Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Past Lives?

We've recently had a baby come into our family. He is a healthy, happy baby and his mother delivered with minimal labor - it all seemed to go smooth as glass. We welcomed the baby to the family -- it's been ten years since we've had any newborns around. His mother is a Scientologist, and his father is not.

In my view: one of the things that sets Scientology apart from mainstream religions is its recognition that each individual is an immortal spirit -- a "thetan" in our vernacular. With that concept comes a recognition that we have lived before, that we were alive during past epochs -- we just don't remember much of it. The "past lives" we have all lived, and the decisions we have made about ourselves and others during those past lives continue to shape our lives today. Yes, we believe that what we think about something shapes our world, both as a group, and individually. Knocking off the rough edges of these, we call these thoughts about the way things are "considerations" and "postulates". Considerations are "continuing postulates" usually below the level of direct awareness.

For example, you would probably consider (knowingly) that the movie "Bonnie and Clyde" or "Scarface" is too violent and bloody for a small child to watch. You'd think about it (be aware of it) and decide "It wouldn't be good for them". That's a "knowing consideration". But you may have "unknown" considerations that you yourself made about many things, considerations that are now below that level of being aware that you ever made that decision.

From my own experience; in my youth I was terrified of swimming in a river, even though I was a fairly good, relaxed and competent swimmer. My considerations about this sprang from experiences in past lives. Putting my attention on that particular consideration, I was able to look for and recall the incidents (in past lives) that caused me to think swimming in rivers was terrifying. Spotting them exactly, they stopped having any effect. Now I can swim in rivers all I like, without the terror. While I wouldn't swim in a river known to be filled with crocodiles, I would have no trouble swimming in the Columbia, say, or the local rivers here (where there are no predators!).

I'm not talking about Karma and Reincarnation here - just simply being born, living, dying, and being born. There's no great system of judgment -- just your own considerations about what you should be, what you should do, and what you should have.

That's my observation as a practicing Scientologist for 35 years. I don't speak in any official capacity for the Church of Scientology, just for myself.

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