The Circle of Life
The Circle of Life
My boyfriend is Buddhist, which has given me some exotic food for thought (or food for exotic thought, whichever). One thought was that it would be cool to buy some land in Tennessee and open a Buddha-themed amusement park called “Dalai-Wood” (next to my Surrealist park, Dali-Wood). I haven’t quite worked out the mechanics or the finances of it yet, but the main attraction would be a rollercoaster that goes around and around, but is somehow different every time, and the only way to get off is to achieve Enlightenment, at which point you simply disappear into Nirvana. Like reincarnation, only with barf bags and a minimum height requirement.
The thought of reincarnation precipitated a flash of enlightenment so profound it could only be divine, which would ordinarily excuse me from any further go-rounds, but I have chosen to remain Earthbound, Bodhisatva-like, to share this wisdom with you. It concerns both the environment and your eternal soul, so listen up.
The reincarnation thing, as generally understood, holds that we keep being reborn until we achieve Enlightenment, and that the form we take in one life depends on the worthiness of our previous incarnation. A good, helpful life gets you another human life, in which to work towards Nirvana. A life of sin, sloth, etc. sends you down to some lesser form – a tube worm, maybe, or a dietitian for MacDonalds. Then the thought of extinction popped into my mind, and things fell into place. We are doing away with probably thousands of species a year, most of them little valued, many undiscovered until they’re gone, but with each species eliminated goes millions – possibly billions – of potential homes for souls found wanting as they shuffle off their most recent mortal coil. Where are these unfortunates to go? Will there be a cosmic queue of folks waiting to transmigrate into the next available malaria mosquito? Or will they be bumped up a notch to, say, a tomato slug, despite their poor performance, like a D student graduating from high school just to keep the school’s stats higher?
And here came upon me the great enlightenment: The crisis is already upon us. Case in point. There once was a beetle, roachimus rancidium, more commonly known as the Dung Bungler. It resembled the common cockroach, but stank to high heaven due to its diet of guano from a rare breed of bat. The bat died out when its habitat was damaged by the storage of religious scrolls in the small caves it inhabited. The Dung Bungler, however, was a long-lived species, and there was a great store of guano left over, so it persisted for centuries after the demise of the bat. The last Bungler died in captivity after a last meal of 2000 year old bat poop, on July 6, 1946. It explains a lot to realize that this is the very day that George W. Bush was born, mere minutes after the demise of the Bungler. You can look it up.
Coincidence? We think not. Ask anyone with the correct number of chromosomes, and they’ll tell you, “Crazy? George Bush is bat-roses!” and it all falls into place. Some very nasty soul had been slated to become a coprophagic cockroach, but the powers that be were thwarted when the last of the Bunglers went pffft. So another form of bungler was quickly commandeered to be the repository for this sorry soul, and it was reborn a Bush.
Dubya is unlikely to submit himself to past-life regression therapy, so it may never be known for certain who he was last time, and what he did to deserve a life crawling around in bat crap, or creeping out of military service. However, I was reading up on some history in my copy of the Lee Readers Fifth Book (copyright 1902), and came across a clue, to wit, “Had she written the story of her reign, she would have prided herself…on the skill with which she had hoodwinked…every statesman in Europe. Nothing is more revolting, but nothing is more characteristic…than her shameless mendacity. It was an age of political lying, but in the profusion and recklessness of her lies, she stood without a peer in Christendom. A falsehood was to her simply an intellectual means of meeting a difficulty; and the ease with which she asserted or denied whatever suited her purpose was only equaled by the cynical indifference with which she met the exposure of her lies as soon as their purpose was answered.”
Can there be any doubt that Dubya was, in his previous life, Queen Elizabeth the 1st of England? How long she must have floated in the ether, waiting for that beetle, in which form she might have learned something. How frustrating, instead, to make a lateral move into Georgie B., where she’s clearly learned nothing! One can only feel pity, although it does clear up Dubya’s rumored penchant, in his younger days, for wearing a huge white ruff. Liz always looked sharp in them, and it would catch, quite neatly, any tiny white grains that escaped that rolled-up fifty. Oddly, he has no sympathy at all in this life for other queens.
If this sort of thing becomes common, as with deforestation and global warming seems certain, millions of souls (people who use 10-year-old photos on Manhunt, for instance, or Zell Miller) who would ordinarily take up residence in barnacles and tape worms, will be bumped up to First Class, as it were, and given human lives to kiss up all over again. Other, more advanced souls, will be shunted into Nirvana, not quite enlightened, and the whole rollercoaster will go right off the rails.
What to do? Fight for every acre of forest, every gallon of wetland, every molecule of air. We must not simply preserve, but encourage vermin in all their myriad forms. My landlord is certainly doing his part. And if you’ll just stop shaving down there, and lay off the A-200, Georgie/Liz’s soul may have an appropriate domicile next time around.[}:)]