Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Diving from the Shore of History into the Deep End of Revelation and Myth

I might be getting a little burned out on Signore Aligheiri. Or maybe it's because I'm totally preoccupied with a host of other subjects that are near to my head.

In any event, we're going to switch gears and take the cosmic bus for a side trip into those subjects, which are all touched upon in Francis Fukuyama's latest book, The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution.

It is interesting that science can tell us so many things about ourselves, but almost nothing about matters of ultimate concern. For example, man always lives in a political context, but we really have no idea how and when this got underway. We can only speculate about it in more or less intelligent ways.

This very much parallels the impenetrability of our own origin on an individual basis, which is beyond the horizon of infantile amnesia. Most of us have a more or less continuous history from the age of nine or so, which is analogous to "history." Between five and nine our memories are more spotty, episodic, and thematic, which is very much like prehistory, which we must construct from the intrinsically partial and discontinuous evidence.

But five to zero -- and minus zero -- consists of a vast forgettery. Remember the wise crack of Tolstoy: "From the child of five to myself is but a step. But from the newborn baby to the child of five is an appalling distance." We might say the same of the inconceivable distance between merely genetic Homo sapiens and Man.

The intriguing thing is that the data is all there, but it's just unrecoverable because so much of it occurred before it could be encoded in language. And what is a pre-linguistic memory like, especially when it is buried under layer upon layer of language?

For human beings, myth begins at the threshold of prehistory, and bridges the gap between what we consciously recall and what unconsciously remembers us, so to speak.

Referring again to the individual, the infantile past is always remembered, just not consciously. Rather, it manifests in the form of "symptoms," or moods, or tendencies, or preferences, or actions, some of which will reflect who we actually are, others of which will be in opposition to our essence.

To take an example, all human beings essentially long for intimate union with another person. To the extent that they don't, we can assume that something occurred in their past which makes them fearful and avoidant of intimacy. The trauma is not consciously recollected, but rather, unconsciously lived. Therefore, the "living" is the memory, so that such a person is actually -- and quite literally -- "living in the past."

But importantly, such an individual will always have a "cover story" to account for traits, actions, and preferences -- the developmental fixations -- that are not actually his.

Here again, this is analogous to what is called confabulation, a common defense mechanism of psychotic people, but also of stroke victims who have lost access to their memories. It basically consists of covering over the unrecollected area with some invented link -- with a more or less plausible narrative. To put it bluntly, they bullshit, only without being consciously aware of it.

Interestingly, this is what scientistic types routinely accuse religious people of doing, but it is quite the opposite. Science does not -- and cannot -- actually reveal anything about origins, only about the boundary at which scientific ideas become operative. To confuse the origin of something with what we can say about it is an embarrassingly elementary error, for ultimate reality lies on the other side of that bright boundary illuminated by science.

For there is a huge difference between confabulation and myth, let alone revelation. Even if one rejects the idea of revelation, most sophisticated people are aware of the fact that the world's myths are loaded with information about human nature, about our origins, about our fundamental conflicts and strivings, etc.

Virtually every great novelist or poet draws his vital substance from this collective pool of myth -- myths which the individual artist could never have invented. Rather, we only have literature and poetry because the memepool is already there, waiting to be exploited. The great artist does not invent, but discovers, unThought truths about ourselves.

Perhaps I should note at the outset that the great weakness in Fukuyama's book is his evident rationalism, which causes him to look at myth and revelation in pragmatic and operational terms only.

Perhaps most importantly, while he properly notes the unique emergence of the individual in the Christian west, he essentially attributes it to the financial shenanigans of the Church, which ends up being an instance of the very Marxism he supposedly rejects.

In short, he provides a material explanation for a cosmic fact of surpassing significance; for indeed, the emergence of the conscious, truth-bearing human being is the most important fact in all of creation -- it is the Fact without which there could be no other facts. Facts are a function of principles, not vice versa, and human beings have unique access to this higher, principial world.

And how could this be the case if our individualism is totally contingent, just an accidental by-product of the Church's material self-interest?

