The dream of life Eternal, may involve a witnessing of life in CRITICAL transition, especially the life of others. This may imply that we are either stuck or stolid in our worldly perception. Accordingly, we need to determine our own self-worth and our own reactions and responses to eternity or being eternal. Moreover, is the eternity found on earth, or on some other-worldly or heavenly plane? We must ask ourselves if we find contentment in an eternal plane? If not, our Unconscious may be illustrating that our fixed and unshakable point of view may be alienating us from the fluid and ever changing world around us. Moreover, the safety of our opinion, has left us unscathed by life, but at the same time, unaffected by life’s true instruction. We have refused to grow. As such, we must ask ourselves if our fear of honestly facing life has caused us to miss out on life’s necessary lessons? In this sense, the lesson of life may only be valid when it involves the experiencing of that life. Conversely, if we find contentment in an eternal plane, we may be alluding to a personal spiritual peace, which we have achieved by the merits and pointed conviction of our own daily life: a life fully experienced and then conclusively transcended. We must address the nature of our own soul and its journey back into the source of its creation and ‘ongoing’ being. Are we worthy of eternal life? Have we proven our relative necessity in the grand scheme of things? I suggest the reader carefully observe the entire section dedicated to the Tarot and ‘spiritual paths’ in general.
Eternity symbolizes whatever is limitless in terms of duration.
Accordingly, Boethius (De consolatione 5: Prosa 6) describes eternity as ‘the complete and unqualified possession of life without limitation’, repeating the definitions of earlier philosophers. Thus Plotinus (Enneads 3: 7) regarded eternity as a ‘life which endures in its identity, ever-present to itself in its totality’. Discussing eternity, St Bonaventura was to write (Quaestiones disputatae, De mysterio Trinitatis qu. 5, art. 1: 7-8) that the simplicity and invisibility which are properties of the worlds of the ‘centre’, also belong to eternity; while Dante was to allude to the point at which all seasons were present (Paradiso 17: 18). Eternity is a life-act of infinite intensity.
Eternity represents the infinitude of time free from all limiting contingencies and is the assertion of being in the negation of time. The Irish, like any other people, had no means of making comprehensible an idea like this, inaccessible to the human intellect. They got over the difficulty by symbolically setting human time in a fixed, regular and changeless cycle, against which humanity is powerless, alongside divine time with its elastic boundaries and in which several centuries may pass in the space of a year or vice-versa. They broke the cycle by adding a unit. Thus ‘a year and a day’ or ‘a day and a night’ became symbols of eternity. This addition of a unit conveyed the ‘evolution’ of shared conditions of submission to time.
Many forms have been devised to suggest eternity, among them goddesses holding Sun and Moon or sceptre and horn of plenty, or sitting on a globe surrounded by stars, or wearing a girdle of stars. Eternity generally carries with it the notion of a state of bliss. Because of their legendary longevity, elephants, stags, the phoenix and dragons also symbolize eternity; as also, because of their shapes, do coiled serpents and the serpent eating its tail.
Eternity is the absence or appeasement of conflict and the resolution of differences upon both cosmic and spiritual planes. It is the perfect integration of the being with its First Cause; it is the absolute and permanent intensity of life, freed from all vicissitude and change and in particular from that of time. The human yearning for eternity reflects a ceaseless struggle with time and, perhaps still more, longing for life so intense that it will for ever conquer death. Eternity no more resides in stillness than it does in the whirlwind; it is in the intensity of the act.