The Egg

The Egg

This is a story by Andy Weir.  Please go buy his very good books.

You were on your way home when you died.

It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.

And that’s when you met me.

“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”

“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.

“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”

“Yup,” I said.

“I… I died?”

“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.

You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”

“More or less,” I said.

“Are you god?” You asked.

“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”

“My kids… my wife,” you said.

“What about them?”

“Will they be all right?”

“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”

You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”

“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”

“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”

“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”

“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”

You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”

“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”

“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”

“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”

I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.

“You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”

“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”

“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”

“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”

“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”

“Where you come from?” You said.

“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”

“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”

“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”

“So what’s the point of it all?”

“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”

“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.

I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”

“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”

“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”

“Just me? What about everyone else?”

“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”

You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”

“All you. Different incarnations of you.”

“Wait. I’m everyone!?”

“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.

“I’m every human being who ever lived?”

“Or who will ever live, yes.”

“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”

“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.

“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.

“And you’re the millions he killed.”

“I’m Jesus?”

“And you’re everyone who followed him.”

You fell silent.

“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”

You thought for a long time.

“Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”

“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”

“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”

“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”

“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”

“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”

And I sent you on your way.


Ten Lessons I wish I knew before this very moment

  1. Do not huff helium to make yourself a chipmunk—it does not last and there is no more helium left because people choose to be clowny which is not an eco-friendly temperament.
  2. If you have to sneeze, do it as loud as you can.  It’s your right.  Anybody who looks at you with spite is an asshole.  Wipe your snot on them.
  3. Always consume milk thistle and Vitamin B-12 after drinking.
  4. When you find a penny, only take it if it is heads-up.  If it is tails-up, turn it over so it is heads-up, and leave it there for someone else.
  5. Learn how your trillions of cells work and how to nourish them with things other than medications.  Nobody has a prozac deficiency.  Visit a functional medicine professional to get to the bottom of your ailment.
  6. Find a guilty pleasure and defend that pleasure.  Mine are Enya and an endless list of other things.
  7. Don’t ever ‘hate’ the weather.  Who do you think you are?  The Emperor?  Sorry there’s a climate, your majesty.  Maybe you should move your kingdom to Mars where there is no atmosphere.
  8. Do not buy an 80,000 dollar grand piano you cannot afford, live in, smoke out of, play, hide in or ride on down a snowy something or other.
  9. If you live near a body of water, that’s cool.  Just make sure your house floats.  Don’t collect priceless things in that house.
  10. Red spots on your skin are not always scabies.  You need to stop using webMD and go outside.

Selections from a fourth grader’s journal

What I want my teacher to know about me
I enjoy doing magic shows and pupet shows. I make lots of home videos. I’m also a ventrilaqest (well actually I use my dummy for stunts in my movies). When I growup I’d like to be a few things, a Magician an actor, a teacher, and maybe a stuntman.

Teacher’s comment, in purple gel ink: Donald, I hope you will use your many talents for future book presentations!

I am Donald Whalen. I am shorter than most of the boys in my class, and taller than most of the girls in my class. Many people think I’m from a diffrent planet. Their right. I’m from the planet Bearth. Whoaaa! Did I say Bearth? I meant Earth, the most diffrent planet in the soler system.

I think I will write about an invention I’ve been thinking about.

Problem: When people don’t know a road or are sleepy They usually miss their turns.

Teacher’s comment: Yes- and then what?

I get lonely lots of times. Only my mom and I understand the feeling. What’s weird about it is I can be in a crowded room, and have no reason to get the feeling or in an empty room. It kind of feels like a nerve snapping. You feel that sudden jolt, then every thing seems far away from you.

I did feel realy lonly when we got back from church on Easter and my cousins had already left.

The conclusion of a fourth grader’s research paper:
“Sea turtles have come and evolved from the huge creature that they were to the middleing creature that tehy are. Who knows what they’ll look like in the many centurys to come. We may never know if we don’t start protecting, and saving them.”