Scientology: A Way of Spiritual Self-Identification
 
MICHAEL A. SIVERTSEV
EXPERT ADVISER ON INTERNATIONAL MATTERS
TO THE COMMITTEE OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
../..
 
 

II.II. procedures for gaining knowledge as a technology of achievement of the highest levels of consciousness. levels of self-identification: from pre-clear to the highest level of spiritual being

    It is possible to consider that the procedure of clearing words and obtaining holy knowledge is part of the general purpose of Scientology: clearing and receiving (understanding) the true spiritual nature of the infinite self.

    The requirement for stable, clear consciousness and self-consciousness (waking up from the day-to-day "sleeping"), and formal rationality, which is organized in such a manner that without clear consciousness and passage of the lowest levels it is impossible to come to the highest level of consciousness of one's own true self, results first in a hierarchical structure of knowledge and second in procedures of gaining holy knowledge. In the culture of religious education where a change of consciousness and self-consciousness for the student is expected, but where the transmission of this new self-consciousness is impossible, the procedure of gaining knowledge appears absolutely necessary. From this comes one important feature of Scientology as a holy culture: the texts -- the Scientological scriptures of the church (Hubbard's texts) -- are the means of transformation of the student's consciousness and self-consciousness. Especially in this sense, an axiomatic part of Hubbard's texts is characteristic. These are classical short texts, which are intended for long thinking and reflection during which a change of understanding of the student's inner self occurs -- that is, through repeated attempts to deeply realize the scriptures (Hubbard's texts) to gain a realization of deeper understanding of oneself and one's true self. Scientology offers the opportunity for group, twin and single (solo) practice of contemplation. This practice also relates Scientology with other religious and, more particularly, orderly structures where the experience of reflection over holy texts is not an experience of reception of new information, but an experience of change of self (as far as the parishioner is concerned), or an experience of clearing one's self as far as the instructor is concerned, which should restore purity of consciousness and self-consciousness after hard work.

    Thus, when we say that knowledge and self-consciousness cannot be transmitted, we speak about the necessity of a procedure with the help of which the student can be brought to reach this knowledge so as to realize himself. It means that a formally developed system of transitions from one level of holy knowledge to another is necessary. Thus it should be emphasized that the student cannot be informed, he can only be introduced to the knowledge. As a result of an introduction procedure, he receives new knowledge and a new self-consciousness.

    With the help of a teacher, the religious student (and at some levels independently) passes all levels of introduction from pre-clear up to the highest level, Operating Thetan.

    Taking into account the above features of esoteric knowledge inherent in Scientology (in particular hierarchy, strictness and the impossibility of skipping any level) Scientology then has developed a rather impressive system of a spiritual path which is also a symptom of a stable and prospective spiritual culture.

    Rarely has any religious movement possessed an extensive system of doctrine when it first became an organized church. The availability of a system of doctrine is an indicator of the maturity of a religious movement and consequently, it takes form over a rather long time. Nevertheless, Scientology, as it was already observed in the history of religious movements, quite rapidly formed a creed and a system of spiritual training. The reason for this fast achievement of spiritual and organizational maturity is a developed, formalized and detailed system of levels of spiritual transformation and spiritual identity. This system can hardly be compared to systems of spiritual enlightment and purification which were the center of welfare in the structures of many orders which cleared and saved known traditional churches.

    The theological system can be found in two types: the katafatitjesk and the apofatitjesk.

    Katafatitjesk is a system that assumes the opportunity of expressing the highest religious experience in words. Apofatitjesk is the system that basically considers the highest knowledge and highest values to be inexpressible. Therefore the katafatitjesk system creates a detailed and extensive description of a godly being and a godly structure of the visible and invisible world. The apofatitjesk system does not give any descriptions of the Supreme Being because it is impossible from the point of view of the apofatitjesk system. However, apofatitjesk theology gives a system of going towards the highest knowledge which is achieved at the fulfillment of the formal instructions from the teacher.

    Certainly Scientology includes both kinds of theological systems, but the apofatitjesk theology dominates. Therefore, for Scientology it is not characteristically the description of a new condition of self so much as it is the description of the laid-out plan of achievement of the highest condition.
 
 
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Futher Information on the Scientology Religion:

  • Article on the Scientology religion
  • Church of Scientology on Religious Freedom
  • Church of Scientology in the United Kingdom
  • Scientology Religion auf Deutsch
  • Guardian Unlimited | Scientology Beliefs
  • Church of Scientology Int'l Human Rights Office on Germany
  • Scientology class suits shy Hindu