By Bronwyn McKellar
I went to a 30 year high school reunion this last weekend, which was a strange affair, with somewhat familiar faces but awkward silences as we tried to remember people’s names.
As the wine flowed and people relaxed, the conversation became more fluid and one old school friend detailed his recent stress relating to his brother who has terminal cancer.
He spoke at length about the situation, his brother’s attitude and the family’s efforts to help him with his last will and testament. Dying of throat cancer, his brother has 3 choices: suffocate from lack of air as his airways are closed by ever-growing tumours; die of thirst/hunger as he loses his ability to be able to eat or drink anymore; or travel to another country where he can legally take control and causatively end his life. He chose the latter, and his brother (my school friend) spoke at length about his actions to make this happen before it is too late for his brother to be able to still travel overseas.
The stress related to the imminent death of his brother was clear, so I asked a simple question – “Do you believe that there is life after the body dies?”
And my friend immediately told me that man is an animal and no more than that. Once the body is dead, you are dead, and there is it. You become nothing.
“It is part of the evolutionary process”, he explained to me, “and scientifically I have no reason to believe there is anything else to life, nor any after-life”.
“Once my brother is dead, he is dead”.
Another old school friend agreed with him – and both started to talk critically of religion, about “heaven/hell” and so on. I cut them off and clarified “I am not talking about religion – I am actually asking about spirituality. About life force. About the life energy that each of us are.”
This became a fascinating discussion – as though both had decided that there is nothing else to man, other than the body, they started to tell me stories about their own encounters when they felt, perceived or sensed some other energy, or communication or force relating to others. They had both experienced the hair raising on the arms, the tingle down the spine, and also experienced flows of energy that had intense emotion — but neither could define what that actually was.
I asked if they heard of out-of-body experiences – when someone finds themselves on the ceiling of an auditing room, or watching a car accident from afar. They had heard of this – but could not explain it, nor want to really look at it further.
One of them laughed when I asked if they had ever experienced a ghost. “If I had”, he replied, “I wouldn’t know – as I have decided there is no such thing — so if they tried to communicate to me, they would get no answer!”.
I had to smile.
I told him “Despite your beliefs, if there happens to be more to life than just the body — if we are a life force or energy that can leave the body — and if your brother goes on, after his body dies, to do something else or live again elsewhere – would that be OK?”.
“Of course!”, he replied, “I just know that won’t happen.”
I did not try to convince him otherwise, as what is true for him is true for him.
It is not my position or place to try to force someone to look at something that they do not wish to look at – but I am convinced that the conversation we had, did give both people a different perspective.
I also raised questions and points that they were unable to reconcile with the information that they have been operating off to date. So hopefully, at some point in the future when they will personally experience exteriorization – or when they speak to others who have experienced it, it will resonate with them – and they will take another look.
LRH has a bulletin on death — PAB 15 February 1958. It is a lengthy reference in the Technical Volumes, and here is a key excerpt from it. For me it is a stabilizing information, and the auditing I have had, and my own exteriorization from the body, has given me even more reality on this subject.
My friend was correct to a degree — when your body dies, you are nothing. But actually, you were a static the whole time. And this perspective on life (and death) gives me certainty about many things.
“It is very easy to forget about death because that is what death is, a forgettingness. However, we do have a considerable amount of information on this subject and you are entitled to that information.
“Man is composed of a body, a mind and what we refer to as the thetan.
“Exteriorization processes give a person a considerable subjective reality on the idea that he himself is a being that is independent of a mind or a body and that there actually is a separateness between them. One doesn’t even have to be carried along to a point of where one exteriorizes in processing in order to get a reality on this.
“This subject has been fully covered by me since 1952, when I defined the thetan as in Axiom 1 and devised techniques to separate any preclear from his body. This was the first scientific evidence that man has had on the subject of the human spirit. Man thought he had a human spirit. That is totally incorrect. Man is a human spirit which is enwrapped, more or less, in a mind, which is in a body-and that is man, Homo sapiens. He is a spirit and his usual residence is in his head and he looks at pictures and his body carries him around.
“When we look at the fact that man is a spirit which has a mind and a body, and when we describe man in that fashion, then it becomes extremely simple to understand what his difficulties would be. His difficulties would be basically with his body or with his mind and we can understand that there obviously would be difficulties with him as a spiritual being. He has to think that he can get into a trap, has to get the idea that he can be in danger before he can get into danger.
“In other words, the thetan has to give permission to be trapped before he can be trapped, and is therefore easily untrapped. The moment he is untrapped he gives birth to all sorts of interesting phenomena which we know as the exteriorization phenomena, all of which are quite easily demonstrated. I have actually constructed a meter once that could measure and prove a thetan to have an electrical field around him-independent of energy ridges, bodies and such combinations as that.
