Tuesday, October 9, 2012

How many times?

So when everything is over (the universe), does it (the universe? reality?) all fold in on itself? How many times has that happened? Isn't that what the cylons believed in the reboot of Battlestar Galactica, that everything keeps happening over and over again? I can't remember what episode it was in and I can't figure out what to plug into battlestarwiki.org to find the quote, but I did find it intriguing that the cylons were the bad guys and they are monotheists and the humans are the good guys and they're the polytheists. Hip hip hooray for some good ol' pagany mother earthy touch-with-our-roots theism.

It makes me think of David Eagleman's book Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives, one of the stories is about how one theory of the afterlife is that right before we are reborn, we get to decide what kind of a being we can be for that life. Specifically, we can decide whether we want to be a simpler being than we were in the past life. But here's the thing: you don't get to remember what you were before. So let's say in this life you're a human. After you die, right before you're reborn, you can say, "Wow, life was really hard as a human. Maybe I'll become a simpler being for the next life, like say, a horse." And as you're turning into a horse, you're thinking "Oh no, what have I done? I'm losing my essential human-ness, who? what?  Hee haw HEE HAW" and then you're gone, all memory of the subtleness of humanness disappeared, gone forever...So if, each time, we decide to become something simpler, then what were we before? Before all the simplifying started?

So...Do we keep starting over and over? Is it the same thing? Do we get simpler? More complex? Do we reach a state of complexity where we use up all the everything and fold over? And start over?

Sort of unrelated note: David Eagleman is a neurologist/writer. Also the consultant for the show Perception and a bunch of other super interesting brain-related endeavors.

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