You will reincarnate as the animals you eat

The law of karma dictates that once you die, the self non-self distinction will dissipate. Now you’ll have to experience the other side. And if you think you’re a low status white male now, wait until you find out about the ones who were classified as “non-human”.

What you do with that knowledge is your problem. “I want to be an alpha male, I can only be an alpha male by shooting a deer in the head.” All fine with me. But that means you’ll have to experience being shot in the head.

This isn’t some sort of bizarre test designed for you to overcome your empathy. “The animal looks cute but you need to suppress that realization, overcome your softness.” No, you just grew up in a culture that draws an arbitrary dividing line on the species barrier, while stigmatizing as “racists” those who draw dividing lines within the species barrier.

In reality it’s all a gradient. “Non-human” is as valid of a descriptor to justify abuse as “not me” is. There’s nothing special about the species barrier. It’s probably not even hard to blur. Through IVF we could probably freely hybridize our species with chimpanzees if we wanted to, the way horses do with donkeys.

“How do you get your protein?” I don’t know, don’t really care, not my problem. All I’m saying is that if you eat a pig, you will be a pig. You will sit together with the other pigs, you will sit there with festering wounds, in your own feces. If you need your protein, fine with me.

“I only eat humane grass-fed-” Yeah I don’t care. You can figure this out yourself. You’ll be humanely killed. You’ll humanely have your children taken away from you. Good luck.

“My doctor tells me I need-” I don’t care what your doctor tells you. Maybe my doctor tells me I need to bash your skull in? If your doctor tells you to eat deformed chickens that grow so fast they can’t stand on their own legs, you’ll become a deformed chicken that grows so fast he can’t stand on his own legs.

And again, I’m not saying you should not eat other animals. I’m not saying you should not go out and rape, kill and torture people either. It’s like when you’re on vacation and you order a hundred dollars worth of liquor in a night. I’m not saying you shouldn’t. I’m just saying that you’re so immersed in the moment, that you’re forgetting the bill will inevitably show up and you’ll vomit in the morning. And this is just a fair reminder from me. The butler doesn’t smile at you because you’re his friend. He smiles at you because you’re making him money.

“Well if I pray to Amitabha Buddha” Yeah it doesn’t work like that. Siddharta didn’t show up here and said “hey if you pray to this dude Amitabha Buddha he’ll fix it all for you”, did he? Others don’t do the job for you.

Christianity rapidly transformed into “believe in Jesus and he’ll deal with the dark side of your actions for you”. Buddhism went through the same evolution. “Just pray to Amitabha Buddha and you’re reborn in a pure land where enlightenment is easy.” I wouldn’t count on it. I don’t think Jesus and Buddha are showing up at the end of a night of heavy drinking to pay the bill. And even if they were willing to, you would be a weak person to agree to it. Why do we desire to be bailed out?

The reason those ideas are popular is because wishful thinking is popular. Millions of low status white males around the world think you can make fake money with your computer that will make everyone rich. Just because an idea or a movement is popular, doesn’t mean it has some validity to it.

In other news, if you let your dog be raped by another dog, you’ll have to be a dog that’s raped by another dog. If you breed deformed dogs, you’ll be a deformed dog. You will spend years struggling to breathe. You’ll spend years in a body that doesn’t let you run.

Your concept of “self”, your concept of personality, of identity, are all illusions generated by your brain. But “being” is not an illusion. “Being” just is. Consciousness is just a field, that sometimes becomes trapped in matter. And the matter will then trap it in concepts of time, identity, self, etcetera.

Imagine for a moment it doesn’t work like this. Imagine it’s all just meaningless. Imagine you were born into your position because you lucked out. Well that’s quite some luck. Late 20th century is a pretty good time to be born. No 25% infant mortality. You’re not being raped by a slaver. You’re not dying of hunger.

And to make things even better, you’re human! You can scratch when the parasites bite your ears, you don’t end up with ticks all over your ear like a stray dog until they suck you dry. You can wear clothing and shoes that prevent the parasitic worms from entering your body, lucky you! What incredible unimaginable luck, you really won the lottery, didn’t you!

