emotions (and scientology?)


Patron Meritorious
Some have stated, and others have denied, that expressing real human emotions is not allowed. Some go farther and say that even having certain real human emotions when you're not supposed to is is bad thing and the experience of having certain emotions when you're not supposed to causes people in the cult a lot of grief.

This point is usually made as an aside to another point in the threads where it comes up, so I wanted to give it some love by itself. I'm gonna do so by example, and then I invite you guys to comment.

I'm pretty familiar with grief, so I've learned pretty well how to handle it. Twice this year so far I've had to deal with mild bouts of it, and I wanted to share. The first time was when I was studying hard for something back in March or so. One of my sister's friends was one of the victims of a horrific crime (really bad, won't go into details because iamanonymousfearmelegionforgiveforgetwhatever). And my baby sister was having it really rough because it was a really rough situation. So, here I was, studying for a test or something, and I couldn't take any time off, so what I did was I kinda relaxed a bit, and I let myself feel sad, but while I was feeling sad I studied and I ended up working through the grief and doing well on my test.

The same thing happened when I was studying for finals. I got a call from one of my good friends telling me her husband of 10+ years had finally succumbed to cancer. And that was worse because even though I didn't know the guy that well (really nice guy, btw), I'm close to her and stuff. But, again, I had something to do. My previous experience has always been that when I try to ignore my feelings at times like these it backfires and they get worse. So, and this is utterly impossible to describe in words, I kinda relaxed and let myself feel sad and meanwhile I studied for my test.

These two situations were example of something I'm aiming for. I've some experience with grief so it was easier for me in those specific situations. But what I'm striving for is to live life doing two things when it comes to how I feel:

a) Not supress or bottle up my feelings, to not try and feel happy all the time, to not try and control my feelings, to just feel what I feel at the moment. Hope you get what I mean here. In other words, to not ignore or try and manipulate my emotions.
b) To not let my feelings control me. I wanted to just lay there and feel sad but I had big tests coming up.

I think without either of those, I'd turn out a wreck. If I ignored my emotions (if I tried to control them) I'd end up a blubbering wreck (it's happened).
But then, if I acted based on how I felt (if I let them control me) then my life would fall apart anyways (that's happened, too.)

So I try to sidestep the idea of control and my emotions, the dichotomy of bottling it up and letting it out and stuff.

So let's say I'm right about this stuff. It seems that scientology errs on the side of trying to control one's emotions. It promises you that you'll be able to deal with your emotions but doesn't give you the tools to actually do so, and then people get mad at you for HE&R.


Kathy (ImOut)

Gold Meritorious Patron

Great post.

I totally get what you're saying. I learned as a child (not Scn) and as a Scn not to really, truly feel or express my emotions. I'm having to learn to cry or allow myself to cry. I'm still making sense of it all. And it's difficult. I wonder if there are any classes to teach people that it's OK to FEEL EMOTION. I'd sign up in a heartbeat. Back to point. I think the way you handled the two situations you mention was a great way of handling what was also going on in your life - studying and grief.

I belief that one can feel sad/grief about something and still carrying on in life. Life has it's bumps - some cause anger, some cause grief, some cause such happiness you can't contain yourself. But we still have to do our daily "chores" - work, pay bills, etc. So, if one can experience the emotion at the time and still function, I think that's the best of both worlds. One isn't run by their emotions, yet feels them and experiences them.

Voltaire's Child

Fool on the Hill
Of course it's allowed. Hubbard said that re the tone scale that he was talking about chronic tone level- not acute. He said that a person should naturally feel the emotion that's appropriate for that particular situation.

HOWEVER, having said that, I will say that a person's emotions, yearnings, etc in the cult are generally used against him or her since the cult's interests are senior to anyone else's even when it claims otherwise. However, as far as Scientology itself as philosophy goes, that's a whole 'nother story.