What Does “Going To Heaven” Really Mean?
Listening to a Christmas carol and catching the words about “up in Heaven on high”, I got a sudden perspective which I think makes more sense out of this ancient and rather corny idea of “Heaven”.
In fact it lights up the dangers of using scriptures which are out of date and based on scribblings by ancient Jewish writers. They knew next to nothing! Our high school kids today know more about our world than those remote scribes of time past.
So when our scriptures (not just Christianity) contain these references to God on high, it’s based on their very limited view of the world.
This is what I suddenly realized: God or the Divine is, of course, a much bigger concept than us and our lives. So as we expand outwards, to include the bigger concept than us, and Earth and human life, we are naturally expanding and growing towards a far bigger concept.
But—here’s the killer—outwards from Earth will appear as going “upwards” from the surface of a spherical planet!
In fact, if you think the spherical planet idea through, what would “upwards” possibly mean? Off Earth from England, or The Holy Land? Or upwards from Australia, which is in the opposite direction to European “Heaven”! Ha ha!
It would mean that “up” to Heaven is purely selective and based on viewpoint. It’s no more than a metaphor. But that’s not what the scriptures say. They are quite clear that Christ went up to Heaven; Mohammad too, he ascended on a winged goat.
To me, it’s a good reason to ignore the ancient scribblers, which I do anyway. What could they know that helps us here and now, wrestling with questions of human survival, sustainability of Nature, women’s issues and the definition of consciousness?
The grumpy, misogynistic God they portrayed is practically the definition of everything we DON’T want. But that’s because of their ignorance. I can forgive them but I sure don’t have to let their view of the world define mine.
The God I love has nothing to do with the silly old fart portrayed in old texts (which Jews, Christians and Moslems share).