Maybe Jesus Knew About Groundhog Days

Me Collins Park Pensive


From Groundhog Days – Intercourse on Time

By Melina Costello & David Arthur Walters

September 17, 2004



Madame Melina,

Oh, no, Hello, here I go again! (:

The hypothesis of eternal recurrence has enjoyed considerable support throughout the ages and has had an influence on a number of well-known thinkers whether they believed that the hypothesis was valid or not. Ouspensky and Nietzsche are the best-known modern thinkers who expounded the doctrine. The funny movie, Groundhog Day, collapses the concept into a single day. Finnegan’s Wake, James Joyce’s novel, is based on the idea.

Since Christianity is a salvation religion, it does not support the doctrine of vicious cycles. Nonetheless, Ouspensky cited the Gospels to support his opinion that Christ was familiar with the doctrine of endless repetition. And he thought that Origen was attempting to discredit the idea in a part of his On First Principles.

Excuse me for repeating myself endlessly, Madame, but the doctrine of eternal recurrence posits that each death ends in another birth into the same life ad infinitum – the same life is lived over and over again. A person gradually becomes aware of the fact that she was born and will die, but she does not know that her life is a repetition of previous lives; therefore she may believe that she will have a different life in the next life, or eternal life in the hereafter, or no life at all. She might, however, get an occasional feeling of déjà vu – that she has experienced something in her present life before.

The $64,000 question for those who believe in eternal recurrence is, Can the cycle be intentionally broken? If not, the individual has no free will, and there would be no moral incentive for improvement although the person might be predetermined to think she is acting morally on her own accord. The same can be said for all theologies and ideologies which espouse predestination, determinism and the like, yet contradict themselves in an effort to justify having any morals at all. You are doomed, unless you buy my book and take my advice to heart.

Ouspensky provides a way out of perpetual recycling. He opposes the doctrine of eternal recurrence with the doctrine of possibilities. An individual can become aware of the fact that she is constantly repeating herself; it follows that she must be aware, at the same time, of something besides, of something to compare the repetition with – possible alternatives. Hence you are doomed to repeat history unless you become aware of it and take advantage of the alternatives. If you do just that, so much for the doctrine of eternal recurrence – maybe – you might be repeating yourself again. Oh, no! Not again!

Your Devoted Groundhog

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