Scientology Ethics

by Silvio Calzolari

INTRODUCTION

By nature, human beings want happiness rather than suffering. Animated by this wish, everyone of us tries to reach happiness and get rid of suffering, and we all feel that we have the right to do so. In this aspect, we are all equal – Western and Eastern, rich and poor, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Scientologists, believers and non-believers. We are human beings, we are equal and we all share the hope of reaching happiness. Here philosophy enters the game, as Man is a creature that not only lives in a material way but who also has the ability to wonder about his own existence and the ultimate aim of his life. What is Man? According to Immanuel Kant, is “the only creature” whose destination does not coincides with natural life only but also with the realization of that “better world, he conceives of” [Filosofia moderna (Modern Philosophy)], Costantino Esposito, Pasquale Porro, Laterza publishers, Bari, Italy, 2009, page 447].

Kant, in the beginning of his “Logics” [Critica della ragion pura, tr. it., (Critique of Pure Reason)], chap. II, sect. I, Laterza publishers, Bari, Italy, 2000, page 495), states that philosophy addresses three fundamental questions: What can I know? What am I to do? What can I hope for? The first question is merely speculative, the second is practical, the third is both speculative and practical. The answer to the second question is the target of ethics that, since time immemorial, considers the problem of what is the best way for Man to live. And what such best way could be but the attainment of happiness for us and the others?

Many philosophers also discuss “good” or “ultimate good.” But the “good” attained and owned, whatever it may be, is identified with happiness, isn’t it? The question on ethics therefore has to do with happiness and involves a reflection on the very existence of Man and his existential project. Happiness is the ideal for everyone of us; every human being is searching for it. Even the ascetics and the mystics of every religion, who by own choice exclude themselves from the world in order to live a life of deprivation and meditation, have a “calling” for freedom. They engage in a life of asceticism in an attempt to be “happy”: happy to approach God, the Transcendent.

To know who Man is and what he has to do to reach happiness, are the issues confronted by the  philosophical reflection, and especially by ethics, in every age and every country of the world. The Saint and doctor of the Catholic Church himself, the Dominican Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), in his famous treaty on “evil” had no doubt about the universaI nature of the wish for happiness: “(…) experience brought us to ascertain that all men tend to happiness, and if this wish is so universal it is obviously natural.” [Quaestiones disputatae de malo, q.13, a.3; q.14, a.4].

What such desire may stem from? Probably it is a redress of the awareness of one’s limits imposed by time and space. People need to hope, and in their hearts and minds they always cultivated the desire to set themselves free from sorrow, deprivation and sufferings. But doesn’t this continuous research transcend human force? Maybe it does, if Kant himself warns us that human reason continuously tends to go beyond its own capabilities trying to know things that exceed its boundaries [Critica della ragion pura (Critique of Pure Reason) op.cit., chap. II, sect. I, pages 490-491]. One could play with words and concepts until is dazed, yet in front of the human condition characterized by the awareness of decay, by suffering, by illness and by unavoidable death, Man always will -- unless reason is pushed beyond itself -- view his existence as limited and failing. It is the awareness of one’s “historicity” influenced by time and space, that prompts Man to turn to the Absolute, to the Transcendent, to God. It is the dream of being able to come out of the human condition, of “coming out of self” in order to take part in a lasting happiness, in a “Something else”, in the world of Spirit -- regarded as different from earthly everyday life -- that we long for and feel we belong to, despite our limitations, differences and individualities. It is a dream that always fascinated and continues to fascinate men of faith, ascetics, mystics, philosophers, artists and poets. Is this the lure of a “lost Paradise ”? The reminiscence of an original perfection? There is no limit to the dream of Man who, since the dawn of time, imagined more dimensions than those disclosed to his physical universe.

One could wonder what moves Man who, from West to East, feels this impulse to lay aside his ephemeral individuality to become part of the Whole, whatever it might be named. Does he do it due to weariness of self as an individual who can no longer tolerate having to fight to maintain the identity imposed on him by life? Or does he do it to obey the call of his innermost nature, since one cannot really live but in the hope of the perfection of a Transcendent Being? We could answer that one motive would not exclude the other. They could be complementary aspects of the same human condition, legitimating both the need to “come out of self” in a quest for more elevate spiritual dimensions, and the different and sometimes conflicting ways to satisfy such necessity, to interpret it, to live it, to testify it to the world where are established the relationships between the individuals and the organization of the human sphere, with its hierarchies and functions from which derive the social organizations of family, group, nation.

It is in these associative forms that the single individual introduces and performs his temporal existence; they are all forms that remain “suspended” in the sphere of the human, awaiting for it to somehow be specified in regards to the Absolute. In these forms and functions ethics plays a major role. This is why religions have always been interested in ethics and why philosophy played since ever a key role in the study of the ethical principles behind Man’s spiritual search. Yet there is a distinction here: Religious life is a totalizing practice, at least on what concerns the relationship with God, with the Absolute, and contains within self ethics, often as a founding factor though not being contained in it. In fact, all holy books include parts of ethics nature (for instance, the Deuteronomy in the Old Testament; some sections of Saint Paul’s Letters; many verses of the Koran’s Suras, etc.), even though for some thinkers the ethical importance of religion may become so vast as to constitute its core and be identified with its very essence (for instance, Baruch Spinoza, 1632-1677). Philosophical ethics on the contrary, though admitting the relationship with the transcendent as something possible, rather seems oriented to inter-subjective relationships, or at least over time has been conceived merely as such.

ETHICS AND MORALS ARE NOT SYNONIMS

Like many other technical terms of the philosophical European and Western lexicon, the term “ethics” comes from ancient Greece. Aristotle (384/383 b. C. - 322 b. C.) wrote at least two works by this title, Nicomachean Ethics and Eudemean Ethics and perhaps a third one too, the “Great Ethics”. In Aristotle,  ethics means “science of ethos”, where by ethos is meant the customs of a people or social group, i.e. the shared feeling regarding human conduct, usually expressed by the system of legislation and by the laws of the polis.

The word ethics is believed to derive from the ancient Sanskrit term svadha that meant “what is situated (dha) in oneself (sva)”, to indicate the customs and moral norm considered timeless and unchangeable, that were handed down by the ancestors and one was supposed to abide by. Only by following those rules could Man live happy, in the harmony of cosmic and divine law. Svadhā was the tradition preserved by the forefathers, based on the values of the spirit (the good, the right and the esthetic beauty) held as absolute. From the Sanskrit word, through the fall of the initial consonants and phonetic modifications, supposedly was born the Greek terms ethos, i.e. custom, as well as its derivation ethikòs, to wit “having to do with custom”. In short, both the Sanskrit word and the Greek one basically define a real “art of living” founded on the experiences relayed by the tradition considered holy by one’s community.

In the Hindu world however, the concept of ethics was also expressed by the word niti, from ni that means “to lead”; from which “rules of conduct and behavior” useful both to the individual’s and the society’s good. From that word derived the compound nitishastra -- where shastra has the meaning of ‘summary’ or ‘treaty’--, i.e. “doctrine of behavior” and “justice based on rules ratified by laws”.

