Saturday, December 6, 2014

Past Life Concepts by Nathan Coppedge

I have deduced that I have had little experience with therapy, little experience with emotional happiness, a limited amount of education (e.g. at elementary level), and a surprising amount of influence in shaping history, usually through a contrapuntal inventiveness that means nothing in the short term.

Based on these conclusions, the types of lives I might have lived are vastly narrowed. If there is a danger, it is a danger that I haven't lived, or that mere information has been confused for a real role in history. However, I suspect that if information were the problem, I would have more education by this point. So, the conclusion is that the most conservative case is that I haven't lived very many lives. The second best option, however, suggests a lot of importance that has been neglected by historians, or perhaps a history which would contradict the one being written by politicians.

1. A. Perhaps this is my first life, lived again and again through Nietzsche's concept of eternal return. In that case, I might be learning something more than previous examples of myself, but only incrementally. Perhaps there is a hidden 'clone army' of these selves, permitting hive-mind learning. But these kinds of theories are just as bad as straight historical importance, and in some ways more absurd. They depend on a modern millieu, or a non-chronological set of events. This is not my favorite choice, just perhaps the most likely, according to physics. However, in some ways it shows a lack of imagination as well.

1. B. Perhaps I had one prior life in which I received a minimal education and some comfort food. But why wouldn't I be more perverse than that? Or, why wouldn't I have more historical importance, if an earlier period in history means more energy, according to the laws of entropy? Apparently, something needed to happen, and it wasn't just other people. Either I had one life and it was interesting enough to contend with this one, or I must have lived more than one previous life.

2. A. Perhaps I can 'sketch out' a concept of one prior life, the one most memorable to me, probably one less impressive than the current one. I can imagine being a homeless bum nicknamed the 'burgher king' --- who just tried to find his way home and constantly thought about hamburgers. But in some ways this is merely a trope, and it wasn't the first prior life I thought of (or the second, if I count my childhood attempt to compare myself with King Richard).

2. B. Perhaps, instead of the most reasonable life to remember, it is the life that I actually remember. In that case, it might be the first life I remembered, the day I picked my first four-leaf clover: the life of Pippin son of William Tell. Perhaps I am not that famous: maybe I would be more socially conscious by now. Maybe I would have loads of wit and witticism to shunt off others' concern for me. Perhaps I would be very rich by now, or more educated, if, as I remember, I studied a little Aristotle around 1515...

2. C. Maybe, however, if I remember one prior life, then I can remember more than one. Maybe life was more magical in the days before the computer age. Maybe it was a time before the public acknowledged dimensionism and evolution. Maybe I was even a God to compensate for discomfort (since I had concern for myself, and engaged with the myths of the time)--- or, more likely, the basis for the myth of a god. Hence, I remember the life as Aston-I-Shed, the boy phoenix. But didn't I read Harry Potter before I thought of this story? Indeed, I did.

2. D. What if I really did have prior lives, but they are very hard to remember---via the sleep of Lethe, caused by drinking ordinary milk, etc.? Perhaps the sleep of Lethe only affects people between lives, not during a single life?... If it's about the sleep of Lethe, then it's obvious: I was Marie Antoinette, or some virtual counterpart of hers. Of course, doing my hair and being ruler of France is what I would do with my diabolical powers and good intentions, if I was half unconscious and gaining confidence about the meaning of history. But, really? Doesn't this depend on a theory that language is acquired naturally during the nurturing period? Was Marie Antoinette much more gifted with French than she could ever learn in a lifetime? Perhaps not. But perhaps I am not really that brilliant (wouldn't she think she was brilliant?). But more likely, I have to adopt a natural language view, which is that most of my prior lives involved some form of English, or else not much language ability at all...

3. A. Now what if I'm serious? If I'm a man, I have to predict that I was a boy. If I'm a commoner (or not very rich), I have to predict that I was always at least this poor, or perhaps didn't earn my keep when I had a lot of money. One theory is that I was a gambler. But gambling in the big extravagant sense is a recent phenomenon. I will keep this in mind, that I may have gambled, but I wasn't very good at it. What does foolishness bring to mind? Surprisingly, it brings to mind the idea of being a cad named Aaron Burr, who was not very good at being a spy, and was finally executed by the British on an island off of North Carolina. Are these historically factual details? Probably not. After all, there are many people who (for stupid reasons, I think), consider it possible that I was Nathan Hale, the American spy, who upon his death said that he would give his life for his country. Perhaps he was stupid enough, is a nagging thought. But what if stupidity is partly taught by the context in which it develops? And, when have I ever been motivated by patriotism, except through accidents? Would dying as a patriot really lead me to study philosophy? Or, would it more likely lead me to feel angry and rebellious? My impression is that Nathan Hale is much more physically-minded than myself. And immaterialism speaks of hidden secrets about my history: things I merely forgot, that were highly significant.

