matt martin

you are thinking about the contrasting experiences of time in different faiths      in buddhism for example the self is trapped in a circuit of death and rebirth      to escape means to slingshot oneself from this loop on a linear path into unknowability      whereas in the christian religion humans were locked into an edenic cycle      each day paradisiac as the next      but then they fell into linear time     and the goal is to get back to circular existence      there are other ways to figure this      so buddhist nirvana could be a surrender to the gravity well that every one of your circulating lives had been orbiting      but we might still look for other cosmologies      something that lets us avoid the traps of linearity and cyclicity      there are belief systems      like those of the hmong and the ancient egyptians      where each person has numerous souls      and these all meet different fates      some loop around in eddies of reincarnation      some enter afterlives      some stay behind as ghosts      others might even die with the body      so a person’s being forks time and again      she can explore many options simultaneously      and proliferate into different worlds      what shape would be formed if you mapped all their journeys

     •    a mesh of branching twigs
     •    a hopeless knot