Svadha and niti were not synonymous, even if their meanings often overlapped. Niti was part of a system of “practical” philosophy -- in the sense of praxis, to wit, human actions -- deriving from the teachings of the past to which, with the passing of time, indications on the way to act, norms, prescriptions and laws were added, in order to orient individuals toward actions deemed positive, give a sense to life and achieve and maintain social harmony. Something similar also appears in the thought of Aristotle, who preferred to call ethics by the name of politics as he considered that the wellbeing of the polis, subject of politics, included both the good of the individual (subject of ethics in a strict sense) and the good of society, of the common home (oikos). For Aristotle, the good (to agathòn) was not something theoretical but a concrete benefit and ethics (or politics) were to help to improve the praxis, to wit, Man’s actions in order to achieve through virtue the perfection which would eventually lead to the conquest of happiness (eudaimonìa).

In ancient Hinduism, like in Aristotle’s thought and in the thought of many later philosophers, philosophy in its practical (i.e. ethical or political) part, was a combination of knowing and knowledge (gnoseology) along with indications on how to behave and act, to wit, rules and prescriptions.

The word morals  was often utilized as a synonymous of ethics since the Latin word mos (genitive, moris) meaning “customs” or “way of doing”, was the equivalent of the Greek word ethos. As of today, in the common use, the two words morals and ethics are often considered interchangeable. Actually, the first should define the complex of principles that rule our behaviors and relationships, while the second would signify the modes of their application. Basically, morals would correspond to facts, norms and values of the single individual, group or community, while the word ethics (in addition to this meaning) would also involve the speculative, to wit, rational and logical, reflection on those norms and values. However today in the common usage, one rather talks about ethics and, in the English fashion, of “ethics” related to different fields and professional codes of practice: medical ethics, journalism ethics, professional ethics, educational ethics, etc.

In any case, no matter what it is called, ethics is a science and an art. It is the art of endowing one’s life with a sense and of mapping out its future. It gives a sense because, as we saw, Man longs for happiness. Man is desire. I am desire. Everyone of us is desire. And real ethics provides Man with some indications on how he can ever more improve himself, his society and the environment around him. The search for a sense is fascinating because it orients life and fulfills it. Those who reject the sense and choose a non-sense, slump into the destructive pessimism of non-ethicalness (I prefer this term to immorality) that turns Man into a less compassionate being, oblivious of his spiritual essence.

SCIENTOLOGY ETHICS

Today, with the renewed interest in practical (ethical) philosophy, a huge weakness in the academic world is represented by the frequent neglect, due to lack of knowledge or to some resistance to talk about it, of the originality of the ethics paradigm proposed by Ron Hubbard (1911-1986). That’s very strange, because it is an ethics system characterized by great modernity that pays particular attention to the existential concreteness of the human condition in the integrity of all its dimensions.

Lafayette Ron Hubbard was born in Tilden, Nebraska (USA). A writer, philosopher, traveler, photographer and musician, L. Ron Hubbard is not the sort of person one can easily classify. He was undoubtedly a brilliant man who managed to align the study of western and eastern philosophy with the passion for research on mind, spirit and life. He is most famed for the development of Dianetics (1950), “the study and treatment of what soul makes to the body”, and Scientology (1952), “the study and treatment of the spirit in relation to itself, the universes and other life-forms.”

Before analyzing the ethical paradigm of Scientology, I believe is worth mentioning The Way to Happiness, a booklet providing a non-religious and non-dogmatic moral code written by Ron Hubbard in 1980 in order to help the individual to increase his survival potential. Its principles are not just addressed to the Scientologists (who accept them as part of their moral codes) but to all people of goodwill.

It was in the course of his research aiming at the improvement of Man that L. Ron Hubbard, always a keen observer of Man’s and society’s condition, realized the need of creating a moral secular code, although the Scientology religion already had his own ethical codes.

But what is the definition L. Ron Hubbard gives to the word happiness? To the founder of Scientology, “Happiness is the overcoming of not unknown obstacles toward a known goal" [Dianetics, Modern Science of Mental Health, L. Ron Hubbard, New Era Publications International, Copenhagen 2007, page 50]. It is interesting to notice that Hubbard views happiness not as an emotion, but as a state or condition of a being aiming to reach a better and more complete form of existence.

The aforementioned code, consisting of 21 articles or moral precepts of behavior, had a great success and was received with favor by public institutions, law enforcement, associations and groups. It has been translated in over 90 languages, with over 100 millions of copies distributed in 170 nations.

Every chapter of The Way to Happiness handbook contains and describes a rule of living applicable to everybody regardless of any religious, ethnical or cultural barrier. Listed below are the 21 precepts: 1. Take Care of Yourself, 2. Be Temperate, 6. Set a Good Example, 7. Seek to Live with the Truth, 8. Do Not Murder, 9. Don’t Do Anything Illegal, 12. Safeguard and Improve Your Environment, 13. Do Not Steal, 14. Be Worthy of Trust, 15. Fulfill Your Obligations, 18. Respect the Religious Beliefs of Others, 19. Try Not to Do Things to Others That You Would Not Like Them to Do to You, 20. Try to Treat Others as You Would Want Them to Treat You, 21. Flourish and Prosper.

This code does not just list a series of reprehensible negative actions to be frowned upon, such as theft, murder, promiscuity, illegalities and others, but does as well advise and recommend positive actions such as care of self, respect for one’s parents, help to the children, truthfulness, safeguard of the environment, etc.. All the precepts are explained through practical examples of their application to everyday life. As an expression of such principles, the Church of Scientology along the years established some secular entities active in various fields of society who engage in anti-drugs campaigns, rehabilitation from drugs addiction or criminality, improvement of environmental conditions. Many other Scientology volunteers work to fight illiteracy, participate in rescue activities in the wake of disasters and strive in defense of human rights. The ethical approach of The Way to Happiness, apparently a simple code, is first of all empirical and pragmatic and educates one to a really responsible freedom in terms of capability to select one’s decisions.

Amongst the many alternatives proposed to the modern individualist, (fragmented man) mystified since childhood by the merciless hammering of consumerism, sometimes even elevated to the status of civic virtue, the booklet of L. Ron Hubbard points out the way one should always prefer in order to reach, and have everyone else reaching, real well-being and “happiness” in this world. It is a way that augments the “be” rather than the “have”, that increases love, respect of self, of others and of the environment, and encourages sharing, rather than possession.

According to L. Ron Hubbard, one needs to train in these principles with simplicity and without the use of religious dogmas. The principles proposed by L. Ron Hubbard are basic principles that reiterate – in secular form – a sort of universal ethics revolving around the so-called “Golden Rule”, based on the respect of reciprocity: “Do to others what you would like to be done to you”. A rule hypothesized by philosophers of all ages and religions from all over the world. The principles proposed by Hubbard aim at Man’s moral elevation, at the recognition of others as equal to us but as well as “different” (an essential factor for the construction of an ethics of peace).

