If there aren’t enough bodies for the souls of the dead, the problem is ghosts.
If there aren’t enough souls for the bodies of the living, the problem is zombies.
If there are more dead ancestors than living descendants, the problem is grave.
But there are solutions to these problems, at least in theory.
It’s not true that every body implies at least two others. Sex isn’t the only way to reproduce, though it’s more fun than gene-splicing. Progenitors can and do produce multiple offspring, and are frequently alive during the lifespan of their offspring, though mostly wish they weren’t. And what about weird stuff like in vitro fertilisation, cloning, parthenogenesis, toner-less photocopying, and virgin birth?
There must be a mathematical function or algorithm linking descendants and ancestors. It’s got to involve sex though, unless you’re a whiptail lizard, a species without males. Actually an actuary might be able to help if ze were getting enough, which seems unlikely.
For the algorithm to work you’d need to make assumptions about how many souls can inhabit a single body, how many bodies can host a single soul, and whether souls can inhabit the bodies of non-human organisms including but not limited to animals, gods and devils. Not to mention the bodies of extra-terrestrial species and extra-dimensional species.
Could you, for instance, spread or smear a single soul across a collective of host bodies? Bees, ants and termites do it, kinda’. And humans can be pretty eusocial too. Maybe we can all share a soul or at least an over-self like the Borg do in Star Trek. On the third rock around Sol all souls are tributaries of the over-soul named Gaia, including but not limited to the souls of humans and other living creatures.
Could you pack more souls into a single body — everybody’s, if you had enough? Think multiple personality disorder, an older name for dissociative identity disorder. Call them identities, personalities, persons or even souls, it doesn’t change the basic issue: the more of them, the more chaotic it gets. A house of many tenants is a disorderly house. And some landlords rely on professionals to keep their houses in order. Bouncers are psychologists and psychologists are bouncers. They deal with people entering dark places.
As far as leaving dark places is concerned, being thrown out of a pub after a long hard night is a bit like being born: you come to your senses on a hard, cold, unfriendly place (the pavement), squinting your blind eyes into the harsh light (the early morning sun), squealing in pain (bad hangover), covered in body fluids (blood and vomit), owning nothing (empty wallet).
Slowly, you learn to walk, talk and drink again. And then you die and are reborn... into another life of pain, misery and suffering... another pavement... another empty wallet...
over and over again. Reincarnation.
So who in their right mind would look forward to their next Groundhog Day revolving around the Wheel of Cyclic Existence?You don't have to be Buddhist to conclude that life is full of pain and misery. But note that some incarnations are less painful, miserable and insufferable than others, depending on which one of six realms you get to be reborn into.
The six realms are each purpose-built for the following lifeforms respectively:
- hungry ghosts (aka anguished spirits)
- hell-beings (mainly wrathful).
And if you don't fancy any of those, there's an escape clause, a get-out-of-jail-free card, a spanner you can throw into the Wheel of Cyclic Existence. Of course it all depends on your enlightenment-status. Don't lose the keys to your karma.If you really and truly want to die fully and finally you've got to drag your weary soul to either one of two special worlds in which reincarnation is not only prohibited but is an offence punishable by Life -- a death sentence that spitefully involves a non-parole period being broken on the Wheel. Those special worlds are Arupyadhatu (the formless world) and Rupadhatu (the non-formless world), and they comprise two thirds of Ultimate Reality. The remainder is reserved for the world of desire, Kamadhatu, which is where the six above-mentioned realms are found.
And by the way, Reality hosts a grand total of 31 realms, which if you think about it will make you as mad as a hatter before you can say "heterotic string theory" or "quintic Calabi–Yau manifold"! Plus or minus 1.
NIGHTMERRIES: THE LIGHTER SIDE OF DARKNESS
This so-called "book" will chew you up, spit you out, and leave you twitching and frothing on the carpet. More than 60 dark and feculent fictions (read ‘em and weep) copiously illustrated by over 20 grotesque images you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley.
AWAREWOLF & OTHER CRHYMES AGAINST HUMANITY (Vot could be Verse?)
We all hate poetry, right? But we might make an exception for this sick and twisted stuff. This devil's banquet of adults-only offal features more than 50 satanic sonnets, vitriolic verses and odious odes.
MANIC MEMES & OTHER MINDSPACE INVADERS
A disturbing repository of quotably quirky quotes, sayings, proverbs, maxims, ponderances, adages and aphorisms. This menagerie holds no fewer than 184 memes from eight meme-species perfectly adapted to their respective environments.
MASTRESS & OTHER TWISTED TAILS, ILLUSTRATED: an unholy corpus of oddities, strangelings, bizarritudes and peculiaritisms
FIENDS & FREAKS Adults-only Tales of Serpents, Dragons, Devils, Lobsters, Anguished Spirits, Gods, Anti-gods and Other Horse-thieves You Wouldn't Want to Meet in a Dark Kosmos: 4th EditionHAGS TO HAGGIS Whiskey-soaked Tails of War-nags, Witches, Manticores and Escapegoats, Debottlenecking and Desilofication, Illustrated