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Section 5

5. This Ever-Being is realized when upon examination of an object I am able to say- or rather, to know- that in its very Nature it is incapable of increment or change; anything that fails by that test is no Ever-Existent or, at least, no Ever-All-Existent.

But is perpetuity enough in itself to constitute an Eternal?

No: the object must, farther, include such a Nature-Principle as to give the assurance that the actual state excludes all future change, so that it is found at every observation as it always was.

Imagine, then, the state of a being which cannot fall away from the vision of this but is for ever caught to it, held by the spell of its grandeur, kept to it by virtue of a nature itself unfailing- or even the state of one that must labour towards Eternity by directed effort, but then to rest in it, immoveable at any point assimilated to it, co-eternal with it, contemplating Eternity and the Eternal by what is Eternal within the self.

Accepting this as a true account of an eternal, a perdurable Existent- one which never turns to any Kind outside itself, that possesses life complete once for all, that has never received any accession, that is now receiving none and will never receive any- we have, with the statement of a perduring Being, the statement also of perdurance and of Eternity: perdurance is the corresponding state arising from the [divine] substratum and inherent in it; Eternity [the Principle as distinguished from the property of everlastingness] is that substratum carrying that state in manifestation.

Eternity, thus, is of the order of the supremely great; it proves on investigation to be identical with God: it may fitly be described as God made manifest, as God declaring what He is, as existence without jolt or change, and therefore as also the firmly living.

And it should be no shock that we find plurality in it; each of the Beings of the Supreme is multiple by virtue of unlimited force; for to be limitless implies failing at no point, and Eternity is pre-eminently the limitless since (having no past or future) it spends nothing of its own substance.

Thus a close enough definition of Eternity would be that it is a life limitless in the full sense of being all the life there is and a life which, knowing nothing of past or future to shatter its completeness, possesses itself intact for ever. To the notion of a Life (a Living-Principle) all-comprehensive add that it never spends itself, and we have the statement of a Life instantaneously infinite.

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