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Limbo or Life?

Pointlessly Interesting Talks - Ep2

By Mohammed DarasiPublished 7 months ago 6 min read
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I am planning on writing an article for each podcast episode released. for now, the articles will almost be transcripts of what I say on the podcast, but there will of course always be some differences. in the future (when I get more organised), the article written will be more detailed than the podcast episode, as most of the episodes will be brief introductions to ideas and concepts.

As I mentioned before, this podcast started as conversations me and one of my friends had. We talked about so many different things that we both found interesting. As we talk, we would eventually end up with a viewpoint that we both agree on.

The reason we’re able to take conversations forward is the opposing viewpoints we usually have about some subjects, and the willingness to explore the opposite side. We discuss our points, and then settle on something in the middle, because we realise that both sides would typically have some merits. It’s not always like that of course, because not everything we talk about has multiple valid viewpoints.

I can only remember one topic that we just could not agree on at all, and that is what I will be discussing here today.

Let's say you’re in limbo. We don’t know how you got there, and frankly we don’t care... you’re there now.

Someone, maybe the angel of death or a random person, gives you two choices:

You can be returned to earth, and live a normal life from beginning to end, or

You can be put into a specific week, that happens to be the best week of your life. You get to experience the ultimate happiness known to man, and at the end of the week you forget all of your experiences during that week and return to the beginning of it so that you can experience it once again like it’s your first time.

Which would you choose?

I honestly can’t remember where this question came from. We usually start talking about something and end up in a completely different place by the end of the conversation, so I think this question was probably one of those digressing topics we had in the middle of a conversation.

So... Let us dissect these options a little bit, shall we?

A normal life doesn’t need explanation since we all know it and are experiencing it now

The second option is the more interesting part here.

Who doesn’t want to experience the best week of their lives? With all the stresses of daily life, it would be a nice break to have a week where you have fun, eat your favourite food and not have to worry about anything.

We can probably agree that one of humanity’s worst fears is the fear of the unknown. We try the best we can to optimise future outcomes in the present to make sure we cover our basis. We try to predict the climate and environmental issues because we don’t know what the future brings, but we want to be prepared. Ironically, it was that same fear that led us to progress and eventually harm the environment.

It’s not a debate that humanity fears the unknown so if someone comes to you in the middle of that chaos and says they can remove that fear for you, and on top of that let you experience that blissfulness forever, wouldn’t it be enticing? Of course it would be!

When it comes to immortality in science fiction (let’s face it, where else are we gonna find this information) the immortal person, if they lived for a long period of time, usually gets bored of life. This fictional trait, I believe, is an exaggerated form of humanity’s hate for monotony and routine. We can get bored quite easily, that’s why we try new things, and go on vacations etc.

The second scenario’s fix for this issue is to have the person’s memories wiped, so that they can experience the happy week again for the first time. That is certainly a great idea, because, like I said, we would eventually get bored (even if it was the happiest week of our lives).

Now let’s go to the negatives, and why a normal life might be the better option, in spite of the allure of the perfect week.

To relay the point I want to make, I would just like to ask simple question:

within that perfect week, where are you?

I’m not talking physically here, but more your soul, self, or ego.

If your memory is wiped at the end, and you just repeat everything as it was (the assumption being everything within that week is reset as well), where is the evidence that you are indeed having the best experiences of your life in that happiness loop?

Part of living life, and confirmation that we are alive, are the experiences we go through. We experience happiness, sadness, grief or anger, and we move on. We carry memories of these feelings and the lessons learned, and they are proof that we are living, breathing beings.

Let's quickly take it back to that perfect week scenario... let's say that you are 25 years old when you choose it. The moment you enter that time-loop that is the perfect week, you will never be older than you were at the beginning of it. You will never make memories beyond what you remember before entering (because they’re always wiped at the end, so how do you ever know you experienced them?) You will never learn or experience anything again... what does this description remind you of?

For me, it reminds me of death. When you die you never grow older, never make memories, and never experience anything again. This means that choosing the happiness loop, is just choosing an early death (as opposed to the first option of a normal life, where death will come whenever it comes).

Would you even have awareness within that loop? If you end up doing the same things every single time (and there is no reason why you wouldn’t, since there is no external influence), are you really making choices?

Of course, if you have any ideas and comments for either side, do let me know. I’m always open to hearing about different views!

HumanityScience
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About the Creator

Mohammed Darasi

I write fiction, poetry and occasional articles about interesting topics. I recently created a website (just because) which I will be posting my writing in (among other things). it would be great if you check it out. https://mindpit.co.uk/

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran7 months ago

    If given both of those options, I'll ask if there is a third option where I don't have to live at all. But since you so eloquently explained that choosing that happiness week is equivalent to choosing an early death , I'll go with that option. Lol

  • Sid Aaron Hirji7 months ago

    It is an intriguing question. I recall at age 12 crying after seeing the movie Awakenings because if I had been given a choice to be allowed to experience life after being in a catatonic state for 30 years, I would say no due to the fact it would be a short lived experience. Other people said the opposite. Honestly this question does stump me

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