Happy New Year!
Our Lives Repeat.
Over the new year holiday I was sick with the flu and had a lot of time to think but as I was sick my thoughts kept going round and round and I’m now still a little flustered but I thought I’d make an attempt to write. While I was sick I watched a lot of dvds Including Live, Die, Repeat, a Tom Cruise movie and The Butterfly Effect with Aston Kutcher. The idea in the first movie was that Tom gets infected with the ability to die in battle and be reborn to fight a new day, die, fight again and again same day after day. He remembers the previous days and succeeds in overcoming the circumstances. In The Butterfly Effect, Kutcher has the ability to concentrate on a journal entry he made as a kid and go back to that time and change circumstances. Yet, each time he does it turns out badly and he must go back again and again. He never succeeds. These two movies encapsulate the religious concepts that our lives repeat and we are stuck by Karma.
An important elucidation presented by Maurice Nicoll in the Commentaries about the 4th Way is Recurrence. This is the idea that we live our lives with whatever hand we’ve been dealt and when we die we are born again as ourselves. This is not reincarnation in which our soul travels through time being reborn in different bodies. Recurrence means you live exactly the same life with the same parents and family over and over again through eternity.
Anything is Possible
The most ironic statement in Live, Die, and Repeat comes after Tom Cruise has been killing and dying the same day over fifty times, he quizzes the PhD in time physics who’s explaining the theory behind the Alien’s time warp. He asks “How is that even possible?” After repeating the same day fifty or more times you’d think he’d absolutely know anything was possible.
Now, with a lot of different people I’ve discussed recurrence, that you repeat this life over and over again throughout eternity. Every single person I’ve talked to pretty much came up with the same response: “Ugh. I don’t want to live this life over and over again.”
A Self-Remembering Device
You don’t have to. Recurrence is a self-remembering device to cause you to awaken to the understanding that you are living as a machine. To wake up a person needs to take in new impressions. You can’t do this if you’re repeating the same day you repeated yesterday. . . Unless you’re Tom Cruise.
Then you ask yourself, “Professor, how is that even possible?”