An article revealing that an eternal life is possible within our current existence.
By Cristo Rey
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What is an eternal life? What are the scriptural and scientific bases for it? Can we have an eternal life? What are the requirements for having an eternal life? Can we meet the requirements?
The purpose of this article is to attempt to answer these questions by a consideration of the scientific, biblical, and traditional views on these subjects. Jesus the Christ taught that both an eternal life in this existence, and resurrection from a biological death, were possible, and a real certainty if we lived a life as He urged and taught us to live it. As an Eternal Life and a Resurrection from death are two separate and different concepts, this author will confine the present article to the subject of an eternal life, and reserve the other concept (Resurrection) for separate treatment.
What is an eternal life?
An Eternal life is a self-evident, self-defining concept, and it means "the retention of the living state forever," or life eternal in this existence.
What are the scriptural and scientific bases for it?
As difficult as it is to believe, God originally Created Mankind as immortal beings, but somehow warned them that if they engaged in certain behaviors, called "sins," they would surely die (Gn 2:17), and from then on be mortal beings (Gn 3:19).
We know, scientifically, that ape-men and pre-Modern Men were not immortal, as they did not survive. What we do not know, and might never be able to determine, is if for just a relatively very brief period of time, early Modern Man was immortal, or had genetically attained, or been endowed with immortality. The people who lived closer to that time period, perhaps 200,000 years ago, and whose words were passed down verbally (Oral Tradition) through their succeeding generations, to finally be set down in writing 3,600 years ago as the mythologized account in the Second Chapter in the Book of Genesis, informed us that this was so, that in the beginning, Mankind was immortal.
The Book of Genesis, of course, is encoded as a mixture of mythology, allegory, and real events, as are the rest of the Scriptures. As the mythology and allegory are messages in the form of signs and symbols, one has to use a method to decode them. Furthermore, one has to be able to verify the correct decoding of the signs and symbols by information found in the other books or parts of the Scriptures, the object being to uncover consistency and supportive reinforcement for the realistic and explicit information decoded from the mythologized versions.
The First Chapter in the Book of Genesis informs us that God created Mankind in His image (Gn 1:27). As Mankind was created by God in His image, all aspects of God had to be represented as equivalents in Mankind, including His one important property or characteristic, His "eternity." To accomplish this, God had to have endowed Mankind with "immortality," as the way of representing His eternity in His imaged creation (Mankind). So this information in the First Chapter of the Book of Genesis reinforces the assertion in the Second Chapter (Gn 2:17) that Mankind was endowed by God with immortality as He originally created them.
We then find four additional instances of supportive reinforcements for this assertion in the Scriptures, two in the Old Testament, and the remaining two in the New Testament. In the so-called Book of Generations of Adam (Genesis Chapter 5), we find that, indeed Adam as a consequence of his sins, does die, at the age of 930 years (Gn 5:5), and that the general trend or tendency is for his succeeding generations to live relatively shorter and shorter lives. And in the Ninth Chapter of the Book of Genesis, we encounter God condemning Mankind henceforth to a maximum life of 120 years (Gn 6:3).
In the New Testament, we know that one of the most important teachings of Jesus the Christ involved His guidance to us as to "The Way" for us to live our lives in order to regain the "eternal life" we lost because of Adam's sins, and thereby our inclusion into the Kingdom of God. Also in the New Testament, in the Book of Revelation we learn that Mankind is predicted to regain the eternal longevity lost in Genesis, upon fulfillment of the predictions contained in that Book.
Secularly, three recent scientific findings also reinforce the assertion in the Book of Genesis of the possibility of Mankind's original immortality. The findings are that the death of the cells of our body is genetically controlled (Apoptosis), that our cells' immortality can be induced, and finally, that our cells' aging can be abolished. Active commercial scientific research is under way to stimulate all of these by artificial means, or by the genetic alteration of human beings (Scientists Playing God: Is Society Ready for a New "Immortal Class" of Humans?).
All scientist are in agreement that natural means of causing all three of these cellular effects probably already exist in the human body. That is to say, that we already have genetically determined ways of bringing these effects in our cells, but which are currently either turned off or are limited to working only as needed for particular situations in our bodies. The fact that the control of these effects is genetic in our bodies means that we have the genes which can bring them about, and the ONLY way we could have those genes is if we inherited them directly from some ancient common ancestor, say early Modern Man.
