IV.III.DIRECT EXPERIENCE OF ULTIMATE REALITY
It has been suggested that most traditional religions expect that their adherents will reach at some moment a more or less direct experience of ultimate reality. This dimension of religiosity relates to the substantive definitions of religion and we have expounded on this in reviewing the substantive definitions of religion. We therefore mentioned that religious experiences which are not ordinary or quotidian have a central place in Scientology. As with other religions such experiences are encouraged in accordance with and interpreted under the doctrines of the religion and are also taken as evidence of the correctness of the group's cosmic vision.
Scientology presents itself as a gradual, clearly defined and certain route to improve awareness guiding individuals from a condition of spiritual blindness to the happiness of spiritual existence. It promises to its adherents that such increased awareness will enable them ultimately to become aware of their own immortality, achieve total freedom, omniscience and understand directly the meaning of life, death and the universe.
The stated aim of Scientology is to achieve the complete and total rehabilitation of the innate capabilities of the individual as an immortal spiritual being. Such capabilities would put him at cause, with full knowledge, over matter, energy, space, time, thought and life. By reaching this state, the individual would be capable of a direct understanding of the infinite:
"At the level of Operating Thetan one deals with the individual's own immortality as a spiritual being. One deals with the thetan himself in relationship to eternity; not to the eternity that lies behind him, but to the eternity which lies ahead." (What Is Scientology? 1993:222)
We can note therefore that the Church of Scientology expects that
its adherents, through their participation in its practices and training
in its doctrine, attain a gradual improvement of awareness resulting ultimately
in a direct experience of ultimate reality.