Did I Choose This?

Posted by Amanda Moreno


Amanda Moreno describes her belief in the cyclical nature of life — and in the fluidity of beliefs and truth in general. She writes, ” When it comes down to it, I’m not too concerned about whether or not [reincarnation is] Absolutely True, but instead concerned with the healing that can come from such a perspective.”

Ah, the cyclical nature of being. I’ve always been fond of philosophizing about concepts like soul fragmentation, reincarnation and the nature of existence. I’m quite at home in my beliefs, open to changing them should my experience dictate that they’ve become irrelevant, but I’ve never been interested in debate or in proving that I’m right and you’re wrong.

Photo by graywacke/A Landing a Day

Photo by graywacke/A Landing a Day

Belief and truth are fluid and subjective in my world, and to me that fluidity is the mark of mature psychology, although I’m aware that the culture at large views it quite differently.

The work I do definitely revolves around the belief that reincarnation and past lives are ‘facts’ of existence. When it comes down to it, I’m not too concerned about whether or not it’s Absolutely True, but instead concerned with the healing that can come from such a perspective and from tools that help us to engage life that way. Add to that the fact that so many of the world’s spiritual systems point towards cyclical phases of being, as well as my own experiences in alternate realities, and again I’m at home with my beliefs and can hold space for yours, too.

The Tibetan Buddhist understanding of death and the afterlife inform the kind of regression work I do. In short, it says that there are certain traumas that survive death, traveling through the various etheric bodies in between and throughout incarnations (I highly recommend watching this video  for a compelling look at the Tibetan Book of the Dead).

My summary of the idea is this: when a person does not die consciously, they do not know what happens as they are transitioning out of the body. They often die with a phrase or ‘complex’ running through their head. That complex (e.g., “I always have to do it alone” or “If I don’t get away I’ll die!”) chases us through the bardo states as a demon or demons, and we jump into the first cave to hide. The cave, then, is the womb, and we burst into the world with the same complex active within us. I suppose this gives some credence to the idea that we’re born with PTSD.

There is one component of my belief system that I’m sometimes hesitant to approach or convey, especially to clients. I do believe that we choose at least some aspect of our experiences in each life — the parents we are born to and the time and place we arrive.

I don’t have an allegory for how this works, and I don’t have any ‘direct’ experience of it, as none of my bardo state memories include that component — although I’m quite familiar with the state of being confused and stuck in the afterlife — but it’s what rings true for my soul. If time is a sphere, and fragmentation is a natural state, perhaps part of us is somewhere in the clouds deciding on experiences while other parts are fleeing and still others are stuck, or happy and at rest. I’m sure there are plenty of texts on the subject.

The belief that ‘I chose this’ has brought me great solace at times. It allows me to make meaning out of events, particularly the difficult ones. I’m able to center myself in the knowledge that there is a lesson my soul is trying to learn. I’m able to imagine some aspect of myself, and perhaps the other that I am interacting with, floating in some other realm, looking down and laughing at the predicament we’ve gotten ourselves into in the great cosmic game called Humans Incarnating Unconsciously. It’s a framework that gives me perspective both in immediate situations and over the long view.

There is conflict, however. It is tremendously insensitive, and perhaps even detrimental, to convey this belief to someone who is currently experiencing grief or trauma, or someone who has experienced a nightmarish childhood, especially if it’s outside of their range of conceptualization. Victimization is such a complex thing and its processes need to be honored on whatever timeline they develop.

It is while pondering these things that I remember how important it is that experience play a central role in defining truth, and the importance of holding space for contrary and different beliefs while remaining grounded, although perhaps not entrenched, in our own. I suppose that’s where the Sagittarius-Gemini axis comes into play: Sagittarius being associated with Truth, and Gemini with curiosity and mapping and dialogue for the sake of dialogue (rather than winning). In any case, I’m looking forward to delving into these topics more in the months and years to come. There is so much to learn…and experience!

Posted in Columnist on | 12 comments
Amanda Moreno

About Amanda Moreno

Amanda is an astrologer, soul worker and paradigm buster based in Seattle. Her adventures in these forms of ‘practical woo’ are geared towards helping people to heal themselves and the world. She can be found in the virtual world at www.aquarianspirals.com.

12 thoughts on “Did I Choose This?

  1. Chad Woodward

    Yes, I couldn’t agree with you more. Placing the blame on someone experiening a traumatic episode is rather counterproductive to healing and it really doesn’t help. An ex-boyfriend of mine used to do this at times and I found it abusive, especially when all I needed in those moments was support and someone who cared. I guess his sociopathic nature made that difficult for him.

    As for beliefs, I’ve been working on releasing them all. As a Gemini, I say that I entertain highly probable hypotheses. Reincarnation would fit there. I don’t believe it but I think it’s pretty likely. With Evolutionary Astrology, It just helps to add a story to the nodal configuration so that we can relate to it on a human level. In the end, I try my best to not take anything too seriously or get too attached to any theory or perception. So, I laugh about a lot of things, just to keep my concepts loose and light.

