The question: What if you died and came back as someone else’s memory of you?
The idea behind the question: Imagine that there was a way to come back to life after you died.
there is always a but…
To come back to life after death relies on 2 things:
1 – Someone (anyone – you don’t get to pick who) has to think about you every day for at least a year after your death as the energy generated by their thinking about you constantly, continuously and consistently is what powers your coming back to life.
2 – Someone (the same person as the anyone who is non-stop thinking about you) has to remember you (have vivid memories of you) as the data from their memories of you being you will be the structure of your newly regenerated self.
Your self, which will be what you rely upon to have a sense of self, have a personal identity, will be made up of their version of your self – so your newly come back to life self may not be who you were according to you when you died because your memories of you being you died with you.
I realise this fraught with problems. Those problems intrigue me and are the most likely reason why my mind latched onto this idea and went for a walk with it.
Nowhere have I said that this is a good idea. It’s just an idea… and it’s not like it’s going to happen or is even remotely possible, so it’s kind of fun to play with it a little bit and see where it leads. Think of it as a way to get to know yourself better… getting to know the self you are through how you think others see you. You know those times when you’re certain that others are thinking about you (when they’re probably not) and you decide what their thoughts of you are… and then get all kinds of upset or whatnot about what you think they’re thinking about you (when they’re probably not thinking about you at all, and if they are they’re probably not thinking what you think they’re thinking… but you’re not going to ask to find out, are you, because you don’t want them to think that you’re a…..)
Others rarely if ever see us as we see ourselves. That can be frustrating. Especially if you really wish others would know you as you know yourself.
However there are those who prefer the version of themselves which others see over the version of themselves which they see when they think and look at themselves.
So… there’s that.
One of the things which struck me while thinking about this idea was – Will the someone who brings me back to life remember that I love, have always loved, reading?
Will they remember me with a book attached to my hand… or is that a private memory, something about me which no one else noticed (unless my nose buried in a book was annoying them because they wanted my attention on them)?
Reading me is a significant part of who I am for me… but what if reading me wasn’t a part of me?
Would it be a big loss or a gain to not have that part of me as part of me?
In other words – Does that part of me which I think is so important a part of me… does it matter as much as I think it does? I remember it as being something which got me through life’s toughest storms and endless dark nights, helped me when no one else helped me, when I felt isolated from the world, intensely alone and abandoned… books have always been there for me.
But what if…?
Would I reach out to and rely on others more if I didn’t have my own memories of myself, would someone else’s memories of me make me more prone to relying on them… on people? Would I be more or less sociable and socially awkward?
The story behind the idea behind the question: It all started months ago (maybe even a year ago) when I watched the first season of the Australian TV series – Glitch.
It was a different kind of show even though it was basically doing what was popular – Zombies, people coming back from the dead, etc. It did it with a quirky twist.
On one fateful night, in the small town of Yoorana, a random handful of dead people came back to life. They returned at the age at which they’d died. They couldn’t remember who they were, or that they’d died, their minds were for the most part blank. Other than that, they seemed like regular humans.
Season 1 ended without really explaining how they’d been brought back to life, or why they had come back while everyone else in the local cemetery hadn’t. Season 2 sort of explained it (season 2 was awful, imo, a really good series devolved quickly into a bad one. There is no way in hell I’m watching season 3 if there is one).
The sort of explanation the series gave for the whole dead people coming back to life is what prompted this post and the question.
Apparently those who came back had someone who thought about them constantly and consistently (for varying reasons, some of which were heavily guilt-ridden), and had been thinking about them strongly on that fateful night when a mad scientist (herself a dead person who had come back to life… because? They didn’t explain that) enacted an experiment to bring back a centuries old dead person with whom she was obsessed (because apparently they’d been in a relationship centuries ago and their relationship had somehow been the cause of his death… what the Ffffff!?!).
Anyway just because something is ridiculous doesn’t mean it can’t inspire thoughts and stuff…
Lately I’ve been having flashes of memory which I’ve come to view a bit like that concept of your life flashing before your eyes moments before you die and… some of those flashes are of people I’ve known, my memories of them, my versions of them. Some of those people had versions of me which I always found frustrating because their versions of me weren’t me according to my version of me. And their memories of me never seemed to sync with my memories of me, or of them and me. My version and memories of them probably wouldn’t have gone down well with them either.
While pondering who I’d be if I came back after death because someone was thinking about me and remembering me…
probably not at all as I’d remember myself…
How would I remember myself? If my revenant self relied on my memories of me… I’d probably be even stranger than I actually am.
I switched to pondering about who I might end up bringing back and who they’d be based on my memories of them.
Perhaps I need to adjust some of my thinking so I’ll bring back better people…
Over to you…
What if you died and came back as someone else’s memory of you… who would you be?