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Eternity lost in an instance , Nara’s blog

Eternity lost in an instance

15 Jan

Yearning for eternity led to the construction of some of the most magnificent and sturdy buildings in the history: pyramids, temples, churches … Today the tallest and shiniest commercial centres are driven by the exactly opposite motivation: instant gratification.

How and when did we barter eternity for a flash of pleasure? As valid as this question is, it is even more curious that we keep building immense sturdy structures even though we pretty much gave up on the quest for eternity.

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It makes sense to invest centuries of time and thousands of human lives into building a pyramid that would last millennia, if your value is eternity. But why in the world would you build a skyscraper a hundred storeys high only to furnish offices for clerks that service instant gratification of a civilisation? Ok, we might conclude, philosophically, both eternity and instant gratification are illusory, subjective, but still, the consequence is as real as can be: extremely robust architecture. How did this happen?

Builders of ancient temples congregated millions of hours of skilled artistic work into centres of worship, embellished with statutes of immortals, symbols of divinity, portals, pillars and paintings. They harnessed the time and energy, and allowed creations to be impregnated, incubated, born and recreated again and again through human care. And even without too much care these buildings kept withstanding decay. They change extremely slowly, they are almost frozen in time.

Builders of sleek, phallic commercial towers, on the other hand, are masters of rapid massive extraction of resources and conversion of these resources into the ever tinier building blocks of the gargantuan machinery of further extraction of resources. This machinery provides consumers with goods for instant gratification, while densely concentrating energy and resources, revolving around the doctrine of growth.

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Today concrete is poured into moulds, and when it dries it stares us in the eye raw, unfurbished, insulting the poetic sense of our eternal souls. No matter how course or fine the elementary building blocks are – stone slabs or powdered cement – they can’t fool the soul into perceiving them as (ever)lasting. In a decade or a century the illusion bursts like a bubble, as these structures of steel and glass require huge inputs of energy and constant maintenance to be functional, alive.

Basing the sustainability of a civilisation on such false foundations is downright insane.

One sure thing about eternity is that it is ever-changing, light, profound. Eternal means timeless and thus incomprehensible. We cannot comprehend eternity because we are confined and defined by time while we partake in it. We can only intuit it and frame it in logical concepts. We can also learn from past mistakes.

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Nowadays when sustainability is coming up as a global value we are understanding that life is the blood of eternity. As entropy baffles all our efforts to make material structures durable, we realise that we need to revert our forces to nurturing life. Life has a peculiar characteristic of creating itself over and over again by structuring matter into flexible structures that use matter in a similar way as waves do: they borrow and exchange (life-)force from other waves and ultimately pass on all their force to other waves as they “disappear”, merging with the surface and reappearing in slightly different shape and consistence.

This wavering is eternal. As long as there is (and will be) matter, spirit will be borrowing waves from it and creating new waves to be passed on to new waves – ad infinitum.

When we think in waves, it is impossible to draw the line between living beings and dead matter in this universe. Even if it takes the wavering of the matter of the entire galaxy to spawn a single living cell on a planet (according to our definition of life), they are all part of one eternal Life. And as ancient mystical traditions are hinting, the entire universe might be a dream of unified hyper-dimensional Life, and we are Its fleeting shadows – entire galaxies are minute cells of this Life.

Try to see the world from this perspective and then realise how far we’ve digressed from eternity. Expose yourself to life, dive into the waves of the Ocean and you’ll be eternal – as you’ve always been.

Our temples and pyramids might last a few millennia but they will ultimately get consumed by the waves of time. Consumed, you know, just as we consume a burger, a chocolate, a cup of coffee.

From this perspective it seems eternity and instant gratification are not that far removed from each other. We are waves enjoying ourselves and others – instantly, eternally.

We shouldn’t be building monuments to waves. We shouldn’t be turning ourselves into monuments.

Right now I am immersed in the magnificent sunset. I am watching it from the airport hall in Warsaw. Straight lines and reflections on the windows, steel pillars and tin roof, LED lights and a view of extensive asphalt surfaces seem dull and bleak in comparison to red, red sphere kissing the forest on the horizon. Waves kissing waves – me included!

Understand that you are a wave and you’ll never again be lonely, unloved, afraid, limited. You’ll enjoy each wave you meet, you’ll consume some and allow yourself to be consumed by others. Go outside now! Be the wave that you are! Kiss the forest, kiss the sky, eternal as you are.

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