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Finding Confucianism in Scientology


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Finding Confucianism in Scientology a comparative analysis
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Kieffer, John Albert
University of South Florida
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ABSTRACT: Scientology holds considerable interest for scholars of new religious movements. As such, this study aims to contribute new data and insight to ongoing theoretical work within this area of religious studies scholarship. Engaged in this inquiry are the similarities between Scientology, the new religious movement founded in 1951 by L. Ron Hubbard (1911-1986), and the Chinese religion, Confucianism, which originates with the teachings of Confucius (551-479 BCE). Though Hubbard admits being influenced by eastern thinking such as Buddhism and Daoism in shaping his worldview, he specifically discounts Confucius as relevant in this regard. However, through comparisons between Scientology and Confucianism, this study demonstrates that there are significant and numerous instances of similarities between the two religions ranging from their worldviews to concomitant soteriologies.In the cosmogonies of Scientology and Neo-Confucianism, for example, the world comes about from the interplay of two cosmic phenomena: 1) an ordering, non-physical life force, termed in this study as the quasi-transcendent and 2) the physical. All life, including human beings, occurs as the quasi-transcendent realm combines with the physical, creating three homogeneous, coextensive, and teleologically interdependent parts: 1) the quasi-transcendent domain, 2) the physical universe, and 3) the human sphere. Comparing both traditions further, human beings are innately good, endowed as such by the benevolent influence of their quasi-transcendent component. Error, or evil, is rendered no ontological status and is rationalized as confusion caused by the obfuscating effect of the mind's physical constituent upon its benevolent counterpart. Self-transformation occurs as the physical component of the human mind is purified restoring profound ontological awareness and cosmic creativity.A notion absent in Confucianism, which could be assessed as a significant theological difference between these traditions, is Scientology's reincarnation theme. This aspect, however, is peripheral to the larger conceptual model that both these religions share.
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2009.
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Finding Confucianism In Scientology: A Comparative Analysis by John Albert Kieffer A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Department of Religious Studies College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Co-Major Professor: Wei Zhang, Ph.D. Co-Major Professor: Dell deChant, M.A. Danny Jorgensen, Ph. D. Date of Approval: July 15, 2009 Keywords: Scientology, Confucia nism, Hubbard, Confucius, NRM Copyright 2009 John Albert Kieffer


Dedication This study is dedicated to my mom, Elena Pellicciante Kieffer, and to my dad, Reinhardt J. Kieffer. From the beginning, they taught me to investigate things with sincerity.


Acknowledgements I wish to acknowledge the late Dr. Gail M. Harley who enthusiastically was first to validate this project and generously offered to serve on my thesis committee. I believe that she would have been excited to see these results. I am grateful for Dr. Wei Zhangs kindness, guidance and patience; without he r profound knowledge of Chinese religions, this project would never have materialized. I was truly fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Dr. Danny Jorgensen and Mr Dell deChant, two published scholars of Scientology; their insight and encouragement ma de a big difference. Finally, I want to thank two wonderful people: my friend, Rob Cooper, for helping me keep everything in perspective; and my daughter, Jorden, for giving me a reason to go back to school in the first place.


Table of Contents Abstract ii Introduction 1 Chapter 1: Methodology and Overview 8 1.1. Methodology 8 1.2: Overview of Compared Religions 13 Chapter 2: Worldview 24 2.1. Theta and MEST or Heaven and Earth 24 2.2. Composition of Human Beings 29 2.3. Good and Evil 36 2.4. The Eight Dynamics or Sanji: the Three Ultimates 43 2.5. Understanding or Harmony 49 2.6. Emotional Tone Scale or Xin: Feelings 57 Chapter 3: Self-transformation 63 3.1 Operating Thetan or Sagehood 63 3.2. Auditing or the Investigation of Things with Sincerity 70 3.3 Study 80 Conclusion 93 Works Cited 101 i


Finding Confucianism in Scientology: a Comparative Analysis John A. Kieffer ABSTRACT Scientology holds considerable interest for scholars of new religious movements. As such, this study aims to contribute new data and insight to ongoing theoretical work within this area of religious studies scholarship. Engaged in this inquiry are the similarities between Scientology, the new religious movement founded in 1951 by L. Ron Hubbard (1911-1986), and the Chinese religion, Confucianism, which originates with the teachings of Confucius (551-479 BCE). Though Hubbard admits being influenced by eastern thinking such as Buddhism and Daoism in shaping his worldview, he specifically discounts Confucius as relevant in this regard. However, through comparisons between Scientology and Confucianism, this study demonstrates that there are significant and numerous instances of similarities between the two religions ranging from their worldviews to concomitant soteriologies. In the cosmogonies of Scientology and Neo-Confucianism, for example, the world comes about from the interplay of two cosmic phenomena: 1) an ordering, non-physical life force, termed in this study as the quasi-transcendent and 2) the physical. All life, including human beings, occurs as the quasi-transcendent realm combines with the physical, creating three homogeneous, coextensive, and teleologically interdependent parts: 1) the quasi-transcendent domain, 2) the physical universe, and 3) the human sphere. ii


Comparing both traditions further, human beings are innately good, endowed as such by the benevolent influence of their quasi-transcendent component. Error, or evil, is rendered no ontological status and is rationalized as confusion caused by the obfuscating effect of the minds physical constituent upon its benevolent counterpart. Self-transformation occurs as the physical component of the human mind is purified restoring profound ontological awareness and cosmic creativity. A notion absent in Confucianism, which could be assessed as a significant theological difference between these traditions, is Scientologys reincarnation theme. This aspect, however, is peripheral to the larger conceptual model that both these religions share. iii


Introduction In 1951, L. Ron Hubbard (1911-1986) announced a new religion called Scientology. Asserting that Scientology came about as a result of discovery, Hubbard credited Eastern religions, including those of China, as providing material for discovery that he maintained laid the foundation for the religions worldview. However, as it will be shown below, Hubbard discounts the importance of Confucianism in the formulation of Scientology. Given, however, that Confucianism is inextricable from the religious milieu paradigmatic to Chinas religious history and to the cultural milieu that Hubbard personally came into contact with in his youth, it is incredulous that the tenets of Confucianism did not permeate, even if unidentifiable to Hubbard, into his overall comprehension of the Chinese worldview. This realization came about through my graduate coursework in Confucianism at the University of South Florida. Throughout my engagement of the primary and secondary texts of Confucianism, I found numerous and significant conceptual parallels to Scientology. Building on this observation and using the analytic tools utilized in religious studies research, I have developed these leads into the formal study presented here. Several general questions may be asked about this matter. The first and foremost issue deals with the larger issue of relevance: Why do such a study? Who would be interested in these results? What benefits may be derived from this inquiry? The second set of questions is substantive and focuses on the research data and synthesis of results of 1


the study. Concerning methodology, how were similarities uncovered? What choices were made to differentiate the significant aspects of these religions from extraneous parts? What data was used and how was it selected? Are the comparisons uncovered similar in both form and function? Do multiple comparisons integrate in similar ways to explain the world and answer existential questions of human concern? Does the study reveal a common underlying design? In respect to the relevance of this venture, Scientology has been and will, in all probability, continue to be the focus of media attention. As James Lewis notes in his recently published book, Scientology, this religion is arguably the most persistently controversial of all contemporary new religious movements. 1 The consequent media and public attention offers an excellent opportunity for religious studies scholarship, such as this inquiry, to provide credibly informative perspectives to shed needed light on this cultural phenomenon. For the general public as well as governmental policy makers, this insight may serve to improve an understanding of Scientologists as legitimate members of pluralistic religious communities. In academic circles, this research project may be of interest to scholars of religious studies, particularly those in the field of new religious movements who study and write about Scientology. For them, the inquiry may reveal a new perspective about this new religious movement that, to my knowledge, has never been engaged in a formal and systematic manner. To scholars of Chinese religions, the results demonstrate that fundamental Confucian beliefs, though configured for the contemporary consumer of religion, remain powerfully viable and competitive in the postmodern religious 1 James R. Lewis, ed., Scientology (Oxford: Oxford Press, 2009), 4. 2


marketplace. To students of religion, this work may illuminate Scientology and Confucianism in a manner that may not be attained by studying either religion in isolation. Finally, for Scientologists around the globe, this work reveals yet another dimension of the ancient foundations underlying the religious worldview that provides for them the critical answers to their questions of ultimate concern. In respect to the second set of questions, which focus on the substantive issues of the study, a few words should initially be dedicated to expressing the big picture of what this study sets about to accomplish and how I propose to bridge what appears to be two very different religions. As with any other venture, the critical first moves are to determine, first, precisely where one wishes to go (the objective/thesis) and, secondly, how one thinks s/he might get there (the strategy/methodology). In this case, the objective was to clearly and convincingly demonstrate a broad conceptual relationship between Scientology and Confucianism. The strategy was evident from preliminary work that the connection between these religions was in the domain of conceptual content: how the adherents of both traditions comprehended their respective worlds and how they believed they could transcend their mundane existence in it. The tactical plan of the strategy was to find corresponding conceptual features throughout multiple aspects of each religion and, through comparative analysis, bridge a robust connection between the two. What emerges from this strategy is a fascinating common model underlying both religions. The form is simple: the universe is composed of two basic elements, one that is non-physical and one physical. All aspects of reality are defined within this context: the composition of the universe and all life in it including human. The non-physical element 3


is associated with ultimate power, order and benevolence while the physical provides the form onto which its benevolent counterpart can fuse into and operate. A consequence of this arrangement is that the benevolent component in the human is prevented from fully actualizing due to its intermingling with its unpurified physical part, which for the human, manifests as erroneous or evil behavior. This predicament is solved by corrective rituals that purify the physical component and concomitantly restores the humans full cosmic awareness and ability. Without doubt, contrasts do exist and these are noted in the study. The most apparent of these is the presence of a reincarnation theme in Scientology. However, it will be obvious that even this aspect, which may seem significant, is peripheral to the larger cosmic format that these religions share. Returning to the substantive issues of the study, a brief overview of Hubbards thinking may be a helpful next step. Hubbards venture begins as a theory of the mind described in his book, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, published in 1950. This best selling book inspired individuals to form groups to apply Hubbards therapeutic technique called auditing. In the following year, he added a spiritual dimension to his earlier thesis, a combined theory that formed a new religious idea that he called Scientology. 2 In 1954, the year in which the first Church of Scientology was established, Hubbard gave a series of presentations, titled the Phoenix Lectures, explaining what Scientology was and how he had discovered it. During one such lecture titled Scientology, its General Background, Hubbard spoke at length of the significance that eastern religious thinking played in the formulation of his new religion. Suggesting a 2 Ibid. 5. 4


source of his inspiration, Hubbard referred to his personal contact with the indigenous religions of India and China: I went over to the Far East [A]lthough, I was a young American, I did pay attention. I had many friends in the Western Hills of China friends in India and I was willing to listen. [Though] I was also willing to be suspicious and distrustful I was never willing to completely turn aside from the fact that there was some possible solution to the riddle of where Man came from. 3 Throughout this lecture, Hubbard told of discovering profound truths revealed in the ancient scriptures of the Hindu Vedas; Lao Tzes Dao De Jing; and those of Buddhism, particularly the Dhammapada, which he ascribed traditional authorship to Gautama (Buddha). 4 Of these religions, Hubbards lecture points to Buddhism as having the greatest relevance to his work. 5 Of Confucianism, per se, he makes no mention. About Confucius, however, he notes that he got most of his material from some ancient Chinese works and states Confucius was a model philosopher to have in a government. 6 Hubbard points out that Confucius, and by extension, Confucianism, were unimportant to the discovery process in Scientologys development. As Hubbard states: Now, Confucius is of no great interest to us. He is of no great interest to us because Confucius was codifying conduct most of the time. 7 In over three-thousand lectures and thirty-seven thousand pages of text, 8 these words summarize the extent of Hubbards mention of Confucius or Confucianism in relation to any influence that this Chinese tradition may have played in his new religion. 3 L. Ron Hubbard, Phoenix Lectures: Freeing the Human Spirit (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2007), 59. 4 Ibid., 45. 5 Ibid., 37-45. 6 Ibid., 42. 7 Ibid., 42. 8 Golden Age of Knowledge for Eternity: a Presentation by Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board, RTC, produced and directed by Golden Era Productions, 2007, DVD. 5


In all fairness to Hubbard, it may be possible that the Confucian influence demonstrated in this study may have come into Scientology by some other means; for example, through his reported contact with Buddhism in China. The religious milieu that he would have come into contact with, shaped centuries prior, had harmonized Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism into a formulation known as the three-in-one doctrine. Conceived by the Confucian scholar, Lin Zhaoen, in the 16 th century, this formulation subjected Buddhism and Daoism to the teachings of Confucius and the ideals of Confucianism. 9 Even though the doctrine was officially proclaimed heretical by the ruling dynasty from the seventeenth to the early twentieth century, this religious tripartite nonetheless transcended censorship and maintained its influence on Chinese life into present day China. 10 Nonetheless, how Confucianism may have entered into Hubbards worldview is not explored in this inquiry; instead, what will be addressed is the demonstrable fact that both religions share extensive and significant similarities. The following provides an overview of how this inquiry will proceed to answer the balance of the substantive questions posed earlier. Chapter 1 will identify and discuss methodological philosophies and the rationale behind the selected method for this study. Next, the elements comprising the body of the study will be described along with the sources that will provide data for the analysis. An overview of the essential features of each religion deemed relevant to the study will complete this initial chapter. 9 Xinzhong Yao, An Introduction to Confucianism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 228. 10 Ibid., 228-9. 6


Chapter 2 will analyze by comparison and contrast the worldviews of each religion. This general area contains the metaphysical dimension providing an array of beliefs that through comparison and analysis form bridges between these religions. Aspects in this sphere include cosmogony, cosmology and theodicy, particularly the existence of error, or evil, within a benevolently sourced cosmology. The analyses of the various facets will show that they are not only similar in form but function in identical ways for both religions. Chapter 3 further engages the metaphysical realm of each religion by considering the topic of soteriology expressed in both religions as self-transformation. It will consider what constitutes a self-transformed human being and the strategies to achieve such an ultimate human expression of the good. Analysis will show that both soteriologies rely on similar aspects of their respective worldviews to legitimate comparable praxes of self-transformation. Finally, the conclusion will coordinate the results of the individual analyses to reveal a holistic conceptual pattern: a common underlying design that operates identically in each religion. Such overarching congruency may convincingly suggest that Hubbard, regardless of whether or not he was aware of it, did indeed include Confucianism into his formulation of Scientology. 7


Chapter 1: Methodology and Overview This chapter discusses the methodology utilized to produce useful information in support of the objective of the thesis. It describes the structure and elements of the study and makes an accounting of the main textual sources that provided data for analysis. Finally, it presents an overview of the more relevant and essential features of Scientology and Confucianism. 1.1 Methodology In the academic study of religion, two overarching theoretical philosophies, functional and substantive, have been identified as templates for such ventures. To select the best approach, the general features of each philosophy will briefly be reviewed. The functional approach differentiates religious expression into its compelling forces understood from disciplines such as social, psychological, economic and other theoretical frameworks. 11 Theories in this model explore beyond the adherents conceptual content of their beliefs to explain religion. 12 Alternatively, the substantive approach focuses on observable features and characteristics, for example, a religions myths and rituals. Importantly, the substantive mode focuses on beliefs: the conceptual content or ideas to which a religions adherents subscribe to. 13 Given that this inquiry focuses primarily on conceptual content, the substantive approach is clearly the best choice. The methodology within this 11 Daniel L. Pals, Seven Theories of Religion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), 13. 12 Ibid. 13 Ibid., 12. 8


general approach will include the identification and categorization of the features of each religion, comparing and contrasting them, and synthesizing and analyzing results. The first step within this methodological framework was to identify the respective metaphysical beliefs within each tradition for comparative analysis. The theoretical framework of the study considered two broad areas for inquiry: 1) What elements and processes configured the cosmos (worldview); and 2) how were soteriological goals (self-transformation) achieved within this cosmology? These questions form two chapters of this study, titled Worldview and Self-transformation, which are further differentiated into subset categories listed and described below. Within each category, data representing the conceptual content subscribed to by adherents of each religion was located and described. The pattern followed throughout the study was to present aspects of Scientology first, followed by their analogies found in Confucianism. Comparisons between features in each category were located and analyzed. Significant contrasts, particularly in the worldview chapter, were noted and explained. The final step in this methodology summarizes the results of the analysis. This holistic representation depicts a common underlying design illustrating a broad and profound conceptual relationship that exists between these religions. As indicated, the body of the study is partitioned into two parts or chapters. Chapter 2 reveals the metaphysical components of each tradition and how they are used to formulate notions of cosmogony, cosmology and theodicy for each religion. The initial section in this chapter explores cosmogony: how the world comes about. This step is necessary to understand the basic components and forces that are believed to comprise the cosmos, which legitimate explanations about the human beings connection within it. 9


Building on these basic elements, the next section in this chapter explores the composition of human beings within each traditions respective cosmologies. In these first two sections, significant theological contrasts are noted and expanded upon. The third section demonstrates how the basic elements of the cosmos legitimate respective theodicies to explain the presence of error, or evil. The fourth section illustrates how both traditions segment the world in similar ways. Fifth, Hubbards theories akin to Confucian harmony show how the basic elements of the cosmos produce this dynamic ongoing tension. Lastly, the sixth section shows how this cosmic tension leads to theologies explaining human emotions. Chapter 3 shows how each religion formulates and legitimates its soteriological goals within the cosmology described in the previous chapter. As such, the metaphysical dimension is further revealed in the tactics that are devised to extract human beings from a mundane, meaningless existence into one directed toward the goal of experiencing ultimate reality. In both traditions, this is expressed as the realization of human perfectibility through rituals of self-transformation. The first section explores the ontology of the perfected being. The section that follows analyzes the ritual processes of inquiry that produce transformative ontological insight. The final section considers the role and correct techniques of study necessary for the attainment of ultimate human achievement. These analyses uses data gathered from the primary and secondary texts from each religion. For Scientology, I utilized the primary texts authored by Hubbard and transcripts of his lectures to provide the majority of this information. These materials include a newly enhanced version of his books and lectures that are typically used for 10


introductory and foundational Scientology courses as well as sold for public consumption. Released in 2007, these resources are marketed by the Church of Scientology as the Basics. In this new format, a helpful feature not found in Hubbards older publications is the inclusion of indexes, which greatly facilitated research of specific topics across some eighteen of these books and numerous lecture transcripts. These books describe the essential concepts and features of Scientology that formulate its worldview, ethics and strategies to bring order into ones life and the world. Adding to this store of primary sources is Hubbards Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary. This resource defines the cryptic terminology of Scientology concepts exclusively through excerpts of Hubbards personal writings. Also employed are several volumes from his Technical Bulletins and The Organization Executive Course series that are all characteristically utilized as references and study material by academy students, professional auditors (ritual practitioners) and administrators associated with Scientology institutions. These texts, written mostly in an esoteric style decipherable to Scientologists, expand upon the fundamentals introduced in the Basics and delve into specific applications of his theories. These sources reveal the metaphysical details inherent to Hubbards worldview and critical to his strategy for self-transformation. A helpful secondary source used in this project was Harriet Whiteheads Renunciation and Reformulation, a comprehensive study of the beliefs and practices of Scientology. Her work unpacks and structures Hubbards theories and practices, which are presented and described in many parts throughout several texts, into coherent and usable packets of information. Methodologically, her formulations of theory and practice provided direction in researching the primary texts. 11


