Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Up a notch

Are you willing to wind things up a notch? All righty! Here’s your next assignment. We’re going to work on getting you up to speed. Strap yourself in. I’m going to get you to suppose that reincarnation is unlimited in another way. Imagine that it doesn’t wait for your life to end before it kicks in. Ooh hell, hold on now! 

The idea, which we've already encountered, is that during sleep you become another person. There are a couple of things that that would require. 

First, is that your hardware can miraculously reboot. Previous memories get wiped and replaced with another set so thoroughly that there’s no sign. After your new identity has uploaded, you behave exactly as he or she (or dolphin) would. Yes, it’s a mind bender, but I’m sure you’ll get over it. You’d better, because we’re about to open up the throttle. 

The second thing to grasp is that improved-Persil reincarnation serves to slot us, Matrix-like, into the next life as fully-formed adults, so that our consciousness is not obliged to grow up from babyhood. 

There are more steps to go. I eased you into this thought experiment by putting you to sleep, as it were. I had the change of identity occur at night. I now propose that we can fast-forward reincarnation. I’m going to have it happen more frequently than once a day.

We’ve no choice. The engine would surely stall if we had to hang about twenty-four-hour intervals. There’s no such clock, in my opinion. Such a mechanism would be far too cumbersome.

Besides, we humans don’t pass our days so regularly and clear-cut. We live in every time zone. Some of us work night-shift, or attend all-night parties. We’re up at all hours of the day and night. So prepare yourself, if you would (and if you can) for a huge jump in quantum mechanics: one small step for man; a giant leap for mankind.

Consider that reincarnation may occur, not after an entire lifetime, not at the end of each day, but after a fraction of a second. Is that beyond you? Here, let me help.

Think of any two people. Oh, I don’t know . . . Van Gogh and Einstein? Envisage the self-knowledge, awareness of self, or consciousness of one darting into the other. Shift their identities. And then an instant later, switch them back.  

Did you manage to? Do it again and again. Make them go back and forth like a see-saw on steroids. Speed it up until it’s like they’re vibrating. Half a second, a quarter, an eighth . . . Can you imagine it? 

Don’t worry about the mechanics, the whys and wherefores, the logistics and the dizziness. (I’ll get you a pill for the nausea.) They are not your concern. Just try to envisage the process of flitting into someone else’s shoes intact with all that person’s memories, history, genetic makeup, and everything else. 

Here’s another way to picture it. Compare this process to the principle behind moving pictures. You know how film is put together frame by frame. Flash twenty-five images per second upon the screen (less in some cartoons, where you can perceive the jerkiness) and there you have it: the illusion of movement come to life. The movie seems to run continuously, but that is only an illusion. What if the same rule applied to how we sensed our being-ness? What if life was a series of rapid-fire stills?

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