Numerous fundamental questions have plagued the mind of humans for millennia - but are there answers?
Isn't the notion of a further life pure fantasy?
It certainly seems so, judged from the solid, dependable, predictable world of our experience. Yet although we easily sideline the knowledge, we know we are zooming around at high speeds in four different 'directions' - five when we walk or take a ride! We also know about molecules, atoms and particles that make up all matter, much of which is actually space. That also goes for our bodies which consist of myriads of cells, many of which die quickly and are renewed, so not much lasts more than a few years. Had those facts been told to people living in bygone ages they would have been dismissed as sheer fantasy. People knew everything consisted of the four elements, earth, air, fire, water.
Most people do, yet very few of us understand him, except that his famous equation shows that everything in the universe has energy and, whilst it can be converted, none of it can be lost. So where did energy come from and how is it maintained? Perhaps there's another dimension riding parallel, keeping us going, and we slip into it.
What are we?
Stupid question? But are we actually the sum of our minds, with our thoughts, motivations, longings, passions, hatreds, irrespective of the bodies we inhabit? When, sooner or later, our bodies pack up, perhaps the real 'us' carries on in permanent bodies not subject to the entropy which is a feature of the physical universe. If this does indeed occur, is there a purpose behind it? How and when did we get minds in the first place - if they really are more than our brains - both the individual and the early human race?
Why are we as we are?
If there's a supreme Creator, how is that human beings are such a mixture extending from amazingly altruistic to appallingly awful? Were humans always the same, even when they lived simple, very primitive lives long before any recorded history? If they were, why was such a mixture created? If they were not, what happened to produce us as we are?
If there is another existence, why is it hidden?
Surely life would be far better if we knew positively there is further existence and why that is so? Couldn't we then give up the vast amount of time and resources spent on speculation by so many societies across the world and gear up to whatever that purpose might be?
Why are there so many different faiths in the world?
If you look back, every society had its belief system and its gods. The ancient Egyptians had a highly detailed description of the afterlife from which arose the Book of the Dead, an essential guide, written individually for wealthy clients. Nordic descriptions of Valhalla legitimized war and plunder. Greeks and Romans had their panoplies of gods, as did all ancient groups. It's obvious most of this was invention. Was this just because each one tried to make sense of life as they knew it, or might there have been a more fundamental reason?
We know there's a phenomenon we call infinity, but can we comprehend anything of it from our finite existence?
Somehow the finite universe (or, perhaps, 'multiverse') came into existence. But how come infinity? Could the infinite directly give rise to the finite?
If there is an infinite Creator, can we finite beings possibly comprehend Him?
Are we too arrogant in our descriptions of such a power because we feel so powerful ourselves? Do we think of 'God' as a venerable man in flowing clothes somewhere above the sky who somehow has all-seeing knowledge of us as individuals, ready to help us whenever we want him?
Could the Da Vinci code be based on fact?
Surely there's a problem with the basic premise?
Comments on and suggested answers to these and others appear in the novel which tries to balance the characters' need for explanations with the wish to explore their new situation.
Quotations from Swedenborg
The employments of heaven cannot be enumerated or described in detail, because they are innumerable and various according to the functions of societies...
They who are in heaven are continually advancing
to the spring-time of life...