From International Viewpoints (IVy) Issue 51- March 2001
See Home Page at http://www.ivymag.org/
IVy on the Wall
by Ken Urquhart, USA
Comes the Dawn:
Chapter Four in a consideration of ' A Piece of Blue Sky' by Jon Atack
Comes the Dawn: Chapter Four in a consideration of ' A Piece of Blue Sky' by Jon Atack
IN CHAPTER THREE, I proposed that L Ron Hubbard had contributed three important differences to life that matter greatly - chief amongst them being the discipline he developed that enables the clearing practitioner to manage the session for the optimal benefit of the client who seeks the truth of his or her spirituality. And I gave as my opinion that the discipline that the practitioner adopts for his clients' sakes is the discipline of saintliness. This is not to say that I elevate all of us practitioners to sainthood. I simply say that the discipline a well-trained practitioner submits to is a saintly one.
At the end of the last chapter I warned that I had even more to say about Hubbard's contribution. Before I make good on this threat, I would like to recapitulate the subject of saintliness just a little bit, for the purpose of establishing the basis on which I will expand to create Chapter 4.
Hubbard developed (not alone, others claim) vigorous and extensive training regimens to ensure that the practitioner knows exactly how to behave - in order to give the client full and free rein to explore his or her spirituality - while refraining from the slightest action that would distract the client, or would otherwise interfere with the client's process of self-discovery. Even though nowadays spirituality is becoming an acceptable and sometimes popular subject, the idea of such self-discipline as LRH demanded of his practitioners is utterly alien to suburbia. That something is unknown in suburbia does not in itself make it right, of course, so why should this discipline be effective and why should it matter? The question leads us to:
Saintliness in Practice
LRH (or whoever around him claims it) built upon the principle that if the practitioner listens to and understands what the client is saying about an aspect of his or her spirituality, and then lets the client know that he/she is understood, the client will experience relief. Now we all experienced that already; we have all felt we just had to talk to someone, and all felt better for having got it off our chest. Sometimes we talk to someone and don't feel good afterwards because the one we talked to ignored what we had to say and discussed something else.
The product of the discipline
What is new about Hubbard's use of this principle is that he trained the practitioner
1.to not only understand what was said, but to be sure that the client clearly knows that he understood it. And
2.then to understand it well enough to smoothly direct the client's attention back to the subject so that the client could look further and deeper into it, and to
3.continue this procedure until the client reaches a point of very satisfactory understanding of the subject that he/she had started with. This new understanding of self brings the client to a more self-directed, rather than other-directed, behaviour in life - which results in happier life for the client and those around him/her.
LRH emphasized that every human being can be trusted with the truth about him or herself, since every human is in truth decent, responsible, and caring. In every session the client takes a step or two closer to full truth about self. When one knows the full truth about self, one knows to what degree one is a body, or identity, and to what degree a spiritual and immortal entity; then one becomes fully aware of what it is to be a spiritual entity and begins to see what the potential thereof might be. Coming to truth about self, then, is to recognize and embrace one's own spirituality. Sessioning as the clearing practitioner knows it is a basic mechanism of the bridge from the material to the spiritual, or from non-awareness of spirituality, or lessened awareness thereof, to full awareness.
A spiritual leader of the past would recognize sessioning as the beginning of a very real connection between material reality and spiritual reality, and a practical way to bring to Earth those blessings that they wished we all could earn. That, at any rate, is the postulate. How did it work out in reality?
The pot well stirred...
Using the basic session discipline as a foundation, Hubbard built up an approach to individual betterment. His approach suits some better than others. The questions of Who it works with and Why and How are muddied by the facts that he commercialized his approach and built up an organization to cultivate and protect his market share. His organizations do their job partly through fostering exclusivity and elitism amongst its members, particularly those who pay, and pay, and pay, and keep on paying. Such feelings are both a self-fulfilling prophecy and a treadmill that never stops for a moment: the more one receives the perceived benefits the more exclusive and elite one becomes. The only way to remain elite or become more so is to receive more benefits - therefore one forces oneself to experience benefits and to proclaim them whether they be real or imaginary.
