Author Topic: Eternal being?  (Read 762 times)

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Offline RobS

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Eternal being?
« on: March 05, 2018, 09:29:46 PM »
My human existence is finite. I die. We are always living in this state of finitude. When that finish comes, existence ends, being ends and there is in fact nothing. The one thing that can never be avoided is this nothingness into which we inevitably vanish. Nothingness is an existential condition that all humans must face: the possibility of our own impossibility.

In the face of this frightful inevitable possibility, we construct an ontology in which there is something and there always will be something. But this is inauthentic.

Existence is only meaningful (i.e., things only exist) while you are alive. Nothingness is inevitable and fundamental.

Kierkegaard was the first to explore this in The Concept of Dread, where he argues that nothingness wells up into our awareness through moods and emotions. Our existence is constantly directed at "something" (we are mad at something, amused by something, love something). But this is accompanied by a constant backdrop of dread that all the somethings are contingent on our continued existence, which will end, leaving nothing.

Heidegger asks in "What Is Metaphysics?" why is there something rather than nothing at all? He argues that draw back from the concept of nothing and cannot "think it" since our existential structure is shattered by this inevitable state. Human existence, and philosophy itself is ultimately groundless. But according to Heidegger, that's why were free, indeed, doomed to be free.

Doesn't Christianity transform this finite human existential condition into something else after our baptism? We are no longer temporal finite beings, since mystically we have died and risen in Christ, and after we "walk in newness of life". If what it means to be human is this basic state of finitude but now we are gifted eternal life, how can we say we are human anymore? Death no longer has any power over us, we no longer need to despair over it. What does Christianity make of this nothingness? Maybe I'm wrong here...

What I still have trouble grappling with is being, meaning and consciousness exist together. And since consciousness is mine but also finite, being too ends with death. Being is subject to time. So how could an eternal being...well be? Who I am is finite, so wouldn't I be someone other in an eternity?

Maybe this is why faith is thrust on us with such urgency...

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 09:30:40 PM by RobS »
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Modernist thinking and being consists of nothing but uncritical acceptance.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Eternal being?
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2018, 10:21:21 PM »
My human existence is finite. I die. We are always living in this state of finitude. When that finish comes, existence ends, being ends and there is in fact nothing. The one thing that can never be avoided is this nothingness into which we inevitably vanish. Nothingness is an existential condition that all humans must face: the possibility of our own impossibility.

In the face of this frightful inevitable possibility, we construct an ontology in which there is something and there always will be something. But this is inauthentic.

Existence is only meaningful (i.e., things only exist) while you are alive. Nothingness is inevitable and fundamental.

Kierkegaard was the first to explore this in The Concept of Dread, where he argues that nothingness wells up into our awareness through moods and emotions. Our existence is constantly directed at "something" (we are mad at something, amused by something, love something). But this is accompanied by a constant backdrop of dread that all the somethings are contingent on our continued existence, which will end, leaving nothing.

Heidegger asks in "What Is Metaphysics?" why is there something rather than nothing at all? He argues that draw back from the concept of nothing and cannot "think it" since our existential structure is shattered by this inevitable state. Human existence, and philosophy itself is ultimately groundless. But according to Heidegger, that's why were free, indeed, doomed to be free.

Doesn't Christianity transform this finite human existential condition into something else after our baptism? We are no longer temporal finite beings, since mystically we have died and risen in Christ, and after we "walk in newness of life". If what it means to be human is this basic state of finitude but now we are gifted eternal life, how can we say we are human anymore? Death no longer has any power over us, we no longer need to despair over it. What does Christianity make of this nothingness? Maybe I'm wrong here...

What I still have trouble grappling with is being, meaning and consciousness exist together. And since consciousness is mine but also finite, being too ends with death. Being is subject to time. So how could an eternal being...well be? Who I am is finite, so wouldn't I be someone other in an eternity?

Maybe this is why faith is thrust on us with such urgency...

Thoughts?

I think it depends on where you're starting from. For Hamlet, death is "The undiscovered country from whose bourn No traveler returns" so it makes sense to have to grapple with the problem of nothingness. But Christianity says, not only HAS Someone returned from death, but that to be absent from the body is to be home with the Lord. We have to reconsider our concept of self in light of eternity, rather than eternity in light of our limited experiences, if that makes any sense.

Now, that having been said, I do experience a certain sense of angst when I think of the massive changes I would go through in the process of theosis if I made it to Heaven, so I can see where you're coming from here. On good days, I like me and don't want to be changed into something different. On the other hand, I figure that if I ever went through such a change, I would naturally learn to like it and that objectively, I shouldn't be so focused on my pile of dirt that I forget about the trip to the beach, as CS Lewis put it.


