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WHAT ARE THE RELIGIOUS TENETS OF SCIENTOLOGY?
Scientology is a truly unique contemporary religion—the only new major religion to emerge in the twentieth century. That said, Scientology religious beliefs follow the older tradition of Eastern religion dating back to the Vedic Hymns. Namely, that one is a spiritual being who has lived lifetime after lifetime, that spiritual enlightenment is attainable through knowledge, and that only through spiritual enlightenment can one fully understand and comprehend the Creator. Moreover, the understanding of one’s Creator is a matter of personal enlightenment and must be acknowledged by the individual—the spiritual being—himself.
While the Scientology religion owes a spiritual debt to the Eastern faiths, it was born in the West and its religious beliefs are expressed in the technological language of the mid-twentieth century. Scientology adds a precise and workable technology for applying spiritual concepts to every aspect of life.
Scientology holds that Man is basically good and that his spiritual salvation depends upon himself, his relationships with his fellows and his attainment of brotherhood with the universe. In that regard, Scientology is a religion in the most profound sense of the word, for it is concerned with no less than the full rehabilitation of Man’s innate spiritual self—his capabilities, his awareness and his certainty of his own immortality.
And, in the wider arena, through the spiritual salvation of the individual, Scientology seeks the ultimate transformation—“A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where Man is free to rise to greater heights.”
Scientology fulfills the goal of religion by addressing the spiritual nature of Man and his role in eternity. Through the ages, this has been the province of religion in society, addressing the concerns of Man that transcend the material world.
In Scientology, the spiritual being is called the thetan. The thetan is immortal and has lived—and will continue to live—through countless lifetimes. As the thetan passes through each lifetime, he becomes more and more entangled with the material concerns and experiences of the physical world. Eventually, he loses sight of his true spiritual nature and ability and begins acting at a fraction of his natural spiritual ability.
The goal of Scientology is to help each being regain awareness of himself as a spiritual being and rehabilitation of his full spiritual potential—to achieve a certainty of one’s spiritual existence and one’s relationship to the Supreme Being. Scientology holds in common with many of the world’s oldest religions that Man was put here to work out his own salvation by attaining an understanding of himself and the universe and that only in this way can he understand God the Creator and his relationship to the Allness of All. Scientology holds the accomplishment of spiritual salvation is only possible through successive steps of enlightenment. However, the analogy to the Buddhist concept of “bodhi” is not inappropriate. In Scientology, such a state of enlightenment is called the state of Clear. As one ascends, regaining innate spiritual abilities, one achieves the state of Operating Thetan.
The path to spiritual salvation in Scientology is described in the written and recorded words of L. Ron Hubbard and is delineated in a series of steps to be taken known as “The Bridge to Total Freedom.” These Scientology scriptural works encompass more than 500,000 pages of written material, 3,000 recorded lectures and 100 films, all by Mr. Hubbard.
The religion of Scientology and its beliefs are built upon fundamental self-proving truths of life itself. The Factors in the Scientology Scripture reveal the nature of the universe and its origins. As one ascends The Bridge to Total Freedom, one comes to a full understanding of these sacred truths and the beginnings of the Universe, the nature of Man as a spirit and one’s relationship to the Supreme Being are finally comprehended—and can only be comprehended once one has achieved spiritual enlightenment for oneself. These are concerns beyond the material world and the present and are an integral part of the Scientology faith. Every true religion includes matters of faith—“the spiritual apprehension of divine truths, or of realities, or of realities beyond the reach of sensible experience or logical proof” (Oxford English Dictionary) and Scientology is no exception.
Scientology is thus a religion in the oldest sense of the word. Scientology helps Man become more aware of God, more aware of his own spiritual nature and that of those around him. Scientology Scripture recognizes that there is an entire dynamic—and urge or motivation in life—devoted to the Supreme Being (the Eighth Dynamic) and another dynamic that deals solely with one’s urge toward existence as a spirit (the Seventh Dynamic). Acknowledgment of these aspects of life is a traditional characteristic of religions.
Scientology holds in common with all great religions the goal of peace on Earth and salvation for Man. Scientology offers a precise path for bringing about spiritual improvement in the here and now and a way to accomplish it with absolute certainty.
Scientology is a world religion that has been recognized as a religion by courts and government administrative bodies throughout the world. In addition, the foremost international experts in the field of religion have analyzed the religion and have confirmed that Scientology is a religion.