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Found this quote about spirituality combined with narcissism

Discussion in 'Evaluating and Criticising Scientology' started by OldClass8, Nov 30, 2014.

  1. OldClass8

    OldClass8 New Member

    I ran across this quote in a book (title below) about a sociologist's study of monks and holy men within eastern orthodox Christianity, mostly Greek orthodox, as far as I know. I thought it was relevant. How would Scientology have been different if LRH had had attitudes of personal humility and gratitude, and if he had passed those qualities along to his followers?

    …within the Eastern Orthodox tradition, elders speak not of “powers” but of “gifts of the Spirit” offered to the human soul after she undergoes purification from egotistical passions Those who have such abilities, therefore, must never consider them as their own and definitely not use them to further their fame or personal interests. When one possesses such abilities without prior personal purification, the consequences can be catastrophic for both the possessor and others. That is why the mix of psychic abilities and narcissism is not a blessing or a manifestation of the Holy Spirit but a curse, a “satanic” condition that must, according to the holy elders [of eastern Christianity – Greek orthodox et al], be avoided at all costs.
    Kyriacos C. Markides, Inner river: A Pilgrimage to the Heart of Christian Spirituality, 202, Image Books – New York.​
  2. AnonyMary

    AnonyMary Formerly Fooled - Finally Free

    Good questions but I can only answer for myself.

    If Hubbard had those qualities - those attitudes - he would have been a different man. And Scientology as a whole would have been a completely different thing. It would have been more akin to my nature and the mores which I came into Scientology with, believing Scientology would naturally encompass them ( but it didn't ).

    I'm lucky I left with some humility and gratitude intact but it was like starting all over again in defining my values over those of Scientology.
  3. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader


    :welcome2: to ESMB, oldClass8! :grouphug:

    That's a fascinating quote and I like it. I've never seen anything like it in the Catholic doctrine, yet so much of Christianity and Catholicism pushes the gifts of the spirit.

    How appropriate that one must first purge all greed, vanity and egotism. What an interesting concept that the gifts are otherwise a curse.

    The Baptists and Evangelicals would agree with the first part, the purging, but make no mention of the second part. The Jehovah's Witnesses have the second part right and state something similar in their literature. The quote you found completes the picture.

    Thanks for providing the source. I'm going to read more on this.
  4. AnonyMary

    AnonyMary Formerly Fooled - Finally Free

    You might want to read up on the purposes for and reasons why a nuns become nuns, priests become priests and monks ( of any religion ) become monks.
  5. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader

    Sorry, Anonymary, I don't quite follow you on how that relates?

    I was raised Catholic, attended Catholic schools, Bible study, church, Lent and Easter, the whole bit. Many of my teachers were nuns. The nuns were basically "married to Christ", taking their vows to forsake all worldly interests and pleasures in the service of Jesus and the Catholic Church. I certainly have no questions about that. But the nuns certainly shunned anything like the "gifts of the spirit" described at the Last Supper and by St. Paul afterwards. They said that was strictly the apostles and anything afterward was the work of Satan. Jehovah's Witnesses say similarly.

    At the other end of the scale are the born-again Christians proclaiming that anyone who receives the Holy Spirit and comes to Jesus will receive the "gifts of the spirit". These are specific gifts, btw - not just some general spiritual feeling of goodness. This is the first quote I've seen or heard that puts those two concepts together.

    Gifts of the spirit:

    [h=3]1 Corinthians Chapter 12[/h][SUP]1[/SUP] Now concerning spiritual [gifts], brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
    [SUP]2[/SUP] Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
    [SUP]3[/SUP] Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and [that] no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
    [SUP]4[/SUP] Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
    [SUP]5[/SUP] And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
    [SUP]6[/SUP] And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
    [SUP]7[/SUP] But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
    [SUP]8[/SUP] For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
    [SUP]9[/SUP] To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
    [SUP]10[/SUP] To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another [divers] kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
    [SUP]11[/SUP] But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
    [SUP]12[/SUP] For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also [is] Christ.
    [SUP]13[/SUP] For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
    [SUP]14[/SUP] For the body is not one member, but many.
  6. Caroline

    Caroline Patron Meritorious

    Fabulous quote, thanks, OldClass8!

