I am currently reading the medieval narrative of Hell in Christianity and find the text quite dramatic though untenable. Everlasting souls, you see, are subjected to equally everlasting tortures in Hell. These souls are tormented in all possible ways and suffer from burns, lacerations, and other sequelae of atrocious demonic games. Still, there is one problem: if something lasts forever, then it cannot be changed, whereas something that can be injured is, alas, impermanent.
Any process occurs in time, and any variations that happen are connected to it tightly. Time, metaphorically speaking, is a measure of the world’s decay, where decay is a succession of its irreversible changes. The tortures of hell represent a process that occurs in time; the state of a soul which is subjected to torture undergoes changes, which means that a soul is not everlasting. A state of an everlasting soul would be invariable and the soul would remain unaffected by any forces applied to it.
Theoretical eternity should encompass all the times across all the worlds (including all events that ever happened in them), while a theoretically eternal being is incapable of living in the world which is subjected to changes and affected by time. That being said, a human being is designed so intricately, that can have an eternal element in him, yet remain utterly impermanent. The only eternal element he has is his Consciousness, the very same “ divine spike” that ensures that a human being lives. In the life of a conscious human being, Consciousness is embodied fully; an unconscious human being is familiar only with attention as a form of Consciousness manifestation. The energy of attention is constant—it never becomes depleted, never gets tired, or grows stronger or weaker. The mind is the one that gets tired and when that happens, it seems that we run out of attention. But attention never goes away—it is just by itself now, traveling from one dominant stimulus to another.
The quality of the energy of Consciousness does not change, though its quantity can increase over time. The permanence of qualities and states is a trait of eternity. The only single energy in humans which never appears from anywhere and never goes anywhere never changes throughout one’s life, including the moments when the mind gets murky, from light to severe, is the energy of attention. Attention is the function of Consciousness, and the only thing that is eternal in humans is Consciousness; however, humans do not own it. Everything that makes up a human is mortal except Consciousness which is the attribute of God that was loaned out to humans. Setting Consciousness equal to the soul—the latter being the topic of spoken and written discourse over many centuries—is incorrect, because the soul has personality features, whereas Consciousness is impersonal.
The people who lived in ancient times wrote that the one who has drawn closer to God may receive attributes other than Consciousness from Him, which are equally constant, that is, eternal; and, indeed, this is the way it happens. Although, by that time, such a person cares little about his death and long and happy aging. A bit of eternal esse was added to impermanent esse—what’s the big deal? And, perhaps, the most mysterious thing that happens with you on the Path in regards to Eternity, is when Eternity reveals itself.
In his ordinary state, a human has access to the dimension of bodily sensations, the dimension of emotional and more subtle energy sensations, and the dimension of the mind, that is, memories, thoughts, phantasies, etc. As one undergoes a set of transfigurations, the number of dimensions available to him increases. In the Heart, for example, the exit to Infinity opens at a certain moment. At a later time, after new changes take place, this exit disappears. The dimension of Eternity reveals itself later on, and is accessible through the door of the “third eye”. Quite an interesting experience, you know; it changes one’s perspective toward life and its hectic routine. Eternity contains all things of the world in it, but no people at all. There is no place in it for those who live and change. Therefore, you will be unable to live in it either—just to breathe it a little bit, take pleasure in its stationary tranquility, and back you go, into the stream of changing situations and states.
Back to life.