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Editor's Essay: Part I
Will You Survive the Terror of Eternal Life?
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“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.” William Blake
When Georg Cantor presented his concept of “infinities upon infinities upon infinities,” a fellow mathematician confessed that he’d contemplated suicide at this frightful new view of reality. Imagining oneself “lost in space” is more than unsettling, but lost in an infinite number of infinite universes is more than a body can endure.
Elsewhere I’ve stated that my Word Gems writings constitute, for me, a kind of life-notebook relative to what’s real and how things work. I needed to write this article, primarily, for myself, my own concerns and trepidations regarding the future; secondarily, it’s written for family and close personal friends who “look over my shoulder” with interest concerning my findings. And, of course, anyone else who cares to take note is also welcome here.
Eternity and infinity have been “written into” our hearts and minds. It’s part of our very nature and being. As William Blake, above, commented, everything, everything dear to us and worth knowing, takes to itself an aspect of the infinite. This terrifies us.
how do you imagine spending eternal life
Some people, of course, deny any such proposition concerning an eternal life. It’s how they deal with a universal fear of death and the infinite. But this is just the inner-child “hiding under the bed” as the facts preach otherwise.
Religious people tend to see the afterlife in terms of the doctrines of their particular church -- generally, interminable cycles of praise, worship, prayer, hymn-singing, and the like. Others will consider all this stultifying religiosity a suburb of hell.
Some people, when they learn of the pleasures of Summerland, imagine themselves negotiating eternal life just as they might plan for retirement on Earth: a full schedule of sailing, or golfing, or beach-bumming, or hiking in the mountains, and many other amusements. Nothing wrong with any of this, and Summerland, indeed, is the place to go for endless choice of “Disney World" adventure; however, eternity is, well, a long time, and even sailing and golfing and beach-lollygagging might get a little old after a while and lose their appeal. As they say, “Is that all there is?”
Some religions think of the next life in terms of empyreal sexual thrill of the "70 virgins," but this is just John's dream writ-large concerning finding life-long happiness with a pretty Mary. Existential crisis will soon visit these naive ones.
And even finding one’s romantic Twin Soul, of and by itself, will not summon to us the permanent happiness. It takes more than just being with and enjoying another person to achieve eternal satisfaction.
Editor’s note: Let me modify this. We will not find the Sacred Beloved until our “inner music has been made pure”; a certain level of spiritual maturity is required. And so, while mere presence of a destined lover, of and by itself, will not save us, in a practical sense, by the time we are granted this blessing, we’ll have come to see life as it really is, and, therefore, one’s Twin, and her mere presence, will automatically become part of one's eternal happiness.
even when we've found happiness, it's not so easy to make it permanent
We are creatures that thrive only with purpose and meaning. Dr. Frankl created an entire school of psychiatry based on this concept, his “Logotherapy.” He was right. It takes more than fun and happy times to completely satisfy us. We need a better reason.
the ancient Greeks had it right: we have to 'live as the gods' in order to negotiate eternity
We’ve seen Dr. Barclay’s explanation of the New Testament Greek word for “eternal” life. It denotes much more than mere endless duration of existence. The classical Greek word focuses on quality of life not just quantity; of "living life on the level of the gods." The Greeks understood the difference between quality and quantity. We are not surprised to learn that extended continuation of consciousness, without more, could easily become another form of hell, with an invitation to insanity.
Editor's note: Think of Tom Hanks in "Castaway," alone and lonely, fighting for his mental balance, talking to soccer balls. Multiply his trial of a few years by billions -- and now we begin to feel the utter and abject terror.
Also, this true story: A student of Spirit-Guide Abu, Alfred, a fallen British soldier of WW I, in his youth had liked to lollygag and drift, not do very much. When he crossed over he found himself in a pleasant-enough world, but not too many people around and not too much to do. And so he decided to just while-away the afternoon sitting under a very nice shade tree. His fine "r & r" didn’t seem to end, though. It just went on and on and on. He didn’t know what to do, and so, for a long time, he just continued to nap and put his feet up. Eventually, however, he became really tired of lounging around all the time, with no one to talk to. His stress level reached a high pitch, and he wished that someone would come to help him. At the utterance of the request, a radiant lady Spirit Guide suddenly appeared to him, asking if he were really serious about living a responsible and productive life. He offered a most enthusiastic affirming response, as he couldn’t take much more of the interminable lollygagging -- and so she said, "Come with me." Later, having lost all track of time, he discovered he’d been in his lounging-world for over thirty Earth-years! He was more than glad for the rescue as he didn’t know how much more of this “good life” he could survive.
