A man’s reach should exceed his grasp or what’s a heaven for?
– Robert Browning
Heaven can be defined as the blessed place of the deity and the blessed dead. Uh Oh! The “blessed” dead. Not everyone gets to go there? There must be some judgment being made about those of us who are “unblessed.” In other words the “deity” is picky. That possibility of our behavior being judged tends to create some anxiety among those of us who have not been our best selves throughout our lives.
Why? Well, who wants to spend eternity in a place or state of misery, torment and wickedness. And some people who are not members of the “chosen” people are condemned to hell wholesale no matter what their behavior. It’s obviously important that we “choose” the correct religion and or behave in the correct way.
Speaking of choosing heaven or hell let’s pop over to a nation experiencing its own version of heaven and hell. “For Andrew Parnell, a software trainer who lives in Derby, Brexit has also caused family tension [Hell], in this case with his niece, a leave supporter. ‘We don’t talk much now, it has poisoned the well’ he said.” (1)
No matter which side you are on (or were on) in the Brexit tornado, the Trump hurricane, the Israeli/Palestinian tsunami, et.al. ad nauseam, you may not be speaking to family members, old friends or fellow workers. How in heaven’s name did we find ourselves in this Hell, this “Great Divide” in the human community?
The following description of Afghanis who refuse to have their children vaccinated against polio is a good description of the Hell we are referring to where the only difference is the specific issue involved. “They’re immersed in a world of conspiracies, in the dark shadows where no data can be trusted, nothing is what it seems and those who buy the party line are pitiable sheep.” (2)
Clearly, we don’t have to await death to experience a kind of Hell. But do we really have a choice either on earth or in the afterlife? And how do we make that choice?
Insight # 93: The emphasis of this course always remains the same—it is at this moment that complete salvation is offered you, and it is at this moment that you can accept it. Heaven is here. There is nowhere else. Heaven is now.
– Jesus in A Course in Miracles
- Heaven and Hell in this blog and in print in The ABC’s of Simple Reality: The Encyclopedia of Self-Transformation, Vol I (2018), pages 246-252, by Roy Charles Henry.
- Castle, Stephen. “Lost Friends and Split Families: Brexit’s Toll on Relationships Only Grows.” The New York Times. March 10, 2019, page A7.
- Bruni, Frank. “The Anti-Vaxxers’ War on Truth.” The New York Times Sunday. March 10, 2019, page 3.