Can we really conceive of what infinity means?
If we could put ourselves out of the human realm and mind and beyond our understanding that there is an end time for all, can we conceive of infinity, or understand it?
I'm not sure how it would be possible for a finite mind to comprehend something infinite. Not possible.
As temporal beings I don't think we can fully comprehend infinity. We are so burdened by time and the constraints that it places on our activities. I think we can have a good idea of infinity if we really contemplate it for some time, but a complete understanding of its implications is not likely.
Sort of. Once you go deep enough into your mind you can KINDA get a grasp. But not in its entirety. It is too overwhelming. I get the idea that most people never truly think about what it means to live forever and why they would want to. (Most religious folk) I sure don't want too.
Take Eight Mirrors of equal size forming a Octagon with the reflective side inward.
Place a mark on one of the mirrors.
Viewing the spot on the mirror from just the right angle and you will see an infinite number of spots on a single mirror, at least as far as possible and beyond.
Intellectually, no. The intellect forms concepts of observed phenomenon, so conceiving something infinite with finite tools, doesn't work.
However, there is a way... and perhaps a few people have glimpsed this, and so have a conception of infinity, but it is an experience rather than a thought-concept.
The general notion is that we are beings of consciousness, but we are entirely convinced that our consciousness originates in the head, behind the eyes somewhere. This is a fundamental fallacy, and drives our current highly materialistic analysis of existence.
Under extremely close observation, through meditation, experience shows that consciousness actually originates from the heart, in its fullness. In a sense, consciousness 'in the head' is a dimmed reflection and version of the real thing, which is also why the intellect is a reflective tool, and not the real thing. It can only approximate things (and get very clever with it, such as developing calculus!)
The consciousness that pervades creation is in essence the very same consciousness that animates all beings, rather like the hub of a wheel, with all the spokes radiating outward.
Hence, residing inside that consciousness, is also an experience of infinite radius. There are texts in traditions such as Zazen (i.e. zen) that treat clearly the different steps, and how various aspects of ego drop off in the process. It's a well trodden path.
So from that perspective, it's possible to really conceive what infinity means, even if the 'usual' mind doesn't get it.
Wow, did I get esoteric there!
To me, infinity is, by definition, always that which is just beyond your grasp, no matter how far our grasp goes. So, no.
I think humanity can, but at great cost(?)
For the individual, it would require giving up the perception that our minds are limited to the finite, and that we would have to give up the idea that there is more profit in the material.
To truly understand infinity would we have to give up certain aspects of being human, which sounds costly.
But would it be worth our while as an individual and as a species?
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