Humanity has an obsession with its own demise. From Peter Pan to the Fountain of Youth, Tolkien’s elves and Wilde’s Dorian Grey, our fear and fixation of mortality – and the resulting wish to live forever – is continually explored.
Hold that thought, and walk with me while we talk of time and infinity.
"TIME" by becosky...
Our usual conception of infinity is that of a line of numbers which stretches out endlessly. Whatever number you have, you can always say “plus one” – this is the most common conception of “infinite,” and this is what we use when we wish to speak of living forever – one year added on to the next, and another, and another, and another.
In fact, there are many types of infinity. Some say an infinite number of infinities! The most useful to us is extrapolated infinity – the “plus one” infinity mentioned above – and interpolated infinity.
Interpolated infinity can be imagined like this: if you take a number, you can halve it. Then halve it again. Then again. Then again. And again. With the use of decimals, even the number one can be divided endlessly. That is to say, within every number there is an infinite amount of other numbers. Think about this. Within each moment, there are an infinite number of moments. Within each lifetime; infinity.
This teaches us that although we cannot live for an infinite number of years, within our lifetime there is infinite richness. Every hour presents a depth of possibility we can barely imagine – every day is a miniature lifetime of feeling and experience. We cannot extend our years, but we can learn to appreciate the incredible intensity every day provides.
"For those who love, time is eternity"
- Henry Van Dyke