This is the story as titled –
In A Mother’s Womb…
In a mother’s womb were two babies. One asked the other, do you believe in life after delivery?
The other replies, why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later.
Nonsense, says the other. There is no life after delivery. What would that life be?
I don’t know, but it will be lighter than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths.
The other says, this is absurd, walking is impossible. And eat with our mouths? Ridiculous! The umbilical cord supplies nutrition. Life after delivery is to be excluded. The umbilical cord is too short.
I think there is something and maybe it’s different than it is here.
The other replies, no one has ever come back from there. Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery it is nothing but darkness and anxiety and it takes us nowhere.
Well, I don’t know, says the other, but certainly we will see mother and she will take care of us.
Mother, you believe in mother? Where is she now?
She is all around us. It is in her that we live. Without her there would not be this world.
I don’t see her, so it’s only logical that she doesn’t exist.
To which the other replied, sometimes when you’re in silence you can hear her, you can perceive her. I believe there is a reality after delivery and we are here to prepare ourselves for that reality.
I read this post in the morning today and I absolutely love the way it shifts the context of our lives and believes into an altogether different scenario and at a first read, this post, yes it does tend to overwhelm you.
As some one who is a staunch atheist and not a believer in life after death and probably as someone who fancies herself as a wannabe objectivist the above story did seem rationally coherent at a first read. But then as is human nature strongly shaped by our survival instinct i thought about the post a bit.
The ingenuity of stories like above is in the way they employ terms and concepts which are so close to any one’s heart. Using the example of a child, a mother and a mother womb’s the author has already decided the very heavy emotional undertone of the piece. And then he/she has thrown in the concepts of life after death and our very obvious reasons for no existence of it.
The technique is very neat but now the question is how is one to argue against it?
One can get all technical about it and say that babies do not have such a highly developed conscious and we cannot presume that existential discussions are a favorite between them.
But getting technical just spoils the beauty of the argument.
One can instead say that lessons can be understood only in retrospection and therefore life after death may exist but there is absolutely no way for us to tell. Just like a fully grown adult cannot go back to a fetus and tell it that be brave better days are to come and even if an adult were too the fetus would not be able to comprehend it. Similarly life after death might perhaps exist but there is absolutely no way for us to understand it.
Also if one to were to continue with the reasoning of the above story one obviously has to ask – if there is a life afterward would believing in it make any difference in the journey afterwards – did the baby who believed in life outside the womb lead a better life than the one who did not?