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Thought Experiments - Transience Divine
April 3rd, 2011
12:25 pm


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Thought Experiments
Suppose that when you die, you are told that you have and will continue to be reincarnated forever. In fact, there are unlimited worlds that you can live your next life on, and a full catalog awaits from which you can choose. Many worlds are closer to God (or the One, the divine essence) than this one. The catch is that if you decide to open the catalog, you can never find this world again. For example, you could live ten lives in this world, and then ten lives in another, and so on forever.

If you knew there was a lifetime more of beauty to find and good to do here, would you ever choose to change worlds? When?

Additionally, suppose that you can choose to be reincarnated with the same soul you have now, or choose from an infinite catalog of other souls. But if you give up your current soul, you can never come back to it. You could choose to be the Dalai Lama in your next life, but then you can never be yourself again.

If you knew there was a lifetime more of growth for you and wisdom in need (on whatever planet you live on) with this soul, would you ever try a different one?

Now, suppose that constantly in life you are being offered these choices. One way it's framed may seem fairly removed: you are asked, in a million ways, whether you want to engage with people directly, or to engage with tools of various sorts. The tools (from computers to paradigms to limbs and eyes to the mind) are offered as a way to help you grow and do more. The catch is that the divine essence is to be found in the Other, in people, and every tool brings you further from It.

You can choose to give up as much technology as you want to be closer to God and others, but whatever you give up you can never get back in the same way. What would you give up, and when?

(3 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:April 3rd, 2011 09:05 pm (UTC)
Funny, I was thinking I would stick with this soul for a little while longer, but I'd probably switch worlds. Which is kind of how I've treated my life these past few years. I'm discovering that it really is hard (impossible?) to get back many of the things you gave up. People and places change without you. Or they don't change, but you do, and the shape of your soul no longer fits the niches you used to inhabit. Most of the people I feel closest with are fellow wanderers, the others who can't keep still ... we seem more likely to change shape in compatible ways, even though we're changing independently.

Something about inhabiting the same world for too long promotes stagnation of the soul. But it's a little lonely to hop from world to world too often. I'm still seeking the balance.

Upcoming experiment: plant a home base in Washington State (where boy + I have roots) and live there for summers, but travel when winter turns yucky and rainy. My hope is that my life and friendships in WA will accept me back each spring (because they know I'll come back, unlike, say, Boston these days), but I'll still get to scratch my vagabond's itch.
[User Picture]
Date:April 3rd, 2011 09:07 pm (UTC)
P.S. I'm interested to hear your answer re: technology.
[User Picture]
Date:April 8th, 2011 11:52 pm (UTC)
I've finally set free (or killed?) the last bird that had been keeping me up this week, so I can try to answer this myself.

I'd like to like to give up everything-- this world, this soul, this this-- but I know I don't want to do it yet. There's way too much I still want to do here: beauty to touch, caves to live in, birds to nurse. In this life, I'm hoping my new profession will let me keep transplanting my roots without always starting from scratch. But maybe after 40 years or so of seeing the world and doing everything, I'll be ready to take a farther vacation, and I'm sure you're one of the people I'll see there.

I'm sorry to hear that Boston isn't fitting you as well! I think some people there have learned to cut ties rather than hope for folk to return. So it goes.

Since when did you have roots in WA? You used to be from Michigan. In any case, your plans to summer in Washington sound great-- would it be Seattle? I know (intellectually) that they have great architecture firms, but just from my (visceral) experience, the number of creative/hip/unconventional design firms they have is incredible.
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