Scientology is a distinctive and frequently contentious character in the pantheon of contemporary faiths. Born in the 20th century and pioneered by L. Ron Hubbard’s rise to prominence has been swift and accompanied by intrigue. With the vast and varied landscape of religious belief systems worldwide, comparisons will inevitably arise.
A frequently asked question centers around how Scientology views figures from other religious traditions, particularly Jesus Christ. Given the non-traditional foundations of Scientology, understanding its stance requires delving deep into its origins and doctrines.
Who Invented Scientology?
The tapestry of Scientology’s origins unravels through the literary legacy of the esteemed American author, L. Ron Hubbard. Celebrated for his prolific and diverse literary oeuvre, which encompassed the realms of science fiction and beyond, Hubbard’s enduring masterpiece shines brilliantly in the form of the revolutionary book titled “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.”
In this highly significant and thought-provoking work, cutting-edge concepts and strategies are presented that support the personal growth and well-being of individuals. Over time, these ideas evolved and expanded, forming Scientology’s spiritual and religious movements as we know them today.
Why Was Scientology Invented?
Hubbard’s creation of Scientology wasn’t just a random endeavor but an evolution of his work on Dianetics. In Dianetics, Hubbard postulated that human beings were hampered by negative memories stored in the “reactive mind.” These memories, or ‘engrams,’ were believed to be the source of pain, suffering, and irrational behavior.
Scientology expanded on this by introducing processes to ‘clear’ these engrams, aiming to assist individuals in reaching their highest potential mentally and spiritually. Furthermore, Hubbard believed in creating a world without crime, violence, and insanity—a utopian vision Scientology sought to realize.
Do Scientologists Believe In Jesus?
While Scientology respects religious figures from various traditions, its perspective on Jesus notably differs from that of biblical Christianity. Unlike religions, Christ Jesus is considered a significant historical figure whose teachings have shaped civilizations.
However, he is not recognized as the divine Son of God, the supreme being, or the Savior of mankind in the way Christian faiths do. The view of the Holy Spirit also differs. Instead, salvation in Scientology is viewed as an individual’s journey toward spiritual enlightenment and freedom from the burdens of the reactive mind.
What Do Scientologists Believe?
Scientology teaches a variety of attitudes and behaviors, just like other religions. Ron Hubbard taught a variety of them, and celebrities like John Travolta and Tom Cruise have fully embraced this ethos.
15 Things Scientologists Believe
- The Concept of Thetan: At the heart of Scientology is the belief that every individual is an immortal soul, known as a Thetan. Comparable to the soul in other religious traditions, the thetan is considered the true essence of an individual, far more significant than the physical body or fleeting mind.
- Auditing: A cornerstone practice, auditing involves one-on-one sessions where individuals, guided by an auditor, address and resolve the traumas and challenges of their past. This process aims to free them from the negative influences of their “reactive minds.”
- Engrams: These are traumatic memories filled with pain and unconsciousness that, according to Scientology, can hinder an individual’s spiritual journey. Addressing and clearing these engrams is vital for progression.
- State of Clear: Achieving a ‘Clear’ state signifies that an individual has successfully addressed all engrams, resulting in enhanced abilities and a profound state of clarity and self-awareness.
- Operating Thetan Levels: Beyond the state of ‘Clear’ are the operating thetan levels. These levels, each more advanced than the last, represent stages of greater spiritual awareness and potential.
- Suppressive Persons (SPs): Within Scientology, there’s a recognition of certain individuals who, either knowingly or unknowingly, work against the betterment of others and the teachings of Scientology. They are considered barriers to spiritual advancement.
- The Eight Dynamics: Scientology posits that life can be compartmentalized into eight sectors or dynamics. These range from the self to the family, extending up to the entirety of existence. Each dynamic is a channel through which individuals strive for survival and betterment.
- Reincarnation: Scientologists believe that Thetans have lived multiple previous lives in different bodies across time, an idea resonating with the concepts of past lives in other spiritual philosophies.
- Bridge to Total Freedom: This metaphorical bridge represents the spiritual journey that every Scientologist embarks upon, starting from the basics and ascending to the pinnacle of spiritual enlightenment.
- Personal Ethics: Scientologists believe in living ethically. To achieve this, one must maintain a code of conduct and adhere to the values of integrity and improvement.
- The E-Meter: Used in auditing, this device is said to measure the body’s electrical resistance, which in turn helps in pinpointing engrams and other areas of spiritual distress.
- Disconnection: This controversial practice entails Scientologists distancing themselves from individuals deemed harmful to their spiritual journey, often leading to severed ties with close relatives and friends.
- Sea Org: Regarded as the heart of the Church of Scientology, the Sea Organization is a group of the most dedicated and committed members who work diligently to uphold and spread the teachings of Scientology.
- Galactic History and Xenu: Some of the advanced teachings in Scientology touch upon a narrative involving a galactic ruler named Xenu. While sensationalized in the media, this tale is only a small part of the vast tapestry of Scientology’s beliefs.
- Scientology’s Codes and Creeds: Foundational to the religion, these written tenets encapsulate the rights, duties, and core beliefs that every Scientologist is encouraged to uphold.
What Are Other Beliefs Of Scientology?
In addition to the primary tenets, Scientology also places importance on several concepts. These include the following:
- Helping Others: At its core, Scientology emphasizes the sanctity of every individual. Helping others, be it spiritually or in everyday life, is considered a cornerstone practice.
- The ARC Triangle: Representing affinity, reality, and communication, this triangle is a framework that Scientologists use to enhance understanding, foster relationships, and navigate life’s complexities.
- The Tone Scale: This is a scale that ranks emotional states. By understanding where they or others sit on this scale, Scientologists can better manage interpersonal dynamics and provide support where needed.
Scientology offers a structured pathway for spiritual advancement, self-awareness, and global betterment through these beliefs and practices. As with any faith, its depth and nuances are best understood through open-minded exploration and study.
Scientology’s doctrines and practices present a unique and intriguing pathway toward personal and spiritual betterment, setting it apart from many traditional religious beliefs. While it approaches the concept of divinity differently from Christianity, Scientology boasts its own intricate and thought-provoking belief system, encompassing a wide range of teachings and practices.
To unlock the profound depths of Scientology’s essence, one must embark on a journey of intellectual curiosity and open-minded exploration. In doing so, a richer comprehension of this captivating faith emerges, illuminating the intricate pathways that guide its adherents on their spiritual odysseys.