For some people the benefits they proclaim are real. But all members oblige themselves to gratefully acknowledge the over-riding authority of L. Ron Hubbard, a subservience that the management of the church enforces constantly, meticulously, and jealously. To receive the desired benefit (or benediction) the member must perform the required ritual before the gilded image. This is politics, not spirituality.
The 'independent' field, however, is a very un-managed agglomeration of mostly individuals with very few organized groups and a few loose associations. They apply differing approaches relating in some way to Hubbard's. In this business, 'independent' always implies 'independent of the Church of Scientology', so the independence revolves in some way around the subject of scientology. We see approaches that parallel Hubbard's but use different terminology. We find approaches that use parts of Hubbard's mechanisms with partially or completely different content. We know of approaches that extend aspects of Hubbard's in different directions according to the leanings of the practitioner. Some ex-scientologists develop their own approaches and describe them as having nothing to do with Hubbard's ideas at all1 .
Within these mixtures of orthodoxy, heterodoxy, reformation, protest, breakaway, and so on, people are helping people more or less effectively. The really important thing is that the activity is happening, continuing, and developing. Out of this activity will come solutions. Notwithstanding the solutions, errors and outright wrongdoing will introduce new problems and distractions. Nonetheless, the thrust will be towards solution for problems old and new. The world is beginning to wake up to the fact that there are technologies, flawed as they might be now, that promise relief from age-old stupidities and confusions. The world's demand for solutions will call solutions forth.
Hubbard was and is a part of a universe-wide and pivotal evolution: the change of basic focus in the universe away from problem and towards solution. The change of focus can be very painful for some. In the part he played, Hubbard was partly solution and partly problem. We all are thus. The Hubbard approach is partly solution and partly problem. All approaches are thus. All individuals and all approaches will be thus for some time to come. If and when all individuals and activities achieve solution in all things, the universe will disappear, and we will find new and more interesting problems to experience and resolve together. Meanwhile we have to accept that those who bring big solutions can also bring big problems.
Truth and Solution
Hubbard postulated the supreme ability of the spiritual entity to be entirely truth. Truth is inseparable from solution. No solution can embrace untruth; an attempted solution that includes untruth (even if only to ignore the untruth in the problem 'addressed') simply becomes another problem. Anything that persists, such as a problem, or anything physical for that matter, any spiritual condition other than entirely truth continues only because it contains a lie or a number of lies. One of the principal lies concerns who or what is the source of the condition and who is responsible for it.
This is the basis of what workability there is in Hubbard's approach. The practitioner guides the client to recognize in her own space and time, any and all lies she is embracing that bring her to be in an unwanted condition that her integrity tells her she should transform. Given abilities on each side to work in this way, benefits result because of the lies that are brought to light, examined, and abandoned, thus restoring truth. Given disabilities on either side to work this way, problems result(2). Hubbard's approach is not in practice universal, because he did not find ways to overcome all disabilities in working this particular way. I don't think one should fault him on this (one can fault him on boasting that his approach is universal); I don't think any one individual - or group for that matter - could possibly do it in one lifetime. Others must contribute to the work, and all who work on it in dedication will be working on it for some lifetimes.
Door to Truth
A major difference Hubbard's work brought us is, in my opinion, this: He exercised a certain viewpoint of sanity, certainty, and solution (yes, amidst personal and cultural nonsense), and out of this viewpoint he opened a door to work that people can do with each other. I recognize that not all people can use all specifics of his whole approach to benefit all others, and that much work will be done before every person who wants this kind of work will benefit as much as every other. I acknowledge that he poured out, along with his essential gifts, material that came from his own unresolved problems and issues, and he did so without necessarily knowing the difference. While I don't think he personally started this universal motion towards solution, towards becoming the entirety of truth, he did grasp the motion and raised it to a new level of effectiveness where it could lead to applications for every human. Out of his advances will come many, many more. Others found parts of the key to the door of Truth; he is the one who grasped the key, turned it, and flung wide open the door that will never close again.