It's likely part of the reason why this is one of my favorite Scriptures:

Quote from: 1 John 3:2
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

And of course, since everything in me already comes from God, and keeping in mind the "acorn growing into a tree" analogy, whatever I become in the end will inevitably have a lot of me in it already.

So, I guess what I'm saying is, that I don't think I have a lot to worry about after all.

Sorry if this is garbled or unhelpful.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 10:25:29 PM by Volnutt »
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Online Asteriktos

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Re: Eternal being?
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2018, 10:28:55 PM »
My thoughts on this one...

Doesn't Christianity transform this finite human existential condition into something else after our baptism? We are no longer temporal finite beings, since mystically we have died and risen in Christ, and after we "walk in newness of life". If what it means to be human is this basic state of finitude but now we are gifted eternal life, how can we say we are human anymore? Death no longer has any power over us, we no longer need to despair over it. What does Christianity make of this nothingness?

I don't think Christians are given or promised eternity as something separate from what we previously had (or were headed towards), but rather the difference is simply that believers vs. non-believers are promised a certain experience of eternity. I would agree that the soul is not immortal by nature, but on the other hand souls can be said to be immortal by grace, in that God has said that none of us will blink into non-existence or be annihilated after death (for example this is how some understand 1 Cor. 3:15, including St. Mark of Ephesus and St. John Chrysostom).

Quote
Doesn't Christianity transform this finite human existential condition into something else after our baptism?

There does seem to be talk of transformation, not just in a spiritual sense, but even in a very physical sense. And this dematerialization (/spiritualization) seems like it might make an interesting thing to explore, but I think it's a separate issue from what your main concern seems to be.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 10:34:32 PM by Asteriktos »
"when Mme. Vauquer lay down to rest on the day of M. Goriot's installation, her heart, like a larded partridge, sweltered before the fire of a burning desire to shake off the shroud of Vauquer and rise again as Goriot." - Balzac

Online Asteriktos

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Re: Eternal being?
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2018, 07:04:35 PM »
Though it occurred to me that, also, in a sense, some would say that we do not truly live, or become alive, until we know God, or follow Christ, or something along those lines. Perhaps this is what was in part meant.
"when Mme. Vauquer lay down to rest on the day of M. Goriot's installation, her heart, like a larded partridge, sweltered before the fire of a burning desire to shake off the shroud of Vauquer and rise again as Goriot." - Balzac

Offline Tzimis

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Re: Eternal being?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2018, 08:45:21 PM »
My human existence is finite. I die. We are always living in this state of finitude. When that finish comes, existence ends, being ends and there is in fact nothing. The one thing that can never be avoided is this nothingness into which we inevitably vanish. Nothingness is an existential condition that all humans must face: the possibility of our own impossibility.

In the face of this frightful inevitable possibility, we construct an ontology in which there is something and there always will be something. But this is inauthentic.

Existence is only meaningful (i.e., things only exist) while you are alive. Nothingness is inevitable and fundamental.

Kierkegaard was the first to explore this in The Concept of Dread, where he argues that nothingness wells up into our awareness through moods and emotions. Our existence is constantly directed at "something" (we are mad at something, amused by something, love something). But this is accompanied by a constant backdrop of dread that all the somethings are contingent on our continued existence, which will end, leaving nothing.

Heidegger asks in "What Is Metaphysics?" why is there something rather than nothing at all? He argues that draw back from the concept of nothing and cannot "think it" since our existential structure is shattered by this inevitable state. Human existence, and philosophy itself is ultimately groundless. But according to Heidegger, that's why were free, indeed, doomed to be free.

Doesn't Christianity transform this finite human existential condition into something else after our baptism? We are no longer temporal finite beings, since mystically we have died and risen in Christ, and after we "walk in newness of life". If what it means to be human is this basic state of finitude but now we are gifted eternal life, how can we say we are human anymore? Death no longer has any power over us, we no longer need to despair over it. What does Christianity make of this nothingness? Maybe I'm wrong here...

What I still have trouble grappling with is being, meaning and consciousness exist together. And since consciousness is mine but also finite, being too ends with death. Being is subject to time. So how could an eternal being...well be? Who I am is finite, so wouldn't I be someone other in an eternity?

Maybe this is why faith is thrust on us with such urgency...

Thoughts?


Thoughts. As long as it doesnt hurt to much when it happens. Than I'm ok with it.  :D
Im guessing, but when we die our spirit may not be affected by space and time any longer since it is a new spirtual creation. Our consciousness having transferred to our spirit possibly. So the moment we die may also be the moment of our resurrection. Unaffected by time . It would be like getting into a time machine to the second coming.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Eternal being?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2018, 10:06:50 PM »
My human existence is finite. I die. We are always living in this state of finitude. When that finish comes, existence ends, being ends and there is in fact nothing. The one thing that can never be avoided is this nothingness into which we inevitably vanish. Nothingness is an existential condition that all humans must face: the possibility of our own impossibility.

