Category Archives: Integral Theory

Effect and Cause

Aristotelian and Newtonian two-valued, space-time logic  philosophy and science are demonstrated to be essentially of a mind construct basis by developments in quantum mechanics and the related fledgling field of science of consciousness.   Those historical three-dimensional views were popular for a couple thousand years because they proved so workable in taming the wild, creating material comforts, and suppressing and killing competitors for those comforts (fundamental motives driving the evolution of civilization).  Aristotle and Newton were not only worshipped by scientists for centuries, their theories were ruthlessly enforced on society by the predominant Western church as it considered their theories ‘proved’ that an anthropomorphic God was at the center of the universe who set the whole frenzied cosmos in motion.  Having monopolized the communication channels to God, a tremendous continually increasing fortune was at stake in promoting those views.  That binary thinking remains a mainstay of social darwinists today who preach ‘survival of the fittest’ or as Hubbard’s mentor Aleister Crowly put it ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law’ to justify their rapacity and greed.

This is not to say Aristotle and Newton were not pillars in humankind’s evolution toward greater understanding.  In fact, few compare to their contributions.  It is to say, however, wisdom and understanding like life itself continually evolve.   And that mental and spiritual philosophies grounded in limited logic are to some degree obsolete.  Just as many of Newton’s and Aristotle’s principles are defied and transcended by nuclear and quantum physics (whose breakthroughs at least 70% of our economy is based upon), so are those of the mental and spiritual philosophies based upon  their systems of thought.

In the traditional Cartesian (strict mind vs. matter view, as validated and supported by Aristotelian and Newtonian thought) construct, in the beginning there was a cause and the entire purpose of the cause was the creation of an effect; and we are all more or less the effect of the resultant infinity of cause-effect sequences.   Therapies that promise to wed one or return one to the native, original cause in all this set themselves up for lifetime income from clients/adherents.  Their ‘why traps’ are outfitted with an infinity of divining in the never-ending cause-effect sequences.  It is akin to charging a squirrel for running in a wheel for eternity when modern science has demonstrated that ‘cause’ isn’t any more important than ‘effect’ and that in ultimate reality (read beyond the traditional five animal senses) does not even necessarily precede it.

If this sounds intuitively similar to the ideas you may have experienced in studying Buddhism or the words of Lao Tzu, others have too.   Many have written about that correlation.  The most easy to follow and enjoyable to read for me has been Fritjof Capra’s The Tao of Physics.  Any mind yet somewhat intact after years of adhering to scientology sci-fi mythology as cold, hard reality, still has the potential for seeing through the self-limiting constructs it has been persuaded to abide.  The greatest difficultly with that is getting the person to give ‘the highest purpose in the universe is the creation of an effect’ a rest for a moment. That is followed by the next greatest difficulty which is getting the person to spend a little time learning of the evolution of thought on planet earth.  The Tao of Physics, again, is a great – relatively easy to follow – place to start on that score.  There is not a single generic phenomenon (unpatentable) that Hubbard attempted to monopolize by complicating and masquerading with his inimitable, sci-fi fanasty universe view that is not explained in simple, scientifically-supported terms by Capra.

One last word of advice.  Should absorbing intellect not crippled by compliance to two-value logic prove impossible for the binary thinking scientologist, a primer may be in order.  The End of Suffering by Russell Targ and J.J. Hurtak gives a wonderful introduction to four-valued logic, the real thing Hubbard began to introduce – but ultimately eschewed in scientology – under the heading of ‘infinity logic’.

Back To The Middle

I take to heart the comments to my last post accusing me of casting too wide a net on the issue of whether one should trust a person wearing the scientology banner.  To the extent I offended some folks, I apologize.  So as to avoid such offense in the future I also provide here fair warning.  If the last post offended you, the next several probably will too.  If you want positive reinforcement for your faith, you will not find it here; but for possibly in the comments section where scientologists are free to provide their views with everyone else.  There is an evolution afoot that perhaps ought be shared with readers here.

Of late I have been asked by a number of journalists, documentarians and religious experts to explain any legitimate aspects of scientology.  Since the church responded to the revelations of the Truth Rundown series – and its progeny – by bunkering down and going incommunicado with such folks, I have sort of inherited some of their public affairs function by default. In the course of that odd twist of fate one repeated question became increasingly difficult for me to answer: whether I recommend scientology to the public at large.