For it's one thing to say that the modern self came into being as a result of the Church's attack on the kinship structures that kept man a "collective" rather than individual person, and therefore allowed them to have a bigger piece of the financial pie. (In other words, wealth and property were freed up from the tight structure that kept it within extended families.)

But it is an entirely different matter to reduce what emerged to such a linear cause. For even if there was a material cause of the emergence of the individual self, it would be a material -- or perhaps efficient -- cause only, certainly not a formal, let alone final, cause.

Consider Fukuyama himself. He is viewing all of history and prehistory from the panoramic vista afforded by his unique self, which is able to disinterestedly rise above time and disclose the truth of history.

But if this capacity is really just a side effect of the financial manipulations of the medieval Church, then why should we pay attention to him at all? Isn't his theory self-refuting?

I apologize for the lack of context, and for not beginning at the beginning of the book. If any of this is unclear, it will become so as we proceed. All of this is hot off the mental press, and perhaps a bit undigested.

I should also emphasize that this is a very serious, thoughtful, provocative, and worthwhile book. While I might disagree with some of Fukuyama's ultimate conclusions, he has done a tremendous amount of research and synthesized a vast amount of data -- not to mention debunked any number of cherished liberal, and some conservative, ideas that are tacitly accepted as true.

But sometimes a mind that is so synthetic can overlook some of the most important trees. I will be the first to admit that I've done so myself.

But it would be ironic in the extreme to overlook the very tree -- the Judeo-Vedantic Tree of Life, with its roots aloft, its branches and beleaves down herebelow -- that makes such a synOptic metaview possible to begin with.

53 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

The trauma is not consciously recollected, but rather, unconsciously lived. Therefore, the "living" is the memory, so that such a person is actually -- and quite literally -- "living in the past."

DH and I were just talking along those lines this morning, as there've been a spate of articles lately that claim, essentially, that it doesn't matter how you raise your kids, they are hard-wired to be who they will be. Again, the old nature vs. nurture argument, when of course the truth is it's both together that make a person. For instance, L is a relatively happy, calm and sociable kid. Mostly, that's just who he is, but there's no doubt in my mind that if his circumstances were different - if we were abusive, or if there were a lot of anger and strife in out home, or any number of other things that can go wrong - he would already exhibit a different personality, in response to the circumstances, and that personality would be a big factor in shaping the course of his life.

***

(In other words, wealth and property were freed up from the tight structure that kept it within extended families.)

I'm reminded of Ann Barnhardt's recent essay over at American Thinker about incest (in the form of first-cousin marriages) in Muslim communities. The rules are set forth from a vertical source (the Koran), but the result is the development of just such kinship structures designed to keep wealth within the family, and to favor the collective over the individual. In that sense, it becomes a little easier to see how family honor becomes more important than individual lives, especially if the life in question is a low-status female who doesn't add anything to the family's wealth.

4/19/2011 09:46:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

>> . . the modern self came into being as a result of the Church's attack on the kinship structures that kept man a "collective" rather than individual person . . <<

I think also due to the eventual formation of towns, cities, and eventually the megalopolis. In order to escape collectivity and herd-mentality, people needed to divorce themselves from the "voice of the land" and the pressing dictates of nature.

In the past, cities were the seats of learning and enlightenment; they were where one went to escape the chaos of grinding poverty and crime rampant in the "countryside". Cities were where one could indeed forge an individualism. In many ways, the opposite holds true now.

>>But it is an entirely different matter to reduce what emerged to such a linear cause<<

Yes, this underscores the Truth that material events on earth and the slow unfoldment of history reflect the workings of Divine intelligence.

4/19/2011 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Will,
I think also due to the eventual formation of towns, cities, and eventually the megalopolis. In order to escape collectivity and herd-mentality, people needed to divorce themselves from the "voice of the land" and the pressing dictates of nature.