Thus, the secular moral code of L. Ron Hubbard becomes action and the theory becomes praxis in the Aristotelian meaning of the word. It is a “middle Way” of moral and spiritual rectitude aimed at the attainment of the ultimate good, Happiness. It is the Way of ethical action proposed as a human “science”, as a means to give one’s existence an ever increasing sense.

But how can ethics give a sense to one’s life? It does it because every individual wishes to survive (super= over, beyond and vivere = to live: to wit, a tendency to live at an ever improving level but not just in the sense of social status) and ethics does indicate him what to do and how to go about it. Of course, the search for a sense is hard, also because every way of conceiving the sense of human life inevitably involves a question of faith. Not necessarily a question, as Ron Hubbard teaches in The Way to Happiness, of religious faith, but simply of faith in Man, in progress and in the well-being of society.

With this handbook, Ron Hubbard encourages to behave ethically, without entering the religious sphere, because when an individual has no longer trust or esteem in self and others he loses the very sense of life, falls into isolation and plummets into rejection, rebellion, corruption, immorality, depression that can lead to illness and even to death. Even though the material part of Man is bound to die, the quest for infinite survival, an impulse to live and search for happiness, is inherent to him and of this L. Ron Hubbard is well aware: “The goal of life can be considered to be infinite survival. Man, as a life form, can be demonstrated to obey in all his actions and purposes to one command: SURVIVE! It is not a new thought that Man is surviving. It is a new thought that Man is motivated only by survival.” [Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health, page 26]

THE ETHICAL PARADIGM OF SCIENTOLOGY

The first decades of the last Century have been amongst the most important years in the history of contemporary thought – they saw the birth of meta-realistic philosophy.  In those years, Werner Karl Heisenberg (1901-1976) enunciated the principle of indetermination and the canonic Georges Lemaitre (1894-1966) formulated his theory of the expansion of the universe; furthermore, in the same years Albert Einstein (1879-1955)  advanced the theory of the “unified field” and Carl Gustav Jung (1875- 1961) his analytical theory. In that period, Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) issued his first works, Henry Bergson (1859-1941) developed the concept of “creative evolution”, Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957)  elaborated his doctrine of the “orgone”, and the mathematics’ logician Kurt Gödel (1906-1978) formulated his “Theorem of Incompleteness”; moreover, in 1927 the Copenhagen Congress saw the official birth of the quantum theory.

In those years, men of science produced real epistemological revolutions in an attempt to conciliate or conjoin the immanent reality we perceive with the transcendent principle by which it was supposedly created. The investigation of the world of the spirit and of the world of the matter started being done with new eyes, hypothesizing that they were not incompatible with one another but formed a unique reality. From this perspective, new theories were formulated about the brain, the mind and the conscience. It is in this period of great intellectual fervor that we must contextualize the work of L. Ron Hubbard, who tried to apply the new scientific methods not only to the psychological, mental and ethical problems of Man, but also to the religious ones.

According to L. Ron Hubbard, the components of the physical universe are: matter, energy, space and time (from the initials of these terms, is derived the acronym MEST, used in Scientology to indicate the material universe). The physical universe is also defined as “kinetic” to emphasize the continuous movement of the forces composing it. Hubbard writes: “The all-motion or more motion kinetic is termed MEST. This word represents the material universe or any universe. It is combined from the first letters of the four words: Matter, Energy, Space and Time.” [Scientology 8-8008, L. Ron Hubbard, New Era Publications International, Copenhagen 2007, page 15].

In every living organism however, there seems to be something more, something we can surmise as existing in a separate and distinct form; it is something that every religion and philosophy, from East to West, tried to locate and called in different ways: “soul”, “thought”, “spirit”, “breath”, “life energy” – the ch’i (in the modern pinyin transcription: qi) of the Chinese tradition, the Greek pneuma or the prana of the Hindu traditions, the élan vital advanced by the French philosopher Henri Bergson or the orgone envisaged by Wilhem Reich.

The symptoms of life and death are represented respectively by the presence or absence of this living energy animating the body. This “something” is a reality that cannot be seen but allows life; in the Scientology doctrines, it is represented with a symbol, the eighth letter of the Greek alphabet, Θ  (Theta).

According to Hubbard, Theta is “The life force, life energy, divine energy, élan vital, or by any other name, the energy peculiar to life which acts upon material in the physical universe and animates it, mobilizes it and changes it”. [Science of Survival, L. Ron Hubbard, New Era Publications International, Copenhagen 2007, page 237]. Moreover, “Theta is thought, an energy of its own universe analogous to the energy in the physical universe but only occasionally paralleling electromagnetic-gravitic laws. The three primary components of theta are affinity, reality and communication”. [Op. cit., page 216]. But theta would also be “reason, serenity, stability, happiness, cheerful emotion, persistence, and the other factors which man ordinarily considers desirable”. [Op. cit, page 226].

The last definition is in my opinion of extraordinary interest to understand the value of ethics in Scientology: in fact, we have the assimilation of “happiness”, that as we saw above is the target of any ethical search, to the world of Theta, that is the world of the Spirit. Happiness, ultimately, would simply be a condition of the spirit of life. In this respect, becomes clear why every human being has the research of happiness as his purpose, have a vocation to happiness. A person no longer engaged in such a quest, no longer devoted to happiness would be, as we will see later, deprived to some degree of Theta, in fact he would be ceasing to survive, to exist at an higher level; in other words, he would be succumbing.

The Spirit is indicated in Scientology also by the term “Static”, as characterized by absolute lack of movement and by complete balance. “A Life Static has no mass, no motion, no wavelenght, no location in space nor in time.” [The Foundamentals of Thought, page 85], but with “… the quality of creating or destroying mass or energy, locating itself or creating space, and of re-relating time” [Dianetics 55! L. Ron Hubbard, New Era Publications International, Copenhagen 2007, page 48]. The concept of Theta, in a sense, recalls the “vacuity” (Shū nyatā) hypothesized by Buddhism, to wit, the “suchness” (in Sanskrit, tathata) that postulates the absence of substantiality of phenomena (but that is not nothingness since such phenomena appear inter-dipendently) and does not empty things of their contents, being potentially their actual nature.

But even more, it reminds of the nature of the Tao (in the modern pinyin trascription: Dao)  of ancient China, as the constant “Principle” (Law) behind the changes of things and shapes. Tao is the spiritual unchangeable source, that does not take action and remains unvaried while determining and ruling all things that change in the physical universe. It is a principle that does not just donate life to creatures but also supports them, protects them , brings them to maturity, makes them happy as would a mother with her child. It is the primeval state viewed as the moment of unity beyond multiplicity, when the yin (feminine, passive, lunar, cold, dark, heavy) and the yang (masculine, active, sunny, warm, bright, light) are harmoniously joined and blended together. It is the balance of opposite energies in a dimension without shape, without space, without time, but with the potentialities of every dynamic process of creation and destruction.