My answer has evolved with my own experience and thoughts.  Ultimately, my answer is that I would not recommend to anyone that they get involved in scientology.  That is because having thoroughly deconstructed the subject I came to realize that its control and exploitation elements are so thoroughly embedded within the teachings of Hubbard as to make the journey more likely to be on-the-whole negative than positive.

Of course there are some stellar results that have been achieved by application of scientology.   But, those are contingent not only upon the person they are applied to but to a great extent by the instructors’ or counselors’ ability to inspire confidence.  In this context ‘confidence’ can be read almost synonymously with ‘faith.’   If – as in some spiritual and psychotherapeutic practices – that confidence or faith is acknowledged and imbued and nurtured for what it is within the client or supplicant, it more predictably leads toward salutary results.  But, scientology – adhered to as the ism it is – by design leads one in the opposite direction.

The raw statistics of scientology support my conclusion about whether it is worth the price one inevitably must pay for it (not just monetarily). David Miscavige (influenced, of course, by Hubbard advices on the subject) used to repeat ad nauseam to his public relations people whenever the media brought up a scientology abuse that they were to say words to the effect, ‘for every one who complains, I can bring you one thousand scientologists who swear by it.’  Having dispassionately ball-parked the numbers through thirty-five years of involvement with the subject,  I would say the truth is more on the order of for every one considering she was damaged from her experience  with scientology, scientology could probably match it with a die-hard true believer extolling its virtues.  Certainly, greater than 90% of people who have taken several courses or intensives (12 ½ hours each) of auditing in scientology have disconnected from scientology as an organization and membership body completely.   What percentage of them thought the good outweighed the bad or vice versa is anybody’s guess.  Given the extraordinary efforts scientology engages in to keep members aboard, and the draconian punishments it metes out upon any member or former member raising doubts or reservations, my guess is that the latter far outnumber the former.  Less than one thousand former members give much attention to on-line forums, blogs and other networks involving scientology at any given time.

By the numbers, it is apparent that scientologists are led to believe they and their subject are a lot more important than they in fact are to the world at large.

When I weigh that objective look against what scientology produces, both inside the official organizations and without, and with what I know about the depth of the embedded control and exploitation implantation within scientology, on balance I cannot with good conscious recommend it as a high percentage bet for anybody.

I have devoted the better part of six years to attempting to help the subject survive by elimination of its negative elements.  I concede that the experiment was a failure.  As much as independent scientologists accuse the organization (RTC , CSI, et al) of operating on judgmentalism, arrogance, utiltarianism over conscience, form over substance, and Hubbard-revisionism dressed up as Hubbard-literalism I have found all those shortcomings just as prevalent in the independent field as in the organizations. I hold no rancor for such folks – inside or out – to the extent they stay out of the grills of people who ask them to.  A dispassionate study traces those self-defeating qualities as stemming from Hubbard and his scientology works themselves.

I have found efforts over the past year and one half to help people graduate from the subject to not be very popular nor worth the effort that goes into doing so.  While some of what I have already worked on along that line may appear from time to time on this blog, the focus will veer more toward speaking to the general public – as opposed to the formers, the antis, and indies.  The blog continues to serve as a chronicle of my own journey guided by my conscience – for whatever that is worth – and you can expect it to tend toward speaking to the increasing percentage of audience who are unfamiliar with the subject.  It may well even tend toward unrelated subjects.  There are plenty other forums where positive reinforcement of existing anti, pro, indie, and ex scientology views can be had.  I hope for all of you that at some point in the not too distant future you will find your own comfortable, fulfilling middle path.

If you like that, you will probably love this:

Identification and Membership

 

Identifying with that which arises in consciousness – as opposed to simply viewing its coming and going to, through and out of one’s own spacious awareness – is the process by which breadth of consciousness, space, process, and ability declines.  When one identifies his mind becomes the object, concept, idea, or picture rather than the spacious field through which such pass.  By identifying as a member of a particular class of people one begins to crave for and cling to that which that assumed identity craves for and clings to.  One also begins to automatically resist entire classes of objects arising in consciousness; all of those that are repelled by that with which he identifies.   All of this grasping and resistance results in persistence of dissonant energies within one’s field of awareness.

The first and most common means by which messiahs and gurus (wannabe or proclaimed; religious or secular) and their cults have entrapped, controlled, and enslaved well-meaning people by manipulation of the simple mechanics of awareness or consciousness (see Basics) is requiring the assumption of a specific identity.  Application requires one assume the identity of ‘member.’

