During the big game, or since, you may have come across the Scientology: Age of Answers ad, or any of the various media that followed it. I thought I would offer my view on what this means from a practical perspective, seen through the lens of an average, everyday Scientologist parent like myself.
First, Scientology is an applied religious philosophy. It is meant to be put to use. It’s not that you just “decide you’re a Scientologist” and then via “belief” you’re meant to somehow be better. It is a coordinated body of knowledge about life and what makes people tick that you can put to use to better conditions you face.
I’ve personally had great success over the years applying Scientology to solve problems as a student, a family member, and a husband. It has helped me be more productive, focused, and stable.
But now that I have two kids with another one on the way, the problems I face and regularly need to solve are those of a parent and a working father. And since becoming a father, those problems have been the same ones so many other parents face— problems like making ends meet and handling sick kids, sibling fights, tantrums and meltdowns.
Then, there are problems like aligning the long-term and short-term goals my wife and I have for our lives and working toward them as a team, instead of the social average of constant strife and bickering and feeling that life is slipping away.
It is problems like these that I feel this “Age of Answers” addresses.
Most parents I know want to be the best parents they possibly can be. But then, they hit snags like:
Now, in the realm of the sciences, engineering or computers, there’s never a basic assumption that something is happening for “no reason.” If you’re on the Internet and then all of the sudden your Internet doesn’t work, a technically-savvy person wouldn’t just throw up his hands and say, “well, I guess can’t be on the Internet anymore.” That person would find the root cause of the problem, find the tree that fell down across the Internet line to the house or whatever, handle it, and get back to it.
Somehow, though, for so many of the classes of problems parents face like those mentioned above, I’ve seen folks throw up their hands and say, “well—I guess Johnny just can’t study,” or, “he’s always having tantrums, (sigh),” or, “there’s just no way I’m going to do the things I want in life until my kids are older”, or “my husband’s just being more distant now, I guess I’m just not interesting to him anymore….”
If there’s something I’ve learned over time as a Scientologist—something I absolutely love about Scientology in general—it is that there’s always a solution. Something always can be done about any non-optimum situation.
While I know that I am far from a being a “perfect dad,”I’m really trying my damndest to be one. And so, on this site I’ve tried to catalogue a few of the examples from the last few years, since I became a father, of how the Scientology religion has always really had my back in terms of coming through with solutions to the problems I was facing.
Here are a handful of examples:
My wife and I first got married as active little totally-in-love-22-year-olds, living in an apartment, driving sports cars & sport bikes, volunteering our time at our church while I also worked as an engineer. We had our individual roles in life that made sense at the time.
But then we had kids, and the basic agreements, family policies, personal plans, projects, and fun things on the side all got thrown into a mess and had to be worked out again from scratch. What were our goals now? What was my job as husband/father, and what was her job as mommy/wife?
Three different times we attacked these problems and worked them out from scratch, and the result has been a stronger and stronger marriage, a stable household for the kids, and all of us doing what we want to be doing to achieve the goals of the family.
Root Cause Analysis: If you’ve ever done any sort of technical work, you’d know that it can be pretty hard to locate the root cause of a situation unless you can pull apart the mechanics of what’s going on. The fact is that L. Ron Hubbard’s research that comprises the Scientology religion goes pretty deep into the mechanics of interpersonal relationships, communication, trauma, accidents, study, confusion, dishonesty, grief, depression, and so forth, giving a broad spectrum of data to use in hunting down the root causes for day-to-day problems so that they don’t persist.
For example, my son picked up reading this past fall and is now reading books entirely on his own. And while of course this makes for a proud papa, it brought with it some unanticipated problems.
One notable one is that all the way up to this point, if my boy was having a tantrum or was acting crazy, it was a 99% certainty that he was either (a) hungry or (b) tired, and you just had to handle whichever of those two was the problem.
But now, with him reading to himself and able to sound out and use words that he really doesn’t understand, the little 3-year-old boy has begun to experience the misery that Misunderstood Words can bring. Misunderstood Words are one of the three Barriers to Study detailed in Scientology Study Technology. A video about the technology, describing the phenomena that occur and their resolution can be watched here.
Having spotted this, after one particular meltdown session, I was able to find a number of words he’d gone past in the Thomas & Friends book he’d been reading (“buffers” and “pistons” and “fireboxes” and all manner of steam engine parts he had no idea about). After clearing those up with him, he was happy as a clam, root cause found, problem handled.
And there have been oh-so-many similar examples like that.
What I’m trying to get at in writing all this, is that in Scientology, a tremendous amount of work was invested in creating a coordinated and understandable system of knowledge which can be applied by anyone who wants to improve their lot.
I find it quite analogous to a time not too long ago when it was impossible to really understand what was happening when someone was “sick.” Sometimes there was a known and semi-workable folk remedy, other times, well, the person just had to be sick and then die. One hundred years of medical breakthroughs later, there are precious few diseases today that don’t have a technical explanation, a cause, and a cure.
My experience has been that with Scientology, one now also has a similar body of knowledge that can be applied exactly, repeatedly, and effectively to resolve the troubles facing people as individuals, group members, family members, and members of the world at large to get them to a better place in life.
That’s what this Age of Answers means to me.
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