By Brent M. Jones
Will Durant wrote the 11 volumes of "The Story of Civilization”, a biography that considered the living conditions of everyday people. Durant said that he wanted to chart the wilderness of experience and history, to bring the future into focus.
He viewed life as river that flowed from a mysterious source that history could reveal to a destination without looking back was just too complex for explanation.
He said he tried to see human existence as a whole, but he wrote of individual experiences. He rejected the idea of determinism, the doctrine that all events, including human action, are ultimately determined by causes external to the will and placed great value on individual experience.
Durant felt that the universe brought life to the elements and felt that where life existed a soul existed. My own opinion is that he was on the right track, but with conclusions that were incomplete on the nature of the soul. He said that he was fond of his own unique soul, but that he did not expect it to survive the complete death of his body. He felt that death resulted in the breakup of the human soul.
Durant just didn't live long enough to see all the options. He defended free will, a soul that was unique, and he saw a universe that created and advanced life all around him. He refused to accept deterministic conclusions, that the end was all predetermined by the beginning, and he valued individual experience. What he lacked was options into what could happen after death to the soul.
We live in a world defined by three spatial dimensions and one dimension of time. Durant's conclusions were framed with this knowledge. So what about a 4th, 5th and other dimensions?
In 1919, mathematician Theodor Kaluza theorized about a 4th dimension. Today string theorists present a more complicated visions saying that it's quite easy to assume that there are 10 or 11 dimensions, including time.
Maybe other dimensions await our own participation and perhaps it is our soul that, at least, will go there.
An ultimate destination for the soul in the river of life.
(Essay by Brent M. Jones inspired by, Fallen Leaves by Will Durant)