Heaven Is Only A State Of Mind Away

2014-04-17 14:07

It’s fair to suggest common churches fail to engage and educate their members in the core message and meaning of these ancient gems of wisdom, the scriptures. As an inquisitive teen, I always found myself in tremendous doubt and frustration every time I thought about Biblical philosophy.

The mere thought of me living in the ever misty clouds, wearing long robes and holding candles before God and a hierarchy of VIP angels, while the choir sang for all eternity just didn’t spark anticipation out of me. At least that’s the image I saw when I was about 18 or so.

Ultimately I wasn’t into church anymore, and straddling off to church always took the uncomfortable persuasion in the form of arguments and threats from my guardians. On a wider scale, it became clear that a lot of church-goers did so under threatening black clouds of manipulation and guilt as well.

Without much understanding, me and my peers therefore crafted dozens of what we assumed were ground-breaking reasons why Christianity was foul.We swiftly concluded the Bible was a mere trap used by Missionaries to steal land from black Africans. The fact that Biblical characters were always depicted as blue eyed Caucasians swayed matters for the worst. The church - meaning all churches in our view - was just a money-making scheme for the clergy and their greedy committees.

Since the beginning of recorded time, the concept of heaven has always prevailed and even presided over the will of mankind. Buddhists may relate about a state of enlightenment they call Nirvana. Heaven therefore may not necessarily be a physical venue but a state of mind, as some assert. I remember a song in my teens, in which they sang ‘Heaven and Hell Is on Earth’.

According to ancient Chinese Confucian philosophy, heaven is the dwelling place of Holy beings, who in turn have influence on the earthly kings, who rule over people. This correlates with some so called traditional African faiths, who venerate sacred ancestors.

Tibetan Buddhism, Hinduism and some Gnostic Hebrew books even relate about different levels of heaven. But the oldest details on this knowledge is in the books of Enoch (The Seven Heavens), where the venerated sage talks about being lifted to various levels of heaven and witnessing all types of mystic wonders, which he recorded for his Hebrew descendants.

Interestingly, in many languages, including the Germanic languages of Europe and the Bantu languages of Southern Africa, the word heaven is also synonymous with ‘sky’. Even in modern English, we still talk about ‘heavenly bodies’, referring to planets and stars. But heaven in its conventional meaning refers to a holy metaphysical plane where God and holy angels reside for eternity.

For some faiths, heaven and Paradise all mean one thing, while for others, beings may ascend to or descend from heaven.From a general analysis, it would appear the earth were an intermediary realm, where beings have to work and toil in uprightness in the hope of going to heaven after death.

This also forms an integral part of Ancient Egyptian religion, where the soul of a dead Pharaoh has to face the judgment seat of Osiris, where its heart is weighed on the scale of Ma’at. If the heart is found as pure, then the Pharaoh was allowed to proceed to the Afterlife in eternal ecstasy, failing which the soul is thrown down into the dreadful abyss.

In Biblical standards, heaven is predominantly a Christian concept, while pre-Christian books emphasize on a heavenly abode on earth, much like paradise, called Zion. Christianity itself does not consider heaven as an eternal destination for the good, but only intermediary, until the second coming of Jesus, who would restore the earth to its original glory. This is why we find in the New Testament quotes like, ‘The meek shall inherit the earth’, ‘the heavens passed away with a great noise’, and that God would ‘destroy those who destroy the earth.’

Heaven, as much as it is a glamorous and unequaled state of bliss and joy, cannot be achieved through political connections and the acquisition of worldly riches. Finding heaven may be as simple as respecting oneself and the next man as yourself.For every man or woman who makes an effort to adopt a fair outlook, I think we are equally a step closer to world peace or heaven.

For my own good, I have to be the embodiment of heaven, in terms of personality. As Jesus once taught, ‘The heavenly kingdom is in your heart’. ©

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