I have said already that Hubbard's work in opening that door for all people everywhere willing and able to walk through it to do so, he created the first real possibility of access to a bridge for all between materiality and spirituality. And I said that in so doing he ranks with all the great spiritual leaders who have blessed us. But there is more to it than that.
The very greatest spiritual leaders have told us of the joys and bliss of pure spirituality. Hubbard claimed that he had found the way for each and every individual to reach such states. We know that his claim has a boast - but it is not a completely idle boast. Others will work on his work, others will work against his work, and out of all this work, in the fullness of time, each and every individual on the planet and in the universe and beyond will have the chance to enjoy the bliss of pure spirituality. And not just once.
Stability of truth and bliss
Those who have experienced moments of bliss, no matter if through other's work or their own, know painfully well that the bliss can soon be gone. Very, very few have been able to reach such a far-out state of bliss that nothing could affect them adversely again against their own will. These few have attained complete freedom of viewpoint. They can embrace knowingly and willingly any viewpoint at all, while never abandoning the certainty of who and what they are - flawless truth. They embrace fully, knowingly, and lovingly. No viewpoint ever sticks with them or to them. The rest of us, however, have old viewpoints by the ton that we stick to as the miser sticks to his money. Neither the miser nor we can conceive of living without our hordes. What happens when we temporarily enter a state of bliss, of being for a moment pure truth, is that one or more old viewpoints that we have stuck ourselves with will manifest itself and in doing its job, pull us down from bliss, away from truth, into persisting untruth. Our very experience of bliss empowers all our remaining lies and problems to affect us. The effect can be excruciating spiritual and physical agony.
No great spiritual leader had given us the steps by which we reach bliss stably. Although many have left directions, none have left directions that communicate readily to the many. Hubbard is unique amongst spiritual leaders in that he envisioned the practicality of an approach that would allow every single being to examine and to self-determinedly choose to keep or to drop any fixed viewpoint. He envisioned the practical possibility of pure truth for every individual, and hence freedom from self-created but out-of-control limitation. He thus postulated that every being would come to be able to enjoy bliss, and to enjoy it without ever again pulling self down out of bliss because of our own stupidity and untruth. We may dispute his success in his own endeavours in this regard. But he stated his vision, and stated it so boldly and clearly we can't possibly ignore it or forget it, even if we reject every other action he took or every other word he uttered.
Sanity, strength, and vision
I have not mentioned specific contributions of Hubbard's such as the introduction of the repetitive process, the thousands of different processes, the rundowns, the grades and levels, the training aids, the use of the e-meter, the volumes of material written and those recorded on tape. As I've said, not all of it is to the point. He had, I repeat, much nonsense around a core of undeniable sanity and of mountainous spiritual strength.
I say Hubbard's work does have value. I say that the value of his work has been overshadowed by the errors he allowed himself to make. Some of his errors affected others adversely. There is no justification or excuse for his errors; his errors, the adverse effects, and the complaining about them - all these are parts of Hubbard's and the others' paths. We all have to walk forward on our paths, or stand still.
Not everyone wants to move forward on a path. Sometimes the path is having no path for a while, even to the point of having no life beyond the body and its needs, or beyond the culture and its needs. For some, the path seems too stony and so beset with thorny thickets, any movement is painful and motionlessness the only relief. Hubbard's Scientology system and structure are by no means appropriate for all beings and all life situations. Nonetheless, within the core of Hubbard's life and work is a vision that can apply to all - given that each is permitted to be who and what he or she actually is in the moment and to relate to the concept of 'path' as is appropriate to his or her integrity.
I paraphrase the clear and unambiguous statement of his vision thus:
You, no matter who you are or what you have done or what has happened to you or what mess you have got yourself into, you have a path within you that you can travel step by step. Walking it will lead you back to possession of the full truth of who and what you really are. The path has difficult stretches where it is easy for you to lose your way. However, a skilled and dedicated guide, using a very ethical discipline of application can help you keep moving on your path. If you choose to walk your path and take advantage of guidance when you need it, you will arrive at the full and developing truth about who and what you are, and what you can accomplish.
Those black, black clouds begin to move away.
The purity, strength, and certainty of Hubbard's vision change the universe forever.
©Kenneth G. Urquhart.