When I was in Sunday school as child working my way toward confirmation as a full member into the First Congregational Church, I asked our minister if there was baseball in Heaven. With great certainty, he told me no there was not. I told him I did not want to go to heaven, if there was no baseball. My relationship with the church went down hill from there.
In college, I read a version of the Mabinogion that had this tale in it. When the hero traveled to the next world in the Bronze Age Welsh story (obvious altered by time changing cultures and retellings), he saw many perfectly healthy people writhing in pain upon the ground. He asked his guide what was wrong with those people. The guide told him that those where Christians who believed they went to Hell and were so firm in their belief that they could not see the truth of their health, the green grass in the fields, the blue sky above or the apple orchards filling with fruit.
That story stuck with me. Since I read it, I have tried not to have a preconception of what heaven is. I have tried to prepare myself to be open to what comes in the afterlife, so I do not blind myself to the afterlife’s truth.
Simultaneously, thus paradoxically, I have a strong belief that Earth is Heaven, that we never leave the universal whole. Our atoms remain part of the earth and the totality of the universe. I have a belief that at the molecular level there is a universal consciousness or spirit. That it is the oneness of the universe people touch upon in rejoining god in heaven in the afterlife.
One of my nieces believes that in heaven her family members who are not Christian or the version of Christianity she is, will not be in her heaven. She mourns this eventuality. Personally, I find it hard to believe that an all-loving god would prevent family from gathering together due to religion or lack there of. I figure the all-loving nature of god would affect all souls to the good in the afterlife, when all things become clear.
There was a time when I believed to be able to realize heaven, a person had to be able to bravely view the truths of their lives and not deny all our faults, failures and frailties. As stated earlier, an all-loving God would never deny us heaven. In this case, it would be each individual that denied themselves heaven by their inability to accept the truth about their lives. My view on this option has changed over the years. Now, I believe the all-loving nature of God, would enable each soul find the courage to get past the fear of accepting the truths of their lives.
Yes, in my version of heaven all folks get in, especially dogs and trees. This includes the great louts of history like Adolph Hitler. I figure a supreme, universe creating God’s love is enough to overwhelm our human faults and frailties.
One of my friends thinks that heaven is whatever you believe it will be when you pass over to the next life. It is an interesting thought that in my niece’s heaven that is without us non- or poorly-Christians, she is without us. While, in my version of heaven we would be all together. I guess both situations could take place simultaneously in a quantum superposition manner.
So, I do not have a firm vision of heaven. I have a firm vision of an all-loving God, even though I do not have a firm vision of how exactly that God can be visualized or quantified. I prefer to let God be God and Kenneth be Kenneth, and so on. I figure if I cannot figure out my partner Dianne to the Nth degree, how am I to figure out and understand God, who is capable of creating all matter in the universe, breathing life into that matter and possibly exists in a multi-dimensional manner beyond my ability to understand quantum states. (I have never been able to wrap my head around the Schrödinger’s cat scenario.)
You may remember from earlier entries I refer to the mysteries as well as God. This is because God is a mystery to me. I did not take to the Bible’s version of God, who seems schizophrenic and often absent. I sense things greater than myself in the world and place them in the category mysteries because I cannot explain them. I sometimes call those mysteries God.
Each of you have your own vision of heaven from a total “no such thing” belief to the “pearly gates” scenario and on through all the world’s religions’ doctrines. If you wish to share your vision, great. Please leave a comment.
Love & Light