I recently got a comment on my blog that surprised me because it put forward the idea that spirituality is a selfish persuit. I hope my answer reflects what people on a spiritual path actually think. I’d love to hear the viewpoint of other Patheos members on this topic.
Jonathan said: I just get the feeling that with the clearing of the reactive mind, that morals would fly out the window, as the search for spiritual ends, in the end, are selfish, and you’re told to do it for yourself. I believe that people are good, but when environments make it SO easy to be bad, and even rewarded in some cases that clearer lines should be made about how much you do it for yourself.
Thanks for your comments Jonathan.
You say “the search for spiritual ends, in the end, are selfish”. If that comes from your own personal observation, then that is sad. Personally, I have found that the search for the spiritual is very far from selfish.
As an example, would you call Mother Teresa selfish? I sure wouldn’t.
Let me give you the Scientology view on this:
First: the dynamic principle of existence is SURVIVE! In other words that is the driving force behind everything we do.
Next: the purpose of the mind is to resolve problems relating to survival.
And third: When we talk about survival we don’t mean just for oneself, we are talking about survival of self, ones family, the groups one is part of, of mankind, of all living things, of the physical universe, of all things spiritual and of God or Infinity.
The analytical mind in its optimum state tries to bring about the best possible survival in all those areas, not just self.
The reactive mind gets in the way of this. The selfish and destructive things you see in this world are products of the reactive mind.
Once a person has gotten rid of his reactive mind, all that is left is the analytical mind – the optimum mind. So a Clear acts in the best interests of all and a Clear is as active as he can be in that direction. He or she works toward the best possible survival for all the areas I mentioned above.
So, in my experience, people who are improving spiritually become more and more interested in the rest of existence and they become more and more active in helping others – that’s why the Scientology Volunteer Ministers are such a huge organization and why you see them whenever disaster strikes. They have improved enough spiritually that they want to, and do, help others.
You say “you’re told to do it for yourself”. Perhaps there are religions where that is the case, but Scientology is not one of them. Yes, it does require active participation if you want to improve spiritually, and yes, it is necessary sometimes to look inward at your own existence in order to understand yourself, but it is not a solo effort, you need to both give and receive help in order to make it.
I hope your own path towards the spiritual is successful and that you too can help others be unselfish and help their fellow man.