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Old 12-17-2001, 11:55 AM   #1
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I think eternity is a fascinating concept

Ever wondered what eternity would be like?

Christians believe that after Judgment Day, we will be with God in heaven forever, worshipping him. I used to think this sounded very boring, hence I asked myself the question 'Would I be bored in heaven?' which is also the title of an article worth reading by Keith Green. What do you think we'd do in heaven? Sit in front of God and sing for all eternity?

Somewhere in Revelations (chapter 12 I think), the Bible says that every tear will be wiped from our eyes, hence it implies no suffering? How can we get used to a life of no suffering if we have been living with it all our lives? And how could we feel joy if there was no sadness, since the two are both sides of the same coin? And in 1 Cor 13, 'now we see as thru a glass darkly, then we shall see face to face', implying that we will be enlightened to everything once we join God in heaven... how is that possible?

My theory to reconcile all this is that in Heaven, time stops. It just stops. Therefore, we don't sing songs of worship, we don't float around the ether like jellyfish, we don't play harps... Events don't happen in heaven because heaven stands outside of Time. The closest I can come to imagining such a thing is to visualize a single moment in time happening again and again forever and ever. We will simply be in a state (not geographical 'state' but a 'condition').

Why am I so interested in heaven? I believe that if we think of where we are going, it will determine how we go about our journey to that destination. It will determine how we live our lives.

What do you think heaven't gonna be like?

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Old 12-17-2001, 04:13 PM   #2
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Well, I wonder if heaven is in a higher dimension. In hyper dimensional theory we would view things very differently. Time would have already happened and be happening, you'd view it almost like a crystal. It's really impossible to perceive how we would view being in higher dimensions than our own, we can only approximate using the examples of the world around us.

But if hyper dimensional theory is close to correct, we would live in time completely different than we do now.

My theory is that in heaven, we can view all the wave dynamics and interference patterns of the universe. It's somewhat hard to explain without going into a long explanation of Holographic theory. But it boils down to someone in heaven not only being able to view their lives but also thought patterns and the lives and thought patterns of others. In short you would see the dynamics of everyone’s lives throughout history, and how everything effected everything else.

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My theory to reconcile all this is that in Heaven, time stops. It just stops. Therefore, we don't sing songs of worship, we don't float around the ether like jellyfish, we don't play harps... Events don't happen in heaven because heaven stands outside of Time. The closest I can come to imagining such a thing is to visualize a single moment in time happening again and again forever and ever. We will simply be in a state (not geographical 'state' but a 'condition').
I think so also, but it’s very hard to translate into our language without attaching our 4 dimensional perceptions to it. If heaven is a higher dimension, say one where even weak nuclear force has no effect, then essentially time would stop. Life, as we know it now, would simply be revealed to us. In fact according to holographic theory, we have the physical option, but lack the mental ability to do so already. I think God touches the minds of prophets and others to give them special awareness of our interference patterns.

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Why am I so interested in heaven? I believe that if we think of where we are going, it will determine how we go about our journey to that destination. It will determine how we live our lives.
I think so too, we are goal oriented people after all. In many ways I can see why it’s easier for people to view Heaven as a play where we play harps all day, just as it’s easier to view hell as a fire pit where demons torture us for eternity. But all these notions about the after life are just extrapolations that eventually become cartoons. Even are most truthful theories can’t come close because we can only perceive and theorize in our 4 dimensional perceptions. We can’t even picture how we will think living outside of the dimensions we do now. We don’t know how much we will change, even out thought processes.

Course, even though we won’t know till it happens, it’s still fun to think about.
Steve

P.S. the best illustration of what it would be like to live in a dimension higher than time is in Alan Moore’s THE WATCHMEN, it’s a $20 comic book in most bookstores, you can probably even find it in your college bookstore or library, many colleges study it for literary techniques, 80’s social commentary and mythology. There is a character in it, Dr. Manhattan(I think, he’s blue) who lives with time as a already happened/happening/will happen event. There’s a specific chapter that illustrates what it would be like wonderfully in a way that a prose book or movie never could.