For the Confucian tradition, I considered the social and historical dimension of Confucianism in the selection of the texts that were utilized. The following explains the historical realities and assumptions that guided this methodological decision making. Given that Hubbard had spent time in China, reported to have been one or more trips commencing in 1927, 14 I felt that the data should reflect the Confucian worldview that may have been most familiar to his contacts in the indigenous culture. In this regard, historians report that a compilation of texts by Zhu Xi (1130-1200), known as the Four Books and discussed below, were used as the basis of imperial civil service examinations from the fourteenth to the early twentieth century (1905). 15 The methodological assumption based on these two historical facts concludes that Hubbards contact with Confucianism would have likely reflected Zhu Xis Neo-Confucianism and his canon of the Four Books: specifically, the primary texts of the Analects, the Book of Mencius and two chapters from the Book of Rites. 16 For the first book in this series, I selected the most recent English translation titled, Confucius Analects with Selections from Traditional Commentaries, by Edward Slingerland, Assistant Professor of Religion and East Asian Language and Culture at the University of Southern California. The source for the remaining three texts is provided by Smith College Professor of History, Daniel K. Gardner: The Four Books: the Basic Teachings of the Later Confucian Tradition. An invaluable resource for Zhu Xis and other Neo-Confucian writings was A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy. The primary texts in this source were translated and commented upon by one of the worlds foremost 14 Robert S. Ellwood and Harry B. Partin, Religious and Spiritual Groups in Modern America, 2 nd ed. (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1988), 141. 15 Wing-tsit Chan, A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1963), 589. 16 Ibid., 589. 12


scholars of Chinese philosophy and religion, Wing-Tsit Chan, Professor of Philosophy at Chatham College and Professor Emeritus of Chinese Culture and Philosophy at Dartmouth College. The secondary sources for this research include two works by Harvard University Professor of Chinese History and Philosophy, Tu Wei-ming. Titled Humanity and Self Cultivation: Essays in Confucian Thought and Confucian Thought: Selfhood in Creative Transformation, his essays unpack and explain the Confucian tradition in the context of philosophical, historical and other contemporary disciplines. Xinzhong Yaos An Introduction to Confucianism provides the background to sort through Confucianisms vast historical and philosophic underpinnings. Dr. Yao is the Chair of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Wales. 1.2 Overview of Compared Religions Scientology Scholars of religion categorize Scientology as a New Religious Movement. Steve Bruce, writing in Religion in the Modern World, asserts that new religious movements developed within the context of secularization: 17 the process by which the dominance of religious institutions and symbols is marginalized or removed within segments of society. 18 Bruce points out that for centuries secularization has driven the evolution and 17 Steve Bruce, Religion in the Modern World: From Cathedrals to Cults (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1996), 26. 18 Peter Berger, The Sacred Canopy: the Social Construction of Reality (New York: Anchor Books, 1990), 107. 13


differentiation of religious expression from the pre-Reformation church through present day cults. 19 The retreating domination of traditional religion and its consequent fragmentation has, as Bruce writes, allowed a flowering of New Age innovations. 20 Within secularized societies the paradigm of a single truth or absolute corpus of knowledge had become an obsolete notion; 21 hence, unleashed from this fragmented plausibility structure is a robust expression of individual and personal preferences satisfied by innovative ways of answering questions of ultimate concern. It is within this receptive social milieu that in 1951 Hubbard introduces Scientology, a new way of addressing age old existential issues still relevant to secularized consumers of religion. Hubbards cosmology depicts the world as an ancient and ongoing interaction between two phenomena of ultimate reality: the spiritual realm of theta and, its counterpart, the physical universe called MEST, an acronym representing matter, energy, space and time. 22 He conceptualizes theta as a life force having no physical characteristics that acts upon and animates the MEST world. 23 Hubbards theology proposes the composition of human beings as being formed of three components, theta, mind and body. 24 He further asserts that a person is not his mere physical form but is instead a theta being, 25 or thetan. 19 Bruce, 4. 20 Ibid. 21 Ibid., 5. 22 L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1981), 248. 23 Ibid., 429. 24 L. Ron Hubbard, The Fundamentals of Thought (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 65. 25 L. Ron. Hubbard, Scientology: A History of Man (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 21. 14


Hubbard differentiates what can be considered a closed cosmos into eight life impulses termed dynamics. 26 This cosmic pattern, called the Eight Dynamics, can be depicted as eight concentric set of spheres starting with the individual self at the center that progresses outward in ever increasing magnitudes encompassing family, group, mankind, animal and the physical universe. These first six dynamics represent theta intermingled with MEST in contrast to the final two, the seventh and eighth dynamics, distinguished entirely as non-MEST realms and designated as the Theta and Infinity/God dynamics, respectively. 27 The mythology 28 of Scientology posits that thetans have been around, through a cycle of births, deaths and rebirths, for trillions of years: a time continuum that he terms the whole track. 29 This myth further asserts that though thetans created MEST, they became trapped in their creation, the result of a catastrophic event in the distant past. As time passed, the increasingly occluding effect of MEST caused them to forget their real identities as powerful spiritual entities. Each and every lifetime on the whole track encumbers thetans with an ever increasing bank of painful pictures, known as engrams, which gradually erode their control over MEST making them ever more the victims of its deleterious, power depleting effect. This phenomenon Hubbard describes as entheta: a thetan that has been confused and chaotically mixed with MEST. 30 Given this bleak outlook, the future immortality of any thetan clearly becomes contingent upon taking the appropriate actions in the present. Therefore, without the 26 Hubbard, Dictionary, 128. 27 Ibid. 128-131. 28 Mythology, or myth, in the context of religious studies means the sacred narratives that convey ultimate truths for the adherents of a religion. 29 Hubbard, History of Man, 3-5. 30 Hubbard, Dictionary, 144. 15


intervention of Scientology, the thetan will, with every future lifetime, gradually lose more of its inherent power to affect MEST and eventually succumb as its total effect. To reverse this cosmic plunge into obscurity, Scientology offers the remedy through self-transformative processes known as auditing and through training regimens. These two forms of transformative practices restore theta by diminishing obfuscating mental MEST. The imperative then for the Scientologist is to engage in these self-transforming practices in a career path to attain ever greater levels of transformation. The objectives in this path are categorized by an intermediate goal termed Clear, followed by increasingly powerful levels of existence known as Operating Thetan. Though self-transformation is of paramount importance to the Scientologist, for Hubbard, it is but a critical part of Scientologys most basic objective: to clear the planet. A cleared planet is a utopian world where Scientology can operate safely within a society populated by entirely sane people who no longer are the effect of MEST. 31 By working toward this goal, the Scientologist must apply Hubbards spiritual technology along all the dynamics of humanity, life, and the universe, an action that is in itself fundamentally self-transformative and, moreover, intrinsically associated with Scientologys highest personal ideal: the Operating Thetan. Confucianism Conventional Chinese historiography locates the ethical roots of Confucian tradition to the Golden Age of the mythic sage-kings of the pre-Confucian dynasties as far back as the legendary Xia dynasty, which is claimed to have existed from 2205 to 31 Harriet Whitehead, Renunciation and Reformation (Ithica: Cornell University Press, 1987), 278. 16


1766 BCE. 32 Traditional scholars of imperial China would attribute to the sage-kings of the Xia, Shang and the early (Western) Zhou dynasties authorship of the Five Classics. These texts, allegedly compiled by Confucius (551-479 BCE) and seen as the ancients blueprints for civilization, would become paradigmatic to the history of Confucianism. 33 The tradition, per se, formulates during the unstable period of the later (Eastern) Zhou dynasty (770-221 BCE) in part as an attempt to restore the utopia of the legendary Golden Era. During this era the first of its philosophers, beginning with Confucius in the latter part of the Spring and Autumn period (770-476 BCE), marked the initial stage of this Chinese religion. 34 His original teachings, documented in later years as the Analects, are considered the classical form of Confucianism. 35 Confucius viewed his purpose as one of rectifying social and moral decadence to both remedy the diminishing power of the Zhou kings and restore the lost Golden Age. Confucius reckoned that his world had become corrupted through two factors: increased human shortcomings such as desire, laziness and self-indulgence; and, the corruption of traditions particularly in areas of ritual practices, music and language. 36 For Confucius, the restoration of the Golden Age could be best facilitated not by men of noble birth but by those of noble character. 37 Critical to Confucius calculus was the metaphysical element of tian, translated loosely as Heaven. Conceptually, tian had evolved from earlier dynasties revered sky god, particularly, Shang Di, the Lord on High, an anthropomorphic ruler deity who could 32 Confucius Analects: With Selections from Traditional Commentaries, trans. by Edward Slingerland (Indianopolis: Hacket Publishing Company, 2003), xvixx. 33 Michael Nylan, The Five Confucian Classics (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001), 16. 34 Xinzhong Yao, An Introduction to Confucianism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 7. 35 Ibid., 7.. 36 Analects, xxiii. 37 Nylan, 9. 17


be both angered and placated. 38 Apparently from several passages in the Analects, the concept of Heaven for Confucius was ontological: a cosmic being in control of the workings of the world and the destiny of human beings. 39 Another teaching of Confucius suggests that ultimate reality as the Way of Heaven is a non-ontological dimension apparent in nature, which defined for human beings the proper course to be adhered to. 40 In either case, Heaven embodied a set of moral principles guiding self-cultivation and social harmony. The Analects convey that the implementation of the correct tradition of the Golden Age of the sage-kings provides the foundation for imperfect human beings to attain the Way of Heaven and restore harmony or order between human, societal and cosmic realms. 41 Within this first stage of Confucianism, scholars of the Warring States period (475-221 BCE) refined and elucidated Confucius teachings. Most notable among them were the idealistic Mencius (372-289 BCE) and rationalistic Xunzi (313?-238? BCE). 42 Mencius proposed a metaphysical vision of Confucianism that posited human nature as innately good. He argued that if humans were left to follow their feelings, or original nature, they would naturally do good. Moreover, Mencius claimed that no natural capacity endowed by Heaven can account for evil, instead evil manifests as a function of a persons environment. 43 Xunzi, in contrast, developed a humanistic rationalism. 44 Although tian included a mystical aspect, it was nonetheless a natural objective phenomenon that 38 Analects, 239. 39 Yao, 145. 40 Ibid., 149. 41 Analects, xxiii. 42 Yao, xiv, 7, 71. 43 Chan, 54-5. 44 Yao, 72, 79. 18


offered no intervention, purpose or guidance in respect to human beings. 45 However, humans could emulate tian in creating a thriving social order. He further contrasts with Mencius by hypothesizing that human xing, or inborn nature, is bad and that human goodness comes about not from any metaphysical endowment but from human effort. 46 The second stage of Confucian evolution, ranging generally through and slightly beyond the Han dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE) was a period of further theological developments including one that became foundational to a revitalized Confucianism: the establishment of the metaphysical doctrine of interaction between Heaven and humans. 47 It was during this period (136 BCE) that the Five Classics were mandated as curriculum in state sponsored Confucian, or more accurately, orthodox or official, learning 48 carried out in the Imperial Academy. 49 During the post-Han period of this stage, Confucian and Daoist philosophies would adapt each others worldviews giving rise to Dark or Mysterious Learning. 50 Among the important insights resulting from these syncretizations, and influential to Neo-Confucian thinking in the following centuries, are its metaphysical renderings of the cosmos featuring the dual components of metaphysic principle (li) and material force (qi). 51 The third and final stage occurs from the Song (960-1279) through the Ming (1368-1644) dynasties. By the Song the official Confucian canon had expanded from 45 Janghee Lee, Xunzi and Early Chinese Naturalism (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2005), 22-3. 46 Ibid., 24-7. 47 Yao, 8. 48 Nylan, 2,5. 49 The Four Books, trans. by Daniel K. Gardner (Indianapolis: Hacket Publishing, 2007), xviii. 50 Yao, 8. 51 Ibid., 91. 19


five to thirteen books; 52 these additions included the Analects and the Book of Mencius, among others. 53 During this stage, Confucianism reestablished its religious and social influence across all aspects of Chinese life. 54 Operating in a religious milieu influenced by, and in reaction to, the substantially metaphysical worldviews of Buddhism and Daoism, Confucian philosophers reformulated their tradition as the Cheng-Zhu school or True Way Learning (Daoxue), known by western scholars as Neo-Confucianism. 55 Though many thinkers can be included as important to this phase, most influential to True Way Learning is Zhu Xi (1130-1200). Zhu Xi threads an orthodox line of transmission for the Neo-Confucian school anchoring it on two classical Confucians: Confucius and Mencius. The philosophers that he places into this line, Zhou Dunyi, Zhang Zai and the Cheng brothers were seen by Zhu Xi as instrumental to the evolution of Neo-Confucian thought. 56 Zhou Dunyi (1017-1073), called a pioneer of Neo-Confucianism, opened up new horizons for what would evolve into this school of thought. 57 Relying on one of the traditional classics, the Book of Changes, Zhou Dunyi produced two important treatises, one of which was the Tai-chi-tu shuo (An Explanation of the Diagram of the Great Ultimate). In this he proposed a cosmological design of the universe in which yin and yang emanated from the Great Ultimate to become the Five Elements, 58 the generative forces producing the myriad things of the universe. 59 52 Four Books, xviii. 53 Ibid. 54 Yao, 8. 55 Nylan, 365. 56 Chan, 589. 57 Ibid., 460. 58 The Five Elements are Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth. 59 Chan, 460. 20


Zhang Zai (1020-1077) differs from Zhou Dunyi by rejecting yin and yang and the Five Elements as generative forces and relegating these instead as aspects of material force (qi). 60 In his cosmogony, Zhang Zai posits undifferentiated qi as identical with the Great Ultimate, which he calls the Great Vacuity. 61 In its differentiated configuration, however, qi becomes the Great Harmony dividing into a clear, light ascending substance, yang or Heaven, and the turbid, yin or Earth, which sinks downward. 62 In this way the existence of the world and everything in it is comprehended as the perpetual integration and disintegration of these aspects of reality. Chan notes that this posited perpetuity of the world distanced Confucianism from the Buddhist notion of annihilation and the Daoist ideal of non-being. 63 Cheng Hao (1032-1085) and his brother, Cheng Yi (1033-1107) developed their philosophy upon Zhang Zais notion of the Principle of Nature, also called Tien-li or the Principle of Heaven. 64 For them, all things in the world, including human beings, are composed of the incorporeal, principle (li) and the corporeal, material force (qi). Because principle is immanent and shared by all things, the world including human beings is understood as one body. 65 Zhu Xi established the Four Books as foundational to True Way Learning: the Analects; the Book of Mencius; and two chapters from a text of the Five Classics, the Book of Rites: the Great Learning and the Doctrine of the Mean. 66 Moreover, Zhu Xis exegeses within the Four Books eliminated any Buddhist or Daoist influence that had 60 Ibid., 495. 61 Ibid. 62 Ibid., 495, 503. 63 Ibid., 495. 64 Ibid., 519. 65 Ibid. 66 Ibid.,589. 21


been present in earlier thinking making Neo-Confucianism truly Confucian. 67 From 1313 to 1905, 68 the Four Books with Zhus commentaries would be central to most Chinese boys studies in preparation for the rigorous imperial civil service examinations. 69 The theory forwarded by Zhu Xi perceived the cosmos as an ongoing interaction between two expressions of the Great Ultimate: principle (li) and material force (qi). He posited human beings as the synthesis of both of these cosmic components. Principle, representing the goodness of Heaven, is endowed equally among all humans; in contrast, material force is bestowed variably ranging qualitatively from pure and clear to turbid. The clarity or obfuscation of endowed material force either conveys or obscures the expression of principles goodness; hence, the type of material force determines a human beings disposition that can range from good to evil. Therefore, Zhu Xi asserts that the highest attainment of humanity, sagehood, generically represents an individual endowed with a pure and clear material force, as well as fully realized principle. 70 Besides principle and material force, a third component unique to human beings is the mind, which is asserted as the master of the body. 71 For Zhu Xi, the mind is dichotomized as the moral mind, composed of original principle, and the human mind, comprised of a combination of principle and the manifestation of material force: physical endowment and human desires. 72 His philosophy forwards that through the cultivation of the mind, meaning, learning and the investigation of things with 67 Ibid. 68 Ibid. 69 Four Books, xiv. 70 Ibid., 598-9. 71 Ibid., 619. 72 Ibid., 590. 22


seriousness, humans can transform the minds obfuscating material force into a clear state thus transforming the human mind into the moral mind. 73 The ultimate objective of this self-transformation is the realization of sagehood. 74 73 Ibid., 591. 74 Ibid., 599, 604, 625. 23


Chapter 2 Worldview This chapter analyzes a broad theological area, labeled worldview, that contains a rich metaphysical dimension shaped and expressed in several ways by each religions doctrines. Aspects that will be considered for comparison and contrast include cosmogony, cosmology and theodicy. The analyses will show that corresponding concepts found in Scientology and Confucianism are very similar in both form and function. Moreover, as the chapter unfolds, these multiple corresponding features will be shown to integrate in similar ways to configure closely corresponding worldviews. Chapter 2.1 Theta and MEST or Heaven and Earth This section will demonstrate that for both religions ultimate reality is a cosmic unity dichotomized as two interacting cosmic realms: 1) an ordering, benevolent and non-physical life force, identified in this study as the quasi-transcendent realm, and 2) the physical realm. For both traditions, life in the physical universe results from the coextensive integration of the quasi-transcendent with the physical realm. Hubbard conceptualizes these two cosmic realms as 1) the spiritual or theta, and 2) the physical universe, which he terms MEST, an acronym representing its constituents that he describes below: The physical universe consists of four elements matter, energy, space and time. According to nuclear physics, matter is composed of energy such as electrons and protons. And the energy and the matter exist in space and time we need not go 24


very far into it to understand that the universe in which we live is composed of simple things arranged and rearranged to make many forms and manifestations. 75 Pertaining to the quasi-transcendent phase of the cosmos, Hubbard utilizes the mathematical symbol, termed theta (), and describes this aspect as having no motion width, length, breadth, depth mass wavelength [and] situation in time and space. 76 Though absent of any features that could empirically be measured by physical sciences, Hubbard posits theta as thought, life force, the spirit, the soul the energy peculiar to life [that] acts upon material in the physical universe and animates it. 77 Moreover, not only does theta animate MEST, Hubbard reveals that it is its creator as well: the physical universe is a product of theta. 78 Explaining this phenomenon in scientific terms, Hubbard points out that physicists have demonstrated that matter seems to be composed of energy [that] has become condensed in certain patterns. 79 Given, as he further asserts, that Scientology has demonstrated that energy seems to be produced and emanate from theta, he concludes the following: Thus it could be considered that theta, producing energy, condenses the space in which the energy is contained, which then becomes matter. 80 Hubbards conclusion shows that what appears as separate domains is at its most fundamental level, a cosmic unity. The phenomenon of life becomes a product of the cosmic interface between the two domains. The interplay between theta and MEST produces life and, conversely, the absence of such interaction is death. 81 75 L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology: a New Slant on Life (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 57. 76 L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology 8-8008 (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007) 23. 77 Hubbard, Dictionary, 429. 78 Hubbard, 8-8008, 24. 79 Ibid. 80 Ibid. 25


