Wednesday, August 20, 2014

With my aloofness, will I become a "free agent" in the Afterlife? Is it like "Cloud Atlas", or like "Imajica"?

Perhaps the most vexing situation I face, at least in retirement years, is the idea of being pressured to become involved in others personally “on their terms” rather than mine.   And there can be a great deal of coercion involved sometimes. 
I certainly have lived “A Different Life”, filled with moral ironies and twists in its many episodes, very meaningful to me.  Yet others see me as living only in my own fantasy world, oblivious to the real needs of others, or unable or unwilling to gain any satisfaction from meeting them. 
As an adult, I had more freedom.  I didn’t make the same choices as others.  Generally I kept the promises I made.  I didn’t get into trouble as much as others.   But I didn’t have as much responsibility piled on my plate and was more fortunate than others.
When you live a double life, you can generally “do what you want” as long as you don’t stumble.  That was not true a half century ago, when other made my private life their own business.   But it gradually had become so, especially during the Reagan years, after the worst of the AIDS crisis was passing.
The Internet has eliminated the double life, and changed the game as to how responsibility for others is perceived.  When you stand on a soap box and attract attention, others will challenge you, sometimes to take care of them or their dependents in ways not conceivable before, and they interpret your aloofness as hostility. 
All of this happens in a world where many people live tribal or gang-oriented lives, where individual expression and accomplishment is minimal, but where success in social competition is everything. That is the opposite of how I have lived. If competing for authority in a social hierarchy turns humiliating, it will become hard to value interacting with other "ordinary people" at all. 

In more recent years I have been confronted by certain ideas:  by having someone less intact as a "buddy", by being to somehow foster or adopt or become involved with the welfare of another, using my background particularly in life insurance in the past to raise money to support the person(s), giving up the right to speak objectively for myself in public.  In the real world of responsibility for family, people pimp each other to "sell" because they have to.  They don't pretend to be more self-sufficient than they really are.  I find this particular train of coercion very disturbing. 

I tend to resist this coercion, especially to "bond" with someone placed in front of me (as with some substitute teaching scenarios that I recall) because I don't want my own activity to make someone else's lacking "all right".  That is how I felt about. it.  I could extend my style of thinking to a somewhat conscious intent not to have children if I wasn't physically competitive (and that worries others).   And there is dark side to where this could lead if it set an example for others.
I think when coercion is applied to bond with others in ways demanded by others, a natural reaction is to want to see others have to live up to the standards of “virtue” that have been expected of “you” in the past.  It’s natural, but dangerous to liberal democracy.  Unwillingness to love when needed, and copping out, encourages a kind of society that gradually shows less respect for human life.  The end result can be one of the many examples of totalitarianism in our history (on the right or left, religious or not), where the “weak” are no longer a problem needing attention because they have been eliminated.
If you do not learn to forgive, then you will help pay for the sins of your attacker. 
I don’t think that a cookie-cutter “live happily for all eternity” in a condo in Heaven with “family” is in store for me.  I do believe in an afterlife, and that it starts with a “Core”, and that in a broader sense Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell mean something.  Physics, and the idea of entropy and its control, would suggest that consciousness, once it has expressed free will, cannot be destroyed and must take on some new kind of role in the afterlife.  Reincarnation, to improve karma, makes a lot of sense and probably happens for a lot of people, probably for me.  
The possibilities are interesting.  It’s easier to be a strong person in a weak society than the other way around – because it is so hard to love people (outside the area of fantasy) if you aren’t competitive yourself. Maybe I come back, born into poverty, but can compete better.  Maybe I live in a tribal subculture whose aims are morally suspect.  That’s the opposite of my situation now.  I have to improve my own karma.  Imagine a “Cloud Atlas” situation where I discover the blogs and writings of my past life.  
Or perhaps I (with no biological children) become a “free agent”.  I get another life on a different planet.  I have no possible contact with Earth or what I did – unless there’s a “reconciliation” (as in Clive Barker’s “Imajica”).  But maybe I live in a planet that already has contact with other planets, and the Earth becomes “reconciled” (with worm holes) in my next lifetime.   But Earth has to get through some serious challenges – which could wait until after I’m “gone baby gone”  -- like solar storms, to get to where I could find it again.   
And remember, at the end of Imajica, man defeats God, in a super Hong Kong (the First Dominion) that passes for Heaven. 

Wikipedia attribution link -- sizes of known exoplanets.  

Model of a "karma colony", maybe on Titan:

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