Monday, 3 July 2017

Time And The Hereafter

If there is a hereafter, which I doubt, is its passage of time the same as ours? If someone died a week ago, has he now been in the hereafter for a week? It is impossible that the hereafter is timeless because consciousness requires time.

In Poul Anderson's Operation Chaos, the baby Valeria Matuchek has been kidnapped to Hell. It takes time for Valeria's parents to organize a rescue team. However, the team is able to arrive in Hell just before Valeria so that she is rescued after only a few moments in the infernal realm where space and time are chaotic in any case.

In SM Stirling's Emberverse, one character arriving in the Summerlands and another visiting Heaven are greeted by people whom they know to be still alive on Earth.

"'The great Governors seem to have no time sense as we understand the term...'"
-James Blish, Black Easter (New York, 1977), III, p. 42.

"'Only One has descended into Hell.'
"'And will he ever do so again?'
"'It was not once long ago that He did it. Time does not work that way once ye have left the Earth. All moments that have been or shall be were, or are, present in the moment of His descending.'"
-CS Lewis, The Great Divorce (London, 1982), p. 114.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I do believe the afterlife is real. And, it seems logical to think, therefore, that for both the saved and the damned, spirits in that afterlife experience time DIFFERENTLY from what beings with physical bodies like us necessarily do.

And, of course, God knows all times: past, present, future, and infinite POSSIBLE timelines in an eternal NOW.

And that picture of the clock reminded me of how Manse Everard said in "Delenda Est" how that very practical, very basic invention, the mechanical clock, was invented by Christian monks to accurately regulate the hours for prayer and work. With all its other consequences the mechanical clock's invention caused!