Impossible to experience ‘afterlife’ and be focused on anything but…

Amazing to receive graceful Hallelujah!!! It is outlandish, close to “never been heard before” to be involved in a near fatal Motor Vehicle Accident be diagnosed with PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and by The OVERWHELMING grace of God to be given a chance to share about my experience.

Afterwards with a vague understanding of “Time.” What was there before “Time”? Very simply, “Time” is as such in the Solar system!

The Sun is essentially a ‘Star’! How many stars are in the sky?

Our Sun is an average sized star: there are smaller stars and larger stars, even up to 100 times larger. Many other solar systems have multiple suns, while ours just has one. Our Sun is 864,000 miles in diameter and 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit on the surface.

Units of time are actually quite arbitrary. Their relationship to astronomical features is historical: it’s what people used when counting rotations and revolutions of the planet were the best tools to hand. Nowadays, they are legacy values: the “true” units are other things that happen to be feasible to measure using modern tools (wavelengths of light, resonances of atoms), with particular values chosen and scaled to match the old values for continuity.

And other units derived from them were purely matters of arithmetical convenience. Factors of 12 and 60 were common because they make it easy to do arithmetic in thirds and quarters, and when doing fractions, they reduce easily. So a value like a “second” is absolutely and utterly arbitrary; it applies to outer space exactly as well as it does here.

The second’s arbitrary value is the fundamental unit of the metric system, that that’s what scientists use to communicate with each other. The numbers can be scaled for their convenience: as long as they’re labeled, one system is as good as any other. (Especially with computers to do the work.)

Astronomers try to measure rotations and revolutions of distant bodies, and when speaking of them in public they might use “day” or “year” to help people visualize it. But when speaking to each other, they know what the technical terms mean, and avoid the ambiguity of layperson speak.

So in the end, it’s all just “seconds”, scaled up or down. It may be converted to something else for public consumption or even with each other, but when it comes down to brass tacks they find it’s easiest to all use the same unit, even if it’s completely arbitrary.

(It is worth noting that some physicists use a rather unfamiliar set of units call “natural units”, under which important constants like the speed of light and the pull of gravity work out to precisely 1. These are convenient when you’re pushing around equations, but require a fair bit of effort to translate into clocks and rulers when you want to build an actual experiment.),%2C%20noon%20and%20mid%2Dafternoon.&text=In%20Old%20Testament%20times%20there,was%20also%20coming%20into%20use.

Today when we think of the afterlife we usually think of binary concepts of heaven and hell. We might imagine fluffy clouds, singing choirs of angels, Saint Peter at the heavenly gates, or Satan holding a pitchfork, and the fiery tortures of hell. We also tend to imagine an immediate arrival at either of these destinations after death.

In the first century C.E., however, very few of these ideas about the afterlife were operative; but we can begin to see the origins of our present concepts in the beliefs of early Christians.

Prior to the Second Temple period, both Jewish and Greek thought were dominated by the idea that people went to the same space after death and lived a shadowy existence. In the Hebrew Bible this space is called Sheol, and in Greek texts like The Odyssey it is called Hades. Even though everyone was thought to go to the same place after death, death (and along with it Sheol and Hades) was still something that a person would want to avoid for as long as possible  

By the Second Temple period, apocalyptic literature had configured separate spaces for persons both before and after the final judgment, based upon different types of earthly behavior. The final judgment, or day of judgment, refers to a future date on which all of the dead will be raised, souls will be reunited with bodies, and all people and nations will be judged by God. 1 Enoch 22 for instance, describes four containers that souls inhabit while they await judgment, each with amenities that befit a person’s behavior on earth. This pre-sorting of souls was not random but prefigured one’s ultimate destination after the last judgment. Similarly, in 4 Ezra 7 readers are confronted with “two ways,” one that is wide and easy and leads to destruction and another that is narrow and difficult and leads to paradise.

During this same period, the influence of Greek philosophy was widening. Stories like Plato’s myth of Er, in which the wicked and righteous souls journey to different spaces after death, contributed to the idea of a differentiated afterlife that was emerging in apocalyptic thought (Plato, Republic 10.614-615). Similar to Jewish apocalyptic literature, Greek visions of the other world tended to focus on the behaviors that a person could reform in their earthly life to avoid an unwanted afterlife either in Hades (Lucian, Menippus 14) or in another far-off space (Plato, Phaedo 107-108).

In our earliest Christian writings in the first century C.E., Paul and the Gospel writers worked within this framework and imagined different spaces for the righteous and the wicked at the last judgment or immediately after death. In the Gospel of Matthew, for example, we find the now-popular image of Peter and the keys to the kingdom of heaven (Matt 16:17-20), although the only “gates” mentioned there are still the gates of Hades.

In Luke’s Gospel we find the punishment of the rich man and the reward of the poor man Lazarus residing with Abraham in comfort after his death (Luke 16). The otherworldly reversal of fates in the story of the rich man and Lazarus mirrors the story of Er in Plato’s Republic in its focus on earthly behavior as opposed to post-mortem fate. But many of the other early depictions of eternal torment are of masses of unnamed sinners (Matt 8:12Matt 13:42Matt 13:50Matt 22:13Matt 24:51Matt 25:30Rev 19:19-21Rev 20:7-15). The unnamed are still a far cry from our contemporary visions of the afterlife and describe a final judgment that happens at some time in the future, not immediately after death. But these New Testament appropriations of apocalyptic thought later developed into more robust concepts of an afterlife.

In the time of Jesus and the decades that followed, the binary understanding of the afterlife was emerging, influenced by Jewish apocalyptic thought and Greek philosophy. In the late first century C.E. we already see a fusion occurring between these Jewish and Greek concepts in the New Testament Gospels. These new concepts of the afterlife would later be harmonized into the early Christian ideas of heaven and hell that are more familiar today.

What is your belief (or should I call it knowledge?)

Published by Fellowship of Praise: ALL praise to God our Reason, Hallelujah!!!

To God be The glory. Let us praise God together for His ALL in our lives, Amen.

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