The Nature Of Eternity

  1. The prospect of eternal life has been the source of endless interest, concern and debate for thousands of years.   The ancient Egyptians, for example, frequently buried their dead with the necessary essentials to sustain physical life, including symbols such as cargo-laden ships, as the departed embarked on their sojourn across the mystical abyss.   Historically, people in every culture on earth were never in doubt that life continued.  Christians point to the words of Jesus who spoke to a dying thief, “Today, you will be with me in paradise.”  Christians also suggest that his resurrection is “proof” that life is eternal. 

  2. Proof is not needed. Life is eternal.  Like the vastness of the universe, reality does not hinge on anything we think or believe about it.  It simply is.  Those who preach fear have suggested Heaven and Hell are the only alternatives as though they are geographical locations where spirit beings are rewarded or relegated to a place of everlasting torment.  These labeled destinations are little more than the moral equivalents of Good and Evil or Pleasure and Pain.  According to numerous Christian teachings about eternity, the quality of judgment coming from either God or Jesus depends on how well we learned to conform to God’s will while alive in our physical forms.  Translated, this teaching could mean that to receive the “reward” of eternal life, people must find “the pearl of great price” even though they may have been born in Tibet and reared in a Buddhist home where the word “Jesus” might have no significance.  Teachings and beliefs do not determine what is as automatic as the orbits of planets around the sun.

  3. We are developmentally challenged when it comes to understanding eternity because our primary education reinforces only the symbols known within our physical world.  We may excel within our environment because we understand these symbols and have learned how to use them to succeed in physical life.  For example, we find a partner and our relationship evolves through an exchange of loving energy.  We take a job and rise within the company because of the skills we bring to it.  We release our interpretation of past memories that evoke regret or remorse and find peace, or we learn to detach from the symbols of this world and discover the wealth inherent in timeless wisdom.

  4. Yet to master what is invisible appears to be the central challenge of life.  To understand such a reality, we must be born again, i.e., learn to think much differently.  We must learn from cues that have no connection to forms that exist in the material world.  Regardless of what we have been taught, our task is to become as invisible as the cues we seek to follow.  Self must disappear.  We must sow seeds without a desire for recognition.  No one can see the being that chooses to become a creative spirit.  We only know how to label observed qualities as patience, forgiveness, caring or giving without counting the cost.  Likewise, we only see the results of God’s creative abilities, not the invisible Spirit that intentionally wove the infinite tapestry of human possibilities.

  5. Eternity has nothing in common with the material realm. In fact, there are no words in any human lexicon that can describe the environment.  While we imagine every conceivable image such as hovering spirits who have not crossed over (ghosts) or devils and demons that lurk in the shadows, most of these icons of fantasy are based on natural extensions of our physical experiences.  What remains beyond our senses can only be described in terms that are equally invisible.  As stated above, we experience the results of love, compassion, patience, kindness, forgiveness and peace but not the spirit that made the decision to give these qualities form.

  6. Imagine a level of consciousness where form is meaningless, where communication is intuitive and telepathic and where all deeds done while in our solid forms create consequences that only remain energetic in the physical world.   Imagine a consciousness where power is measured by our invisibility, humility and creativity.  Levels of consciousness separate beings very much as they do here.  These levels have no connection with Divine reward or punishment.  For example, entities who have evolved to more creative levels of awareness may not be known by those who still cling to passions and desires in which they invested so much of their energy while in the physical realm.  Transition from our solid forms is initially disorienting for those who made no allowance for such a possibility.  Yet like all others they awaken as though from a dream.

  7. Poets who attempt to capture the essence of this level of being have described eternity in physical terms. Once Kahlil Gibran wrote, “Is it not your breath that has erected and hardened the structure of your bones?  And is it not a dream which none of you remember having dreamt, that built your city and fashioned all there is in it?  Could you but see the tides of that breath you would cease to see all else.  And if you could hear the whispering of that dream you would hear no other sound.  But you do not see, nor do you hear, and it is well.  The veil that clouds your eyes shall be lifted by the hands that wove it, and the clay that fills your ears shall be pierced by those fingers that kneaded it.  And you shall see.  And you shall hear.  Yet you shall not deplore having known blindness, nor regret having been deaf.  For in that day you will know the hidden purposes in all things, and you shall bless darkness as you would bless light.”

  8. Ultimately, reality is what it is.  For those who KNOW, their immortality is not a primary focus that motivates them to create with love.  Eternity is a reality that cannot be earned.  It is not a gift nor is it a reward.  Each phase of existence has its purpose.  The miracle is that we do not need to trust God for this to be so.  Trusting in the possibility of immortality, however, does enhance the desire for skill development, skills for confronting our fears and allowing our lives to flourish with gratitude.  We transition just as we are and this is Divine Justice.  Divine Justice translates into the invisible qualities of mercy and forgiveness and has no linkage to punishment.  God has no need to punish.  God allows each of us to be whom we are where we are.  God knows that eventually we will learn to master the art of creation on higher levels than the ones we currently dwell.  Impossible?  If only we knew now what we have the potential to be, most of what we value would fade in the blink of an eye.  Our salvation is that we do not remain in our solid forms even though some of us dream of finding the right gene combination that would grant us perpetual youthfulness.  When we leave our forms, clarity in understanding is our first awareness.  Everyone from the Pope to suicide bombers will understand that reality beyond this life is nothing as they imagined.  They will know that earth was the perfect classroom regardless of their level of consciousness.  Many more experiences wait as evolution beckons us to continue our journeys.