Theta also creates order in the universe as the following two examples from the Scientology text, Advanced Procedures and Axioms, demonstrate. In this role, it is noteworthy that theta is seen as a benevolent and positive influence upon MEST. Axiom 9: A fundamental operation of theta in surviving is bringing order into the chaos of the universe. Axiom 10: Theta brings order into chaos by conquering whatever in MEST may be pro-survival and destroying whatever in MEST may be contra-survival, at least through the medium of life organisms. 82 A final example illustrating Hubbards monistic cosmos can be gleaned from his theory of the Eight Dynamics, a doctrine that will be further engaged in a later section. This design presents a continuum of inclusive spheres of life that increase in magnitude: the first through the sixth dynamics are self, family, group, humanity, animal, physical universe; seventh and eighth, theta/spiritual and Supreme Being/God/Infinity. Like layers of an onion, each larger dynamic is inclusive of all the previous ones. This model of the cosmos, though inclusive of all reality, can be dichotomized: the first six dynamics describe the physical universe and the last two dimensions convey it as void of MEST. Though Hubbard is virtually silent about the Eighth Dynamic -at least in sources made available to the public by the Church of Scientology -it is significant for this analysis that the remaining seven dynamics are subordinate in magnitude and emanate from this inclusive ultimate dimension. A similar cosmos is represented in the Chinese comprehension of reality. Its two basic components are termed in the following manner: the quasi-transcendent is called 81 Ibid., 15. 82 L. Ron Hubbard, Advanced Procedures and Axioms, (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 169-70. 26


heaven (tian), li, or principle and the physical dimension is identified as earth, qi, or material force. Manifesting as matter, spirits and energy interacting over space and time, material force, or qi, is a configurative energy conveying no distinction pertaining to structure and function. 83 Qis (earth/material force) counterpart, tian (heaven/principle) traces its antecedence to the anthropomorphic Shang Di: High God of Chinese antiquity. Apparent from several passages in the Analects, Confucius comprehended the concept of tian as a cosmic being in control of the workings of the world and the destiny of human beings. 84 In other passages, Confucius held ultimate reality as a causal, cosmic force and source of goodness, which silently imparted order and harmony upon the earthly domain. 85 As the Way of Heaven this concept defined the proper course for human beings. 86 This reticent power, which acts upon and animates the physical universe, is identified in the Analects: The Master replied, What does Heaven ever say? Yet the four seasons are put in motion by it, and the myriad of creatures receive their life from it. What does Heaven ever say? [17:19] 87 For the Confucian, failure, chaos and disaster signified an absent or inadequate incorporation of heavens principles with material force. 88 As mentioned in the previous chapter, Zhang Zai developed earlier Confucian cosmogonies. His theory depicts qi that operates in two ways: first, as the source of the universe -the Supreme or Great Ultimate and, second, as the force that generates its 83 James Behuniak, Jr., Mencius on Becoming Human (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2005), 3. 84 Yao,145. 85 Neville, 27. 86 Yao, 149. 87 Analects, 208. 88 Neville, 27. 27


infinite transformations. Existing primordially as the Great Void, the universe emerged from a series of contractions that differentiated qi into light and heavy parts. Represented by yang and yin, respectively, these parts vertically separated: the lighter component ascended as the qi of heaven (principle) and the heavier descended as the qi of earth (material force). It is this interaction of Heaven and Earth, or principle and material force, which engendered everything in the universe, both visible and invisible. Visible things result from consolidated qi (material force) whereas unconsolidated or dissolved qi (material force) manifest as shapeless and invisible. 89 Zhu Xi elaborates that material force both integrates with principle to produce life and disintegrates to produce death. 90 As the final part of this section, I will present several comparisons and a significant contrast in respect to the world and its origins. First, both religions conceive the cosmos as a unity differentiated into two distinct phenomena: 1) the quasi-transcendent: theta for Scientology and heaven (tian) or principle (li) for Confucianism; and 2) the physical: MEST and earth or material force (qi). In this way, an ultimate life impulse or principle is conceptualized as the unity of the Eighth Dynamic or Great Void from which emanates a dichotomized cosmos. Secondly, in both cosmogonies, a quasi-transcendent realm creates the physical domain, MEST or material force, through the directed solidification of the life force inherent to the quasi-transcendent realm. The physical domain in both cosmologies, though in constant flux and reconfiguration, is ordered by its benevolent coextensive counterpart, theta or heaven. The interaction of theta or heaven with its physical 89 Yao, 102. 90 Chan, 637. 28


counterpart creates life and its retreat or absence from the physical domain terminates the life form. A contrast that should be noted in this summary concerns the creation of the physical realm. For Hubbard, MEST is created by theta, which it was shown above, exists subordinate by one magnitude to what Hubbard intermittently calls the Supreme Being, God or Infinity dynamic. This sphere of ultimate reality may be compared to Zhang Zais Supreme or Great Ultimate or the primordial Great Void. In the Confucian cosmogony, it is from the Great Void that both the qi of heaven (principle) and qi of earth (material force) simultaneously emerge from a previously nonexistent status. The Confucian cosmogony is hence dissimilar to Hubbards in two respects: 1) theta (analogous to the qi of heaven or principle) is a preexisting cosmic force, and 2) theta creates MEST (qi of earth or material force). 2.2 Composition of Human Beings This section compares the composition of the human being as posited by each religion. The analysis will show that for both traditions, three separate but coextensive components constitute the human being; these are: 1) theta or principle, 2) MEST or material force and 3) the mind. It will be further shown that the mind in both traditions is comprised of both cosmic realms that determine the nature of the individual; moreover, the purification of the physical component of the mind ameliorates human nature. Building on the previous section, Hubbard forwards the concept that the interplay between theta and MEST creates life in the physical universe and this, of course, includes 29


the formation of human beings. Hubbard explains that for the human, theta influences thoughts and actions while MEST influences the material form of the body. 91 Foundational to the praxis of self-transformation is the notion that the phenomenon of theta in such a deployment is distinctive and coextensive with the human being. Hubbard explains that theta can be the property or beingness of any individual and is, for our purposes, considered to be individualistic for each individual. 92 This individuated form of theta is called a thetan: a quasi-transcendent entity with its own behavior characteristics, which sets its own goals and, though existing in the physical realm of MEST, draws its power for creating life from the domain of the universal, cosmic theta of which it is part. 93 Sometimes termed as spirit, the thetan is posited as an immortal entity that in Hubbards assertion is the being who is the individual and who handles and lives in the body. 94 Adding another component, Hubbard asserts that the human being is differentiated into three parts: the thetan, the body, and the mind. 95 He characterizes the mind as the thetans communication and control system that controls the body and, through the body, the things in the physical universe. 96 Though Hubbard sometimes differentiates the mind into three components, 97 fundamental to Scientology doctrine and praxis is his identification of two distinct minds: 1) the analytical and 2) reactive. The analytical mind is the rational component that makes estimations and conclusions about 91 Hubbard, 8-8008, 15. 92 808 Ibid., 24. 93 808 Ibid., 16. 94 Hubbard, Thought, 66. 95 Hubbard, Thought, 65. 96 Hubbard, Thought, 67. 97 A component termed somatic mind or genetic entity is represented in Hubbards writings as a third component of the mind (Fundamentals of Thought) or a separate (fourth) component of the human being (8-8008 and History of Man); in either case it represents traumatic genetic memory responsible for some physical illnesses. 30


the future based upon the realities of situations. 98 The reactive mind, in contrast, is the stimulus-response component monitoring and reacting below the level of consciousness in response to stimuli in the individuals environment that approximate painful, traumatic memories. 99 Hubbard states that such traumatic memories are mental image pictures of traumatic, painful events recorded by the individual during moments of consciousness or unconsciousness. This collection of recordings Hubbard calls engrams: the substance of the reactive mind. 100 In this way, Hubbard further claims that the reactive mind stores up entheta and enMEST. 101 The first, entheta, is depicted as theta that has been chaotically mixed with the material universe; the second, enMEST, is MEST that has been enturbulated with entheta that thus attacks any theta in order to get free of it. 102 Concerning this phenomenon, which is important to this sections analysis and the development of Hubbards theory of good and evil discussed in a later section, is that Hubbard associates one or more of the components of MEST (matter, energy, space and time) as an integral and deleterious causative agent with this segment of the mind. Further, it is this component of the mind that negatively affects the emotional and ethical disposition of the individual. Discussed further in a later section but important as well to this analysis concerns the first and most critical stage of self-transformation in Scientology, known as Clear. Hubbard writes that the Clear has no engrams; further, he also writes a Clear is somebody who has lost the mass, energy, space and time connected with the thing called 98 Hubbard, Thought, 68. 99 Hubbard, Thought, 69-70. 100 Hubbard, Dictionary, 141-2. 101 Ibid., 336. 102 Ibid. 142. 31


the mind. 103 The Clear would theoretically represent a unity of mind: a wholly analytical mind and void of the reactive mind. Turning to the Confucian worldview, philosophers such as Zhang Zai, Zhu Xi and others posited that all physical nature, including the human being, is principle mixed with material force. 104 The former provided the function; the latter, the substance. 105 In this regard, Zhang writes: Heaven [principle] is my father and Earth [material force] is my mother therefore, that which fills the universe [material force] I regard as my body and that which directs the universe I consider my nature [principle]. 106 As was described in the previous section, Zhang Zai developed his theory of qi to posit the physical aspect of human-beings as a phenomenon of the consolidated phase of the qi of earth (material force). All humans contain material force, which ranges from light (pure, clear) to heavy (turbid, cloudy). The particular quality of consolidated qi endowed to a particular human not only determines their physical characteristics but, as will be shown below, their human nature as well. 107 The quasi-transcendent component of the combination, the qi of heaven or principle, conveys Confucius view of tian as reflecting goodness, order and harmony. Additionally, this component as applied to human beings is comprehended as an individuated expression called particular principle, Zhu Xi writes: When the heaven, earth and the myriad things are spoken of together, there is only one principle. As applied to man, however, there is in each individual a particular principle. 108 103 Ibid., 75-6. 104 Chan, 590. 105 Ibid. 106 Ibid., 497. 107 Yao, Confucianism, 102-3. 108 Chan, 635. 32


This particular principle, which along with material force forms the human being, is expressed in a variable way dependent on the quality of the latter. The lightest, clearest material force allows principle to manifest unencumbered and unaffected; thus the sage can be understood as possessing a clear consolidated qi (material force) permitting the unobstructed emanation of the virtues of heaven (principle): human-heartedness, righteousness, propriety, and wisdom. Conversely, the heavier and more obfuscating that material force is, the more it suppresses principle and its inherent virtues from being manifested. 109 The third element of the human being, the mind, initially appeared in the Analects as the notion of xin, which is translated as the mind-and-heart; as such, it is identified as the source of intellect and understanding and the center of emotions and feelings. 110 The Master said: At fifteen, I set my mind-and-heart on learning. At thirty I stood on my own. At forty, I had no doubts. At fifty, I knew heavens decree. At sixty, my ears were in accord. At seventy I followed the desires of my mind-and-heart. [2.4] 111 Zhu Xi advances several notions concerning the mind. He asserts that the human being controls her body and the external world by the mind. 112 Further, he differentiates this aspect of the human being into two parts: 1) the moral mind, representing principle that follows the Way of Heaven, and 2) the human mind, a mixture of principle and material force that is capable of error due to its physical attributes and desires. 113 His theory holds that when the human mind is rectified (purified, clarified) the formerly 109 Yao, 107-8. 110 Gardner, fn 14. 111 Analects, 9. 112 Chan, 602. 113 Ibid., 590. 33


dichotomized mind becomes one, which he associates with sagehood. 114 Therefore, the mind of the sage reflects the unencumbered attributes of the moral mind that Zhu Xi describes as the all embracing depth of the Principle of Heaven. 115 Tu Wei-ming summarizes Zhu Xis theory of the human being. The human is comprised of principle, material force and the mind. Though the mind is inseparable from material force, it has the ability to purify and transform it into a kind of moral energy so as to reveal fully the principle of man in daily life. 116 Summarizing each religions asserted composition of Human Beings, the following comparisons can be made. Both religions forward the human as composed of three constituents: the quasi-transcendent component, the physical component and the mind. The quasi-transcendent force is an individuated formulation (thetan or particular principle) of its cosmic realm (theta or principle) and posited as coextensive with the physical body. The physical component is conceptualized, for Scientology and Confucianism respectively, as MEST or the qi of earth (material force); in both worldviews this component provides the physical characteristics of the body. The third component, the mind, is differentiated for both religions into two fundamental parts; the first, identified with rationality and morality, is, respectively, the analytical mind and the moral mind. The second component, associated with irrational and immoral behavior, is termed as the reactive mind and the human mind. In both traditions, the reactive or human mind contains the deleterious physical component, MEST or material force, which can be eliminated or purified to produce a higher state of 114 Ibid., 603. 115 Ibid. 116 Tu Wei-ming, Humanity and Self Cultivation: Essays in Confucian Thought (Berkely: Asian Humanities Press, 1979), 77. 34


humanity, the Clear and Sagehood. Both ameliorated states of humanity are comprehended as possessing an undifferentiated unity of mind characteristic of the analytical or moral mind. A contrast that needs to be identified in this summary concerns a significant difference in the nature of the individuated quasi-transcendent component. In Confucianism, this aspect, though posited as individualized, does not accumulate a personal history of its previous interactions with material force. For Hubbard, however, this individuated formulation of the quasi-transcendent, the thetan, does. As was described in Chapter 1, Hubbard asserts that a thetan has existed for trillions of years described as a time continuum called the whole track. Each of its lifetimes on the whole track includes many previous interactions with MEST in the form of human beings and other life forms. These previous events produced traumatic incidents that are recorded by the thetan as engrams. It is the phenomenon of engrams that gives rise to the MEST associated with the reactive mind. In contrast, for Confucians, the material force associated with the human mind (analogous to the reactive mind) is not residual from any previous life configuration but is posited as arbitrarily endowed when principle and material force converge to form the human being. A further contrast can be gleaned from the above differences. In Confucianism, the lack of any permanent recording of the countless integrations of principle and material force maintains a stable and perpetual cosmic cycle. For Hubbard, however, unless the thetan subscribes to processes of self-transformation, it will continue to experience trauma in this and every future lifetime causing it to gradually lose more of its 35


inherent power to affect MEST and eventually succumb as its total effect. In other words, in the way that MEST ultimately kills thetans in the Scientology worldview, no such dismal future for individuated principle is posited in Confucianism. 2.3. Good and evil This section discusses and compares the notions of good and evil as comprehended within each worldview. It will show that for both traditions, the human-being is inherently good, endowed as such by the benevolent presence of, for Scientology, theta, and for Confucianism, principle. No ontological status is posited by either religion to the concept of evil; instead, it is rationalized as the deleterious effect of an individuals MEST or material force obscuring the benevolent quality of theta or principle from being fully realized. For Hubbard, good is any constructive survival action. 117 The concept conveys maximizing success while minimizing error. 118 For something to be good, the constructive must outweigh the destructive and complement the survival of individual, his family, children, group, Mankind, life and MEST. 119 In contrast, evil is defined as the opposite of good and constitutes anything that is more destructive than constructive to those elements of the world previously mentioned. 120 In this respect, Hubbard holds that human beings are inherently good and inerrant: a view repeated throughout his works and essential to Scientology doctrine. In his first 117 L. Ron Hubbard, Science of Survival: Prediction of Human Behavior (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 251. 118 Ibid., 252. 119 Ibid. 120 Ibid. 36


major work, Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health, Hubbard states that human beings are utterly incapable of error. 121 Further, he proclaims, Man is good. 122 Hubbard posits that the source of error, or evil, is not ontological; instead, it is simply the effect of what he calls aberrations: irrationalities caused by data, called engrams, discussed in an earlier section, located in the reactive mind. He uses the analogy of a calculating machine with a stuck key to demonstrate this phenomenon; though any answer may seem as erroneous, all calculations made are actually correct given the inclusion of the unnecessary data represented by the stuck key. 123 Fixing the stuck key is analogous to removing engrams and their manifestation as aberration. This, in turn, eliminates the incidence of mistakes or evil actions produced by those aberrations. Hence, Hubbard asserts that human beings are evil only when aberrated. 124 Though the above analogy is the standard explanation, he also uses flowing water as an analogy to differentiate pure theta, which flows clear and undisturbed, from that which is increasingly churned into MEST. As will be described in a later section, the analogy parallels the Emotional Tone Scale, a chart that categorizes a range of dispositions from the highest, called Serenity of Beingness to the lowest, Total Failure as a thetan, which registers below Body Death. The analogy of a stream of water that he uses is significant in comparison with a similar stream analogy provided by Confucian philosophers later in this section. He writes: At the highest range, theta could be considered to be in a pure state. It would be a clear, even-flowing river. It would be reason at its highest. It would be complete rationality complete reality purely affinity. 121 L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007) 22. 122 Ibid., 23. 123 Ibid., 22-3. 124 Hubbard, Survival, 20. 37


In the above quote, the clear, tranquil stream can be compared to the highest emotional tone on the Tone Scale, Serenity of Beingness, a feature of Hubbards doctrine that will be discussed in a later section. It also can be compared, in part, to the description provided for the analytical mind in the previous section. Hubbard continues: Descending down the Tone Scale, greater and greater dissonance could be considered to be introduced into theta. The stream, so to speak, becomes more and more tumultuous, more and more fixed within narrow banks, flowing over heavier rocks and then shoals. Descending down the Tone Scale theta is in more tumultuous confusion with MEST. 125 The analogy conveys the chaotic mixing of theta and the physical universe that can be compared to the engram, discussed in the previous section. As such, it comes about from the collision between theta and MEST, 126 which manifests as aberration, error and evil. In this condition theta is enturbulated, with MEST and categorized as entheta. At the greatest extent of thetas enturbulation with MEST, body death and spiritual annihilation is reached. 127 Entheta accruing in the reactive mind, that part of the mind duality that contains engrams, causes its counterpart, the analytical mind, to become aberrated enough to, per Hubbard, undertake non-survival activities. 128 It is noteworthy that, through the Scientology ritual called auditing, the destructive accumulation of turbulence in the reactive mind is eliminated and, concomitantly, the analytical mind can be said to recover theta, meaning reason, serenity, stability, happiness and other desirable conditions. 129 In reference to his earlier analogy of a clear, even-flowing river to describe an ameliorated state of theta, 125 Ibid.,46. 126 Ibid., 430. 127 Ibid., 46. 128 Ibid., 12. 129 Hubbard, Dictionary, 429. 38


