W00topia, Pt 2 - reincarnation
Travel is broadening if one is open and willing to accept the differences of other peoples and cultures. That’s why I prefer to travel alone because one can so easily focus on one’s companions, instead of paying attention to the strange people in strange lands. But then I discovered the W00topian’s practice of reincarnation and I don’t know if I understand it as well as I should. I wished I had a fellow traveller to discuss what I saw.
We are familiar with the belief in reincarnation. While the W00topians have a multiplicity of beliefs and religions and philosophies, they all share in the active practice of reincarnation. The closest example in our own lands is that of Buddhist monks who search the world for the child who is the reborn soul of their deceased lama. They search for all the children born immediately after the death of their lama. And when the children are old enough, the monks test the youngsters, and decide which one is the reincarnated lama. The chosen child then learns about his or her previous life and decides whether to continue that life, or pursue his or her own path in the life currently lived.
The W00topians do something similar for all their citizens. About a decade or so after the death of a citizen, the W00topians look in the public records for the candidates of the reincarnated soul. However, as W00topia embraced technology such as the internet, mind maps, blogging, and social media, the life of each citizen is recorded in finer detail than that of the Buddhist lama.
The W00topian practice not only bequeaths identity, but property as well. If a person is near the end of life, he or she must make all gifts and donations before the end of life. Because once death comes, that person’s property becomes that of the reincarnated one.
The documentation each person has of his or her past lives is remarkable, and W00topians chart friendships and loves throughout lifetimes. They look at past foibles and failures and try to improve themselves for their future lives. It gives them a long term perspective.
And here, in our land, I think I see the beginnings of the continuity or our own individual desires and histories. For instance, scholarships are often created for people exactly like the person who endowed them. The wealthy create trusts to perpetuate their ideals and values. Perhaps the W00topians are not so foreign, after all.