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Poetry Magnum Opus

Eternal Bliss


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Here, it is sunny,

Here, it’s always daylight,

Here, it’s peaceful,

Here, you can see the Earth,

Here, you will meet some long-lost relatives,

Here, there is no sickness,

Here, there is no wrath,

Here, there is no death,

Here, there is no grief,

Here, there is no pain of any kind,

Here, everyone wears white robes,

Here, it is multi-ethnic,

Here, harps play 24-7,

Here, everyone sings hallelujahs,

Here, the streets are paved with gold,

Here, everyone lives in mansions,

Here, winged men wander about,

Here, a majestic man clothed in light dwells,

Here, there are no video games,

Here, there are no sports,

Here, there are no novels,

Here, there are no movies,

Here, there is no adventure,

Here, there are no pets,

Here, there is no variety,

Here, there is no time,

Here, you come face-to-face with eternity,

Here, nothing ever changes,

Here, the routine is ongoing,

Here dwells eternal bliss,

Here dwells eternal monotony,

Here, it is called Heaven.

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David W. Parsley

Hi Assaf, quite imaginative in its structure and progression.  Perhaps your most skillful piece.

This poem plays off what I think is a common image many have of the afterlife.  Perhaps that image reflects a common desire to just rest from the struggle, to find something tranquil and certain to hold onto for as long as it can last (one main course of Eternity, please!), while also hanging onto the people one has known and loved in the mortal existence.  And it does sound insipid, huh?  "If this is Enlightenment, if this is the Ultimate Divine, maybe I should try achieving something else."

I admire the way the repeating "Here" embodies the monotony of such a vision, ironically invoking stock phrases from religious texts and folklore, even clever enough to slip in some features for the more "Woke" among us.  Something for everybody!  The final line represents the crowning satire, derisively nuanced by the observation that it is merely "called" Heaven by some who are there - a particularly nice touch following the two paired "dwells" statements.  I wonder if the poem would be even stronger without the two previous lines, though?  They seem redundant to what the poet has already developed before that and certainly to the three concluding lines that follow.  Just a thought.

Thanks (I think!),
 - Dave

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well.....definitely a long list of religious cliche. It's all rather disappointing when written out as such, and you confirm it, in the last two lines. People, I have known, who appear to look most forward to heaven, desire an end to suffering when life weariness overcomes their fight for a better world now. Perhaps heaven was given as a concept so that ideals could be given possibility. 

I'm not sure why novels, movies and adventures would be left out of heaven. Or pets. While they are not specifically included in the Bible, that just might speak more to the times it was written than some deliberate and holy exclusion.

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David W. Parsley

Hi Terry, good to see you wading right in, comfortably and confidently.  I agree that the premise is a disappointing, even disillusioning, one.  It certainly does not reflect my own view of the afterlife.  And just for kicks and giggles, I will point out that there are clear indications in the Bible (for example) that Heaven is a place for starting something, not just finishing it (apologies to one of my chief literary heroes, Dante!).  [Note: I actively avoid initiating doctrinal conversations on this forum, but don't mind participating if I think it is welcome and find the water warm.]

A couple examples:

1. New Testament historical documents and communiques routinely refer to the relationship between Christ and the Church body as that between a groom and his bride.  After the final resurrection, there is even planned a wedding feast.  Most marriages don't end there.  The happy couple moves in and starts building a life together.  Why would this analogy be chosen if something similar were not in work?  Sounds anything but dull to this reader.

2. There is to be a new Heaven and a new Earth.  Why would anybody need both, if there isn't something afoot?

3. Perhaps most nonplusing is the assertion by the Apostle Paul in the famous "Love Chapter", the thirteenth in his first epistle to the Corinthians.  Of all the inspiring and startling disclosures in this masterpiece of exposition, perhaps none is more profound than this explication of what the heavenly existence holds for those who expect to ascend there:

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Say what?  Okay, tongues and prophecy will be superfluous when we arrive on scene.  Makes sense.  But, uhm, knowledge?  What is meant when Paul says it will "vanish away"?  I need to stroke my chin on that one, might be referring to a mysterious Gift of the Spirit.  But look at what will still be present, even after arriving in Heaven: love/charity.  Sure, that makes sense, it wouldn't be Heaven without it.  But faith?  Well, okay, maybe that is part of the divine infrastructure - kind of holds the whole thing together, maybe.  A concept worthy of meditation.  But hope?  What is there to hope for, if we have achieved our Final State, nothing more to be done?  That does not sound like a boring enterprise. 

We talk about all kinds of things on this forum.  This is just one of them.

 - Dave


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I found it hard to understand how a Christian nation, and I think the "Rule of Law" was founded on Christian ideals, could involve itself in so many wars. Until I recently read that the commandment 'Thou shall not kill' was in the original Hebrew, 'Thou shall not murder'.  Two entirely different things.  Someone told me once, to read the Wycliff Bible, the closest to original, an English speaking person could find. And it's not readily available.  As a non-religious person most of my life, I'm starting to see what happens to a nation that abandons its original social contract put in place to limit harm to others. And why Elliot, who saw the Wasteland in regards to what was becoming, could embrace the Church. I think he perceived what nihilism (as the framework a nation operated in) would lead to.

As for heaven, I think people go to where they have made themselves worthy and to a certain extent, get what they expect......at least for a while. then a Universe that has no place for redundancy, bears in ways not comprehended in temporal reality.  But you highlight well how a book (the Bible) closely read, yields to thought and understanding, what no quick reading ever could. 

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