My son Lawyer – okay, obviously that’s a nickname, but he earned it. Each time I’d tell him not to do something, he’d find a loophole. Like he would drive his truck on the table, and I’d say ‘don’t drive your truck on the table.’ Then he would drive it on the wall, and I’d say ‘don’t drive your truck on the wall.’ Then he’d drive it on the pantry door, etc., until I finally had to say ‘look, son, do not drive or otherwise cause your truck or any other vehicle or object to come into contact with any vertical or horizontal surface which it was not originally intended to be in contact with, either accidentally or intentionally, from now until such time as you can pay for your own house.’ I actually had to legalese the kid to get him to do what I wanted. Thus, ‘Lawyer.’ Anyway…
My son Lawyer is 9 but at the time he came up with this he was only 6, and that day he outlined to me what would happen if I died. It turned out NOT to be the usual “angels come down and take you to heaven” or some such. I hadn’t coached him in any way because I think my kids should make up their own minds about Belief. It helps to know that at the time he wanted to be an astronomer when he grew up, and it took me a year of going to the library before I could convince him to check out a book that didn’t involve planets or space in some way. This is what he said:
1) If the universe expands and keeps expanding, then I will reappear (i.e., come back to life or be reborn) on a new Earth-like planet pretty soon.
2) If the universe collapses into a Big Crunch, and then explodes in another Big Bang, I will reappear on the new Earth – though it will seem like just a few seconds to me.
3) If the universe stops expanding but doesn’t collapse, then it’s just like if the universe expands – I will reappear on a new Earth-like planet.
So he’s somehow combined reincarnation with cosmology. I thought the reincarnation part came from playing video games, but when I asked him he said the idea that people come back to life came to him when he was reading his universe book. I asked him what form people come back in, and he said they come back as a baby, looking the same as they did the first time they were alive, but having different parents. He said they start all over and don’t remember anything from their lives before. I asked him if they have the same brothers and sisters or different ones, and he said “I don’t know, but we’ll find out.”
I have no idea where he got these ideas. I’ve never said anything like this, and I know his mother hasn’t either. One day he declared he was Galactic Jesus. I’m wondering if he’s going to be the next L. Ron Hubbard, or the next Carl Sagan, or what. Except now he wants to be a TV meteorologist on the Weather Channel, so I might not have to worry about it. He might want to be the next Al Roker instead.
Edward Hotspur and Lawyer
- Life: What Is It? Pt II: Creation Explored (fkennethtaylor.wordpress.com)
- Would You Find Bliss in Reincarnation? (onthehomefrontandbeyond.wordpress.com)
- God is a Gamer and Earth is his World of Warcraft (anansithepoet.com)
- The 25 Coolest Catch Phrases for Scientific Concepts (io9.com)