Some folks have found my repeated reference to the Tao Te Ching to be puzzling. Some Scientologists have simply used it to write me off as being lost. The Tao is such a radical departure from the ‘philosophy’ Scientologists learn and abide by – even while denying to themselves such adherence exists – that some dismiss it as philosophical gobbledygook. I have commented on the polar nature of those philosophies (Scientology and the Tao) and noted it as an important reason to become acquainted with the Tao, e.g. The Tao of Scientology.
The fact of the matter is that a consistent construct in Scientology requires the adherent to mock up and act out the identity of conquerer. For example, a Scientologist is taught to view the universe as an epic struggle of the spirit’s sole mission as the conquest of the physical universe. Such a view can and often does, if not mitigated by deeper understandings, result in destruction of that which one programs oneself to conquest; not to mention the weakening or destruction of the ‘conquerer’ himself.
Many have recognized this on some level and have departed the church because of the dangerous environment such a philosophy ultimately creates. Many of them spend years then applying an harmonic of this same warlike philosophy toward the church, ‘it is the church or current management that needs to be conquered.’ Others facilely write off the ‘conquest’ attitude as an attribute of church management and go off to apply what they call ‘real Scientology’ independently. Inevitably, to the degree they avow to remain loyal to Scientology ‘philosophy’, those independents wind up playing the conquest game against one another. It happened with the first independent movement in the eighties and the second one more recently.
To the extent one recognizes this mentality in himself he objectivizes it and can thus let it go. An increase in equanimity and personal peace can ensue. That which was useful and survival for someone in his or her Scientology experience can more easily and naturally be recognized and reinforced. That which was of negative worth and non-survival can be recognized and let go of.
The continuing recommendation of the Tao as integral reading and understanding was meant to set this salutary evolution in progress.
But, I understand how ‘left field’ this recommendation can seem to those living the Scientology construct of ‘conquest of matter, energy, space and time’, ‘conquering the reactive mind’, ‘putting ethics in on the planet’, ‘gaining territory for Scientology’, etc.
I just read a book that may help to bridge the gap between the necessity-of-conquest think and learning to let go or living and letting live. It communicates the essence of the Tao (without ever making any reference to it) in more modern terms. It does so in an entertaining and currently-relevant fashion. That book is Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit by Daniel Quinn. It is a novel that tells a story in a creative, unique and interesting setting – a story that is captivating in and of itself. It explores some scientific, philosophic and religious constructs that Scientologists are taught early-on to discard in their entirety – the Bible and Evolution of Species. In that regard, those who have bought into and scrupulously adhered to Hubbard’s wholesale rejection of such fields will learn a little something about perhaps the two most common poles of thought on this planet. You don’t have to buy into either of those poles, but I bet you will never look at them (or those who believe in them) the same way. You might recognize the parallels of both with Scientology philosophy and thus be more able to put Scientology and your experience with it in a sane and nurturing context. Maybe more importantly, you might begin to take a more realistic, informed view of the planet, humanity, and civilization and your participation in it.