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From the Greek words 'dia' or through and 'nous' which means the mind or soul, comes a set of principles and practices called the Dianetics. When combined, these two words make up what Scientologists believe as a fundamental truth – that the soul affects the physical body through the mind.
Dianetics covers beliefs regarding the metaphysical relationship of the body and the mind. This was authored by science fiction writer and founder of the Scientology religion, L. Ron Hubbard. This is a fundamental practice in the religion and is thought to lay the foundation of rehabilitating the thetan being that is enclosed in the physical being of all Scientologists.
Prior to Hubbard's development of Dianetics, the dominating belief was that the body is controlled by the brain and so is the mind. The physical being itself is believed to be nothing more than a collection of physical components that are controlled by another physical component called the brain. But Hubbard's Dianetics changed all that or so the believers of the Scientology religion claim.
The book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, which is considered a canonical text by Scientologist the world over, describes how the body and the mind are related in a metaphysical sense. It explores the mind as having three components: the analytical mind which is the conscious mind, the reactive mind which is the subconscious mind, and the somatic mind. Each of these parts serves different roles in the actions of a thetan or the pure spirit which Scientologists believe to be their inherent form.
Central to the teachings of dianetics is the removal of the reactive mind, which Scientologists believe hamper them from going back to their original state as pure spirits. According to believers, this reactive mind is a relatively unknown but harmful part of the mind which composes a collection of past experiences. Most of which are experiences of loss, pain and unconsciousness which are believed to prevent the thetans from manifesting themselves. These traumatic or painful experiences coexist with other mental images in what Freudians might call the subconscious mind, or the level of consciousness that is below that which a person is aware of. Because of the mental images collected in this consciousness is painful and traumatic, this causes discord in a Scientologist's spiritual being, eventually becoming the source of unwanted emotions and fears, pains, and psychosomatic illnesses.
The teachings of dianetics provide methods as to how to address and control the reactive mind. This is done by opening the engrams, the complete recordings of past experiences that are stored in the reactive mind, and by systematically opening these. Contacting the engrams then leads to a new state of spiritual awareness. When addressed properly, the reactive mind can be 'cured' and the state of Clear, which is akin to the Buddhists' concept of Bhodi or Enlightened One, can be achieved.
In this state, the Scientologist is free of his reactive mind and is therefore more capable of achieving higher states of spiritual consciousness.
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