By Carlos Eire
What's eternity? Is it something except a only summary proposal, absolutely unrelated to our lives? an insignificant desire? A frightfully doubtful horizon? Or is it a sure bet, shared through priest and scientist alike, and a vital point in all human relatives? In a truly short historical past of Eternity, Carlos ireland, the historian and nationwide ebook Award-winning writer of looking ahead to Snow in Havana, has written a super heritage of eternity in Western tradition. Tracing the belief from precedent days to the current, ireland examines the increase and fall of 5 diverse conceptions of eternity, exploring how they built and the way they've got assisted in shaping person and collective self-understanding. A publication approximately lived ideals and their dating to social and political realities, a truly short background of Eternity is usually approximately unbelief, and the tangled and sometimes rancorous relation among religion and cause. Its topic is the most important topic of all, one who has taxed minds nice and small for hundreds of years, and should perpetually be of human curiosity, intellectually, spiritually, and viscerally.
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Extra resources for A Very Brief History of Eternity
It depicts a serpent or dragon devouring its own tail and forming a circle. ” It has multiple meanings but is most often interpreted as a symbol of eternity and infinity, especially of a cyclical nature: creation out of destruc tion, life out of death, eternal renewal and destruction. This symbol shares in the symbolic meaning of the circle, with an added organic twist, blending a perfect geometrical shape with a biological entity that represents nature and the physical world. Circles represent eternal life and perfection and serve as barriers, or boundaries between the inside and the outside.
Perhaps tougher, for they lacked spices and antibiotics, and didn’t have three hundred channels of television programming to distract them. And no cocktails, either. Thinking and feeling that one must exist is part and parcel of human experience. Conceiving of not being and of nothingness is as difficult and as impossible as looking at our own faces without a mirror. As Miguel de Unamuno put it almost a hundred years ago, “Try to fill your consciousness with the representation of no-consciousness and you will see the impossibility of it.
This is why one may say: no ontology, no eternity. At least not the eternity that was conceived in the West. ) and teleology (thinking about and determining the end or purpose of anything). When it came to epistemology, self-reflexive questions needed to be raised about the ways in which the human mind—limited as it is by sense perception and its finitude—could grapple with thinking about that which is limitless. And teleological ques tions also had to be raised, for when thinking about the or der of things, and their proper end or fulfillment, one must necessarily examine why they came to exist in such-and-such a way in the first place and how the “such-and-such” relates to time and flux.