Project 313 – Post No. 137

If you know some Christians, have them explain heaven to you. If you are a Christian, find a non-Christian and explain heaven to them. Trust me; either way, it’s interesting. 

What’s more interesting are all the sites (Christian sites) trying to explain Heaven to Christians themselves. Things like whether heaven is a physical place (yes) and if yes, will we . . . er . . . I guess not “we” because I ain’t going but for the sake of argument, go with me here . . . will we have bodies (yes) and will we recognize our family and friends (yes) and will we have emotions (yes) and will we be bored (no)? 

Not all Christians believe that’s the exact version of the divine revelation from god, but then they have to explain why the Bible tells us such things if they ain’t true.  

I’ve always wondered what exactly people think goes to heaven. I mean, something physical or spiritual makes a journey there, so what is it? Say I’m a good Christian (or a very bad monster who repents and accepts Jesus seconds before dying) and I get into heaven. 

Apparently, I’ll have clothes (can’t be naked in heaven, I guess) but what kind of clothes? Personally, I’d like something from the late sixties or early seventies. Imagine, for a moment, everyone walking around in bellbottoms. But . . . what about devout Christians who died 137 years ago? I guess it would make more sense we each wear clothes from our time period . . . except, again, given a span of seventy years or so, fashion changes. Do the clothes get updated every year? Every few years? Will we have to do laundry or are these magical clothes? Do we get to choose which clothes we wear or are we all going to be dressed the same? Does god favor going commando? If not, what kind of underwear are standard issue in heaven? What about women? Bloomers or does god prefer lacier offerings?

And that’s just the clothes. The more important question is which version of us will be up there? Will it be the version from our twenties or more mature versions like from our sixties or any of the thousands of versions in between? Will bald men have hair again? What kind of hairstyles will be allowed (occasionally, even more important to women than men)? What about jewlery? Tattoos? Sandals or more sensible shoes? These things are important both for self-image issues and comfort.

I read that we’ll have emotions (because emotions are a gift god gave humans) but doesn’t that include a couple of deadly sins? If we’re supposed to be in eternal bliss, how many more emotions could we possibly have? For that matter, there’s the whole question of free will (another gift/curse from god). Will there be free will in heaven? Free will is where sin originates but heaven allows no sins which means it’s likely we’d be no more than mindless puppets forced to bask in the glory of god (whatever that means as that’s also not explained). 

Some Christians get around this by saying we will freely choose to always be good and bask in the wonderfulness that is god. It would just seem amazing to me that no one would veer away from it. I mean, the angels did. Isn’t that how we got the devil? Perhaps god instituted some failsafe device after The Fall; you have free will, but not to sin. 

Then there’s this recognizing family and friends bit and reuniting with them . . . what if you lived in the 1800s and hopped on a ship to the New World and never saw your five-year-old brother grow up? Will you recognize him? What about brothers and sisters who might have been born after you died (many children died young back then . . . many still do)? There are some who believe children who die are then raised in heaven by angelic mothers . . . so, we grow old in heaven as well? Do we stop aging after a certain point and if so, at what age?

What if you don’t like some of your family? What if you were adopted and never knew your biological family? What if you killed your family (but asked forgiveness and accepted Jesus before dying yourself)? Awkward. 

There are other weird aspects of heaven. Some people believe the Earth will be cleansed of all evil (which, oddly enough, is usually a direct cause of god’s flawed design) and then people (the saved ones) will come back down to live in a recreation of the Garden of Eden (or something like it). It’s not clear if they would all be naked. 

Of course, some Christians think it’s only the soul that goes to heaven . . . whatever that means. I mean, is the soul you? Does the soul retain your identity and memories and stuff? I don’t see how it can be you because you are both physical and mortal. What we are, what we feel, what our memories consist of, all of it is tied to our physical bodies. Literally, we would not be ourselves if separated from our bodies; we’d have no identity, no self-image, no . . . nothing. 

Some argue that we ascend into another form of being . . . but then, it’s not us going to heaven, is it? It’s something else. We, the persons we are, our dreams, hopes, and everything that gives us a reason for being, all of that ceases to be and we are no more. What’s the point of it, then? What’s the point of all this if it has no relevance to the “next phase” of our existence? Heck, what if I don’t want to go onto the next phase? 

Side note: reincarnation (a belief from other religions) is no better. We still die. The “new us” will have no memory of the old us. Plus, the whole karma idea is pretty stupid. The “next you” will be punished or rewarded for what you do in this life. Well, screw that! I’ll live large, steal, cheat, and do whatever I want that pleases me in this life and let the next guy pick up the bill!

As you can see, there are lots of questions . . . the biggest being if there’s even a heaven . . . or hell, for that matter. You’d be surprised to learn the concept of heaven is not really well defined even among Christians but perhaps more surprised that heaven as we “know” it today is not the same as it was interpreted by early Christians. 