As these scientific findings have already been proven correct, then the original immortality of Mankind, that is to say in early Modern Man, who first appeared on Earth about 200,000 years ago, is not just a wild speculation, but as the Book of Genesis informed us, a certainty . . .
To put the whole thing in a simple speculative perspective, the human brain of early Modern Man (Mankind) originally was capable of producing the "good" chemicals which kept the cells of their entire bodies youthful and alive forever. However, something happened to cause these people's brains to stop producing these "good" chemicals, or to produce other chemicals, that is to say "bad" chemicals which destroyed or inactivated the "good" ones.
For clues as to what was that "something" that must have happened, we have to turn to the Book of Genesis again as the only source available with the information. Apparently these people engaged in certain behaviors, or that is to say, entertained some emotions which caused them to do certain things, which today we call "sins." By just having the emotions and intentions to sin, they caused their brains to start producing the "bad" chemicals. By carrying out the actual actions according to their emotions, their brains then produced more of these "bad" chemicals, and as a result the cells in their bodies began to age and die, causing the individuals to then be able to die, rendering them as "mortal" beings. To the extent that they kept repeating these "sins," they shortened their lifespans, so that those who sinned less than others lived longer lives than others, and those who sinned more than others lived shorter lives than others. By being the succeeding inheritors of their behavioral traits (sins), we recreate the behaviors during our lifetimes, which then results in our brains equally depriving us of the original longevity granted or created in our species by God.
Whether, as the Book of Genesis states, these were the first two human beings on Earth who could be classified as Modern Man, or a population of several thousand at the least, is a matter for speculation. Even though a scientist, the author chooses to accept the information in the Book of Genesis, that these were the first two human beings which Science could have reliably classified as truly Modern Man. A larger population of them would have included at least some members who would have displayed some restraint in sinning, and the results today would be different. Most likely they were closely related, either brother and sister, or close cousins. They must have been born to a family of pre-Modern Men or within the same extended family, and lived in the same locality. There are no indications that they were of the White Race or even Hebrews, and indeed chances are they were not, because the White Race appeared much later, after or during the middle of the last Glacial Period, 15,000 to 65,000 years ago, and the Hebrew people only 3,996 years ago, with the birth of the man Abram.
One can speculate, that this was a unique natural occurrence, a genetic mutation which occurred in a single or extended family of pre-Modern Men. Cases have been studied of genetic mutations occurring, within only a few individuals, in specific villages in both Western and Eastern Europe, the mutation caused, presumably, by a shower of Cosmic Rays (accelerated sub-atomic particles from somewhere in outer space) particularly concentrated on specific neighborhoods of those villages, and affecting just a few adjoining houses within the villages. It has been speculated that some hereditary diseases, such as Lou Gehrig's Disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) and Tay Sachs Disease, came about in just this manner.
The particular realistic and explicit details of these events were, most likely then, rationalized into the "religious" mythologized and allegorized account we read in the Book of Genesis today, later by the primitive Hebrew people, having been the last holders of the information passed verbally (Oral Tradition) from one generation to the next over the previous 196,000 years.
However, this observation is not intended to destroy or remove the Divine nature and source of the account or described happenings, but to reach a grasp on how God realistically performs His wonders. As these Cosmic Rays come from Outer Space, that is to say from somewhere in the Universe outside of Earth, their true source must have been God Himself, who we know resides somewhere in the "Heavens" or Universe.
The particular individuals involved must already have become aware of their probable immortality before they started to "sin," for them to have gained the awareness of the loss of their eternal longevity, and regretfully be able to pass the knowledge along to succeeding generations. Equally well, the probability that these individuals were deceived into sinning by concurrently living mortal human beings, motivated out of jealousy and resentment over their obvious immortality cannot be discounted. These people might have been mythologically portrayed in the allegorized Genesis Story as the "talking snake."