During his researches, Ron Hubbard examined further and specified the role of the spirit as a subject and its causative relationship with the body, postulating that man as a living unit is a spiritual being. However, the word “soul” had assumed so many meanings in the use that other religions and confessions made of it, that it was necessary to find a new word to define exactly what had been discovered. Therefore L. Ron Hubbard coined the term “thetan”, “Thetan is the word given to the awareness of awareness unit, the life source, the personality… of Homo Sapiens. It is derived from the symbol Θ, a Greek letter. It is not somebody else, a thing one has, a soul, a spirit. It is the person.” [Scientology 8-80, L. Ron Hubbard, New Era Publications International, Copenhagen 2007, page 109].

In other words, the thetan would just be a declension or an inflection of Theta. Therefore according to Scientology, Man is not a body and does not own a soul; the human being is a soul and his body is a “function” of it. Something similar had already been declared by the neo-platonic philosopher Plotinus (204 A.D. - 270 A.D.) who in his Enneads (IV, 3-10), called the vital principle from which he believed men and the perceivable world originated “Soul of the World”. According to the ancient philosopher, it is not the soul that dwells in the body but is the body that is embedded in the soul; he believed that the perceivable universe is in the One, in the Spirit, even though Man does not always seem to be aware of this and most often proves to be incapable of grasping the deep unity existing in the whole reality and of leading the multiplicity of forms back to the Universal Soul.

Hubbard writes: “The thetan is immortal and is possessed of capabilities well in excess of those hitherto predicted for Man.” [Scientology 8-8008, L. Ron Hubbard, New Era Publications International, Copenhagen 2007, page 17]. After death, that spiritual Self who had identified with a body and a form, will return in another body at the moment of birth. Death is not the end of an individual just like birth is not his beginning.

This thesis is not new and seems to approach the teachings of some Hindu doctrines, for instance those explained in the Bhagavad Gita, (the “Song of the Blessed”; 200-150 b. C.): in fact we are not an individual wave of awareness separated from the sea of the Cosmic Conscience, but the very ocean of conscience. We consider ourselves individual waves only because we ignore the real nature of the Self. The thetan, participating in the nature of perfect Harmony which is the ultimate good, can only be “good” and therefore such is by nature Man as well. Hence, for Scientology all men are intrinsically good even if sometimes they may commit evil actions that basically are but aberrations from their original state of goodness.

According to Hubbard, “Man is basically good. He is basically well intended. He does not want to harm himself or others. [Introduction to Scientology Ethics, L. Ron Hubbard, New Era Publications International, Copenhagen 2007, page 20].

The Creed of the Church of Scientology states that spiritual salvation depends upon knowledge of self, upon the relationship with others (here is another reference to ethics as praxis) and upon the sense of belonging to the entire universe. The ethic journey proposed by L. Ron Hubbard is not aimed at the atoning of one’s mistakes in view of a possible salvation in the afterlife, but at the rediscovery of one’s spiritual immortal nature in the course of this lifetime.

The ultimate goal is salvation, to be achieved following what in Scientology religious is called the Bridge to Total Freedom, the symbolic path that enables to cross the chasm separating a plane where life is characterized by agony, sorrow and un-enlightenment and the higher plane where there can be joy, knowledge and freedom.

L. Ron Hubbard teaches that aberrations and wrong conduct stem by ignorance of our real spiritual nature; but in spite of that, through the ability to differentiate given by knowledge one can manage to grasp its essence thereby improving self up to the achievement of the full awareness of one’s spirituality. The attainment of such condition would be source of expansion, fulfillment, true liberty, and infinite happiness. The Scientology doctrines present similarities to the Buddhism of the Cittamātra school ( School of the Mind Only), supposedly founded in the fourth century A.D. by Asanga on inspiration from the Bodhisattva Maitreya himself, (“The One Who Is Love”; the next Buddha in the future), that puts forwards the idea of a state of consciousness called Amala (i.e.: “pure”, “immaculate” conscience) allowing one’s mind to transform the Self, to wit, to set oneself free from any possible obscuring stored in the alaya conscience, the “vessel conscience” (somehow similar to the Scientology “reactive mind” described in Dianetics) to achieve one’s most intimate and spiritual essence. The process would be similar to the one proposed by the Demiurge’s concept of Gnosticism (gnosis, etymologically means “knowledge”).

Scientology, like the Cittamātra school or the gnostic religion, relies on the personal religious experience to face and sort out the contradictions of the matter-spirit dualism and try to free the thetan (the spirit) trapped into MEST. But let us set aside mysticism and Man’s potential to reach higher and higher (or expanded) levels of awareness, and go back to the Scientology ethical paradigm that through the “rehabilitation” of Man’s spiritual self attempts to attain a definitive transformation of the individual, the society and the world.

The unifying factor of all universe, the major purpose of all life forms, would be that of survival. And by survival is not just meant the difference between living and dying. In Dianetics e Scientology, survival can be defined as the “dynamic principle of existence”, divided into eight urges or stimuli, (the Eight Dynamics), sorted in an order of increasing magnitude, toward a better and more complete form of existence and realization of the human being. These Eight Dynamics may be viewed in the form of a series of concentric circles that expand from one single center towards the outside, seven concentric circles with the eight not plotted as it is the one of infinity.

They represent the Scientology’s vision of our universe and practically express graphically the increasing awareness of Man as a spiritual being of his participation in all aspects of life. L. Ron Hubbard gave a thorough explanation of these “dynamics”, in the book Science of Survival, completed in 1951.

“FIRST: the dynamic of self, the urge for individual survival as an individual, reason toward individual survival for oneself.
SECOND: the dynamic of survival through sex and children.
THIRD”: the urge to survive through groups as a member of the group or for the survival of the group itself.
FOURTH: the urge of the individual to survive for Mankind or the urge of all Mankind to survive.
FIFTH: the urge of the individual to survive for life or of life to survive for itself.
SIXTH: the urge of the individual to promote the survival of MEST, either for his own benefit or for the benefit of MEST itself (manifested in the preservation of property as such, no matter to whom it belongs).
SEVENTH: the urge of theta to survive; the urge of the individual to promote the survival of theta and to survive through the survival of theta.
EIGHTH: the urge toward survival through the Supreme Being. The number eight, laid on its side gives us the symbol for infinity.”

From this vision of life as interdependence of the different dynamics (concept that seems to revisit, though with many differences, the doctrine of the Dependent Origin, or the Pratitya-Samutpada, of Buddhism), stemmed the first definition of Scientology ethics. It is an absolutely original and particularly workable definition.

“Ethics actually consists, as we can define them now in Dianetics, of rationality toward the highest level of survival for the individual, the future race, the group, and Mankind, and the other dynamics taken collectively. Ethics are reason. The highest ethic level would be long-term survival concepts with minimal destruction, along any of the dynamics”. [Science of Survival, page 149].

Ron Hubbard assigns to the word “ethics” a specific meaning, in a sense different from those commonly used in the various philosophies or religious traditions. The ethicalness of an individual is judged by the actions he performs toward the survival of self and of the other dynamics. Good is what is constructive for survival, evil is what opposes it.

