I am Lying on the Floor Next to the Owner as she Exercises. I sigh.
What? Asks the Owner. And that was Dog Breath, says the Owner.
What will you come back as? I ask the Owner. And that is because I am a Dog, I say.
I have not Gone Anywhere, says the Owner.
I mean, I say, in your next Life, I say. You need to Choose, I say, So that I will know where to Find You, I say.
That is very Sweet, says the Owner. What had the Moral Dog in Mind for me? asks the Owner.
Someone Very Much the Same, I say.
That is Lovely, says the Owner.
But with More Cheese, I say, and a bigger Fridge, I say.
What makes the Moral Dog think that we will Come Back At All, says the Owner. It seems a Very Optimistic View, says the Owner.
Au Contraire, I say. Schopenhauer, I say, despite being described as the Ebenezer Scrooge of Eighteenth Century Philosophy, I say, noted that the Doctrine of Reincarnation Springs from the Earliest and Noblest ages of the Human Race, and has always been Spread Abroad on the Earth as the Belief of the Great Majority of Mankind, I say. If Even Schopenhauer thought he was Coming Back, I say, then there must be Hope for the Rest of Us, I say.
Where is he now, then? Asks the Owner. And why has he not Made Himself Known? Asks the Owner.
If I were Schopenhauer I would Keep Quiet About It, I say.
That is True, says the Owner, but I do not remember ever Being Anyone Else, not even King Arthur or his Queen Guinevere whom, I understand, most Reincarnated Persons previously were.
There must Surely be a Finite Number of Persons, I say. It is not Surprising, I say.
Nobody is Ever the Baddie, says the Owner. I suppose the Moral Dog was Superdog, say the Owner.
The Moral Dog Ignores this as Too Close to the Truth. Perhaps you have a bad Memory, I say. Perhaps you have Blotted it Out, I say. Perhaps this is because you were Schopenhauer, I say.
I doubt it, says the Owner. Even on my Most Pessimistic Days I do not take the view that Sentient Beings, with few exceptions, are bound to Strive and Suffer without any ultimate purpose, says the Owner. If Schopenhauer believed in Reincarnation I would Imagine he would Choose to Avoid It, says the Owner. I, on the Other Hand, would use Every Opportunity to find Reasons to be Cheerful, says the Owner. Such as Friendship, Decency, a Moral Dog with a Balanced Attitude to Cheese and a Democratic President in 2020, says the Owner. And Anosmia, says the Owner. Since you Ask, says the Owner.
The Moral Dog ignores the Philosophically Below-the-Belt Nature of the Owner’s Remarks. Perhaps you were the Dalai Lama, I say. He is Always Cheerful, I say.
The Dalai Lama is an even more Special Case than Schopenhauer, says the Owner. He is Most Unusual, says the Owner.
Is that because he is one of the Only Ten People in the World who is allowed to take a Flame Thrower through the Airport in Ladakh? I ask.
It is also because He always comes back as the Same Person, says the Owner. This seems to Rule Out being the Dalai Lama for the Rest of Us, says the Owner.
That seems a Bit Unfair, I say.
You can Hardly Blame Him, says the Owner. He might otherwise find himself as Schopenhauer, says the Owner. Imagine what he might do with the Flamethrower, says the Owner.
You are being So Awkward about this, I say, that I think you probably were Schopenhauer, I say. Sort yourself out, I say. I am coming back as a Cheese Farmer, say. I shall expect you there, I say. Turn Up, I say. With a Fridge, I say. Otherwise where will I get my Lollies, I say.
The Moral Dog is Misinterpreting the Concept, says the Owner.
I am Not the Only One, I say.
Sometimes you just can’t have a Sensible Philosophical Conversation with her.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.