Introduction to the Scientology Religion
Thanks to scientific and technical advances over the last hundred years, most people are today materially wealthier than their forebears. Yet, by their own accounts, the quality of their lives has not kept step. In fact, it may be argued that people were once happier and more fulfilled. For some, materials affluence breeds anxiety, a gnawing fear that if someone doesn’t take away their hard-earned acquisitions, the end of their days will prematurely arrive to finish the job. Others find death easier to face than a lifetime of assembly-line slavery, while most, in a less dramatic fashion, simply buckle down to lives of quiet desperation.
As the twenty-first century dawns, most have no real grasp of those factors governing their existence. And yet, simply stated, had they a greater understanding of themselves and their fellows they would be able to improve conditions and thus live happier lives. This, then, is the function of Scientology: to enable man to improve his lot through understanding.
Before Scientology, the tremendous scientific advances of this era were not matched by similar advances in the humanities. Man’s knowledge of the physical universe had far outdistanced his knowledge of himself. The resulting pressures from such an imbalance account for much that has unsettled society and threatens the future. In parting, therefore, what Scientology represented to many when it appeared in the early 1950s was a restoration of the balance.
Despite its many successes, science has not provided answers to questions man has been asking himself since time immemorial: Who are we? What do we consist of? Where do we come from? Where are we going? What are we doing? Indeed, these questions have always been the province of philosophy and religion, but traditional answers seemed immensely inadequate in the face of the H-bomb. Scientology, however, drawing on the same advances in knowledge that led to nuclear physics, supplied modern answers to these questions. And it supplied workable methods of application which made it possible for man to reach the ancient goal he has been striving toward for thousands of years: to know himself and, in knowing himself, to know and understand other people and, ultimately, all life.
Scientology is an applied religious philosophy. It holds in common many of the beliefs of other religions and philosophies, and considers man to be a spiritual being, with more to him than flesh and blood. This, of course, is a very different view to that espoused by prevailing scientific thought which views man as but a material object, a complex combination of chemical compounds and stimulus-response mechanisms.
Scientology believes man to be basically good, not evil. It is his experiences that have led him to commit evil deeds, not his nature. Often, he mistakenly solves his problems by considering only his own interests, which then causes trouble for both himself and others. Scientology believes that man advances to the degree he preserves his spiritual integrity and values, and remains honest and decent. Indeed, he deteriorates to the degree he abandons these qualities.
But because man is basically good he is capable of spiritual betterment, and it is the goal of Scientology to bring him to a point where he is capable of sorting out the factors in his own life and solving his own problems. Other efforts to help man often try to solve his problems for him and in this respect Scientology is different. Scientology believes that an individual placed in a position where he has higher intelligence, where he can confront life better, where he can identify the factors in his life more easily, is also in a position to solve his own problems and so better his own life.
Life has tended to force the individual into certain values. The stresses of existence have tended to fixate his attention to a point where his awareness of himself and his environment has been greatly diminished. Attendant to this lowered awareness are problems, difficulties with others, illness and unhappiness. The goal of Scientology is to reverse this diminishing awareness and, in that sense, wake the individual up. As one becomes more and more alert, his intelligence rises and he is capable of greater understanding and thus better able to handle his life. Scientology, then contains solutions to the problems of living. Its end result is increased awareness and freedom for the individual and rehabilitation of his basic decency, power and ability. It can and does accomplish these ends routinely, daily, all over the world.
The word Scientology is taken from the Latin scio, which means "knowing in the fullest sense of the word," and the Greek word logos meaning "study of." Scientology means literally "knowing how to know."
The source and founder of the Scientology religion is L. Ron Hubbard, who devoted his life to finding answers to questions that have troubled mankind for millennia. Mr. Hubbard’s curiosity and boundless spirit of adventure inspired his search, even as a boy. However, the first fruits of his researches did not result in Scientology, but another subject, "Dianetics." The word Dianetics comes from the Greek words dia, meaning "through" and nous, meaning "soul."
Dianetics constituted L.Ron Hubbard’s first breakthrough, and it was these initial discoveries which led to further researches and the exact isolation of the source of life itself. Man does not have a spirit. He is a spirit. Dianetics addresses and handles the effects of the spirit on the body and thus helps provide relief from unwanted sensations and emotions, accidents, injuries and psychosomatic illnesses (ailments caused or aggravated by mental stress). Scientology, on the other hand, addresses man directly as a spirit, with the goal of increased awareness and ability as a spiritual being and the full realization of his immortal nature.
In over half a century of investigation, Mr. Hubbard isolated many, many fundamental truths about life, leading to his development of the Scientology philosophy and the subsequent growth of the Scientology religion.
A testament to the truths contained in Scientology lies in the fact that in less than two generations, the movement now flourishes on every continent with thousands of churches, missions and groups touching millions of lives daily. Part of every facet of society, Scientologist are businessmen, housewives, students, artists, celebrities, working people, scholars, soldiers, doctors, policemen and on and on.
Ever involved in the world around them, Scientologists naturally share with others that which they have learned in Scientology. Seeing that it could have relevance in their lives too, these people also become interested in what Scientology can offer them. And so Scientology grows, much the same as every great religion in history has grown, from individual to individual, bringing knowledge, wisdom and hope for a better life.
With Scientology, millions know life can be a worthwhile proposition, that men can live fulfilling lives in harmony with others and that the world can be a happier place. Scientologists work to create such a world every day, constantly joined by others who share this dream. The undeniable relevance of Scientology to the lives of these millions assures its permanence in our society. And that millions upon millions more will follow in this quest to create a better world.