I enjoy the works of Richard Morgan, Altered Carbon and others. The technology in these books consists of a stack that sits in the back of your brain and registers what happens. If you are killed or even badly injured you can go into another body. Criminals have their bodies confiscated and others, the sick or the wealthy, can use them instead. Criminals even have their bodies taken away and come back after a time – not imprisoned but everyone you knew or cared about will be dead.
Faster than light space travel is’t possible in this milieu but other worlds have been populated. Minds can be transmitted between places and used to populate bodies and fight wars. Custom bodies are grown and synthetic ones manufactured.
This is all irrelevant to the point I’m trying to make here. One of the characters says that sometimes you have to “get to the next scree”, just like you would in a game. This technology allows you to almost live you life like a game and take insane risks, because you can always be installed in another body.
What has this got to do with anything? Well, if you believe that we are but an aggregation of habits and circumstance, a heap of choices and causes and conditions then why not try to get to the next screen, only perhaps a bit more carefully. You don’t want to die, of course, not having any means of resurrection.
But I am becoming so tired of repeating the same things over and over. Each weekday is the same old journey, each payday the same. Each argument, each sleep, each waking. Each everything is becoming nothing more than tracing the same steps I have already made thousands of times. It is beginning to make me so tired.
I usually fight this by moving to another job, but I like the job I have and there are’t any around that are anywhere near as interesting.
So “getting to the next scree” may be putting up with this shit for another twenty years. I’m beginning to wonder if I can do this. Everything is just more of the same. I might be depressed but don’t feel down or despairing. Just a terrible sense of being stuck while my body wears out and eventually kills this particular set of aggregates and causes. My buddhist practice is maybe even making this worse because it is making me intensely conscious of the collection of habits and circumstances that make up this body – it is no different, better or worse than any other. It is’t any more special than any other. Like all human lives it is the result of the workings of chance and karma, of need and ignorance, of defilements and buddha nature.
But I am so tired of everything at the moment. So tired of not getting what I want, and of even wanting, because wanting is the cause of all our pain. Ignorance makes us split the world into two: things we like and don’t like, fear makes us push the things we don’t like away and desire makes us pull other things towards us. Suffering is what happens in the middle, all this wanting and hating pulling us everywhere – then, of course, nothing lasts. So if you find some kind of temporary release in drugs or sex or whatever you need it again, so you start wanting even more, the groove wears ever deeper into your heart.
I am so tired of the whole thing, the game of me and you, of living and shovelling crap. I feel like I could sleep for a month.