The following first appeared in the private email list IVy-subscribers,
which was available to all those who subscribed to the
printed magazine, International Viewpoints.

The cat and I
29 April 1999
by Phil Spickler

       A fine cat with beautiful eyes lives here, and has graced us with her
presence.  In communing with her the other day, she asked me, with a twinkle
in her beautiful eyes, "Does a human being have Buddha-nature?"  I don't know
if you've ever seen a cat laugh, but the cat and I laughed for quite awhile
over that one.

      Afterwards I got to thinking a bit about the past, pre-Scientology,
and remembered how darn long I seemed to be taking to have the experience of
satori.  And as you know, without satori, without any sense of your true
self, Buddhism, Zen, really don't amount to much of anything.

       Well, one of the things I noticed pretty early on in Scientology was
that it didn't take 5 or 10 years or lifetimes to hit a satori -- a release,
a big key-out, etc. etc.  And so it seemed that Hubbard was really on to
something when he said there wasn't anything really that new about
Scientology, that there had been other roads that got to the same place, but
that Scientology could get you there a lot faster and a lot more frequently.
And I believe that was one promise that got regularly delivered.  Trouble
was, (forgive me for being repetitious) most folks in Scientology, when they
hit a satori, felt like "Well, I paid for this satori and by gosh, it ought
to be something I can hang onto."  This of course is one of the problems of
Western thought -- materialism, if you will -- which is the quintessence of
attachment or ownership. namely, "By gosh, I paid for this and it's MINE, and
since I paid for it, I get to keep it, and if I can't keep it, there must be
something phony about all this, and I've been robbed!"

      Well, that's the attitude which was heavily fed by the marketing
forces of Scientology, which started promising the impossible, namely, you
could get some neat satori that you would have to pay for, usually through
the nose, and that this satori would be permanent and you would never lose it
once you'd got it.  This, along with the big money that one had to pay for
such an experience, got the Church and its customers into all kinds of
trouble, 'cause the worst thing you could possibly do to a satori is to
engage in the practice of attachment, of ownership, and the attitude that
"This must never go away."  As soon as those postulates come into play, you
can kiss your satori goodbye.

       Then of course you're left once again with the feeling that you've
somehow been cheated, or that you didn't get the real thing, and you could
now spend another small fortune trying to get it back as it went further and
further away.  Fortunately, the Eastern mind, in the framework of Buddhism
and Taoism and other practices of a similar nature, seeks non-attachment,
which, of and by itself, can and will produce any number of satorical
experiences.  But those wisdom schools expected you to get your satoris by
your own hand, by your own perseverance, by your own bootstraps, by your own
willingness, not as the customer of some group that promises to sell you
something that you won't be able to own.  These earlier  -isms and -ologies
understood that there are many satoris along the way, and you don't have to
embarrass yourself and others by collecting certificates of ownership of them
or writing giant success stories that are intended to bring more customers
in, which you will also live to look back upon with some embarrassment.

      Satoris or ascenscion experiences or any other name you want to call
them -- getting high, blowing your mind -- are pretty wonderful, but any
wisdom school that's worth its theta would make sure to help produce someone
who was pretty casual about these things and had a pretty much easy-come,
easy-go attitude about them, and who certainly would not get into ownership
and attachment, and should certainly be in good enough shape to have, let
remain, or dispense with, at will, anything or everything in any universe,
real or imagined, spiritual or material, and not to get into holding on to
that which can't be held, with fearful desperation.

      I looked up and the cat was sleeping, but she had a smile on her face,
and in a few minutes I expect to be doing the same thing.  Good night and
Godspeed --- a person without Buddha-nature