• Manoj Kumar

Past Lives - A Monograph

How many lifetimes have I lived? How many times have I repeated the same mistakes in the countless lives that I have lived?

Buddhabrot - A render of the infinite nature of our universe!

Thought provoking questions, isn’t it? Of course these questions are mainly asked by the adherents of the various polytheistic, agnostic and atheistic religions of the worlds, mainly Hindus, Jains and Buddhists respectively.

In my own experience, I have often felt the overwhelming weight of all my past life bearing down upon me, like the vast ocean pressing down on every square centimeter of the ocean floor at the soul crushing depths of the challenger deep. As I turn away from this page, take a moment and look around at everything around me, every life form I see creatures similar to those living at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Only here at the sunbathed surface of our beloved rocket ship that we lovingly call planet earth the weight is that of that intangible, yet quite tangible thing, we call information.

The code that we carry around in our DNA, the basic programmes that run and govern our mortal bodies, the rules, sub rules, and the sub sub rules of living in a society that help us live our lives peacefully, among many things, all of our thoughts, all of our actions, all of it is infact just pure unadulterated information. Look around you and you will realise that we have become adept information alchemists and that too without ever realising it. Our modern society and all our gadgets are results of our unconscious artistic expression of information. Information is an entity that cannot be touched, felt or detected in a physical sense.

There exists another fundamental entity in our universe called Entropy. Entropy is a force that facilitates a gradual but an unstoppable decline into disorder and randomness. But it can only act upon physical matter and thus, information is beyond the grasp of entropy. Look around you and you will also see entropy hard at work, all the time, incessantly and ceaselessly, like an 18th century sooty coal miner. And while entropy destroys order, information is the opposing force that constantly fights against it, creating complexity and order.

Now take a moment and look at your hand, revel in the beauty of the complexity that exists in it, gloat over the fact that your hand exists because information has won over entropy, that information, that great unifier, has defeated the destructive force of entropy, at least momentarily. I say momentarily because entropy is slowly ageing your hand, and the body along with it, pushing it towards death and oblivion.

One of the ways, information achieves the spectacular feat of defeating entropy is by being a repeating pattern. We are all a self repeating pattern, the information that we are is a self repeating pattern.

I have indeed lived countless lifetimes. Not this body, not even my specific thoughts, but the information, that self replicating pattern that I carry within me.

I do make the same mistakes over each lifetime and I do suffer similarly in each lifetime. Over ten generations ago I did exist, as I exist now doing the same things as I am doing now, behaving exactly the same way as I am doing now, creating the same conditions of happiness and suffering as I am doing now.

But there is a catch, there is always a catch! The catch being my pattern cannot ever make a pure replica of itself as it travels through time, because of the ever present effects of entropy and thus each time it copies itself it mutates. The tiniest bit of change creeps into it every time the pattern replicates.

That is, with each lifetime the mutations make me aware of my own existence, of my own pattern. With enough lifetimes, with enough self replications the information becomes so self aware that it reaches a point of singularity. It achieves the highest level of awareness where the awareness itself becomes infinite. That state can also be called nirvana, the information loses its property of I and is able change its ‘code’ at will. It does not need countless births, deaths and mutations anymore, it becomes the master of itself, It dissolves away into itself, it surrenders itself to entropy to become one with everything.

I am not sure what happens next. I am sure that I will find out someday, just like all of you will, what is at the end of that ultimate and proverbial tunnel.

Bon courage!

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