“We desire infinity and we can not imagine it. How can we expect it to be granted?”
Mr. Andrews by EM Forster
So Mr. Andrews comments as he surrenders his disembodied heaven, his flowing white robe and his golden harp in order to be dissolved into the “world soul” which appears to be the author’s personal term for Nirvana.
I suppose you could say that I desired infinity when I was younger. And to some degree, despite the religious teaching I received, like Mr. Andrews, I found it unsatisfying. At times, I found it actually repulsive. Not in the sense that I was disgusted by visions of clouds and harps and golden streets. Rather, the images repelled me instead of drew me. I was terribly frightened of being disembodied, of knowing –but-not-knowing people (a bizarre doctrine whose origin I can’t trace) in that caricature of heaven. The whole idea of the afterlife as I had inherited it felt wrong to me which is probably why I was so receptive to NT Wright’s teachings about “life after life after death”.
God created everything and it was good. Then we ruined it. But God, not willing to let his good creation be undone set about restoring it. In the end, God’s good creation will be liberated from corruption, the mortal will put on immortality and our resurrected bodies will be like Jesus’. The material universe will be good again and we shall all be good in it. That’s the infinite world that I desire now.