PaulS

Hope For Eternal Life - Why?

50 posts in this topic

Fullness of Life?

Continuation of life?

Beatific Vision?

Heaven

Oneness

Unity

Communion

Faith in God

Real Self

 

All proper nouns?

 

Dismissing the beliefs of others ... no more so than you might be dismissing mine?

But whether I am dismissing the beliefs of others or not is irrelevant in that I do not (or might not) share them.

Is arguing against a belief dismissing it? Recognizing that beliefs come and go in individuals and societies at large is that dismissing?

Thinking that some beliefs are more accurate than others is that dismissing those less accurate beliefs?

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Maybe we should just stay in the present, not worry about the future or try to figure out where everyone went wrong in the past. I keep reminding myself that happiness is living and enjoying life as it is after we are free from the mental process of sorting things out and trying to make everything into what we think it should be like. We can’t be happy with life and the brilliance around us until we open up to our potential, it is not a goal or something to achieve, but a condition where we accept the pleasant and unpleasant in ourself. When we are happy we don't worry about what comes after death, happiness will either continue or end and at 69 I am close to finding out.

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I agree,Soma. No sense in arguing about peoples' beliefs, which are generally set in stone. It's probably best not to get too excited about the good things and not too upset about the bad things. Enjoy the ride or not as one sees fit.

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The older I get the more fun I have. People might think it is dimensia, but I just want to forgive, forget and let things happen.

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Thanks all for taking the time to respond. It is fun to discuss I think, but not something I get hung up on. As expected, we share a variety of beliefs/thoughts here on the matter.

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Posted (edited)

 

All proper nouns?

 

Dismissing the beliefs of others ... no more so than you might be dismissing mine?

But whether I am dismissing the beliefs of others or not is irrelevant in that I do not (or might not) share them.

Is arguing against a belief dismissing it? Recognizing that beliefs come and go in individuals and societies at large is that dismissing?

Thinking that some beliefs are more accurate than others is that dismissing those less accurate beliefs?

 

First, proper names are used merely for emphasis. This is not unusual, merely a preference, nor am I alone in this approach. I have at times used the lower case also.

 

As for me dismissing you - merely look back where I have written in this section that both sides (which obviously includes my views) are beliefs or opinions and neither side can prove its case. I have not dismissed your’s or other views.

 

Further, I said that I might have misread you with your use of the word fad for Christian belief in the afterlife. It seemed to be a dismissal of those opinions, almost as if they were unworthy of consideration. I disagreed with the characterization but again allowed I might have misunderstood. But now you seemed to confirm, saying that it is irrelevant if you dismissed them if you don't share them. There is a difference between not sharing certain beliefs of others and dismissing them.

 

Just want to know the PC etiquette on this because in the past there have been a number of views that I and others don't share but didn't 'dismiss.' Belief in the afterlife has not been short lived or a craze both of which characterize fads (a fad might be the head-band I wore - only on occasion - while in college).

 

Arguing is fine, passion is welcomed, recognizing that none of us 'knows' the answer is important, being careful with how one characterizes the views of other is, I thought, essential.

 

Let me know if this still goes :+}

Edited by thormas
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Posted (edited)

Maybe we should just stay in the present, not worry about the future or try to figure out where everyone went wrong in the past. I keep reminding myself that happiness is living and enjoying life as it is after we are free from the mental process of sorting things out and trying to make everything into what we think it should be like. We cant be happy with life and the brilliance around us until we open up to our potential, it is not a goal or something to achieve, but a condition where we accept the pleasant and unpleasant in ourself. When we are happy we don't worry about what comes after death, happiness will either continue or end and at 69 I am close to finding out.

I think this is a denial of our humanity.

 

Humans are biologically programmed to avoid pain, to seek pleasure and to grow in experience. To live in an eternal present would be a life without love, aspiration or reflection and a constant repetition of suffering. Living only in the present would be hell, not heaven.

 

Thankfully, living in the present is only a momentary illusion like Michael Jordan's hangtime.

