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Re: Is There a Universe?

Dec 12, 1996 06:15 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker


>The problem I have with using any word or words to describe "the totality of
>all that is" is that it implies that there is something definite to which is
>being referred, which is not true if it is infinite.  Negation, when
>possible, is more accurate.  Rather than say, for example, that everything
>constantly changes, I would rather say that there is nothing which does not
>constantly change.  The former implies a limit which the latter does not.

You're right about this distinction and it's one that I was trying
to make. We're dealing with something entirely different, in speaking
of the totality of all that is, than if we're speaking of a particular
cosmos, world, or system of existence, a particular living replica of
the universal pattern.

>>The term "eternal", for instance, meaning existing throughout all
>>time, or until the end of time, when applied to a particular
>>world-system means until that system comes to its natural end.
>>When we speak of eternal liberation through entering Nirvana, for
>>instance, it applies to our attaining freedom from rebirth for the
>>duration of the earth's existence, the current planetary

>To the extent that the word "eternal" is understood to mean something
>absolute, when referring to something definite, it, also, is misleading.

In some of his books, Purucker does a good job of making a distinction
between relative and universal absolutes. There is relative, conditioned
time, for instance, as related to a particular evolutionary scheme, and
there's the pure, unconditioned, unrelated Time, quite independent of
any relationship to existing things.

If we consider two eternal's, two space's, two time's, two motion's, etc.,
then it becomes less misleading. The problem, though, is that in
theosophical literature, terms are used at times with different meanings,
and in different contexts, so we're left to sort them out in our

I find it helpful to have the idea that there are things that are
*eternal*, that is, existing to the *end of time*. And that there is
such a thing as the end of time. But these end's are in the context
of a particular world-scheme, and have nothing to do with the Boundless
All, which is beginningless and endless, since it is no particular
thing. The meaning of "forever" can only be interpreted in terms of
a particular "time", a time that is conditioned, in relationship to
a particular world-system, and that time is only experienced by the
inhabitants of that system. That particular experience of "time" *is
not* for beings existing elsewhere, in other schemes; it simply does
not exist.

It's interesting to talk about these things, just difficult to put
them down clearly in words...

-- Eldon

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