this is taken from the end of Paradise Lost, from book 12 –
New Heavens, new Earth, ages of endless date,
Founded in righteousness, and peace, and love;
To bring forth fruits, joy and eternal bliss.
He ended; and thus Adam last replied.
How soon hath thy prediction, Seer blest,
Measured this transient world, the race of time,
Till time stand fixed! Beyond is all abyss,
Eternity, whose end no eye can reach.
This may be a vision of heaven, but it can also serve as a signpost for a secular world. Who doesn’t want to live in a world of peace, and love, and joy and eternal bliss?
Delusions? Maybe. If you expect it to be given to you when you ask. Here I differ from the Christ on the Cross story. You can’t expect someone else to “save” you. That’s just childish. Personal responsibility, patience, collective action; this is what makes things happen and changes the world for the better.
But what a luscious last line!
“Eternity, whose end no eye can reach”
There is something of the zen koan about this. It is deep, and powerful.