Monthly Archives: March 2007

[Re]incarnation?

At 6:32 a.m. on February 22, 1987, Andy Warhol [born Andrew Warhola] died unexpectedly at the age of 58.

A routine gallbladder surgery at New York-Presbyterian Hospital took a turn for the worse as Mr. Warhol succumbed to a sudden heart attack.
Approximately 40 hours later, Padraic Wheeler was born at the Kaiser Medical Center in Redwood City, California to Bill and Laura Wheeler.

Cries of childbirth pain were drowned out by the jackhammer in the next room over (the hospital was not yet fully built).

According to Hindu teachings, only the body itself is subject to birth and death, while the soul [also known as the “atman”] remains immortal. It is written in the Bhagavad Gita that:

Worn-out garments are shed by the body; Worn-out bodies are shed by the dweller within the body. New bodies are donned by the dweller, like garments.

Just like their Buddhist cousins, Hindus believe that the soul goes on, experiencing birth and death time after time. But, here’s where it differs from the teachings of The Bald One (and by that I mean Buddha, not Britney): according to Hindu doctrine, an individual is reborn based on desire: a person wants to be born because they wish to continue enjoying all of life’s delights. And how do they continue doing this? Simple: through the use of another body. Rather than treating every earthly delight as a sin [wish Christians could do the same], Hinduism teaches that they are instead fleeting, and that each spirit will eventually crave a deeper, lasting happiness (or, “ānanda”).

2 decades down, 6(ish) to go. What good have I done? What good could I do?

I’ve lately had the need to create. I miss the thrill of warming up before a play’s opening night. I still daydream of long-ago dance recitals in forgotten high school auditoriums. But hell, I don’t need grandeur. I need an afternoon of flute duets in a friend’s living room. Or, maybe finally buying that book of Joni Mitchell guitar tabs.

Life isn’t spent hunched over a fluorescently lit computer in some cramped office. These past few days have spring hinted in the air. Time to clean off the camera and go experience this damn city.