Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Where is Heaven?

Jeffrey asks,
do you think the traditional understand of Heaven, i.e. a PLACE you go when you die, is too narrow itself?

Jesus said the Kingdom of God is "within you", "has already come", etc. What if "heaven" is really more of a different realm of existence available in the NOW (and for eternity, for that matter)? What if it is simply and wonderfully living LIFE in the constant spiritual connectedness with God?
I agree. I think we try to make heaven a place because that's what we need as temporal humans - a place to go to, see, be in, and protect. As a consequence, we've bought into what was intended as pure metaphor. We then salivate over golden streets, gates made of pearls, and thick walls. We want it so bad that we'll do lots of things to keep folks out. And instead of buying into Jesus' ideas like Jeffrey mentions, we've made people say certain prayers, live certain ways, and associate with certain people.

I really hope heaven isn't like this. If it is, as soon as we get there, we'll dig up the streets to sell on the free market to the highest bidder. We'll tear down the gates (only temporarily) to finance building thicker walls out of steel or brick.

I think Jeffrey's idea of heaven as being present within us is a valuable one, and a much-needed perspective for many people.

Comments (6)

whoa dude, you articulate my randomness much better than I can myself.

Want to write all of my blog posts under my name from now on? lol.

p.s. - lmao about the selling the gold from the streets on the free market. And for the record, if that view/idea of heaven were true (and not just a metaphor, as you mentioned) I wouldn't want it...

know what i mean?

last thought: have you ever realized how twisted it is to just try to bide our time here on this "wretched planet" until we die and "go to heaven"? We sure do miss out on a life full of Love when we hold that perspective. Paul actually chastised the Corinthians for this view, yet that's what Christendom fosters today.

*rant over*

Have you thought about hell in the same way???

Thinking about the fact that Gehenna (Greek for hell) was the dump in Jerusalem that was constantly set on fire to burn trash. Hell, a place here and now. Or as Ludacris might say, "Hell is a place called home."

true brandon. If "heaven" is living in the constant awareness of the Love that is God all around and in us, then "hell" would be just the opposite. It would be a life asleep to that wonderful reality.

Many "christians" would then ask the question, "then where do you go/what happens when we die?"

Ah, what indeed?

I don't know. I'm not dead (yet).

One of the reasons I left behind (no pun intended) the faith of my childhood church is that I couldn't figure out why we were all in such a hurry for the world to end. But I wonder if we'll feel different when we're older and death is a more imminent reality, or when we're stuck in a horrible place. My Congolese friends can't wait for heaven, which they see as a very real place that is so far from the suffering they and their children have lived with for far too long. They have a deep awareness of God's love already, but they've had enough of earth.

THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU?

About 3 years ago I dropped into a black hole – four months of absolute terror. I wanted to end my life, but somehow [Holy Spirit], I reached out to a friend who took me to hospital. I had three visits [hospital] in four months – I actually thought I was in hell. I imagine I was going through some sort of metamorphosis [mental, physical & spiritual]. I had been seeing a therapist [1994] on a regular basis, up until this point in time. I actually thought I would be locked away – but the hospital staff was very supportive [I had no control over my process]. I was released from hospital 16th September 1994, but my fear, pain & shame had only subsided a little. I remember this particular morning waking up [home] & my process would start up again [fear, pain, & shame]. No one could help me, not even my therapist [I was terrified]. I asked Jesus Christ to have mercy on me & forgive me my sins. Slowly, all my fear has dissipated & I believe Jesus delivered me from my “psychological prison.” I am a practicing Catholic & the Holy Spirit is my friend & strength; every day since then has been a joy & blessing. I deserve to go to hell for the life I have led, but Jesus through His sacrifice on the cross, delivered me from my inequities. John 3: 8, John 15: 26, are verses I can relate to, organically. He’s a real person who is with me all the time. I have so much joy & peace in my life, today, after a childhood spent in orphanages [England & Australia]. God LOVES me so much. Fear, pain, & shame, are no longer my constant companions. I just wanted to share my experience with you [Luke 8: 16 – 17].

Peace Be With You
Micky