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Why Can't Humans Visualize Heaven


MOW
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I've recently been reading "Lost Christianities" by Bart Ehrman. In one chapter he writes about "The Apocalypse of Peter" , a book that didn't make it into the official canon of the New Testament. In this book Peter is taken on a guided tour of heaven and hell by Jesus after he asks Jesus about the meaning of the parable of the fig tree. As Mr Ehrman says Dante's Divine Comedy was not the first of this genre of writing.

 

The decriptions of hell are lurid and graphic . People are hung over fires by there tongues and genitals, cast in razor like fire, eaten by savage birds etc. The descriptions of heaven are less graphic. In the book "The Zen Teachings of Jesus" , K Leong talks about the Fu and Po mansions in Hong Kong where there are drawings of the 18 levels of hell . The pictures show people being skinned alive and placed in boiling oil and so forth . He wondered why there are no corresponding images of the glories of heaven. They're usually just dull pictures of people sitting around on clouds with a demure look on there face .

 

I 'm not saying I believe that heaven and hell are physical locations, but I find it interesting that we find it easier to describe hell than heaven.

 

MOW

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I believe that if I could choose, I would sit around on clouds with a demure look on my face! That sounds like perfection to me, and isn't paradise supposed to be perfection?

 

Maybe the technologies of heaven will allow eveyone to design and implement their own personalized versions of heaven. After all, the mansion has many rooms.

 

flow.... :D

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Yes, it has occured to me as well, though I do not believe in heaven or hell as a physical location. It has also occurred to me that hell and the Devil are "in" right now and heaven and angels are "out" (not too long ago, angels were in-- says something I guess).

 

I think one problem is that heaven has such boring stock images of angels sitting on clouds playing harps (I'm sorry but I do find this kind of dull :-)). OTOH, heaven as portrayed in literature and art (whatever pictures we do have of it) is pretty limited and not particularly graphic. OTOH, hell as portrayed in literature and art (from the Bible to Dantes to Bosh) have been very graphic. I particularly recall being fascinated and revolted by the startling images of Bosh (or is it Bosch or....) at an art museum in Vienna where several of his more imaginative works are displayed. I think that Islam (or as I understand some sect or thread of Islam) at least has the multiple virgins in heaven.

 

In short, maybe heaven just lacks a good PR director? :-)

 

 

 

BTW, if you really think about sitting on a real cloud, as opposed to some of your more Hollywood clouds, i think it would be amazing. I suppose a nice heaven would be to glide over the mountains of NM (Ariz., etc or other places on earth) and just look down. Ahhhh!

 

--des

Edited by des
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I believe that if I could choose, I would sit around on clouds with a demure look on my face! That sounds like perfection to me, and isn't paradise supposed to be perfection?

 

Maybe the technologies of heaven will allow eveyone to design and implement their own personalized versions of heaven. After all, the mansion has many rooms.

 

flow....  :D

 

I've always liked Jesus statement " In my Father's house there are many mansions: the distortion of spatial relationships. In God's house we don't get a studio apartment , we get a mansion inside a house.

 

When we read Dante in high school, my classmates were always more interested

in the Inferno section than in the Purgatory or Paradise sections . Maybe we're like the people in C.S. Lewis's The Great Divorce. Even when they had an opputunity to go to heaven , in the final analysis they prefered hell .

 

As far as the multiple virgins I guess that is an attempt to give a corresponding image of heaven in relation to hell i.e. If hell is unending pain then heaven is an unending sex orgy. I have to admit even that would get tiring after awhile.

 

I wonder if Solomon having 300 wives and 700 concubines was heaven or hell.

 

MOW

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MOW I believe it depended upon who was on top doing the work.

 

To the rest of you, you are all hilarious beyond belief !!!!

 

I plan to stick with the concept as stated in my own favorite song title, "Your Own Personal Jesus".

 

To me that infers that my own personal heaven is a distinct possibility.

 

But older movie buff that I am I prefer the scenario as sketched out in a favorite film of mine, Defending Your Life, starring Meryl Streep and Albert Brooks. I especially appreciated Rip ( what a great pun by the writers!) Torn as Brook's attorney. Rent it, it's real good. I own a copy and watch it every so often to freshen my belief system.

 

flow.... :lol::lol::lol::lol:

Edited by flowperson
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I believe that God created Heaven and we created Hell so, naturally, we know far more about Hell than Heaven! I believe Hell is a little part of Heaven and we don't have to stay there but there are many temptations there so we stay for long periods of time and keep going back. This is addiction and we are all ego-bound addicts striving for a better way.

 

Well, that's what I believe right now at this moment anyway.

 

At my website I offer some of my thoughts about heaven. I believe we are always in heaven but ordinarily (in most cases) don't know it. God created and is creating a realm of abundance, joy, wisdom, beauty, love, truth, peace, justice & freedom. Love is at the center of this creation, this creativity, this happening, this feast. It's always happening. It's wonderful. It's fantastic. The new church for the new age (not organized as an institutional church by any means) is the vehicle of awakening, awareness and connection. Love is the source, guide and goal of everything there is.

 

The discipline of being still is the way to know this glorious reality.

 

+ "Be still and Know that I am God."

 

+ "You do not need to do anything; you do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You do not even need to listen; just wait. You do not even need to wait; just become still, quiet and solitary and the world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice. It will roll in ecstasy at your feet." -- Franz Kafka

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As I think more about it , maybe the image of floating on a cloud is an accurate depiction of " heaven " . Many years ago a Lutheran pastor came to our Methodist church for an ecumenical pulpit exchange. He preached on the Transfiguration where Jesus is on a mountain and floats above the earth and glows with light and transcends time and space ( talking to Elijah and Moses). The pastor's point was that even though the disciples wanted to stay in that state, they couldn't. They had to come back down the mountain and live in the real world.

 

When my mother(GRHS)at the age of 82 , was coming to the end of her life , she never talked about going to heaven . Her only desire was to sleep by my father . She would say" I'm going to sleep by Daddy" . There was no mention of golden streets or crystal fountains and such, just being at ease.

 

MOW

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It also interesting to note that Mohammed, the founder of Islam, reported an incident in which he was transported from the cave in which he meditated and received his messages from G-d to the Dome of the Rock on a winged white horse. There he saw Jesus and Moses praying and then he was transported into the sky where he conversed with G-d.

 

The Judeo-Christian world does not have a monopoly on heaven stories, but we have more miracle stories regarding visions in the air when one considers what happened at Fatima in Portugal at the time of WWI, and at Medjugoria (sp?) in the Balkans prior to the commencement of the horrors commited there in the 90's.

 

flow

Edited by flowperson
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