What does Heaven look like?
All the descriptions of Heaven I’ve heard have been based on the idea that we would maintain our personalities after death. Almost all are so rooted in our sense of self that they refer to our physical needs. As an example, you’ve heard “In Heaven you can eat whatever you want”. Some go further, “In Heaven everyone appears to be 33”. Once after a roommate failed to pay the gas bill, I said “In Heaven there are hot showers”.
All these descriptions are extrapolated from scriptures that describe the perfection of Heaven. From our earthbound point of view, it can be hard to imagine an existence not tied to our experiences. The practical side of me suggests otherwise. Perhaps Heaven does exist in an extra dimensional space, but it seems more likely that all the souls that have passed before have stayed within our own universe. That could just be my own failure of imagination, but when people speak of white mansions and robes, I’m pondering “who does all that laundry?”. No physical presence in heaven makes sense to me. To be more precise, no existence of ego makes sense to me.
There are just so many concepts about the afterlife that make no sense. Assuming we’re there for eternity, wouldn’t seventy two virgins be insufficient? If we are to appear as we were at a certain time in our life, what of those who we met later, or before, we were at that stage? Which brings up the question of relationships, and the web of spouses and in-laws that would arise.
Consider this description of perfection. “Like God”. What does that mean to you? It doesn’t say to me that I’m eternally 33, at a grand picnic with every other soul, jamming with Jimi Hendrix and Beethoven (although I had that dream once, Jimi preferred the orange m&m’s). It does say that I would be beyond my present level of understanding. I’ve been thinking of how this might work and have developed an idea that fits all the descriptions for heaven that I’ve heard so far, as far as its physical appearance.
The core of this concept is that it all comes down to semantics. Our definitions of what we are and what Heaven is are based in our ego and our desires. As I look at the scriptures, the recurring message is that to be like Christ, we should put aside our egos and desires. Being “in tune” moves to another level, assuming there is anything behind the Schumann Resonance.
Here’s my idea. When your body dies, your soul continues to exist. Your soul is that which caused your body to be alive. It is that remnant of God’s breath given to Adam. Following that line of thought, your soul is already “like God”. It is the only part of you on Earth that is truly a part of God. Heaven is when your soul rejoins God. Hell would be when it doesn’t.
Your soul is undefinable and immeasurable by Earthly means. Although there are those that claim that the soul can be measured, assigning the soul a mass of twenty one grams, there has been no scientific assignment of these measurements. Your soul has no desire other than to be complete, as in rejoined with God. In the same way you could describe a compass as being “happy” when it is pointing North, your soul is happy when it is in Heaven. It is merely following the path of nature, that of least resistance, a concept that when examined is universal.
Your soul has no personality. Your own ego and desires are functions of your physical body. When we rejoin the “body” of God, we are where we “should” be, in harmony with all things. We are with all the other souls that have rejoined God. We exist in a state of perfection.
It appears to me that these conditions would be met if the soul existed as energy. Not created or destroyed, existing as a wavelength, in, or out, of tune with God. After life, we are part of the universe (which is God), our energy connected to everything it resonates with. That which is not in Heaven, out of tune with the frequency of creation, could very well be “Dark Matter”. This is one of the reasons I love theoretical conceptual physics, I don’t need to do any math (yes, I know, it’s called philosophy. The mind is still part of the physical universe).
After reading through this, please find a concept of Heaven that does not agree. Heaven is all around us. The dead are still with us. Heaven is being one with God. Hell is the exclusion of God’s love.
As no one has returned with a report of the conditions, all that really matters is how we conduct ourselves here on Earth. Would it not appear that as faith in an afterlife declines, effort to make this life as pleasant as possible should rise? I would expect atheists to be filled with a joie de vivre, as it is the only experience of life they believe they will have.