A friend sent me an email greeting that read: sub specie aeternitatis. The online source, Wikipedia, not always the real truth but a good source to get started learning about a subject, clearly defines sub specie aeternitatis as a “perspective of the eternal,” or an objective or alternate view point. The idea of an eternal perspective vs. a finite terrestrial one, clearly defines the overall purpose for the Marvelous Work and a Wonder®.
I like a few quotes that Wikipedia has provided from some who utilized this way of thinking:
Thomas Nagel, in The Absurd, wrote:
Yet humans have the special capacity to step back and survey themselves, and the lives to which they are committed… Without developing the illusion that they are able to escape from their highly specific and idiosyncratic position, they can view it sub specie aeternitatis—and the view is at once sobering and comical.
Later in the article he states:
If sub specie aeternitatis there is no reason to believe that anything matters, then that does not matter either, and we can approach our absurd lives with irony instead of heroism or despair.
Michael Martin, in Atheism: A Philosophical Justification, wrote:
Unlike animals and inanimate things we can transcend our own limited perspective and see our lives sub specie aeternitatis. From this perspective, Nagel says, all we do appears to be arbitrary.
What Michael Martin is conveying is that
From the objective perspective, what we humans do on a day-to-day basis or even over a lifetime, may be meaningless.
Or even further, since we humans are capable of looking at our own actions from an outsider’s viewpoint, we can see that our own, individual actions are arbitrary.
Although the above men were atheists, and rightfully so, they weren’t the first to use this sub specie aeternitatis. The Bible, ironically, beat them to it in the profound, overlooked book of Ecclesiastes.
(NOTE: the original author was actually an atheist who rejected all the religious views of his day. He attributed the book to a religious icon, Solomon, or it would have never been published at the time. There’s more real truth in Ecclesiastes than any other Old Testament book, but it is obvious that the author didn’t know all real truth about human existence or he wouldn’t have been so pessimistic.):
Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?
One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.
I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.
I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.
I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.
And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.
For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.
I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?
I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.
I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards:
I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits:
I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees:
I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me:
I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts.
So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.
And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.
Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.
And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done.
Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.
The wise man’s eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.
Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.
For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool.
Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.
And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have showed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity.
Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.
For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil.
For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun?
For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity.
There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.
For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more than I?
For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.
… and so on.
And then my favorite for all you who take value in your college degrees and all your so-called learning:
And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
Everything about our lives would be vain and foolish and pretty much a waste of time unless we know real truth.
This mortal experience was supposed to provide us with the opportunity to use our individual free will to act and be acted upon so that we could experience things on an individual level that showed us how wonderful an eternal existence might be and is.
If other people are defining who we are and what we should do during our mortal experience …
(and this is what religion, philosophy, and science do– if you don’t figure it out for yourself then you’ve depended on someone or something outside your self),
… we have the excuse that we, as individuals, don’t have the opportunity to exercise unconditional free will in our own experience.
The inclusion of true messengers in our experience is to empower our free will so that we take away from the experience what we want, not what someone else wants for us.
Thus, the purpose of the Marvelous Work and a Wonder® in freeing an individual from the chains of ignorance that bind free will.
Thus, the reason why advanced humans must intercede one day and, first, prove empirically and without doubt who we really are; and second, help set up an environment in which it is fully possibly to exercise individual free will without being forced to do something we don’t want to do. Once this is done, then the experience of mortality will fulfill its expected purpose: provide each of us the unique, individual opportunity to create new experience on our own.
These were just a few thoughts I had today as I considered the screenplay for the video.
Why We Wanted True Messengers In Our Mortal Experience.