The moment a seeker of truth assumes the identity of a designated category of person he has lost his mastery of that which arises in consciousness.  The degree he does so is the degree to which he has departed with the ability to perceive or be truth.  Once he identifies he becomes an object continually present within his own consciousness, with all its attendant baggage.  He begins to view what arises in awareness not as it is and for what it is but instead through the continuous via of the viewpoint of whatever ‘ist’ he has chosen to become.  All of the pre-determined prejudices, likes, dislikes, and judgments of his adopted ism shade and alter everything that he would otherwise view as it really is.

Self-identification breeds more identification.  It adversely influences the very process of looking.  Required membership is not only unnecessary to assisting a person increase rationality and awareness, it is injurious to it.  Becoming some-particular-body is counterproductive of the very process of self-actualization.  After some time when a cult member begins to feel entrapped he often continues so for long duration because he cannot see the source of his imprisonment.  He is certain somebody or some physical barrier is to blame. He has not yet come to realize that his jailer is himself, and his cell is self-constructed by the identity he has adopted.

Practice in viewing objects arising in and departing from consciousness (thoughts, ideas, pictures, emotions, etc) as the isolated, ephemeral, relatively miniscule and ineffectual things they are within the context of one’s potentially unlimited spacious awareness tends to help one separate out from unwanted previously assumed identities.  It allows them to pass on and out of consciousness along with all the other infinity of objects that so arise and so pass.  It also tends to expand one’s sphere of consciousness or awareness beyond limits one once considered fixed.

 

Basics

Some simple facts would appear to be:

Objects arise in consciousness.  ‘Objects’ is used in the broadest sense to include thoughts, feelings, emotions, pictures, impulses, anxieties, fears, ideas, and all of physical matter reality.

When simply viewed for what they are, objects that arise in consciousness pass through and depart from consciousness just as inexorably and as surely as they arise.

There seem to be two fundamental acts on the part of awareness (or consciousness) that make objects within it persist, become solid and have a lasting, negative effect upon awareness.

Those two acts are pining for (desiring and clinging to) and resisting that which arises in awareness.

Throughout the ages thousands upon thousands of methods and philosophies and religions have been proffered to resolve the effects of these simple facts.

Those paths have been effective to the degree that they have assisted in increasing understanding of and ability to apply the mechanics outlined above.  Those paths have served as betrayal to the degree that they have utilized knowledge of these mechanics in order to obtain conformity, loyalty and labor.

Myth, Mysticism and Insight

 

In The Tao Of Physics, Fritjof Capra makes some interesting observations on the subject of myth in mysticism and what those of insight come to understand about such.   I had as much in mind when I wrote of constructs in the book ‘What Is Wrong With Scientology?’,  but clearly did not articulate it nearly as well.

“Indian mysticism, and Hinduism in particular, clothes its statements in the form of myths, using metaphors and symbols, poetic images, similes and allegories.  Mythical language is much less restricted by logic and common sense. It is full of magic and paradoxical situations, rich in suggestive images and never precise, and can thus convey the way in which mystics experience reality much better than factual language.  According to Ananda Coomaraswamy, ‘myth embodies the nearest approach to absolute truth that can be stated in words.’

“The rich Indian imagination has created a vast number of gods and goddesses whose incarnations and exploits are the subject of fantastic tales, collected in epics of huge dimensions.  The Hindu with deep insight knows that all these gods are creations of the mind, mythical images representing the many faces of reality. On the other hand, he or she also knows that they were not merely created to make the stories more attractive, but are essential vehicles to convey the doctrines of a philosophy rooted in mystical experience.”

If there is truth to this, what does one make of the understandings or motivations of those who insist upon literal conceptualizations of imaginative religious mythology?   Are they of deep insight themselves?  Are they actively preventing others from developing or attaining deep insight?   You might have experienced some of the cognitive dissonance (or analytical and/or intuitive enturbulance) that is concomitant with inculcation of fantastic mythologies, not as part of an acknowledged ‘mystical experience’ but instead as cold, hard, unquestionable fact.  Or perhaps you are comfortable with the security that comes with faith and belief in mythology.

Where To Plant Your Feet

 

synchronicity

Ta-sui was asked, “Buddha’s truth is everywhere; so where do you teach students to plant their feet?”

He replied, “The vast ocean lets fish leap freely; the endless sky lets birds fly freely.”

– translation by Thomas Cleary

 

The Self

self

Chih-men was asked, ‘What is my self?’

He replied, ‘Who is asking?’

The questioner said, ‘Please help me more.’

Chih-men said, ‘The robber is a coward at heart.’

– translated by Thomas Cleary