Eternity personified, holding the ourobouros. The Ouroboros (Greek grc Ουροβόρος from grc ουροβόρος όφις "tail-devouring snake" also spelled Ourorboros, Oroborus, Uroboros
Caryatid in the apse of Milan Cathedral (1611)[1]

While in the popular mind, eternity often simply means existing for a limitless amount of time, many have used it to refer to a timeless existence altogether outside of time. Origins The origins of the term are unclear It is first recorded in the Latin form caryatides by the Roman architect Vitruvius. APSE standing for Ada Programming Support Environment is a program or set of programs to support Software development in the Ada programming language. Milan Cathedral (Italian Duomo di Milano; Milanese: Domm de Milan) is the Cathedral For other uses see Time (disambiguation Time is a component of a measuring system used to sequence events to compare the durations of There are a number of arguments for eternity, by which proponents of the concept, principally Aristotle, purported to prove that matter, motion, and time must have existed eternally. Arguments for eternity composed a particularly important area of philosophical debate among Greek, Jewish Islamic and Christian Philosophers Aristotle (Greek Aristotélēs) (384 BC – 322 BC was a Greek philosopher a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great.

## Eternity as a timeless existence

Augustine of Hippo wrote that time exists only within the created universe, so that God exists outside of time; for God there is no past or future, but only an eternal present. God is the principal or sole Deity in Religions and other belief systems that worship one deity. PAST (short for Polska Akcyjna Spółka Telefoniczna, Polish Telephone Joint-stock Company) was a Polish telephone operator in the period between World War I The future is commonly understood to contain all events that have yet to occur The present is the Time that is perceived directly not as a recollection or a speculation One need not believe in God in order to hold this concept of eternity: for example, an atheist mathematician can maintain the philosophical tenet that numbers and the relationships among them exist outside of time, and so are in that sense eternal.

## God and eternity

Theists say that God is eternally existent. God is the principal or sole Deity in Religions and other belief systems that worship one deity. How this is understood depends on which definition of eternity is used. On the one hand, God may exist in eternity, a timeless existence where categories of past, present, and future just do not apply. On the other hand, God will exist for or through eternity, or at all times, having already existed for an infinite amount of time and being expected to continue to exist for an infinite amount of time. One other definition states that God exists outside the human concept of time, but also inside of time. The reasoning for this definition is that if God did not exist both outside of time and inside of time, God would not be able to interact with humans.

Whichever definition of eternity is understood, it is common to observe that finite human beings cannot fully understand eternity, since it is either an infinite amount of the time we know or something other than the time and space we know. Infinity (symbolically represented with ∞) comes from the Latin infinitas or "unboundedness For the infinite definition, there are parallels that give some notion of an infinity—of at least a potential infinity, or a series that begins and has not ended. In metaphysics, Aristotle distinguished between actual and potential infinities. In Mathematics, a sequence is an ordered list of objects (or events A series of moments that has begun and not ended is however, not potentially eternal by that definition. A series of moments that has begun and not ended cannot be eternal, because even if it were to continue for the rest of (infinite) time, there would still be time prior to the initial moment in the series. The series of moments could not ever exist for all eternity because no matter what happened during the series of moments, nothing would ever cause the series of moments to have existed since the beginning of "eternity", and thus could never achieve the status of eternal or even potentially eternal.

Related to the notion of eternal existence is the concept of God as Creator, as a being completely independent of "everything else" that exists because he created everything else. (Contrast this with panentheism. Panentheism (from Greek (pân "all" (en "in" and (Theós "God" "all-in-God" is a belief system ) If this premise is true, then it follows that God is independent of both space and time, since these are properties of the universe. The Universe is defined as everything that Physically Exists: the entirety of Space and Time, all forms of Matter, Energy So according to this notion, God exists before time began, exists during all moments in time, and would continue to exist if somehow the universe and time itself were to cease to exist.

