The Egg (a short story originally by Andy Weir) was featured in Kurzgesagt’s recent video, “The Egg.” With Kurzgesagt’s recent video sharing the story of The Egg recently hit #1 trending on YouTube, I thought this would be the perfect time to share this poem I wrote a while ago which was inspired by the story 🙂
Original story: http://www.galactanet.com/oneoff/theegg_mod.html
The Egg, a poem by Conrad Babicz
If the story of the egg is true, then you’ll be me and I’ll be you.
When our lives are over, we’ll swap bodies for a different view.
Feel everyone’s highest highs and bluest blues,
By spending a lifetime in someone else’s shoes.
And not just a pair of their shoes, but every shoe they’ve ever worn,
And every step of every day, in the sun and in the storm,
Awake all the same, whether a moment is joy or forlorn,
Up until the last breath before death, from the moment you’re born.
Imagine if everyone in the world thought this was the case:
You take turns living as every being, you’re the one beneath every face,
And when your life is over, you start anew from a blank slate.
With this knowledge on your shoulders, how would you act with this new weight?
Would you want to reduce suffering in the world, help your fellow man?
Do you have a different goal now? Would you change your current plan?
A life to serve others, listen, empathize, understand,
Whether the egg story is true or not, I hope you do what you can.
The story of The Egg gives some really interesting thoughts on what reincarnation might be like: what if we are everybody, and we just take turns being everybody to learn about the universe? A fun thought experiment for solipsists and ethics enthusiasts alike, the story has some elements similar to what we might’ve expected from Alan Watts, who popularized Eastern philosophy in the West.
One significant difference between Andy Weir’s story and what we might have seen in Eastern philosophy is that in The Egg, an anthropocentrist focus is placed on humans, rather than all beings. Was this intentional or not? More thoughts on that in the future with Nick Lyston, so be sure to keep an eye out for that!