Regardless of your religious beliefs, it’s always interesting to learn about other religions. Most people have probably heard about Scientology, thanks to famous Scientology followers such as Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Isaac Hayes. Understanding and being familiar with the basic concepts of Scientology can help you better understand those who have embraced this relatively new religion.
Scientology was created by L. Ron Hubbard (1911-1986) in the 1950s as a follow-up to his own self-help system called Dianetics. Hubbard was an American science fiction author. Within a few years, Hubbard incorporated his beliefs into the Church of Scientology.
Scientology espouses the belief and principle that humans are actually beings who have forgotten what their true nature actually is – that of an immortal being. Scientology also teaches that man is responsible for his own beliefs and values and that his mind and his body are not his essence – instead his spirit (or thetan) is the true being.
Does Scientology teach belief in a Supreme Being? Yes and no. Scientology teaches that man is free to believe as he sees fit for himself. If that belief requires a Supreme Being, then that is acceptable for that man. Scientologists generally believe that there are more sentient life forms in the universe than just the humans found on Earth.
Does Scientology teach belief in an afterlife? Scientology teaches that when a person dies, their soul is reborn into another body – to live another life. This fits with the belief that people are actually immortal beings – or souls – that shed a human body to be reborn and live again.
Scientologists use a method of spiritual reawakening or rehabilitation known as auditing. Through auditing, Scientology practitioners re-live or re-experience traumatic events and experiences from their past in an effort to free themselves from the effects of the trauma. They discharge the negative energy created by these experiences through communication.
Scientology holds social activism in great esteem and teaches a set of moral beliefs and values that incorporate social services. Social service activities such as prison rehabilitation (Criminon) and anti-drug education and lifestyle (Narconon). Scientology also encourages practitioners to volunteer their time to help during natural disasters and other events.
Scientology beliefs follow a basic practice known as The Way of Happiness – which is published in a 48-page guidebook. The Way to Happiness proposes a set of 21 basic precepts that spell out what Scientology practices. Scientology holds that man is basically good from the beginning and salvation is attained through enlightenment and the attainment of brotherhood between himself and those around him.
Scientology also teaches an educational methodology known as study technology or study tech which puts forth the idea that education is hampered by three barriers to learning: The misunderstanding of words, the lack of physical presence on the subject being studied and moving through educational materials too quickly without fully understanding basic ideas that should have been previously understood.
Scientology holds that man is basically on a journey through life in which self-improvement is highly prized. Spiritual enlightenment is sought by practitioners of Scientology through self-help, improving relationships and releasing past traumas.