A detailed analysis of the allegorized and mythologized account in the Book of Genesis, and an exhaustive decoding of the signs and symbols utilized in constructing the allegorized and mythologized version, then yields the following realistic and explicit verifiable details, which the allegorized and mythologized account was made to stand for:
God does exist, and Mankind has secularly throughout History referred to Him as "Nature," and His Work of Creation as "Natural creation." God created Modern Man, by utilizing what now would be categorized by Mankind as "natural means," and that is by the mutations caused by Cosmic Rays on a small number of the offspring of pre-Modern human beings, possibly only two of them, a male and a female (the First Couple) which were either close neighbors or close relatives.
It became obvious to these individuals, during their prolonged lifetimes, as well as to those around them, that they were either immortal, or endowed with a considerably long lifespan, unlike in then existing human beings. A parallel and unrelated population of Modern Men, of undetermined number, in the same vicinity as that of the First Couple, not displaying the full immortality as the First Couple, most probably made the first simple observations and correlations between initial sinning and slight ageing in the First Couple, and motivated by jealousy and resentment over their differences, tempted them and entrapped them into a life of sin, to cause them to age rapidly and eventually die.
Descendants of these two initial branches of Modern Men, and their mixed offspring, make up the present Humanity. However, direct descendants of the original "jealous lot" survive in a close knit society or group within a society, and by very well organized and financed means continue to entice the current Humanity into sinning, motivated by the same original jealousy and resentment, and designed to prevent the re-achievement and re-appearance in the current Humanity of individuals displaying the original immortality of their direct ancentors, the First Couple. This is the full extent of the real and explicit details allegorized and mythologized in the Book of Genesis.
Jesus the Christ came to bring Humanity "The Truth" about these Historical events, and to sabotage and destroy the entity or group responsible for this evil Historical deed. He also came to show Humanity "The Way" to live so as to regain their lost immortality, that is "The Life," the "Eternal Life" lost by the designs of this evil Historical deed:
Jesus the Christ also gave Mankind a clue summarizing the essential qualities of the members of this sinister group, and responsible for these evil Historical events:
Jesus the Christ also explicitly predicted what their end would be:
Can we have eternal life?
To be sure, there are very strict conditions to the practical manifestation of eternal life in currently living human beings. These have to do with both, the establishment of the required internal conditions in the human being which would allow their brains to produce the "good" chemicals once again, and which would confer this eternity to their existence, and the required conditions for the effective and successful maintenance of the eternal living state once so achieved.
Jesus the Christ repeatedly and forcefully announced (Mt 19:29, Mk 10:30, Mt 18:30, Jn 5:24) something which is very important for us. He forcefully asserted that guided by His teachings, we could attain an eternal life in this existence. Obviously, He had attained a knowledge, or had come into possession of a knowledge that would guarantee for us, not just the remission of our sins, a successful and prosperous life, but in addition, an everlasting life in this existence in a very real sense.
Three currently accepted scientific concepts now render the idea of the attainment of an eternal life in this existence by natural means a distinct probability: One, the finding that cell death, Apoptosis, is a genetically programmed event, and as with all such events probably accompanied by its suppression by an as yet poorly understood innate genetic mechanism or process. The second, the finding of the genetically programmed immortality of cells in cell cultures, and in cancer tumors, with again the probability of its effective promotion in normal cells by as of yet poorly understood genetic mechanisms. Third, much is currently becoming known about the equally important and required suppression of cell aging, which by itself would limit the lifespan of the tissues and organs making up the organism, but which also could be promoted by as of yet undefined innate genetic mechanisms.
Active commercial scientific efforts are underway to develop artificial means to achieve the realization of all three of these required mechanisms, the genetic suppression of programmed cell death, the genetic promotion of cell immortality, and the genetic suppression of cell aging. However, the activation by natural means of these innate genetic processes, suspected by some scientists as probably already in existence in the living human being, to achieve these mechanisms, without artificial genetic intervention, will always lead to a more reliable and lasting event; and would be freely available to all who desired eternal longevity, and free us from the undesirable and unpredictable long-term side effects well known to be associated with such artificial genetic interventions.
The scientific findings already experimentally achieved on all of the above processes lead to the unavoidable conclusion that the very assertive messages of Jesus the Christ on this subject were real, and reliably credible, and very important for us.
What are the requirements for having an eternal life?
To obtain the benefits of a freely attainable eternal life in this existence, the most important requirement is the acceptance of Jesus the Christ as the only known authority on the subject of the behavioral (Mt 5:1-48) requirements to its achievement.
