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Scientology: Religion or not - Essay Example

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Scientology: Religion or not

Further knowledge of the Church of Scientology and of its principles will somehow shed more light on the tenets of this particular religion.According to the tenets of the Church of Scientology, the Absolute is “the highest beingness…or [the one that] has an impersonal character [as] a condition of existence of personal spiritual beingness and those creations which result from the creative game of the powerful and eternal self” (Sivertsev). The Absolute therefore is the goal or the “achievable spiritual essence” which awaits every person who follows the tenets of the Church of Scientology and the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard (Sivertsev). The Absolute may be the equivalent of the concept of salvation in the Christian religion and nirvana in Buddhism, and that understanding the Absolute is essential to the formal practice of the spiritual tradition of Scientology. The World According to the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, the world or the physical universe as we know it is known as MEST, or Matter, Energy, Space and Time, and it is the creation of theta, or the life force, or spirit (What are Scientology Religious Beliefs). However, it is important to know that the theta, which is also the thought and spirituality in the context of Scientology, exists in the MEST but is “separate and distinct” from it (The Beliefs and Teachings of Scientology). This somehow disagrees with some religions that propose a pantheistic view of the universe and where God is a part of everything. In Scientology, as in Christianity, the MEST is viewed as a possible source of external attachments that may slow down the thetan, or the individual person, from realizing freedom from these attachments (The Beliefs and Teachings of Scientology). Humans, Their Problem and the Solution to this Problem In Scientology, the human being is a basically not the body but the spirit, or the thetan. Scientologists believe that the thetan, in its native state, is “immortal and god-like” and is potentially omniscient (The Beliefs and Teachings of Scientology). Adopting a theology parallel to the idea of achieving everlasting life and salvation, the goal of the member of the Church of Scientology is “recovering these god-like abilities” (The Beliefs and Teachings of Scientology). The only difference is that, in Scientology, one does not need death or a series of lifetimes to achieve this. The problem is therefore the physical body that prevents the thetan from achieving its god-like qualities, and the solution is participation in an enlightenment program known as “The Bridge to Total Freedom,” which is a multi-level training study and practice that costs around $300,000 to $500,000 (The Beliefs and Teachings of Scientology). Moreover, the process of “auditing,” a method which Hubbard developed, seeks to remove the hidden traumas of the past that prevent the development of a thetan into his full potential (The Beliefs and Teachings of Scientology). Rituals and Symbols The main symbol used by the Church of Scientology includes the letter “S” representing Scientology; an upper triangle, whose sides represent knowledge, responsibility and control, which are three concepts that are closely interrelated; and a lower triangle, whose three sides represent the concepts of affinity, reality and communication (Robinson & Buttnor). Another symbol used by the Church of Scientology is the “series of concentric circles moving out from the first to the eighth” to represent the Eight Dynamics of Existence, or the eight drives towards survival (Robinson & Buttn ...Show more

Summary

Since its foundation in1953, the Church of Scientology, where Scientology means “the study of knowledge or truth,” has attracted around 100,000 members to date (How many Scientologists are there?)…
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Scientology: Religion or not essay example
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