Does your past play any role in shaping your future? I believe that who we were and who we are help to make us who we are to become.
This is an interesting philosophical question as well as a fascinating personal one. I think it was Cicero who said, "Everything contains within itself the germ of it's future". I suspect he was right. We are always living out the consequences of our ancestors, in our genes, in our attitudes, beliefs and actions. We don't come into the world with a completely clean slate, we are culturally and historically situated beings. In this sense, it is sometimes difficult for us to know what is our own choice and what has been laid down by our cultural or genetic heritage. The nexus of cause and affect is so complicated that it is impossible for an individual to break from his/her the past completely.
In this sense I think there is a germ of truth in the Christian doctrines about sin. If at sometime in the past, human self-perception was distorted, then this distortion would be passed on from parents to children, until people would be caught in a cycle and perpetuation of harmful relationships which individuals would not able to control. I mean, look at the Middle-East. The distortion of perception regarding the Palestinian or Jewish "other" is historically conditioned. The conflict has taken on a mind of it's own, stretching back into the past. In order to break from our past we need something quite extraordinary. Something has to come into the heart of our lives and shatter the roads towards the predictable destination. Jesus was one of those extraordinary people that broke the mould of expectation. I suspect this is why Christians believe that he can come to the heart of a nexus of bad relationships, stretching back into the past and remake them. Paul apparently had such an experience, turning him from the path of zealous persecutor of Christians to an Apostle. Buddha was another such individual. His followers believed that Buddha had broken the Karmic forces which keep beings enslaved to suffering.
Most people's lives are touched by at least one event which shatters, maybe only momentarily, the train of events linking the past to the present. But in that moment people turn around, reconsider and take a different route. I've had a few of these moments, when for a moment I am freed from the past and can make a choice seemingly more objectively, or a choice I would never have believed I would have make. There is I believe only partial determinism in this universe. It is partial because we can welcome something extraordinary into lives which changes us irreversibly, throwing us off the cosy road. Spirituality and faith provides us with thousands of years of experiences like this. But such experiences contain a profound lesson. Most religions rooted in sudden epiphany, challenge us to treat our past with honour, while at the same time tell us to seek new ways to renew what is the best of the past in our present.
To feel "at home" on a path of faith, means being responsible for the spiritual home we are living in. Bringing our lives into this dwelling entails changing our attitudes. We are no longer a spiritually homeless person, with only the sky for shelter. We must keep the house in order, keep everything in good repair and spend time bringing our touch to the home. Druidry also teaches this lesson. The old Druid is a symbol of bringing the best of the past into present use. If we let him in, he can be an extraordinary catalyst for change in our lives. He can allow us to break with our past constructively, if we allow ourselves to scrutinize past actions and bring what is harmful under the guidance of the Druid archetype.
All worship should be considered as one. We look on the same stars, the sky is common, the same world surrounds us. What difference does it make by what pains each seeks the truth? We cannot attain to so great a secret by one road- Symmachus