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The Golden Verses Of The Stoic

Seneca and Epictetus refer to the Golden Verses of Pythagoras , which happens to provide a good framework for developing a daily routine, bookended by morning and evening contemplative practices. Zeno of Citium , who founded Stoicism in 301 BC, expressed his doctrines in notoriously terse arguments and concise maxims.  However, Chrysippus, the third head of the Stoic school, wrote over 700 books fleshing these ideas out and adding complex arguments to support them. 

The soul(s) of the Chimera

This is perhaps a bit deep for blog posting, but it has been on my mind since starting the novel Winter's Harvest.

One of the characters is a Chimera, which I'm sure most of you have figured out from the amount of time I've spent researching the subject. The idea of a chimera is that you have two different embryos, and one has been completely absorbed into the other.

Now, if we look at the (very controversial) question of 'when does life start', this condition brings up the interesting point of how many souls does the chimera have?

Let us (for the duration of this blog posting), take the answer to the question of the beginning of life, as the moment of conception.

Since this is the standard answer for most Christian religious groups, it should not be too much of a shock to suggest that the beginning of life would also be the moment the soul is present in the prenatal form/body. Perhaps it is however, I find that many discussions and articles of this nature tend to make unwarrented assumptions as to the state of things. I am making this assumption based on the idea that the breath of God is the beginning of life, and thus assuming the presence of a soul at the moment of life.

In the chimera, the second child is not killed, but absorbed by the primary twin. So, the question I have is the state of the primary and secondary souls.

In a practical area of pondering, let us take a story line that has the primary twin as a Cain, a real bastard, who in 25 short years of life, has racked up enough death sentences to cause a state-wide power shortage if they were all to be executed on his mortal form.

Now, even though it is only up to God, let us also assume that damnation is the course for our primary twin after the death sentence is carried out.

What is the state of our secondary twin?

I would like to think that this secondary twin, if he exists, is understood to be a complete innocent, that although he has been exposed to the world, the world has not been exposed to him. --- but I wonder about this as well. Two souls could also suggest two areas of influence on the actions of the body and the beliefs of the mind.

There are cases where the communication between the right and left hemispheres of the mind have been damaged and/or severed. This severing creates two distinct persona, two minds, inside the same body, with the existence of a primary personality (normally the one that got to keep the speech centers of the brain).

Such a state could also be created by the existence of a binary-soul chimera, and in fact, in chimeras, portions of the brain are from one of the twins, while parts of the brain and even portions from the same areas of the brain, are from the other twin.

Since this is an underlying theme within the plot of Winter's Harvest, I'm having to consider several possible resolutions to this quandary.