“Scientology: The ‘Other’ Philosophy” is a blog by Rodger Clark. It appeared first on the website of STAND (Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination). And Patheos publishes it here with its permission.
Controversy or conflict?
Whenever you find controversy or conflict surrounding Scientology, or for that matter just about anything, what you are actually witnessing is a conflict of two philosophies.
One is the philosophy of avoiding and escaping life. And the other is the philosophy of facing and handling life. Examine any personal, familial or societal conflict. You will actually discover some form of clash in those two competing philosophies.
The philosophy of facing and handling life
The philosophy of facing and handling life requires things like responsibility. Courage. Self-reliance. And the ability to reason well. It requires honesty and many other characteristics considered desirable. The philosophy of avoiding and escaping involves the opposite. Irresponsibility, fear, dependence. And lack of resolve and dishonesty, to name a few.
On the face of it, the choice seems like a no-brainer. People who live happy and successful lives number in the millions. And they are all examples of the face-and-handle philosophy. Results of the avoid-and-escape philosophy can be found in prisons and drug rehab centers.
But unless a person is conscious that the two philosophies exist as opposing philosophies, making up one’s mind about what to do with the situations and confusions of everyday life can become muddled and messy.
The philosophy of avoid and escape
The avoid-and-escape philosophy is easy and seductive. And the face-and-handle philosophy requires that one face and handle tough and unpleasant stuff. It requires effort, determination and persistence, sometimes for years. Often with no promise of a payoff. So whether we are conscious of it or not, it’s a choice. A choice all of us have to make many times every day.
There is a problem with this choice—avoid or face. Enormous industries, philosophies and entire lifestyles are constructed around avoid-and-escape. From entertainment to pharmaceuticals. Human and drug trafficking. Even personal security. All are delivering the promise of “we’ll do the hard stuff for you.”
Don’t get me wrong. It’s ok to make life easier and more efficient. And there’s nothing wrong with hiring a professional. But the reason and point of view one adopts in doing so is the difference. Are you using a convenience to avoid and escape? Or to take on more life?
Here is the irony. Look at the people who handle and run your life for you, the companies who help you avoid and escape. They are themselves started and run by people who adopt the philosophy of facing and handling life.
This goes for everyone from slick-talking politicians to entertainment moguls and CEOs. And multinational pharmaceutical companies. But often their very living and very existence depend upon getting as many people as possible to choose the avoid-and-escape life.
Creating a satisfying, adventurous and enjoyable life
What if you could create a life that was far more interesting than anything on TV. Or in the movies? And what if your life was satisfying. What if it was so adventurous and enjoyable that you never became depressed? And what if you were perfectly capable of analyzing information. Determining the truth for yourself? What if you didn’t need an “authority” to do it for you?
When something like Scientology comes along it starts showing people they can face and handle life. And it shows them how to do it. When those people then start to enjoy facing and handling life, it’s no wonder some of these players and industries begin to see Scientology as a threat. And they begin campaigning to smash it out of existence.
Anti-Scientology bigotry: What does it really mean?
So whenever you see or hear anti-Scientology bigotry, or see Scientology being mugged and outrageously mischaracterized in the press, just realize what is going on. And realize what and who is behind it. Facing and handling life is independence. It’s freedom. Avoiding and escaping is the opposite.
We’re in the business of freedom.
It’s really just that simple.