Not the zombies though. Although AMC has a great series on its hands. If you haven’t caught the debut season, you should definitely check it out.
No, the walking dead I speak of is in reference to a guy in my dream last night. Let’s just say that we were dating…
Well the story of this guy goes that he was in some kind of accident, and died. Doctors were able to get his brain functioning again. While he’s definitely functional, and not handicapped in anyway, he’s not altogether there either.
A combination of what other characters in the dream told me, and my own sense of him, is that his body is very much alive… but the soul of the man who once owned it has moved on. I remember remarking to myself how well his brain was doing at autonomous functions. He could talk, had access to memories, full range of body motion. By all appearances, a normal guy.
But he wasn’t. The real ‘he’ checked out in that accident and what’s left is simply biology carrying on. Never met someone without a soul before. Kind of odd.
I had the distinct feeling that my involvement with him was somehow using someone’s body without that someone’s permission… because the real him was dead and unable to tell me his wishes in that regard.
All in all, it reminds me much of an episode from Stargate Universe. (And not just because people on that show swap bodies on occasion.) Back in the first season there was this episode called Faith. Destiny encounters what the crew concludes is an artificially created solar system. An away team heads down to the planet to get some supplies, and decide they want to remain there.
Second season just had an episode where they mysteriously reappear next to the Destiny. They come aboard, and everyone initially checks out, but the rest of the crew is uneasy about them. Something they can’t quite put their finger on… turns out they all died on that planet. Somehow their bodies were repaired and reanimated, and brought to Destiny. Unfortunately the repairs weren’t complete, or something. They start succumbing to whatever killed them originally, and one by one they die again.
In the end we’re left with the last guy of this group standing, and he is a man of deep faith. He originally believed God had made him reborn, saving them from the harsh conditions of the planet and bringing them back to Destiny. But as the rest of his group dies off again, and the reality of his situation became apparent… he came to the realization that he was simply a shadow of the real him… that the real one, his soul, had moved on and was looking down on him even now. That’s what made everyone so uneasy. The bodies were repaired, but the mysterious aliens could not build a new soul. Intuitively the rest of the crew felt this and were inexplicably repulsed by their one-time colleagues.
So similar theme I guess with this guy in my dream. Makes me wonder though… as medicine advances, and the ability to restore brain function, repair damage, and otherwise resuscitate someone who has died improves… the day may come where someone could be dead for hours, maybe even a full day or week… and we can ‘bring them back’ without any physical side-effects.
Already we can keep the body alive and functioning even if the brain inside isn’t running the show anymore. Saw this rather chilling new piece of technology that keeps a heart beating, so as to improve the ability to get it into a transplant recipient by expanding the amount of time they have to complete the transfer. (What they allow on television these days is amusing, particularly compared with what they won’t allow.)
In the rhetorical, philosophical questioning mindset… what’s that going to mean? With the right kind of imaging devices, we’ve actually seen something (soul perhaps?) leave a body at the time of death. We don’t know what it is, but its something we can observe if we’re in the right place, at the right time, with the right equipment.
What if this is the soul… what if it does ‘move on’ and the body itself remains on life support? What then if nano-bots or something are introduced and repair the damage… returning the body to self-sustaining-operation? Will medicine one day yield us someone like the boy in my dream? Will we even know one when we meet them?
I’ll have to rethink my DNR orders when that day arrives.