Related to 'eternal life', the biblical revelation first indicated that Man as a special created being is able to grasp the abstract concept in contrast with the lower animal world which did not have the ability to understand the concept of "eternity". Revelation is the act of revealing or disclosing (see etymology or in the theological perception making something obvious and clearly understood through active or passive communication See book of Ecclesiastes 3:11 "He has made everything beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes (often abbreviated Ecc) (קֹהֶלֶת Kohelet, variously transliterated as Qoheleth, Göhalath, Koheles, Koheleth He has also set eternity in the hearts of men . . " (from Bible translation in the N. Etymology According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word bible is from Latin biblia, traced from the same word through Medieval Latin and Late Latin I. V. ). Contrast this with the timeless existence definition, which would imply animals are blessed with eternal life from birth (because of their inability to grasp the concept of eternity or even time) , which is something mankind gave up when he was cast out of the "Garden of Eden". It is commonly believed among theists that although mankind can grasp the abstract concept of "eternity", one may only obtain "eternal life" once returned to God.

It is also equally possible that God can choose not to exist as he is all powerful, but eternity does not have this choice. After God there may be "nothing", and God himself will be powerless to prevent this so the state of "nothing" may remain forever. This is the very idea of eternity, where a state of series of events or motion or matter will continue in some way or another. This aspect of God and eternity leads to the human mind assuming that both are completely separate entities, and God himself is bound by the rules of eternity. There are no examples of this, and there never will be. Both entities in this aspect are beyond the "finite" capabilities of the human mind as mentioned above. It cannot be proven or unproven, for if it happened there would be no life or device to document this.

See also the nature of God in monotheistic religions. The nature of God in monotheistic religions is a broad topic in Western Philosophy of religion and Theology, with a very old and distinguished

## Symbolism and eternity

Eternity is often symbolized by the image of a snake swallowing its own tail, known as Ouroboros (or Uroboros), though the symbol can also carry a number of other connotations. The Ouroboros (Greek grc Ουροβόρος from grc ουροβόρος όφις "tail-devouring snake" also spelled Ourorboros, Oroborus, Uroboros

The circle is also commonly used as a symbol for eternity. The related concept, infinity, is symbolized by $\infty$. Infinity (symbolically represented with ∞) comes from the Latin infinitas or "unboundedness

There is a folk story called "The Shepherd Boy" by the Brothers Grimm where a wise shepherd boy is brought to a king to answer three questions. The third question the king asks is "how many seconds of time are there in eternity?" To which the shepherd boy replies, "In Lower Pomerania is the Diamond Mountain, which is two miles and a half high, two miles and a half wide, and two miles and a half in depth; every hundred years a little bird comes and sharpens its beak on it, and when the whole mountain is worn away by this, then the first second of eternity will be over. "

## References

1. ^ Pietro Daverio: "Eternity". The word aeon, also spelled eon or æon, means "age" "forever" or "for Eternity " Arguments for eternity composed a particularly important area of philosophical debate among Greek, Jewish Islamic and Christian Philosophers Eternalism is a philosophical approach to the ontological nature of time. Eternal return (also known as " eternal recurrence " is a concept which posits that the Universe has been recurring and will continue to recur in a Perennial philosophy (Latin philosophia perennis "eternal philosophy" also Philosophia perennis et universalis) is the notion of the universal recurrence In the Philosophy of time, presentism is the Belief that only the present exists and the Future and the Past are unreal Temporal finitism is the idea that Time is Finite. The philosophy of Aristotle, expressed in such works as his Physics, held that For other uses see Time (disambiguation Time is a component of a measuring system used to sequence events to compare the durations of Philosophy of space and time is the branch of Philosophy concerned with the issues surrounding the Ontology, Epistemology, and character of Space Although the sense of time is not associated with a specific sensory system the work of Psychologists and Neuroscientists indicates that our brains do have a system In Physics, the treatment of Time is a central issue It has been treated as a question of Geometry. Allegorical caryatid from the Monument to Charles Borromeo in the apse of the Milan Cathedral (1611). Saint Charles Borromeo (Carlo Borromeo Latinized as Carolus Borromeus) ( October 2 1538 – November 3 1584) is an Milan Cathedral (Italian Duomo di Milano; Milanese: Domm de Milan) is the Cathedral Picture by Giovanni Dall'Orto, July 14, 2007. Events 1223 - Louis VIII becomes King of France upon the death of his father Philip II of France. Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century.

## eternity

### -noun

1. (uncountable) Existence without end, infinite time.
2. (countable) A period of time which extends infinitely far into the future.
3. (metaphysical) The remainder of time that elapses after death.
4. (informal, hyperbolic) A comparatively long time.
© 2009 citizendia.org; parts available under the terms of GNU Free Documentation License, from http://en.wikipedia.org
network: | |