Don't let your schooling interfere with your education.
~ Pete Seeger

Friday, April 4, 2008

Thoughts on Eternity

Mathematically, eternity is a point, not a line.

Let me explain.

Eternity is frequently viewed as time extending out infinitely. This view is ubiquitous in religious dogma, where the fear of suffering in hellfire and damnation is harnessed as a means of social manipulation and control. Or, to remove the evaluation from that statement, eternity simply means the future, or the past, extending forever in either direction. It has nothing to do with the present, or, as Eckhart Tolle puts it, “the Now.”

As a practical matter, though, placing eternity into the past and future renders it meaningless. How can any human relate to infinite time? The earth is what, five billion years old? And in five or ten billion more, it won’t exist. Who can comprehend it?

Bringing eternity back to the present – the only practical way to look at it – makes it useful and incredibly meaningful. Think about it. What time do we actually have? Only right now. That is all we will ever have. Two minutes from now is the future – it doesn’t exist and never will, as a human experience. Two minutes ago is past, and can only be experienced in memory. We live, we breathe, we die, now. And now is all we have. Now and eternity are synonyms.

What does that mean for the words of Jesus, or other Bible figures?

It means a lot. It means that heaven and hell are not future events, but present experiences. It offers us an escape from fear, a path of love, a way to live in the present and embrace completely our lives right now. It is incredibly empowering.

Eternity is the point at which we live our lives. If one's life is hell now, it is hell for eternity, because it is one's experience in the only time that exists. It’s a good sign that we ought to do something to fix it.

And we can; every moment we have the choice of changing something within our lives to meet those needs that are currently unmet.

1 comment:

Ashes To Life said...

I like that. A lot. Good perspective.

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
~Helen Keller

Reading List for Information about Transpeople

  • Becoming a Visible Man, by Jamison Green
  • Conundrum, by Jan Morris
  • Gender Outlaw, by Kate Bornstein
  • My Husband Betty, by Helen Boyd
  • Right Side Out, by Annah Moore
  • She's Not There, by Jennifer Boylan
  • The Riddle of Gender, by Deborah Rudacille
  • Trans Liberation, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transgender Emergence, by Arlene Istar Lev
  • Transgender Warriors, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transition and Beyond, by Reid Vanderburgh
  • True Selves, by Mildred Brown
  • What Becomes You, by Aaron Link Raz and Hilda Raz
  • Whipping Girl, by Julia Serano
I have come into this world to see this:
the sword drop from men's hands even at the height
of their arc of anger
because we have finally realized there is just one flesh to wound
and it is His - the Christ's, our