There has been some stir amongst auditors concerning the fact that Scientology has allied itself with the Church of American Science, why a Church of Scientology has come into existence and why auditors qualified by training and personal attainments are applying for and have received ordination as ministers in these churches.
To some this seems mere opportunism, to some it would seem that Scientology is simply making itself bulletproof in the eyes of the law, and to some it might appear that any association with religion is a reduction of the ethics and purposes of Scientology itself. The broad majority of those interested have accepted this step, but not all have entirely understood it.
First, let me briefly take up with you the history of knowledge on this, our planet Earth, in the last three and one half millenia. At the beginning of our written history there was only one trace of workable knowledge which had been handed down from prehistoric times. This was contained in the Vedic hymns. The Vedic peoples are directly responsible for that principle known to us in Scientology as the Cycle of Action. The invaluable observation that birth proceeded into growth, that growth proceeded into an unchanging state and that this unchanging state then proceeded into decay and finally concluded with death, gives to us in Scientology our create-survive- destroy curve. Although it was not originally apparent that our dynamic principle of survive was an inherent part of this cycle of action, the usability of survive was discovered some time ago to be materially expanded by the recognition of the beginning and end of the cycle-of-action curve. Here we find a principle extended to us from a religion. The Vedic hymns are religious hymns. Yet the material in them contains all that is to be found in the works of Charles Darwin and even in the works used today by nuclear physicists. A survey of these hymns as they are now written and available in your local library would astonish you. It demonstrates clearly that our earliest indebtedness was to a religion.
The next single most important philosophic advance within our written history was accomplished by Gautama Sakyamuni. This work was part of a religion known as the Dharma. The Dharma, existing some time before the advent of Gautama, is a religion preached by individuals known as Buddhas. The Western world knows this as Buddhism and variously believes it to be a superstition or idolatrous practice or believes that it was founded by a man named Buddha, none of which are true. A Buddha is simply one who has attained Bodhi. A Bodhi is “one who has attained an ideal state of intellectual and ethical perfection by purely physical means.” There have been many Buddhas and there are expected to be many more.
A very cursory glance at the Dharma discovers that it embraces these facts. “All that we are is the result of what we have thought; it is founded on our thoughts, it is
made up of our thoughts.” “By oneself evil is done; by oneself one suffers; by oneself evil is left undone; by oneself one is purified. Purity and impurity belong to oneself; no one can purify another.” “You yourself must make an effort; the Buddhas are only preachers. The thoughtful who enter the way are freed from the bondage of sin.” “He who does not rouse himself when it is time to rise, who, though young and strong, is full of sloth, whose will and thoughts are weak, that lazy and idle man will never find the way to enlightenment.” “Strenuousness is the path of immortality, sloth the path of death. Those who are strenuous do not die; those who are slothful are as if dead already.”
In the “Surangama Sutra” giving a discourse to one Ananda, Gautama said, “If you simply do not follow after these twelve notions of conditioning phenomena, namely: motion and stillness, separation and contact, variability and constancy, appearing and disappearing, passing or impenetrability, brightness and darkness, or should ignore any pair of them you will be freed from bondage to all mental contaminations. “
Although the Dharma does not give and does not contain, as it is handed down to us, any real or workable methodology to accomplish the state of Bodhi, it cleaves very strongly to a scientific rationale which, coming to us from two and one half millenia ago, is startling in view of the fact that it is more delineative, more exact, more comprehensive and more comprehensible than any and all psychological doctrine as known to us in this Twentieth Century.
Here is an amazing body of scientific-philosophical-religious truth. These texts written about 600 B. C. outline a scientific religion of compassion and magnitude.
What has been the fate of the Dharma in these past centuries? What mark has it left upon Earth? The Dharma rose in an Asia enslaved by animism, superstition, idolatry, cannibalism and slavery. It was a barbaric world in 600 B. C. Gautama Buddha and his handful of followers, pretending nothing to the supernatural, using only wisdom, teachings and the technologies of civilization, spread through India the doctrines of the Dharma and brought to these hundreds of millions a much greater civilization than they had known. Penetrating into China, the Buddhist priests spread civilization before them. Penetrating into Japan, they taught the Japanese to read and write, to weave and sew, until two-thirds of the Earth’s population had attained higher levels of wisdom. Spreading westward, the Dharma came into the Middle East and there presented its message of “love thy neighbor” and general compassion for life. And the parables of Gautama Buddha were re-expressed with some differences and additions to spread westward again as Christianity. And today, the entire Western Civilization lies under the spell, if at a lower intellectual level, of the teachings of the Dharma.