Hubbard identifies such a restored individual as a Clear. 130 This is interesting given that his official definitions do not use this analogy for this state but instead uses a calculator clear button analogy instead. 131 For Confucius, the dichotomization of good and evil would have been a meaningless exercise; any notion of positive evil as such was incomprehensible. Everything was endowed by an infinitely pure and benevolent cosmos manifested as the Way of Heaven into an organic system. Any independent, ontological notion of evil existing within this organic domain would have been antithetical within such worldview. However, the fact that incidents seemingly absent of the inherent goodness of Heaven do indeed occur has stimulated the development of elaborate theodicies to resolve this inherent conflict. The evolution of this thinking will be briefly sketched. Chan notes that among the many fundamental ideas found in the Analects, Confucius development of the concept of jen (or ren), meaning, humanness or goodness, is most important of all, and a notion that would become central to Chinese philosophy. 132 The notion of ren and its antitheses would split early Confucianism into two schools of thought: Was goodness a result of nurture, meaning positive social influence and cultivation, or nature, an inherent and innate quality? Xunzi, for instance, conceived human nature as inherently evil. For him, human beings are innately desirous of things and, if left unchecked, ultimately resort to disorder and violence in their pursuit of profit and material gain; hence, goodness had to be nurtured through the civilizing effect of education and laws. Xunzi asserts that the inherent nature of human beings is evil; moreover, any expressed goodness comes about 130 Hubbard, Survival, 12-3. 131 Hubbard, Dictionary, 75. 132 Chan, 16. 39


as the product of positive human action; he writes, It must depend on teachers and laws to become correct and achieve propriety and righteousness and then it can become disciplined. 133 Opposing Xunzis argument was the case made by Mencius who saw human nature as inherently good. In the following excerpt from the Book of Mencius, the notion of evil is rendered unnatural to human nature. Noteworthy as well to this analysis is the use of water as a metaphor in comparison to Hubbards similar use in an above quote. Kao Tzu 134 said: Mans nature is like whirling water. If a breach in the pool is made east it will flow east made to the west, it will flow west. Mans nature is indifferent to good and evil, just as water is indifferent to east and west. Mencius said, Water, indeed, is indifferent to the east and west, but is it indifferent to high and low? Mans nature is naturally good just as water naturally flows downward. 135 Extending the water analogy further, Mencius accounts for evil as an unnatural condition among the inherently good human being. He illustrates in the below quote that just as water can be made tumultuous and dissonant to seemingly defy its nature so can good human nature be altered and agitated into doing evil. There is no man without this good nature; neither is there water that does not flow downward. Now you can strike water and cause it to splash upward and by damming and leading it, you can force it uphill. Is this the nature of water? It is the forced circumstance that makes it do so. Man can be made to do evil, for his nature can be treated the same way. 136 Instrumental to the legacy of Mencius theory was Zhu Xis canonization of the Book of Mencius as one of the Four Books that clearly facilitated its philosophic influence, and those of its Neo-Confucian commentators, through subsequent dynasties and into twentieth century China. 133 Chan, 128. 134 Chan, fn 51, writes that little is known about Kao Tzu (420-350 BCE) 135 Chan, 52. 136 Ibid. 40


Zhu Xi moderates the opposing ideals posited by Xunzi and Mencius to explain the existence of both good and evil. This he accomplishes while simultaneously reinforcing Mencius premise that the nature of all human beings is good. Differentiating between nature and material force, he equates the former as metaphysical: Heaven endowed principle; the latter as the concrete stuff to which principle (nature) can adhere. Though principle is equally endowed, the material force into which it is impinged to form what Zhu calls physical nature can vary along a gradient, understood metaphorically, as a clear (light, refined) quality to one that is thick (heavy, coarse). The relative point on the purity/coarseness gradient describing a particular material force determines the degree to which principle, or goodness, can either, again metaphorically, shine through or be utterly obstructed. Zhu Xi explains: When material force is clear, principle will be obvious. When material force is turbid, principle will be obscured. 137 Reiterating that the nature of all human beings is good, he utilizes this model to explain the reason why some people are good from birth and others evil; it is simply because of the difference of the material force with which they are endowed. 138 In several instances in his works, Zhu, as well, utilizes the analogy of water, as clear or turbid, to explain his theory of good and evil; again, his analogy is important given Hubbards similar imagery. The clearness of water is comparable to the goodness of nature. Water flowing to the sea without getting dirty is similar to one whose material force with which he is endowed is pure and clear and is good from childhood. In the case of a sage it is his nature to be so and preserves his Heavenly endowment complete. Water that flows only a short distance and is already turbid is like one whose material endowment is extremely unbalanced and impure and is evil from childhood. 139 137 Ibid., 623. 138 Ibid., 624. 139 Ibid., 598-9. 41


Hence, though all human beings are inherently good, the degree to which this is expressed as ren is functional upon how clear their endowed material force is. The following parallels may be drawn in respect to each traditions concepts of good and evil. A significant observation is that for both Hubbard and the Confucian philosopher, Mencius, human-beings are inherently good, configured as such by the benevolent influence of the quasi-transcendent component of human composition. In respect to theodicy, the way that Zhu Xi moderated Xunzis and Mencius opposing theories to explain the existence of both good and evil so also does Hubbard forward a conceptually identical premise. Though humans are configured in part by a benevolent cosmic presence (thetan or principle), they can and will do evil. But what appears as evil is nothing more than the obfuscating, suppressing effect of MEST or material force on the expression of benevolent principle. Hence, as merely an effect, evil is rendered no ontological status for either religion. Since the degree of evil behavior manifests differently among human beings, both develop explanations for the variance that can be compared and contrasted. Each posits a range of purity for the physical component that determines the degree to which the human beings thetan or principle is either uninhibited, thus good, or repressed, thus evil. However the difference is that the degree of obfuscating MEST is the result from an individuals past. For Neo-Confucians, the individual carries no responsibility for the quality of their material force and such endowment appears to be incidental. Similarly, both traditions offer methods for self-transformation that implies that adherents may have free will to moderate their condition for the better. 42


Finally, as mentioned in the discussion, it is of interest that closely similar analogies are employed to illustrate the mechanics of good and evil. In both traditions, clear, unperturbed water is used to signify the pure, ameliorated phase of the cosmic-physical amalgamation and agitated, turbid water is used to denote the confused, obstructed phase. Noteworthy as well, in light of the above example quotes by Confucian philosophers, is Hubbards deployment of the word clear to signify the attainment of the ameliorated state of being as conceived in Scientology. A contrast that can be pointed out is how the error causing physical aspect reaches the mind to create Hubbards reactive mind or its analogy, the Confucian human mind. For the former, the migrating thetan affects the mental MEST component of the mind. For the latter, this is an arbitrary and random endowment. Further, Confucian theology posits that some are arbitrarily born with clarified material force and are thus sages; in contrast, within Hubbards worldview, this notion would be virtually impossible and, as such, no such theology exists. 2.4. The Eight Dynamics or Sanji: the Three Ultimates This section investigates the role of the individual as operationally coextensive in bringing order to the cosmos. The analysis will demonstrate both worldviews regard the cosmos as compartmentalized into three homogeneous parts that operate coextensively as an organic whole: theta and principle, MEST and material force and human beings. In both traditions, a teleological interdependence is asserted between realms; moreover, 43


humans can, through self-transformation, become operationally coextensive in bringing order to the cosmos. Important to the worldview of Scientology is the doctrine of the Eight Dynamics. As was briefly described in an earlier section, Hubbard posits the cosmos into eight urges (drives, impulses), which he calls dynamics. 140 At the most basic unit of MEST plus theta is the first or self dynamic: the urge toward existence as ones self. 141 Beyond the self, the second level is the family or sex dynamic; this includes children, parents, spouse, siblings and any other individuals related to the individual by family connection. The third, or the group dynamic, consists of any group of individuals or any part of a group as small as an association of friends out to entire societies and nations. The fourth, encompassing all possible human groups, Hubbard calls the mankind dynamic. The fifth, the animal dynamic includes all living things, whether vegetable or animal anything motivated by life. 142 The sixth, the universe dynamic, is the urge toward existence as the physical universe composed of matter, energy, space and time. 143 The last two dynamics are devoid of MEST: the seventh is the spiritual dynamic and the eighth is called the supreme being, god or infinity dynamic. 144 Like layers of an onion, every level starting with the core comprised of the self as the first dynamic, the successive layers are inclusive of all previous ones. More importantly, though, these dynamics portray the interconnectedness of life into a cosmic organic whole. Hubbard writes, 140 Hubbard, Slant, 83. 141 Hubbard, Thought, 38. 142 Ibid., 39. 143 Ibid. 144 Ibid., 38-9. 44


[Each dynamic] plays an important role both in the individual and in the wider sphere Thus we see the interdependency of the individual with the family, with the group, with the species, with life forms, with the material universe itself, with spirits and with God. And we see the dependency of each of these upon the individual as a part of it. 145 Implied in the above is a teleological dialectic 146 between the self and every conceivable strata of the cosmos; a dance that determines not only the fate of all the dynamics but of the individual as well. In this plan, the operant factor to ones destiny is the degree to which s/he takes responsibility for each of the dynamics. At its greatest measure, it means ultimate transformation, defined in Scientology as the Operating Thetan. Hubbard writes: If the definition of operating thetan is knowing and willing cause over all dynamics then we see at once that responsibility must go hand in hand with making an operating thetan When one falls away from responsibility on the various dynamics he can then become less and less able to influence those dynamics and therefore becomes a victim of them. 147 For Hubbard, however, the present condition of reality is that humanity is falling away from that responsibility because they failed to establish ethics for themselves and into their individual worlds, proof of which is the collapsing social order. Pointing to such social maladies as inflation, corruption of government, war, crime insanity and drugs, Hubbard warns that this is a dying society. 148 The only hope for the dire situation is to apply Hubbards system for restoring ethics, called Ethics Technology. 149 Hubbards book, Introduction to Scientology Ethics, spells out this technology: it is a precise set of directives, which can be applied across the dynamics, from the individual 145 Hubbard, 8-8008, 13. 146 Teleological used here conveys a cosmological purpose or design; dialectic in this usage implies a tension between two interacting forces, in this case the self and the world at large. 147 L. Ron Hubbard, The Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology, vol. III (Los Angeles: Church of Scientology, 1976), 555. 148 Hubbard, Slant, 240. 149 Ibid., 240. 45


out to the universe. It details diagnostic processes and comprehensive formulas for corrective action to restore the ideal scene in any of the dynamics. The Confucian understood the cosmos as an organized, interconnected organic whole. Wing-tsit Chan notes that Neo-Confucians comprehended the universe as a self-contained organism in which all things exist in relations, and all relations follow a definite pattern according to which things are organized on various levels. 150 Its most fundamental partitions were posited as a cosmic triad. Xinzhong Yao explains, the world is sustained by, and structured around, three ultimates (sanji) [or] powers of the universe (sancai): tian (heaven), di (earth) and ren (humans). 151 The cosmic relationship of the three powers was comprehended as Heavens Mandate (tianming), a teleological dialectic that related human conduct to natural and social consequences. 152 Comparing his present world with the Golden Age civilizations under the sage-kings of the ancient past, Confucius concern was that the human domain had become corrupt and was failing its responsibility in sustaining harmony in the cosmos. The problem was that human beings were no longer showing filial respect, cultivating friendship among their peers or being socially responsible in the larger community of humankind. 153 Through the Analects, Confucius transmitted what would be called the Confucian Way: an approach to life that specified right conduct, right livelihood and right actions leading to the ideal society. 154 Through this method, the harmonious oneness of Heaven and humanity (tianren) 155 would be restored. Moreover, such virtuous conduct 150 Chan, 636. 151 Yao, 139. 152 Yao, 144. 153 Robert Cummings Neville, Boston Confucianism: Portable Tradition in the Late Modern World. (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2000), xxii. 154 Yao, 25. 155 Yao, 140. 46


had to be sincere and effortless (wu-wei) out of authentic love of the Confucian Way and not for selfish reasons. 156 In the Doctrine of the Mean, this ideal is encapsulated into a concise directive assigning the individual the responsibility for practicing the three universal virtues wisdom, goodness, and courage across the five critical domains of human relations: The Master said, The universal Way of the world is fivefold Ruler and minister, father and son, husband and wife, elder brother and younger brother, and friend and friend 157 Hence, the Confucian dictate of establishing universal virtues on all social levels, from family relationships to that of community, served to ameliorate ever-broadening realms of humanity that ultimately yielded the ideal society and a peaceful state. 158 Moreover, the person who exemplifies one who is able to apply these virtues across the human domain is comprehended as a sage; from the Analects: Zigong said, If there were one able to broadly extend benevolence to the common people and bring succor to the multitudes, what would you make of him? Would such a person be called Good? The Master said, Why stop at Good? Such a person should surely be called a sage! [6.30] 159 With respect to both religions, several common threads may be identified in regard to the role of the individual as operationally coextensive in bringing order to the cosmos. The first broad comparison points to the taxonomic compartmentalization of the cosmos into three homogeneous parts that function as a coextensive, interconnected organic whole. These divisions are a quasi-transcendent domain, a physical non-human sphere and a human realm. These are recognized in the Confucian worldview as the three ultimates or powers: tian (heaven), di (earth) and ren (humans). Hubbards Eight 156 Analects, 29. 157 Four Books, 120. 158 Yao, 33. 159 Analects, 63. 47


Dynamics can as well be compartmentalized into such taxonomic parts: 1) the quasi-transcendent component of non-MEST life impulses: dynamics seven, (Theta) and eight, (Infinity); 2) the non-human MEST component: the fifth (Animal) and sixth (physical universe) dynamics and 3) the human domain constituting dynamics one (Self) through four (Mankind). Each worldview asserts a teleological interdependence between the realms and each affirms human conduct as consequential to all phases of the cosmos. Confucianism and Scientology forward the narrative that contemporaneous social disorder is the effect of the decline of human ethical conduct and only through the rigid application of reparative doctrines to restore ethical conduct can the decline be reversed. Respectively, these restorative principles are called the Confucian Way and Ethics Technology. In both religions the individual does not find ultimate transformation (sage or Operating Thetan) in solitude; instead it is achieved by applying benevolent principles through social contact beginning with the family, then proceeding through all levels of human organization to ultimately affect the quasi-transcendent domain itself (tian or the Eighth Dynamic). Moreover, the ultimately transformed individual (sage or Operating Thetan) ameliorates the human, earthly and heavenly realms through effortless action, or wu-wei, which Hubbard terms: knowing and willing cause. One subtle contrast that can be noted is in respect to Hubbards eighth (supreme being/god/infinity) dynamic. Of this sphere of ultimate reality, Hubbard states virtually nothing about it or its role in the cosmos; at least as one can gather from sources that have been made public. Hence, it is logically grouped in the comparison along with theta in the non-MEST domain. However, this may be analogous to erroneously placing the 48


powers of the universe (sancai) into the same category as tian (heaven) but not di (earth) and ren (humans). It very well may be possible that Hubbard intended the eighth dynamic and sancai as analogies, which, if substantiated, would clearly strengthen the overall comparative. 2.5. Understanding or Harmony This section investigates Hubbards concept of Understanding and the Confucian ideal of Harmony. Though at first blush the obvious contrast between these concepts may be perceived as two unrelated notions, I will argue that these are fundamentally identical ideas. In this section, the research and analysis will show that the intermingling of theta or Heaven with MEST or material force produces an ongoing dynamic tension understood in terms of Understanding and Harmony, which for both traditions legitimate their respective doctrines and praxis. One of Hubbards more challenging concepts to explain is his theory of Understanding. This concept has wide ranging application to rituals of training and transformation as well as interpersonal relationships. Hubbard asserts that the doctrine is an extremely useful tool or weapon in human relations. 160 The term understanding, in the context of Hubbards theory, can be comprehended as the degree in which one or more individuals resonate with the notions, ideas or feelings of another individual or group. Understanding is produced by three 160 Hubbard, Slant, 94. 49


correlating components: affinity, reality and communication. These elements are referred to by the acronym ARC and conceptualized as the ARC Triangle. 161 To help explain this theory, we can imagine these elements as three different instruments in an orchestra, which in unison can produce a range of resonance or dissonance. The resonant or dissonant effect of these instruments playing together can be thought of as analogous to what Hubbard calls understanding. Affinity is considered a type of emotional condition in respect to someone or something: it can be thought of as the degree that a person is enthusiastic, bored, hates, fears or is apathetic toward some thing or person. The full range of this emotional component is charted as the Tone Scale, which will be covered in the next section. Hubbard furthers his definition of affinity as the consideration of distance, whether good or bad; [thus,] complete affinity would be the ability to occupy the same space as something else. 162 In other words, the more that something is liked the closer that the person wants to be to it. Reality represents the degree of agreement (or disagreement) in what is perceived as real. For example, among a roomful of strangers, two individuals wearing shirts identifying the same football team would theoretically have more reality with each other and thus slightly more understanding of each other than they would with anyone else. Communication, which Hubbard considers as the most important of the three, is the interchange of ideas or particles between two points [for example, two 161 Hubbard, Slant, 91-4. 162 Hubbard, Slant, 91. 50


people]. 163 Of this last component, Hubbard affirms that understanding, or ARC, begins with communication which brings into existence affinity and reality. 164 Returning to the analogy of orchestra instruments, the three components of understanding -affinity, reality and communication (ARC) -are perceived as correlative. This means as one component is either ameliorated or depreciated, the two other parts correspondingly either ameliorate or depreciate simultaneously. In our analogy, to the degree that one instrument is either harmonious or discordant with the other two; this instrument either ameliorates or depreciates the output quality of the other two instruments to produce either a resonating or dissonant effect. In terms of ARC and understanding, this can be illustrated as follows. For example, as communication is ameliorated, so too are the aspects of reality and affinity, which in unison ameliorates (increases) understanding. Conversely, as communication is depreciated, so too are the aspects of reality and affinity, which in unison depreciate understanding. Noteworthy in respect to this inquiry, Hubbard identifies the ultimate level of ameliorated understanding with the highest emotional level, Tone 40.0, a level that he terms Serenity. 165 Taking a larger theoretical step, Hubbard asserts, The ARC Triangle is the keystone of living associations the common denominator to all lifes activities. 166 The equation that is sometimes given for this concept is ARC=U. This assertion can be illumed by considering an additional dimension of his cosmogony: he identifies the cosmic fabric of theta as the components of ARC plus understanding (U). Encapsulating his entire world forming theory, theta, thus composed 163 Hubbard, Dianetics 55!, 60. 164 Hubbard, Slant, 93. 165 Ibid., 93. 166 Ibid., 91. 51


of ARCU, creates MEST and then impinges into it to form life. Moreover, the four constituents of theta integrate one to one with the four components of the physical universe, MEST: matter with reality, energy with communication, space with affinity, and time with understanding. 167 Both the above and the following statement can now be better understood within Hubbards cosmological framework: Life in its highest state is understanding in its lower states is a lower level of understanding. And when life has ceased to function and has arrived at what one might call total incapability, there is no understanding at all. 168 For Confucians, the concept of Harmony has its antecedents in culinary practices as well as music but evolved to mean an orderly combination of different elements, by which a new unity comes into being. 169 Behuniak remarks that the concept captures the Confucian worldview: Harmony is the stated aim of the Confucian. 170 Yao notes that harmony is the culmination of the Confucian way and marks the point where the Way of Heaven and the Way of Humans converge. 171 The cosmogonic implications of harmony are illustrated in its world forming myths. For example, Zhang Zai explains Great Harmony as follows: [It is] the origin of the process of fusion and intermingling, of overcoming and being overcome, and of expansion and contraction unless the whole universe is in the process of fusion and intermingling like fleeting forces moving in all directions, it may not be called the Great Harmony. 172 It is an ongoing harmonizing process of interacting components that fuse, intermingle, expand and contract over time and space from which ten thousand things arise. The text, Maintaining Perfect Balance (Doctrine of the Mean), states: 167 Hubbard, Dictionary, 20. 168 L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics 55!: The Complete Manual of Human Communication (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007),58. 169 Yao, 170-1. 170 Behuniak, Mencius, 56. 171 Yao, 170. 172 Chan, 500-1. 52


