Today in the news I caught a headline about a certain celebrity couple that is ready to “start pumping out kids.” This got me thinking about how much thought people in general really give to have children and their reasons for doing so.
Now, when we discuss this with others and think about it ourselves it is usually in a happy positive context. As I’m of the age where many of my acquaintances have had children I am afforded a glimpse into their lives and a small share into the joys, hardships, trials and successes of bringing up kids.
However, as any reader of this blog knows, we tend to be very good at understanding the other side and bringing forth questions that are usually not discussed, let alone even thought about.
Therefore, my question in this post is the following.
Exactly how much thought do future parents give in regards to the life experience of the child?
As I read what I just wrote above, it seems like a very strange question. I’ve got it all worked out in my head so let me see if I can transfer it into words.
I suppose it would be best to state that I believe in an afterlife and thus a before-life. I may not have stated this clearly in any previous post and it may seem a strange position for me as I am always attacking organized religion. I also do not feel like spelling out how I came to this conclusion but the fact remains that I do believe we are part of something grand, something inexplicable to our tiny brains. I do believe we are made up of some kind of energy that will move along after the body expires.
So what is my idea of this? I do not buy into any of the simple stories that many believe such as a heaven or hell and there are “Pearly Gates” waiting for us.
My question is, after we have passed on, do we even have any control? Do we just hurtle about in a kind of void with different planes of existence sucking us into them like a black hole over and over again? Or can we pick and chose the type of temporary existence we would like?
Regardless of control or not we have all ended up in this plane of existence and I wonder if we were able to catch a glimpse or even design how our life experience is going to be before we are born. My idea is that we are looking across the vastness of space, time and reality and we have either chosen to enter our existence to perhaps gain certain experience (both good and bad). I do not know if there is a specific reason or not or perhaps we might just be some bored eternal looking for something to do for a blink of an eye (80 years or so).
If we are able to choose our specific existence then great! But what if being born is like being sucked into this existence like a black hole and we have to take what we get?
Now, when future parents start talking about “pumping out kids,” exactly how much thought have they given to the actual life experience the kid is going to have?
Does this eternal even wish to be born?
Again, kind of a crazy question here that merits further explanation.
What I believe parents do not consider is they are bringing a conscious being into the world that will experience pain, hurt, disappointment and eventually death as well as all the joyful periods.
This brings me to the reasons for bringing a conscious being into the world. I’ve got the feeling that for many, the reasons are entirely selfish. I know this will be an incredibly unpopular thing to say but since when have I been concerned about that? 🙂
For many, the reason to bring a child into the world is to feel a sense of accomplishment, to feel that they are doing something worthwhile with their lives. For many, life goes along a similar path. They are told to attend school, find a job, get married and then have kids. It is simply the next thing to do.
I think many need something to take care of, to love. To look at it this way this is completely selfish. So again, how many have considered “Hey, this kid is going to feel pain as well as joy, life is going to be hard!”
Perhaps it is just something that as mammals, we are programmed to do? You see an attractive mate, go through the customary societal rituals (or not) and produce a living being since our biological urges instruct us to do as such.
If I were to imagine myself as a pre-born looking down at the world and trying to decide if I even wanted to be born I think this would be a difficult decision. Let’s see how this thought stream would go. This could be upsetting for some but it is reality.
Well, the act of entering that world is going to be unpleasant. I’m going to be nice and warm for about 9 months and there could be a chance that my body parts will be ripped apart and sucked out before I even enter the actual world. That would NOT be pleasant.
Suppose my parents do want me, I’m not killed and I do make it the entire 9 months without anything going wrong these people in white coats will take me out and I’ll suddenly be very cold. They’ll start wiping me down, I’ll cry up a storm and then get so tired from yelling to much that I fall asleep.
I’ll then wake up, have no idea what the hell is going on, scream, be comforted and then repeat this process about 10,000 times. I’ll start to develop according to the laws of that plane of existence and being to move about. I’ll have no coordination at first and bump my head about 500 times as I gain motor skills. At this time I’ll experience pain over and over again.
Even though there will be pain I imagine it will be exciting to play with my toys of which I have no idea what they are, but for some reason banging them on the floor or even together makes me happy and I’ll laugh. I’ll also enjoy when mom holds me in her little pouch and comforts me. Well, I hope this happens since it all depends on getting a good mommy or not. I do have to consider that should I get terrible parents this life thing could not be much fun at all! What are the odds here? Am I a betting person?
Should I survive infancy I’ll most likely have to go to school unless I’m born in sub-saharan Africa or a place like it. I won’t like having to leave home and the school experience will most likely be very stressful. I’ll then have to compete with all the other beings who have joined that world in order to get a job. I’ll have to struggle to make money and then perhaps, just perhaps, I’ll repeat this process for another immortal as I follow in the same steps as my parents and invite a being to get down into this world and have an experience.
Yes, there will be great times and many pleasurable experiences but gee,,, life is going to be hard.
Further, let’s take a look at my fellow immortal, we’ll call him Frank, over there pondering the same thing as I. Will I be taught to hate Frank as he probably won’t be born into the same tribe as I and I’ll be taught different things. Maybe our nations will go to war and I’ll be the one to end Frank’s existence in that world with a bullet? Maybe Frank could even end up being my brother? Do I even want Frank for a brother? He always has been a wily one. I imagine that whatever happens in that life that after it is all said and done and we are returned to the void that we’ll be able to get together and discuss what happened just as those humans would after a successful or unsuccessful camping trip.
Now, when I read about “pumping out kids,” I wonder if anyone else has ever considered this life from the pre-born’s point of view!
As for me personally, I have so far invited one being to join this world. And I have considered all of the above. I realize there will be many painful moments but I’m pretty certain I can provide an environment that will be very pleasurable for this immortal, or temporarily mortal guest while they inhabit t
his short existence. I have asked myself the question, “Am I doing this for myself or am I doing it to provide a good experience for this consciousness I’m inviting here.”
My thought is that I will be a hospitable host and when we meet up in the void after our individual life experiences he will say to me, “That was a great ride, thank you for the experience.”
That is all.
If children were brought into the world by an act of pure reason alone, would the human race continue to exist? Would not a man rather have so much sympathy with the coming generation as to spare it the burden of existence? Or at any rate not take it upon himself to impose that burden upon it in cold blood. – Arthur Schopenhauer, from Studies in Pessimism.