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Old 12-18-2001, 02:26 AM   #3
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Old 12-18-2001, 03:08 AM   #4
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Heh heh, I read a book that had a chapter in it where the author had gone to heaven, and said it was cool for the first 1000 years, then just got boring and he wanted to 'die'. Said he was really really tired. Plus he'd won Wimbeldon 10 times, Us Open Golf 40 times (all involving records), owned 1 of every supercar, slept with every supermodel, eaten everything once, drunk everything once, jammed with Jimi till he was better then him etc etc you get the picture.
Anyway...I'll give you your thread back.
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Old 12-18-2001, 06:05 AM   #5
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Tyler, that is one of my favourite books ever! A History Of The World in 10 1/2 Chapters, by Julian Barnes. The idea I got out of that chapter was that heaven is not a place where one finds superlatives (eg., we can get the Best Fried Chicken, play our Best Games, have the Best Experiences). Rather, heaven is about lov. And Love is something eternal, time-less.

I just heard monsoon thunder... gotta log off, so bye for now.


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Old 12-18-2001, 07:47 AM   #6
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I'm not religious by any stretch of the imagination. However, I've always thought of heaven not as a place, but a state of mind.

But I don't really want heaven. To me the idea of a "place" where I would be reunited with loved one's and hero's long gone doesn't excite me. Think of famouse people...someone like Socrates or Ceasar would be mobbed. They'd tell the same story over and over and over and over.....

Anyway, I lean more towards incarnation. I don't believe that people remember past lives, but I do think that when you die you become a new person. While you might be poor in this life, in the next you may be rich, or vis versa. It has no relevance on what you did. I think everyone experiances every kind of life. Life is so varied that it continues as long as humans continue to exist or not exist.

Or maybe we're connected to the rest of the universe, and other parallel universes. So maybe we're human today, in the next life we're some exotic "animal" on some far distant planet. Who knows. I don't really think about the future too much these days. I'm to busy trying to live in the now.
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Old 12-18-2001, 11:28 AM   #7
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Well, I wonder if heaven is in a higher dimension.
Well, one way of seeing it could be that we would superior forms, or more solid forms, therefore we would be in a higher dimension. Perhaps like the heaven dwellers in C.S. Lewis's Great Divorce. Or, we would be superior forms like how spirit is more solid than material matter. The best example I can think of is from Sophie's World: Sophie asked her mentor why spirit is more solid than earthly material, if spirits can walk thru walls. He then offered an example of a person walking thru a mist. A mist is, of course, less solid than a human, hence it parted.

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In hyper dimensional theory we would view things very differently. Time would have already happened and be happening, you'd view it almost like a crystal.
Since I've never heard of hyper dimensional theory, this is hard to accept, since the very nature of Time is that it is linear...


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In short you would see the dynamics of everyone’s lives throughout history, and how everything effected everything else.
Sounds like a god-like view.

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we are goal oriented people after all.
Yep.


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Old 12-18-2001, 04:27 PM   #8
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From the signature right below :

"Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end" by Mr. Woody Allen...

I did not think a lot about eternity, but I think that I would find it too long, like Allen says, or that I would find it boring... God would say "Welcome to Eternity, my child" and I would probably answer something like : "Could you cut it shorter please ?". Bad joke, hhaaaa...

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Old 12-19-2001, 02:22 AM   #9
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this is hard to accept, since the very nature of Time is that it is linear...
I don't think it is, we experience it as linear because it is the only way we are capable of perceiving it in our present forms. But time is a dimension just as much as space(length/breadth/width) is.

I'm not good at explaining things, but the best example I can give is this:

Imagine time as a comic strip, your Dagwood, you wake up, eat breakfast, kiss Blondie and go to work. As Dagwood, you experience this sequence in linear order. But if you are a reader, who in essence exists in a higher dimension, you can read the strip however you want, backward, forward, skipping panels the whole time viewing the comic strip as a whole piece.

