No, I have not abandoned or forgotten about you; the truth is I have been felling very uninspired in my writing lately (Kind of ironic, given the name of my blog). I’m not sure why – nothing has happened or changed in my life (maybe that’s why). Anyway, here I am.
I have read this short story – The Egg by Andy Weir – about 10 times in the course of my life, and each time it speaks to a new part of me. I wanted to share it with you, as I experienced something recently that made me believe this short story may have some validity behind it. I haven’t shared this experience with anyone thus far, and maybe once you’re done reading, you’ll understand why. Here goes, but first you have to read The Egg!
The Egg – Andy Weir
You were on your way home when you died.
It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.
And that’s when you met me.
“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”
“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.
“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”
“Yup,” I said.
“I… I died?”
“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.
You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”
“More or less,” I said.
“Are you god?” You asked.
“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”
“My kids… my wife,” you said.
“What about them?”
“Will they be all right?”
“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”
You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.
“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”
“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”
“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”
“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”
“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”
You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”
“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”
“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”
“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”
I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.
“You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”
“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”
“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”
“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”
“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”
“Where you come from?” You said.
“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”
“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”
“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”
“So what’s the point of it all?”
“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”
“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.
I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”
“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”
“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”
“Just me? What about everyone else?”
“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”
You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”
“All you. Different incarnations of you.”
“Wait. I’m everyone!?”
“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.
“I’m every human being who ever lived?”
“Or who will ever live, yes.”
“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”
“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.
“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.
“And you’re the millions he killed.”
“And you’re everyone who followed him.”
You fell silent.
“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”
You thought for a long time.
“Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”
“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”
“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”
“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”
“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”
“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”
And I sent you on your way.
So, my experience happened about 2 weeks ago at an intersection in Bryanston, close to my place of work. There’s a beggar who stands at the intersection – quite young (I’d say between 16 and 18), and very humble. He never carries on when you say you have nothing, and when you do have something – be it a 10c coin or a R5 coin – he is so grateful. He recognises me by now, and always smiles and waves at me when I am on my way home from work.
Now and then, when I have something to spare, be it food or money, I usually share it with him. I’m not sure what it is about him, but he has some sort of spot in my heart.
On the particular day of my ‘experience’ with him, I reached for my purse to give him some coins and saw I only had a R20 note. I thought to myself, “What am I going to do with this R20, realistically? Buy some milk or a packet of crisps?” I made the decision that he needed far more than I did.
I beckoned him over, with a wave and a smile, as usual. We greeted one another. I handed him the note and instinctively squeezed his hand when our hands met. I didn’t even think about it, it just happened. At that exact moment I looked into his eyes, and what I saw threw me completely.
This may sound far-fetched, but in this young mans eyes I saw my own. It was as if I was looking into a soul I shared with him. I didn’t even respond when he said “Thank you and God bless you”, because I was so overcome with emotion.
What the hell had just happened? The tears streamed down my face as I drove away. I felt so sad for him, but also so grateful that I could share that moment with him; because I don’t believe that is something that happens to most people. As a realist by nature I tried to dispute what I had just experienced, but there was no denying it.
Maybe if we all believed in the message of The Egg we would be kinder to one another; more patient perhaps? Maybe we’d express more compassion, not only for our human counterparts but also for the world in general – animals, insects (yes, insects) and nature. Just a thought for the week. Have great one lovelies!
Peace, love and light