“What happens to man when he dies? Basically all that happens is that a separation occurs between the thetan and the body. However, he takes old facsimiles, energy phenomena and bric-a-brac that he feels he cannot do without with him, and attaches this to the next body he picks up. He does not build a body in this lazy time of manufactured items and Frigidaires and so on. He picks one up off the genetic line, and the genetic line is a series of mocked up automaticities which produce according to a certain blueprint from the earliest times of life on this planet through until now. Everybody, people even in biology know that there is a definite succession of steps that life takes today, as they announce in their theory of natural selection and evolution. We understand it rather thoroughly that something goes through these steps.
“There is the cycle of action in Scientology which is Create, Survive (persist), Destroy. At the shoulder of the curve an individual is mostly interested in surviving. Early on the curve he is interested in creating, and at the end of the curve he is interested in the disposition of the remains.
“When we apply this cycle of action to the various parts I described, we get a death of the body, a partial death of the mind and a forgettingness on the part of the spiritual being, which is in itself, again, a type of death. Actually bodies stay around for quite a while after death since it takes some time for them to decompose-certain parts before other parts-and the cells in the cuticle and hair evidently live longest.
“The first thing one learns about death is that it is not anything of which to be very frightened. If you are frightened of losing your pocketbook, your money, your memory, boy or girlfriend, well, that’s how frightened you ought to be of dying because it’s all the same order of magnitude.
“Here we strike the first observable phenomenon when we find out that the mind, in spite of mechanisms which seek to decay and wipe it out, does maintain and preserve mental image pictures of earlier experiences. With the proper technology and an understanding of this, one can be again in possession of the mental image pictures of earlier existences in order to understand what was going on. In view of the fact that we have not restored remembrance to the being, the mental image pictures usually just continue to be pictures. We send somebody into a past life and he looks at a mental image picture and you might as well have sent him to the art gallery. He himself has no connection with this because the mental image picture may be the mind’s or the body’s. (The body carries around mental image pictures and the thetan does the same and these two combine to form the mind.)
“The mind, then, is a bridge between the spirit and the body, and the mental image pictures formed by a thetan added to and confused with the mental image pictures formed by the body is usually how a thetan stays in a head. He confuses the two and therefore demonstration of past existences by running somebody “back down on the time track” and having him look at a picture is not very convincing. He has always had some unreality about it, has no recognition of having ever been anything else before.
“The restoration of memory to one of these beings is of great interest to us, since all that is really wrong with him is that things have happened to him which he knows all about but won’t let himself in on. Therefore the restoration of memory is done as a matter of course in almost any processing, and in view of the fact that it is part of any processing, it is impossible today to process somebody, well and expertly, without having him sooner or later get some sort of a recall on a past existence with some small reality.
“An individual’s own will has a great deal to do with this. One should not look for outside sources as to why his memory is shut off. Just as he must grant permission to be trapped, so must he grant permission to be made to remember. He is more or less convinced that a memory would cause him to re-experience the pain he already feels has been too much for him. He is very reluctant to face up again to this mechanism, and facing death, he almost always goes into a bit of amnesia.
“The fact that one has lived before is so restrained that it itself is the reason why it is forgotten. The unpopularity of it in other ages and this one brought about a forgetter mechanism which causes an occlusion on the subject of death.
“The fact that one cannot talk about it is enough, all by itself, to continue to cause the forgetter mechanism.
“A way to plot this would be to ask somebody, as an auditing question: “To whom can you tell the fact that you have been dead?” It works something like this: “Tell me the one person in the world who does not believe that you are insane.” It has a fantastically cataclysmic effect upon a person. He sort of believes he is going wog and spinning and so forth, and when you ask him that question you have broken the agreement chain.
“You could ask a similar question, “Tell me one person in the world who believes you live more than once,” and you would get a similar reaction
“The subject of death is never a very serious one to a Scientologist beyond the fact that he feels kind of sorry for himself sometimes. There was somebody of such terrific elan, who made him real happy and this person was thoughtless enough to dispose of the mock-up and go out of communication and the Scientologist feels unhappy about it, for it is a thoughtless thing for a friend to do.
“This, by the way, is a very early concept of death. You now more or less progress back to death as it was regarded very early on this particular track in this universe. People didn’t regard it very seriously.
“Death is in itself a technical subject. You can, with considerable confidence, reassure some husband whose wife is dying or has just died that she got out all right and she is going someplace else to pick up a mock-up. If you got there while the person could still talk, still communicate with you mest-wise, in the last moments they usually have something spotted, something planned. “