Or you “choose” a life. Well, then you made a weird choice. Could’ve just gone for a beautiful actress or a mumble rapper. Much easier. And others made even weirder choices: “Nah, I’d rather be a stray dog covered in tics than a Scandinavian prince. That’s more me.”

If you choose a life, that means you’re probably dealing with some limitations in what you get to choose. And what you can choose probably has to do with the choices you make: “That’s your goose liver paté sir. How would you like to pay?” “By reincarnating as a flea-covered paraplegic stray dog in rural Zimbabwe, thank you very much.” “Would you like to leave a tip?” “The stray dog will have a pus-oozing sore beneath one of his teeth.” “Oh thank you very much sir, enjoy your night.”

What stimulants like cocaine do is that they just turn off this nagging little voice in the back of your head that somehow found itself a way to blog on the Internet too. “I WANT TO COMPLETELY FORGET I’LL EVENTUALLY HAVE TO PAY THE BILL! I WANT TO BE ENTIRELY IN THE HERE AND NOW!” Well that’s what stimulants like cocaine help you do.

I suspect life, the qualia-experiencing capacity organic beings have, can be a positive sum game. But again, imagine working at a bank, versus robbing the bank. You can work at a bank and deliver a contribution to your community, earning a meager salary and working hard for years. Or you can just rob it. The reward you get becomes much greater, it’s nearly instant.

And as humans we can do the same thing. We can grow seaweed in parts of the ocean devoid of life and burn it in our power plants. We can be positive sum. But that’s a lot of effort. Why not just burn the coal beneath our feet? Why not just steal? Why not just steal from future generations? Why not just steal from the world’s poorest? From future moments of our own lives? Why not just rob the bank beneath our feet?

Because the law of karma ties us all together, as we all impact each other. But we work hard to forget that. We don’t want to know. Most of our economic and cultural abstractions are just tools, smokescreens and mirrors that we deploy to forget this principle.

Buddhism is pessimistic. The Buddha upon tasting vinegar proclaims that it is bitter. It is intrinsically just not pleasant, you must escape and dissociate from it. But we must be careful when we try to translate Dukkha. It can be translated as suffering, but is best translated as unsatisfactory.

Hinduism and Taoism are optimistic: Existence can be positive sum. But how? It is an ever moving target we must chase after. This is why the Tao that can be written is not the Tao. It is endless nuances and subtleties, an endless struggle of refinement.

Very few people chase the moving target. The vast majority sink back into ego, as they descend down the autocannibalizing chain again. But you don’t have to descend the chain forever. The first step out is awareness. Realize the flaws, the errors you make. Then come guilt and remorse. When you realize what you do wrong, you can start chasing the moving target again.

Most people don’t chase the moving target. Most people are insulated from understanding. But insulating yourself from understanding, won’t insulate you from consequences.

23 Comments

    • It has been studied quite a bit. In the ocean photosynthetic efficiency is higher than on land. You’d need about 8% of the ocean’s surface full of seaweed, to sequester our annual emissions. You could burn it in power plants as carbon-neutral fuel, or even as carbon-negative if you then sequester the CO2 in old oil fields.

      But humans don’t care enough to work with the solutions available. So we die.

  1. Does the bad karma associated with carnivory also afflict predator species? Do falcons and tigers and sharks accrue bad karma as a result of their obligate carnivorous behavior?

    • Probably not, because they don’t have knowledge of good and evil. They’re not able to incur karmic repercussions, because they don’t understand what they’re doing. A cat will have its hunting instincts triggered by a laser pen on a wall.

      • So the creatures that prey on other creatures are off the hook for being retarded meat robots who don’t even know what they’re doing. Got it.

        Herbivores sometimes commit carnivory, this is well documented.

        For example, here is a cow eating a chick, with quite obvious deliberate action. It’s not like the cow didn’t feel a creature struggling in it’s mouth, it declined to spit the chick out.

        https://youtu.be/t3NOhQlPGAU

        Here’s one eating a snake with similar deliberation:

        https://youtu.be/qMmUHXiB4ak

        Now I’m not going to make a fool assertion that cows are primarily carnivores or any of that, I just want to know: are these cows incurring bad karma that will be visited upon them, by eating small animals?

