The only eternity of life that most people expect and...

Fitchburg (Mass.) Sentinel

The only eternity of life that most people expect and hope for is the eternity of consciousness or mind. We all know that the material body will not survive forever, and every religious person looks forward to the time when he will be free from the sufferings and limitations imposed by the body. No person has a material body perfect enough to wish for it as an everlasting companion. So, in order to understand what eternal life is, we have simply to learn what eternal consciousness is. Consciousness without ideas is inconceivable; it would be no consciousness. Therefore it may be said that consciousness is inseparable from ideas; and, in a sense, consciousness may be said to be identified with its ideas; that is, identified with its thoughts, feelings, and volitions. Hence, it manifestly follows that, if the person's consciousness comes to entertain thoughts, feelings, and volitions that are eternal, the consciousness that entertains them thus also becomes eternal; that is, becomes eternal consciousness, or eternal life. Manifestly, ideas which are true are eternal; for truth cannot be changed or destroyed. . . .

Since all ideas or facts of truth are embodied in God and expressed in Christ, it follows that, if we come to know God and Christ as they are, our consciousness becomes filled or identified with the thoughts, feelings, and volitions which are in the divine Mind and are expressed in Christ. Such thoughts, feelings, and volitions are changeless and eternal, and our consciousness, being thus identified with them, is eternal. Now, remembering that consciousness is life, we see the significance of the words of Jesus: "This is life eternal [eternal consciousness], that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." The Greek word translated "know" in this text has a broad significance, covering thought, feeling, and volition. It will thus, perhaps, be evident that consciousness, or knowing in this broad sense, is life; and that such knowledge or consciousness is the only true or imperishable life man has. It is a life boundless and inexhaustible in its resources and riches, when once attained; for it signifies to know and revel in all the knowledge, love, beauty, purity, and truth of God. It means an infinite or unbounded consciousness, unbounded knowledge, unbounded love.

All things which are seen or apprehended by the physical senses are perishable, and therefore temporal, changeable, untrue, and unreal, since truth and reality can neither be changed nor destroyed. "The things which are seen are temporal." Hence, to the extent that our consciousness is filled or identified with ideas originating in the physical senses, to the extent that it is identified with ideas of this world, to that extent our consciousness rests on a perishable and untrue basis; and to that extent our consciousness or sense of life will die or pass away, since there cannot be permanent ideas of things, when the things themselves do not exist. . . . Thus we see that, unless a man's consciousness feeds upon and assimilates itself to the truth, which is the flesh or body of Christ, and unless he drinks, or becomes imbued with the consciousness of divine Love, which is expressed in Christ and is his spiritual blood, that man has no true or eternal ideas, and so has no eternal or real or imperishable or true life; therefore, really, he has no life at all; for that which is not true life is not life at all.

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