L. Ron Hubbard does not dwell on how ethics have been traditionally debated by philosophers or religious men, whether or not they are a contemplative subject, what is philosophically right or wrong. According to L. Ron Hubbard, the function of ethics (that, let us remember, is an activity entirely based on reason) is to grant the highest levels of survival along all dynamics. Hence ethics is not an ensemble of norms, rules or commandments, but the most authentic fruit of a deep understanding and of the internalization of the very sense of life expressed by the Eight Dynamics. As a consequence, the concept of sin as taught by other religious traditions is abandoned too. Sin does not exist in itself; there can only be destructive actions against the various dynamics: against Man, the family, the society, the environment, Mankind, one’s spiritual essence, God himself. A portion of Scientology ethics is in fact committed to educate man to redress destructive actions.

In Scientology, ethics is something personal as being ethical is a choice that every individual fully autonomously can make. This is why, according to L. Ron Hubbard, ethics are different from morals and these two words cannot be used as synonymous. By the word morals in Scientology is meant a whole system of rules of conduct agreed upon by a group, a society or a nation. They are born from experiences accumulated in the past and handed down throughout the successive ages. Because of that, they can sometimes appear inadequate to the changed living conditions of Man and society, and they often prove unsuitable to guarantee higher states of survival along the eight dynamics.

Here is the definition of morals given by Hubbard in the book Science of Survival: “Morals should be defined as a code of good conduct laid down out of the experience of the race to serve as a uniform yardstick for the conduct of individuals and groups. Such a codification has its place; morals are actually laws. … Morals are, to some degree, arbitraries, in that they continue beyond their time. … All morals originate out of the discovery by the group that some act contains more pain than pleasure”. [Science of Survival, page 150].

Of course, this does not mean that Scientology does not take in consideration morals, on the contrary a good moral code may represent an excellent basis to live in a family, in a society or in a nation. A Scientologist should always abide by the ruling codes of the society he lives in, even with the awareness that with the passing of time some of the rules of those codes may become obsolete or even become burdensome for the individual and the society. So, though respecting the moral codes in force, Scientology pursues its ethical ideals to promote survival along all dynamics, knowing that those who violate their own sense of ethics will immediately lose their self-respect and start decaying spiritually along all dynamics.

L. Ron Hubbard’s ethical system with the critique of certain morals that may become obsolete and overburdening, seems to approach the concept propounded by Henry Bergson in his ethical paradigm. We already mentioned Bergson when we talked about the “vital impulse” (élan vital) that supposedly reveals itself in the continuous becoming of beings. According to the French philosopher, becoming is the supreme category of things, the beingness itself of reality, the “creative evolution”. In his famous work The Two Sources of Morals and Religion [Le deux sources de la morale et de la religion, Henry Bergson, Paris, 1932], Bergson also included the subject of ethics in the sphere of the “vital impulse”.

The first chapter of the book covering moral obligation, presents two different forms and characteristics of society: the first one is called “closed” and the second one is called “open. According to Bergson a society is defined “closed” when almost every kind of activity is strictly regulated by moral and social laws and rigid religious codes. The French philosopher believes that a man living in this kind of society “oppressed by laws and commandments”, cannot best promote his own spirituality . On the other hand there is the “open” and dynamic society that allows the person’s free development. In a sense, the “open” society of Bergson embodies the ideals of Mankind in the totality of its dynamics.

Man longs to live in this sort of society pervaded by the open soul of the universe extending with all its benefits to animals, plants and the entire nature. To the two different types of men, Bergson assigns two systems of morals, one “closed” and the other one “open”. The “closed” morals are the ones based on the idea of temporal punishment and on the fear to incur the penalties dealt to the offenders (right/wrong, prize/punishment). These are the morals of social pressure having the purpose of safeguarding the power of certain social or religious groups. On the other hand, the “open morals” (surprisingly close to the concept of “ethics” expressed by L. Ron Hubbard) are the ones determined by actions based on the idea of utter dedication to the whole of Mankind and to the world.

These are the morals based on empathy and communion. It is not that the obligation (code of rules) vanishes in the “open” morals, it rather evolves: “In all times – Bergson states – there have arisen exceptional men incarnating this morality”.  Socrates, Plato, Buddha -- in other words, all the great disseminators of good, who “represented for their contemporary fellow men a powerful source of inspiration and love” [Le due fonti della morale e della religione (The Two Sources of Morals and Religion), Italian translation, Chapter 3, pages 205-261, Edizioni di Comunità, Milan, 1962).

Scientology shares with the other religions the belief that nobody dealing in the first dynamic only can be spiritually free. A person so oriented – even if in religious research, for instance in certain forms of asceticism where one only looks for his own spiritual enhancement, enlightenment or salvation – in that he loses his sense of responsibility for the other seven dynamics would be a huge egoist. Therefore it is necessary, before undertaking any activity, before deciding which line of conduct to follow or which decision to make (even regarding the simple day-to-day things), to analyze and consider the influence that our decision would have on all other dynamics. As above stated, the recommended standard to follow is a conduct that brings “the best benefit to the highest number of dynamics”. A good ethics conduct can align the personal growth with the benefits in all dynamics, while a non-ethical action is one that destroys  the dynamics. This is the reason why the devoted Scientologist is exhorted to get in harmony with all the dynamics. To help him in this “introspection’s” journey, the “ethics technology” was developed.

L. Ron Hubbard talks about it in a fundamental essay, Introduction to Scientology Ethics. “This chain of reasonings, concerning ethics, continued down the ages. Philosopher after philosopher tried to resolve the subjects of ethics and justice. Unfortunately, until now, there has been no workable solution, as evidenced by the declining ethical level of society. So you see it is no small breakthrough that has been made in this subject in the last 30 years or so. We have defined the terms, which Socrates omitted to do, and we have a workable technology that anyone can use to help get himself out of the mud. The natural laws behind this subject have been found and made available for all to use". [Introduction to Scientology Ethics, L. Ron Hubbard, Italian Edition, New Era Publications International, ApS, Copenhagen, 2007, page 4]

In this work, l. Ron Hubbard does not only define ethics and morals, good and bad, right and wrong; he does not just point out the rational character of ethics or describes the Eight Dynamics, but also provides the correct technical directions to rehabilitate the ethical conduct of every person. The “ethics technology” intends to teach a person to read and evaluate the different conditions of existence, so that everyone can operate positively and in harmony (that is, can expand, according to Scientology terminology) on each dynamic, thus increasing his ethical level. The idea underlying the rehabilitation’s process is that everyone, in spite of the mistakes made, is always able to improve by his own force.