  2. Pam

    ‘I do believe that we choose at least some aspect of our experiences in each life — the parents we are born to and the time and place we arrive.’

    Perhaps things like what the soul has in its blindspot of vision, or awareness/musculation necessary for the precision in what role the soul can play in this current lifetime; or learning to change a double negative into a triple positive and be in the present moment.

    (Equally the easiest thing with victimisation is to not go there as Jude said – takes up a lot of energy being there and getting into another mindset. Easier to deal with the issues without that added in as an extra complication).

    For me the worry is more in bringing down things on my head by (inadvertently invoking them by) stating their conclusions – if somewhere I’ve missed some of the (necessary) leg work or total integration/refinement! Just ask for things to manifest in ways that are gentle lessons!


  3. chief niwot's sonchief niwot's son

    Amanda- if you are interested in the Tibetan Buddhist view of the process of choosing our parents, there is a lengthy description of the incarnation process in “The Jewel Ornament of Liberation” by Gampopa.

  4. DeborahDeborah

    My sister and I did a “Lucy and Ethel” trip to the Center of the Light in ’86 for a Past Life Regression Seminar. What started as a weekend lark out to Western Mass. turned into a life event that changed me forever. Using self-hypnosis to get there and meditating on who we’d been before helped explain the origins of phobias, propensities toward particular art, music, dress, furniture, character traits, etc. It just makes sense to me that if you spent a past life as a priest during the Spanish Inquisition you might be prone to harsh judgement of others in this life as the traumatic energy gets passed along. It’s a fascinating topic. Fractals of consciousness, patterns of nature, cycles of lives…thanks, Amanda. I’m so grateful that you, Judith, and PW are part of my life this time around.

  5. Josie Beug

    I couldn’t agree more and thanks for bringing these topics to the table for discussion.

    I honestly can’t imagine how I would make sense out of any parts of my life if I didn’t believe in reincarnation. I remember trying to wrap my small child mind around the concepts of Christianity, but it just never worked. I kept asking questions for which no one could give me satisfactory answers.

    And yes, to believe that some part of us chose to have this experience, has allowed me to continue marching on, when so many times a part of me did not see the point of it all.

    And the “born with PTSD”: check out some of the Tibetan descriptions of what the birth. Process itself is like and you will understand why we all forget it and harbor PTSD over it.

  6. Amanda MorenoAmanda Moreno Post author

    My goodness…it’s taken me a bit to be in front of a computer long enough to respond, but I did want to thank you all for your comments.

    Chad – yes, stories and mythology are such an important way of connecting to the truth of the heart.

    Judith – I totally agree. I also find that people usually have to work themselves out of the victim phase of being via their own experience rather than someone offering them some “truth” that doesn’t resonate with their experience. Usually. Sometimes I find ways to suggest… I’ve been running across more and more people lately (usually Men in their early 30’s) who are really struggling with the aging & death thing. Their ability to reach out and ask questions warms my heart while also reminding me that we do live in a culture that is constantly repressing a fear of death, which is OH so problematic.

    Pam – “For me the worry is more in bringing down things on my head by (inadvertently invoking them by) stating their conclusions – if somewhere I’ve missed some of the (necessary) leg work or total integration/refinement! Just ask for things to manifest in ways that are gentle lessons!” Oh god, yes. I worry about this a lot, and then worry that I’m worrying about it and on and on… I’ve been asking for manifestation through gentle lessons a lot in the past few months, and even though I cringe a lot when I do it (because part of me doesn’t believe it’s possible), I’m slowly opening up a new chapter of belief.

    Jere – Oh, I’m so glad. Thank you!

    Deborah – fascinating indeed! I practice a form of cathartic regression work that is absolutely incredible. The way these imprints travel with us are pretty astounding, and the healing that can come by adding physical and emotional healing to the conscious understanding is pretty much the best thing ever (sorry – didn’t sleep last night and my articulation skills are lacking!). One thing my teacher always says is “you can’t make this shit up!” The universe is far stranger than we know. You also remind me that part of what I’ve noticed in my experiences is that we can tend to go between victim and perpetrator roles throughout lifetimes (with some normal, every day, more middle of the road lives thrown in there too). There does seem to be some balancing that happens, making the energetic imprints more complex and potentially challenging to unravel.
    And…I’m grateful you’re here too!

    Everyone else, I just ran out of time for responding but again thanks for engaging here.

  7. kelley

    What a nice explanation of something that can be a challenge to describe. Gurudas wrote (in one of his books about gem elixirs), regarding choosing our parents, that at this time many souls incarnated here to Work, and parents/vehicles were selected…perhaps hastily or out of necessity. I go back and forth about thinking this is all bosh and tosh but in my own existence I think it is quite likely what transpired. My clients have shown me beyond doubt that there are older pieces of them and their “other lives” working all the time. Whatever word we may use for this energy, it IS there. I’m thinking now we get glimpses of the whole picture at times, and the rest of the time we are to observe and go forth into something we don’t see in its entirety although it weaves through us all the time. Sometimes we may get a piece of the future, too.

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