The Change: Departing
Defining death is not as obvious as we may think. Some creatures look very dead but are alive. Ten thousand year old embryos of small shrimps have been revived when placed in water. Using fossil DNA to recreate animals that died millions of years ago, is more than a Hollywood fantasy; we have the means to do it.
Conversely, fractions of living organisms may be dead. The fiber and wood supporting growing vegetables are dead tissues. Our fingernails and hair are mostly composed of dead cells.
Typically, human death is pronounced when the heart has ceased to beat or the lungs to breathe. But modern apparatus can artificially maintain vital functions, including circulation and respiration. A brain-dead patient can be kept alive indefinitely.
For Eternism, however, the definition is clear: by accident, malady, or simple wearing out, death is the end of our Eternons' gathering into a functional structure.
What happens when we die?
|Practically all creeds and
religions advocate immortality. Although they may present good arguments for it, they
offer no explication for its functioning within the frame of modern knowledge. With
Eternism, it is different. Not only do we learn the rationale behind eternal life, but we
penetrate to the core of its mechanism.
Our energy field is impervious to physical ordeals because we are an Eternon who does not need brain waves or a beating heart to be alive and well.
When our structure ends, this Eternon does not die any more than the pottery maker dies when his vase breaks into pieces. Death only affects the work, not the creator.
Consequently, it makes no difference whether our human structure expires peacefully in its sleep or is vaporized by an explosion. Our Leading Eternon, our real and indestructible "I," always emerges from death as an undamaged living force. The figure "Your Eternal Life" illustrates this continuity.
Why must we die?
|The question could as well be:
"Why must we live?", or: "Why is there a full moon and a new moon?"
Death is part of the cosmic cycles that make up our changing universe. All forms of life,
from stones to stars, have limited existence because death serves evolution and progress.
Just as the pottery maker must always work on new pieces to achieve perfection, Eternons must always create new structures to reach the Absolute.
Then, why do we age?
|Aging is the natural process by
which our Eternons learn and mature. It begins with the initial division of our fertilized
egg. It continues through trillions of additional divisions to construct and maintain us
as an adult. Eventually, comes a time when our Eternons no longer evolve or contribute to
our evolution. They are compelled to pass into other structures. Even if we are spared
early accident or illness, these Eternons will bring our organism to a halt. Structures
are made not to last, but to be dismantled and reshuffled.
What determines longevity?
|For evolutionary purpose, an ideal
longevity is built into each species by Eternons. The lifetime of a butterfly is a few
days; that of a rat, a few months; that of a dog, a few years. Sequoias or baobabs are
trees that live hundreds or thousands of years.
Our own relatively short life-span is the price we pay for being fast evolving organisms.
Why do people some commit suicide?
|Unbalanced humans will
self-destruct in the throes of despair. They may do it gradually or quickly, shooting
themselves with drugs or with bullets. Such suicides are generally attributable to a lack
of inner harmony. Some, however, choose death while perfectly sound of mind and
body. Such is Christ, treading the path to his prophesied execution. Such are martyrs,
embracing their fate rather than recant. Such are many known and unknown heroes. For all
these Eternons, life had to be ended to be transcended.
What about those humans who are aborted or meet early deaths? It seems such a waste.
|Many will say that nature is
wasteful. It produces and squanders millions of eggs and young for nothing. It condemns
uncountable organisms to a swift death.
But waste is a subjective notion. Is there waste in exploding supernovae? Waste in crushed insects? No, nothing is lost, all is recycled.
For Eternons, to produce billions of sperms and only one to fertilize, to spread millions of seeds and only few to germinate, to hatch thousands of baby tortoises and only a handful to reach the ocean: this is no waste. This is work.
Obviously, aborted lives would be meaningless if death was the end of it all. Fortunately, the universe may be imperfect, but not meaningless. Death is not an ending, it is a passage. If an embryo never matured or if a young life never blossomed, it was not in vain. The Eternons who participated in their structures are now better prepared for other and longer existences.
If death is so natural, why do we fear it so much?
|Our fear of dying is rather
healthy. It stimulates us in moments of danger. As a self-preservation feature, we share
it with all other organisms, from the smallest bacteria to the largest mammal.
Our fear of deathand of the unknown attached to itis something else. We are born suffering from a terminal affliction called "mortality," and we are well aware of our fatal condition. Yet, dying is not equally frightening for all. Eastern minds are trained to accept inevitable cosmic patterns of change. Western souls are taught to dread the prospects of eternal damnation.
Although death may not always be our major worry, learning not to fear it will improve our everyday life. To this effect, only Eternism offers such a compelling demonstration of our eternity.
Having fully realized that we are an eternal Eternon, we can dismiss visions of vindictive god and final judgment. Fear of death needs no longer spoil our love of life. Instead, we can strive to make the most of our present materialization.
How should our body be treated after death?
|Egyptians wanted to preserve the
bodies of their leaders at all cost. Embalmed and placed in sarcophagi, the deceased were
sealed in the hearts of huge pyramids.
Certain primitive peoples have long preferred to leave their dead exposed to the natural outdoors. Some Indians used to lay them up in trees.
Islam and the West bury corpses. It protects them from scavengers, but not from hordes of microorganisms.
In the Orient, cremation is frequent. Ashes are kept into a container, or scattered in wind or stream.
Such dissimilar treatments show that the fate of the dead body is not important. This is why, in this matter, Eternism is not directing humans one way or another.
It should not come as a surprise. Our body is a short-lived incarnation of the everlasting Leading Eternon whom we are. It has no enduring value for this Eternon.
How does Eternism envision the donation of organs?
|The donation of organs does not
contradict Eternism. On the contrary. The medical knowledge it implies is directly
inspired by Eternons. After all, transferring blocks of molecules among structures is a
basic life process they have invented.
Transfusing a relatively plain substance like blood is simple. Transplanting intricate organs like the heart or liver, presents far more problems. Eternons of donor and recipient have to learn to cohabit, repressing a billion year old principles of organic individuality.
At any rate, there is something wonderful in the way Eternons, after the death of their structure, will continue to work for the benefit of a new one. It reveals a special dimension of the relatedness between all beings.
Some have their body frozen to be revived in the future. How should this be interpreted?
|Cryogenic conservation consists in
keeping organisms at very low temperature.Certain sick or old people have arranged, at a
great cost, to be preserved in this fashion after they "die." They expect that
future medical progress will return them to active life.
Since their body maintains a minimal cohesion, the gathering of their Eternons is not over and these persons are not really dead. They are in some state of suspended animation, just as the shrimps we mentioned earlier. Their Leading Eternon is still present in them.
Sperms and eggs are other living entities that are kept frozen. Their producers may have long been deceased when these gametes will be used to generate new lives. Here again, there is nothing peculiar to it. Even when a structure dies, some of its parts properly preserved may continue to live under the rule of their own Leading Eternons.
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