Let perfect balance and harmony be realized and heaven and earth will find their proper places therein; and, the ten thousand creatures will be nourished therein. 173 Significantly, the passage includes the idea of perfect balance along with harmony. The following passage, also from Maintaining Perfect Balance, further states that perfect balance is the primordial state: Before pleasure, anger, sorrow, and joy have arisen this we call perfect balance. After they have arisen and attained due proportion this we call harmony. Perfect balance is the great foundation of the universe; harmony is the Way that unfolds throughout the universe. 174 This passage inspires Zhu Xi to rethink his earlier theory about mind and nature; he explains his realization: Prior to the arrival of external things, there is the state before pleasure, anger, sorrow, and joy are aroused. At this time, the state is identical with the substance of the mind, which is absolutely quiet and inactive, and the nature endowed by Heaven should be completely embodied in it [this] is called equilibrium [or perfect balance]. When it is acted upon and immediately penetrates all things, the feelings are then aroused Because it never fails to attain proper measure and degree it is called harmony. For Zhu Xi there are two states of the mind, one he calls tranquility, associated with the Great Ultimate, principle, nature, perfect balance (equilibrium) and yang; and the other is activity, related to material force, consciousness, harmony, feelings and yin. 175 Of each state, Zhu writes, [Before] the feelings are aroused it will be as clear as a mirror and as calm as still water and after the feelings are aroused it will attain due measure and degree without exception. 176 Considering Zhus comment, when feelings attain due measure and degree, harmony occurs. This can be interpreted that emotional dispositions (feelings) must be 173 Gardner, 111. 174 Ibid. 175 Chan, 629. 176 Ibid., 601. 53


relative to a particular situation for harmony to occur. Given that harmony is the Way and the embodiment of the Way is the sage, then it would follow that the sages emotional disposition (feelings) would be in perfect due measure (proportion) to the reality of any given moment. This hypothesis is substantiated by a commentator in the Analects, Fan Ziyu, who asserts that the sage seeks to identify and emulate the proper emotion for any given situation: The mind of the sage is such that he grieves along with those who are mourning 177 In this respect, the sage, as well, can show anger when the situation warrants it. Such emotion, when appropriate, serves to maintain harmony. When the question is posed presupposing that sages never show anger, Zhu replies that even for sages, anger is proper and necessary: When one becomes angry at the right time, he will be acting in the proper degree [due measure]. 178 Turning to another aspect of harmony, Confucius shows an awareness of the dimension of agreement (reality) within social interactions, that is, his sensitivity toward his audience, manner of speech or attention to customs. In Analects 6.21, he states, You can discuss the loftiest matters with those who are above average, but not with those who are below average. 179 Commenting on this passage, Zhang Zai observes, Alternating his teachings to fit the level of understanding of ones audience is the means by which one allows them to ask and think about things that are relevant to them and is also the way one leads them gradually into higher levels of understanding. 180 Zhangs observation shows that to harmonize with an audience, namely, to facilitate communication, the speaker must first take into account what is real to the listeners and match his rhetoric to their reality. In like manner, when interacting with his 177 Analects, 89. 178 Chan, 629. 179 Analects, 59. 180 Ibid. 54


elders (his village community) or toward those who hold high rank, Confucius adjusted his manner of speech to maintain harmony. This ideal is demonstrated in the Analects: In his village community, Confucius was respectful and circumspect, seeming to be at a loss for words. 181 His attention to adhering to customs of clothing is illustrated in the Analects as well. Not only does adherence to traditional garb show agreement with social norms, but with such agreement, clothing becomes a type of communication. Whenever the Master saw someone who was wearing mourning clothes [or] official dress he would rise to his feet. 182 Though elements of communication in respect to maintaining harmony have been touched on, these additional passages focus specifically on this aspect. The following quotation suggests how inappropriate communication can depreciate harmony between individuals: Confucius said, When attending a gentleman, there are three types of errors To speak when it is not yet time to speak -this is called being rash. To not speak when time to speak this is being secretive. To speak without [considering] ones lord this is being blind. 183 Illustrating some of the aspects that are being proposed as integral to harmony, James Behuniak cites the ideal from the Book of Mencius [6A:7] of putting oneself in anothers place. 184 He writes, The exemplary person is at once integrally present in 181 Analects, 98-9.. 182 Ibid., 89. 183 Ibid., 195. 184 Behuniak, Mencius, 94. 55


the world and sensitive to its other participants; this is the single thread that Confucius equates with his entire philosophy. 185 Considering the above descriptions provided for both religions, the following comparisons show that, in spite of their obvious contrasts, which I argue are superficial, Hubbards concept of Understanding and the Confucian ideal of Harmony are clearly similar in form and function. Both religions depict the intermingling of the quasi-transcendent realm, theta or heaven, with the physical domain, MEST or material force, producing an ongoing dynamic tension conceptualized as Understanding or Harmony. Doctrines and praxis are established by both traditions to positively affect Understanding or Harmony. Both view Understanding or Harmony as omnipresent; moreover, its quality can be superior or poor based on internal and external correlating variables. Understanding or Harmony is ameliorated by putting oneself in anothers place. Both describe the purest, highest form of Understanding or Harmony, Tone 40.0 and Perfect Balance in synonymous terms: Serenity and tranquility. Both assert emotions or feelings, thus a range of affinity, as an integral factor in Understanding or Harmony. Though the term harmony is not specifically stated within passages dealing with topics that can be identified as reality (agreement) and communication, it is argued, especially given that harmony is the aim of Confucianism, that harmony is not only implied but is precisely the objective of the various passages utilized in this section. It can thus be reasonably concluded that for Confucianism these two additional aspects can be included as elements of harmony. Hence, it can be reasonably asserted that for 185 Ibid. 56


both Scientology and Confucianism, the notion of Understanding and Harmony contain, and correlate to, the components of affinity, reality and communication. 2.6 Emotional Tone Scale or Xin: Feelings This section considers Hubbards theory of the Emotional Tone Scale in comparison to the Confucian notion of Feelings (xin). The inquiry will demonstrate that for both traditions, the variable intermingling of the realms of the quasi-transcendent and the physical domain accounts for the range of emotions or feelings. The Emotional Tone Scale, also referred to as simply the Tone Scale, is a chart of the range of human emotional tones. As one element of the ARC Triangle, affinity (described in the previous section as emotional status), the Tone Scale provides a tool in the Scientology ritual of transformation (auditing) as well as in managing understanding within social interactions. The following is an abbreviated account of the Tone Scale ordered by its outward manifestation and numerical category beginning with the highest and most desirable. Topping the Tone Scale is Serenity of Beingness, tone 40.0, followed by Postulates, 30.0 and Action, 20.0. Some of the others in the sequence include Aesthetics, 6.0; Enthusiasm, 4.0; Cheerfulness, 3.5; Boredom, 2.5; Antagonism, 2.0; Anger, 1.5; Covert Hostility, 1.1; Anxiety, 1.02; Fear, 1.0; Grief 0.5; Apathy, 0.07 and Body Death, 0.0; below these are negative tones culminating in Total Failure, -40.0. 186 Hubbard categorizes the entire 186 L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology 0-8: The Book of Basic (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 108-10. 57


chart as the Thetan Scale Range; however, Tones 4.0 through 0.0 he specifies as the Thetan-Plus-Body portion. As was described in an earlier section, the emotional tone of an individual is a function of the degree in which MEST obfuscates benevolent theta. Hubbard writes, From 2.0 upwards, theta and MEST are more orderly mingled until MEST is left behind entirely and theta exists in its pure state. 187 As described above, the highest emotional tone, at 40.0, is identified as Serenity of Beingness. Below 2.0, Antagonism, theta and MEST are more and more enturbulated in the life form until the point of death [0.0] and below is reached. 188 Another way of looking at the tone scale is as a chart of the outward manifestations of cause and effect. Cause, defined by Hubbard as the source point, is that which originates and emanates something. In other words, cause means to affect a change in something else (the effect). Conversely, the effect, is the recipient of the emanation. 189 In more vernacular terms, effect means to be affected by something else (the cause). In Hubbards Cause to Effect Scale, the highest tone, 40.0 [Serenity] is labeled simply Cause; tone 30.0: Mainly Cause, sometimes Effect; 20.0: Half cause, half Effect; 4.0: More Effect than Cause; 2.0: Mainly Effect, destructive Cause; and 0.0 [Body Death]: All Effect. 190 Thus, the ratios of theta/MEST and cause/effect, which manifest as a range of emotions, can be understood in the following manner. As theta becomes increasingly 187 Hubbard, Survival, 46. 188 Hubbard, Survival, 46. 189 Hubbard, Dianetics 55!, 112. 190 Hubbard, Scientology 0-8, 241. 58


intermingled or confused with MEST, it correspondingly becomes increasingly less cause and more the effect; the range of outward manifestations of this ratio (theta/MEST or cause/effect) is the Emotional Tone Scale. One additional aspect can be added relative to thetas entanglement with MEST. In the following, Hubbard connects being an effect with desire: Anything in the MEST universe which one desires, he desires because it will have a pleasant effect on him. Thus, he is searching for sensation caused exterior to himself which will make him an effect. How much of an effect can he become? MEST! 191 As stated above, desire can lead to what we can call ultimate effect, a ratio of theta/MEST (or cause/effect) weighed entirely toward MEST (and effect); this is what Hubbard states is becoming MEST. This state can be construed as either Tone 0.0, Body Death or -40.0 Total Failure, the latter being the destruction of theta. Turning now to the Confucian idea of Feelings (xin), a passage in Maintaining Perfect Balance (Doctrine of the Mean), engaged in the previous section, forwards the notion that before the feelings of pleasure, anger, sorrow, and joy there was Perfect Balance. Once principle and material force converged, however, in what Zhang Zai identifies as the Great Harmony, feelings (xin), became manifest in the world. Furthering ideas about human nature, Zhu Xi theorized that humans are physical nature comprised of the combination of principle (infinitely good) and material force. He asserts that every human is uniformly bestowed with principle; however, the material force with which principle is intermingled to create the physical nature varies in quality from person to person ranging from refined and clear to coarse and thick. The quality of the individuals particular material force thus affects the degree of expression of 191 Hubbard, 8-8008, 126. 59


principle, or goodness, by either allowing it to emanate through or, in varying degrees, to mask it. The continuum that results can be imagined as a scale of human nature. Zhu Xi partially agrees with philosopher Han Yu (768-824 CE) who places human nature along a scale of three broad classifications: superior, medium and inferior. 192 He suggests that Han Yus classifications only explain material force but not principle. 193 He explains: Nature is principle. The mind is its embracement and reservoir; and issues it [principle] forth into operation. [Mencius said,] Humanity, righteousness, propriety, and wisdom are rooted in the mind [Thus] the mind embraces both nature and feelings. Nature is substance and feelings are function. 194 Zhu Xi asserts that from these feelings and desires, both good and bad, emanate. Using again the analogy of water he likens the mind to tranquil water, feelings as the flow of water and desire as either good or bad waves. He writes: Bad desires rush out like wild and violent waves when substantial, they will destroy the Principle of Heaven, as water bursts a dam and damages everything [Conversely, wherever] selfish desires can be entirely eliminated and the Principle of Nature freely operates, there is [ren]. 195 Assembling the above ideas, the gradient of human nature -superior, medium, and inferior can be thought of in terms of a scale of selfish desire. Finally, Zhus exegesis finds solid footing in the Analects. The following two passages precisely underscore the relationship of selfish desire to its outward manifestation: The gentleman [superior person] is self-possessed and relaxed, while the petty [inferior] man is perpetually full of worry. 196 The gentleman cherishes virtue, whereas the petty person cherishes physical possessions. 197 192 Chan, 630. 193 Chan, 630. 194 Chan, 631. 195 Ibid., 631, 633. 196 Analects, 77. 60


Merging the two passages, the inferior person who cherishes physical possessions (selfish desires) will correspondingly exhibit anxiety; in contrast, the superior person who instead cherishes virtue displays serenity. In regard to both religions, the inquiry discovers several similarities between Hubbards concept of the Emotional Tone Scale and the Confucian ideas about Feelings (xin). In both religions, theta or principle intermingles with MEST or material force creating human beings and emotions or feelings. In both, theta or principle is posited as all good; moreover, the expression of this all good dimension is encumbered or reduced along a continuum of quantitative/qualitative influence of MEST or material force. This scale of influence, Hubbard calls the Emotional Tone Scale, a range of outward manifestations of the effect of MEST on theta. In comparison, Zhu Xi et al posit the effect of material force on principle as manifesting in a continuum ranging from the superior to medium to inferior person. In the example of the gentleman and the petty person, the gentleman (superior person) cherishes (desires) virtue, and by inference, not physical possessions, exhibits the outer manifestation of the higher emotional tone of being self-possessed and relaxed (serene). In contrast, the petty person (inferior) who cherishes (desires) physical possessions displays the outward manifestation of the lower emotional state, full of worry (anxiety). In this example, a reasonable conclusion is that the operant variable, desire for the material dimension (MEST), conversely affects emotional status: the greater the desire, the lower the emotion. It can be further implied that the lower toned inferior person, through selfish desire, becomes entangled and the effect of the 197 Ibid., 33. 61


physical realm (MEST); conversely, the higher toned superior person, motivated by desire for transcendent states, for example virtue versus physical states, MEST, is thus less the effect of the physical realm, and by inference more at cause. The extrapolation of the Analects passages thus coincides with Hubbards entire theoretical framework of the Emotional Tone Scale. Finally, an analysis of Zhus statement can reveal some additional similarities between Confucianism and Hubbards worldview. He asserts the dual scenarios of 1)bad desires, when substantial, destroys the Principle of Heaven and 2) the elimination of selfish desires permits the Principle of Nature to operate freely and causing goodness (ren). In the first situation, bad desire may be equated to selfish desire or desire for the physical domain (MEST). This desire for MEST then, when substantial (ultimate), destroys the Principle of Heaven (theta); this scenario coincides with Hubbards Emotional Tone -40.0, Total Failure, and the destruction of theta. In the second circumstance, the elimination of selfish desires (for the physical domain), or MEST, permits the Principle of Nature (theta) to operate freely causing goodness (ren); again, this scenario coincides with Hubbards Emotional Tone 40, Serenity of Beingness, in which MEST is eliminated entirely and theta exists in its ultimate ameliorated state as pure cause and infinite goodness. 62


Chapter 3 Self-transformation This chapter examines features of soteriology conceived by Scientology and Confucianism as the realization of human perfectibility through rituals of self-transformation. The chapter is segmented into three parts: the first section explores the ontology of the perfected being: Hubbards Operating Thetan and the Confucian standard of Sagehood. The next section analyzes the metaphysics and ritual of self-transformation; for Scientology this is known as auditing, for Confucianism it is the investigation of things with sincerity. The last section looks at the role of training and study in the process of self-transformation. 3.1 The Operating Thetan or Sagehood This section compares Hubbards Operating Thetan with the Confucian ideal of the Sagehood. The analysis will show that for both traditions ultimate self-transformation is an attainable ontological reality that can be realized through transformative ontological insight resulting from rigorous truthfulness and sincerity. In Scientology, the methods and stages for self-transformation are plotted on a chart called The Bridge to Total Freedom, called by Scientologists simply as The Bridge. 198 The enterprise of transformation is divided and charted on the Bridge into two parallel vertical paths: 1) the series of study courses that 198 L. Ron Hubbard, The Bridge to Total Freedom: Scientology Classification Gradation and Awareness Chart of Levels and Certificates (L. Ron Hubbard Library, 1998) one page poster. 63


constitute Training, discussed in the next section; and 2) the programmed steps of transformation labeled Processing, which will be explored here. The term processing defines the method of introspective investigation, called auditing, that employ two methodologies of intuitive understanding: 1) subjective and interpretive truths, and 2) objective observation. An example of the latter methodology is the use of an electronic device called an E-meter that assures the highest degree of truthfulness during auditing. These processes, deployed in a formalized, systematic progression along the Bridge, produce cognitions, defined as realizations about life. 199 The ultimate goal of these processes, evidenced by their uppermost location on the chart, is the Operating Thetan, or OT, differentiated into a hierarchy from OT I through OT XV. The term Clear is placed on the chart as an intermediary objective between the first ritual activities, called the Purification Rundown, and just below the initial stages of OT. An individual certified by Church officials as Clear or, more precisely, Theta Clear, is claimed to be at cause knowingly and at will over mental matter, energy, space and time [in regard to] the first dynamic (survival of self). 200 Such an individual, Hubbard claims, is fully self-determined and no longer an effect of their own self. 201 Importantly, what defines the Clear is the elimination of obfuscating MEST associated with the mind 202 or, in other words, the loss of the reactive mind. 203 199 Hubbard Dictionary, 79. 200 Ibid., 75. 201 Ibid. 202 Ibid. 203 Hubbard, Bridge. 64