L. Ron Hubbard describes 12 “conditions of existence” and provides the most suitable means to behave ethically. The 12 conditions” describe “operative states” of the being: the more one works for the dynamics the more one is ethical, the less one works for them the less one is ethical. Hubbard analyzes these “conditions” in chapter 5 of his essay on ethics, to then determine the “formulas” necessary to change for the best one’s conditions in the various spheres of life, therefore improving the quality of his existence, in other words improving his survival level. “An organization or its parts or an individual passes through various states of existence. These, if not handled properly, bring about shrinkage and misery and worry and death. If handled properly they bring about stability, expansion, influence and well-being.” [Introduction to Scientology Ethics, op. cit., page 71 ]

The 12 conditions go from the lowest state of confusion (defined as “state of random motion”) to the highest, the condition of power, where nothing can endanger the survival of the person who reached it. Between these extremes, lie all other conditions or operative states (from bottom to top): treason, enemy, doubt, liability, non existence, danger, emergency, normal operation, affluence, power change. The formulas, to wit, the procedures to be implemented in order to improve one’s condition of existence and thus to operate more and more ethically, though born to be utilized within the Church of Scientology, can be used by anybody in any given situation. Through these procedures, an individual is invited to get in harmony with himself, with his fellow men, with the world and with God.

In some aspects, the practice of introspective analysis aimed at the increase of ethical behavior, as taught by L. Ron Hubbard, could be assimilated to the “journey toward happiness” developed in the 1940s by Yoshimoto Ishin ( 1916-1988), a Japanese businessman following the Buddhist school Jōdo Shinshū. This Japanese process of spiritual healing is based on the technique of Naikan, that is the “Look to the Inside”, a form of meditative introspection (that however also allows the use of self-exploration questionnaires) aiming at the attainment of a spiritual rebirth and at the diffusion of joy and happiness to oneself, other people and the whole.

The Naikan stems from the understanding of two basic concepts of Buddhism. The first is the one of ignorance (avidya) causing the suffering deriving from desire, that basically is a separation between the way we perceive things and the way they actually are. The second is the one of interdependence: generally, and incorrectly, we think there are people and things independent of one another and real in their individuality. In fact, everything is dynamic and interdependent. According to Buddhism, it is not that phenomena and things do not exist, but what does not exist is the “quality” we pose on them. In other words, when we state that something is “evil” or “nice” or “good” or “bad”, we wrongly believe that such characteristics are inherent to the phenomenon itself while, in actual fact, they are only valid for us and for those who share our code of reference (the same thing happens with moral codes too).

Suffering generates when our ideas or convictions do not coincide with reality. After all, it is a cognitive problem as the suffering stems from wrong cognitions. The foremost cause of suffering should be looked for in the mind. According to some Buddhist doctrines (such as the ones of the already mentioned Cittamātra school), but also in Dianetics and Scientology, the cause of suffering would lie within a particular aspect of the mind, defined by the first alaya conscience (to wit, vessel conscience) and by the second reactive mind.

Of course, these two concepts are not perfectly equal though somehow aligned. In the vessel conscience, all the karma created in the current and past existences would accumulate; it would be present as mnemonic traces (karmic seeds) of which man is generally unaware. Conversely, in Dianetics and Scientology two types of mind are covered: an analytical one and a reactive one. The first one exerts the functions of coordination and reasoning for the organism, the other – that we could perhaps define “unconscious” – may lead man to commit irrational actions independently of his will and only on a stimulus-response basis. Such stimuli would be caused by solicitations (unaware) of traces of latent memories (also karmic) often invalidating or painful, stored in the reactive mind. Dianetics and Scientology call these destructive mnemonic traces engrams. With the Dianetics procedures one tries to bring them to light in order to get rid of them and so reach the state of Clear, that is to say the spiritual state of a person who freed himself from the reactive mind and its conditionings.

The Naikan therapy, through a series of questions that in their use might be considered somehow similar to the “Condition Formulas” proposed by Ron Hubbard, invites a person to examine himself looking into one’s own present condition and recalling past actions that left an often painful trace in his mind. The analysis is performed observing the incidents occurred, first from one’s own perspective then attempting to analyze them with other people eyes. According to Yoshimoto Ishin, only this way, understanding that nobody is independent or unrelated to others, will man be able of increased ethicalness and consequently to modify his attitude toward other people, the society and the world. The rehabilitation techniques of the Naikan, in a fashion definitely similar to the one proposed by Scientology, are used in Japanese jails and in the treatment of dependence on alcohol, drugs, gambling and more. Also the path located by the practice of the Naikan, focuses on the eternal issue of which is the best way for man to live that is the basic topic of ethics.

For Buddhism, as well as for Scientology, the best way to live is an epistemological question that passes through a radical reordering of our understanding of reality since, as covered above, suffering stems from an incorrect perception of ourselves and of our relationship with others, the environment and the universe. The ethics of Buddhism, like the one of Scientology, was born and developed to set spiritual discords straight as far as the human tendency for desire is concerned, and so to bring harmony back into it. Yet there is an essential difference: in Buddhism one eventually tends to arrive to the suppression of desire as the cause of pain (which is not in itself a quality or accident of life; in other words, life is not something that has pain in it, but is itself pain), while in Scientology one attempts to set spiritual discords straight (including desire) so as to turn them into a stimulus to operate harmoniously along the various dynamics.

THE EMOTIONAL TONE SCALE

This analysis (which is also ethical), in Dianetics and Scientology finds its formulation in the “Tone Scale in full”, a “scale” from “Total Failure” (- 40,0) to “Serenity of Beingness” (40,0) [Scientology 0-8, page 108] that traces and codifies the emotions and spiritual inclinations from which the different qualities of action flow. “The Tone Scale, [...] plots the descending spiral of life from full vitality and consciousness through half-vitality and half-consciousness down to death.” [Self Analysis, page 53].

The Tone Scale, by showing the consecutive emotional tones a person may experience, explains why people behave in a given way and indicates how to communicate with them to help them. It is interesting to underline how L. Ron Hubbard used the word “tone” to define these emotional levels. It is as emotion were a musical note that vibrates harmoniously at the highest levels to then become more and more warped and off-key at the lowest levels. In the latter, the note is almost absent (for instance level 0.0 corresponds to death) and there is a very poor inclination to desire. This is the world of the useless, of apathy, of hopeless, that seems not to provide any foundation for ethical actions. The levels coming right next (such as grief, fear, covert hostility, anger, antagonism and others) almost completely prevent any form of the liberty vital for ethical living.

According to L. Ron Hubbard, the Tone Scale represents a chronic and an acute aspect; in other words, a person may either go in a few minutes from one level to the other or remain stuck in a level for a long time. In a sense – and again, with due differentiation – this conception is close to another Buddhist consideration of life, that of the “Ten Worlds” (in Japanese, Jikkai). The “Ten Worlds” as potential states of life inherent to every individual, are described in the metaphysical treaties of some schools of Buddhism of Mahāyanā (Big Vehicle) tradition, such as the writings of the Chinese scool Tiantai ( in Japan: Tendai) but are also the core of the teachings of the Japanese bonze Nichiren, (1222-1282) that have as their reference the “Lotus’s Sutra” (in Sanskrit Saddharma-Pundarika Kyo, in Japanese Hokkekyo). The “Ten Worlds” are ten states or conditions a person may show or experience moment by moment in the course of his existence.

