“Lives eternal he one who lives in the present”.
Eternity (the term derives from the Latin locution “ex” (outside) and from “ternum” (triple/triad), i.e. “outside the triad [of time]”: past, present and future) consists on one side in a perpetual flow of time, without beginning and without end, on the other in the atemporal point that we call instant (the Parmenidean being is nothing else than the instant), that is outside of time and coincides with the real present, of which we can’t have experience; an instant proceeds without interruption to another instant, they add up over time but they remain elusive for us; it is we who are in motion while the instant is immutable, even if it seems to shift, as the apparent motion of the Sun; the elusive and uninterrupted flow of instants constitutes the course of time, which is an illusion, since there is nothing but the endless eternity, whereby:
“Time is the moving image of eternity”.
Once, we fathomed eternity: both as infinite temporal duration and as timelessness. Too much time has passed since we have only been able to speculate about it, only able to see the door of eternity from a more or less favorable position, with the silly illusion of being able to reach its handle. The same applies to the concept of infinity, we are no longer able to deeply understand and fathom the infinity of the Universe. Only a finite space is within the reach of our minds.
It’s exactly here that lies the meaning of what Mircea Eliade called “nostalgia for paradise”, being nothing but the nostalgia for the Golden Age (i.e. the primordial state in which we fathomed eternity, since gold is a symbol of the metaphysical concept of the “being”, which is not subject to the laws of the temporal becoming), the aspiration to regain an existence outside of time, as when men were unaware of it and, consequently, free from the terror and anguish of history. Here lies one of the deeper meanings of all religions, one of their most important functions (achieved through initiations, rituals, ceremonies and festivities) being that of creating the momentary illusion that we are living once again that lost primordial condition to which we can not help but aspire, as a heartbreaking necessity that, if not satisfied, leads us to despair.
If every now and then you find yourselves immersed in similar thoughts, then maybe you will suffer, consequently, a sort of metaphysical vertigo/desperation: it’s the only way you have to find the answers you need, the only way to reawaken yourselves!
Eternal and Infinite, this is the Universe!