"Walking the Minefield": Philosophies on Forming a New Life
When it comes to a New Life...
Are We Effected More
by Heredity (Nature) or
Environment (Nurture) or
Past Life Karma?
It is the age old question... what effects our
journey through life more heredity (nature, genetics, etc) or environment
(nurture, life experience, etc)? Or could it be... the cumulative effect
of all our experiences in past lives?
"We are like chameleons, we take our hue and the
color of our moral character, from those who are around us."
"Parents wonder why their streams (children) are bitter, when they themselves
have poisoned the fountain."
"Education begins the man but reading, good company, and reflection must
"No man's knowledge can go beyond his experience." (John Locke's quotes
about "Tabula Rasa" explaining his philosophy)
Just Blame it on Your Parents:
In the age of Enlightenment, philosophers
proclaimed that we were all born with "blank slates" (the English
translation of "tabula rasa"). This theory became a maxim of modern
psychology because it fit in so well with their concept that all adult
problems are the result of uncaring parents imposing their personal
dementia on helpless children. Either parents saddled children with
faulty genetics or raised them in an unsupportive environment.
On Heredity and Nature:
Modern medicine (in support of modern psychology)
tells us that we all are "genetically predisposed" to think and act in
predefined ways. Links between genetics, disease, and behavior are
becoming more firmly established all the time. So science has us
believe, the fault lies not in our stars but in our cells. And yet
science fails to answer why our cells formed in one way and not another.
The answer to that question is that resonances (effects) from past
lives carry over and determine which way our cells have formed.
On Environment and Nurture:
Modern psychotherapy tells us that most present
day problems spring from the never ending bucket of "childhood issues".
So everything that "happened to you in your childhood", especially if
it "gives you trouble" as an adult, is the "fault of your parents". Yet
science fails to answer why given the same environment do different
people react differently. The answer to that question is that Souls
react to the life experiences they are presented with using the
cumulative learnings gained from their own unique past life experiences.
This means you are more like yourself in past lives than you are like
your parents now.
On the 'Blank Slate':
Of all the anti-reincarnation ideas, the concept
of "Tabula Rasa" - popularized by the philosopher John Locke - is the
most enduring. The premise of "Tabula Rasa" is that there is "no such
thing" as "innate (inborn) ideas" or "moral precepts": we are all born
with an "empty mind" which is a "blank slate"/"soft tablet" (the literal
meaning of the phase "Tabula Rasa"). This means that the only way a
human mind can acquire information is through the five senses: only
through life experiences, education, and thinking (reading, studying,
The "Tabula Rasa" does not and cannot
explain the following:
When a child possesses talents from birth that
normally take a lifetime to develop.
When a child relates a consistent set of past
life recollections when "they were big".
When a child is abnormally mature in their
character and conduct at very young ages.
When an adult suddenly exhibits skills, talents,
and abilities without formal study.
When adults can accurately navigate through a
place where they have never been before.
When a child or adult can accurately find objects
long buried in the Earth.
When a child can speak in a long extinct language
known only to research scholars.
When poorly socialized adults can channel the
encyclopedia, dictionary, phone book, etc.
When a person has mental issues (like
that is not part of family genetics.
When a person contracts a rare illness (like
that is not part of family genetics.
When a person is born with birth marks and
defects that is not part of family genetics.
When a person is one gender on the outside but
feels like the other gender on the inside.
"Everything you say and do around your children
writes on the slate of who they are." (Dr. Phil)
"Family is just a river through which Soul flows." (Edgar Cayce)
Although the slate of who we are comes pre-loaded
with past life information, our life now gives us the chance to change
Although we can attach to our past life
issues at any point, we tend to pick up the majority of them in childhood.
Yet to understand them, we need to go beyond childhood to where they
originated in past lives.
Why We Are Who We Are:
When we are born, it is past lives - via our
- that form our nature. When we grow up, it is
past lives - via the choices about reincarnation we make (choosing our
parents, our life circumstances, our romantic partners, and so on) -
that form our nurture. What we carry with us from past lives - our
skills and abilities, our wisdom and instincts - help us along our
journey through life. Yet the whole point of reincarnation... is for
us to rewrite our slate and, in so doing, improve in our ability to
love and to know more joy.
Updating Our Slate:
To grow in love, joy, and awareness, we
consciously incarnate into situations now that will bring us to heal
unresolved pain and issues from past lives so we can advance our
spiritual growth. We set the stage for the karmic drama we choose in
any given life by participating in experiences where our old ways of
being will no longer serve us. This brings us to new learnings about
life so that we can grow more loving/joyful and gain greater
When the Slate is Wet Clay:
Although we can attach to our past life issues
at any point along our journey, we tend to pick up the majority of them
in our "young and impressionable" childhood. In childhood, our slate
is like wet clay. Although the quality and content of the clay come
from past lives, it is wet and easily shaped by those who have access
to it this time around. Our parents, our siblings, our extended family,
our friends, our enemies, our society, and our communications network:
all these play a part in shaping our wet clay into a new form.
Twisting the Wet Clay:
When we allow ourselves to be molded by others,
it is a double edged sword. On the positive
side, we have the chance to become more
loving, more aware, and more joyful... to become who we have always
wanted to be. On the
negative side, we
open ourselves to being damaged by the selfish agendas of others... to
be twisted into their shape and become who they want us to be. Whatever
happens, sooner or later, we will be stronger for the experience...
however it has unfolded. The first step is to stop blaming those who
have sculpted our clay... and to start taking ownership of our past
karma and our present life.