Scientology – The Fundamental Beliefs
Scientology takes its beliefs from many ancient religious practices of major religions around the world. This is apparent in the various beliefs that the members of this religion uphold.
Scientology's Version Of The Story Of Creation
Like most religions, Scientology has its own version of how the universe, life and humans came to be. Based on its own mythology, the thetans or the life force 'created' the material world for satisfaction of their own pleasure in a primordial past. This world reflects the four components of creation – matter, energy, space and time or MEST. Although deriving its reality from the thetans' belief that this material world exist, to Scientologists, this world is all but a thought. Nevertheless, it exists because the thetans believe it does.
Overtime, the thetans began to identify with this material world and eventually lost all their memories of their true nature as thetans. The product of this change is the embodied beings called humans.
How Scientology Sees The Spirit, The Mind And The Body
Central to Scientology's beliefs is that humans are intrinsically good, non-material, all knowing and are armed with limitless creativity. Much like the western concept of soul, Scientologists believe in the thethan concept of a being.
In this religion, the life force or the cosmic source is represented by the theta, a Greek letter whose individual expression is the thetan. Thus, members of this religion call themselves 'thetans'. This, according to the teachings of Scientology, is the true manifestation of the spirit, the pure spirit which is beyond the limitations of space and time and is godlike in nature.
Like Hindus and Buddhists, Scientologists believe that the physical body is nothing more than a temporary body for the thetan. They believe in a process called 'assumption' which is comparable to the Eastern belief called reincarnation. They also emphasize the belief in the effects of past and present actions to future life which closely resembles the concept of karma. According to the theology of thetans, the body occupies several different bodies over its lifetime and with each rebirth comes a thetan or being that possesses the inherent capabilities of a true thetan.
Throughout the different lifetimes of a thetan, several images are stored in that being's memory. This collection of images is referred to as 'engrams', which are in general painful and are destructive to the thetan. These are also instrumental in keeping the thetan further away from his true identity. The basic goal of the thetan then is to restore its true identity to itself. This, they do by undertaking personal spiritual development.
Spiritual development has two phases – the training and the processing. Training is the introduction of a member to the principles of auditing, which alone provides the path to a higher state of spiritual awareness. Processing, on the other hand, is the actual phase when the members practice the principles of auditing.
The Scientology's concept of mind also adopts itself from the Freudian concept of the 'subconscious'. To Scientologists, this is called the 'reactive mind' which naturally responds to painful experiences in an irrational and emotional manner.
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