Life Experiences All at Once

In his short story collection Sum, neuroscientist David Eagleman imagined forty possible afterlives. An excerpt from it speculates about a world in which a person's life experiences are all grouped together by activity:

In the afterlife you relive all your experiences, but this time with the events reshuffled into a new order: all the moments that share a quality are grouped together.

You spend two months driving the street in front of your house, seven months having sex. You sleep for thirty years without opening your eyes. For five months straight you flip through magazines while sitting on a toilet.

You take all your pain at once, all twenty-seven intense hours of it. Bones break, cars crash, skin is cut, babies are born. Once you make it through, it’s agony-free for the rest of your afterlife.

But that doesn’t mean it’s always pleasant. You spend six days clipping your nails. Fifteen months looking for lost items. Eighteen months waiting in line. Two years of boredom: staring out a bus window, sitting in an airport terminal. One year reading books. Your eyes hurt, and you itch, because you can’t take a shower until it’s your time to take your marathon two-hundred-day shower.


http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780307389930&view=excerpt via Kottke | Author's Website | Photo by Flickr user Pop Tech used under Creative Commons license

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One of the best books I've ever read. Not a downer at all--just the opposite. Opens the mind and increases the joy of living. I'm buying this book for everyone on my Christmas list this year.
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Since time is relative and possibly only an illusion, I've always thought that as the brain dies, time gets slower and slower to the point where it is stretched out over an eternity and you exist in that dream-like world until you lose all sense of self and become one with the universe.
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I don't look forward to the recollections of every painful bowel movement I've ever had. Speaking of which, I should have more fibre tomorrow. I'm thinking Lotus Root with minced Pork.
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