Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Mystical Possibilities?


"...other things talking in unkown tongues,
And notes of busy life in distant worlds
Beat like a far wave on my anxious ear."
(Tennyson)

I once heard a philosopher speaking about eternity, they defined it as 'an infinite extent of time, in which every event is future at one time, present at another, past at another.'

I found this an interesting definition, which caused me to think about how infinity looked. Does infinity have no beginning and no end? What is time that has no beginning and no end? And can time be defined without eternity or eternity without time? All good questions I thought to myself, (or maybe I need to get out more). I mean, could it be that eternity time is going on forever but in two different directions? The remarkable Meister Eckhart thankfully brought some order to my chaos. He suggests that the Biblical God gave His name to Moses as 'I am' and so concludes that this is indeed a most profound statement - further suggesting that it is the same as Christ saying, 'I am', that is, he is in eternity itself while Abraham is in time - therefore, he 'was' not 'is'. Those who live in the light of eternity always are and are never subjected to the becoming of 'was' and 'will be' (I know, it hurts my head too).

Eckhart concludes that 'eternity is the absolute present, and the absolute present is living a sono-mama life, where life asserts itself in all its fullness.

As i say, I probably need to get out more, but my thinking comes from thinking about the soul and where it resides and journeys to. Maybe our soul is the invisible geography that invites us to new frontiers? Mystic friend John O'Donohue speaks of the idea of expulsion being at the heart of birth (Eden). He begs the question, maybe the reason Adam and Eve left Eden was not so much that they were expelled but that they were banging on the door/gates to see what else was out there. That maybe the screams of a new born baby are the cries that long to be led back to shelter because they think they are about to die - the scream is 'let me back to shelter'?

And so maybe that's how we view death and eternity - because we only see it from one side

I don't know, not even sure what i'm trying to say. All i know is that this rambling is a search for, and longing for the real presence of the divine, that pure presence where we get clarification of our own blurredness so we can maybe enter into that presence of God. It seems to me both death and birth are closer companions than we realise.

As i've said before, too many of us i think neglect our minds and so never awaken our hearts....

11 comments:

Society's Elite said...

great thoughts...

as a kid, i always got scared at the thought of the afterlife because i saw it as "neverending"... i was afraid i would get bored to death in heaven and then, like you said about adam and eve, i'd want to get out! but since it "never ends", there is no getting out! so you could say heaven scared me a bit (and i grew up catholic, so the thought of hanging out with those 'old saints' for eternity seemed pretty boring)...

i've tried wrapping my finite brain around that concept and came to similar thoughts as you... thanks for providing another way to think about the eternal...

oh, and since i never got to share a beer with you since you're in the UK and i'm in NJ, let's make it a point to hit the best pub on the "other side"...

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

hey society
my head still hurts - drinking earl grey tea at 4am cos i can't sleep!
beer sounds better, and since it's about 11pm your time, that's what you might be doing...

a beer in the garden state sounds a great idea...somewhere on the jesrsey shore near asbury...

Awareness said...

"Maybe our soul is the invisible geography that invites us to new frontiers?"

Our soul is where eternity resides, or perhaps it is where it isn't so darn scary? Like Society, I also feared this concept, and still do I think. I sometimes feel the same when I look out at a black sky full of stars and see the milky way.....and wonder how I can get my head around the possibility of endless.

I'm tripping over my thoughts here.....and keep deleting what I have written. Since I have all of eternity....there's no rush, right?

Welcome back, Paul.

Rainbow dreams said...

What a work out for the grey matter! Lots to think on...

Eternity and infinity go along with the universe and other topics my daughter sometimes likes to discuss and ask about - usually in the car at nighttime, looking at the moon and stars, intrigued that there are no concrete answers, and that in a sense I am in the dark just as much as she is, only I have had longer to think about it.. and try to unravel my thoughts into some kind of coherence that can be communicated...

sometimes I think she understands things far more than I do, in an intuitive way, where you just know and feel, as opposed to having questions answered, but still asking the questions anyway.

It's almost a childlike trust and faith of being cared for, for ever, and so for ever isn't so scary if you know you are loved for all eternity...

I am also reminded of times I have witnessed something similar just before someone dies - a peace of mind and security to be able to reassure those left that they mustn't worry about them, that they will be ok - and I do wonder where it comes from.

now I'm off to do something mundane to clear my head! cheers

Tori said...

I am grateful that I am always in my head and therefore completely connected to my heart. It is entirely exhausting but I wouldn't trade it for anything. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Kate's Typewriter said...

i think infinity, eternity, is one of the few things in life that actually scares me. and so, invariably, i'm desperate for it. fear can be delicious.

does it cycle? is it linear? is heaven somewhere else, or will it be here? does heaven exclude the continued refining processes of God, or was C S Lewis on the right path in a grief observed? and if our souls already are in touch with eternity, so to speak, why aren't we able to bring that mindset into life here? i'm getting all tangled up.

tennyson. if he were alive, i'd sell myself to him as a slave.

paris parfait said...

The idea of time and infinity still gives me a headache, but I believe there's so much more than we know. Your last paragraph is spot on.

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

sorry for being so silent and not responding to your kind words, observations, opinions etc - not much in the tank these days - feel as thnough i have very little to say that has any meaning...

dana,
couldn't agree more, thta's why it scares the shit out of me...and yet, yes, we ahve all the time in the world (and beyond)

katie,
my matter seems to lost on it all, rambled thoughts that make my head hurt - maybe i should do something mundane too

Tori,
exhausting it is, but you are right, we wouldn't really change a thing, would we?

Kate,
A grief observed is a remarkable bunch of words. Jack really was one of a kind. So you'd slave yourself to Tennyson - now there's a blog, who would we slave ourselves to?
Helen Mirren gets my vote right here right now...

Paris,
thank you, glad your headache makes sense - my headache subsided a little the other day during a beautiful rendition of the hymn 'How great thou art' - don't know if that makes sense - it somehow did to me...

Awareness said...

Paul, I think you should pose the question of who we would slave ourselves too. interesting thoughts......am intrigued by Kate's choice. Tennyson was such a sensuous mystic. His poetry shimmers with Victorian repressions seeping through the pictures he draws with his descriptive words. Whenever I read one of his poems, I feel a sense of being pulled in and captured by his romance. And yet, there is also a sense of sadness too intertwined....perhaps it stems back to the Victorian mores...you can ache for it, but you have withold release.

I had never considered that fear could be delicious, but perhaps it really is. Maybe it is when we are trembling in fear, we begin awaken our minds thereby setting a fire in our hearts.

Interestingly though, CS Lewis said that fear and grief felt the same.

interesting comments and thoughts....love like you've never been hurt.....

Awareness said...

ooooo.......one more thing.....maybe Tennyson wanted to love until he ached......his yearnings feed our own.

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

dana, maybe i just will - though God knows who would answer it!! Kate sure picked a gem to slave herself to.....Tennyson, blimey!

Maybe fear is attractive, seductive even - maybe that's why the Torah says it is the genesis of wisdom.....

...Victorian mores....blimey....Again!

ps, Lewis had it right me thinks......watch this space for the blog, answers will be interesting I'm sure