Gather ’round, Children, and I’ll tell you how to find my next incarnation.
Yes, yes. I know that you were worried, with my poor health, but who knows how to run this organization better than me? I couldn’t leave you hanging like that. Regime changes are always a time of great upheaval. It would just be easier if I came back.
To this end, I have devised a secret test, the answer of which will be given to one person. That person will give every applicant the the test to find out which one is me. Of course, being the one who made the test, I will know the answer. All others will be given a nice parting gift of lingering suspicion.
When you find me, find me young. The younger, the better, for then I shall be granted longer time to study my way back up. Perhaps I shall reach my pinnacle sooner the next time. Look for the spark that reminds you of me. You’ll know it when you see it.
Lock me away from all outside influences and give me only the writings of great thinkers, of which I shall list. Mix in some of my own writings for flavor. I will have a hard time remembering who I was, so this must constantly be reinforced until I no longer doubt it.
Mind you, do this with love. Still afford me every honor of the titles I hold, and continue to bow in reverence. It will be hard for me to relearn all that I know now, but it will be easier if I know that everyone appreciates the effort.
Continue that and you’ll have another me. Is it reincarnation? Perhaps. The energy that is me might continue on, and I will try my best to redirect it. If not, I have given you the recipe to make another one of me, because this is how I was made. I have made some improvements in my time in this role, and I shall pass it on with the collected knowledge of the ones who came before, in the hopes that I can do it again better next time.
On second thought, wait a while. Find me when I am a teenager. I have had some dreams of late that I will wish to pursue. I have a deep regret for what I might have missed back then…
What’s that? Yes, you are probably right, my friend. Dukkha. The earlier I start, the better chance I have of breaking free of the cycle and be changed. 43rd time’s a charm, right?
In the end, it is an ancient experiment. Pick someone with potential, give them every chance and resource to achieve in a completely sterile environment and see if you came make one transcend. Take notes and try again.
It was never about authority, though the time a reincarnated being has spent steeping in the foundations of the belief would put them ahead of most scholars, just generally.
The goal was to build an archtype. Every hereditary system uses this as the core. Kings promise to produce issue of their same caliber, and enlightened masters use this to provide a blue print to build another, only this time better.
It is a legacy of sorts, one which outlives buildings and trappings. An eternal bet against Fate, that it is just mapped out perfectly and every word is said at just the right time, I’ll win at this Game of Life.
I started out as a random kid once. This is what they achieved with that kid, and I almost made it. I glimpsed the other side and I know I can get there if I just take another route. Turn left instead of right. I am too old to make the journey again, but maybe next time…
What was that? Vote on it?! Hahaha! That is funny. An inner faction will hijack the experiment to the benefit of some know-it-all, another faction will disagree and then the thing splits apart. There is no accountability and little direction. Might as well grab someone randomly out of the hallway…
Come to think of it, that is not a bad idea. Grab the next monk that walks by and I’ll assign him the ‘Keeper of the Keys of Knowledge’ or some-such. I’ll teach him the three main precepts that I want preserved and give him the holy charge of enforcing it. Tell him that he can have a helper and that he should start a little club. I’ll give him one of these doodads here to make it feel official…
Sorry? Oh! The Test! I got a little distracted there. Yeah, don’t worry about it. We have time. If we don’t get to it, you’ll think of something…