    I think we should be very skeptical about the claims and products of malignant narcissists.

    Here's Hubbard the Humble's advice for what to do with all those psychic OT abilities:

  7. Claire Swazey

    Claire Swazey Spokeshole, fence sitter

    My Mom told me that in Christianity, the idea is that someone who can perform miracles and things like that, doesn't get those gifts as abilities that they have. Those are actually gifts from God, which can be taken away at anytime. They are not the person's.

    As a Scn'ist, which I was then, I thought that was appalling. I think I understand it a bit better now.

    Now my attitude is squarely in the middle. We are all part of Spirit and of God and God is part of us. We could stand to be more humble about these things, not seeking "abilities" for "abilities'" sake, but, rather, what can I do to help others and to have a greater understanding by vitrual of these things. But once we attain some measure of that and can affect certain things, I do think those are our abilities.
  8. AnonyMary

    AnonyMary Formerly Fooled - Finally Free

    What I meant is in regards to your quote ( in bold ). The primary initial steps taken by nuns, priests and monks, for example, are to purge themselves of all greed, vanity and egotism in solitude and through prayer. The sacrifices they make to embark on becoming what they become begins with these steps. For Monks, it is a continuous process of solitude and prayer. Nuns and priests are usually later sent out into the world to do God's work. It may not appear to a child in Catholic School that their Nun teacher once went through this process but it is a fact for all who enter a life dedicated ( or married to Christ) christian based life. They start out at Convents, seminaries, or monasteries, in solitude, prayer and contemplation. The purpose is to be purged of greed, vanity, egoism and be filed with the spirit of God.

    This is the theory behind it all. To take what one has gained from these sacrifices and to 'do God's work' The practice, especially when one comes back to the real world, is not always something retained. But the idea is to try and live as one who is beyond selfishness, for the benefit of others, in representing Christ.
  9. Leon-2

    Leon-2 Patron Meritorious

    I find these responses very interesting.

    As I have made plain here on this board on numerous occasions, I consider myself to be a Scientologist. In this I am different to most others here who declare themselves as ex-Scientologists.

    I have long found the idea that "super-powers" are from the devil to be rather odd one. Why do people think this. Coupled with it is the phenomena that Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The question is Why?

    On the Scio ethics formularies there is the level of Enemy, a condition which gets thoroughly looked at during Mary Freeman's Ethics program (and nowhere and never in the CofS). The questions again is why do people who become more able often dramatize the evil side of such ability. I have done this myself several times. But why did it key in so? Hubbard himself dramatized this to an excess.

    Why are an increase in abilities in people so often accompanied by an overbearing arrogance - a contemptuousness even, of those who are perceived as being less than themselves.

    I got an inkling into this mechanism just a few days ago in session (Oh yes, I still audit myself). And what I found (and let me stress that this is only true for me; I don't propound it as being any tech for all people), what I found was that the last time I had such abilities, i.e. before I lost them, I used them to harm others. And I abandoned them deliberately in order to stop doing such bad things to them. Getting then back again immediately keyed in the evil side I was dramatizing back then and I started dramatizing it again now.

    This is actually a much bigger thing than it sounds in this short description. I started running Responsibility in every form I could until I could grow even bigger than the evil I did so that the abilities and freedoms I had regained would stabilize.

    I think this was missing in Hubbard. Very missing.

    That period of time when one was using "theta" abilities for evil purposes in order to harm and suppress others needs to be run the hell out in every detail. I think when this is done fully we may get more people who go ext with improved perception.

    And please, I am NOT talking about CofS type Sec Checking here. That is as evil as it gets most of the time. I'm talking about proper self-determined responsibility being run.


    Abilities are NOT evil. They are NOT Satanic. They are very very good. Very needful in this world.
  10. Claire Swazey

    Claire Swazey Spokeshole, fence sitter

    Abilities are definitely not evil. I think a potential problem can be the egotism connected with seeing them as the reason for spiritual studies and practices.
  11. Gib

    Gib Crusader

    Hubbard explained that,

    it's called "what is an executive", somebody who only has the right to [STRIKE]serve[/STRIKE] slave. :laugh:

    oh, also called the billion year contract.

    sub God with LRH and yah got the idea. :roflmao:

    what would Ron do? LOL

    Reg for more exchange (books, lectures, auditing, training, etc). LOL
  12. Udarnik

    Udarnik Gold Meritorious Patron

    Having been raised in a Baptist environment with Pentecostal overtones, I have a deep, abiding suspicion of the "gifts of the spirit" as outlined in that passage. Never seen a faith healer prove he wasn't fake (and in this sorry old world, that's the one gift I'd take over all else), never seen a prophet spout more than generalized nonsense, and never heard glossolalia that didn't repeat the same gibberish phrases at regular intervals. I've worked hard to speak the tongues I do, and I never heard someone suddenly start spouting Chinese who didn't otherwise know it, it's always the gibberish. What the hell would God want the gibberish for? When I was in that environment, I tended to take that passage as dealing only with the Apostles. Saw too many people wasting their lives chasing after those gifts and getting nothing done here and now.

    And wisdom? I've never seen wisdom suddenly, miraculously descend on the unwise, either. It's a process of long and painful experience, which is why there are so many wise people on this board...
  13. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader

    Thanks, AnonyMary. I see what you're saying and I'm not unfamiliar with the process, though you've certainly provided some additional details, thanks. That's not exactly what I meant, though. What I thought was exceptional about that quote was the bolded part:
    Your emphasis was on the purification, mine was on the satanic condition caused by lack of it.

    That's a pretty heavy statement, but it has been said less succinctly elsewhere, i.e., references to giving in to various temptations "opening the door to Satan", etc.

    One does not have to believe in Satan or a devil to distill the wisdom of this statement of one direct cause of a psychopathic/schizophrenic sort of condition that has existed in mankind's history for thousands of years. Put in more modern terms, without prior purification, the personality disintegrates and manifests an evil persona when a person chases personal psychic abilities for their own power over others or profit and believes he/she has acquired them and is the personal source. This same theme is carried in the roots of just about every religion. The quote is describing what causes the personality to split, erode and have a similar destructive effect on others when the person might otherwise simply have had some undesirable characteristics.

    Udarnik, you raise some good points. I haven't given much thought to the gifts of the Holy Spirit in recent years, but I've seen many things in my life that I'd consider miraculous. Those that claim to be healers, etc (and I was once an active Pentecostal) are pretty much all arrogance and bullshit, though the community interaction and compassion has its own sort of social healing effect on individuals. In the quiet of peaceful love between families and friends, I've seen a connectiveness that could be called psychic - from something as small as knowing someone is calling before the phone rings to a mother's intuition that her child is in trouble and showing up in the nick of time. Many have experienced this. That connectiveness has also resulted in some not getting on planes that crashed (because a family member or friend warned them) and other unusual things. IMHO, the source is not the person giving the timely warning, though, it is the connectedness to our loved ones through the community of love and goodness and life that we are all connected to together that is God. IMHO, God is not a person, exactly.

    As for speaking in tongues, I agree, I've never seen anyone be able to just "know" a language and speak it. Repetitive chanting phrases at Pentecostal meets aren't proof of anything. I think, though, that we all have an innate ability to understand another human's emotions and respond compassionately when our minds and hearts are clear, regardless of spoken language or body language. If you want to be technical about it, we have some of the same DNA as insects and other creatures that operate as a coordinated group, so it doesn't seem supernatural to me that we should be able to tap into this instinct or whatever it is when necessity demands.

