The fundamental idea of the eternal is that it is not conditioned by time and not subject to the relations of time. More briefly, it is free from the conditions of time. Although the concept of the timeless eternal is hedged about with paradox, at least or especially in its religious application, the concept as that which is not conditioned by time or free from the conditions of time is clear enough to be grasped. But are there any things that are eternal in this sense? Or, more circumspectly, what things have been said with seriousness to be eternal? In this chapter, our effort is fairly modest. It is simply to observe some of the various things that over time have been designated eternal in one or another area of human concern, culture, or religion.
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