Scientologists believe that the defining part of every human is his soul, or thetan. The physical body is a very transitory and limiting part of existence. Indeed, the purpose of auditing in Scientology is to eliminate harmful spiritual influences that restrict the thetan, and higher levels of this process allow the thetan to interact with the world without needing to use the body as an intermediary. The higher levels also prepare the thetan to be able to choose another body in a better and timely transfer. Some levels of processing allow the thetan to recollect past lives.
Life After Death
Each thetan is billions of years old, passing from one human life to the next through reincarnation. There is no judgment of the soul involved, and the process is automatic, without any necessary intervention through ritual, prayer or other means. However ethics , morals and clearing deal determine how , when and where the thetan would be able to transfer into a new body , tree or other. The next life may be or may not be in a huma body.
Scientology funerals are relatively simple ceremonies asit is believe that one has simply dropped the current body.
Treatment And Disposal of The Body
Scientology doctrine does not dictate any required or forbidden treatment of the body after death. Scientologists may have the body either buried or cremated. Ceremonies may or may not involve a viewing of the body, and grave markers may or may not be used.
L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, was cremated. He requested that no memorial be created in remembrance and no ceremony was performed other than the depositing of his ashes at sea.
Scientologists are allowed to make their own decisions about organ donation. However, they also believe that all traumatic experiences form harmful engrams, which limit the expression of the thetan until expelled through auditing, and that this process may occur even when unconscious or suffering “brain death”. Therefore, there may be spiritual repercussions to organ donation requiring additional auditing in the next life
If the family of the deceased opts for a funeral ceremony, a church official will address the deceased, bidding farewell and encouraging his thetan to take up a new body and a new life through reincarnation. The ceremony also generally involves a celebration of the deceased’s accomplishments in life and thanking him for the time spent with those attending. Readings from Hubbard’s works on Scientology are also generally included.
Non-Scientologists are welcome to attend any portion of the funeral services.
Services Available For Family
Counseling through auditing is encouraged by the Church of Scientology for survivors of the deceased. The grief associated with the loss of a loved one is understood to form engrams, which need to be worked through and released.