 

Attempting to live only in the present is a brief respite from alienation or existential terror at best. At worst, it is a psychotic reaction which shuts out reality in favor of a soothing self delusion.

Edited by Burl
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I think this is a denial of our humanity.

 

Humans are biologically programmed to avoid pain, to seek pleasure and to grow in experience. To live in an eternal present would be a life without love, aspiration or reflection and a constant repetition of suffering. Living only in the present would be hell, not heaven.

 

Thankfully, living in the present is only a momentary illusion like Michael Jordan's hangtime.

 

Attempting to live only in the present is a brief respite from alienation or existential terror at best. At worst, it is a psychotic reaction which shuts out reality in favor of a soothing self delusion.

 

Michael Jordan’s hang time was reality on the physical plane he worked hard and perfected it; I don’t think it was an illusion except you are right it was temporary flight. Living in the present is an illusion if we have difficulty being in the present, which is difficult, but I think it is worth it. The alternative is to live in the history of the past which is alright and we all do it, but we will never be able to change it good or bad or we can live in the mystery of the future which usually causes people anxiety and to be nervous. Some of the pain you referenced is depression from living and reliving past traumas or worry about the future, in my case living in the present is life and the actions I take in the present seem to make my future. I feel living in the present is an act of responsibility, which you might have been referring to because we accept where we are in the moment, altering our course from the past: therefore, making changes in our direction. I don’t think we are ever going to heal the past living it over and over because it is gone, but life is happening now. Since my hang time is not as long as Jordon’s and the older I get the shorter it is, I don’t want to postpone love and happiness for the future.

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So you are not really living in the present. You are living in a teleological arc towards the future, correct?

 

Most people look at the past and can see how their present was formed. Everyone has some anxiety related to occasional past events, but in large I think most people find their past a source of satisfaction and look to their future with hopeful anticipation.

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I think you are right most people look to the past because it is hard to be present, but i feel it is worth a try. It is good to be positive and have hope for something in the future, but I like happiness and love now.

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Posted (edited)

My take was that Soma was not denying the past but as he later explained it is a decision, and I suspect an 'art,' to being present, which is always 'now.'

Like there is an art to listening, to truly being there as opposed to being distracted by what you did or what you have to do - it is only being present that is acceptable to most wives/women. An interesting wisdom there.

 

The present is always informed or formed by the past (at least in part) and by being present, one is, I believe, laying some of the groundwork for the future.

 

Burl, I think the optimist, the hope filled and/or the lucky people "..... find their past a source of satisfaction and look to their future with hopeful anticipation" but perhaps not so much for victims of abuse, war, terror or who have been forced to struggle to just exist.

 

If I have misinterpreted please let me know.

Edited by thormas
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Thomas you are right we can't reject the past it is a part of us and I feel we have to accept it to be present. That is good advice you gave it married or dating.

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Posted (edited)

Our perception of the present (now) seems to be a few tens of milliseconds in the past up to three seconds.

 

Having said that where else but the present are we? ... OK we might be reliving some past event or planning for some future happening or perseverating about something or another. Or just be miles away.

 

 

Jordan's hang time? If he is above the rim longer than his opponents it is because he jumped higher.

Edited by romansh
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FYI.....Jordan's hang time was clocked at .93 seconds compared to the average of .53. I don't think it's an illusion if it can be objectively measured. Personally I think basketball is the most beautiful of sports, and Michael Jordan was probably the best (no offense to Kobe Bryant fans). Actually, Pele is a close second!

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FYI.....Jordan's hang time was clocked at .93 seconds compared to the average of .53. I don't think it's an illusion if it can be objectively measured. Personally I think basketball is the most beautiful of sports, and Michael Jordan was probably the best (no offense to Kobe Bryant fans). Actually, Pele is a close second!

 

Galileo will be surprised.

 

Played basketball in high school, university and other sundry times

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1YnnVSeGNQ.

