Hi thanks for answering, but the context was as follows, this is from the scientology website:
space opera: of or relating to time periods on the whole track millions of years ago which concerned activities in this and other galaxies. Space opera has space travel, spaceships, spacemen, intergalactic travel, wars, conflicts, other beings, civilizations and societies, and other planets and galaxies. It is not fiction and concerns actual incidents and things that occurred on the track. See also whole track.
I meant that definition, found here: http://www.scientology.org/p_jpg/wis/wiseng/gloss.htm
Why would that be on a scientology glossary? For what purpose?
I was browsing the Church's official website, and went to the glossary section.
My question is why is there a "space opera" definition on the site? What does "space opera" as defined have to do with scientology?
Update: I did find the term on the "What is Scientology" website and am writing a more comprehensive answer for you right now. One moment while I do this...
I am unable to find the definition you mention in the site's glossary. Perhaps you could forward me a hyperlink to it so that I could see what you are talking about.
However, the term you asked about is found on this page of the site:
in the context quoted below.
"The next L. Ron Hubbard musical offering was the first-ever musical soundtrack to a book, based on his international bestseller, Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000. Reflecting the mood of a futuristic Earth grown primitive following an alien assault, Battlefield Earth, the album, offers thirteen LRH compositions based upon significant events and characters from the novel. The result is a wholly new dimension in space opera sound, and what critics declared was a most 'auspicious recording debut.'"
"space opera" in the context given would refer to futuristic concepts or ideas, or things reminiscent of space battles and such.
Here is the definition which you mentioned:
"space opera: of or relating to time periods on the whole track millions of years ago which concerned activities in this and other galaxies. Space opera has space travel, spaceships, spacemen, intergalactic travel, wars, conflicts, other beings, civilizations and societies, and other planets and galaxies. It is not fiction and concerns actual incidents and things that occurred on the track."
In order to understand why Scientology might have such a definition and yet not consider this a ridiculous inclusion for a religious study, it is imperative that one first understand two items. These are first, the Auditors code; excertped below
"1. I promise not to evaluate for the preclear or tell him what he should think about his case in session.
2. I promise not to invalidate the preclear's case or gains in or out of session.
...14. I promise to grant beingness to the preclear in session.
...17. I promise not to enter comments, expressions or enturbulence into a session that distract a preclear from his case."
and second, Personal Integrity, also excertped from the LRH quote on the subject below
"WHAT IS TRUE FOR YOU is what you have observed yourself and when you lose that you have lost everything.
What is personal integrity?
Personal integrity is knowing what you know–
What you know is what you know–
And to have the courage to know and say what you have observed.
And that is integrity.
And there is no other integrity...
...Nothing in Dianetics and Scientology is true for you
Unless you have observed it
And it is true according to your observation.
That is all."
One of the cornerstones of the study of Scientology is that the spirit, soul, thetan, what-have-you is the essence which is aware, and likewise is the essence which is the person. The mind and body are physical manifestations, but are not the person. The spirit/soul/thetan is not limited by time, nor subject to our notions of bodily death. Hence, as long as there has been a universe, there have been "souls," and the same ones are around now which were around in the beginning. One may take this or leave it, but if the Scientology definition of "thetan:"
"thetan: the person himself-not his body or his name, the physical universe, his mind, or anything else; that which is aware of being aware; the identity which is the individual. The term was coined to eliminate any possible confusion with older, invalid concepts. It comes from the Greek letter Theta (), which the Greeks used to represent thought or perhaps spirit, to which an n is added to make a noun in the modern style used to create words in engineering. It is also n, or “theta to the nth degree,” meaning unlimited or vast."
is accepted, then the other implications just mentioned would be corrolary to that "fact."
