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The Egg

PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:03 am
by Sabina
The Egg
By Andy Weir

You were on your way home when you died.

It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.

And that’s when you met me.

“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”

“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.

“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”

“Yup,” I said.

“I… I died?”

“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.

You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”

“More or less,” I said.

“Are you god?” You asked.

“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”

“My kids… my wife,” you said.

“What about them?”

“Will they be all right?”

“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”

You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”

“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”

“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”

“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”

“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”

You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”

“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”

“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”

“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”

I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.

“You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”

“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”

“Oh lots. Lots and lots. And into lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”

“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”

“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”

“Where you come from?” You said.

“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”

“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”

“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”

“So what’s the point of it all?”

“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”

“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.

I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”

“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”

“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”

“Just me? What about everyone else?”

“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”

You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”

“All you. Different incarnations of you.”

“Wait. I’m everyone!?”

“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.

“I’m every human being who ever lived?”

“Or who will ever live, yes.”

“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”

“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.

“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.

“And you’re the millions he killed.”

“I’m Jesus?”

“And you’re everyone who followed him.”

You fell silent.

“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”

You thought for a long time.

“Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”

“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”

“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”

“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”

“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”

“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”

And I sent you on your way.

Re: The Egg

PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:36 am
by Ryan
Cool story... nice progression, thought process... idea... everything.

Re: The Egg

PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:35 pm
by mirjana
This is beautiful and thought provoking story. There are few questions that have just crossed my mind:

1. Put into the context of the story what would be the answer about turning back to somebody, not wanting to be with somebody, being angry toward somebody, stopping talking with somebody...?

2. Does it mean, again put into the message of the story, that those of us who are able not to have any of these problems are closer to the moment of being really born?

3. Which characteristic from those on the quilt then bring one closest to that moment to grown enough to be born?

Re: The Egg

PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:02 pm
by Ryan
    Well... let me ask you something... what would you do if you noticed a part of yourself was condemning yourself... or someone you love over and over again? Would you just accept it, embrace it, and excuse it... or would you do something about it to change it? I believe there are all kinds of ways to provoke change in one's self... and if I have tried all the other ways that do not include the forced absence of the other (physically or verbally) then possibly that absence is what is needed. Being angry with them should only be an initial reaction... in my opinion. Because whatever actions are made out of anger will probably have the wrong motivation and therefore the outcome will contain a result of that energy. Generally, we hold on to negative aspects of ourselves because they were developed as a form of protection or self punishment, and in most cases these things are not easy to "let go of" because it is usually painful. So, rather than dealing with the pain and becoming a more healthy individual we hold onto that aspect of ourselves, excuse it, and continue with things how they have always been.

    In my thoughts, No it does not mean that... the realization that all those experiences are necessary in order to become "God" of your own universe... Until the point you have experienced and understood all of these behaviors and mentalities (including being Hitler and Gandhi) you are not complete enough to begin your own universe... and be "God". Because... how can you correctly process any situation until you can fully understand it and approach it unbiasedly through having experienced it (all situations) completely yourself?

    All of them and then some...

Re: The Egg

PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:01 pm
by mirjana
Ryan, thank you for the answer. I gave you Kudos for it, especially nr. 2 has been impressive...both in fact.
To answer your question:
"...what would you do if you noticed a part of yourself was condemning yourself... or someone you love over and over again? Would you just accept it, embrace it, and excuse it... or would you do something about it to change it? "

According to my experience I would try some of "all kinds of ways to provoke change in one's self.".
And as you said, " if I have tried all the other ways that do not include the forced absence of the other (physically or verbally) then possibly that absence is what is needed."
I agree in that too. And we can assume that I try this as well. and continue with things how they have always been. And what then? If I love those involved, shouldn‘t I be interested where is the aspect of the result of such an act? Is it that left only to the reaction of the other? What if the other has the same approach as I, does it mean that things should and will stay in such a separated state? Where is then there my contribution to see, after a certain time, if that had been provoked any changes, in order to know if that kind of action, which is absence, did provoked any change?

Re: The Egg

PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:37 pm
by Ryan
I am certainly only speaking from my approach to life... my ultimate goal is to be constantly in a state of bliss, happiness, and love... and therefore my approach is always to make fine adjustments in my surroundings to make that more and more the case. I am perfectly aware that, as with all energy, things come in waves and therefore I can expect some lower moments.

My approach is similar to that of a surfer... you catch the peak of the wave and you ride it as long as possible. If the wave fades out, I head for the next peak. So! Following this analogy, I am not going to pick an area to surf that is completely littered with rocks that make surfing very difficult, or even impossible. If I ever come to the point where I look around and discover there are rocks surrounding me, I will find a solution... or I will find another place to surf. But, as I say, that is me.

The following elaboration is only to be taken in connection with "the Egg" story, not that it is my actual opinion, because "the Egg" story kind of paints a picture of determinism... in that all things and all types of behavior and circumstances are a must and inevitable. So... if what I believe (surfing without rocks) is the experience this life needs, maybe another one of my lives needs to keep smashing into rocks? I don't know...? This life cannot comprehend it as a way to be. It sounds like a miserable existence for a surfer, and in that sense not really life, but more just a struggle to "stay on board".

ps: Thank you for the Kudos.

Re: The Egg

PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:28 pm
by theadvertheretic
Fetal love,
Orgasms the Universe.
God, may make
Eyes in destinies of men;
Some, may read into more,
What was written of them,
Is a song shared in all eternity.
Who pauses not hear,
May see, that it is an end to all sublimity.