21 June 2011

Eternity Can't Arrive

I heard a line in a song today about waiting for eternity, or preparing for arriving in eternity.  The gist of the message was that once this life is over, we become eternal beings, and we somehow enter into eternity.  I wanted to tell the singer not to wait, because eternity’s never going to arrive, and we’re never going to “enter into” eternity even after we die.  The simple fact of the matter is that eternity is going on right now.  Eternity is here, and it always has been.  There’s no way really to step out of eternity, for we’re completely immersed in it, our entire lives long.

A concept like eternity really doesn’t allow for a beginning and an end.  It always is, always has been, and always will be.  So it makes little sense to be “preparing ourselves for our eternal afterlives,” as some religions teach us we should be doing.  You and I are already in eternity, and we’re living eternal lives right now.

I love the idea that we are eternal beings experiencing a short experience on this planet as human beings.  We aren’t mortal creatures longing for eternity, but eternal creatures here for a while.  We are not our bodies, but our spirits–the bodies simply allow us to experience humanity in its earthly form.

I don’t claim to know what forms we take in our eternal essence.  I’ve forgotten that.  But I do know that as eternal beings, we were somewhere.  Wordsworth wrote that “Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;/The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,/Hath had elsewhere its setting,/And cometh from afar:/Not in entire forgetfulness,/And not in utter nakedness,/But trailing clouds of glory do we come/From God, who is our home:/Heaven lies about us in our infancy!”  And I feel very strongly that he was right.

So look about yourself.  Recognize the eternal aspect of everything in your sight, and recognize the eternal elements of who you truly are.  Get to know yourself on an eternal level, and you’ll start to see the many wonderful gifts that we’ve been given with which to enjoy this experience here as much as you can.  You are eternal, and eternity is right now–it always has been, and it always shall be.

Our creator would never have made such lovely days and have given us
the deep hearts to enjoy them, above and beyond all thought,
unless we were meant to be immortal.

Nathaniel Hawthorne

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