Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Yeah, so?

In case you all thought my newfound reincarnation curio was just a passing interest, here’s another post for reinforcement. Actually, here’s a snap from an email to my special ladyfriend the other morning because I haven’t posted anything for a month but I’m too lazy to create right now. I didn’t ask her permission to reproduce it here, but since they’re my words, I don’t think she’d have a problem.

“Meditation was a wreck for me this morning but I have a good reason. A thought popped into my head and I couldn’t concentrate anymore. See, I’ve totally bought into reincarnation. It makes sense to me and ALL of the major religions have reference to it in their respective books, which gives it a bizarre credence for me. Anyway, if we consider Hindu and Buddhist beliefs, the purpose is to break the cycle of reincarnation by becoming enlightened (as I understand it). What popped in my head was cloning. How does that fuck things up? Maybe not at all. See, if we were cloned and reincarnated into our own bodies, with our discarnate “souls” (for lack of a better word) guiding embryonic development, as they seem to do, then wouldn’t our cloned bodies be the perfect vessels?* Perhaps we’d even hang onto the memories of the previous life instead to them fading by loosely 10 years of age. I used to think all those silly sci-fi books and Hollywood movies that depicted a clone having memories of the first body as stupid and unscientific, but I wonder now if the writers stumbled onto something with their mediocre imagination. Perhaps that’s a way to enlightenment. Shrug. I really don’t know, but the whole cloning thing really messes with my understanding of us. Taking reincarnation seriously like this has opened a VAST frontier of existential thought for me. I wish I had another me who could wax the subject with the same curiosity . . . but that second Carlos would likely be a clone and since I’m still living, and my proverbial soul would still be cozy in my body, I have no idea what he’d be like. Sigh. You see now why concentration quickly became impossible for me this morning.”

Perhaps he’d be a Bizzaro Carlos, my arch nemesis. You never know.

Here, I’d like to reiterate that I haven’t embraced religion or God(s). I still hold firmly that they are all foolish Santa Clauses for politicians and stupid people (which is almost redundant, if you think about it). No offense if that’s you. There’s no mysticism in my understanding of reincarnation and I’m not reading chicken bones or collecting energy stones to plug up my nose or to rest on my bedroom window. This is empirical, people. Oh, and don’t allow any loss of credibility by my reference to meditation. It’s not New Age or hippie just ‘cause I’m in San Francisco now. It’s progressive, you jerks, and I’ve been meaning to do it for years to calm the hurricane antagonism of my mind. Think of it as stretching or equate it to the extra fifteen minutes one might spend sitting on the toilet reading The Economist on an iPhone because family and friends literally cannot reach you in that private and holy place.

Back to cloning. I’m all for it and I think cloning a human (or even a Neanderthal) may very well clear up some serious existential questions I’m suffering right now.

For a series of fascinating Youtube videos on the subject, check out my last post on reincarnation. With any luck, you’ll follow in my footsteps; we can start a cult (with me as the divine figurehead, of course); and then we can road trip it to Beverly Hills and bludgeon Angelina Jolie to death. (Don’t worry, she’ll come back as Jesus or something.)


*Much of what I’ve read suggests an element of decision making in the discarnate phase between lives (e.g., a person declaring his intent to return as the son of a favorite niece, an effeminate boy vocalizing his intent to return as a female and then doing so).


Julie Buz. said...

Alright, after having re-read this three times, I am now standing with my feet so firmly on the ground that I don't get what you're fascinated with at all. (As opposed to a few e-mails ago.)

If reincarnation is the rebirth of the soul in a different body, how would the rebirth of the soul in a body genetically identical to the previous one change things, really? Cloning, as far as I'm concerned, is the (mere, harhar) production of identical copies, which can still go many different ways in their development. You, me, everyone else in the world, could have been many different human beings if it wasn't for the particular set of circumstances that shaped us.

What I really don't understand is how, in your assumptions, the soul will be able to keep its memories. Also, I don't understand why it would be desirable for the soul to keep on living in a body when the point of nirvana is to free yourself from the body...

... and now everyone will think that you have a silly ladyfriend. (And the truth would certainly be that she doesn't read enough science fiction.)

C. Andres Alderete said...

Emailing my retort.

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