Building on this ontological foundation, Hubbard defines the Operating Thetan as a Theta Clear plus ability who can control MEST and life forms. 204 Noting that the essential addition is ability, he asserts, that the OT is a Theta Clear who can do something. 205 Unlike the Clear who is cause 206 only on the first dynamic (self), cause on all eight dynamics is asserted as abilities gained for the OT (levels OT VI and above). 207 Though not indicated on the Bridge, an additional plane of self transformation prominent in several of Hubbards texts is the state of Cleared Theta Clear. Its significance to this inquiry is the cosmic ability that it represents. Such an individual is claimed to be able to create his own universe; or if located in the present universe, can move MEST without mechanical means [and] control others from a distance. 208 This description is an extreme example of what Hubbard calls causative thinkingness, which he terms a postulate: a self created truth. 209 According to Scientology doctrine, all humans have the innate power of theta; hence, as theta is rehabilitated as one progresses up the Bridge, her/his ability to create new realities through effortless action (by means of the postulate) is concomitantly restored. It is of further interest that the Awareness Characteristics diagram, depicted along the centerline of the Bridge chart, shows within the OT realm, power on all [eight] 204 Hubbard, Technical, vol. III, 155. 205 Ibid. 206 The term cause is used here in the vernacular of Scientology. It expresses an ontological state of being with the ability to create effect. 207 What is Scientology? (Copenhagen: New Era Publications International, 1992.), 64, quoted in Frank K. Flinn, Scientology as Technical Buddhism, Scientology, ed. James R. Lewis (Oxford: Oxford Press, 2009), 218. 208 Hubbard, 8-8008, 207, 220. 209 Hubbard, Thought, 85. 65


dynamics and total freedom as its apex; however, at its base, beginning as the first step toward getting on The Bridge itself is demand for improvement. 210 Moreover, a section of the poster reads, With this chart in front of you, you have already made the most important step of all, you have contacted truth and the route to freedom. 211 The implication is that the most important aspect toward total freedom as an OT is the decision to take the first step toward that goal. For Confucianism, the ultimate attainment of individual transformation is Sagehood, a status asserted by Tu Wei-ming as the most profound expression of humanity. 212 He points out that the essential theme of Confucianism is how to become a sage, which entails a method (how), a process (becoming), and an end (sagehood). 213 He further asserts that since sagehood is based on the premise that humans are inherently perfectible through self-effort, then by self-cultivation one can achieve self-transformation through self-realization. 214 Hence, since sagehood for Neo-Confucians was a realistic and attainable goal, praxis evolved from simply adhering to the teachings of the legendary sages to the ideal of fully internalizing the sage archetype into ones nature. 215 Wei-ming illuminates Zhu Xis road to sagehood as the achievement of profound realization that inherent in the totality of things, including intellectual ideas, 210 Hubbard, Bridge. 211 Ibid.. 212 Tu Wei-ming, Confucian Thought: Selfhood as Creative Transformation (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1985), 150. 213 Wei-ming, Humanity, 26. 214 Ibid. 215 Wei-ming, Confucian, 150-1. 66


natural phenomenon and human affairs, is principle (li). 216 The first step on that road to becoming the sage, or the root of sagehood as Wei-ming calls it, is the self-determination of becoming a sage, without which learning is not relevant to the task of self-realization. 217 For Neo-Confucians, the method of self-transformation was study and the investigations of things (ko wu). Most important in this process, though, was to apply the notion of sincerity (cheng) or perfect truthfulness, which held metaphysical potential for ultimate transformation. 218 A passage in Maintaining Perfect Balance (Doctrine of the Mean) identifies sincerity as the conduit for transformative realizations about the self, humanity, and earth. From these steps of sequential realizations the sage emerges as co-creator of, and one with, heaven and earth. 219 The locus of self-transformation is posited as the mind: the generator of such paradigmatic realizations. Zhu Xi affirms that by fully developing the mind one will know their nature and know Heaven because the substance [material force] of the mind is unbeclouded [clear]. 220 As was pointed out in the previous chapter, for Zhu Xi, the dichotomized mind of the unperfected human being, which he identifies as the moral mind and the human mind, becomes one when rectified. 221 A point that can be made in regard to the sage as co-creator of heaven and earth is the concept of effortless action (wu wei): an attribution conferred to the archetypical legendary sage-kings admired by Confucius. Slingerland asserts that this notion, which 216 Wei-ming, Humanity, 91. 217 Ibid., 92. 218 Wei-ming, Confucian, 165. 219 Four Books, 124. 220 Chan, 604. 221 Ibid., 603. 67


can be interpreted in two ways, is mentioned in several Analects passages. 222 In the following two examples, Confucius lauds the effortless control shown by the legendary sage-kings Shun and Yu: How majestic! Shun and Yu possessed the entire world and yet had no need to actively manage. 223 Is Shun not an example of someone who ruled by means of wu-wei? What did he do? He made himself reverent and took his proper (ritual) position facing South, that is all. 224 In one interpretation, the effortless actions of the sage-kings are understood as institutional wu-wei, a highly competent management style in which the sage-kings fill the ministerial positions with skilled people and are thus removed from active participation. Slingerland disagrees with that assessment given the overall gist of the Analects. He suggests the notion of effortless action in the context of ruling by means of Virtue. 225 By perfecting himself morally, the sage-king affects transformative change in his sphere of influence thereby allowing external things to come naturally and noncoercively. 226 Mencius seems to support Slingerlands position by specifying virtue as the source of the sage-kings actions: Mencius said The source of [Shuns] actions was true goodness and righteousness; it was not that he was practicing acts of true goodness and righteousness. 227 A final and brief observation about Zhu Xis understanding of cosmic metaphysics is relevant. In Zhu Xis treatise, an anonymous questioner references one of the ancient classics, the Book of History, asking if it is simply deductive (a priori) 222 Analects, 175. 223 Ibid., 84. 224 Ibid., 175. 225 Ibid., 175-6. 226 Ibid., 176. 227 Four Books, 79. 68


reasoning when it seems that heaven, personified in the classic text as the Lord on High provides bounty to the good-doer and misery to the evil-doer. 228 Zhu Xis response is that this is simply how principle operates; he explains, Principle attaches to material force and thus operates. 229 The relevant point is that Zhu Xi comprehends the creation of the sort of realities made issue in the question to be the effect of what can be termed operating principle. Material force is merely the vehicle through which righteous principle (heaven) uses to operate in the material universe. The following similarities may be summarized for both religions between the ontology of self-transformation for Hubbards Operating Thetan and the Confucian ideal of the Sage. First, for both Scientology and Confucianism, the OT or Sagehood is an attainable ontological reality. The first step on the road for such self-transformation is the decision itself to do so. Self-transformation in both traditions occurs through training or study and auditing or the investigation of things. Critical in that venture is the notion of truthfulness or sincerity; this requirement underlies Hubbards use of the E-meter, which assures absolute truthfulness in auditing and training rituals. In each case, the application of truthfulness or sincerity in auditing or the investigation of things catalyzes the transcendence of the mundane world; hence, truthfulness or sincerity becomes a powerful means for creating flashes of transformative ontological insight. These glimpses of ultimate truth, called cognitions or realizations, build on prerequisite levels of cognitions or realizations beginning with the individual self, that can be compared to Hubbards Clear, and extending to humanity, earth and on to cognitions or realizations of self identification as one with ultimate reality. For both 228 Chan, 638-9. 229 Ibid., 636. 69


religions, the OT or Sage is the individual who has attained this ultimate level of ontological understanding. Moreover, the Sage as co-creator of heaven and earth compares to the OTs capacity to be cause on all eight dynamics. In both religions, the focus of self-transformation centers on the mind: specifically, removing/purifying the obfuscating MEST or material force associated with it. The loss of the reactive mind component in Scientology reconfigures the mind into essentially one unit: the analytical mind that rationally perceives and acts. This compares with the moral and human mind dichotomy that resolves as one mind when rectified. For both, the word clear is used to describe the ameliorated condition of the mind in which its inherent theta or principle is no longer impeded by the obstructing effect of MEST or material force. In Scientology and Confucianism, the notion of the creative, ordering power of the postulate or effortless action (wu wei) is asserted as abilities for the OT or Sage. Moreover, this cosmic creativity is innate to theta or principle and restored through the rehabilitating rituals of self-transformation. 3.2 Auditing or the Investigation of Things with Sincerity This section compares the metaphysics of self-transformation through the Scientology ritual called Auditing and the Neo-Confucian concepts of ko-wu, the Investigation of Things and Affairs, together with the notion of cheng, Sincerity. Though drastically different superficially, at its conceptual core both practices, I will argue, reveal that through processes of self-actualization the human beings innate cosmic 70


ability can be restored empowering an individual to bring order to human and cosmic realms. In both traditions, the mind becomes the vehicle through which such self-transformation is attained. Finally, I will show how in both Scientology and Confucianism the application of absolute truthfulness to the investigation of things yields transformative flashes of enlightenment that ultimately actualize an individuals identity with ultimate reality. Professor of Religious Studies, M. Darrol Bryant, explains that the religious quest that Hubbard formulated can be best understood as religio-therapeutic; meaning that, the process of addressing the human problem is the process of actualizing a lost or hidden human spiritual power or dimension of life. 230 In Scientology, the restoration of this concealed powerful dimension occurs through two processes: study, which will be discussed in the next section, and auditing. 231 Also termed processing, auditing is a communication ritual administered to an individual, called a preclear, by someone trained for such tasks, an auditor. 232 The general format of auditing is a communication cycle with the auditor issuing commands or questions, the preclear responding and the auditor acknowledging the response. The preclears response and other indicators signal for the auditor the next steps to be taken in the particular standardized program of auditing being delivered. 233 Hubbard informs that the goal of auditing is to bring an individual into such thorough communication with the 230 M. Darrol Bryant, Scientology: an Analysis and Review of a New Religion, Scientology: Theology and Practice of a Contemporary Religion (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1998), 187. 231 The Scientology Handbook (Copenhagen: New Era Publications International, 1994), lxxxvi. 232 Hubbard, Dictionary, 28, 31. 233 Whitehead, 127-8. 71


physical universe so that innate cosmic power and abilities are regained; 234 and, concomitantly, to raise the individual on the Emotional Tone Scale. 235 Most auditing employs an electronic device, called an E-meter (Electropsychometer), which measures the preclears emotional stress during auditing. During such processes, the preclear holds electrodes (metal cans), which are connected to the meter by wire leads, while the auditor operates various settings and views an analog dial that moves in response to emotional fluctuations. 236 Detected by the E-meter, as well, is stress associated with untruthfulness or other issues that the preclear, for whatever reason, cannot confront during the auditing session. 237 Another essential factor in auditing is the auditors ability to interact in highly focused but neutral (non-evaluative) communication with the preclear, both in the delivery of questions or commands and the receipt of the preclears replies. This skill is termed TRs, an ability fully developed during auditor training. 238 Hence, the E-meter plus the auditors TRs induce the preclear to fully confront the various topics and issues posed in auditing with absolute truthfulness and sincerity. Hubbard writes: Processing is a series of methods arranged in an increasingly deep scale of bringing the preclear to confront the no-confront sources of his aberrations ; 239 for the adherent, this is a ritual that creates Truth. 234 L. Ron Hubbard, The Creation of Human Ability: a Handbook for Scientologists (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 26 235 Hubbard, Survival, 529. 236 Whitehead, 142-5 237 L. Ron Hubbard, The Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology, vol. I (Los Angeles: Church of Scientology, 1976), 224-30. 238 Whitehead, 135-42. 239 L. Ron Hubbard, The Organization Executive Course: An Encyclopedia of Scientology Policy, Treasury Division, vol. 4. (Los Angeles: Church of Scientology, 1969) 8 vols., 200. 72


In respect to auditing and, ultimately, self-transformation, Truth has profound metaphysical implications. The following quote by Hubbard will be explained: Truth is the exact consideration [postulate] the exact time, place form and event the discovery of Truth brings about an as-isness. Ultimate Truth would have no time, place or event. 240 Postulate, as used in the quote, means a directed desire or order, or inhibition or enforcement, 241 which is the thing that preclear had created to define her current reality. Thus, in auditing, Truth, as described above, comes about when the preclear locates the precise elements of the postulate. This is to as-is something, which means to have a realization, to view something precisely as it is without any distortions or lies, at which moment it will vanish and cease to exist. 242 A derivative of the term, as-isness, used in the quote above, and its several permutations, 243 provides the metaphysical framework for ultimate cosmic creativity: the creation and destruction of universes of reality. 244 Further, Ultimate Truth can be perceived as a static absent of MEST and, therefore, understood as a Tone 40 state on the Emotional Tone Scale: Serenity of Beingness. Hubbards theories form the foundation of auditing: things are investigated to the utmost to locate its elements of truth, which instantly melt away the mental MEST associated with it. The things investigated in auditing, covering behavioral, mental, physical and spiritual phenomena, 245 are organized in packs of processes assembled specifically for each of the grade levels on The Bridge. Such a program pack contains one or more processes each formulated as a series of questions or commands which the 240 Hubbard, Scientology 0-8, 62. 241 Hubbard, Dictionary, 304. 242 Ibid., 24. 243 Hubbard lists these permutations as Alter-isness, Isness, and Not-isness which introduce an element of change, alteration or force, respectively, in relation to As-isness thus creating reality and postulates about it. Hubbard, Creation of Human Ability, 28-9. 244 Hubbard, Ability, 28-9. 245 Whitehead, 159. 73


auditor will communicate to the preclear during auditing. Depending on the preclears responses and E-meter reaction, the program specifies, in flow-chart fashion, series of follow-up questions or assessments from lists of items. 246 Given that the attainment of Clear incorporates the ability to be at cause over mental MEST in regard to the first dynamic (self), 247 auditing topics and issues up through that grade on The Bridge deal essentially with the self. Abilities (cause) on the remaining seven dynamics are gained through auditing in the upper OT phase of The Bridge. Incidentally, auditing beyond Clear includes what is called Solo Auditing. 248 In this mode, the individual audits alone by simultaneously alternating between the delivery and receipt roles of auditing. 249 All auditing processes continue until an End Phenomenon (EP) is achieved for a specific process or level of auditing. Preceded by a sudden and sharp release of emotion, this event creates a feeling of extroversion and relief. Most significantly, the EP includes a cognition: an instantaneous realization about oneself in relation to life; in other words, the individual has as-ised something about herself. In such a moment, an idea or mental picture is not merely reported but is instead emotionally conveyed. 250 With the EP, a particle of Truth becomes manifest for the individual. The Confucian method for selftransformation came about from study, engaged in the next section, the investigation of things, a concept forwarded in the Great Learning and championed by Zhu Xi, and sincerity, developed in the Doctrine of the Mean and advocated by Zhou Dunyi. 246 Ibid., 158. 247 Hubbard, Dictionary, 75. 248 Whitehead, 128. 249 Hubbard, Dictionary, 392. 250 Whitehead, 258. 74


According to Tu Wei-ming, in Zhu Xis understanding, humanity is fully manifested only when the mind has completely discerned all things; 251 moreover, to accomplish this, he maintains that the mind had to include a metaphysical dimension. To validate his argument, Zhu Xi posited that all things were comprised of principle (li) plus material force (qi), and that this was no different for the human being; what did differentiate humans from everything else was the mind. Tu Wei-ming adds that though still made up of material force, the mind, as an agent of creativity and sensitivity, has the unique potential of, quoting Zhu Xi, embracing and penetrating all things leaving nothing to be desired. 252 In this way he explains that self-transformation is attained with the clarification of ones material force: We must eliminate the obstructions of selfish desires [material force], and then it [the mind] will be pure and clear and able to know all. 253 The way to achieve this was through self effort in the investigation of things and affairs (ko-wu). Zhu Xi writes: Just investigate one item after another somehow until the utmost is reached. 254 Tu Wei-ming points out that ko-wu was the critical aspect of Zhu Xis philosophy and one that he garnered from the Great Learning. 255 A review of that text reveals several passages that clearly express the notion of ko-wu. In one set of passages, it asserts that to establish an orderly empire, the ruler must first cultivate the self and extend knowledge to the utmost through the investigation of things. Such practice initiates a resonating series of ameliorating phenomena in ever widening circles of human experience ranging from harmony in the household to 251 Wei-ming, Humanity, 77. 252 Ibid. 253 Chan, 630. 254 Ibid., 610. 255 Wei-ming, Humanity, 116. 75


tranquility in the empire. 256 To extend knowledge to the utmost denotes that one must investigate deeply into the principle of things until its limit is reached in a sudden flash of enlightenment. This is illustrated in a passage in the Great Learning: Exerting [oneself] in this manner for a long time, [one] will one day suddenly become all penetrating the manifest and the hidden, the subtle and the obvious qualities of all things will all be known, and the mind will be completely illuminated. This is what is meant by the investigation of things [and] the completion of knowledge. 257 Zhu Xi mirrors the premise of this passage throughout his substantial directives for self-transformation. Particularly noteworthy is his description of the terminal phenomenon of the process: When the principle of things and events are investigated to the utmost, penetration will come as a sudden release. 258 Preceding Zhu Xi by roughly a century was Zhou Dunyi, a pioneer of Neo-Confucianism, who set the template for later thinkers by asserting the transcendent unity of the cosmos. 259 Among the concepts that he forwarded in this regard was the metaphysical power of cheng, meaning sincerity or perfectly truthful, as a means to actualize self-transformation and, ultimately, cosmic unity. 260 Basing his ideology from the Doctrine of the Mean, Zhou Dunyi asserted that sincerity is the foundation of sagehood and a state of absolute quiet and inactivity (tranquility, serenity). 261 The following passage from that text expresses the cosmic power of sincerity to initialize a series of realizations about the true nature of the self, humanity, and the world culminating in the actualization of the sage. 256 The Four Books, 5. 257 Ibid., 8. 258 Chan, 630. 259 Analects, 268. 260 Tu Wei-ming explains that the character, cheng, etymologically connotes completion, actualization, or perfection; moreover, honesty, genuineness, and truth are included as accurate English translations for the term. Wei-ming, Humanity and Self Cultivation, 95. 261 Chan, 466-7. 76


