Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Eternal Progression: Possibilities of Meaning and What We Choose to Become

What we do affects who we become - or, our attitude affects what we do, which, in turn, affects who we become.

There's a difference in believing in eternal progression as I describe in the sentence above and in believing every single person who ever lives in mortality will reach the highest reward imaginable. I believe the former; I don't believe the latter. I think the quote above describes the general concept - but the extreme toward which each person drifts or runs full-speed is up to them. I just think more people will end up on the same path eventually than many other people think will be the case.

When I say:

What we do affects who we become - or, our attitude affects what we do, which, in turn, affects who we become.

I mean it to apply to movement in any and all directions. It could be argued that "everything is one eternal round" means we all end up circling back to the beginning in the end - or it could mean that the "round" is an ever climbing spiral - or it could mean that in the end we are "restored" to whatever character we were in the beginning - or it could mean everything exists in one giant arena for us to discover - or it could mean that what comes around goes around - or it could mean lots of other things.

I personally think it hints at truly eternal progression, which I personally like to characterize as the ability to progress toward whatever "godhood" to which we orient ourselves - the "godhood" of good or the "godhood" of bad. We tend to spiral toward whatever eventual end we choose - and I also believe that eventual end has very, very little to do with our publicly stated theology and our official religious affiliation. I believe God's grace and the Atonement of Christ are far more powerful than most people understand. There are saintly Mormons and devilish Mormons - as is true of every other religion in existence. I just happen to really love the officially stated direction Mormonism encourages we choose as the intended path of our spirals.

To say it differently, it's not the car you drive, and it's not even necessarily how well you drive it; rather, it's the direction you choose to drive and your determination to continue to drive until the very end of your journey. I might have said the direction in which we drive determines where we end up, with the extension that one can end up on either side of the cosmos (think a sphere cut in equal parts, not a line with two rays leaving the center point) or stall in the middle and simply refuse to drive at all (which would be three ultimate destinations as possibilities, I guess).

What I'm saying fundamentally is that I believe if we get in and drive in the right direction, we eventually will arrive at the right destination - even if that destination simply is a never-ending ride in that direction.

No comments: