During the Super Bowl, or in the time thereafter, 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 perspective on what this means from a practical perspective, viewed through the lens of an average, everyday Scientologist parent like myself.
First off, Scientology is an applied religion. It’s a philosophy that’s meant to be put to use. It’s not something that you just “decide you’re a Scientologist” and then via “belief” you’re meant to somehow be better. It’s a coordinated body of knowledge about man and what makes him tick that can be put to use by you to better conditions you face in life.
I’ve personally had great success over the years in applying Scientology to solve problems I’d had as a student, as a family member, and as a husband. It’s helped me be more productive, more focused, and more stable as an individual.
But now – 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 those of a working father. And over the years since becoming a father, those problems have been the same ones so many other parents face – problems like making ends meet, problems like sick kids and sibling fights, and tantrums and meltdowns. Then, there’s problems like aligning the long term and short-term goals my wife and I have for our lives such that we’re all working collectively as a team toward them, instead of the social average of constant strife and bickering and feeling that life’s slipping away.
Answers to problems like these are where I feel this “Age of Answers” comes in.
Most parents I know want to be the best possible parents they can. But then, they hit snags like:
- The spouse becomes distant, and is all of the sudden disengaged from the family. Why?
- One of the kids is having constant meltdowns.
- Despite your child being “smart”, they’re doing terrible in school and are becoming increasingly disinterested.
- Your house and life is a disorganized disaster, and makes you want to scream.
- Someone falls into a depression, and doesn’t seem to be snapping out of it.
- There’s a family feud, and now nobody’s talking to Aunt Margie or Grampa Zeb and the breach seems irreparable.
Now, in the realm of the sciences or 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 I’ll not be on the Internet again.”. 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 above classes of problems that parents face, 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 to 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…”, etc.
If there’s something I’ve learned over time as a Scientologist – something I absolutely love about Scientology in general – is that there’s always a solution. Something always can be done about any non-optimum situation.
See, I know that I am so utterly far from a being a “perfect dad.” But I’m really trying my damndest to be one. And so, I’ve tried to catalogue a few of the examples over the last few years on this site of how the Scientology religion has always really had my back, in terms of always coming through with solutions to problems I was facing.
Here’s a handful of examples:
Organizing the Goals of the Family: I wrote this post after the third round of applying L. Ron Hubbard’s brilliant “Admin Scale” technology to our family. 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, fun things on the side, etc 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 that a study of the Scientology religion goes pretty deep into the mechanics of interpersonal relationships, communication, trauma, accidents, study, confusion, dishonesty, grief, depression, and so forth gives one 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 to himself.
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 & use words that he really doesn’t know, one then brings to a little 3-year-old boy all of the misery that Misunderstood Words can bring, one of the three Barriers to Study detailed in Scientology Study Technology – a video about such is here. Having spotted this, after one particular meltdown session, I was able to find a number of words he’d gone past in his 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, where when someone was “sick” it was impossible to really understand what was happening with them. Sometimes there was a known and semi-workable folk remedy, other times, well, the person just had to be sick & then die. Then, 100 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 man as an individual, a group member, a family member, and as a member of the world at large to get him to a better place in life.
That’s what this Age of Answers means to me.