At risk of abusing an equine carcass again, this ties in a bit with what I was talking about so awkwardly yesterday. Namely, so much of Biblical history has an agrarian theme. People knew where their daily bread was coming from, from seed to oven. After the fall, it became the lot of man to work the land, raising crops for nourishment. Or from a horizontal historical perspective, it was only after man formed communities based on farming and tied to the land that civilization was able to develop. But of course, growth couldn't stop there, and urban centers sprang up, along with commerce, etc.

To your point, though, with increased urbanization we run the risk of being cut off from those agrarian roots, the foundation of all that followed. And while a tree without roots may stay green and seem to grow for a while, ultimately it is doomed...

4/19/2011 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Back to the post, Fukuyama's book has an interesting array of reviews. It does look interesting...

4/19/2011 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Confabulation is a little scary.

Did you ever see one of those old card files where you could run a metal rod through holes in folders and lift out a set of files related in a particular way? It was a very primitive relational database.

It's like we need a narrative rod or thread to tie things together and know who we are -- even if it's false.

4/19/2011 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Speaking of narratives, one point made by Fukuyama is that in the east -- in particular, China -- there was no notion of a separate present; rather, a person is intrinsically just the razor-thin moment on a line that stretches from his ancestors to his descendants. The line is more real than the present; not only did this create the context for ancestor worship, but it meant that in practical terms children were primarily -- and overwhelmingly -- devoted to their parents, not their children. The mind reels at the implications... The Chinese had it precisely backwards, with any number of historical, psychohistorical, developmental, spiritual and other consequences...

4/19/2011 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Ooo, indeed. I was thinking this morning of the whole Tiger Mom kerfuffle in relation to the nature/ nurture debate, but your point reminds me of one of the things that was distinctive about her approach as opposed to Western parenting: namely, the idea that her kids owed her.

4/19/2011 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yup. In China, there's no such thing as a free launch.

4/19/2011 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Interesting; I'm just skimming through the first-chapter preview of Fukuyama's book, and this sentence jumped out at me:

"Not only has totalitarianism virtually disappeared from the world; authoritarians pay a compliment to democracy by pretending to be democrats."

In other words, the counterfeit is meaningless without a truth upon which it is parasitic.

4/19/2011 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

More to the point there, and in keeping with various recent discussions, just because a culture is given the outward trappings of democracy, that doesn't mean they will become a freedom-loving democratic society. Just as giving the trappings of success to the chronically poor will not keep them from living in squalor.

4/19/2011 11:51:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

Julie -

>> . . with increased urbanization we run the risk of being cut off from those agrarian roots<<

Yes, mystic philosophers such as Rudolph Steiner dealt with the concept of our eventual return to, if not agrarian roots per se, then to the state of consciousness wherein higher visions are readily accessible just as they were for our very distant ancestry. The difference between the higher consciousness of our ancestors and us, the returnees, is that we will possess *individual* consciousness even as we are able to access higher states of consciousness.

In other words, as the theory goes, we will have a child's sense of wonder and awe while retaining an adult's sense of individualism and powers of rationality.

I think it's interesting that technology has now provided us with a way to escape the concrete urban jungle and move closer to nature while remaining "connected" to and interactive with civilization.

4/19/2011 12:53:00 PM  
Anonymous scory said...

That east/west contrast in family relationships is quite interesting.

A family that coalesces around children will work for the betterment of those children. This is a push for a better future in which the children will grow and prosper and carry on to provide even more for their progeny and so on indefinitely. The society stemming from such would be open to experimentation and risk in the effort to expand and improve materially.

A family coalesced around grandparents will work to produce adults who will provide for their oldsters. This family will be averse to taking risks as preservation of what has proven workable in maintaining the elders will dominate. A society of such people would tend to be very conservative, even reactionary, with material change coming slowly and grudgingly. Oldsters tend to not embrace risk or change.

4/19/2011 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Will, perhaps related, Father Stephen:

"It is good when we pay enough attention to our heart that we can be aware of the generosity of God who meets us in so many ways. We need to be like Jacob of old who awakened from his dream at Bethel (the dream where he saw the ladder stretching up to heaven with angels ascending and descending). He did not wake from his dream like a secular man. A secular man would have said, “What a strange dream. I wonder what I’m worried about. Or did I eat something bad last night.” For the secular man, reality is defined only by himself. Jacob woke from his dream and said:

Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven (Gen. 28:16-17).