“Living as the gods,” for us, means that we must come to understand the requirements of our own divine natures. Materialism, in any form - even religious observance; or "John" as mismatched mate, as per Kairissi's insight - any attempt to add some aspect of externality to our "made in the image" spiritual “true selves,” will ultimately fail to satisfy us.
Editor’s note: This subject of the terror of living forever – with the impossibility of escaping oneself, even in death, which is an illusion – highlights the grave issue before us. We must learn how to enjoy our own existence, which is the most fundamental meaning and purpose of life. The importance of this problem becomes a question of sanity versus insanity. For all eternity, endless infinities of time, each of us shall be alone, imprisoned, if you will, within the confines of one’s own mental solitude. And if that “kingdom of one’s own mind” is not a benevolent rule, we will not do well. Dr. Adler’s old teaching of the classical meaning of a liberal education, the “education of a free man,” suddenly takes on vital and terrifying significance.
my real purpose in writing this article
All of the above items, in their various forms, have been discussed in many different Word Gems writings. But there is a new aspect of materialism, recently having entered my awareness, that I would like to make record of here.
one of the most unsettling discoveries in my 20+ years of afterlife-evidence investigation
One of the most shocking and disturbing discoveries in my 20+ years of afterlife-evidence investigation is the fact that, even among advanced Spirit Guides, many of whom have been working and living on the other side for many hundreds or even thousands of years, there is profound disagreement concerning the nature of life and reality; especially, at "the top" of human evolvement. See my article on the 500 testimonies from the other side.
How can this be? How can you have advanced Spirit Beings, of great age, devoted to selfless charitable-works as a profession, who, among themselves, disagree profoundly concerning a major aspect of what it means to be human and our role in the cosmic scheme of things?
This is a large subject. Allow me to approach it by offering something I wrote for The Wedding Song:
Do you believe in something that you've never seen before?
The Troubadour Spirit-Guides are not the only “brotherhood”-group who tantalize with unknown pleasures-to-come.
The other “non-romantic” philosophically-based Guides have their own version of this and speak of ascending, beyond Summerland, to higher and better realms, places where the “grass is greener,” the color of flowers more vibrant, the light more dazzling. Summerland is wonderful, but these other “upscale real-estate” worlds, we’re told, defy verbal description. It's something we've never seen before, and we need not doubt that such planes exist, as confirming reports abound.
What are we to make of this alternate “something you’ve never seen before”? After reviewing this issue for many years, allow me to offer my sense of what’s happening here. I’ll begin with the conclusion: The “non-romantic” Guides have not yet experienced the joy of the “union of spirits” with a Sacred Beloved and, as such, believe that the heights of social concourse and human relationship will be found outside the sanctified Twin-marriage union.
For example, I am thinking of a particular report from travelers, some of whom live in Summerland and also on planes of existence just beyond Summerland. These were granted “visiting rights” to spend a short time on one of the distant transcendental worlds. In their report of the “Disneyland” wonder and marvel witnessed, they attempted to explain their findings by way of metaphor, to the effect:
“Everyone we met was so loving, and it was so wonderful being with people so advanced, so cultured and refined and gracious. The feeling of ‘family’ and camaraderie was very pleasant and convivial – like a warm blanket, or a hot water-bottle on a cold night, or a glass of warm milk when you’re chilled. It was all so uplifting, more than words can convey.”
Well, it does sound great, and far beyond what we on the Earth must continue to deal with, “one damn thing after another,” as Churchill said. But is this the very pinnacle of joy? Is this the highest pleasure that Heaven has to offer? I couldn’t help but feel that there’s something wrong with this picture.
When they started talking about “warm blankets” and “hot water-bottles,” my innate impoliteness sprang into action with,
“Is this the best metaphor of joy and pleasure you can come up with? Have you never experienced even a hint of the joy of true love? – and I’m not just talking about the pleasures of the body. What kind of Victorian prudery and skewed sense of morality are we dealing with here?”
