I have been thinking about something today.
Is a father's sperm part of the father when it is inside of his body? What about when the sperm leaves his body? Does it stop being part of the father? Is mother's egg part of the mother when it is inside of the mother's body? What about the baby that develops from the father's sperm and the mother's egg? Is it part of the father and the mother? After all it is just an outgrowth of their cells. Is this baby part of the mother when it is inside of the mother's body? What about when it leaves the mother's body? Does it stop being part of the mother?
Our own body cells change completely every 7 years or so. Yet we are still calling ourselves ourselves. Why? Well one of the reasons is that the genetic material in the new cells is the same as in our old cells. And that we have a continuation of the awareness of ourselves, the continuous experience of ourselves.
The genes of our children are the same as our genes, a combination of the mother's and father's genes. They are the continuation of the development of our genes. Basically our children are the physical, genetic continuation of us. Also, our children, through life with us, through the fact that they are being molded by the life with us, become through their awareness of us a continuation of our own awareness of ourselves. We pass onto our children our own experience, our memories, our knowledge, in the same way our parents passed their experience, their memories, their knowledge onto us. So where do we stop and our children start? Every new generation is just a next branch of the same family, clan, tribe, race, species tree. Our children are like new buds of the same ancient family tree. And as long as new children are being born this family tree continues to live.
But if we go even further back in time we realize that we are just part of an even older tree of life whose root is buried somewhere even deeper in the past and whose branches we all, all living beings, are.
Our ancestors actually knew all this, or at least had some kind of awareness of this.
This is where ancestor worship in general comes from. And this is where the worship of the mother earth and the father sky, the ultimate expression of this ancestor worship, comes from.
This is where our inbuilt need to procreate, to insure the continuation of ourselves, but ultimately to insure the continuous growth of the tree of life comes from.
This is where our belief in karma comes from too. Every new generation is a new incarnation of the same family tree. Every new generation gets a chance to develop into something new and beautiful. But every generation is constricted by the fact that it is growing on the branches, which grow on the trunk, whose roots reach deep deep into the past. And the energy used for the growth of the new buds is drawn through these roots. Every new generation is in effect a new manifestation of the accumulation of the experiences of all the previous generations. And each new generation or incarnation, adds new experiences to the ever growing collection of the experiences of the living family tree. Experiences which are then passed onto the next generation or incarnation...
The latest genetic and epigenetic research has shown that this cumulative experience, the things we do or are done to us, thing we feel, we think. actually affect our genes and all this experience is recorded in our genes. These changes are passed on to our children and will greatly affect their lives. The more bad epigenetic changes we accumulate, the sicker our family tree will get. Our children will suffer, but this is basically our own suffering. Equally the more good epigenetic changes we accumulate, the healthier our family tree will get. Our children will prosper, but this is basically our own prosperity. Because our children are just our next incarnation, the next incarnation of the family tree which is part of the great tree of life...
Doing good to yourself, your fellow human beings and the world in general makes a lot more sense now, don't you think?