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I'm open to there being an afterlife. There was an uncanny occurrence in my family that was compelling enough to make me wonder. But I don't really hope for it or yearn for it. It will be just a nice surprise if there is. Christians have made it into this complicated thing with rules, qualifications, and expectations. I'm ok with closing my eyes and never opening them again. Like you said, I'll never be conscious to mourn the lack of after life.

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I'm open to there being an afterlife. There was an uncanny occurrence in my family that was compelling enough to make me wonder. But I don't really hope for it or yearn for it. It will be just a nice surprise if there is. Christians have made it into this complicated thing with rules, qualifications, and expectations. I'm ok with closing my eyes and never opening them again. Like you said, I'll never be conscious to mourn the lack of after life.

Hello Fatherman!

 

Actually there is no afterlife in Christianity.

 

There is eternal life where consciousness present now continues past the death event, through a waiting period and eventual resurrection but there is no death of consciousness nor is there any 'after' anything. That afterlife business is kinda stuck in community belief and preachers get sucked into it the same as many others, but that is not the imagery in the Gospels.

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Posted (edited)

I'm not as orthodox as that, Burl, so I don't feel the need to debate on the subject. My belief is not dependent on scripture. I'll call it a personal belief. It's something I believe because of something that happened to a member of my family.

Edited by fatherman
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Eternal life simply means that your consciousness continues after death.

 

Hello Fatherman!

 

Actually there is no afterlife in Christianity.

 

I don't speak for all of Christianity, but I do know that much of Christianity DOES hold the view that there is an afterlife. Many Christians believe they will live in an eternal spiritual heaven after this earthly life. I know many who don't regard heaven as a holding place, but as the end destination. Now it's not my intention to argue for either version but rather just to point out that there is no single version of afterlife that ALL of Christianity agree to, however a life in heaven or a renewal that Burl proposes are both contingent on a consciousness living into eternity. That's the discussion point the thread is trying to raise - why is eternal consciousness considered important to some people?

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I don't speak for all of Christianity, but I do know that much of Christianity DOES hold the view that there is an afterlife. Many Christians believe they will live in an eternal spiritual heaven after this earthly life. I know many who don't regard heaven as a holding place, but as the end destination. Now it's not my intention to argue for either version but rather just to point out that there is no single version of afterlife that ALL of Christianity agree to, however a life in heaven or a renewal that Burl proposes are both contingent on a consciousness living into eternity. That's the discussion point the thread is trying to raise - why is eternal consciousness considered important to some people?

Yes, it is a common belief but it comes more from Plato and Milton than the Bible. Much of what I post here is trying to present an accurate biblical view, not the folksy common beliefs that we were typically taught as children. Everything needs to be dumbed down for children and beginners but the members of this board are beyond that.

 

If you search the bible in the original languages for 'heaven' you will find it is a rare term. 'Eternal life' is not, esp. in the Gospels. Commonly these terms are synonymzed, but they are not the same.

 

The importance is that anxiety about death is a human characteristic. One can repress, deny or sublimate that anxiety but it is still there. Most here intellectualize it away, which is a superior defense mechanism, but the anxiety is still not removed.

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The importance is that anxiety about death is a human characteristic. One can repress, deny or sublimate that anxiety but it is still there. Most here intellectualize it away, which is a superior defense mechanism, but the anxiety is still not removed.

 

 

Yes, it is a common belief but it comes more from Plato and Milton than the Bible. Much of what I post here is trying to present an accurate biblical view, not the folksy common beliefs that we were typically taught as children. Everything needs to be dumbed down for children and beginners but the members of this board are beyond that.

 

Hmm, not sure where you would get the evidence to support the notion that nobody escapes anxiety about death.

 

If people deal with death such that they have no anxiety about it (e.g. they intellectualise it away) then there is no anxiety about death. You can't have it both ways (i.e. say that they have dealt with it but then say that they haven't).