Little speeches about the adequacy of warm blankets, hot water-bottles, and warm milk on cold nights, should remind us of Mary’s soliloquy on her wedding day; a self-administered soothing bromide that didn’t convince her, either.
Nor did it cut much ice with Troubadour Spirit-Guide Margaret, always the prosecuting attorney for sacred romantic love, when she punched and jabbed with, “Is the maternal” love – or the philial – “greater than the conjugal”? No one who’s ever been authentically in love would ever believe in the supremacy of warm blankets and warm glasses of milk. Go knock yourself out with your hot water-bottle.
Let me tell you how this works. When you cross over, for better or worse, according to the principle of “like attracts like,” you will be with people who think just the way you do. And if you believe that the best life has to offer is a “warm glass of milk” and “better curb-appeal real estate,” then that’s what you’ll get. That’s all you’ll get. And everyone around you will applaud and assure you that this is the way it is. And you’ll even find plenty of evidence – a very selective investigation -- to support the group-thesis of reality’s nature. This group insanity, of “people going mad in herds,” needn’t be this way. Each human being, buried deep within the soul, has a “homing device” that might lead one into the truth; but, caught in the group-paradigm, it will be very difficult to remain “present” to one’s “true self.”
The Wedding Song’s assertion, “something that you’ve never seen before,” does not primarily refer to upgraded real estate with “greener grass” nor even to enhanced brotherhood-sisterhood affections. All these truly are wonderful, and there will be plenty of it in due course, but, without something more, something more fundamental to what it means to be human – “made in the image, male and female” – there will be no ultimate satisfaction or solace in prettier flowers or friendlier neighborhoods.
Indulge me, if you will, that I might comment further on this notion that spiritual advancement is to be necessarily associated with migrating higher and higher to so-called better and better worlds. This reminds me of the “yuppies” of the 1980s, “young upwardly-mobile professionals,” those who made art-form of incessantly seeking for a larger BMW, a bigger mansion, a more lucrative power-employment position. Granted, on the “higher levels,” the flowers may very well be prettier, but, it seems to me, well-manicured parks are nice places to visit, but that doesn’t mean I’d necessarily want to move in.
Here’s the bottom-line, coming again from clear-sighted Troubadour Spirit-Guide Margaret: those who have found the real romantic love are already in Heaven! Allow me to translate: it doesn’t get any better than this, anywhere in the universe, or on any plane of existence! The beauty you see in your lover’s eyes is your “stargate” entrance to the inner cosmos, to your own discovery of God. This is “God-immanent,” the only access you’ll ever have to “God-transcendent.” And this is what's truly important.
The “non-romantic” Spirit-Guides run in holy horror from this blasphemy, this view of life – but that’s just another way of saying that the real love, for them, is “something never seen before.” And yet they will cling to and defend their “hot water-bottle” love.
Summerland is far more beautiful than the Earth, but, it’s probably true, there are even nicer garden-paradises. That’s fine, that’s good, and I’d like to see them. But I also know, as we learn from Father Benson’s reports, that some of the citizens of Summerland have lived there a very long time, serving among the less-developed, even though they’ve fitted themselves for higher realms. They didn't feel the need to become "spirit-yuppies."
I like that. To my way of thinking, I’d like to “put down roots” in Summerland, on my little farm, near a university, with no need to think about becoming a “spirit-yuppie.” What’s the point? I can visit wherever I choose to go, and, with a little more advancement, be there in a heartbeat. I can explore any far-flung port in the universe. I can see all that I want to see, and adventure anywhere. But, when my “super-hero” exploits and service-projects are done for the day, I can return to the quiet solitude of my farm, my horse and dogs and cats and a few cows -- and, of course, most of all, my family and friends.
The idea that I have to “move upward,” pull up stakes, in order to find happiness is just one more propaganda ploy of the never-satisfied small-ego. I will have all that I will ever want and need, right there, where I am.
