The word aeon //, also spelled eon (in American and Australian English), originally meant "life", "vital force" or "being", "generation" or "a period of time", though it tended to be translated as "age" in the sense of "ages", "forever", "timeless" or "for eternity". It is a Latin transliteration from the ancient Greek word ὁ αἰών (ho aion), from the archaic αἰϝών (aiwon) meaning "century". In Greek, it literally refers to the timespan of one hundred years. Its latest meaning is more or less similar to the Sanskrit word kalpa and Hebrew word olam. A cognate Latin word aevum or aeuum (cf. αἰϝών) for "age" is present in words such as longevity and mediaeval.
Although the term aeon may be used in reference to a period of a thousand million years (especially in geology, cosmology and astronomy), its more common usage is for any long, indefinite period. Aeon can also refer to the four aeons on the geologic time scale that make up the Earth's history, the Hadean, Archean, Proterozoic, and the current aeon, Phanerozoic.
Astronomy and cosmology
Philosophy and mysticism
Christianity's idea of "eternal life" comes from the word for life, zōḗ (ζωή), and a form of aión (αἰών), which could mean life in the next aeon, the Kingdom of God, or Heaven, just as much as immortality, as in John 3:16.[unbalanced opinion?]
According to Christian universalism, the Greek New Testament scriptures use the word aión (αἰών) to mean a long period and the word aiṓnion (αἰώνιον) to mean "during a long period"; thus, there was a time before the aeons, and the aeonian period is finite. After each person's mortal life ends, they are judged worthy of aeonian life or aeonian punishment. That is, after the period of the aeons, all punishment will cease and death is overcome and then God becomes the all in each one (1Cor 15:28). This contrasts with the conventional Christian belief in eternal life and eternal punishment.
Aeon may also be an archaic name for omnipotent beings, such as gods.
In many Gnostic systems, the various emanations of God, who is also known by such names as the One, the Monad, Aion teleos ("The Broadest Aeon", Greek: αἰών τέλεος), Bythos ("depth or profundity", Greek: βυθός), Proarkhe ("before the beginning", Greek: προαρχή), Arkhe ("the beginning", Greek: ἀρχή), Sophia ("wisdom"), and Christos ("the Anointed One"), are called Aeons. In the different systems these emanations are differently named, classified, and described, but the emanation theory itself is common to all forms of Gnosticism.
In the Basilidian Gnosis they are called sonships (υἱότητες huiotetes; singular: υἱότης huiotes); according to Marcus, they are numbers and sounds; in Valentinianism they form male/female pairs called "syzygies" (Greek συζυγίαι, from σύζυγοι syzygoi).
- Aion (deity)
- Kalpa (aeon)
- Saeculum – comparable Latin concept
- Young's Literal Translation § Eternity or age
- "aeon". https://www.macquariedictionary.com.au/features/word/search/aeon/.
- "eon". https://www.macquariedictionary.com.au/features/word/search/eon/.
- "Math words page 16". http://www.pballew.net/arithm16.html.
- Martin Harweit (1991). Astrophysical Concepts (2nd ed.). Springer-Verlag. ISBN 3-540-96683-8. p. 4.
- Gurzadyan VG; Penrose R (2010-11-16). "Concentric circles in WMAP data may provide evidence of violent pre-Big-Bang activity". arXiv:1011.3706 [astro-ph.CO].
- "Mahakalpa" (in en-gb). https://glorian.org/learn/glossary/m/mahakalpa.
- 1stCor15 (2021-07-22). "The Constructions of Aión: Koine Greek and Christian Universalism" (in en). https://www.christianuniversalism.org/post/the-constructions-of-aión-koine-greek-and-christian-universalism.
- DuQuette, Lon Milo (2003). The magick of Aleister Crowley : a handbook of the rituals of Thelema. Boston, MA: Weiser Books. pp. 15. ISBN 1-57863-299-4. OCLC 52621460. https://books.google.com/books?id=-07yFC31j6wC&pg=PA15.
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