Implications of Infinity

Mark Pottenger

(Written 7/17/2010 - 8/5/2010. Edited by James Pottenger 11/2010.)

Time and timelessness and eternity

Standard English has difficulty conveying the meaning I intend, but I will try.

I often suggest adding omnitemporal to the more common three omnis (omniscient, omnipresent & omnipotent) because the usual presentation of the omnis doesn't address time.

My basically pantheistic view is that God (the Transcendent, the Infinite, etc.) is EVERYTHING, with no exceptions or exclusions. This is not limited to every bit of space in present time as conveyed by omnipresent, but includes every bit of space in all possible times: past, present, future, branching, parallel, reversed, or anything else described by science, science fiction or mysticism, or so far beyond human conception that it has never been described on Earth.

Linear time as we usually view it in our current object-reality culture is a restrictive viewpoint imposed on a larger reality. Science and fiction that speaks of time as a 4th dimension (or multiple dimensions) comes closer to reality--a physical object can be described as x wide, y high, z deep and t [seconds, days, years, etc.] long. The label "space-time continuum" is good. Consciousness unrestrained by an object-reality view of time can, in effect, turn left at Tuesday--view parts of total reality that conventional object-oriented reality says are in the past or future.

The larger reality really is best described by "I AM". In English, the best approximation I can manage is to say that everything has already happened: all possible pasts, presents and futures already exist. Belief in a fixed past, a moving present, and an undetermined future is a set of blinders imposed by a physical reality worldview.

When you connect omniscience to omnipresence and omnitemporality, you can see that the Infinite includes knowledge of all possible spaces (including all branes if such exist) in all possible times (including all branches if such exist) in all possible realities. Some fiction includes mythic and fictional locales as places that can be visited--if such is possible, these locales are included in the Infinite. The Infinite does not have to wait for any event to happen to know of it--in the Infinite all events are eternally known.

Cause and effect language is inapplicable in the Infinite since cause and effect depends on linear time. All events are known in their full contexts, and any event can as easily be described in terms of the future it connects to (object reality effect) as the past it connects to (object reality cause).

I believe this also resolves questions raised by phrases like "eternal life". A human lifetime might be described as 100 years of linear Earthly time located at a particular point in space-time, yet that lifetime can also be described as part of the eternal I AM. The I AM, including that lifetime, is eternal. It isn't even a case of the lifetime being something that will always be remembered by some other entity--in the I AM that particular 100-year segment has always existed and will always exist because the I AM includes all possible time (or is eternal and timeless, depending on one's choice of language).

Discussion of evolution is inapplicable in the Infinite, since evolution (used exoterically) depends on linear time. To evolve is to change over time. The closest approximation might be "this localized physical facet" or "this localized mental aspect" in this time-space of the I AM connects in local association to that facet or aspect in that space-time of the I AM. For example, evolution on Earth from chemicals to cells to multi-cellular organisms to animals to mammals to humanity, a sequence of changes over billions of years in conventional language, can also be described as a contiguous part of the Infinite I AM that is a few thousand miles around and a few billion years long.

Concepts of time are deeply embedded in our language, but we can reduce confusion through careful choices of words. For example, the word "completion" implicitly includes the idea of reaching the end of a process while the word "completeness" does not imply anything about processes.

A popular quote from Einstein says “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once.” A rewording that comes a little closer to reality is "time, like space, lets you describe reality as separate parts".

I think, therefore it is

The question of whether imagined (mythical, fictional) worlds have any "reality" is partly another artifact of the limitations of language. When using ordinary object-oriented English, the question seems to make sense. When we get beyond object-oriented language and recall that the "real" world it describes is actually a virtual reality in the mind of the describer, imagined worlds start to look more real. Any imagined world is ALSO a virtual reality in the mind of the imaginer. Any individual mind capable of imagining any world is part of the Infinite I AM, so all images of worlds, "real" or "imagined", are parts of eternity.

Identity implications

In some of this section I am reasoning and speculating more than attempting to convey a clear understanding in poorly suited language. I the writer have a strong object-reality sense of identity as the person with this physical body and some grasp of the concept of the Infinite I AM, but I'm only guessing how many layers and levels exist between those.

