Infinity vs. Eternity

Infinity and eternity are considered to be synonyms by many, but they have different meanings.  Infinity is defined as being without end or boundless like our space-time fabric, while eternity is defined as that which transcends time becoming timeless reality.

Let’s examine our universe.  I believe that space-time is boundless, stretching to its maximum expansion and then collapsing back to its minimum compression.  This constant expansion and contraction is boundless as both space and time are infinite.  Thus, our universe is a perpetual time machine, going from a Big Bang to a Big Crunch and then a Big Bang all over again.

But our universe is not eternal because time is a fundamental part of its matrix.  Eternity dispenses with time so there is no past, present, or future.  Eternal existence is without reference to calendars or clocks.  Eternity is a timeless world.

Einstein explained that there is no absolute simultaneity of events.  An event should appear to happen at the same time to different observers, but this is not the case.  An observer on a speeding train may observe an explosion before somebody who is standing along the rail.  Neither observer can claim to be correct as to when the bomb went off.  This is simply the strangeness of special relativity.

Thus, some philosophers have referenced special relativity as why time is not linear or even real.  If absolute simultaneity does not exist, how could we ever say that an event is in the present?  There is no absolute present in special relativity.

But our understanding of eternity may help scientists reconcile quantum mechanics and general relativity.  Some theories of quantum gravity indicate this world does not have time on its side.  In this strange world, time may not play a role.  In effect, quantum mechanics may intersect with quantum gravity completely outside of the space-time fabric.

In the quantum world, a particle can be in two places at the same time; so this may be a “matterless reality,” which would be, at a minimum, have a completely new set of rules for its physics.  And considering eternal possibilities, it might be God’s world.

So when I talk about infinite life in the universe, I am talking about the stardust that formed us and prior to that has formed billions of other forms of matter and will continue to form matter in the future as the space-time fabric expands and contracts forever.

However when I talk about eternal life, I am referring to God’s timeless and matterless world which exists without time and space.  So how do we even know it exists?  Well, we know the quantum world exists, but we do not know much about it.  We know that the laws of physics that we use do not apply in this world.

And there is an even more potent reason: there cannot be more infinities than one because one infinity would limit the other.  In effect, our closed infinite universe must be inside an eternal world because it cannot be within another infinite world.  In other words, whatever is outside our infinite universe is where creation occurred since one of the laws of physics is that matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed in this universe.  Thus, creation of our time-space fabric universe occurred in the eternal world of God.

When we pray to live forever, we need to be careful what we pray for.  We may just get what we requested.  Living forever in the world of infinity is what we are doomed to do.  Our recycling universe takes us through time, probably forwards and backwards forever.  I get dizzy just thinking about it.  That would not be my first choice.

However, reaching the eternal world of God will be a much more difficult journey.  My guess is that it will be completely foreign to us and we will have to let God manage that trip for us if we are to have any chance at all.



End of Days

Many people consider death as the “end of days” for them.  If this were true, then they would be the luckiest living creatures in the universe.  They should welcome death if it is, in fact, the end to everything.  Why?  Because eternity is not quite what you might expect it to be.  How would you like to live forever trapped in a burning oven?  Would you want to be in infinite pain?  Would you enjoy being with yourself for all eternity?

Unfortunately, it is extremely unlikely that death will be the “end of days” for anybody or anything in the universe.  Why?  Because all matter and energy in the universe remains a constant amount and thus is in a perpetual recycling system.  Matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed in our universe.

If scientists are correct about there being a Big Bang, then there was a beginning for our universe that was created outside our universe.  In effect, the universe has a boundary.  It may be a phase change or it may be moving from one universe to another (God, the Creator, by definition, does this), but it is a birth of a system that cannot be destroyed within our universe.  In other words, we and all the other matter and energy in our universe are locked into this system forever.  There is no end of days for us.

So, what the hell is going on within our universe?  Will matter and energy forever expand into space?  Many scientists believe that our universe will eventually expand into a Deep Freeze with no boundaries for our universe.  This is primarily based on the “red shift” which indicates that most of our galaxies are moving away from each other at increasing speeds.

Of course, the red shift could also be an indicator that the galaxies are shrinking away from each other at an expanding rate.  If the matter in the galaxies were being converted to energy, perhaps even dark energy, this could enhance the contraction of matter as the energy became more prevalent.  We could not detect the difference between galaxies expanding away from each other and galaxies shrinking away from each other.

If the entire universe is connected in a space-time continuum with mass warping the fabric with gravity, I wonder if energy (E = mc squared) has the opposite and greater effect on the fabric.  In effect, it might warp the fabric in the other direction, pushing us back in time and in size.  It could be a return to the Big Bang, when the universe was packed tightly in a small cell.  This may sound quite preposterous, but it could explain how the universe never ends since it transfers from high energy to high mass and then turns back again in a perpetual recycling mechanism.