When Ron and other auditors were auditing (counseling) preclears (persons receiving auditing, persons not yet clear) in the early 1950's, many of those being audited began to speak of incidents which happened before the person was born, while in utero, or before the current life. the PC (preclear) might have been born, say in 1930, but would "run" incidents which happend in 1929, 1915, or 1600, or something seemingly "ridiculous" like 20 million BC. "Everyone knows" that people only live one life, and that there was no such thing as human life in 20 million BC, so the first impulse of auditors ("ones who listen," counselors) was to a) be scandalized by such utter nonsense and b) pooh-pooh the utterances of the precelar and try to steer him into some memory or subject matter which the auditor thought might be more fruitful. In fact certain administrators of a couple of Ron's early organizations sought to forbid auditors from "running past lives." and forbid the inclusion of talk about them in Scientology literature. The uniform result of this first impulse was failed counseling sessions, and morose, somber or upset preclears.
Ron made it clear in a number of lectures and demonstrations to auditors that WHATEVER the preclear came up with was to be addressed according to the Auditor's Code and the principles of Personal Integrity. An auditor was never to tell or suggest to a preclear what the latter was to think about his own memories and experiences, never to refuse to accept the communication the preclear was offering, and never to belittle or contradict the answers given by the preclear. The uniform result of handling PC communication in this fashion was life-relevant breakthroughs and realizations by preclears, successful counseling sessions, and substantial improvement in the overall mood and vitality of people receiving auditing.
Say what you will, telling the PC his memories were wrong or impossible did not work, and letting him tell you whatever seemed to have relevance to him at the time, did work.
Eventually, an astonishing number of "memories" offered by preclears dealt with time periods millions of years before the Earth was ever inhabited by intelligent life, and dealt with "space opera"-type subject matter. These "memories" suggested "advanced" (at least in a technological sense) civilizations which pre-dated ours, had space travel after a fashion, etc. Oddly enough, without the preclears or auditors discussing between them who had "remembered" what, a large number of commonalities began to crop up in some of these sessions, including between persons on different continents, who had never met. Some of these commonalities even became the subject matter of lectures given by Ron to auditors in the 1950's and into the 1060's. The half-joking nickname given to these high-technology incidents was "space opera." The name stuck.
I recall in 1997, I was in correspondence with a man from Mexico who had acquired a Spanish-language copy of Dianetics, the Modern Science of Mental Health, and decided to use the techniques. He wound up auditing an old guy from his town who had never heard of Scientology or Dianetics. When the guy began speaking of "space opera" incidents, my friend was horrified, but he did not vary from the procdedures in the book, and the old guy did very well as a preclear - seemed to shed years from his face and frame. A couple of years later, the auditor was listening to some taped lectures by Ron, and heard him speak of almost identical events to the ones mentioned by the old guy. This was, of course, even more electrifying than having heard the old guy talk about them in the first place but it got him to thinking that there must be something to this idea of past lives. Purely anecdotal, not "official" Scientology, but to my mind, kindof interesting nonetheless.
Now it is the position of various of Ron's writings that the incidents spoken of by these preclears are quite real - not in the least imaginary. It is also Ron's unchanging position that, "Nothing in Dianetics and Scientology is true for you Unless you have observed it And it is true according to your observation. That is all."
Logically, if life formed on the relatively young (in cosmic terms) planet Earth, and if the elements which make up the universe are spread more or less uniformly throughout it, and if the mechanics which cause stars and planets and stellar systems to form follow laws which do not vary from place to place within the universe, then the percentages are against humanity being the only, the oldest, or the most advanced civilzation in the universe. In fact, other civilzations should have flourished and died millions of years before we ever fashioned our first stone axes. Such would be all the more true if one subscribes to an idea more or less along the lines of Intelligent Design - this being the idea that formation of living organisms is not entirely random, but is influenced by the need for that which motivates all things in the universe to have suitable vehicles for experience and expression within the physical universe.
So there you have it. "Space opera" incidents brought up by PCs may or may not be valid in the viewpoint of any other person in or out of Scientology. As a Scientologist, one is required to BELIEVE nothing. One is required, however, when auditing a PC, to refrain from saying "you're crazy." - even if you think they are. 'Cause you know what? When Joe Blow is in the process of working out for himself what is his place in the grand scheme of things, and what is is relationship with the universe and ultimately, God, it is irrelevant what YOU think.