 

I know several people who are extremely comfortable with death and aren't the slightest bit anxious about eternal sleep. In fact, one will be heading off to that bed in the not too distant future, and they are not the slightest bit anxious. The last person I knew well who died I visited the day before his death in hospital and he wasn't the slightest bit anxious either. As we all know, death is a part of life. The ones that seem anxious to me seem to come from the group of people who believe in something after this physical body craps out.

 

As for your interpretation of an accurate biblical view, you may well be right, but to say there is no afterlife in Christianity does seem to go against if not the majority, then at the very least a very, very large number of Christians who interpret the bible differently (rightly or wrongly). One could say that there is definitely an afterlife according to Christianity - I mean even your version is really an after life - it is 'after' this 'life'. It is different to this life. It is not the same as this life. One does die. Therefore, there is an afterlife according to your interpretation of the bible.

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Speaking of death i remember when my father died. He was neither religious nor spoke of God. He believed when you are dead you are dead. He drank quite a bit until he was diagnosed with liver problems at 77 years old. He stopped drinking and managed to squeeze out about another year. I came to see him (600 miles apart) and he indicated he was ready to leave so i should say my goodbyes and head back home. He didn't want a lot of fuss or even a funeral, just cremation. I asked him for any words of wisdom he might have for me and all he said was "Son, drink plenty of water, its basic". I said my goodbyes and he seemed at peace and according to his wife died a couple days later peacefully. If you ask, i would say i think it will be anxiety free for me. But the future is hypothetical and it seems to me one never knows until the time comes. My words of wisdom might be " Take things lightly and Enjoy the moment".

 

Joseph

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Life and death are one, people are living and dying and the moment I was born I was dying. I don’t feel anxiety about it because in this life I have already died many times, in my meditation, changing life style, country or mindset is a death. I don’t think about it when I left India I landed in Tehran in 78 just in time for the revolution, people were dying but I didn’t think about death I lived every day blessed with good people, feelings and new knowledge and that brought on a good sleep, which is a kind of death every night. In the 60s my parents kicked me out of the house and disowned me another death, that was painful, but a blessing in disguise because it propelled me into the universe. I moved back to Reno to be with my parents as they moved closer to death and that was a blessing, they had some hard times but I think they welcomed it and slid into it like sliding into a cold river that is refreshing. The sliding into the river for them didn't seem painful at all, peaceful, but their clinging to life, the river bed seemed painful. Death is not a serious loss; the loss I feel is the spark that dies while we are living then people are in hell, a mindset in the present not after death. Rumi says, “Be like a tree, let the dead leaves drop.” Go with the flow through the ultimate act of individualization, another experience of life where the trees show us how every autumn.

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On 6/1/2017 at 8:27 AM, JosephM said:

Son, drink plenty of water, its basic"

FYI, I took your dad's advice today.  Plenty of water!

 

Soma, thanks for sharing part of your story.  Helpful to me.  For me, coming to terms with death has freed me up to live more peacefully.  A while back, my son attempted suicide and I suffered tremendously with the thoughts and images of what could have happened.  I remember I was hiding out under the trees by the side of my house sneaking a cigarette, hoping to find some sort of comfort.  It was the only day in my life where I believed that I was living in a godless world.  He was awfully silent.  But I remembered something a former pastor said once.  "Sometimes you have to lean into the pain in order to overcome it".  I accepted my son's death with serenity in that moment.  I accepted that I had no control of his living or dying.  Peace dawned on me and has stuck with me through many more trials.  It was a hard-earned peace, but it taught me the importance of acceptance in all of the livings and dyings of our lives.

 

 

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I think the appeal for many Christians is the possibility of continuity of relationships.   It's not so individualistic as worrying about "where I go when I die".   I see this particularly emphasized in the Orthodox Church and their communion with the departed through prayer and in the liturgy.  But you can even hear it in classic Gospel music.  It is a denial of the finality of death, not necessarily a denial of death itself.  And for the early church, that was a definite emphasis as well.  "Where oh Death is thy sting?"

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