Self

How The 'Egg Theory' Explains What Happens When People Die

Photo: Lia Koltyrina, Tanya Antusenok, blvdone  / Shutterstock
people in the universe

There are many theories about the meaning of life, what happens in the afterlife, and reincarnation. Whether your beliefs are based on religion or philosophy, the mystery surrounding life and death may never be solved.

"The Egg" is a short story written by novelist Andy Weir in an attempt to answer two age-old questions: What is the meaning of life? Where do we go when we die? And the theory is mind-blowing.

What is the 'Egg Theory'?

The Egg Theory was birthed from a story called “The Egg” by Weir, detailing the experiences of a man who died in a car accident on his way home.

The narrator begins the story by explaining that the accident was nothing spectacular but was fatal to the man. The man’s body was beyond repair, so the author explains that he was better off dead. Fortunately, the death was painless.

The man “awakens” and begins a discussion with an unknown entity to figure out where he is. He asks the question, "Where am I?" and the entity, who is telling the story, replies, “You died,” nonchalantly.

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The man looks around and finds nothingness surrounding him, so he asks, "What is this place? Is it the afterlife?” “More or less,” the shadowy presence responds.

This prompts the man to ask the entity is if it is God, to which it replies, “I’m God.”

They then go on to discuss the deceased man’s wife and kids. The man is concerned about their well-being and “God” finds it amusing that he is worried about them, considering his situation.

The man looks the being over, unsure of what it is. They continue talking and “God” tells the man that he is not headed for heaven or hell, but instead will be reincarnated.

The decedent assumes that this means, in accordance with Hindu beliefs, he would come back as a baby with a clean slate, to which the being replies, “Not so.”

"God" explains he could not possibly imagine how vast the man's soul is, and that he leaves a tiny part of himself in every experience he has while also gaining knowledge.

Finally, "God" tells the man that he will be incarnated as a Chinese peasant girl from 540 AD, but will not be going back in time since time only exists in the man’s own universe.

The man has a revelation that he may have interacted with himself due to the lack of time period constraints — and the entity agrees.

This brings the man to the question: “What’s the point of it all?” He wants to know why, if he is just reincarnated with no memory of his prior life, did he experience life at all.

   

   

“God” declares that it made this universe for the man to grow and mature. It further explains that every time he is reincarnated, he expands and learns.

In a stunning admission, the entity tells the man that the universe he resides in is solely his own, and that every person that he comes across is a different iteration of himself in another space and time.

Of course, this makes the man think about all the people he didn’t want to be such as Hitler and John Wilkes Booth. "God" clarifies that he is not only those people, but the humans they victimized.

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“God” clarifies that any time he wrongs someone or performs an act of kindness, he is doing it to himself. All the happy and sad moments he witnessed in others were his own.

Astonished by this, the man asks, “Why?” needing to know why all these experiences are necessary. The being responds that someday he, too, will become God.

Excited, the man says, “So, I’m a God?” The entity tells him he is not, but will be once he experiences every human life throughout time in his universe. It discloses that he is a fetus and still developing.

At the end of the story, “God” delivers the news that the man’s universe is an egg, and once he has grown and reached maturity, he will be born again or hatch into his final state as a God.

The entity then sends the man on to his next life.

What is the moral of 'the Egg'?

The moral of "The Egg" is that everyone is interconnected and part of one another. All experiences, good and bad, are small parts of a unique world that was created for you to grow and mature in.

According to the story, the meaning of life is that once you start to see yourself in others, you will reach a Godly state of being, where you understand everyone in your world’s unique experiences, and believe that everyone is valuable and worthy.

As far as what happens when you die, the story explains that you have been given the gift of infinite reincarnation.

Your soul may leave one body but will reappear in another. We are not a single human, but many with the same soul.

This story teaches you that death should not be feared, as it is necessary for you to ascend to your final position as a God amongst Gods, outside of the confines of your own personal universe (the egg).

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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington, and author of seven books. She covers lifestyle and entertainment & news, as well as navigating the workplace and social issues.

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