Synthetically described, they can be defined as “Hell”, “Greed”, “Animality”, “Anger”, “Humanity”, “Heaven”, “Learning”, “Partial Enlightenment”, “Bodhisattva” and “Buddhahood”. Let us attempt to explain them better: Hell is a state of suffering; at Greed one falls prey of desires; Animality is the realm of instinctive, irrational reactions while Anger engenders disorder and conflicts. These four conditions of beingness are defined the “four bad trails” or the “trails of unhappiness”. From the condition of Humanity upwards things get better; then through the knowledge stemming from Learning, Man can reach the state of partial understanding of life (Partial Enlightenment) and later on, through continuous personal efforts, can achieve the condition of Bodhisattva, characterized by empathy and altruism and joyfulness in helping others.

Ultimately, one can reach the state of Buddhahood that could be defined as a condition of infinite liberty and absolute happiness. Reducing the whole range of human experience to just ten stages may seem oversimplified and perhaps it is; many reasons led to such categorization and this is not the appropriate forum to analyze them. However, I wish to point out how these ten Buddhist conditions of beingness too include an “acute” and a “chronic” aspect. Everyone of us could experience that, or verify it on the Tone Scale developed by L. Ron Hubbard. I believe an example will be enough to understand this point. Imagine to win the lottery, you are happy and shout of joy; this is the Heaven condition in which one is temporarily rewarded by the realization of a wish, but right afterwards the postman delivers you a letter with the request of a huge tax repayment… so you fall towards antagonism, anger or even grief. In a few minutes, one goes from a level to another, from a higher tone to a lower, degrading tone. “Emotion is one of easiest things to aberrate”, writes Hubbard in the book Self Analysis, “There are individuals who feel they must be perpetually sad even when their circumstances should make them happy. There are individuals who believe they have to be happy regardless of their environment and who yet are very miserable. Most people are not emotional, they are mis-emotional, in that they do not react to the situations in their environment with the emotion which would be most rational to display.” [Self Analysis, page 151].

The mis-emotions Hubbard mentions in the above book, are aberrated emotional responses in that they are not based on what is actually happening in present time in the environment the person is living in, but are emotions imposed by the part of the mind that is not under to control of the individual. “Inhibited or excessive mis-emotionalism” writes again Hubbard in the aforementioned work, “is one of the most destructive things which can occur in the human organism. A person who is so aberrated is unable to experience happiness and so enjoy life.” [Self Analisi, pag 152].

SCIENTOLOGY JUSTICE SYSTEM

As a natural complement of Ron Hubbard’s ethics system, in Scientology there is also a justice system. Practically, when an individual cannot keep by himself an ethical conduct, the group he belongs to may take certain measures towards him. But these actions should be only utilized in an educational, rehabilitative fashion, and only until the person penalized improves his ethics level. According to Hubbard, Justice is “the action the group takes against the individual when he fails to take these actions [put his ethics in] himself” [Introduction to Scientology Ethics, op. cit. page 3]

According to Hubbard, “The dictionary defines ethics as ‘the study of the general nature of morals and of the specific moral choices to be made by the individual in his relationship with others.’ The same dictionary defines justice as ‘conformity to moral right, or to reason, truth or fact,’ or ‘ the administration of law. As you can see, these terms have become confused. All philosophies from time immemorial have involved themselves with these subjects. And they never solved them. “That they have been solved in Dianetics and Scientology is a breakthrough of magnitude. The solution lay, first, in their separation. From there it could go forward to a workable technology [the practical application of a science as opposed to mere theory] for each. Ethics consists simply of the actions an individual takes on himself. It is a personal thing. When one is ethical or ‘has his ethics in,’ it is by his own determinism and is done by himself. Justice is the action taken on the individual by the group when he fails to take these actions himself.” [Introduction to Scientology Ethics, op.cit. page 3].

The ideal for a non-ethical individual would be to become aware of his situation, to then undertake a path of ethical initiative, because “… ethics is so native to the individual that when it goes off the rails he will always seek to overcome his own lack of ethics” [Introduction to Scientology Ethics, op.cit. page 4]. But Man does not always have the force to question himself and start a journey of reinstatement and, should his behavior damage to some degree the group’s survival, it would becomes necessary resort to justice procedures.

According to L. Ron Hubbard, these procedures may with time lead a person to the rehabilitation: “Our justice really rehabilitates in the long run. It only disciplines those who are hurting others and gives them a way to change so they can eventually win too – but not by hurting us” [Introduction to Scientology Ethics, op.cit. page 294]. For Hubbard, justice is never to be an end-all nor be exploited for suppression or revenge, because nobody is basically evil and “the individual can be trusted with ethics and when he is taught to put his own ethics in, justice no longer become the all important subject that it is made out to be.” [Introduction to Scientology Ethics, op.cit. page 7]

According to Ron Hubbard, therefore, every person can “climb back to the top” and reach full awareness of self as a spiritual being; from this perspective, the ethical values will be restored in their most authentic dimension. But what are the authentic values of ethics? Let us recall what was covered above: L. Ron Hubbard believes that ethics is “Rationality toward the highest level of survival for the individual, the future race, the group, Mankind and the other dynamics taken up collectively.”, [Introduction to Scientology Ethics, op.cit. page 18] and therefore the ethicalness of an individual is to be judged in relation to the actions he performs for the survival of self and the other dynamics.

We have also mentioned how on the “Tone Scale” [as per Science of Survival) a person begins to commit destructive acts, that is poorly ethical or totally unethical, from level 2,0 down. Since “…all creation carries with it a small amount of destruction.” and : “…it is the ratio of creating to destruction that counts”. [Science of Survival, page 141]. It follows that “… theoretical sanity of this individual depends being able to create and destroy anything, not just in terms of illusion, so on.”

Of course, that create and destroy is related to the operation of man along the Eight Dynamics.

The previous quotation is taken from a lecture that L. Ron Hubbard held on dec. 1, 1952 in his Philadelphia Doctorate Course. In this occasion, L. Ron Hubbard talked about ethics in the physical universe and wondered, perhaps as a provocation, whether outside the Eight Dynamics, others might exist, mentioning the 9th and 10th dynamics that he associated respectively to esthetics and ethics.

Hubbard started his speech talking about Friedrich Nietzsche (1881-1885) and of his ethical paradigm as described in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. In that book, the German philosopher demolished the ethical order to replace it with a new one exclusively based on a principle of absolute freedom. According to Nietzsche, the super-man is the one who accepts everything and does not oppose any rejection to what is offered him by life: the good as well as the bad, the beautiful as well as the ugly, the creation as well as the destruction. According to L. Ron Hubbard would have been that bad ideal, not syphilis, that drove Nietzsche to madness; the same thing might happen to everyone attempting to implement it as a lifestyle, in our universe. This because, for Hubbard a person who is able only to create but not to destroy, just as a person only able to destroy and to create, is not ethical but on the contrary is to be considered a crazy man who tries to go against the laws that rule our reality.