I suspect the phrase "spirit having a human experience" comes quite close to our object reality. That part of the Infinite that is a human being living in this world is constrained by the limitations of a human body, just as the part of the Infinite that is a less-deeply-thinking animal is constrained by the limitations of that animal body and the part of the Infinite that is a flower is constrained by the limitations of that flower and the part of the Infinite that is a rock is constrained by the limitations of that rock.

I suspect that human limitations block awareness beyond the individual body mostly but not completely. The little bit of the Infinite "I AM" that an individual human "I am" is occasionally aware of can be experienced as mystical awareness, epiphany, memory of other lives, psychometry, precognition of future events, etc., literally ad infinitum. The interpretation depends on how much of what parts of the Infinite was included in the awareness and what programmed filters (neurons) the individual uses to assign meanings.

Reincarnation is an example of filtering. One could describe reincarnation as addiction to matter without being too far off. Since all time-space is in the I AM, the memory of all human lives is in the I AM. An individual human can experience a memory from a body and life other than their current experience. If the interpretive filters (current neurons programmed with dualism) used to understand the experience assume that a separate discrete identity tied to a body is the basis of existence, the natural interpretation is that the current individual has reincarnated and remembered an event from a previous incarnation. If the interpretive filters (current neurons programmed with pantheism) used to understand the experience recognize that the "I am" is a small part of the "I AM", the natural interpretation is that this "I am" briefly expanded its boundaries within the I AM.

I have sometimes heard questions about where or what the individual is before birth. This is a strictly time/space object-reality question. Any individual was, is, and forever will be part of the I AM.

When discussing apparently discrete physical objects or consciousnesses, I try to avoid phrases like "extension of the infinite" or "connected to the infinite". It's like saying my fingers are extensions of or connected to my body instead of saying my fingers are part of my body. Since the I AM is totality, there is nothing else. An extension requires somewhere else to extend. A connection requires more than one item to connect. I prefer phrases like "aspect of the infinite" and "facet of the infinite", both of which suggest looking at a part of a whole.

Even the terms incarnation and manifestation are iffy: the noun meanings might pass but these words are also verbs suggesting separateness & change.

One can describe parts of a whole without using language suggesting that the part is not within the whole. The whole still EXISTS as a whole no matter how many different ways we chose to DESCRIBE parts of it. I can say that my fingers and hands sense the shapes of keys and keyboard and feel motions and pressures as I type this, yet my fingers, hands and arms are still parts of my body as I type.

I suspect that there are levels of identity all the way up to the totality of the Infinite, giving group consciousness, planetary consciousness, etc. Each level of increased inclusiveness has a greater scope of awareness, all the way up to the omniscience of totality.

I will use the body analogy again to try to convey levels of grouping. The awareness of a finger includes sensations of shapes, textures, pressures, temperatures, positions, pains, etc. within the range of the few inches of physical space it occupies. The awareness of a hand includes the combined sensations of all the fingers, the thumb, the palm, and the back of the hand. The awareness of an arm includes the combined sensations of the hand and all the rest of the arm up to the shoulder. The awareness of an upper body includes the combined sensations of both arms, the shoulders, the neck, the head, the torso, and all the components of each that could be listed. The awareness of a person's body includes the combined sensations of the upper and lower parts of the body. Each part of the body can be described separately, yet it is still one body.

The preceding build-up of components seems straightforward, yet the same body can be descriptively divided in different ways. Instead of the upper/lower distinction I used, one can just as easily speak of the left and right halves of the body or the front and back halves of the body, with varying components making up each "half".

Any part of the body is simultaneously itself and a part of several larger aggregations all the way up to the whole body. If I lie on my side facing away from the sun in a sunny location, I can say one side feels pressure from the supporting surface while the other side only feels air pressure and at the same time my back feels heat from sunlight while my front is shaded and cooler, yet all of this is DESCRIPTIVE separation into components of a unified experience.

In the same way, every "I am" in the "I AM" is only DESCRIPTIVELY separate.

Copyright © 2010 Mark Pottenger

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