I get a weekly email from “Cecile”, called the Optimism Newsletter. It is unfailingly optimistic and I find myself looking forward to it every Friday after the weekly barrage of bad news from regular news sources. That and Randy Casingham’s “This is True” newsletter (in which Randy re-phrases news stories, adding his own hysterically funny punchlines), make up most of the “Good News” emails I get in a week.
Today Cecile quoted Will Durant:
Science without philosophy, facts without perspective and valuation, cannot save us from havoc and despair. Science gives us knowledge, but only philosophy can give us wisdom. Science wishes to resolve the whole into parts, the organism into organs, the obscure into the known. It does not inquire into the values and ideal possibilities of things. Truth will not make us rich but it will make us free.
I agree wholeheartedly with Will on that one. It’s one of the many reasons I stopped attending college and started studying Scientology back in the early 1970’s. I wanted to know what made man (including me) tick. None of the college courses seemed to have a clue (especially the philosophy courses) about how the mind worked. As for psychology, ha! They had abandoned the study of the psyche (soul) nearly a hundred years earlier, in 1879, when they adopted Wundt’s insane worldview.
Philosophy courses at the time I was in college were teaching the same things that they had been since the days of David Hume (1711-1776). and RenÃ© Descartes (1596-1650). I found it hard to believe that no one had improved on what these guys had done in the last few hundred years, but it was apparently so. “I think, therefore I am” was about as far as they had gotten. I wanted more, and I wanted something usable, and I wanted it now!
And I found it in Scientology. L. Ron Hubbard‘s researches (from his uncanny ability to unflinchingly observe what was really happening, without adding much to it or subtracting anything important) have been the mainstay of my personal philosophy ever since.
Little observations like, “Man is basically good”, and “never harm a person of goodwill”, and his two rules for happy living, “Be able to experience anything, and cause only those things others can experience easily”; these are bits of philosophy that make life very livable by those who are out in the trenches living it. Scientology isn’t something Hubbard made up, it is a record of the agreements that you and I, as spiritual beings, have made over the last millennia, that got us stuck here where we are now. And some methodologies that help us break free of them.
What I learned in college was that man is an animal and that you were supposed to do whatever you felt like doing, and that consequences were trivial things. Also that people couldn’t really talk to each other as semantics proved they didn’t really understand each other. (Andthat were were destroying our environment and that there was going to be an ice age soon.)
What I learned from Scientology was that we were spiritual beings with capabilities far greater than I had imagined, and that beings (including me) could actually duplicate what they were saying to each other. For me, that was the key.