That's how science is currently viewing time from a higher dimension.

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Sounds like a god-like view.
I don’t think so really. Even though we could perceive time as a whole and view it such as, it doesn’t mean we would have the power to do anything about it. Who knows if we would even want to. do anything about the past in any case?

Though you may be right in one respect, such as when the bible talks about Gods sense of time and how to him a year is like a second and vice-versa.

I would encourage you to read HYPERSPACE by Michio Kaku and HOLOGRAPHIC UNIVERSE by Michael Talbot. Both are very easy to read, I know little about mathematics and have never taken a physics class and understood the books quite clearly. They are also a lot of fun to read, going into the personal histories of scientist and the development of different theories. Though I don’t agree with many of the conclusions, the theories are quite good and the authors take exasperating subjects and make them page turners.

Mostly though, if your really interested in the idea of eternity they are crucial books to read.



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Old 12-20-2001, 07:48 PM   #10
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The no suffering policy concerns me. It's the suffering, the experiencing that makes life worth living. I wonder if there really is no suffering there...probably...God doesn't lie. I think it's just too hard for us to understand...we're just humans. I am having a lot of problems with my Christianity right now. I am questioning it a LOT and I'm trying to find my place again (I pretty much lost it over the summer but didn't notice it very well until now). I have been trying to read the Bible, but I just can't. I don't know why I have such issues sitting down and reading it. I know that's the only thing that can really help me out here. I don't want to hear anything from crazy fundamentalists that force their thoughts unto me and anybody else who will listen. Maybe that's why I love U2 so much right now, especially the Gospel version of "I Still Haven't Found..." It makes me realize that I am not alone in this quest and although it will take me my entire God given life to figure out what to do in my last moments, that's ok. Nobody knows for sure. Believing requires a HUGE leap of faith. I fear I may be too cynical right now to make it successfully (that is, believe fully in what I want to believe in). Anyways, this is really long and ramble-onish. Sorry. But that's what I'm going through.

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Old 12-20-2001, 10:19 PM   #11
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It is fascinating, but not very satisfying--atleast not here on Earth--atleast not for me. The concept of eternity always leaves my mind boggling and my head aching. It's just such an immense amount of time, something I cannot comprehend. You always learn that "everything good must come to an end", right? I mean I've heard that phrase many times before. Heaven goes completely against this. There is no end, there is no wrong, it's just an extended amount of perfection. Incredible. I will never fully understand the concept of eternity in this life. I just know that I must believe in it with my whole self. My hope is that I can one day experience it, and then it will all make sense.
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Old 12-21-2001, 02:32 PM   #12
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Hi foray, many years ago now, my brother-in -law was doing his best to get me to join the Jehovah's Witness'(it really surprised and then pissed them off I knew the bible better than they did at the time. They had ignored that particular book until they needed "saving")
Anyway his trump card was eternity. One day I was sitting on the beach, a calm day, small waves lapping on the shore. I was overwhelmed with this powerful sense of "those waves have been lapping on that shore for eternity" Gave me a start it did.Eternity is a very very long time.Too long for me.
I think our duty is to do the best we can with this go around..anything else is a bonus. This idea of ... well if we F**K this one up, we can always have a second go...seems a cop out. It's the earth that needs respecting and saving, heaven can take care of itself.
I don't know anything about anything...but I did have that experience...and it was powerful.
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Old 12-21-2001, 06:12 PM   #13
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i have trouble w/ the concept of eternity, i Believe (even though my faith is a bit, actually, very shakey right now *sigh*) but i donno living forever just doesn't appeal to me .......and i always wonder if God looks down on my for it... so many questions; so few answers

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Old 12-22-2001, 12:06 PM   #14
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I'm lucky in that there are many moments in my life when I feel so much love that I wish it would last for etenity

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Old 12-23-2001, 11:22 AM   #15
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I don't really have anything new to add to the mix, I just thought I'd say you all gave me some interesting things to think over and consider.

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