The atoms that currently form me will have all come from something else. Some may have previously been in the rocks of Mount Everest, or perhaps they were sea water, a giant redwood tree, oxygen in the atmosphere, or the soil under our feet. They could have come from just about anything, even from other planets. Some of my atoms will previously have been part of another person many years ago, and after my death, given enough decades to fully re-circulate, will again form part of someone else, and also something else. All over the planet, since it was created, atoms have been busily re-cycling from one form to another; at times being part of inanimate objects and other times being part of a living thing, be it plant or animal or human. In a strange and paradoxical way we are both temporary and eternal, thanks to our atoms.
Keith Mayes, Science, The Universe and God, 2004
It is this admirable, this immortal, instinctive sense of beauty that leads us to look upon the spectacle of this world as a glimpse, a correspondence with heaven. Our unquenchable thirst for all that lies beyond, and that life reveals, is the liveliest proof of our immortality. It is both by poetry and through poetry, by music and through music, that the soul dimly descries the splendours beyond the tomb; and when an exquisite poem brings tears to our eyes, those tears are not a proof of overabundant joy: they bear witness rather to an impatient melancholy, a clamant demand by our nerves, our nature, exiled in imperfection, which would fain enter into immediate possession, while still on this earth, of a revealed paradise.
Charles Baudelaire, Selected Writings on Art and Literature
At the River painted by Olivia de Rossi
The sun rose on the flawless brimming sea into a sky all brazen – all one brightening for gods immortal and for mortal men on plough lands kind with grain. – Homer