Only he who is most perfectly truthful [sincere] is able to give full realization to his human nature; [able to do so,] he is then able to give full realization to the human nature of others; [able to do so,] he is then able to give full realization to the nature of other creatures; [able to do so,] he can then assist in the transformative and nourishing processes of heaven and earth. If [able to do so,] he can then form a trinity with heaven and earth. [22] 262 In this and several subsequent passages, sincerity, or perfect truthfulness, is posited not only as the metaphysical grounding of the sage but, accordingly, the very nature of ultimate reality itself. Hence, when one achieves perfect truthfulness [sincerity], one fully actualizes their identity with ultimate reality. Worth mentioning is that a contemporary Zhou Dunyi, Zhang Zai, integrates both concepts ko-wu, the investigation of things and cheng, sincerity into one philosophical assertion. In the passage below he clarifies two quotes from the Doctrine of the Mean: By sincerity resulting from enlightenment is meant to develop ones nature fully through the investigation of things to the utmost, and by enlightenment resulting from sincerity is meant to investigate things to the utmost through fully developing ones nature. 263 In this passage, Zhang Zai presents the dual goals of developing ones nature and the investigating things as mutually reinforcing objectives. He cleverly does this by creating mirror versions of each segment to illustrate the synergistic relationship between ko-wu and cheng. In the first, sincerity manifests from enlightenment achieved through the investigation of things; in the second, enlightenment manifests from the investigation of things through the achievement of sincerity. Finally, the following comparisons may be summarized in respect to the metaphysics of self-transformation for both Scientology and Confucianism: respectively, 262 Four Books, 124. 263 Chan, 508. 77


the ritual of auditing and the dual concepts of ko-wu, the investigation of things with cheng, sincerity. The above synopsis of Scientologys religious quest -actualizing a hidden human spiritual power in order to address the human problem -can be, as well, accurately applied to the Confucian quest. Both conceive that through processes of self-actualization -auditing for Scientology and investigation of things with sincerity for Confucianism -inherent cosmic ability is restored empowering the individual to bring order to human and cosmic realms. Given that the mind is, according to Hubbard, the bridge between the spirit and the body; 264 it can therefore be asserted that, in auditing, the mind is comprehended as a metaphysical conduit between the physical universe (the individuals body, the E-meter, the auditor and other MEST) and the metaphysical realm of theta. A comparison can be drawn with Zhu Xis understanding of the metaphysical character of the mind as an agent of creativity (li) with the ability to penetrate all things. As was discussed, auditing is a communication ritual that investigates issues in relation to the self and the eight dynamics. Through such ritual investigation, abilities to affect order across all of the dynamics are restored. Similarly for Confucianism, ko-wu, -the investigation of things and affairs -means, according to Zhu Xi, to investigate one item after another until the utmost is reached. Such a process metaphysically initiates order across a range of human experience from the self through to the empire. For both, the thorough investigation of things eventually yields an end phenomenon A cognition or as-is; Zhu Xi calls it penetration as a sudden release. 264 Hubbard, Technical, vol. III, 224. 78


The use of the E-meter, along with the auditors focused regimen, or TRs, produces total truthfulness on the part of the preclear. Such truthfulness yields a metaphysical dimension, Truth, which restores cosmic consciousness and creativity. Similarly for the Confucian, sincerity, or perfect truthfulness, conveys a metaphysical dimension as the nature of ultimate reality. For both religions, when Ultimate Truth/ perfect truthfulness (sincerity) is achieved, one actualizes their identity with ultimate reality. Noteworthy is that such ultimate truth or sincerity yields Serenity of Beingness for the Scientologist and tranquility as absolute quiet and inactivity for the Confucian. Importantly, Zhang Zais assertion of a synergistic effect between sincerity and the investigation of things can be compared to a similar synergy found in auditing: as an individual achieves self-discovery and greater sincerity (higher levels of truthfulness and confront) through auditing, this increased sincerity facilitates even greater self-discovery through auditing. A contrast between the two religions shows that in Scientology, transformation is segmented and ranked in respect to domain of influence; for example, a clear relates to being cause on the first dynamic and a higher level OT relates to cause at farther reaches of the cosmic continuum. No such differentiation is posited in Confucian theology. It may very well be that the more accurate analogy for Confucian sagehood in Scientology is the highest grade of OT XV, a level that has not been available to adherents since the inception of this religion. 265 265 OT VIII is the highest available level at the time of this study. 79


3.3 Study This section examines comparisons between a second major strategy of transformation significant to both Scientology and Confucianism: study. For both traditions study not only provides a method to acquire information, it is a vehicle for self-transformation as well. An important goal of study for both is the application of acquired knowledge beyond simply memorizing data. Successful study includes integrating theory and application, maintaining a manageable difficulty gradient, and defining words. Both religions make seriousness a prerequisite of study and assert its metaphysical effect. Lastly, Hubbard and Confucius single out the glib individual as a focus of concern. Though auditing processes discussed in the previous section are the most recognized ritual of self-transformation, a Church of Scientology handbook claims that fully half of the gains available in Scientology come from [study]. 266 Hubbard writes that a large number of people de-aberrate [self-transform] just by the education contained in Scientology. 267 He further asserts that though auditing alone increases a persons intelligence and competence, that audited individual is still held down by the ignorance of life; [thus,] it is far better to teach AND [sic] process [audit] a person than only to process him. 268 Classified as Training on the Bridge gradation chart, this second mode of self-transformation includes the study of Hubbards philosophy, axioms, laws, and methods. 269 266 Handbook, lxxxvi. 267 Hubbard, Organization, vol. 4, 200. 268 L. Ron Hubbard, The Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology, vol. II (Los Angeles: Church of Scientology, 1976), 406. 269 Handbook, lxxxvi. 80


A student of Scientology receives training through a progression of self-paced course modules consisting of a check sheet listing specific actions and readings to be completed. 270 These check sheet requirements are undertaken during supervised, scheduled course room periods at a Scientology academy authorized to deliver a particular level of training. 271 Though Scientology academies provide introductory courses, the ultimate purpose of these facilities is to train auditors. 272 The courses involved in this process are deployed relative to the students achievement of prerequisite levels on the training gradation chart. Important to Hubbard is that each course must culminate in teaching a definite skill or skills. 273 For Hubbard, training is serious business. The gravity of the students mission is repeatedly reinforced through a 3,400 word policy letter, Keeping Scientology Working, required to be read and comprehended fully as an initial check sheet item in virtually every course packet. This requirement may include a verbal examination by the course supervisor to check for misunderstood words and concepts prior to permitting the student to progress to the next check sheet item. In the document, Hubbard stresses that his technology is correct and of the critical necessity to constantly safeguard it by teaching and applying his technology correctly. Importantly, throughout his text Hubbard conveys the seriousness associated with this venture: Were not playing some minor game in Scientology The whole agonized future of this planet, every Man, Woman and Child on it, [sic] and your own destiny for the next endless trillions of years depend on what you do here and now with and in Scientology. This is a deadly serious activity. 274 270 Hubbard, Technical Division, vol. 4, 217. 271 Ibid., 75-6. 272 Ibid., 4. 273 Ibid., 42. 274 Ibid., 48. 81


Hence, at the outset of every course, Scientology training is framed in the sobering context of the students responsibility for not only her own soteriological fate but that of all her fellow human beings. Hubbard thus elevates the purpose of study from the mundane personal goals of everyday life into one of active participation in the cosmogony of the world itself. The seriousness motivated by the cosmic significance of Hubbards doctrines validates the methods and policies that facilitate its rigorously precise comprehension and application. To achieve this precision, one of the initial courses encountered by the academy student expounds Hubbards study tech. 275 Chief among its concepts is what Hubbard calls barriers to study, three major impediments to successful comprehension and application of concepts encountered in study. These barriers are absence of mass; too steep of a study gradient; and the misunderstood word. 276 Concerning the first barrier, absence of mass, Hubbard proposes that theoretical concepts must be engaged with counterpart physical components, preferably performing a task or procedure with the actual item or a reasonable substitute. 277 In the absence of such actual application of study or in the case of abstract concepts, a demonstration kit is recommended as a viable application method to add mass, reality and doingness to the material. 278 Such a kit is generally comprised of a box or bowl holding a collection of small, arbitrary items. 279 Utilized by students in what are called demos, these 275 Hubbard, Bridge. 276 L. Ron Hubbard, The Organization Executive Course: An Encyclopedia of Scientology Policy. Basic Staff, vol. 0 (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1986), 23. 277 Ibid., 23. 278 L. Ron Hubbard, The Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology, vol. VII. (Los Angeles: Church of Scientology, 1976), 287. 279 Ibid., 287. 82


objects are used in a type of enactment of the concepts being studied. 280 Along the same line, academy students may be required to demonstrate concepts and definitions using clay modeling in course room spaces designated as clay tables. 281 It is noteworthy in the area of application of study that Hubbard identifies a particular type of student as glib: though appearing highly knowledgeable, such a student is unable to apply or use the material studied. Hubbard explains: The reason for this is that in memorizing words or ideas, the student can still hold the position that it has nothing to do with him or her therefore, very glib. 282 He further labels the glib student a social machine who can, however, be cured through an intense series of training regimens. 283 Referencing his theory of ethics termed the conditions formulas, Hubbard warns that the glib student represents an ethics condition below non-existence; 284 accordingly, such a student would be categorized into one of the lower ethics levels identified, in descending order, as Liability, Doubt, Enemy, Treason or, the lowest, Confusion. 285 If not remedied by specified praxes, the glib individual would, for Hubbard, be viewed as a source of potential danger to Scientology operations. Continuing his study tech, the second barrier, too steep of a study gradient, occurs when the student attempts to move to a higher level of training before fully mastering a prerequisite level of study. 286 All training, as well as auditing, advances in Scientology along what Hubbard calls a gradient scale, proceeding from simplicity 280 Ibid. 281 Ibid., 162-3. 282 Hubbard, Organization, vol. 4, 240. 283 L. Ron Hubbard, The Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology: Auditing Series, vol. IX (Los Angeles: Church of Scientology, 1976), 345. 284 Ibid. 285 L. Ron Hubbard, Introduction to Scientology Ethics ( Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 95-104. 286 Hubbard, Organization, vol. 0, 23-4. 83


toward greater difficulty. 287 When a gradient barrier is encountered, the corrective action is to locate the part of study or activity just before things became confusing; it is in that reportedly understood portion where the individual did not fully comprehend the material. 288 The misunderstood word is the third barrier to study. So vital is this factor that Hubbard writes, Stupidity is the effect of the misunderstood word. 289 He further claims that sudden and unexplained departures from auditing sessions, training and administrative posts can be traced to this particular barrier of study. 290 Consequently, at the beginning of virtually every Scientology book, an advisory informs readers to never go past a word that is not fully understood. The note asserts that the datum concerning the misunderstood word is the most important fact in the whole subject of study and that the misunderstood word is the reason why students give up their studies. 291 Permeating all aspects of Scientology from training and processing to administrative functions, implementation of this theory is achieved in part through nine separate word clearing methods. The various protocols associated with the application of these methods, including the use of the E-meter in some cases, are delineated in Hubbards numerous instructive bulletins. 292 The culminating effect of Hubbards above described study regimen points to an overarching paradigm critical to self-transformation in training as well as auditing: the notion of confront, a concept that was briefly mentioned in the previous section on 287 Hubbard, Technical, vol. II, 443. 288 Hubbard, Organization, vol. 0, 24. 289 Hubbard, Technical, vol. IX, 427. 290 Hubbard, Organization, vol. 0, 24. 291 Example derived from Hubbard, Advanced Procedures and Axioms, (no page number). 292 Hubbard, Dictionary, 472-4. 84


auditing. Hubbard defines this term as an action of being able to face the ability to be there comfortably and perceive. 293 Consequently, the deficiency in this ability he terms nonconfront. Relative to the field of study, he makes the following assertions: The degree of complexity is proportional to the degree of nonconfront; conversely, The degree of simplicity is proportional to the degree of confront. 294 According to Hubbards theory, complexity arises from the students inability to confront words and concepts by instead offering her own definitions and ideas in place of those that the material attempts to convey. In this regard he writes: The subject is made complex because it has become the substitution of symbols for symbols [hence] complexity [stems] from an initial point of nonconfront. For Scientologists, this illustrates how complexity and confusion result from the inability to fully confront ideas and concepts such as those presented in study. Extending the concept of confront further, Hubbard offers its metaphysical implication to self-transformation: The basis of aberration is a nonconfront when no-confront enters, a chain may be set up [that] leads to total complexity and total unreality [this is called] an aberrated condition. 295 Hubbards techniques of study along with numerous and extensive training exercises indoctrinate students to automatically confront concepts, words, ritual artifacts and partnered trainees as they progress along a career path to becoming auditors. Hence, it is in this context that Hubbards earlier quoted assertion is understood, that many people de-aberrate simply through the education contained in Scientology. 293 Hubbard, Dictionary, 88. 294 Hubbard, Organization, vol. 0, 26. 295 Ibid. 85


For Confucians, self-transformation came about from study as well. Zhang Zai, for example, writes that the great benefit of learning is to enable one to transform his physical nature. 296 Wing-tsit Chan observes that Zhang Zais ideal of transforming ones physical nature developed into a key neo-Confucian doctrine that has remained a golden teaching in the Confucian School. 297 This principle maintains that by taking responsibility for oneself along with study, evil material force can be transformed into an ameliorated state. 298 Tu Wei-ming notes Confucius image as a devoted learner. 299 In what Slingerland calls Confucius spiritual autobiography, Confucius marked the first step of his life journey of self-transformation stating: At fifteen, I set my mind upon learning 300 Noteworthy as well is that Confucius opening words in the Analects not only deal with the topic of learning, but define his philosophy of study: effective learning is comprised of both theory and application. Confucius states to his disciples: To learn and then have occasion to practice what you have learned is this not satisfying? 301 The objective of study, hence, was to gain an ability to do something with acquired data beyond simply memorization. Confucius illustrates this point by imagining an individual who can recall hundreds verses but is unable to carry out an assigned government task. He remarks, No matter how many odes he might have memorized, what good are they to him? 302 296 Chan, 516. 297 Ibid., 516-7. 298 Ibid, 517. 299 Wei-ming, Humanity, 47. 300 Analects, 9. 301 Ibid., 1. 302 Slingerland, Analects, 141. 86


Tu Wei-ming notes that the Confucian ideal of learning emphasized not only the engagement of the mind but the body as well, developed into the neo-Confucian tradition called learning of the body and mind (shen-hsin chih chiao). 303 Zhu Xi stresses that the synergism between knowing and doing is crucial for successful learning stating, Knowledge and action always require each other. 304 Accordingly, until one has put into practice some particular piece of knowledge, that knowledge is, in Zhu Xis words, still shallow; however, after one has put knowledge into practice, he asserts that knowledge becomes increasingly clear and its character different from what it was before. 305 Zhu Xi was particularly attentive to maintaining a manageable gradient of difficulty in study. Echoing Zhang Zais writing that things should be investigated gradually, 306 it was important for successful learning to engage easier, prerequisite topics first and then gradually increase the difficulty of the materials studied. Consequently, Zhu Xi instructed students and colleagues that the esoteric Five Classics should be attempted only after fully mastering the Four Books. 307 Of the latter set of materials, he instructed students to engage them in a particular order: the Great Learning, the Analects, Mencius, and last, the Doctrine of the Mean. 308 Zhu Xi demonstrates the concept of gradient structuring to study in the following: I want men to first read the Great Learning [it] provides a series of steps and a precise order which should be followed; it is easy to understand so should be read first [In contrast] the Doctrine of the Mean is difficult to understand; it should be read only after the other three books. 309 303 Wei-ming, Humanity, 44. 304 Chan, 609. 305 Chan, 609. 306 Ibid., 516. 307 Four Books, xxiv. 308 Ibid. 309 Ibid., xxv. 87


In addition to the topic of the study gradient, determining the correct definition of words was a vital concern for Confucians as well. Termed the rectification of names (words, terms and titles), this issue is discovered in Confucius sayings. In the Analects, Confucius demonstrates this importance by asserting that if he were appointed to government service, his first priority in such office would be the rectification of names. 310 In the same passage, Confucius describes how misunderstood terms can lead to a chain of events resulting in the failure of some intended objective: If names are not rectified, speech will not accord with reality; when speech does not accord with reality, things will not be successfully accomplished. 311 Wing-tsit Chan notes that though ancient philosophical schools commonly discussed the subject of the rectification of names, the only Chinese philosopher to develop a type of systematic logical theory concerning this topic was a contemporary of Mencius, Xunzi. 312 Whether or not Zhu Xi was influenced by Xunzis thesis in this regard, he nonetheless points out the importance of understanding the meaning of words: extensive learning means study everything even the meaning of one word or a half a word. 313 A significant concern as well in regard to Confucian study is the notion of seriousness. Confucius references this idea declaring, If a gentleman is not serious what he learns will be grasped only superficially. 314 Zhu Xi posits the notion of seriousness as the task of self-control and orderliness that produces a body and mind 310 Analects, 139. 311 Ibid. 312 Chan, 127. 313 Ibid., 610. 314 Analects, 3. 88


collected and concentrated as if apprehensive of something; moreover, he advises that only when a student has achieved such a prerequisite condition can he engage in study. 315 The reason, he notes, is that seriousness, as such, facilitates tranquility and the subsequent realization of the Principle of Nature; 316 hence, seriousness is a state of mind associated with the attainment of self-transformation. Seriousness, he accordingly asserts, is the first principle of the Confucian School [that,] from the beginning to the end, must not be interrupted for a single moment. 317 Related antithetically to the concept of seriousness is the notion of glib (ning), an idea that Slingerland notes is found throughout the Analects. 318 He explains that Confucius modified the original meanings of the terms ren and ning, which originally meant beautiful speech and physical beauty, respectively, to connote inner virtue (ren) and its counterfeit, glibness (ning). 319 Illustrating the attributes of the glib individual, Confucius shows his disdain for such a mind-set: A clever tongue and fine appearance are rarely signs of Goodness. 320 In another passage, Confucius is more direct in his admonition, keep glib people at a distance [they] are dangerous. 321 Decisively, for both religions, study is a critical aspect of each philosophy. As Confucius establishes the importance of study by identifying himself foremost as a devoted learner, Hubbard asserts the superior status of the Scientologist who has included training over one who has only experienced auditing. In both cases, study is more than a method to acquire information; it holds potential as a vehicle for self-transformation. 315 Chan, 607. 316 Ibid., 606. 317 Ibid. 318 Analects, 2. 319 Ibid., 41. 320 Ibid., 2. 321 Ibid., 179. 89


Hubbards claim that people de-aberate through Scientology training compares conceptually to the Neo-Confucian notion of the power of study to purify material force. The first significant comparison, which is located in the various Confucian references made above, is in the area of what Hubbard identifies as barriers to successful study. One study principle, lack of mass, parallels closely with the neo-Confucian tradition that promotes the engagement of the body along with the mind in study. Known as learning of the body and mind, a critical synergism is posited between knowing and doing. Hubbards theory seems to follow this Neo-Confucian ideal by including in his study technology, what he calls, mass and doingness. These techniques include doing the task studied with the actual item, a substitute or, when not available or impractical, physically modeling concepts using a demonstration kit or clay. Additionally, since it can be construed that body in the above Neo-Confucian equation of study represents an aspect of material force and that Hubbards mass and doingness can be associated with his concept of MEST, shown in a previous section to be analogous to material force, then, Hubbards requirement of the integration of MEST into his study theory compares conceptually with neo-Confucian body and mind learning. Another study barrier, too steep a gradient, follows Zhus attention to the detail of maintaining a manageable difficulty gradient in the progression of material engaged in study. Just as Zhu identifies the Great Learning as foundational for the Confucian student and thus positions it as the first material to be engaged, so too does Hubbard require a preliminary course outlining his study guidelines to facilitate study that lies ahead. 90


