Throughout and try to clear it of all blockages

Throughout
history, religion and the field of science have been butting heads as both
groups are concerned with uncovering and presenting the truths of life in
efforts to improve how we live. Both Buddhism and Scientology use different practices
as a way to achieve a higher state of being. They both delve into the complex
human mind and try to clear it of all blockages that hold one back from
realization. While Buddhism focuses on meditative practices to achieve
enlightenment, Scientology uses a technique called auditing to go clear into a
higher state of being. We have focused on three different units that
investigate the relationships between religion and science, and in this essay,
I will focus on how the followers of Buddhism and Scientology use these religions
to become fully human.

            Though there are many different
forms of Buddhism, I will be focusing on the general and original form of
Buddhism that began around the fifth century B.C.E. Before I continue, it is
important for me to inform you that along with this course I am also taking a
class on Buddhism which is where I am also getting my information from. As the
common myth or narrative of Buddhism goes, it began with the birth of
Siddhartha Gautama who realized when he was a young man that he was unsatisfied
with his luxurious but sheltered life so he set off to discover what the world
had to offer. He then saw what we call the Four Sights (old age, illness,
death, and a religious hermit) and discovered that the nature of human
existence consists of mostly suffering, so he renounced himself and one day sat
under the Bodhi tree and meditated for many days until he became the Awakened
Gautama Buddha and was able to reach Nirvana. This is a grossly simplified
version of how the Buddha came to be, but it gives us the necessary background
information to understand how Buddhism is practiced and helps one become fully
human.

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Core beliefs of Buddhism are the principles of karma
and reincarnation with the understanding that intentional acts of good or bad
will produce an equivalent karmic effect that determine the conditions of one’s
future and rebirth. The main goal of Buddhism is to get out of the constant
cycle of life and death, also known as samsara, which karma determines where
one’s destination will be each time they are reborn. In order to escape samsara
one must realize the Four Noble Truths, those being the dissatisfactory nature
of the human condition, what causes it, how it can be ended, and the path one
needs to take to be released. The path to end suffering, or dukkha, which is
caused by the dissatisfactory human condition, is the Eightfold Path, which is
where we see Buddhism being put into practice.

The Eightfold Path is divided into three parts being
the proper view, proper conduct, and proper practice. Within proper view are
the two steps right understanding and right thought which basically state one
must have clarity in understanding the aspects that create the dissatisfactory
human condition and the truth about life, as well as taking those truths and
creating a pure thought process that frees the mind of unwholesomeness. The
second part, proper conduct, includes the three steps of right speech, right
action, and right livelihood. These state that one should not partake in wrong
speech (like telling lies) but instead should cultivate truthful and gentle
words and on top of that, should engage in virtuous actions (do not lie or
kill) and use them to live a life that does not cause harm to others. The last
part is comprised of right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.
These steps are where we see Buddhism being applied or practiced and state that
one must make the right effort to prevent poisonous thoughts and mental states by
producing wholesome ones. Also, one needs to become fully and clearly aware of
their mental and physical states so they are able to better their life and the
world around them, and with right concentration, one can use deep focus to realize
the true nature of all things. The steps of the Eightfold Path are implemented
through meditative practices and it is through these that we see one become fully
human. Tranquility meditation is concerned with clearing the mind of unruly
thoughts and emotions to help one gain deeper insight into reality. Insight meditation
focuses on calming the mind and concentrating on the factors that end suffering.
These meditative practices help one become fully human by clearing the mind of unwholesome
and false thoughts which allows one to fully realize the truths of themselves and
the world around them, leading them to Enlightenment and Nirvana.

Unlike Buddhism, Scientology is a newer religion and
one that incorporates more science into its practices and ideas. It all started
with a man by the name of Ron L. Hubbard, a Science fiction writer, and creator
of Dianetics, the doctrine of
Scientology. The narrative or myth of Scientology is definitely more out-there
than that of Buddhism and it starts with the galactic overlord Xenu. The story
goes like this, millions and millions of years ago Xenu brought billions of his
people to earth, placed volcanoes around them and then killed every last one of
them by dropping hydrogen bombs on them. This caused immortal spirits of these
aliens called thetans to attach themselves to humans which cause spiritual
harm.

Scientology’s basic goal is to clear one’s reactive
mind of painful thoughts, called engrams, that hold back one’s analytical mind
from functioning properly. The analytical mind is the problem-solving mind and
is always aware, but the reactive mind takes over when the analytical mind is
suspended by engrams which are stored away and can keep the analytical mind
from doing its job. This is where auditing comes in as Scientology’s main
“religious” practice (to me it is more of a therapeutic practice). An
individual meets with an auditor and partakes in multiple sessions of auditing
in order to erase engrams. This is necessary because these engrams can generate
painful feelings as the memories attached to these engrams surface and hold one
back from living a productive life. Auditors use a mechanism called an E-reader
to measure one’s emotional output as they recount past events. When one frees
their mind of these engrams they have progressed on the path of going clear and
are no longer held back by these traumatic and painful emotions. Going clear
refers to the state of having cleared all engrams from ones reactive mind and
therefore is no longer held back by them. Things go deeper as one is addressed
with the need to get rid of engrams from previous lives and even uncover
neonatal engrams. Once these engrams are taken care of and one has gone clear
they are then faced with the issue of body-thetans that have latched on to
humans years ago, and require more past-life auditing to get rid of. Finally,
when this is done, one has officially gone clear and will not be faced with the
problem of engrams affecting their lives. The application of Scientology is
done through auditing which helps one become fully human by clearing the mind
of painful memories and thoughts called engrams, and after these are removed
one is fully free from hindrances and can reach a new level of self-realization.

Throughout this course we have discussed many
different religious traditions and how they contradict or affirm the beliefs
and claims in the field of science. Every religion has some sort of myth or
narrative which they base their doctrines on, which then decides how the
religion will be applied in one’s life. Buddhism is applied by using the
Eightfold Path to help one achieve Awakening and Enlightenment and does this
through meditation. Meditation helps one become fully human by honing in on
one’s mental and physical states and cleanses the mind of tainted thoughts so
one is able to cultivate and attain a wholesome mindset that will lead them to
Enlightenment where they realize the true nature of being and are able to reach
Nirvana. Scientology is applied through a process called auditing where an
individual answers questions given to them by an auditor in order to erase
engrams that hold them back from a productive life. Auditing helps one become
fully human by freeing one’s minds of trauma and distressing thoughts that hold
them back from going clear and gaining a deeper level of self-realization. Both
Buddhism and Scientology, though for different reasons, are aimed at improving
one’s life through clearing one’s mind by replacing unproductive and
troublesome thoughts with productive and wholesome ones so they can achieve a
higher state of being.

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I'm Marcella!

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