Bruce Charlton’s commenter Arakawa has derived his own version of the amphibious synthesis of time and eternity.

(1) Mortal Reality: a temporally-bounded world, with a single timeline. Things in time are inherently perishable, because the present is different from the past, so something that is in the past but not the present has been destroyed.

There are probably countless such worlds; some are dark and evil, while some are ‘sugar bowls’; some are nurseries, which require ignorance to shape intelligent beings, whereas some might be guest houses where intelligent beings come and go with a full awareness of their nature.

Life considered solely at this level has difficulty finding meaning because everything is perishable. Once something (an experience, a person) only exists in the past, that is the same as saying that it never existed.

(2) Realm of Ideas: the Platonic, imperishable world. This can be seen as a static sheet of paper on which everything is written down in un-eraseable ink. Because the most important thing this realm contains are the mortal worlds, this should be seen more as a library of stories than a pile of mathematical entities.

Life considered solely at this level has difficulty finding meaning because nothing changes or is accomplished. Everything is already present/predestined in eternity, so action at the mortal level is illusory.

(3) Heaven, or the Realm of Beings: an imperishable realm which consists of God and His children; conscious, eternal beings. Because progression is inherent to an eternal intelligence, this realm contains a concept of time . . . .

Because each subsequent moment of a being contains all past moments, any past experience is available to relive indefinitely as needed. (Remembering something with perfect fidelity is equivalent to experiencing it again.) The danger of Hell could therefore be a soul that refuses to progress, but chooses to relive its isolation on Earth, in the form of dwelling on pleasurable but limited, or downright painful and cruel experiences. This could be triggered most easily by Pride, because all further progress in the Realm of Beings can only be obtained by loving cooperation with God and His other children. In Heavenly time, this would be perceived as death, because a being in Hell does not move in Heavenly time, time being only progression.

Life considered solely at this level has the peculiar property that only positive actions have meaning.

Thus Arakawa.

The comment is on a Charlton post that takes the trichotomy time, eternity, and time-and-eternity and ties them into a very interesting view of the afterlife with, to put it in Mormon terms, multiple degrees of glory. I’m still digesting it.

(Note: not all our readers are familiar with Arakawa and Bruce Charlton. So the needed context here is that neither is Mormon. This is an example of convergence but also explains why their views aren’t bog-standard Mormonism either).

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