Narrative
Tales /märchen

The One Soul

Item (direct transcription):

There is a man. He has a family. He has a wife, a child, a newborn child. He’s going to work. He’s driving down the highway. Unfortunately a drunk driver hits him and kills him. He dies. On the spot. Instantly. So…um, he leaves behind a widow and his child. The widow is obviously very sad. But the man goes up into…um [motioning upward with his hands]…whereever.

He meets God. And God, so he wakes up, he sees this being around him. He assumes it’s God. He says, “Are you God?” And he says, “Yes, I am God.” Um, and then he says, “Am I dead.” He says, “Yeah, you’re dead.” And he says, “So am I going to heaven or hell?” He says, “Well, uh, not yet.” And then, um, the man asks, “What’s going to happen to my wife and my child?” And God says, “Your wife, um, she’s going to act very sad for a while, but… deep down she’s actually happy, because she’s actually been having an affair with somebody else, and this actually works out very well for her. [Laughs.] And your child will grow up having a very idyllic view of you. Um, he’ll think you were the perfect father, because you were never around. [Laughs again.] So that’s going to work out very well for him, too. But you on the other hand, you’re not going to heaven or hell.”

So then the man asks, “So what going to happen to me? Where am I gonna go?” And then God says, “You are going to be reborn as, uh… a village girl in China in the sixth century.” And this man says, “But wait! Isn’t it the twenty-first century? I died in 2018. What’s happening? Am I going back in time?” “Yes, exactly, you’re going back in time.” So the man says, “Wait, wait, wait. If I’m being reborn back in time, so how many, like, distinct souls are actually living on Earth right now?” And God says, “There’s only one soul on Earth, and it’s been you this whole time.” And the man says, “Wait, so you’re telling me that I was Adolf Hitler?” And God says, “Yes, you were Adolf Hitler. And all the Jews that he killed.” [Laughs.]

And, um, so yeah. He was basically everybody on Earth. So this obviously a very giant, big revelation to him. The man is just mind-blown and he asks, um, “So what’s the meaning of all this? Why did you create a planet? Why do I even exist?” And God says, “Um, well, I can tell you this because when you wake up as a newborn, you’re not gonna remember anything, so it doesn’t matter what I tell you. So, um, I created this world because, um, this, uh, this world is basically an egg. And you are one of me. You are basically just growing inside this egg. And one day, when you’re mature enough, you will become one of me. And when you do, you will break out of the shell of the egg and you will take your place among us.”

And then he wakes up as the village girl in China in the eighth century.

Background Information:

The informant read this tale on Quora, an online question-and-answer site. He liked the story because it “made [him] think.”

He says that the story is “as believable as any religion,” and he believes that the person who posted on Quora probably made it up himself or herself.

Contextual Information:

The informant performs the tale in order to provoke a philosophical debate. Since he claims the story is not true, yet the metaphysics presented in the story cannot be disproved, he uses it as a way of presenting agnostic beliefs.

Analysis:

This tale interesting in how it combines elements of various, usually unconnected mythologies. This eclecticism is probably by design, considering the tale’s purpose of revealing the folly of religion. At first, the story seems to be using a Abrahamic, monotheistic context, then the story later reveals a polytheistic context. The story also incorporates the concept of a “world egg,” which appears in Egyptian, Hindu, Zoroastrian, Finnish, and Chinese mythologies, among others.

See “Easter Eggs” (1967) by Venetia Newall, for more information on the place of eggs in mythology.

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