You are left to conclude what you will concerning the actual foundation of religion on this planet and of the factual structure underlying Christian churches. Our only concern here is with the fact that religion is basically a philosophic teaching designed to better the civilization into which it is taught. Backed fully by the precedent of all the ages concerning teachings, a Scientologist has a better right to call himself a priest, a minister, a missionary, a doctor of divinity, a faith healer or a preacher than any other man who bears the insignia of religion of the Western world. And remember that it is precedent which masters the opinion of multitudes and nations.
Why should Scientology ally itself with religion or use the word religion in connection with its philosophy?
There are many, many reasons. Amongst them is that a society accords to men of the church an access not given to others. Prisons, hospitals, and institutions, and those who manage them, cannot do otherwise than welcome men of the church. We are talking now about more than simply expediency or protection under law. We are talking about urgency indeed. For to my hand is a document written to me by one of our auditors concerning a woman who had remained senseless for three months following an accident. Her husband was desperate and desired a Scientologist to do what he could to return this woman to consciousness. The Scientologist did so and made excellent progress simply by putting the woman into communication by hand pressures. Although she could not speak, she could yet express herself and respond and even do mock-ups. The terrible condition of her body bettered and when she was returning to the world of speech and action, the medical doctor in charge of the hospital who heretofore had granted grudgingly, on the husband’s persuasion, interviews between the Scientologist and the patient, seeing the improvement, turned on the Scientologist and forbade him to touch the patient or see the patient or have anything more to do with the patient even though he could find nothing in the case but improvement and although no incident of any kind other than improvement had occurred. The Scientologist was turned out of the hospital and a few weeks afterwards the woman, relapsing into the apathy of unconsciousness, died. We will not charge this medical doctor with murder. We can only charge him with ignorance and barbarism. For we live today in what is at best, so far as social usages are concerned, a barbaric society. Those who profess to heal more often than not exist to collect. Those in charge of the insane are little better themselves than their patients. We live in a society where dreadful and terrible weapons and controls are commonplace, yet which is without many of the benefits of compassion, mercy and charity.
If we in Scientology had to hand only the weapon of better knowledge, if we had no technologies, if we could not — other than give him wisdom and hope — make any man well, we could still take what we know about life and with that as our message effect a wide and compelling influence upon the civilization of our times. For any message carried forward to a people which gives them hope cannot but reflect to the betterment of their culture.
But we have more than a message. We have more than a handful of axioms or explanations of behavior. We have in this year of 1954 processes which, even when worked upon groups, produce en masse a state of beingness which 2500 years ago was being groped for by the select few. We have more command over the phenomena of life than any have ever had before.
Were we to accept our rightful role, were we to accomplish our teachings and deliver to our culture this bettered state of beingness, we would have changed at least the entire pattern of the Western world.
If we can accomplish psychotherapy, this does not mean that we are psychotherapists. If we can accomplish better communications in business, this does not mean we are business specialists. It may be that we could conceive ourselves as emissaries to a barbarism grown lawless in the possession of weapons too powerful for the understanding of their wielders.
In another time, in another place, those men (the Buddhas) responsible for what Western culture calls their religion, called themselves priests. I do not see, then, any inconsistency of any kind in the issuance to those well-schooled and well-skilled in Scientology the degree of Doctor of Divinity as a passport into those areas where they are needed. Only a barbaric minister is a “Man of God.” In all enlightened religions such men are called “Men of Wisdom.”
I do not mean to tell you that Scientology is an extension of the Dharma, or that the forecasts of the Tibetans concerning the Western world are now coming true, or that you should embrace Asiatic philosophy, or even that the efforts of the Buddhas and the Scientologists are comparable. I am telling you this mainly because Western civilization is extremely ignorant of its sources and because these facts, no matter how true, are probably very little known in America and Europe. And I am telling you this to dispel some of your shyness and to increase your boldness and overtness where the society itself is concerned. No door need be closed to you, nor need you apologize should you accept through the Church of American Science or the Church of Scientology any degree or title for which you are qualified. Western civilization is engaged in a worship of superstition, the supernatural and the miraculous even as other nations long ago. Its only other worship is that of the machine. Where else could men and women of compassion and skill serve better, and what else should they call themselves but Teachers of Wisdom?