3. B. Now what if I'm NOT serious? What if I try to trick myself into remembering my past? If Nathan Hale is realism (and a bit stupid or overwrought), then perhaps there are lives which are less realistic, but still better choices --- or, at least, more meaningful ones. Two ideas spring to mind: a life in virtual reality as a kind of Google-soul inside a supercomputer (doing very basic things), or a madman taking the name Euler and believing he could solve math problems. Either of these lives might have a grain of truth, except that I haven't ever been very passionate about math, in my memory, and today people don't tend to believe that people get reincarnated in virtual reality, at least not before it was created. But perhaps these lives could supplement a much longer history. Perhaps I had a half-life in which I did some physical therapy to recover functionality. That might be possible if I had been famous, but dysfunctional. It also seems possible that, given the length of many lives, the Euler scenario was a small detail in a quasi-modern life, in which I had heard of the name Euler.

3. C. Now, what if I'm a little bit serious, and agree that it's possible that some ridiculous things happened (although not very often)? For one thing, the past lives that I do remember (whatever they are) might have echoes in other past lives, creating a more rational picture. I'm keeping the principle that education improves over time, but I'm not ruling out that I had some kind of role in history. After all, my current interests in perpetual motion, philosophy, fiction-writing, and making quotations speaks of some prior experience in influencing history---perhaps something more overt, and less intellectual. Maybe 'God learned his lesson' so to speak: which seems like a rule for all prior lives. Now I think that I might have been in Egypt more than once, if I really was the basis for the myth of the chief god  of Egypt. My other life must have involved the other significant thing in Egypt: the Library of Alexandria. However, I didn't know how to read, so the only thing I might have done is burn some books! Similarly, if I was Marie Antoinette (although I did not remember this life first, by any means), then perhaps I was also Anne Bolyn --- who I remember as making a bargain to be '(only) a little bit clever' --- much to the chagrin of Henry VIII. That would explain the karma for having my head chopped off twice --- royal edict.

3. D. But what about my current good fortune? Why am I not depressed? Why do I have a good-hearted interest in intellectual pursuits? Following the rule of entropy again which says that prior history had more power, perhaps there is some intellectual mythology that I have not uncovered. After all, the Egyptian mythology strikes me as superficial. And, how on earth did I bargain to become a god in the first place? Surely I either did some mythological explorations, or already had become a god? What I am predicting at this point is a mixture of significant and insignificant lives. What were my insignifcant lives? How insignificant could it get? Perhaps I was a vagrant. Then, how did I survive? Probably for not very long. So I remember being an Urchin in the city of Ur, who also had his head chopped off (unpredictably), therefore explaining the later instances in which the queens had their heads chopped off (physical karma / chain reaction). I also remember being a very stupid Chinese boy who thought to invent a book of bound pages. His relatives thought he was stupid, anyway. But the idea caught on in Europe. I imagine that the boy's (or girl's) name was Poverty.

3. E. If my insignificant lives were so significant, such as discovering a city, or inventing a book (my current sign is libra, suggesting a connection to books---and who has authority over books but the Chinese---, and I have a kind of soul, so I must have some authority over books), then there may be a major life that I am forgetting, which explains how I made good on misfortune in the least fortunate cases. I began to remember my life as a Chinese god who lived for at least 350 years. I reasoned that things weren't as they appeared in that life. I did have magic powers, but it was basically imagination, and I had some very basic problems. I wasn't as good with herbs as people remembered. I even poisoned some of my friends. And I needed a woman to help me wash my behind in a river. This seemed authentic enough, if that time in history was not the age of information.

3. F. What, however, was more reasonable, if I already believed in magic? I could return to part 1, and believe that I watched a stage magician, and later invented the story of Guo the Immortal. Or perhaps there were some legends in my life that didn't involve magic. So I remembered my life as an orphan child who invented the story of Rip Van Winkl --- somewhere near Baltimore and Appalachia. In that life I was motivated to escape the Civil War, and mostly succeeded: a real example of heroism, also involving a kind of Libran laziness. I can remember formulating the idea that I would become an Esystementologist, a kind of metaphysician or logician. However, at that point I was mostly illiterate, so that would explain my current development into a quasi-educated person.

3. G. Somewhere along the way I started to look for details that would help to explain the cohesiveness between the lives. I remembered a life in which mostly all I did was invent the name Gilgamesh to keep the big brutal soldiers from massacring me. I developed a small reputation as a sorcerer, by using rhetorical powers to convince people that big brutes had turned into pigs. However, mostly I was very skittish, just trying to get food in a very muddy location.

3. H. I still wonder if I ever enjoyed myself by indulging in pleasures. But mostly my conclusion is that unless I was Marie Antoinette, I didn't do much of anything like that. Maybe I had one life in the Mediterranean that passed very quickly in which I drank wine and thought about women, but I'm starting to doubt that that happened. It seems to be based exclusively on a painting I saw once of women posing on a building in Morocco. I have also thought about what I might have been before I was human. Perhaps all of this is a deluded dream, and I made a hard bargain in a kind of hellish place to avoid becoming a meat animal again. Or perhaps I was once a spinosaur dragon who ate a small man: I can sort of remember this. I remember having red scales. I also remember being a boneheaded dinosaur who crashed heads and then 'mated' with some large green eggs. These memories seem to verify that some of what I remember is real --- maybe not the same reality other people share, but at least something that influenced my development, in some concept of history.

All of my past lives (possibly including some future ones) are recounted in a story called Dramatis Personae Available on Amazon, including a fairly detailed account of the life of Marie d' Antoinette (perhaps that is a first).

Some of the stories are also included in a 320-page volume called the One Page Classics, along with a lot of philosophical literature and other types of stories.

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