These are not the thoughts of a modern man. But, with the renewal of our mind, they can be our thoughts."

4/19/2011 03:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Sheist on a Shingle said...

Well, confabulate for me if you will your life script.

What are you here to accomplish?

What are your tasks?

What is the end product of your life and why does it matter?

You have three minutes. Get typing.

4/19/2011 04:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Old Fart said...

Ah, now there's one of the great mysteries of the internet: how someone can read here, day after day for months and years on end and yet manage to neither grow nor change one whit, nor indeed to contribute anything of value to the conversation, but instead can only offer up an idiotic babble and infantile demands for answers about which it cares not one whit, save for a creepy prurience that would make it unseemly for anyone of right mind to offer up an answer.

4/19/2011 04:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Bonin the Canburian said...

To crush your aluminum cans, to see them recycled before you, and to hear the lamentations of their trolls.

4/19/2011 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

No time for a post this morning. I need to get out of here earlier than usual...

4/20/2011 06:49:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Regarding the discussion of carbs a couple of days ago, here is a provocative article that reinforces some of my suspicions. I first heard Barry Sears (author of The Zone) on the Dennis Prager show in the mid 1990s, and he convinced me to think about carbs and insulin in a different way.

I was never a fanatic about it, but I did adhere to a diet that was more or less in conformity with its deeper principles. Which is why it wasn't that difficult to adapt to my diabetes when it was diagnosed a decade later. In many ways, ALL people should eat as if they have diabetes.

I was never overweight, so I didn't adhere to the principles for that reason. Rather, I did so for the cognitive, emotional and spiritual benefits, as it seems to be the ideal diet for the brain. I first heard that notion in about 1990 (from the mysterious "David" about whom I posted a couple of years ago), but it went against all of my dietary brainwashing, so I ignored it. Back then, all the experts were urging a hi carb-low fat diet. The science was settled!

The key principle is to modulate carbs -- especially high glycemic index carbs -- in order to avoid rapid spikes in blood sugar and to reduce insulin demand. At the same time, you want to increase the intake of healthy fats.

4/20/2011 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Also, the brain LOVES good protein, since it is synthesized into neurotransmitters such as serotonin; and fat, since that is largely what the brain is composed of. Fat (when taken with carbs) also has the side benefit of slowing the release of carbs, so you get a steadier flow into the system (carbs are the gasoline of the brain).

4/20/2011 07:46:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Thanks, Bob - I read that article a week or so ago. Also read his book a couple months ago, because he has a pretty interesting perspective on how sugars and processed foods have influenced peoples' health whenever and wherever they've been introduced.

And yeah, that's pretty much how I've been eating for a while now. After I had L, I noticed the numb spots in my feet had come back. It's amazing how quickly that bit of non-feedback can make me lose interest in junk food...

4/20/2011 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Virtually every great novelist or poet draws his vital substance from this collective pool of myth -- myths which the individual artist could never have invented. Rather, we only have literature and poetry because the memepool is already there, waiting to be exploited. The great artist does not invent, but discovers, unThought truths about ourselves. "

I think that the real poet, through their words, isn't so much attempting to use their words to identify that unNamed known, but to evoke it through the imagery his assembled words construct and convey. There's something built by their words, that is other than their words, which itself resonates with and evokes, the underlying unNamed (and perhaps unnamable) known.

When it works, which is, despite the critics claims, is only known by you, the feeling is profoundly... beyond words.

4/20/2011 07:58:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Perhaps I should note at the outset that the great weakness in Fukuyama's book is his evident rationalism, which causes him to look at myth and revelation in pragmatic and operational terms only."

