What does aeviternity imply?

aeviternity is the mean between time and eternity and it consists in being changeless in all things except objects of choice.

I’m just wondering that, since souls exist in aeviternity for instance, does that mean our souls are always in hell or heaven and can you pray for yourself from heaven?

These and other questions are to be pondered here.

I wouldn’t exactly call aeveternity the mean between time and eternity. Time is simply a measure of change, and since aeveternity consists of changes, it is very much time. It isn’t the same kind of time we have here in the material world, but it is time nevertheless.

The Greeks, in fact, had two different words for time, chronos, which is how we normally think of earthly time, and kairos, which is best described as “event time”. For intents and purposes, this is precisely what aeveternity is, event time, where the events measured are purely immaterial changes rather than material changes. The changes are not merely changes in choice, but can be any immaterial change, like the acquisition of knowledge. We know that angels are capable of growing in knowledge. I personally like to call aeveternity “kairological” time.

While united with our bodies, we experience chronological time. It would be incorrect to say that our souls experience aeveternity while still united to the body. I think that addresses the question of whether we can pray for ourselves from Heaven. The answer is no.

If you are familiar with the distinction between continuous and discrete numbers, I think it can provide a wealth of insight into the topic. Chronological time is continuous time. The number of changes which occur in the material world are infinite, and hence time is infinitely divisible. Kairological time (aeveternity), on the other hand, is discrete time. The changes in the immaterial world are much less frequent and hence time occurs in discrete chunks.

Just as there is an aspect of relativity in our time here in the material world, there is very much relativity (or perhaps more precisely subjectivity) in the aevum.

I know that the Summa Theologica definitely calls it a mean so I suppose it must be one though I can see how someone could argue otherwise.

Now if we consider it to be a mean and yet essentially distinct from time, then we can come up with paradoxes like me praying for me now since aeviternity is changeless except for changes in will.

But If we consider aeviternity to be a type of time, then there is a real difference between me now and me in heaven.

Now there’s room for something approaching the latter view since in the same work, Aquinas mentions how before and after can be reconciled with aeviternity in some indirect way, though aeviternity doesn’t really imply after and before necessarily.

I love St. Thomas’s description of eternity, but I do disagree somewhat with his presentation of aeveternity in the Summa I. Q.10 A. 5. It doesn’t help that part of his example of aeveternity is his argument that the planets and stars have unchangable natures.

The fact seems to be that my nature is just as unchangable as that of an angel. I don’t see why a change in my movements or position should count as an essential change, yet when the angels change location (or planets in his argument), it is not an essential change, but merely an accidental change.

Furthermore, St. Thomas fails to make much sense out of his example of the angels, which have aeveternal natures, yet are affected by time with every accidental change.

In the response to objection 2, St. Thomas says, “Aeviternity is simultaneously whole; yet it is not eternity, because “before” and “after” are compatible with it.” The only way that makes any sense is with my analogy of discrete time. Perhaps that is a loose way in which aeveternity can be called a mean, for within the discrete chunks of aeveternity things exist simultaneously when compared with chronological time.

Just as there is an aspect of relativity in our time here in the material world.http://addled.info/g.gif

Methinks you need to study the Latin word STA used for mean, as it probably is not what we in English understand by it, which is an “average.”. Averaging time and eternity makes no real sense.

And If aeviternity is a kind of time, there would still be a vast difference between you alive and you in Heaven. Either you would be bodiless (standard interpretation) and therefore only a minimum remnant of “you”, or you’d become a pneumatikon soma (upgraded version of you). Either way, since we experience time through the entropy cooking off in our human bodies, you and your experience would be vastly changed.


Technically mean doesn’t indicate an average, rather it indicates a medium point.

In the Latin, St. Thomas says “Respondeo dicendum quod aevum differt a tempore et ab aeternitate, sicut medium existens inter illa.” … “like a (mean or middle) existing between them.” I think “mean” is a perfect translation, I just disagree with his argument.

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