    As for wisdom, some people never have any common sense. Others can quickly extrapolate information and reach simple, sound judgements while at the same time maintaining a compassionate view. Wisdom and rationality go hand in hand, but without compassion, rationality alone doesn't cut it. Lots of sociopaths in history were brilliant.
  14. I told you I was trouble

    I told you I was trouble Suspended animation

    Posted by Leon2 ... snipped and bolded by me.

    In the past if I ever felt (or imagined) another wishing some kind of wickedness upon me (lol) ... I knowingly flicked it out of my space and that was the end of it.

    There has to be some pretty solid agreement between all parties that these powers work (like in the cofs) for them to be taken seriously and the agreement would need to include genuine respect for those higher up the "bridge" than self ... when someone becomes an ex that automatic respect is usually shattered.

    When I was still in the cofs I had two occasions when an "oatee" rang me ... freaked out and completely certain that another "oatee" (with whom they were in deep conflict) was "constantly coming into their space and trying to terrorize them".

    With the first one I laughed out loud and told the person to stop being so daft ... the agreement was immediately broken and she ended up laughing too and that was the end of that, with the other (a very "heavy soul") ... I said much the same but more gently and the result was identical. I also suggested "flick tek" if it happened again but apparently it didn't.

    Do you think you may have just imagined harming others?


  15. Student of Trinity

    Student of Trinity Silver Meritorious Patron

    This is just the way I see it; my experience is limited and I could easily be wrong. But what I seem to see is: believing that you have psychic or spiritual powers seems to have some heavy costs.

    One cost is the time you spend developing and maintaining your supposed powers, instead of developing mundane skills or ordinary relationships. Another is that you keep trying to solve problems with your powers, even though even you don't believe that they always work, instead of trying more boring approaches that would be more reliable. Another cost is that you tend to go through life with a chip on your shoulder, always telling yourself how special you are — and having to prove to yourself that you really are all that. Another cost is that you may give up relationships with people who are turned off by your insistence on special powers, but who would really have liked you without them.

    Are psychic or spiritual or whatever powers real at all? I don't know. I'm skeptical on principle but open-minded as to fact. Here's what I seem to have observed, though. Nobody's powers are great enough to make up for the cost of believing in them. They're not worth the cost. They're a trap.
  16. Student of Trinity

    Student of Trinity Silver Meritorious Patron

    Years ago I hung around some Pentecostals long enough to hear a fair amount of 'speaking in tongues', but I've never had the experience myself. My impression from way back when was that it was an interesting psychological quirk; something that most people can probably do, with a bit of prompting, but that most people never have occasion to try. Something kind of in the same category as hypnotism or out-of-body experiences, though on a smaller scale. It may well be associated with certain mental or emotional states, and it could well be spiritually meaningful, but I couldn't see anything very miraculous about it.

    At one point in the New Testament, Paul discusses speaking in tongues. He says that he does it himself quite a lot, but that it's not important and nobody should make a big deal out of it. I think Pentecostals may sometimes violate that injunction. I think it's in the same passage that Paul insists that unintelligible utterances must be accompanied by inspired translations. I only clearly remember this happening once, in a Pentecostal worship service I attended, and the supposed translation sounded to me like a brief platitude. Conceivably it was exactly the word that somebody present needed to hear at that moment. It seemed kind of boilerplate-ish, to me, though.

    Uttering lengthy intelligible speech in a language you don't know would of course be a major miracle. That was supposed to be the scenario at the first Christian Pentecost, but the letters of Paul make clear that even in New Testament times the standard phenomenon was just ecstatic gibberish. That's interesting, maybe, but nothing so amazing — and Paul at least seems to have been pretty level-headed about that.
  17. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader

    Yes, it's an odd quirky thing that most people could probably do, I agree, if their minds are clear and open and they are praying. It takes a certain quietness of mind and meditative state and "reaching" for the higher power, but even then, it doesn't always happen. Many of those at the Pentecostal meets repeat the phrases they have said before, and that's not quite the same. I was a young girl when I first joined the Pentecostals and spoke in tongues. The first time came on suddenly and unexpectedly when another Pentecostal "laid hands" on me. There was a body-wide tingling sensation and I felt like something opened up inside me, starting with my heart, then spread out and upward. It was a bit like an OOB experience or high meditative state, serene, calm, feeling loved and loving, peaceful, whole and connected to God and others. Very pleasant, but also highly personal. Where I might have had that feeling for just seconds in Scientology, this was much deeper and longer lasting. You may have noticed that nearly all Pentecostals have their hands palm upward when they speak in tongues. That's the "reaching" for the connectiveness to God and others. It usually doesn't work at all without the hands up this way.

    I remember that Bible quote where Paul said that and was glad to see it. I agree, the Pentecostals put far too much emphasis on it. The JWs think speaking in tongues is evil (my ex-mother-in-law was a practicing JW, which is how I know so much about it).

    Nearly all the Pentecostal meets I went to were like this. Nothing miraculous, but the preacher and others trying to force it or exaggerate it to be something miraculous. And that is, again, vanity and ego. That really puts a damper on everything spiritual if it doesn't block it entirely.

    I'd been to maybe 50 meets before I got tired of the forced sort of miracles. Out of all of those, there were maybe 2 or 3 that were special, and those were quite small. private and humble. I saw healings at those, and the healings weren't expected, either. I heard short, individual prophesies or special words to individuals there at those and saw the individuals greatly relieved. The thing is, there wasn't any particular individual who was a healer or a prophet. The Spirit would go round the room like a wind (it could be sensed) and it was almost random. One person might be the healer that day and never again afterward, because it was not their personal power. And those few times at those 2 or 3 meets, I smelled roses, like the freshest field of roses. So did everyone else in the room.

    There is a quote somewhere in the Bible that man does not tell God where to appear, how and when, and what to do. There are examples of this in the Old Testament. It is not only blasphemous, but some sort of perversion to do so, and yet, the Catholic Church and so many others do exactly that. So any time anyone does this or claims powers or to be a healer, etc., they become, well - the OP's quote covers it.

    SOT, I don't have explanations for these things. I do not have superpowerz or a special connection to God that others don't. I'm not a chosen person or any different from anyone else. I''m not claiming any of that, I'm just stating what I've personally experienced and seen.

    I agree. But every now and then, as I said above, with the right group and full humility and sincerity in prayer, it's not ecstatic gibberish, it's a connection to a personal relationship with God that results in an exquisite and deep feeling of peace, love and wholeness of spirit. It's very personal. Paul must have been just as upset and dismayed at the awful sideshow the early Christians made of it that the Pentecostals make of it now.
  18. Leon-2

    Leon-2 Patron Meritorious

    Do you think the Jews in WW-2 Germany should have used this as a workable method for handling Hitler?

    No more than say . . Oh I don't know, how about the American Indians in their reserves - were they harmed at all by being dispossessed of their land? Or the Palestinians today with the Israelis grabbing what is rightfully theirs?

    Do you reckon they too are just imagining having been harmed?

    Seems maybe you can sometimes be just as delusory as Hubbard was when he reckoned it was quite OK to shove children into the chain locker. No doubt their protests too were all just illusions of having had harm done to them.

    How are those butterflies doing over there? Maybe you need to go and chase them around a bit more.
  19. there are traps

    most of them are self created, as i know from personal experience. "monsters from the id". the product of the inevitable lust greed wrath, the endless me, me, me me ME!!!

    to which we all are prone

    and any who would pursue esoteric knowledge and ability is going to get whacked by their own id no matter how confident they are of seeing through it


    still we keep seeking something greater and many of us find and...

    the pearl of great price

    is worth the price...
  20. I told you I was trouble

    I told you I was trouble Suspended animation


    I must have misunderstood, you are now talking about actual, physical harm and I thought you were talking about "spiritual powers" (and you harming people with them) before ... possibly because you called them "theta abilities" in the earlier post I was responding to.

    I'll try not to bother you again you crabby old git.