, which is what ensures that he'll see everything as,

"... essentially attributes it to the financial shenanigans of the Church, which ends up being an instance of the very Marxism he supposedly rejects.",

Supposedly rejects, but which even if he manages to admit doesn't work, he still deeply sympathizes with and feels it should work. Anyone who is philosophically minded, and still grabs on to pragmatism, does so to escape from reality, and they’ll find themselves drawn to every other system which rejects it too... economics, literature, art....

"In short, he provides a material explanation for a cosmic fact of surpassing significance; for indeed, the emergence of the conscious, truth-bearing human being is the most important fact in all of creation -- it is the Fact without which there could be no other facts. Facts are a function of principles, not vice versa, and human beings have unique access to this higher, principial world."

Yep. The opposite idea, that facts are only incidentally related and people should be guided by the desire to achieve a result (which is ultimately causeless), because you want it (for some... any... reason), is Pragmatism... which is what you find inside the little red boxes on the walls of wachademia, with the bold stenciling "In Case of Truth, Break Glass".

Here's an example of someone who must have broken a lot of glass. Watch him struggle and strain to use words in order to not say the truth. That he's in a position of power, and the norm, not the exception, is horrifying.

4/20/2011 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger SippicanCottage said...

Virtually every great novelist or poet draws his vital substance from this collective pool of myth -- myths which the individual artist could never have invented. Rather, we only have literature and poetry because the memepool is already there, waiting to be exploited. The great artist does not invent, but discovers, unThought truths about ourselves.

True dat.

4/20/2011 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger Brazentide said...

m(ಠ_ಠ)m

Trolls, God a-love 'em

OT (diets at least) The Japanese got something going for them. They smoke at twice the rate that Americans do yet their average lifespan is at the top of the charts compared to the US at #36.

From what I've seen, it's not just what a meal consists of there, but how it is eaten as well.

I do love eating fish, so...

4/20/2011 09:27:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

>>I think that the real poet, through their words, isn't so much attempting to use their words to identify that unNamed known, but to evoke it through the imagery his assembled words construct and convey<<

Like fingers pointing at the moon, the Buddhists would say.

4/20/2011 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Bob says:

"The line is more real than the present; not only did this create the context for ancestor worship, but it meant that in practical terms children were primarily -- and overwhelmingly -- devoted to their parents, not their children. The mind reels at the implications... The Chinese had it precisely backwards, with any number of historical, psychohistorical, developmental, spiritual and other consequences..."

If the line were more real than the present, wouldn't that mean that a person should be equally dedicated to his parents *and* children?

Now, I've always hated ancestor worship. Bacially because I thought it was some form of insanity.

4/20/2011 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

Ancestor worship is quite rational if you first believe that the old days were better than now and it has gone downhill ever since shortly after Creation. Almost by definition your ancestors must then have been some kind of saints, unless you come from a particularly dubious lineage.

I am almost surprised it didn't catch on in some Christian circles.

4/20/2011 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Magnus said "I am almost surprised it didn't catch on in some Christian circles."

S.W.A.G. would be that Greek came before Latin.

4/20/2011 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

I'm interested in chatting more about this "line" thingy in Eastern thought.

Why doesn't it go forward and backward?

And with respect to reincarnation, wouldn't you periodically give birth to your own ancestors, thereby threading yourself along the line?

4/20/2011 01:49:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Magnus said...

"Almost by definition your ancestors must then have been some kind of saints, unless you come from a particularly dubious lineage."


Hey! It's not like I had a choice okay?

Of course, compared to Skully's lineage mine is indubitably better so there is that.

4/20/2011 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

BTW, Dr. Atkins also recommended a low carb diet back before it was generally accepted as a good idea.

The media savaged him and others who broke with the (then) conventional wizdumb that we should avoid fat and meat at all costs.

4/20/2011 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Brazentide,
Zoomed-out on this phone, I thought Mushroom got a new avatar/icon/thingy. I likes 'em both.
;-)

4/20/2011 02:07:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

JP--

I didn't have time to get into the whole ancestor worship thingy. All will be explained in due time.

4/20/2011 02:07:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

That's weird. Two people said "thingy" at 2:07.

