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Overcoming Life's Ups and Downs

I went down town recently to start a Scientology course. No, I'm not buying the Kool Aid, but this course is pretty good. It's well laid out, simple, and sometimes the simplest basic things are where you need to start.

The course I'm taking is called Overcoming Life's Ups and Downs. It's all about identifying the people in your life, and working out if they're good for you or not. Sounds very simple, and sort of obvious, (after all I am well versed in all kinds of apparently more 'sophisticated' Advaita Dharma) but this is something I haven't always had the skills to manage successfully. I am too naive about what people want from me, or their motivations.
What good is all that non-dual Dharma, if I am still surrounding myself with self-centered assholes? It might well all be One, but that doesn't mean I can't be more discriminating about the apparent others that are part of that Whole in my own life.  

This course, at the start, sets out a list of the traits of the Anti-Social Personality.  (Seems my mother is an Anti-Social Personality). In the stuff I did last night, you read a bunch of traits, and then write a short essay on each, stating how you've seen this played out in your own life. I used her as an example for most of them.  And Master's woman, and Ex. Perhaps I am just biased against the last 2 of them at the moment, but seeing some things about what they do and how they do it, was very revealing!

Undermining confidence, suppressing others, spreading negative news, distorting facts to suit, never finishing things properly, causing panic and drama, to name but a few. That's Master's woman right there. Classic case.  All disguised by 'niceness' and acceptable 'social face'. I dunno, it all sounds so obvious, but I think I needed some validation, somebody to just say it out loud that some people aren't always nice. LRH puts it at about 80%-20%, with 2.5% of that 20% being violent and downright disruptive, rather than just 'annoying'. I always like to see the best in people, and never like to see that they might not be so great. So, in a room full of 100 people, 20 of them might be anti-social personalities, and 2.5 almost outright sociopaths. I have 250 FB friends. Not that I'm going to get all paranoid, but it did make me stop and think. ;-)

It's not even that black and white. We're all a mix of self-centeredness and love, idiocy and intelligence, meanness and compassion, etc. But something about just allowing myself to feel that perhaps some people are more on the wrong end of the scale, and it's ok to say and feel that, was a revelation. I have read a lot of 'philosophy' about the evil and good debate, and that nurture vs nature thing, and how everybody has some good in them, ad nauseum. I think what I needed last night was to hear that some people just plain suck, lie, cheat and manipulate, and disguise it well, under their social faces. Me included. It's not like I didn't see myself on that list, either.

Sometimes just hearing a thing in a different context or put a different way, will make it click better. In my terminology, and I think most people's, that's the ego, and we all have it going on, but just thinking that perhaps some egos are nicer than others, some more socially-oriented and positive than others, more willing to learn, more willing to benefit the whole, etc., was a bit of an epiphany in a way. In Master's book, we're ALL anti-social personalities until we're Enlightened, just varying degrees, so I had never considered that perhaps there are some that are deliberately pointing different directions on the scale of good and evil, and it's ok to see it and name it.  I am used to all the New Agey 'pcness' of not saying that a person is an outright asshole. You give them a chance, you hope that love can redeem them, you hope that they can grow. There was something refreshingly un 'pc' about it. "Oh, thank God, we don't have to pretend that it's all ok, and we're all nice people".  No, we're not.
Let's see what next week's lesson brings!

Oh, one other thing, there was a great explanation in the front of the book about 'data' and 'senior data'. I.E, what's important? How do you sift out the important facts in any situation from all the other things?  That in itself is something I forget to think about sometimes. The nice clean cut young Scientologist in the waistcoat and tie put a big fat dictionary on my desk in case I got a case of 'misunderstood' words.  I like these people. They get something about life, it's cool.  Basic building blocks don't get overlooked, they're thorough, and make sure you understand things properly.

What else is interesting, is my profile picture is Marjorie Cameron, Jack Parson's Scarlet Woman. LRH and Jack Parsons' friendship is well documented, and I had always seen LRH as a bit of a villain, the guy who ran away with Jack's previous Mrs, and some of his money and his yacht.  Well, I don't think he was all that bad. I think if perhaps Jack had liked him enough to let him in, then perhaps he was ok, and had some redeeming qualities. I don't believe, after dating a Scientologist for 5 months now, that LRH was really as bad as he was made out to be. He had a lot of smart and positive things to offer society. I think the world is better off for Scientology.

Here's a good word, coined by LRH, "enturbulate".  I love it. It's what some people do. Cause emotional turbulence, wherever they go. 
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