I think the most comforting thing about Andy Weir’s short story The Egg, is that it really puts into perspective the absurdity of gender, age, race, religion, income, etc. To be every life is to finish your journey understanding how the victim feels, how the perfect criminal feels, how the officer feels – the burden of the judge, the fractured mind of the grieving parents, the perfect calm of the enlightened mind.
By the time your journey was done you’d know the reasoning behind every decision, every choice. You’d understand regret, and pride, and shame, and love – You’d know them from the eyes of a child, teenager, woman, man, disabled, sick, mental, successful, downtrodden life to ever live. You’d know the world from nobility – from assigned love, to finding and connecting with someone within seconds. You’d know the world from poverty.
You’d experience starvation, opulence, death while in the womb, and life after the turn of two centuries. You’d know the pleasure of advanced technology and knowledge, and the pleasures of living slower in solitude barely aware of the existence of others.
You’d be connected, and spurned. Filled with rage, and spilling over with love.
But as essentially the same person – the same soul – then you’d never be apart from the ones you love and care for. You would hug and comfort every part of yourself and support you as you grew.
But I think, best of all, you’d live – once born – without fear. You would have faced every fear, every concern, every possibility. Nothing would be extreme as you would’ve been the extremist on both sides of all the debates. There’s a comfort in that, that is to me almost more comfortable than the idea that we’re connected molecularly – that the only person you’ve harmed is yourself.
Which, in that thought, wouldn’t you stop?