4/20/2011 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

I heard there was a thingy going around..

4/20/2011 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Bob,
I can't link from this thingy, but did you catch the Hanity interview with Breitbart?...
He was a lib once.

OT, but not really, can you tell us more about your "David". Always found that little reference you made to him ...well... probably my favorite kind of story.

4/20/2011 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"The intriguing thing is that the data is all there, but it's just unrecoverable because so much of it occurred before it could be encoded in language. And what is a pre-linguistic memory like, especially when it is buried under layer upon layer of language?"

Good question! Can it be tapped in dreams and would we even recognize it if we could?

4/20/2011 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

Bob says:

"That's weird. Two people said "thingy" at 2:07."

That's just a synchronicity twinner.

Happens to me all the time.

It just indicates importance and/or meaning.

4/20/2011 02:34:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Perhaps it has something to do with the deep meaning of turnips...

4/20/2011 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Ben, speaking of people ahead of their time, Jack Lalanne did an episode about sugar way back in the 50s.

4/20/2011 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

And Dr. Atkins.
I'd barely had any sugar, bread, potatoes, pasta over the past 10 years. But his diet was not working for me anymore. My weight was going up after turning 40 no matter how strict I followed the diet. He was right about sugar, said similar things about cancer links etc. but the rest of the diet suggestions were not good. I don't believe he suggested smaller portions or less calories. In fact, I believe he encouraged eating more 'meat' when still craving/hungry after a meal, say.
I've since (somewhat easily) lost 30 lbs by mostly reducing the size of meals and meeting my hunger face to face rather than looking for substitutes which in my opinion just push the battle into the future.
It's nice to be able to eat a little bread now and then. Not being able to do that before was bothering me, Julie, for reasons similar to the ones you gave the other day.

4/20/2011 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Thanks, Rick - it's nice to know I'm not the only one who thinks that way :)

4/20/2011 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

We didn't trademark "What Julie saidTM" fer nuthin.
;-)

4/20/2011 04:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Brood Mother big Mams said...

Jp:

According to intuition, rebirth can be funny. You could be your own child's child in the follow-on life, or your fathers father or...

The rationale for how things are decided is inscrutable.

HOwever, tossing aside all intellection, I would say we all know very well who we run in a pack with down the aeons when we see one. There is an instant click.

A loose but durable association of certain souls is the rule.

4/20/2011 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Rick -- I'm pretty sure I said all there was to say about David in those posts. I only met him the one time, and only received the one letter. File it under Mysterious Meetings arranged by the Webmaster.

4/20/2011 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Although I don't know what to say about reincarnation, Brood Mother is correct that there is an instantaneous connection between certain souls, which operates just as if reincarnation were true. As a matter of fact, the Mother (no relation) spoke of this often -- that souls were brought together to accomplish a certain mission. One thinks of the Apostles... the Founders... the Beatles...

4/20/2011 05:31:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Thanks Bob. I tried once to find the only post I can recall you mentioning him. I only knew of the one post and regret never making a bookmark of it. You mentioned him more than once..?

4/20/2011 07:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

has the cosmic immune system detected us again

4/20/2011 08:19:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Rick -

Try around July 11 or 12, 2007.

4/21/2011 03:35:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Thank you Walt!
I'll try that..
Lemme guess, your search took all of 2 minutes.
(check the time of your comment :-)

4/21/2011 05:23:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Rick -

Next time, I'll be faster.

4/21/2011 05:35:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Lol!

4/21/2011 05:40:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

People are naturally curious, so want to know what they did before they were born as well as what they will do after they die. But for the most part this is not useful. We can recognize the main characters in our life pretty well without knowing why they are that.

In Japanese Buddhism, there seems to be an assumption that people often reincarnate with the same folks over and over, playing different roles but mostly with the same people.
e.g.:
"If I were the father and you were the son, I would have done a better job of it!"
*reincarnate*
*mess up*
*die*
"Dammit! Well, if I were your brother..."

4/21/2011 06:32:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home