Editor’s note: “Higher and higher, better and better worlds” in the afterlife literature is referred to as the “7 levels” or “7 dimensions” of spiritual advancement. Among the afterlife reporters, including the Spirit Guides, not all agree concerning the nature of these planes of evolvement. There is talk of much overlapping of these levels, with no clear demarcation; and yet, some division between these worlds does seem to exist as it’s clear that people over there do leave one world for another. While one’s “passport,” or right to live in a particular world, is based upon one’s essential vibrational-frequency, and since, for example, in Summerland, we will find a “one-room schoolhouse” of varied vibrational-frequencies, these energy-patterns will fall within a certain range of acceptability, allowing one to take up residence in Summerland; then, as one’s energy-pattern increases vibrationally, and moves one into a higher “range,” one will then be suited for another plane of existence. All this is basic “afterlife physics.”
However, this objectivity will be injected with a personal factor which can radically alter things. We know, it's well substantiated, that on the other side, especially in worlds beyond Summerland, we take on an ability to create environment with our minds. The very power of thought brings things into being. I discussed this at length in the article on “the holodeck worlds.” This means, at least in part, possibly the main part, that the “higher dimensions and better worlds,” to which one might migrate, are created by ourselves. In other words, the “higher and better worlds” are not altogether something objective, like planning a trip to Florida or the Caymans, where everyone might experience the same things in pretty much the same way; it’s not like everyone enjoying the same rides and exhibits at Disneyworld. These are custom-crafted worlds and dimensions, infinite in number, of infinite variety and purpose, designed to fulfill personal and subjective definitions of happiness. In the "holodeck" writing I offered this quote from someone on the other side:
"The spheres [worlds]! No tongue can describe them. There are thousands... millions... countless in number... all rounded into complete worlds, and all the habitations of those who cherish the special idea which rules the sphere... There are spheres of every mental light, thought, and knowledge; spheres of special grades of intellect and wisdom. In all and each [person] is a special need of happiness... There are spheres of love, where tender natures cling to one another until they are drawn by higher, broader aspirations to broader planes of thought..."
No mention of, and no need for, "hot water-bottles" when lovers can "cling" to each other in these numberless and infinite worlds of personal happiness.
I think that the report of “7 levels” is not to be taken literally. It’s like the use of “7” in the Book of Revelation, wherein “7” is used 54 times: 7 angels, 7 woes, 7 churches, 7 plagues, 7 vials, 7 beast-revivals, on and on. “7,” since ancient times, has often been used as a symbolical number indicating “fullness and completeness,” and I think we’re looking at a similar usage with “7 levels” of spiritual advancement. I think there’re an infinite number of “levels” to come because our human capacity for growth is infinite – “no upward limit” as Father Benson said.
But here’s a major point I’d like to make concerning all this. As I indicated above, not everyone on a so-called “higher level” seems to be uniformly advanced in all aspects of spirituality. Some “advanced” beings still believe in a not-so-advanced “hot water-bottle” definition of human love.
And if we insist on these prudish ideas, though we might become service-oriented and altruistic in nature, our vision will lack clarity, we'll end up diminishing human dignity, and we will create for ourselves an alternate, neighborly but somewhat sterile, "higher" plane, the kind Troubadour Spirit-Guides do not necessarily visit; except, possibly, for missionary-outreach rescue efforts. I have read reports of some of these skewed, alternate "higher" levels, and I will tell you this: the people who live there, though they smile a lot, sound a little nuts to me, so just count me out. I'll be on my Arabian-Palomino "Simkan" in Summerland.
I may be a little too judgmental regarding our friends on the "higher" levels. Their problem is that they don't believe in romantic love. They think it's all just base animal passion, something to "get over and to grow out of," just the way it used to be in the good old days down here on Earth. They don't get it, and so they think that "Have a beautiful day in the neighborhood," in a general way, is all there is to look forward to.
(See my article on “Some Infinities Are Bigger Than Other Infinities” for mathematical basis for the existence of infinite worlds and dimensions to come.)
here's how the 'victorian' Spirit-Guides sell the idea of the so-called 'higher' 'hot-water bottle' worlds
This is what they say - let me paraphrase:
On the very highest level of human evolvement – which will take us millions and millions of years to achieve – we will find our greatest bliss by shedding human individuality, by casting away a sense of individual personhood, and becoming ‘one with All,’ one with God. We will be like a drop of water absorbed by the vast ocean. And this will be our greatest happiness.