In the face of this frightful inevitable possibility, we construct an ontology in which there is something and there always will be something. But this is inauthentic.

Existence is only meaningful (i.e., things only exist) while you are alive. Nothingness is inevitable and fundamental.

Kierkegaard was the first to explore this in The Concept of Dread, where he argues that nothingness wells up into our awareness through moods and emotions. Our existence is constantly directed at "something" (we are mad at something, amused by something, love something). But this is accompanied by a constant backdrop of dread that all the somethings are contingent on our continued existence, which will end, leaving nothing.

Heidegger asks in "What Is Metaphysics?" why is there something rather than nothing at all? He argues that draw back from the concept of nothing and cannot "think it" since our existential structure is shattered by this inevitable state. Human existence, and philosophy itself is ultimately groundless. But according to Heidegger, that's why were free, indeed, doomed to be free.

Doesn't Christianity transform this finite human existential condition into something else after our baptism? We are no longer temporal finite beings, since mystically we have died and risen in Christ, and after we "walk in newness of life". If what it means to be human is this basic state of finitude but now we are gifted eternal life, how can we say we are human anymore? Death no longer has any power over us, we no longer need to despair over it. What does Christianity make of this nothingness? Maybe I'm wrong here...

What I still have trouble grappling with is being, meaning and consciousness exist together. And since consciousness is mine but also finite, being too ends with death. Being is subject to time. So how could an eternal being...well be? Who I am is finite, so wouldn't I be someone other in an eternity?

Maybe this is why faith is thrust on us with such urgency...

Thoughts?


Thoughts. As long as it doesnt hurt to much when it happens. Than I'm ok with it.  :D
Im guessing, but when we die our spirit may not be affected by space and time any longer since it is a new spirtual creation. Our consciousness having transferred to our spirit possibly. So the moment we die may also be the moment of our resurrection. Unaffected by time . It would be like getting into a time machine to the second coming.

I'll grant your "time travel" if it's a resurrection into our bodies. The resurrected body is probably not subject to time and space in the same ways that we are, of course.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline Tzimis

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Re: Eternal being?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2018, 10:47:31 PM »
My human existence is finite. I die. We are always living in this state of finitude. When that finish comes, existence ends, being ends and there is in fact nothing. The one thing that can never be avoided is this nothingness into which we inevitably vanish. Nothingness is an existential condition that all humans must face: the possibility of our own impossibility.

In the face of this frightful inevitable possibility, we construct an ontology in which there is something and there always will be something. But this is inauthentic.

Existence is only meaningful (i.e., things only exist) while you are alive. Nothingness is inevitable and fundamental.

Kierkegaard was the first to explore this in The Concept of Dread, where he argues that nothingness wells up into our awareness through moods and emotions. Our existence is constantly directed at "something" (we are mad at something, amused by something, love something). But this is accompanied by a constant backdrop of dread that all the somethings are contingent on our continued existence, which will end, leaving nothing.

Heidegger asks in "What Is Metaphysics?" why is there something rather than nothing at all? He argues that draw back from the concept of nothing and cannot "think it" since our existential structure is shattered by this inevitable state. Human existence, and philosophy itself is ultimately groundless. But according to Heidegger, that's why were free, indeed, doomed to be free.

Doesn't Christianity transform this finite human existential condition into something else after our baptism? We are no longer temporal finite beings, since mystically we have died and risen in Christ, and after we "walk in newness of life". If what it means to be human is this basic state of finitude but now we are gifted eternal life, how can we say we are human anymore? Death no longer has any power over us, we no longer need to despair over it. What does Christianity make of this nothingness? Maybe I'm wrong here...

What I still have trouble grappling with is being, meaning and consciousness exist together. And since consciousness is mine but also finite, being too ends with death. Being is subject to time. So how could an eternal being...well be? Who I am is finite, so wouldn't I be someone other in an eternity?

Maybe this is why faith is thrust on us with such urgency...

Thoughts?


Thoughts. As long as it doesnt hurt to much when it happens. Than I'm ok with it.  :D
Im guessing, but when we die our spirit may not be affected by space and time any longer since it is a new spirtual creation. Our consciousness having transferred to our spirit possibly. So the moment we die may also be the moment of our resurrection. Unaffected by time . It would be like getting into a time machine to the second coming.

I'll grant your "time travel" if it's a resurrection into our bodies. The resurrected body is probably not subject to time and space in the same ways that we are, of course.
Sure. The body which is a natural body and soul like Adam. Is transformed at baptism to a spiritual consciousness. While at the same time retaining the old body. So the process has already begun in the believer even before we physically die. What remains is that the seed when planted will resurrect into a new non perishable version of our body. The spirit not being bound by space and time will instantly be at the resurrection right after death. So there will never be a time when consciousness is lost.