Sunday Morning: Sum

This is a short film by Temujin Doran based on the work of neuroscientist and writer David Eagleman’s book Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives:

“You spend two months driving the street in front of your house, seven months having sex. You sleep for thirty years without opening your eyes. For five months straight you flip through magazines while sitting on a toilet. You take all your pain at once, all twenty-seven intense hours of it. Bones break, cars crash, skin is cut, babies are born. Once you make it through, it’s agony-free for the rest of your afterlife.

But that doesn’t mean it’s always pleasant. You spend six days clipping your nails. Fifteen months looking for lost items. Eighteen months waiting in line. Two years of boredom: staring out a bus window, sitting in an airport terminal. One year reading books. Your eyes hurt, and you itch, because you can’t take a shower until it’s your time to take your marathon two-hundred-day shower. Two weeks wondering what happens when you die. One minute realizing your body is falling. Seventy-seven hours of confusion. One hour realizing you’ve forgotten someone’s name. Three weeks realizing you are wrong. Two days lying. Six weeks waiting for a green light. Seven hours vomiting. Fourteen minutes experiencing pure joy. Three months doing laundry. Fifteen hours writing your signature. Two days tying shoelaces. Sixty-seven days of heartbreak. Five weeks driving lost. Three days calculating restaurant tips. Fifty-one days deciding what to wear. Nine days pretending you know what is being talked about. Two weeks counting money. Eighteen days staring into the refrigerator. Thirty-four days longing. Six months watching commercials. Four weeks sitting in thought, wondering if there is something better you could be doing with your time. Three years swallowing food. Five days working buttons and zippers. Four minutes wondering what your life would be like if you reshuffled the order of events. In this part of the afterlife, you imagine something analogous to your Earthly life, and the thought is blissful: a life where episodes are split into tiny swallowable pieces, where moments do not endure, where one experiences the joy of jumping from one event to the next like a child hopping from spot to spot on the burning sand.”

Source: Brainpickings – How You Spend Your Life: A Cinematic Sum of the Hours, Days


  1. I need to read this again and again…and the book? In the front of the queue..

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Only 77hours of confusion, David? Boy oh boy, I’m well ahead of that stat… 😉 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Only 14 minutes of pure joy? Impossible. I’ve just spent three years swallowing food.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Love this creative perspective! Great post and video David.
    18 days staring into the refrigerator …. better get on it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Counting, counting, counting …. still joyful!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow. Such an interesting perspective. It has me thinking about how I am spending my moments. :0)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. In my after life no one is shuffling the events into any new order.
    I LOVE it just the way it is.
    He has a new book out, doesn’t he?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “Fourteen minutes experiencing pure joy”… ??? Oh, tell me it isn’t so! I know it’s not so. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This afterlife must be one of the circles of Dante’s hell.

    Liked by 1 person

There are so many great moments.. that we don’t recognize…
    “(We are) mayflies
 (1037 – 1101)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Bam–this punch landed right in the solar plexus. MUCH grist for the mill here, pal……

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Stunning break I often think about the hours of my life I will never get back that I have spent ( and will spend) drying my hair (yet I refuse to cut it…)….I love this actually, this is akin to how I think about how we spend our energy – in ways that are in some way an investment (gratitude) Or a ‘down the drain’ (too easily annoyed) kind of way – and this is how we let our pennies of time drop every single!!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. 18 days staring into the refrigerator and only 14 minutes of pure joy? I need to re-prioritize big time!

    Liked by 1 person

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