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Scientology and the Substantive Definition of Religion

Scientology and the Comparative Definition of Religion

Scientology and the Functional Definition of Religion

Scientology and the Analytical Definition of Religion

Sharing a Body of Doctrine

Participation in Rituals and Acts of Devotion

Direct Experience of Ultimate Reality

Religious Knowledge

Consequences in Quotidian Life

Scientology and the Emic Definitions of Religions

Conclusions

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iv.iii. Direct Experience of Ultimate Reality

It has been suggested that most traditional religions expect that their adherents will reach at some moment a more or less direct experience of ultimate reality. This dimension of religiosity relates to the substantive definitions of religion and we have expounded on this in reviewing the substantive definitions of religion. We therefore mentioned that religious experiences which are not ordinary or quotidian have a central place in Scientology. As with other religions such experiences are encouraged in accordance with and interpreted under the doctrines of the religion and are also taken as evidence of the correctness of the group’s cosmic vision.

Scientology presents itself as a gradual, clearly defined and certain route to improve awareness guiding individuals from a condition of spiritual blindness to the happiness of spiritual existence. It promises to its adherents that such increased awareness will enable them ultimately to become aware of their own immortality, achieve total freedom, omniscience and understand directly the meaning of life, death and the universe.

 
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