Hypothesizing the possibility that someone may implement the life paradigm proposed by Nietzsche, we should postulate the existence of other systems such as those in which it can be surmised that a 9th and 10th Dynamics might exist, that for man would be of an unknown entity and therefore unimaginable. But is it possible to postulate something outside of what we can imagine? Can we imagine something that goes beyond everything the physical universe permits us?

I mentioned the condition of entrapment and imprisonment of Man within the physical universe, and “Trapped” is in fact also the title of a chapter of a famous book by L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics 55!, where, amongst the rest, the topic of freedom inside the MEST universe and how an individual can attempt to set himself free from the chains of matter, energy, space and time is covered. L. Ron Hubbard’s thesis seem to resume some beliefs of ancient Gnosticism: the ones of souls prisoner in the physical world and of their desire to get back to the Being, where they came from and where they wish to go back for an eternal life: "... Entrapment is the opposite of freedom. A person who is not free is trapped. He may be trapped by an idea. He may be trapped by matter. He may be trapped by energy. He may be trapped by space. He may be trapped by time. And he may be trapped by all of them. […].

“He cannot change, he cannot move, he cannot communicate, he cannot feel affinity and reality. Death, itself, could be said to be Man’s ultimate in entrapment. For when a man is totally entrapped, he is dead.” […]. “Any process which leads to a greater freedom for all dynamics is a good process. It should be remembered, however, that an individual functions on all dynamics. And that the suppression by the individual of the Third or Fourth Dynamic leads to less freedom for the individual himself. Thus the criminal, becoming immorally free, harms the group and harms Mankind and thus becomes less free himself. Thus there is no freedom in the absence of affinity, agreement and communication. Where an individual falls away from these, his freedom is sharply curtailed and he finds himself confronted with barriers of magnitude. … Once understanding is attained, freedom is obtained. For the individual who is thoroughly snarled in the mechanics of entrapment, it is necessary to restore to him sufficient communication to permit his ascendance into a higher state of understanding. Once this has been accomplished, his entrapment is ended.” [Dianetics 55, pages 97-98]

Yet – could one go beyond? Could we hypothesize other dynamics beyond the Eighth? Logic teaches that anywhere we look, we must always follow the norms that are inherent to us, as fleeing them would mean to break the laws of physics that rule our universe. Which, honestly speaking, seems rather hard.

This matter was taken up by the logician and mathematician Kurt Gödel in his famous “Theorem of Incompleteness” formulated in 1931: the issues which make our system incomplete may be expressed but not solved within the system itself. How can we, within our cognitive system, attempt to solve issues that go beyond the normal logical parameters? Until we remain fastened to our physical world, even though we are spiritual beings, we will always live in a partiality, namely we are not going to have an exterior viewpoint from which we can judge the system. The sole hypothesis we might possibly formulate, is the possibility of becoming able to jump from a sub-system of our universe (mental, then spiritual) to another bigger one, something similar to the “better world every individual has in his idea” hypothesized by Kant. But what is this better world? The infinite? Paradise? Nirvana? The Final Solution? Or a remnant of the non-solution? For perhaps, ultimately it is nothing that could be imagined starting from the system itself.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Aristotle, L'Etica nicomachea [Nicomachean Ethics], excerpts selected and translated by M.Pirrone, publisher La Nuova talia, Florence,1945
Bergson, Henry, Le due fonti della morale e della religione [The Two Sources of Morals and Religion], publisher Edizioni di Comunità, Milano, 1962
Bergson, Henry, L'evoluzione creatrice, [Creative Evolution], publisher Raffaello Cortina Editore, Milan, 2002
Chidester, David, Patterns of Action: Religion and Ethics in a Comparative Prospective, Waldworth Publishing Company, Belmont, California,1987
Childester, David, Scientology: A Religion in South Africa, University of Cape Town, 1970
Church of Scientology International (edited by), Scientology, Theology and Practice of a Contemporary Religion, New Era Publications International, ApS, Copenhagen, 1998
Church of Scientology International (edited by), Humanitarian – Restoring Honor and Self-Respect in The L. Ron Hubbard Series, New Era Publications International, ApS, Copenhagen, 2012
Cornu, Philippe, Dizionario del Buddismo, [Dictionary of Buddhism], publisher Bruno Mondadori, Milan, 2003
Costantino, Esposito, Pasquale, Porro, Filosofia moderna [Modern Philosophy], publisher Laterza, Bari, 2009
Da Re, Antonio, L’etica tra felicità e dovere. L’attuale dibattito sulla filosofia pratica [Ethics between happiness and duty, the current debate on practical philosophy], publisher Edizioni Dehoniane, Bologna, 1987
Da Re, Antonio (edited by), Etica e forme di vita [Ethics and Life Forms], publisher Edizioni Vita e Pensiero, Milan, 2007
Da re, Antonio, Berti Enrico e altri, Etica oggi: comportamenti collettivi e modelli culturali [Ethics today: collective behaviors and cultural models], publisher Libreria editrice Gregoria e Fondazione Lanza, Padova, 1989
Guitton, Jean, Dio e la scienza, verso il metarealismo [God and Science, toward meta-realism], publisher Bompiani, Milan, 1992
Hopkins, E.W., Etica in India [Ethics in India], publisher Giuseppe Laterza e Figli, Bari, 1927
Hubbard, Ron, L., Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health, New Era Publications International, ApS, Copenhagen, 2007
Hubbard, Ron, L., Dianetics 55!, New Era Publications International, ApS, Copenhagen, 2007
Hubbard, Ron, L., Science of Survival, New Era Publications International, ApS, Copenhagen, 1998
Hubbard, Ron, L., Introduction to Scientology Ethics, New Era Publications International, ApS, Copenhagen, 2007
Hubbard, Ron, L., The Way to Happiness, New Era Publications International, ApS, Copenhagen, 1981 and later  reprints, though
Hubbard, Ron, L., Scientology, The Fundamentals of Thought, New Era Publication International, ApS, Copenhagen, 2007
Kant, Immanuel, Critica della ragion pura [Critique of Pure Reason], publisher Laterza, Bari, 2000
Segalla, Gabriele, Filosofia e religiosità di Scientology [Philosophy and Religiosity of Scientology], part III, in: I Quaderni di Freedom[The Freedom’s Journal] n. 2, National Church of Scientology of Italy, Milan, 2012, pages 9-33
Simon, René, Morale: filosofia della condotta umana [Morals: Philosophy of Human Conduct] (Course of Thomist Philosophy), publisher Paideia editrice, Brescia,1966
Tran Duc Anh, Joseph, O.P., Morale bouddhique et morale chrétienne en dialogue, These présentée à la faculté de Théologie de l'Université de Fribourg, Suisse, Fribourg, 1985
Tucci, Giuseppe, Storia della filosofia indiana [History of Indian Philosophy], publisher Laterza, Roma-Bari, 2012

Silvio Calzolari
Senior Institute of Religious Sciences of Tuscany