Would you let your spouse sleep with your future self?
I asked him not knowing how he would take this thought experiment.
He paused for a moment and said absolutely no.
Not one from the future or from the past.
They are not allowed. In fact, very much unwelcome.
The “me’ from here, the one who is living in this linear moment, that’s the one with the warrant to be with her.
The rest of the remaining selves from there, beyond, yonder or anywhere else are ‘persona non grata’ whose existence, in a manner of speaking, is nonexistent.
As always, when I hear something as mind boggling as that, I get into some kind of meditative stupor. His answers got me into thinking really hard.
Do we or do we not, somehow, have this intricate love affair with ourselves?
And not just any selves but the one that’s sensing this present moment in time.
For me, it’s the one who is writing this sentence and not the one who began this article or the one ending it. This me, the one who is typing these letters and rummaging through the pool of thought is the one I know the most.
The one who began adn the one who will end this article are two sets of different people and neither of them is me, although I grew out of one and will end up being the other soon.
In essence, I am an in-betweener.
I have graduated out of one and am morphing into another. I am neither of them and yet I am both.
Think about crimes that boil out of rage. The ones that end up in the court where for the umpteenth time, a rueful apology is given for not being responsible for the crime committed by the version that is not the one now.
Husbands cheating on their wives, wives cheating on their husbands, teenagers embroiled in moody whims, road-rages, pregnancies, producing atomic bombs and then dropping them willy-nilly, going to war on wrong pretexts, starting a guerrilla war in a country already ravaged by poverty and then shamelessly arriving at a place where all those missteps don’t matter because the one over there is not here anymore.
Those of you who haven’t heard about ‘Twinkies defense’, here’s the story.
Many years ago, a man named Dan White shot and killed the mayor of San Francisco George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk.
These high-profile killings were based on the idea that White had consumed so much sugar from eating Twinkies (little sugared donuts) that he lost the ability for rational thought when committing the murders. The defense was actually trying to prove that White suffered from depression, and that his depressive state the week of the killings left him with a diminished capacity which caused him to act irrationally. Based on that defense, Dan White was let go. There were no charges filed against him and this brings us back to the moot I have been spewing all along.
This untenable mask wherein we reside and somehow find ourselves tethered to; we call it our authentic self, the present self. The self that supervenes all the other selves that live no more. We look back and regret the mistakes of our own making and we point our blaming finger at ourselves, but we do it with deceit. We point from here to there. We also look forward judgmentally and have anxieties about how our future self will hold up to that impeccable imagined moment. This moment, this self, is the wisest and omniscient toward both the present and the past, it appears.
Consider for a brief moment then, what it would mean if every experienced moment precipitated into a cloned version with the experience of that particular moment. Every thought would create a new person, and each would see things in his own light.
And since ideas, precepts, percepts, and perches will not be identical, there will always be inconsistencies with one version holding up the mantle of truth while others irreconcilably fighting back under the similar pretext of their own making.
Imagine that world, where you find yourself fighting among your own inconsistencies. Would you want that? And, more importantly.
Are you not there already?