Beliefs and Practices of Scientologists Concerning Death

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.

 

Many people have certainty that they have lived lives prior to their current one. These are referred to as past lives, not as reincarnation. Past lives is not a dogma in Scientology, but generally Scientologists, during their auditing, experience a past life and then know for themselves that they have lived before. To believe one had a physical or other existence prior to the identity of the current body is not a new concept—but it is an exciting one.

It is a fact that unless one begins to handle aberration built up in past lives, he doesn’t progress. In Scientology, one is given the tools to handle upsets and aberrations from past lives that adversely affect the individual in the present, thus freeing one to live a much happier life.

Scientologists also believe in the principle that some form of exchange is necessary in any relationship. If a person only receives and never gives, he will lose his own self-respect and become an unhappy person. Therefore, Scientology-sponsored charity programs often encourage those receiving the charity to make their own contribution in exchange by personally helping others who are in need. Such contributions enable one to receive help and yet maintain their self-respect.

Scientologists believe that people are immortal spiritual beings who have lived before and who will live again, and that their future happiness and immortality as spiritual beings depend on how they conduct themselves in the here and now. As L. Ron Hubbard wrote in Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought:

“It is obvious that what we create in our societies during this lifetime affects us during our next lifetime. This is quite different than the ‘belief’ or the ‘idea’ that this occurs. In Scientology, we have very little to do with forcing people to make conclusions. An individual can experience these things for himself. And unless he can do so, no one expects him to accept them. 

“The manifestation that our Hereafter is our ‘next life’ entirely alters the general concept of spiritual destiny. There is no argument whatever with the tenets of any faith, since it is not precisely stated uniformly by all religions that one immediately goes to a Heaven or Hell. It is certain that an individual experiences the effect of the civilization, which he has had part in creating, in his next lifetime. In other words, the individual comes back. He has a responsibility for what goes on today since he will experience it tomorrow.”

The sense of social responsibility is reinforced when, in the course of participating in auditing and training services, Scientologists come to the realization that they actually are spiritual beings who have lived before and will live again. The corollary of this realization is a higher standard of ethics and morals. The world one makes today is the world one returns to tomorrow and one lives with the fruits of his labors or the results of his transgressions in lives to come.

This is not merely an abstract concept concerning the future state of society. It also applies directly to one’s spiritual condition. A fundamental precept of Scientology is that people are basically good, but have become aberrated through contact with the physical universe and therefore commit harmful acts. These acts reduce the person’s awareness and ability and recoil on them in a dwindling spiral of unhappiness and misery. Through Scientology, a person can confront his or her actions, take responsibility for them, and come to know and experience truth again.

Scientology seeks the complete reversal of this dwindling spiral and the attainment of spiritual freedom for the individual and society as a whole.

Scientology shares the goal of spiritual salvation that exists in many faiths such as Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism. While the terms in which salvation is to be accomplished differ in Scientology, the spiritual goal of saving the soul is a commonality shared with many faiths.

 

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.

Organ Donation

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

Funeral Ceremony

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.

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