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 yourstillhere
Joined: 7/30/2008
Msg: 1
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A thought regarding EternityPage 1 of 1    
I spent many of my younger years in Catechism.
It was twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) for a couple hours each class.

Some were spent in the classroom of a small, older school building with either the cranky old lady who was a DEVOUT Catholic (boring and stuffy) or the smokin` HOT single lady who just had`nt found the right man yet
(my brothers and I favorite class).... and some were spent with one of the 2 priests who ran the church, Father Don, and Father Conan.
Every once in a great while, we`d get a special visit from Father Clemens, who was VERY old and in a wheelchair for what seemed like my entire childhood and early teen years.
I think he was 177 last time I seen him.

Anyhow, obviously I learned more from the priests than I did the women, beings that in my younger years women were either hot or not, and I would`nt be paying any attention to the curriculum either way.

During one class with Father Conan he was talking about eternity. He asked us if anyone could understand just how long eternity really is, since its never ending. A few good ideas came up, but Father Conan had one the best that I`d ever heard and it inspires some deep thought.

He said to first, imagine that our sun were turned into a giant, solid steel ball.

Now imagine that upon this great big steel ball, there were placed an ant.

Now this ant is eternal, never dies, and his body never wears out, ever.
He likes to walk, and he never stops walking.

Now imagine that he takes off walking on this steel sun.
How long do you think it`d take this tiny ant, for all his many, many, MANY footsteps, to wear this steel ball down to until its too small for him to walk upon anymore?

And when he`s done with our sun, he moves on and begins walking upon all the other stars in our entire universe until they are worn down too.

As long as that would take, that amount of time would not even be anything close to what eternity is.

~Father Conan~
 LOLTrump
Joined: 3/7/2017
Msg: 2
A thought regarding Eternity
Posted: 7/21/2017 7:40:55 PM

How long do you think it`d take this tiny ant, for all his many, many, MANY footsteps, to wear this steel ball down to until its too small for him to walk upon anymore?


The answer is never.

For two reasons.

1. The ant does not have enough mass to create enough friction to cause any wear.

2. If it could cause wear, that matter would still exist and at best you could have a giant dust ball.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
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A thought regarding Eternity
Posted: 7/22/2017 5:14:20 AM
I have occasionally enjoyed toying with the idea that concepts like eternity and infinity carry a person's thoughts and perceptions ever onward, until I begin to suspect that eternity and infinity are not nouns. They are verbs.

Infinity is to always be in motion. And eternity cannot be conceived of, while one is themselves static in a single moment of time. So it must be an activity as well.
 yourstillhere
Joined: 7/30/2008
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A thought regarding Eternity
Posted: 7/22/2017 11:14:41 AM

The answer is never.

For two reasons.

1. The ant does not have enough mass to create enough friction to cause any wear.

2. If it could cause wear, that matter would still exist and at best you could have a giant dust ball.


None of us kids were smart enough to think of that.
 gingerosity
Joined: 12/10/2011
Msg: 5
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A thought regarding Eternity
Posted: 7/22/2017 2:34:12 PM
I prefer Hendrik Willem Van Loon's forumlation:

"High up in the North in the land called Svithjod, there stands a rock. It is a hundred miles high and a hundred miles wide. Once every thousand years a little bird comes to this rock to sharpen its beak. When the rock has thus been worn away, then a single day of eternity will have gone by."
 aremeself
Joined: 12/31/2008
Msg: 6
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A thought regarding Eternity
Posted: 7/23/2017 4:20:22 PM
That's not correct either, but it does start to put it in a language that most mortal humans can identify with.
Eternity is simply, was, and will be forever.
What's so mystifyingly about that?

I know, I know...........

And

Like, why did it take so long for a universe to show up?

Well,

You would think that even if it happened 50 million trillion quintillion bazillion kabillion x zabillion eons ago.

You would still say, why did it take so long?
 LOLTrump
Joined: 3/7/2017
Msg: 7
A thought regarding Eternity
Posted: 7/23/2017 6:42:04 PM

That's not correct either, but it does start to put it in a language that most mortal humans can identify with.


Are you implying there are humans that are not mortal?
 aremeself
Joined: 12/31/2008
Msg: 8
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A thought regarding Eternity
Posted: 7/23/2017 10:24:55 PM
Yeah, I'm gonna die.
 BeckyHT
Joined: 1/1/2013
Msg: 9
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A thought regarding Eternity
Posted: 7/24/2017 3:16:40 PM
I am just very glad my childhood wasn't spent in any classroom run by any 'devout' religious persons.

True freedom is to be free of any entity or teachings which take control of you.
 Yule_liquor
Joined: 12/7/2011
Msg: 10
A thought regarding Eternity
Posted: 7/24/2017 5:03:09 PM

During one class with Father Conan he was talking about eternity. He asked us if anyone could understand just how long eternity really is, since its never ending. A few good ideas came up, but Father Conan had one the best that I`d ever heard and it inspires some deep thought.


Religious definitions of "eternity" don't often line up with what it really amounts to. They are often used as metaphors for after life grandeur, so I'll try to make it basic.

Eternity invokes something everlasting; and invariably immutable.
Death is eternal, simply because it cannot be otherwise....hence the term "eternal rest"

Infinity and eternity are often used interchangeably, but it is incorrect.
"infinity" has been used as a fudge-factor by humans when their cognitive resources/tools are not capable of defining an end-point. An example of this is the so-called "singularity" that spearheaded the "big-bang/creation" of our Universe. Nobody can tell you what this singularity is (its nature, source, etc); thus it is a point of infinity...but certainly not eternal
 norwegianguy456
Joined: 6/11/2015
Msg: 11
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A thought regarding Eternity
Posted: 7/24/2017 9:29:01 PM

How long do you think it`d take this tiny ant, for all his many, many, MANY footsteps, to wear this steel ball down to until its too small for him to walk upon anymore?

I don't like that view, because well, first, you could say that'd turn into a black hole. And black holes technically dissipate over time - lol. But let's say it's a thin sheet of solid metal and there's some force inside keeping it from gravitationally collapsing upon itself, fine. Although the ant itself is doing hardly anything to erode it -- the matter is still going to decay away, although it's going to Feel like "forever". So yeah, from the human perception -- it is pretty much eternity from what we can wrap our brains around.

But I think a better way of looking at it is not in terms of length of time. It'd be more like the Groundhog Day movie with Bill Murray. The day's repeated over and over and over again -- except there is no way out. Time itself doesn't have an ending. It loops around. The next "day", is the same day from where it began, in the reference point of time in existence... except not like the movie, things still carry on from the last day, into the next *repeated* "day". In a nutshell, there is no outer level of "time", but you just Experience time interactively.
 Inicia
Joined: 4/12/2015
Msg: 12
A thought regarding Eternity
Posted: 7/26/2017 8:31:07 AM
An absent blind date..
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