Amy Thinks Deep

philosophy for the curious soul 

Eternity vs. Forever vs. Infinity

Most people conceive of forever as being synonymous with infinity and I won't argue. However, eternity and infinity are little more separated in definition and doesn't quite exude the same depth of a synonymous relationship. Eternity is different.

As children, we may have been taught that "forever" never ends - it just keeps going and going and going. This is inconceivable; we find that out limited brain can only go so far into time. Yet it holds a curious wonder. As a child still growing in knowledge, it still catches my curiosity to ponder about an infinite expanse.

"Eternity" is mostly used in the contexts of spirituality/religion, where it talks about a different kind of life beyond this limited lifespan. This is a great clue to hold its meaning a little more carefully and considerately. Why didn't religions just teach about "forever" instead?

To talk about "forever" means that one is talking about a concept tied to the dimension of time. Understanding the dimension of time is worth looking into when trying to understand what eternity is. Some say time is an illusion, especially with a recent study done by Steve Taylor (2020), finding that the speed of time can be altered in certain mind-altered states. This suffices to say that time is a construct that we understand only through our finite, conscious mind and the meaning we assign to it. Clocks are man-made devices that help our minds realize the changing and progression of time. A track of endless or infinite time is what we call "forever."

Our minds can only conceive so much infinite expanse. Our minds our limited and cannot truly conceive the space of infinity. When our soul has a brain partner with it (when we have a body), our concept of time is limited by the neural pathways we develop from learning. Since the mind does not have a brain that limits its understanding in the afterlife, the mind/soul is free. 

When the soul is free from the carnal limitations that inhibit our perception of reality (i.e. the brain believes it knows everything), then we begin to see truth; not only immediately available truth, but the WHOLE truth, as much as the interconnected soul-web wants to see. This is the superconscious realm that I spoke about in my other essay - the reality that encompasses everything: all knowledge, all existence, all passion, all dimensions. Some call it the "collective unconscious" or "oversoul." In an unconscious way, we all know everything that exists in this eternal fabric. 

It is in this realm that the concept of eternity exists. Actually, the concept of eternity is the fabric of the afterlife. Whereas "forever" is connected to the concept of time, which is infinite, the concept of eternity is the afterlife. When religions speak about eternal life, they are talking about this special existence in the afterlife. To be awakened, born again, enlightened, or whatever you may call it, is to bring your soul to a level of being/existence that is included in this unconscious realm we call eternity. 

In eternity, it isn't about time existing or not. Eternity even exists in this time-configured dimension that we currently live in. Eternity knows no linear time as many westerners reading this may understand. For example, this post has a timestamp on it. However, it already existed/exists (silly grammar conjugation forms mess up defining eternity) in the eternal field. Eternity is simply (however simple it can get to our human mind) an all-in-one compilation of everything all at once. Except, it isn't all at once, because at once would be determined and limited by our concept of time. 

We are in eternity even now. Those who can detach from the body/flesh/carnal nature, as taught by many major religions, will find their existence still existing in eternal form.

Eternity is furthermore conceived through the first law of thermodynamics. As beings of energy, of light, we are also bound by this universal law that holds true time after time. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. For beings of energy, there was neither a beginning, and there will never be an end. The soul, as everything else also in existence, is energy. Everything, with interactions with heat/temperature, transforms. There is no birth or death of a soul; there is only transformation. 

In this regard, eternity has no beginning and no end. It just is. Eternity is much like an umbrella that holds infinity under its roof, but it does much more than hold forever in its hand; it is also the definition for the nature of existence in its most primal existence. Before incarnation into a dimension of time, there is no time, and thus, there is only all-relation, a sort of omni-existence, where everything exists at once, thus the future has a relationship with the past.

Since time is a measurement of one "thing" in relation to another "thing" (i.e. earth in relation to sun), we also must conceive of the relationship between "things" in eternal perspective. In eternal form, the soul has a "body" (really, just a bundle of energy/light). However, the figure/form of this energetic "body" changes as it interacts with temperature (another law of thermodynamics). The anticipation of this transformation does give us a sense of time, but, by definition, eternity is past, present, and future happening now (the "now" associated with being outside of time). In other words, eternity is a magic blend of past, present, and future, but we experience it all in the moment of "now". 

Being in the now is about being present in oneself. When you are centered, grounded, altogether, the concept of time vanishes actually. Indeed, one time I came out of a deeply gratifying meditation, looked at the seconds passing, but noticed that the second lasted much longer than usual. Bending reality with the mind or bending reality by being? 

While forever (in circular or linear time) implies an order of progression between now and then, eternity does not imply a progression. In eternity, what was is now, and what will be is now. So how does one "achieve" eternal life? You don't "achieve" it; you just have to believe it (in other words, convince your conscious, subconscious, and superconscious to coherently merge beliefs). For Christians, what was done on the cross was already done before it was completed in the physical, time-bogging world. Believers prior to Jesus subconsciously knew it was to come, which in the meaning of eternity, meant it already existed. Talk about faith in an eternal sense. The progression of time doesn't matter in instances like this because it was already imprinted in the blueprint of eternity.

The illusion of time grants us a specific, though not really well-known, purpose. Though I am not sure of the purpose in conceiving time, especially with the trouble of conceiving infinite time, it is apparent that we are given the dimension of time in this limited, finite life and we lose this illusion when we leave the body, when our conscious becomes meshed with the eternal form of consciousness, which we call the superconscious. Eternal space-time welcomes our subconscious self into the "now" which, mysterious to the conscious mind, exhibits everything, all at once. Eternity is here and now, though our physical bodies transpire. Indeed, the physical body limits our awareness of eternity, even though eternity includes this earthly dimension as well. 


Taylor, S. (2020) When Seconds Turn Into Minutes: Time Expansion Experiences in Altered States of Consciousness. Journal of Humanistic Psychology. doi: 10.1177/0022167820917484.

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