In the pilot episode of a podcast I recently got into where the hosts break down an album by a band, song by song, one of the co-hosts began with a poetically delivered disclaimer about how he had always wondered if others perceived the world the way he did. He continued on about how he felt this was a deep but rational question for a sentient being to ponder from time to time and eventually folded it into discovering this band and like-minded thinkers and word perceivers and so on. It was a pretty good season of a podcast but that intro stuck with me most I think.
A while back I was chatting with friends. One of those nights where frivolity tends to deviate into the philosophical and then back as the tides of the night turn. I think I mentioned something about my long standing belief, or theory anyways, on the afterlife, meaning of life, purpose for living – you know, the nutshell everything. I have long had a fascination with all the big whys and hows. Some of my theories are, admittedly, out there. I wrote about one of my “more colorful” ideas on what life is last year here – I think that night with friends I mentioned that I have always leaned toward the possibility of reincarnation as such: you keep coming back, your unknowing soul, until you do it right. Like, perfect right. Then you get one last go-round as like the beloved puppy to a rich family that treats you like an equal member and you have a perfect life chilling and playing and the catch is, on this final spin, you know. You know it’s your victory parade and you know you’re being rewarded and you know what matters and what doesn’t and maybe that’s why those dogs (or cats or whatever) just seem to have that extra special inner something. But like Hitler came back a bunch as tortured lab rats and unfairly mutilated Time Magazine expose features.
Anyways, the best kinds of books are those which happen into your life because a friend hears you say something like this and immediately has it pop into their head that they have something you should read and then let them know what you think. That’s always so awesome. I’ve been separated from volumes of books that way and I’m glad about it. I don’t always hear back, I’m never pushy, but it’s a book and maybe years later those people will remember and pick it up and that spark I thought needed stoking in that perfect way will ignite. Time bomb of goodness.
I’ve been so busy and to be honest that was a while ago that the book was placed in my care and I’m still only about three quarters through it. Not only is my time limited but I’m kind of savoring it. It’s technically not the best writing ever done and the conceit of the thing is a little flimsy for my liking but the idea it’s trying to convey brings lots of clarity to this idea about everything I’ve been cultivating for as long as I can remember. We love that, don’t we? Ha. When something vibes with our own thing but it’s official and published and stuff.
The part I’m not spiritual or hippy enough these days to fully buy is the device the ideology is told through. There was a quasi-famous psychic, tops in his field according to the author, and he had a sort of assistant? An intern? Not super important. Anyways, dude died and shortly thereafter began communicating with this woman via typewriter from the other side with the plan of writing a book, the book in my very hands, explaining to all of us Earthlings how things really work so we can live good lives and be prepared and informed and such. Again, I totally understand how in certain spiritual circles this method for storytelling helps to sell books. Especially if you like the actual dude supposedly having these thoughts ghost written from the great beyond. Again though, not important to my post or why I find the book’s “insights” so great.
Like I said, I’m not done yet but what I’ve gathered so far is that, yes, reincarnation is sort of a thing. He explains that yes there is a god but god is us, all of us, and of course that’s a sort of concept the human brain can’t fully wrap around but the more people on earth and afterward are doing good things, the closer we are to completing the kind of paradise god always planned for humanity. It goes beyond religion and stuff like that but also includes all of them and the purity at their bases.
He (she) tackles all the hard ones like babies who die young or even in utero or good people taken suddenly or after long bouts with horrific and painful disease. These are the explanations I think I like best. Obviously we don’t know our soul’s past lives. I understand the solace many take in saying like “God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle” or whatever but these theories take even that a step further.
See, according to the book we are here, over and over again, to complete the specific perfect human experience. And once our soul finally accomplishes that we go on to the place afterward and help out there. Help souls coming and going. Etc. But that’s not the part I gravitate toward. I don’t think I’m far enough in my journey (if I even ever accept this fully as what I think is going on , which, that possible acceptance doesn’t mean anything anyways) to care too much about being some afterlife professor or something.
But as my linked post from last year and my aforementioned theory on reincarnation hints, I have always wondered if there was some systemic, rational, understandable reason for everything. Something almost too simple for us to see. Questioning the ins and outs of how life goes. For a while there I thought there was a good chance I was maybe mentally handicapped and everyone around me was just so cool about it or it was so awkward for anyone to tell me this late in the game that everyone just let me believe I was of sound mind and whatnot. I just felt like I saw everything so differently.
But what I have taken from the book is that all the problems everyone faces, from the unfortunate departure of the very young and innocent to those who live triple digit lives of toil and strife, are there for a reason. It’s not that we are only given what we can handle because people every day prove that they cannot. The notion I like is that the troubles that befall us, either seemingly randomly or through our own missteps, are there for a reason. The long game. Our souls need to deal with them because they stand for obstacles that prevented them from attaining the next step toward that perfection we strive for the last time around. And we keep coming back until we conquer that specific obstacle. And we keep getting to try and “fix” all of them until we have no more.
There’s an eerie quality to the bad sad sack novella of things that I have struggled with in life. A sort of current runs through them that I cannot define or otherwise place my finger on. But it has always felt like there was a purpose behind their strung together similarities. Tracking it back probably helps explain my early on Truman Show theory I wrote about last year. And no, I don’t feel like I deal with anything well enough to graduate from whatever all of this is with my remaining years this time around, but thinking that I’ve been given what I have for a reason helps some of it click into place. And whether this is close or not even or we are really inside of a computer simulation (yes I’m sticking with this as a very real 50/50 possibility because it just makes too much sense) I do believe, because through all these weird questions I can palpably feel it in my heart as all of you can, that trying to do good and better yourself for the benefit of others is just right. Regardless of reasons, in this life, I have kids. I also have family and friends who stand by me and because of that my life needs to be something that honors them. And I know that by striving to be a good man through everything that tangles my brains and mangles my heart is what ultimately provides those kids, who never asked consciously to be born, with a good father. Further, it allows me to honor those who have decided I am worth spending this life helping and growing with. So regardless of the whys or hows, that’s what I’m going to try to do.