Hubbards final barrier to study, the misunderstood word, brings out a parallel with the Confucian emphasis on the importance of rectification of names. Both Hubbard and Confucius convey the importance of obtaining the correct meanings of words and caution that misunderstood words will result in the failure of achieving intended objectives. In particular, Hubbard echoes Zhu Xis assertion that the correct meaning of words is integral to extensive learning. A second major comparison involves the notion of seriousness; specifically, both traditions make this a prerequisite of study and both assert its ability to facilitate self-transformation. For Scientology, it was shown that a fervent element of seriousness, as related to both study and the application of Scientology, is conveyed in Hubbards Keeping Scientology Working in which the students mission is elevated from superficial, mundane purposes to the potential for affecting the cosmogony of the world itself. Hubbards stance compares to Confucius warning that any learning achieved with non-seriousness will only be grasped superficially. Moreover, the Confucian ideal of seriousness is described as a prerequisite condition for study, a state of mind that entails a tranquil disposition in which the student is able to understand or perceive something of significance. This nature compares with Hubbards notion of confront depicted as the ability to be there comfortably and perceive. Conceptually, the Confucian ideal of seriousness and Hubbards notion of confront are similar in that both are presented as essential dispositions necessary to achieve self-transforming realizations. Finally, though study holds the promise of self-transformation, it was shown that both religions recognize that the goal of study is the application of acquired knowledge beyond simple memorization. Further, for Hubbard, a student who cannot apply study 91


material is labeled glib, a social machine and characterized as potentially dangerous. Though Confucius does not place the glib individual in the context of study, his portrayal of such a person as a clever tongue who may be dangerous seems to fit Hubbards description. 92


Conclusion In a 1954 lecture, L. Ron Hubbard credited the philosophies of Hinduism, Daoism and Buddhism as providing a trove of ancient material that contributed to the discovery of Scientology but singled out Confucianism as insignificant to his venture. This exclusion of the entire body of Confucian canons and philosophic exegeses is somewhat problematic in that they were paradigmatic and inextricable to the religious and cultural history of China: a culture that, as a young man in the late 1920s, Hubbard had personally immersed himself into in his reported quest of discovery. In response to this perceived problem, I have attempted to show with the present study that Scientology and Confucianism do share fundamental paradigms that shape and legitimate beliefs about the world and humanity. To further illustrate the full scope of these commonalities, I want to provide a generic summary without using specific, theological terms belonging to each religion. 322 Using this technique, I have identified and incorporated the comparable features in the present study into a common structure describing the worldview and soteriology of both religions. In this common model, ultimate reality is a unity of two interacting cosmic phenomena: 1) the quasi-transcendent realm 323 and 2) the physical realm. 324 This physical realm is created from the directed solidification of the life force inherent to the quasi-transcendent domain. The physical realm, though in constant flux and 322 For example, in this modality, the theological terms, MEST and material force, specific to Scientology and Confucianism, respectively, are replaced with the generic term, physical realm. In the footnotes, these generic terms are differentiated respective each religion. 323 Quasi-transcendent Realm, represents the Scientology notion of Theta and the Confucian concepts of Qi of Heaven or Principle. 324 Physical Realm, represents the Scientology concept of MEST (Matter, Energy, Space and Time) and the Confucian notions: Qi of Earth or Material Force. 93

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reconfiguration, is ordered by its benevolent coextensive counterpart, the quasi-transcendent realm. All life in the physical universe, including the human being, results as the quasi-transcendent realm combines with the physical, animating it. Conversely, the retreat or absence of the quasi-transcendent from the physical accounts for failure and death. The human being is conceived as three separate but coextensive components: 1) the quasi-transcendent Realm, posited as an individuated formulation; 325 2) the physical realm, providing the human bodys physical characteristics; and 3) the mind. This latter component is dichotomized into two parts: 1) the rational mind 326 and 2) the irrational mind. 327 The irrational mind contains an aspect of the physical realm that can be purified to permit full realization of the rational mind and, concomitantly, the full expression of the benevolence and power of the quasi-transcendent aspect. Moreover, the human being with such a purified irrational mind is identified as the Superior Human, 328 which is comprehended as possessing an undifferentiated unity of mind characteristic of the rational mind. Concerning notions of good and evil, the human being is posited as inherently good reflecting the benevolent, rational presence of the quasi-transcendent realm. Evil is rendered no ontological status; instead, it is rationalized as the potentially deleterious effect of the physical realm that can obscure and confuse the perfect expression of the quasi-transcendent component from being fully realized. The quality of the physical 325 Individuated formulation, represents the Scientology notion of thetan and the Confucian notion described as particular principle. 326 Rational Mind represents the Scientology notion of the Analytical Mind and the Confucian notion of the Moral Mind. 327 Irrational Mind represents the Scientology notion of the Reactive Mind and the Confucian notion of the Human Mind. 328 Superior Human represents the Scientology concept of Clear or Operating Thetan; and the Confucian notion of the Sage. 94

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component, ranging from pure to turbid, determines the degree to which the human beings quasi-transcendent component is either uninhibited or obscured manifesting outwardly as a range from good to evil. The metaphor of water as tranquil and clear (signifying a character inclined toward good, constructive behavior) or turbulent and murky (implying a character inclined toward evil, destructive behavior) illustrates this range of intermingling between the physical realm and the quasi-transcendent realm. The world is structured into three homogeneous parts that operate coextensively as an organic whole: 1) the quasi-transcendent domain, 329 2) the physical domain, 330 and 3) the human domain. 331 A teleological interdependence is asserted between domains: though the quasi-transcendent domain imparts an ordering benevolence, human conduct has consequences as well to cosmic order. Hence, contemporary social disorder is the result of the decline of human ethical conduct, which ultimately can be traced to the physical realms influence on the mind. Only through the rigid application of Reparative Principles 332 to restore ethical human conduct can the detrimental trend be reversed restoring order to the human domain and, inductively, to the rest of the cosmos. In this respect, the individual does not attain ultimate transformation 333 in solitude; instead it is achieved by applying benevolent principles through social contact beginning with the 329 The Quasi-transcendent Realm is represented in Scientology as two dimensions of the Eight Dynamics: the non-MEST life impulses of the Seventh Dynamic, (Theta) and the Eighth, (Supreme Being, Infinity or God); in Confucianism this is represented as one aspect of Sanji, or The Three Ultimates: Tian (Heaven). 330 The Physical Realm is represented in Scientology as the two non-human MEST dimensions of the Eight Dynamics: the Fifth Dynamic (Animal) and Sixth (Physical Universe); in Confucianism this is represented as the second aspect of Sanji, or The Three Ultimates: Di (Earth). 331 The Human Realm is represented in Scientology as four human MEST dimensions of the Eight Dynamics: the First Dynamic (Self), Second (Family), Third (Group), and Fourth (Mankind); in Confucianism this is represented as the third aspect of Sanji, or The Three Ultimates: Ren (humanity). 332 Reparative Principles are represented in Scientology as Ethics Technology; in Confucianism, this is understood as the Confucian Way. 333 Ultimate Transformation for Scientology is comprehended as an Operating Thetan (OT); in Confucianism, this is the Sage. 95

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family through to the extent of humankind, which ultimately affects the quasi-transcendent domain itself. Moreover, the ultimately transformed individual ameliorates the human, earthly and heavenly realms through effortless action. 334 The coextensive interaction of the three cosmic domains the quasi-transcendent, the physical and the human result in an ongoing dynamic tension that can be termed resonance. 335 Three influencing variables affect the quality of resonance: the degree to which the individual 1) puts her/himself into anothers place, 2) shows agreement, and 3) communicates. 336 The concept, hence, legitimates doctrines and praxis to improve the quality of these variables to produce constructive, ameliorating resonance. The objective of these doctrines and praxis is ultimate resonance, 337 which conveys a state of being expressed as equanimity. 338 The intermingling of the quasi-transcendent with the physical causes human dispositions. 339 As described above, the benevolent, rational dimension of the quasi-transcendent is encumbered or reduced along a continuum of the quantitative/qualitative influence of the physical. As such, human dispositions can be identified along a scale of influence 340 that measures the varying affect that the physical has upon the human being. 334 Effortless Action can be understood in Scientology as knowing and willing cause; in Confucianism this is the translation of wu-wei. 335 Resonance is represented in Scientology as the concept of Understanding, which comes about from ARC (Affinity, Reality and Communication); for Confucianism, this is the ideal of Harmony. 336 These three aspects effecting Resonance are understood in Scientology as the three components of Understanding: Affinity, Reality and Communication (ARC); in Confucianism, though not specified as three distinct named components, these aspects were shown to be paramount to the means in which Confucius created Harmony. 337 Ultimate Resonance is represented in Scientology as Tone 40.0; In Confucianism this is Perfect Balance. in synonymous terms: Serenity and tranquility. 338 Equanimity is represented in Scientology as Serenity of Beingness; in Confucianism this is Tranquility. 339 Human Dispositions is represented in Scientology as Emotions; in Confucianism this is called Feelings or xin. 340 Scale of Influence is represented in Scientology as the Emotional Tone Scale; in Confucianism, this is conveyed as the continuum of human nature ranging from superior to medium to inferior. 96

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Those less affected and entangled with the physical are more serene, virtuous and causative than their antithetical counterparts that are distinguished as anxious, bad and the effect of the physical realm. The limits and associated effects of this phenomenon can be described: when desire for the physical is ultimate, the quasi-transcendent is destroyed; conversely, the total elimination of desire for the physical permits the quasi-transcendent to be fully expressed as pure cause and infinite goodness. The soteriological objective in this generic representation is an attainable ontological reality achieved through self-transformation and conceptualized as the Superior Human. Self-transformation begins with the self-determined decision to do so and occurs through two means: 1) the process of inquiry, and 2) learning. 341 The thorough application of profound honesty 342 in the process of inquiry catalyzes the transcendence of the mundane world; as such, honesty becomes a metaphysical tool for creating flashes of transformative ontological insight. 343 These glimpses of ultimate truth build on prerequisite levels of insight beginning with the individual self and extend to humanity, earth and to the extent of the cosmos, actualizing the notion of being one with ultimate reality. Hence, the Superior Human, attaining this understanding, is rendered the capacity for creativity through effortless action within all venues of the cosmos. 344 As mentioned above, the focus of self-transformation centers on the mind: specifically, clarifying any obfuscating aspects of the physical realm associated with it. The term clear describes this ameliorated condition. 341 Process of Inquiry and Learning represents for Scientology Auditing and Training; for Confucianism this is termed the Investigation of Things or ko-wu and Study. 342 Honesty is represented in Scientology as the truthfulness that comes about in auditing from the auditors utilization of the E-meter; for Confucianism this ideal is termed Sincerity or cheng. 343 Insight is represented in Scientology as a Cognition or to as is something (to see something as it truly is); for Confucianism this is a Realization. 344 In Scientology this is posited as the OTs capacity to be cause on all Eight Dynamics; in Confucianism this is conceived as the Sages ability to be co-creator of Heaven and Earth. 97

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Finally, though the goal of study is the application of acquired knowledge beyond simple memorization, self-transformation does occur as well in this mode. Three significant principles are suggested for successful study: integrating aspects of the physical domain with theory; maintaining a manageable difficulty gradient; and defining words. Importantly, the student must be genuine in purpose 345 to achieve full understanding and potential transformative insight. Given the generic account described above, the proposition is asserted that terms from either Scientology or Confucianism can be substituted in place of their generic counterparts and the description will still provide an accurate representation of the religion from which the terms are derived. This exercise would seem to verify the broad and significant conceptual relationship that exists between these two religions as asserted by the thesis statement. Moreover, limitations in the breadth of this study constrained the full range of comparisons that could have been included to advance this thesis further. For example, some of the stronger comparisons that the research located in both religions can be identified by Hubbards concepts of Present Time, Aesthetics, Clearing the Planet and a few others. From a theoretical perspective, the present study reinforces Steve Bruces summary of Scientology as a World Affirming Movement. 346 Following theories developed by Bryan Wilson and Roy Wallis, Bruce confirms that such movements, in contrast with those identified as world rejecting, do not exhibit many of the traits that normally correlate with traditional religions. World affirming movements, Bruce states, 345 Genuine in Purpose is represented for Scientology as Confront; for Confucianism, this is Seriousness. 346 Bruce, 173. 98

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are happy with much of the secular world and [have] a generally positive attitude to humankind and the self; moreover, such movements do not perceive humans as not so much evil as restricted. 347 The world affirming category that Bruce applies to Scientology can easily apply to the clearly humanistic worldview of Confucianism. This observation, of course, adds one more comparative dimension that serves to reinforce the conclusion of this study. In an additional application of the world affirming/rejecting taxonomy, it would be interesting to apply this methodological test to those religions that Hubbard claimed significant -Hinduism, Daoism and Buddhism -in comparison to the world affirming status that Bruce relegates to Scientology. Another dimension to this research may include a set of comparative analyses similar to the present study for each of the above mentioned religions. The results yielded from such work would be helpful to further understand the breadth and scope of comparisons that may be made between those religions and Scientology; and, as I would posit based on the findings of this study, how Hubbard may have worked concepts from those religions into the Confucian format to synthesize his new religion. 347 Ibid. 99

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Works Cited Behuniak, James Jr. Mencius on Becoming Human. Albany: State University of New / York Press, 2005 Berger, Peter. The Sacred Canopy: the Social Construction of Reality. New York: Anchor Books, 1990. Bruce, Steve. Religion in the Modern World: From Cathedrals to Cults. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1996. Bryant, Darrol M. Scientology: an Analysis and Review of a New Religion, Scientology: Theology and Practice of a Contemporary Religion. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1998. Chan, Wing-tsit. A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1963. Confucius Analects: With Selections from Traditional Commentaries. Translated by Edward Slingerland. Indianopolis:Hacket Publishing Company, 2003. Ellwood, Robert S. and Harry B. Partin. Religious and Spiritual Groups in Modern America, 2 nd ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1988. The Four Books, Translated by Daniel K. Gardner. Indianapolis: Hacket Publishing, 2007. Golden Age of Knowledge for Eternity: a Presentation by Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board, RTC, produced and directed by Golden Era Productions, 2007, DVD. Hubbard, L. Ron. Advanced Procedures and Axioms. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007 ---. The Bridge to Total Freedom: Scientology Classification Gradation and Awareness Chart of Levels and Certificates. L. Ron Hubbard Library, 1998. Single page poster. ---. The Creation of Human Ability: a Handbook for Scientologists. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007. ---. Dianetics 55!: The Complete Manual of Human Communication. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007. 100

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---. Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007. ---. Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1981. ---. The Fundamentals of Thought. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007. ---. Introduction to Scientology Ethics. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007. ---. The Organization Executive Course: An Encyclopedia of Scientology Policy. Basic Staff, vol. 0. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1986. 8 vols. ---. The Organization Executive Course: An Encyclopedia of Scientology Policy. Treasury Division, vol. 4. Los Angeles: Church of Scientology, 1969. 8 vols ---. Phoenix Lectures: Freeing the Human Spirit. Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2007. ---. Science of Survival: Prediction of Human Behavior. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007. ---. Scientology 0-8: The Book of Basics. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007. ---. Scientology 8-8008. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007 ---. Scientology: A History of Man. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007. ---. Scientology: a New Slant on Life. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007. ---. The Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology. Vol. I. Los Angeles: Church of Scientology, 1976. 10 vols. ---. The Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology. Vol. II. Los Angeles: Church of Scientology, 1976. 10 vols. ---. The Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology. Vol. III. Los Angeles: Church of Scientology, 1976. 10 vols. ---. The Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology. Vol. VII. Los Angeles: Church of Scientology, 1976. 10 vols. ---. The Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology: Auditing Series. Vol. IX. Los Angeles: Church of Scientology, 1976. 10 vols. 101

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Lee, Janghee. Xunzi and Early Chinese Naturalism. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2005. Lewis, James R. Scientology. Oxford: Oxford Press, 2009. Neville, Robert Cummings. Boston Confucianism: Portable Tradition in the Late Modern World. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2000. Nylan, Michael. The Five Confucian Classics. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001. Pals, Daniel L. Seven Theories of Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996. The Scientology Handbook. Copenhagen: New Era Publications International, 1994. Wei-ming, Tu. Confucian Thought: Selfhood as Creative Transformation. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1985. ---. Humanity and Self Cultivation: Essays in Confucian Thought. Berkely: Asian Humanities Press, 1979. What is Scientology?, 64. Copenhagen: New Era Publications International, 1992. Quoted in Frank K. Flinn, Scientology as Technical Buddhism, Scientology, ed. James R. Lewis, 209-23 (Oxford: Oxford Press, 2009), 218. Whitehead, Harriet. Renunciation and Reformation. Ithica: Cornell University Press, 1987. Yao, Xinzhong. An Introduction to Confucianism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. 102

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Finding Confucianism in Scientology
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Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2009.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
ABSTRACT: Scientology holds considerable interest for scholars of new religious movements. As such, this study aims to contribute new data and insight to ongoing theoretical work within this area of religious studies scholarship. Engaged in this inquiry are the similarities between Scientology, the new religious movement founded in 1951 by L. Ron Hubbard (1911-1986), and the Chinese religion, Confucianism, which originates with the teachings of Confucius (551-479 BCE). Though Hubbard admits being influenced by eastern thinking such as Buddhism and Daoism in shaping his worldview, he specifically discounts Confucius as relevant in this regard. However, through comparisons between Scientology and Confucianism, this study demonstrates that there are significant and numerous instances of similarities between the two religions ranging from their worldviews to concomitant soteriologies.In the cosmogonies of Scientology and Neo-Confucianism, for example, the world comes about from the interplay of two cosmic phenomena: 1) an ordering, non-physical life force, termed in this study as the quasi-transcendent and 2) the physical. All life, including human beings, occurs as the quasi-transcendent realm combines with the physical, creating three homogeneous, coextensive, and teleologically interdependent parts: 1) the quasi-transcendent domain, 2) the physical universe, and 3) the human sphere. Comparing both traditions further, human beings are innately good, endowed as such by the benevolent influence of their quasi-transcendent component. Error, or evil, is rendered no ontological status and is rationalized as confusion caused by the obfuscating effect of the mind's physical constituent upon its benevolent counterpart. Self-transformation occurs as the physical component of the human mind is purified restoring profound ontological awareness and cosmic creativity.A notion absent in Confucianism, which could be assessed as a significant theological difference between these traditions, is Scientology's reincarnation theme. This aspect, however, is peripheral to the larger conceptual model that both these religions share.
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Co-Advisor: Wei Zhang, Ph.D.
Co-Advisor: Dell deChant, M.A.
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