This highest realm is so mysterious, so out-of-reach, that we know virtually nothing about it. Those who live there are too advanced for us, and do not visit us.
We admit, however, that this view of the far-distant future has no evidential support. No one from that highest level has ever sent us a report telling us this is the way it is. No one has received any direct evidence at all. However, in our wisdom, in our sacred opinion, we know that this is what’s coming.
there are so many things wrong with this view of the future, it's difficult to know where to begin - and what are we to make of this cosmic 'snob hill,' this lofty and unapproachable mount olympus 'of the gods' from which n'ary even a short message is ever sent to the plebs way down below
Does this sound like "advancement" to you? - the "height of human evolvement," a "transcendental level"? Actually, it sounds like high school to me. Well, it would sound like "advancement" if you're a dysfunctional ego, in which case, such a good time was had by all - "one with All," of course.
Editor's note: One of my favorite little jokes - right behind "What did the chicken do?" - is "Did you hear the one about the Dalai Lama? He stopped at a pizza joint and told the clerk behind the counter, make me one with All." As Bugs would say, 'dat's rich.
In our world, or in worlds to come, never accept anything as "the truth" unless it resonates as "real and true" within your own deepest person - because that's where we meet God. This is the supreme test of truth. If you learn nothing else about "natural law," about how things actually work on the other side, learn this principle and live by it. Learn to trust yourself, your true self.
Are we to believe that God and Universe, having spent millions and millions of years, as per the story of some, perfecting our sense of "made in the image" individuality, with great cost and through great suffering on our part, will simply chuck it all down the drain or cast us into a nameless abyss at the end? I think not.
The implicit disrespect for human dignity and individuality in the above "hot water-bottle" assessment is the same disrespect, fundamentally and in principle, we find in the error of reincarnation. In both philosophies we witness an undercurrent of "the spoiled self" that needs getting rid of. All this is but masked self-loathing on parade.
here's what the 'hot water-bottle' crowd fails to understand about the highest levels of human evolvement
We're already "one with All." It's already happened -- sorry to be the one to break the news to you.
And we can experience this sense of cosmic connectedness right now, this moment, this present moment.
Huffing-and-puffing for perfection is all very dramatic; sounds very religious and fortitudinous. There's just one problem - none of it is true.
We don't need "millions and millions of years" to become enlightened, to become "better." This is just the same old preaching of the "false self," the "needy little me," the dysfunctional ego, trying to convince us that "we are not enough," and therefore "we need more time" to become perfect. It doesn't work that way. In essence, we were created perfect, with our present task that of discovering and recognizing what "made in the image" means. All we really need is one eternal timeless moment of cosmic clarity.
For good advice on how to discover the "true self' and to experience "one with All" right now, with no waiting, you'll want to consult these books:
those who insist on 'hot water-bottle' worlds, in effect, proclaim to us that they've not yet experienced (1) the true love, and (2) the true self
Accessing the true self allows us to immediately experience "one with All"; and the real love allows us to appreciate sacred individuation in a most profound way -- because to "lose oneself as a drop in the ocean" would, fundamentally, be just another way of losing her, and there's no way you'd ever agree to that.
Father Benson offers a sane and rational view of the zenith of human evolvement
Father Benson is one of the great afterlife-reporters. I appreciate his thoughts on life over there very much. In his first two books, channeled testimony, he tells us of a very subtle form of government in the Astral Realms. There is a "Ruler of the Realm" who, as Benson says, does not "rule" so much as "preside." This is what we would expect for non-cultish self-managing creatures such as ourselves who require personal freedom to enjoy our eternal lives.
But Father Benson also provides a very illuminating report of a superintending "Ruler of the Realms," an advanced being who looks after all of the "Summerlands" of each intelligent-life-supporting planet in the universe.
Here are some excerpts from Father Benson's first two books. Notice, too, how he addresses the error of the "mindless hot water-bottle worlds," but without naming names:
As we progress into those high realms, we shall not lose our individuality in supposed etheric clouds and become lost to everyone except the dwellers therein. We shall ever continue to be ourselves, our True selves; refined, to be sure, more etherialised, but still, YOU will be YOU, and I shall be I, no one else...
