Themes :
Eternal Life

Virtually all sacred traditions have language around deathlessness, eternal life, immortality...

Of course you find constant references to eternal life in Christianity.

Why are these concepts so tenacious in world religions when, let's face it, you just have to look around you to see that no one is living forever. It's a rare individual who makes it to the century mark. So why this language of immortality?

Some traditions do take this literally. You'll find the idea of physical immortality in some schools of Taoism, for example. Physical immortality is sometimes said to be literally attained by hidden masters of yoga and alchemy in India. We find this idea popping up occasionally in traditions of Western alchemy too, such as in the stories of St. Germaine.

Whether or not actual physical immortality is possible, it seems a rather materialist goal that falls short of the true spiritual meaning that is intended. Certainly a vital and long life can be valuable in the spiritual quest, but trying to avoid the body's death is not what is really meant by references to immortality and eternal life.

In deep states of spiritual opening, an amazing thing happens: You are flooded with an immense and unimpeded awareness of Life. By comparison, all your experience up to that point seems like you were really asleep, not really alive. There is the sense that the common experience of life is somehow encrusted with a layer of -- let's call it "death" -- that dampens the full awareness of life.

In this awareness, death has left us. Only life remains. This doesn't mean that the physical body won't eventually grow old and cease to function. But those experiences lose the flavor of death. There is only life in its infinite unfolding, regardless of how the body functions.

This is what is meant by eternal life. This is real immortality, real "deathlessness."

Poems with the theme of Eternal Life

  AE (Russell, George William) Divine Visitation
  Aurobindo The Guest
  Blake, William Trembling I sit day and night (from Jerusalem)
  Bradstreet, Anne There is a path no vulture's eye hath seen (from The Vanity of All Worldly Things)
  cummings, e. e. i am a little church(no great cathedral)
  Dariya Without love there can be no devotion and wisdom (from Love Chapter)
  Ghalib, Mirza These divine verses
  Hayati, Bibi Is it the night of power
  Jimenez, Juan Ramon Full Moon
  Kerouac, Jack The Scripture of the Golden Eternity
  Leon, Luis de The Life Removed
  Nanak, Guru [Japji 38] Discipline is the workshop
  Nasimi, Imadeddin I take the Merciful One's shape, the Merciful I am
  Solovyov, Vladimir If desires fly by like shadows
  Tagore, Rabindranath (1) Thou hast made me endless (from Gitanjali)
  Tolkien, J. R. R. EŠrendil the Mariner
  Tolkien, J. R. R. Frodo's Lament for Gandalf
  Tukaram Thou art more kind than mother dear
  Underhill, Evelyn Corpus Christi
  Whitman, Walt [7] Has anyone supposed it lucky to be born? (from Song of Myself)
  Wordsworth, William Dust as we are, the immortal spirit grows (from The Prelude, Book 1)
  Wordsworth, William O joy! that in our embers (from Ode. Intimations of Immortality)
  Yogananda, Paramahansa Prayer for the Great Enlightenment
  Yogananda, Paramahansa Samadhi
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