Why is the distinction between cyclical and linear time supposed to be so significant – especially to religion. This should be from the book Immortality.
The distinction between cyclical and linear time is significant because it shapes how people understand the meaning and purpose of their lives. In cyclical time, events repeat themselves in an endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, and the universe is seen as a constantly repeating pattern. This view of time is often associated with Eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism.
In contrast, linear time views events as occurring in a straight line from a past, through a present, to a future, with no repetition or return. This view of time is often associated with Western religions such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
The difference in views of time can shape religious beliefs and practices. For example, in cyclical time, the goal may be to break free from the cycle of birth and rebirth, whereas in linear time, the goal may be to achieve salvation or eternal life.
Furthermore, the distinction between cyclical and linear time can also shape how people understand their relationship to the divine. In cyclical time, the divine is often seen as immanent, present in all things, and accessible through meditation or other spiritual practices. In linear time, the divine is often seen as transcendent, separate from the world and accessible through prayer or other forms of worship.
Overall, the distinction between cyclical and linear time is significant to religion because it shapes how people understand the nature of the universe, the purpose of their lives, and their relationship to the divine.