        • >are these cows incurring bad karma that will be visited upon them, by eating small animals?

          If they understand what they’re doing, yes.

          • So an intelligent creature like a wolf is not incurring bad karma when lucky killing other creatures, but a cow (verifiably retarded) eats a similarly retarded walking chicken nugget, it does incur bad karma – but karma definitely objectively exists, it’s not a phantasm in the minds of people who are mad at predation, that karma will come back around in Two More Weeks

          • >So an intelligent creature like a wolf is not incurring bad karma when lucky killing other creatures, but a cow (verifiably retarded) eats a similarly retarded walking chicken nugget, it does incur bad karma

            It just depends on whether you have karmic attachment or not. It’s not hard to understand, but you’re taking effort not to understand it.

  2. The limitation of choices of incarnated form is the intersection between the will of God and one’s individual will. These two wills appear separate to most people, but, at a deeper esoteric level, they are one. Those who know this truth are very close to the ultimate goal.

  3. I wish I could live my life without killing other beings. But it’s impossible. With every breath I take, with every step I make, I kill countless tiny creatures, who have basically the same value as pigs.

    I didn’t found a solution for this dilemma. Have you found one?

    • >I kill countless tiny creatures, who have basically the same value as pigs.

      This is just nihilism.

      Value scales with cognitive complexity. Hence why it’s such a crime to kill a Brahmin.

      • Quote: “Value scales with cognitive complexity. Hence why it’s such a crime to kill a Brahmin.”

        Where exactly is the frontier in this scaling between “worth” and “not worth/can be ignored”?

        • I read once that a snail has a brain about equivalent to a good computer. Back then computers were probably not as capable as they are now. I don’t really worry too much about injuring them, so that’s probably where my personal “not worth” point lies.

          I suppose you could argue there’s no point where it can be ignored, in which case you should become a Jain probably.

  4. If the line between self and not-self dissolving at death, uniting man with universe, means that literal reincarnation is real, doesn’t that mean your moral arse also has to be those suffering animals, too?

    In fact, “the tao that can be written is not the real tao” is a rejection of literalism – the nearly universal, unquestioned belief that literal thought is reality, or can truthfully represent reality. Literal thought is the most useful thing in the universe, but it cannot reveal what anything really is; neither deer nor dog, neither right nor wrong.

    Because the literal self, by itself, knows nothing but self, it can do nothing but project its own experience into what it cannot know – into the other person or animal, or into death. When life was good, the afterlife was conceived as good. When life was suffering, the afterlife was conceived as suffering, or an ethical purging, by God or by karma. When life is meaningless, the afterlife is conceived as meaningless – forever a black void, before falling into which, one must extract maximal pleasure from life.

    All primal cultures (which we would do well to be inspired by their example) ate animals. That’s not to say we should, but that veganism has little to do with the kingdom of heaven, however noble its refusal to support the routine torture of higher animals which currently prevails (and consciousness is indeed gradated, with humans at the high end). Freeganism hurts this status quo more, targeting meat for theft from wherever it is sold, causing the stores to lock it up then stop stocking it. The activist may eat it or, better yet, give it away to the poor, hurting the demand for meat.

  5. Have you read Arthur Schopenhauer? He has a similar idea: we are all really different expressions of one being. By hurting others you are merely hurting yourself

  6. If you eat meat as a 6th level bodhisattva then the animals in question will be reincarnated as your children or dharma students at some point in the future.

  7. I find that the moral tone interwoven between your observations makes this essay misleading.

    I’ve seen no good evidence for the reality of “free will.” In fact, the very concept itself is incoherent when you really think about it.

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The patients in the mental ward have had their daily dose of xanax and calmed down it seems, so most of your comments should be automatically posted again. Try not to annoy me with your low IQ low status white male theories about the Nazi gas chambers being fake or CO2 being harmless plant food and we can all get along. Have fun!

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