I’m in the process of editing essays I’d written some ten years ago. They form the basis of my philosophy, which I continue to develop in my novels. Over the next few months, I shall publish three collections of 52 essays each, as eBooks, to reduce the cost for the readers. [Eternity is from Beyond Religion III. November 15, 2000].
Many religious leaders assure us that should we manage to behave ourselves, we have a good chance to be rewarded with a permanent residence in heaven. There, according to those aspiring theologians, we shall shed all worries, forsake all ills, rise above all evil, all pain and suffering. We shall also terminate all efforts, give up strife and striving, content ourselves to just be. Like gods. Eternal, unchanging, unfeeling, indifferent. Being integral to That which is All Knowing, we would lose all interest of discovery. Being above and beyond human emotions or intellect, we would neither feel nor think. Being integral to Love Itself, we would no longer merely love someone. Having all, we would desire nothing... basking in the Eternal Light of Eternal Intelligence, devoid of personality, of friends or enemies, ever unconcerned. We shall have reached the desireless state of Being.
Think about it again. We shall spend eternity in a state of Being, relishing our immortality. We shall perhaps retain a vague awareness of our individuality, of individuality we once had, perhaps enjoyed, but mostly we shall be immersed within the Ocean from which we once emerged. We shall enjoy the inexplicable Bliss of Being. This is what heaven is all about. It is about having one’s Being in abundant Bliss.
On and on... and on... Forever.
Eternity is a very, very long time...
Are you sure this is what you want?
If God is so happy just Being, and surely God IS, why did He (She, It) create man? Or better still––the world? Or even more so, why did God create the evolutionary process, which led, under His omniscient guidance, to an entity through which, eventually, He found a mode of being endowed with self-awareness?
Or is it the mode of Becoming?
I have written before, as have many seekers of Reality, that God has no being other than through a mode of being. It now seems, that if we are one such mode, then we, locked into the state of continuous becoming can offer but this mode to our Creator. It seems that in heaven God IS. On earth, and surely God is omnipresent, God shares in our mode of Becoming. At least for six days out of seven we, humans, provide this mode. Some, who wish or can, may attempt to take Sunday or Saturday off to merge into a state of being, but the rest of the time we are busy becoming.
Surely, this is as it should be.
We are given all the equipment to improve this earthly condition. While in heaven, or on Sunday, we may enjoy rest, detachment; but our reason for being here, on earth, is to improve and continue improving the mode of becoming. And unless we are prepared to give up the joys of conquest, of self-discovery (for all discovery is, in a sense, self-discovery), of manifesting Love through loving, of manifesting Intelligence, Creativity, through all forms of activity, we must remain on Earth. Or some other planet. Or on planets of billions upon billions of other stars, swirling within billions upon billions of other galaxies, perhaps within countless other universes. But ever becoming. Forever providing the euphoric joy of being instruments of the Infinite Love, Infinite Intelligence, Infinite Life.
Worlds without end.
Do you still want heaven as your permanent, eternal abode?
I once wrote an essay on Being and Becoming. It now seems that I must expand my understanding of our modes of being. Isn’t this what life is all about? To grow in understanding? I remember my friend’s frustration when she cried: “It’s too late to agree with me, I’ve changed my mind!” I still hold that successful contemplation enables us to become one with the object of our attention. It enables us to merge with the Essence of our Being, to lose our identity within the Ocean of our origin. But...
But now it seems to me that, when it happens, when we succeed in stepping out the constrains of time and space, when time comes to a stop hovering for a blissful instant on the fringe of Eternity, and when we experience ultimate Oneness, then such an instant is a reward for providing the Infinite Consciousness with a willing vehicle through which It too might enjoy the mode of Becoming.
For although ever is a very, very long continuance, Eternity is but an instant beyond temporal duration.
Kapuscinski, Stanislaw BEYOND RELIGION Volume I. [Inhousepress, Montreal 1997, 2001, eBook 2009]