A Nightmare

Time stills. Memories lag on their march to the forefront of my line of thought. A heavy thrum thump of cherished moments drag their feet like slow-motion characters on parade. Far gone interactions are grayish and frayed with tintype residue like emotional scars. In circles and one/two step, they dance before my closed eyes: dreamy and luring. What is this show? Am I dead? Is this my life “flashing”? Every jarring experience, every regret and embarrassment, every blunder and joyous accomplishment creep in tandem like a circus stuck to an eternal merry-go-round. Hellish. Profound, but I do not know what it means. My head is spinning – too slowly, like a wooden spoon stirring caramel. The processional quickens. A whirr of the projector hums from behind as all memories blur. I have forgotten. The ringleader grows silent, the tent lights dim, the clowns re-squeeze into their bug. In the morning, only dust and popcorn shells will remain. What does it all mean? Where is the tunnel and light near the end? Does it really only just fade black into nothing? Am I nothing? Was I always nothing?

~

Do you fear death? I do not personally, but I have heard that this is a common fear. The majority of people fear the possibilities of what lies beyond life. What about you? What scares you most about death? Many fear being forgotten. Some fear hell and torment. Others assume blissful nothingness or paradise awaits, yet fear their own doubts. If someone were able to give you the guarantee of life after death would you take it?

 

 

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” ~Jesus

 

 

Maybe…

As my philosophical studies deepen, I am plummeted into a world of “maybes”. “Maybe” is the vile word that sparked our intellectual dissent from theism to postmodernism. Why do I call this a dissent rather than assent? Because when we pushed away from the revelatory knowledge of ourselves and our existence and our purpose with God, our “reason” became deluded. We lost common sense and replaced truth with speculation and assumption and confusion. Where clarity once resided in the answers concerning every philosophical question, there is now “maybe”. How does “maybe” help us progress when we are stuck in uncertainty? If we can only be unsure about everything, what is the point of anything? Why study? Why have faith? Why live? Without the revelation provided for us in Scripture, we have no way of answering – consistently or accurately – the questions that plague society’s mind. What is prime reality? Who are we as humans? Why are we here and how did we get here? What is the purpose of history? What purpose does life hold? What is truth? Why is there evil? What happens after death? In the post modern world, truth is relative, and so it is impossible to definitively answer any of those questions. No one answer can be absolutely correct because your interpretation may not jive with mine and so we are at an impasse and isolated from each other. A theistic philosophy, on the contrary, provides an answer for each of these questions and can expound upon them to incorporate depth in our daily lives. I can tell you that God is the prime reality because he exceeds time and space. He exists from everlasting to everlasting: before time and after time. I can tell you that as humans, we are creations in the image of God. This provides not only for our need to be apart of a community and relationships, but for our reason, intelligence, creativity, emotions, purpose, assurance of self and our personhood. History’s purpose is to bring about redemption and glorification of mankind and all other aspects of creation. Life is designed to love God and love each other and to live in dominance but harmony over and with animals, plants, etc. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No man can gain eternal life after death without him. No man can come to the Father, but by him. Evil is present because of the Fall from God’s originally created order due to the fact that through our free will, we chose to disobey and rebel bringing about consequences. This is why history must be caused to bring about redemption and glorification linearly. Man is appointed once to live and once to die and after death comes judgment. God knows all our secret thoughts and actions and we will be held accountable for them. Jesus becomes our advocate on this day after death if we allow him to through believe his love for us that causes redemption and adoption.

You see…within the realm of the theistic worldview, I could continue to provide concise answers that are definitive and absolute for life’s most difficult questions because they have been provided to me through revelation. Autonomy and personal godhood sound ideal, but in reality, they fail to answer the questions that irk our souls. They cannot claim truth because truth within that perspective of life is merely interpretation. In the individuality that is advanced as spectacular in postmodernism, we can recognize the fact that we become isolated and estranged from each other. Suicide rates skyrocket because there is no sense of belonging: to God, to the world, to others, to ourselves. We crumble from the inside out because our understanding of these big questions prompts how we act and react within our lifetimes.

Books upon books have been written about this, but I want to recommend one to you in particular: James Sire’s The Universe Next Door. sire

The read is not complex, but it covers the basics from Christian theism, to deism, naturalism, nihilism, existentialism, New Age spiritualism, Eastern pantheism, postmodernism, and even Islamic theism. Educate yourself.

Crossing Over

Life teaches us that life is simultaneously good and evil, temporal and eternal, and that how we live simultaneously reflects and effects this duality of existence. But, you ask, is there any option for singularity other than that achieved through death? Contemplation on this matter has plagued me many nights. I have come to the conclusion that we are incapable of singularity in this lifetime. We will only ever be a combination of good and evil. We strive for good and along the path corrupt the process with few or numerous blunders. We exist in physical bodies and yet, if one believes also in the existence of the soul, we also co-exist as eternal. The spirit that guides our duality of actions will continue on after death. But, does death result in the singularity of eternity as being either entirely good or entirely evil? If physical life is both, maybe we could conclude that eternity should be too, but by that reasoning, we should not die at all and only continue to live in an eternal state on earth like present. We die; so, the eternal self should not entirely mimic the temporal self. If eternity’s reflection is skewed through our temporal perceptions, we cannot claim for certain that eternity continues in duality. Therefore, eternity must exist in singularity of either entirely good or entirely evil. It cannot be both. It is one or the other. Death does not eliminate one or the other, however. Since good and evil are moral problems, they reside in the notion of the spirit which is eternal by nature and thus both evil and good are eternal by nature just not compatible in death. This leads me to assume that death ushers in two unique eternal existences: a place for evil people and a place for good people, and our death determines which location each will inhabit, but our life determines our death. If this is the case and we are both good and evil during life, we formulate a problem that cannot be solved without outside interference. This interference has to come from something in control of spiritual destination, control over death. I surmise this something to be God, and therefore make it my aim to know his attributes in order to understand the way in which a soul’s singularity is determined.