What is eternal?
People have sought to discover unchanging facts about the creation we inhabit throughout recorded history, and probably before, through spiritual introspection, philosophical analysis and scientific experimentation. Although many interesting facts have been discovered and insights that have changed thinking emerged (for example, the concept of sustainable development) it is as if the horizon continues to be in the distance and all answers produce more questions. Perhaps it is possible to suggest that the problem is beyond the human mind and therefore, eternity is beyond definition. However, this does not prevent our curiosity and besides, as some would answer, it is the journey of discovery that is more important than the destination.
As our technology has improved (see both the optical and radio pictures of distant galaxies included above and aside), we have been able to examine both the very distant in time and space (concepts that have now become merged thanks to the theory of relativity) and the very small, using wave lengths that human senses are not normally aware of. Even the most recent research suggests that there is no end to the universe and quantum mechanics has replaced the idea of indivisible particles with an insubstantial concept that can be observed as either particle or wave but is both and neither and more like an ‘idea’. Also, at this strange quantum level, communication seems to transcend time and space and intelligence appears to be a property that infuses creation. Maybe this explains why I and others imagine ourselves to be part of a universal mind.
Spiritual is a word sometimes used to describe people who seek to probe and, indeed, communicate with this greater presence. Spirituality lies at the heart of and is an important part of most faiths and religions but seems to be independent of all. However, to be part of a community that values and shares spiritual experience can help a personal quest. For example, I have benefitted from being part of the Anglican Christian tradition for all my life but I have also learnt a lot from studying literature originating from many of the other great religions and faiths, listening to and reading independent testimonies and studying both philosophy and science. There is evidence from research that spiritual enquiry benefits both physical and mental health. Whatever your aims and reasons for examining the mystery of the ‘eternal’, the papers, listed below, are offered to encourage visitors to this web site to seek their own experiences and, perhaps, share them.
• A Grace