'utterly and completely unapproachable' - really? well, we can hardly wait to be with them
There are mistaken notions that the beings of the highest realms are so ethereal as to be practically invisible except to others of their kind, and that they are utterly and completely unapproachable; that no mortal of lesser degree could possibly view them and survive. It is commonly held that these beings are so immeasurably higher than the rest of us that it will be countless eons of time before we shall ever be permitted to cast our eyes upon them even from a remote distance. That is sheer nonsense. Many a soul in these realms has been spoken to by one of these great beings, and he has been totally unaware of the fact...
Editor's note: "even from a remote distance"! How terrible. This is what passes for 'advancement' in some quarters over there!
He [the Ruler of the Realms, on a visit to Benson's city] looked to be young, to be of eternal youthfulness, but we could feel the countless eons of time, as it is known on Earth, that lay behind him.
When he spoke his voice was sheer music, his laugh as a rippling of the waters, but never did I think it possible for one individual to breathe forth such affection, such kindliness, such thoughtfulness and consideration; and never did I think it possible for one individual to possess such an immensity of knowledge as is possessed by this celestial king. One felt that, under the Father of Heaven, he held the key to all knowledge and wisdom. But, strange as it may sound, though we had been transported unfathomable distances to the presence of this transcendently wonderful being, yet here in his very presence we felt perfectly at home, perfectly at ease with him. He laughed with us, he joked with us, he asked us what we thought of his roses…
… he had asked us to visit him in order to tell us himself that these realms, wherein we were now visiting, were within the reach of every soul that is born upon the Earth-plane, that no one can deprive us of that right: and that although it may take countless years of time to reach those realms, yet there is all eternity in which to achieve that end, and that there are unlimited means to help us upon our way. That, he said, is the simple, great fact of Spirit life. There are no mysteries attached to it; all is perfectly straightforward, plain, and unrestricted by complicated beliefs, religious or otherwise.
… he is not the Father of the universe, though one can understand the inference you might be tempted to draw even from the little we’ve told you. ‘He is known by sight ... to every single soul living in the realms of light. How many thousands there are who name him as their “beloved [teacher]” … ‘He exercises over all the realms the function that the individual ruler exercises over the realm to which he is appointed. He unifies the whole of the realms of the spirit world into one gigantic universe, over which reigns the Father of us all...
‘Who is this personage that’s coming?’ he inquired. ‘Do you remember you once asked us if we knew how old the spirit world is, and that we told you about one being, at least, who was in existence himself before the Earth was? You remember, of course. Well, it is he who is coming, and incidentally, it is he who is the Ruler of all the Realms of the spirit world, that I spoke about only a moment ago. ‘You know, Roger, there are folk on earth who believe that the beings of the highest realms never by any chance leave those realms, because it would be too appallingly distasteful for them to leave the rarefied state in which they live. That is absolutely wrong. Those marvelous beings can, and do, journey into the different realms. It sometimes transpires that an individual may be speaking to one such personage and be totally unaware of it.’"
the Ruler of the Realms is older than the Earth - this means he's more than 4 billion years old; and yet he looks as human and normal as anyone, will smile, tell you jokes, and inform you how his rose garden is doing - he's just your 'regular kinda guy' head-honcho of the universe, no big deal
Well, this might make us smile, but there's quite a bit of truth to it. Father Benson explains how the Ruler of the Realms goes out of his way to make everyone feel welcome and part of the "cosmic family" of afterlife society. This is government we can believe in.
Haven't we all yearned for a true sense of community and belonging? - a true brotherhood and sisterhood of real friends? This comforting feeling of acceptance and finding one's place in a well-ordered world awaits us.
Notice the sharp contrast in the views of these distant worlds. One camp says, "It's just my opinion, no one has ever been there or given us any evidence, but even so, what we say is the right way and only way." This is just ordinary "infallible" cultish guru-ism.
Compare this dogmatic authoritarianism with the testimony of Father Benson. He says that there's no mystery, that everyone in Summerland has seen the Ruler of the Realms, an inhabitant of the highest world; further, Father Benson gives us no empty opinion but direct, eye-witness account of life on that zenith of worlds, as he was invited to personally visit with the Ruler of the Realms.