He stressed our learning to live our lives by the way that He taught (Jn 5:37-40), which He in turn had learned from His Father, God.
Although not necessarily impossible to achieve, the way is best summarized as encompassing the incorporation into our lives of four (4) main emotional requirements, which are largely unfamiliar and ignored by us in modern life. Furthermore, particularly since the Renaissance we have allowed ourselves to be too easily swayed through various seductive enticements by exploitative entities in our society into harboring routinely emotions which are their counterpart, and in doing so locked ourselves out of achieving an eternal life in this existence.
The first of these requirements is the full, unconditional, complete acceptance and love of Reality (Mk 12:29-33). Reality is from God, God is Reality. We should emotionally recognize and accept ONLY Reality, and not use the various means of escaping it offered to us by exploitative entities assailing and enticing us with its counterpart (Fiction). We have been told since the Renaissance that there is a "vital" usefulness to our exposure of ourselves to fiction and fantasy in the course of our life and development, and in that of our children. Nothing can be further from the truth, and our easy surrender to this enticement has suppressed the innate processes in our bodies required for us to achieve an eternal life in this existence, by our brains either ceasing to produce the "good" chemicals or constantly producing the "bad" ones. Our brains are organs designed by Our Creator as specialized to process PRIMARILY Reality, not anything else; we pay, and have been paying a very high price in our self-indulgement into the processing of its counterpart (Fiction).
The second of the requirements is the absolute absence of Fear (Mt 8:26, Mk 4:40., Rv 21:8) from our lives. In our modern lives, even if, and when we achieve relative safety and security, we easily surrender ourselves to the vicarious emotion of fear offered by exploitative entities assailing and enticing us with its incitement in us, and our easy surrender to this enticement also suppresses the innate processes required in our bodies for us to achieve eternal life in this existence. The ONLY thing we should fear is feeling fear itself. The physiological and biochemical conditions which this very destructive emotion creates in us are aggressively destructive of the innate processes in our bodies required to achieve an eternal life.
The third of the requirements is the absolute absence of Hate (Mt 5:21-24) in us. There are many entities in our modern life who assail and entice us into full or near hate, and unfortunately our parents, religions, governments, politicians, peers, media, and publications, all contribute to it. Hate, as the most powerful of negative emotions, exerts the MOST aggressive and destructive physiological and biochemical suppression of the innate processes required in our bodies for us to achieve eternal life in this existence.
The fourth and MOST IMPORTANT of the requirements is the presence of only Love (Lk 10:25-28) in our lives. The physiological and biochemical conditions which this emotion creates in us are THE VERY SOURCE of the innate processes in our bodies required for us to achieve an eternal life in this existence. Extending it even to our enemies is an absolute requirement (Mt 5:44, Lk 6:27). This is the MOST ABSOLUTE of the requirements. Indeed, were we to achieve this requirement absolutely, it would completely counteract and neutralize any and all of the destructive effects on the required innate processes in our bodies due to the partial lack of meeting any and all of the previous three requirements!!!
This requirement, if met would also confer on us the required and necessary innate processes in our bodies to strengthen our Immune System so as to be able to resist and or quickly dispose of any and all common disease processes, a most necessary property for the maintenance of an eternal life in this existence.
Can we meet the requirements?
We cannot escape the World, and all of the counterparts to the four emotional requirements mentioned in this article surround, entice, and assail us constantly, but we can emotionally separate ourselves from the World. We have to learn how to be IN the world but not partake FROM or OF the World (Jn 8:23, Jn 12:25, Jn 14:27, Jn 15:19, Jn 16:33, Jn 17:14-16), in order to allow the required innate processes in us to endow us with eternal life in this existence.
To be clear, meeting the requirements and achieving eternal life are only half the work. We would need to increase our awareness, expand our consciousness, and be forever wide awake to prevent bringing ourselves a sudden, terminally physically destructive, and irreversible biological death; This because an eternal life in this existence would not be qualitatively any different than the finite one we now possess, only much longer!!!
Food for thought
Compare very carefully and in detail, point by point, the listing in the last verse of the following passage with the four requirements introduced in this article:
He that overcometh shall inherit all things;
and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the
abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers,
and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall
have their part in the lake which burneth with
fire and brimstone: which is the second death." (Rv 21:8)