Lawtears said in response to my post "Is Scientology A Cult?": :
Interesting, but not quite the stuff I wanted. I want your fire/passion/spirit.
Think of it this way. A guy once said "I think therefore I am." I want YOU, the thing that does the thinking in your case, to tell me about X,Y,Z that's happened in YOUR life. The joys and well as (non-financial) cost.
In your own brevity, of course. No doubt you could write for months about yourself, as anyone could.
It's not about the semantics. It's the person behind that I'm wanting.
Okay. So looking over your original comment again in light of the new comment, I think I get what you're asking for. Unless I'm way off the mark, you want to hear my experiences that say, "This is my religion. This is the spiritual path for me. This is something good." If I'm wrong then you can leave another comment and I'll try again :). I think you also want some of the tough times I've had to go through, so I'll give you some of that too.
When I first came across Scientology I was at University studying Physics. I got interested because the person who told me about it said she used to be shy and it handled that for her. At the time I was horribly shy and I really didn't want to be, so I thought I'd give it a try. I started on the communication course and kept seeing the words "Church of Scientology" all over the place. I was not interested in Churches or religion so I simply ignored it and carried on.
The first problem I hit was when I came across the definition of the word "thetan" (a word that is much ms-defined on the Internet, but simply means an individual as a spirit). Because I was an atheist at the time and studying sciences I couldn't accept this idea of a spirit. I brought this up to the person running the course, saying, "I can't believe this. I'm a scientist." and, much to my surprise, he said, "You don't have to believe it. Just make sure you understand it and then see if it applies in life or not." There was no force, no "this is holy writ", no trying to persuade me that I should believe, none of that.
When I finished that first course I felt great. I had reduced my shyness tremendously. Before the course I would walk around feeling like I had a cloak wrapped around me so I wouldn't be noticed (not literally but figuratively). After the communications course that had gone away, I didn't feel like I needed to hide anymore.
The next big win I had was when I did the course on study and education called the "Student Hat". When I finished that I felt like I could take on the world, because I knew I could study anything and succeed at it. One of the most important things in education is for the student to be able to evaluate the accuracy and truth of what he is studying. He has to be able to think for himself in order to do this. Authoritarian education is doomed to failure. The student may pass tests with flying colors, but once he is free of the "Authority" he is very likely to reject the education by never using it. A student who is allowed to make up his own mind is far more likely to use the data successfully. That is one of the key principles of education used in Scientology.
Over the next few years I took more courses and received Scientology Auditing. Through all this I gained many new abilities. One big one for me was that I could stand up in front of a group and say something. I'd never been able to do that before. It was after one particular piece of auditing that this occurred. One day I was in a meeting of 40 or 50 people and I just stood up and said something relevant to what we were discussing and then I sat down. Suddenly I realized what I'd just done and, more incredible still, that I hadn't even thought twice about it - I just stood up and said my piece.
Another huge win was realizing that I was a spiritual being and not a body. This came about during some auditing. I felt so BIG as a being that I realized I was bigger than my body. It was like I (as a being) was a thumb and my body was like a small sliver of wood that was stuck in it. It's a difficult phenomenon to describe but it is a wonderful feeling. This video may give you an idea: The Parts of Man.
Another great ability I gained was the ability to help other people. I had joined staff at a Church and I was put in charge of staff enhancement, which included Scientology Training and auditing for staff. Sometimes I would have to help people who were stuck in study or who were having some problem in life which was interfering with their progress. The fact that I could effectively help people with the Scientology that I had learned was a huge win for me. The tools I used were usually simple things such as those given in the Scientology Handbook and I'd get amazing results. For example, there was one guy who had never gotten along with his parents and rarely even spoke to them. After getting into Scientology they had gotten rather belligerent because they'd heard some false data about it. So I helped him become a friend to his parents so that not only were they fine about him being a Scientologist, but he and his parents now talked a lot because they actually liked each other.
I also got to help people who were not on staff. One of my greatest wins was helping a guy whose business was failing. I applied the L. Ron Hubbard Admin Technology and we solved his business problems. After that he became very successful and is still running a successful business twenty five years later. In fact I saw him at Flag just a few months ago and we had a great time catching up.
Probably the toughest time for me was in the early 1980's. I was in the Sea Org and there was a lot to do. It was hard work, but very rewarding, then I got a new senior who was a total bitch. One of the nastiest people I've ever had the misfortune to meet. It took a few months, but she eventually wore me down and I left the Sea Org. A few months later I found out that she had been expelled from the Church along with another person who had given me a really hard time. I felt a great relief to realize that it wasn't just me being a dick. (There is more on what happened at that time here: Answer to Comment on Fair Game.) That was also a tough time for the Church. Some very unpleasant people had wangled their way into high positions in the Church and were doing a wonderful job of destroying it. Luckily some good people spotted what was going on and handled it. New policies were put in place to make sure nothing like that ever happened again and those policies have been successful to this day.
After the nasties were kicked out, I went back into the Sea Org and had a good couple of years. During that time I did a stint on the Rehabilitation Project Force (RFP) and benefited from it. Eventually, I decided I wasn't contributing well as a Sea Org member, so I decided to leave. Leaving wasn't a big deal. I did the things required of one when one leaves, found myself a new job and that was that.
Since then I've continued as an ordinary Scientology Parishioner and as a Volunteer Minister. I've done more training and auditing and have continued to use my skills and knowledge to help others. I've helped save some marriages, helped people get over severe losses, helped people with drug problems and more.
I'm not full-time at my volunteer work, my wife and I have raised two kids and I've kept a full-time job going since I left the Sea Org. I wish I could do my volunteer work full-time, but helping people in this way pays diddly-squat financially, although it pays me huge amounts spiritually. There is nothing in this world better than effectively helping another.
I could go on and on about other personal gains, such as the huge gains I got from the auditing level called OT V, but I don't want this to turn into "No doubt you could write for months about yourself". So I'll stop.
I hope that answered your question and if not then just drop me another comment.