard of ethics and morals. The world one makes today is the world one returns to tomorrow and one lives with the fruits of his labors or the results of his transgressions in lives to come.
This is not merely an abstract concept concerning the future state of society. It also applies directly to one's spiritual condition. A fundamental precept of Scientology is that people are basically good, but have become aberrated through contact with the physical universe and therefore commit harmful acts. These acts reduce the person's awareness and ability and recoil on them in a dwindling spiral of unhappiness and misery. Through Scientology, a person can confront his or her actions, take responsibility for them, and come to know and experience truth again.
Scientology seeks the complete reversal of this dwindling spiral and the attainment of spiritual freedom for the individual and society as a whole.
Scientology shares the goal of spiritual salvation that exists in many faiths such as Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism. While the terms in which salvation is to be accomplished differ in Scientology, the spiritual goal of saving the soul is a commonality shared with many faiths.
WHAT IS SCIENTOLOGY'S VIEW OF MOSES, JESUS, MUHAMMAD, THE BUDDHA AND OTHER RELIGIOUS FIGURES OF THE PAST?
L. Ron Hubbard honored the great religious leaders of the past for the wisdom they brought to the world. He wrote that Scientology shares "the goals set for Man by Christ, which are wisdom, good health and immortality."
In "Religious Influence in Society: Role of the Volunteer Minister" L. Ron Hubbard states: "The great religious civilizing forces of the past, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and others, have all emphasized differentiation of good from evil and higher ethical values." In "The Hope of Man," a lecture given on June 3, 1955, Mr. Hubbard states that he honors: "The great spiritual leaders of the past-not of modern times, but of the past-since these people handed along enough tradition to make us aware of the fact that there was a spiritual side to Man.
These great spiritual leaders have been hanged, reviled, misinterpreted, badly quoted, have not been at all comprehended, but nevertheless, they are the hands through which a torch has been handed forward through the centuries so that we could culminate with a greater ability for Man and some hope for his future... "All these people were saying something that was much more important than 'There is a spiritual side to life.' They were saying, 'There is hope. They can come to you and they can tell you that all is lost and that you are dead, you are trapped, and that there's no hope for you. They can come to you and say this, but this is not true. There is hope. You do go on living. This life is not all there is. There is some future life in which you can do better, succeed more worthily than you have.'
That is all these men said... "...an enormous amount of what we call religion in this Western Hemisphere today was given to this Western Hemisphere directly by Gautama Buddha. It was filtered through the Middle East. 'Love thy neighbor' was one of the first lessons he taught and it is that lesson which we have received from the Middle East.
"But what I am telling you is that these people handed on a torch of wisdom, of information, generation to generation. It was handed along geographical routes and one of those geographical routes was the Middle East. And one of the people who handed it on was a man named Moses. And again it was handed on to a man named Christ. And he handed it on and even the Arab nations benefited from this through their own prophet, Muhammad. "And these men I consider great spiritual leaders, because they gave to Man, on down through the years, the hope that life could go on, that there was a spiritual side to existence, that the business of barter and gain was not all there was to life."
Further, L. Ron Hubbard taught that everyone's religious beliefs deserve respect. In the book The Way to Happiness, which is not in fact a religious work but may be used by anyone, religious or not, Mr. Hubbard provided a number of practical guidelines to live by. One of the precepts in the book is "Respect the Religious Beliefs of Others."
"Tolerance is a good cornerstone on which to build human relationships. When one views the slaughter and suffering caused by religious intolerance down all the history of Man and into modern times, one can see that intolerance is a very non-survival activity.
"Religious tolerance does not mean one cannot express his own beliefs. It does mean that seeking to undermine or attack the religious faith and beliefs of another has always been a short road to trouble."
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