This article is from the Scientology and Dianetics FAQ, by email@example.com (Scientology Information Server) with numerous contributions by others.
by L. Ron Hubbard
The subject of philosophy is very ancient. The word means: "The
love, study or pursuit of wisdom, or of knowledge of things and
their causes, whether theoretical or practical."
All we know of science or of religion comes from philosophy. It
lies behind and above all other knowledge we have or use.
For long regarded as a subject reserved for halls of learning and
the intellectual, the subject, to a remarkable degree, has been
denied the man in the street.
Surrounded by protective coatings of impenetrable scholarliness,
philosophy has been reserved to the privileged few.
The first principle of my own philosophy is that wisdom is meant
for anyone who wishes to reach for it. It is the servant of the
commoner and king alike and should never be regarded with awe.
Selfish scholars seldom forgive anyone who seeks to break down the
walls of mystery and let the people in. Will Durant, the modern
American philosopher, was relegated to the scrap heap by his fellow
scholars when he wrote a popular book on the subject, _The Outline
of Philosophy_. Thus brickbats come the way of any who seek to
bring wisdom to the people over the objections of the "inner
The second principle of my own philosophy is that it must be
capable of being applied.
Learning locked in mildewed books is of little use to anyone
therefore of no value unless it can be used.
The third principle is that any philosophic knowledge is only
valuable if it is true or if it works.
These three principles are so strange to the field of philosophy,
that I have given my philosophy a name: Scientology. This means
only "knowing how to know."
A philosophy can only be a *route* to knowledge. It cannot be
crammed down one's throat. If one has a route, he can then find
what is true for him. And that is Scientology.
Know thyself...and the truth shall set you free.
Therefore, in Scientology, we are not concerned with individual
actions or differences. We are only concerned with how to show man
how he can set himself free.
This, of course, is not very popular with those who depend upon the
slavery of others for their living or power. But it happens to be
the only way I have found that really improves an individual's
Suppression and oppression are the basic causes of depression. If
you relieve those a person can lift his head, become well, become
happy with life.
And though it may be unpopular with the slave master, it is very
popular with the people.
Common man likes to be happy and well. He likes to be able to
understand things, and he knows that his route to freedom lies
Therefore, for 15 years I have had mankind knocking on my door. It
has not mattered where I have lived or how remote, since I first
published a book on the subject my life has no longer been my own.
I like to help others and count it as my greatest pleasure in life
to see a person free himself of the shadows which darken his days.
These shadows look so thick to him and weigh him down so that when
he finds they *are* shadows and that he can see through them, walk
through them and be again in the sun, he is enormously delighted.
And I am afraid I am just as delighted as he is.
I have seen much human misery. As a very young man I wandered
through Asia and saw the agony and misery of overpopulated and
underdeveloped lands. I have seen people uncaring and stepping over
dying men in the streets. I have seen children less than rags and
bones. And amongst this poverty and degradation I found holy places
where wisdom was great, but where it was carefully hidden and given
out only as superstition. Later, in Western universities, I saw man
obsessed with materiality and with all his cunning; I saw him hide
what little wisdom he really had in forbidding halls and make it
inaccessible to the common and less favored man. I have been
through a terrible war and saw its terror and pain uneased by a
single word of decency and humanity.
I have led no cloistered life and hold in contempt the wise man who
has not *lived* and the scholar who will not share.
There have been many wiser men than I, but few have travelled as
I have seen life from the top down and the bottom up. I know how it
looks both ways. And I know there *is* wisdom and that there is
Blinded with injured optic nerves, and lame with physical injuries
to hip and back at the end of World War II, I faced an almost
nonexistent future. My service record states: "This officer has no
neurotic or psychotic tendencies of any kind whatsoever," but it
also states "permanently disabled physically."
And so there came a further blow...I was abandoned by family and
friends as a supposedly hopeless cripple and a probable burden upon
them for the rest of my days. I yet worked my way back to fitness and
strength in less than two years, using only what I knew and could
determine about man and his relationship to the universe. I had no
one to help me; what I had to know I had to find out. And it's
quite a trick studying when you cannot see.
I became used to being told it was all impossible, that there was
no way, no hope. Yet I came to see again and walk again, and I
built an entirely new life. It is a happy life, a busy one and I
hope a useful one. My only moments of sadness are those which come
when bigoted men tell others all is bad and there is no route
anywhere, no hope anywhere, nothing but sadness and sameness and
desolation, and that every effort to help others is false. I know
it is not true.
So my own philosophy is that one should share what wisdom he has,
one should help others to help themselves, and one should keep
going despite heavy weather for there is always a calm ahead. One
should also ignore catcalls from the selfish intellectual who
cries: "Don't expose the mystery. Keep it all for ourselves. The
people cannot understand."
But as I have never seen wisdom do any good kept to oneself, and as
I like to see others happy, and as I find the vast majority of the
people can and *do* understand, I will keep on writing and working
and teaching so long as I exist.
For I know no man who has any monopoly upon the wisdom of this
universe. It belongs to those who *can* use it to help themselves
If things were a little better known and understood, we would all
lead happier lives.
And there is a way to know them and there is a way to freedom.
The old must give way to the new, falsehood must become exposed
by truth, and truth, though fought, always in the end prevails.