I can only speculate that dark energy is inside all mass in the quantum world.  It would be everywhere in the universe, either as the inner world of mass or as energy itself.  So, you may ask:  “Why aren’t the planets in our solar system getting farther apart from each other?”  The answer may be that gravity prevails in solar systems with matter controlling the quantum effect.  However, in space with less matter, the dark energy may control and thus consume the mass of galaxies, causing shrinkage.  Of course, the increase in dark energy would cause an acceleration of this consumption.  It might be called the Big Bang – Big Crunch cycle.

If the only force working on mass is repulsion, no matter what the cause (dark energy or otherwise), it cannot coexist with gravity controlling outside the galaxies.  In other words, if dark energy were causing expansion of mass outside the Milky Way, the Andromeda galaxy would not be able to overcome the dark energy within space and be headed our way.  But if dark energy were causing a uniform shrinkage in size in both the Milky Way and Andromeda, we wouldn’t be able to detect the contraction.  And gravity could still be drawing the two galaxies together.

The quantum world, perhaps also known as dark energy, in both our solar system and galaxy appears to be static with a clear separation from matter.  Logically, matter should slip right through the quantum world and be consumed, but something holds it back.  Instinctively, you might argue that the quantum world must be pushing against the pull of gravity to hold it back.  However, I believe there is a different barrier than just a balance between the two forces.

It seems to me that dark energy is in the business of converting mass to energy, just like the sun, thus causing contraction of mass and not expansion.  Dark energy may not be powerful enough to consume matter in our solar system or galaxy, where gravity rules.  But in space, dark energy may be a more powerful force and may be able to convert matter into additional dark energy.  As the dark energy increases in space, the galaxies might shrink at a faster pace.

Of course, this is only a theory based primarily on logic and thinking outside the universal box.

Would Heaven Be Boring?

Reservations for Heaven may be very limited, but assuming that I make the cut, would I be bored spending an eternity there?

Nobody knows what awaits us in the afterlife, but living an eternity on earth would be a nightmare.  Over the course of eternity, your body would deteriorate to the point you would be bedridden.  Not being able to die as your body failed you would be horrible, indeed.

So, we must assume that matter in Heaven will be different.  I assume that we will not have to eat or use the rest room or breathe or have a body that will age ungracefully.  Perhaps, thinking will be our primary activity.  Knowing the frailties of man, it is quite possible that thinking about anything for an eternity would be a challenge.

It might even be considered cruel and unusual punishment if it becomes solitary confinement within your thought process.  So, certainly there will be others to communicate with in Heaven.  But what will you communicate?  Will you talk about the weather on earth?  Will you be able to watch earth’s activities like on a television screen?  Will you have animals around you to entertain you?  What mental challenges will be at your disposal?

Quite frankly, an eternity is a long time.  Will I get bored in Heaven?  Will God and the other residents get bored with me?  Are there any requirements for being able to stay in Heaven?  Or will I want to stay if eternity starts to become an issue?  I like to eat cherry pie, but I would get sick of it if I ate it every day.

I believe that God is so unbelievably smart that He will make Heaven inviting for an eternity.  My curiosity would be peaked by investigating the billions of galaxies and the billions of potential solar systems in each galaxy.  It is very likely that there are many forms of life scattered throughout the universe.  I can’t imagine that I would be bored if God allowed me to explore the billions of galaxies.  And by the time I had examined them all, things would have changed, so I could reexamine them with different results.  The vast universe could not possibly bore me.  And if there are multiverses, then it will be even more interesting.

God, I’m certain, has a creation that would keep us in a discovery mode for an eternity.  I would be very excited to try living in God’s universe, if I am considered worthy.  I guess that is the problem:  How does God know if I am Heaven-worthy?

I know that I need to do my best to mirror Jesus and His teachings, but the Beatitudes tell us that we can’t even think bad thoughts.  Wow!  I missed the boat big time on that one.  The Bible indicates that there may be three Heavens, so there may be three tests that we have to pass. And is each heaven a contingency, so you could actually drop back  to the past Heaven, depending on your actions in that particular Heaven?  The Bible also makes it very clear that only a few will reach God’s universe.  Thus, the majority of us will not have an opportunity to even see if Heaven is boring.

What happens to most of us who don’t get a taste of Heaven?  I don’t know, but my guess is that we will be recycled in our closed universe’s hopper, which may spit us out in some other form.  Will we still be thinking if we return as an ant or bird?  I don’t know.  Will we still be thinking if we come back as a rock?  Or will we still be thinking if we are in limbo in space?  Nobody knows.  So, will you be bored if you are not in Heaven forever?  Being sentenced to this universe for infinity may really be cruel and unusual punishment.

Perhaps the best we could hope for, if we don’t make it to Heaven, is for life to end with there being nothing else beyond that.  But the odds of that happening are not very good because matter and energy are neither created nor destroyed in our universe (First Law of Thermodynamics).  So, our thinking, which may be both matter and energy, will continue in some form after we die.  We just don’t know in what form.  And life without consequences or something beyond life would make life absurd (existentialism).  However, we have no clue what consequences await us.