But some may want to ask:
"What evidence do we have that Father Benson actually exists?"
We have this: Victor Zammit has attended more than 200 direct-materialization sessions during which large numbers of loved ones from the other side have appeared to, and conversed with, relatives on this side of life. Among these "visitors" from Summerland, Victor reports that some of them have spoken of Father Benson as a real and living citizen of the next world. They know him.
You will want to do your own reading on this subject, but the important point for us is that Summerland and also the highest level-worlds represent "sane and rational" places to live. People are still people there, do normal and sane things, even at the highest levels of being. They still love and live and laugh. The Ruler of the Realms, 4+ billion years-old, likes to do ordinary things, has a hobby of tending his garden, with the white rose his favorite flower. This is what normal people do.
We can breathe a sigh of relief that no matter how so-called "advanced" we might one day become, we will not traverse beyond the simple pleasures of what it means to be human.
So, how will we find meaning and purpose when we live in paradise, Summerland?
The above discussion concerning the error of “the hot water-bottle” crowd, while necessary to address, was a digression from our original question on how to avoid the “terror” of living forever. Let’s look at this directly now.
Dr. Viktor Frankl, the wise psychiatrist whose views were forged in the fiery furnace of a concentration camp, posits that there are three main areas which offer human beings purpose:
Producing a great work, some contribution to the world
Experiencing the mystical, primarily, loving another person
Finding meaning in suffering
Much could be said here, and you’ll want to read Frankl’s “Man Search For Meaning” for his detailed thoughts; however, allow me to comment. I believe that Tolle’s insights might slightly modify the good doctor’s findings.
Producing a great work can, for a time, seem to offer a life’s purpose; eventually, however, even the most skilful “doing” will fail to satisfy.
Loving another person, most might assume, will take us closest to a highest purpose, and we want to agree with this. But, as we’ve discussed elsewhere, love is not the problem. Once we access the “true self” and enter a better level of consciousness, love automatically flows through “the portal” opened by this better awareness.
Finding meaning in suffering is a step in the right direction. In order to find meaning in suffering, we have to access the “true self,” which is our sanity, without which nothing else works or will help us. And therefore this is always our primary purpose, finding our inner link to God.
But what happens when we live in Summerland when there is no world of suffering? Well, unless we learn to live life from our “centers,” suffering will find us, even in paradise. The "insanity" will creep over us and make us glassy-eyed.
What does this mean? It means that even when we live in Summerland, in order to maintain our sanity, a clear-sightedness – and, as we’ve seen, above, there are many “insane” over there – our primary purpose, eternally so, will be that of becoming who we truly are, unfolding the "inner riches," more deeply accessing the “true self,” our link to God. Those “made in the image” will know no end to the inner treasure of human potential, and God needed to invent eternity to bring it all to the surface of personhood: Infinite riches manifesting over infinite time.
But what happens when we meet that one person in the universe to whom we will feel so close such that she will seem to, or in fact, be part of our very being and soul? See the following comments.
Editor's last word:
I've spoken of Dr. Adler’s “education of a free man” and the critical need to learn how to enjoy one’s own existence. Let’s bring this “terror of aloneness” down to practical terms. There is one person in the universe, only one, who is so much like you that only she can invade the “prison” of your solitude; and you, for her.
Suddenly, John Sebastian’s song-lyric “the great relief of having you to talk to” assumes a magnitude of life-and-death, sanity-vs-insanity, proportion.
Your Twin Soul is the only one who might become your companion in the truest sense. There is no one else with whom you might truly and deeply communicate. Likewise, for her, he becomes life itself, “the great relief of having you to talk to” -- her only meaningful and lasting escape from the fortress-prison of her aloneness.
We long for a sense of perfected community which Summerland will provide, an immersion into the long sought-for sisterhood and brotherhood. However, as we discussed in the writing "no one there to fill you desire," affable community or cordial friend will not be enough for us.
Eternity would be a very long time to feel isolated and alone; a very long time without the secret-garden intimacy, the "great relief," of another human being who truly understands -- that "other," who is no other, but "One Person" with you (see Kairissi and Elenchus’ discussion of John Sebastian's “Darling Be Home Soon”).