Like with all religions, the concept evolved and different splinter groups formulated their own understanding of heaven. But, that’s something pretty much all religions agree on . . . we don’t actually die. It’s the central and sole attraction of religion (in my opinion). Without it, we’d tell our ministers, priests, rabbis, imams, and shamans to get stuffed . . . and that just won’t do; they’d then have to get real jobs. That’s why they’re so adamant there’s a heaven; that, and it’s been revealed to them, you see. Of course, you lacking an intercom to the divine, you have to take their word for it . . . and give them money. 

Anyway, the subject of heaven does make for entertaining reading regardless of which religion you pick. Here’s an exercise for you . . . pick any religion other than your own and find all the obvious faults with their idea of an afterlife . . . and then ponder why none of those faults can be applied to your idea of an afterlife. I mean, I’m sure you’ll find plenty of reasons to believe you’ll live forever. 

And now, the photo:

Project 313 137

Today, I felt like a bold painting and even bolder frame. 

It always surprises me how little people think about stuff. For instance, I spent a lot of time thinking about religion. I can’t even begin to tally up the number of minutes starting with my initial indoctrination (catechism school) and progressing to now . . . 

Boy, I’d sure like to have that money!

Perhaps I should have been paying attention to raindrops . . . 

. . . Creative Multicolor Raindrops.

Creative Multicolor Raindrops

And . . . that’s it

Some of these posts will likely be longer as the mood hits me, but most will be thus; short, uninteresting, bland, and relentless.

You can read about Project 313 HERE.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
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24 Responses to Project 313 – Post No. 137

  1. Life is heaven, you don’t go there, you leave it behind, happy to move on!

    Like

    • disperser says:

      Hmm . . . some individuals can make life heaven sometimes and in small doses but I don’t think it’s the default state. At least, not from what I can see of the world and life in general.

      . . . and I’m not exactly happy to move on as I don’t think there’s a destination after it. Not unhappy, either; it’s just what is.

      Like

      • There is nothing after this except for memories of those left behind to remember. This is a sort of Heaven don’t you think? Everyone leaves a life time full of memories…

        Like

      • disperser says:

        That’s my contention as well.

        And, if you want to minimize the sorrow and pain from the loss that your friends and family might suffer, do what I do . . . be a real bastard and piss them off. They’ll still remember you but will be glad to see you go.

        Like

  2. theburningheart says:

    A complicated issue, but one we all are destined to find out, sooner or later, hopefully!

    Myself believe you can have some hints through a state of Grace, but some may dismiss that as a chemical reaction in your brain. :-)

    Like

    • disperser says:

      State of Grace is also not well-defined and subject to interpretation . . . care to explain what it means to you? I’m especially interested in what kind of hints you’re getting.

      Or is it one of them personal things you have to experience and that the god that made me an atheist decided to keep from me?

      As for it being a complicated issue, not really. People make claims and they have very specific ideas about what’s going to happen with lots of details and definitions (which vary between denominations and with the passage of time).

      Me, I say nothing will happen. How much simpler can it get?

      Like

  3. theburningheart says:

    My first line define, my position, all of us will die, and we will find out, or not!

    As simple as that! :-)

    Like

  4. theburningheart says:

    What’s the point?

    Definitions are no proof of anything, specially if already your mind is made up!🤔🤨

    Like

  5. disperser says:

    It’s not for me . . . I just wanted to see if you had a clear understanding of what you said and could express it to others (and to yourself).

    So far, my experience with people who make those kinds of statements is . . . no.

    They appear to grasp and hold tight to beliefs they rather not explore in detail. Sort of like a little kid not really caring what the hem of his mother’s skirt is made of; it’s just a comforting thing to hold onto.

    Also, my mind can be changed . . . surprisingly easily, actually.

    By the way, I take it you didn’t read the FAQ?

    Like

    • theburningheart says:

      Well you ask for it.

      To begin with, what you are asking it’s to describe a subjective experience which it’s not particularly for the mind to understand, reason, or argue it, but for the subjective self to experience it.

      No different than having a trip, either you have done it, or you don’t.

      Want an explanation?

      What for? Do it yourself, have a shot of Ayahuasca for example, then draw your own conclusions!

      It may be a different experience, you may have, but it will be YOUR experience.

      Arguing what it was, it’s just your ego trying to say, I am right, you are wrong. convince me, otherwise, what you are saying it’s jut nonsense!

      There’s many things that cannot be explained, a fact of life we have to live with.

      Seek your own experience, and stop looking for somebody to argue with.

      It’s not my business to convince you, or anybody. :-)

      Like

    • disperser says:

      Remember, you could have just left it at your first sentence but something —a feeling of superiority? smugness at your “special understanding” of things? — made you add a comment about you getting hints as to how things might be. I’m just asking what those hints might be; what do they tell you?

      After all, State of Grace has specific connotations. It’s not subjective because it has a direct connection to religion and religion makes specific claims related to it. To wit:

      “State of grace: Condition of a person who is free from mortal sin and pleasing to God. It is the state of being in God’s friendship and the necessary condition of the soul at death in order to attain heaven.”

      I asked for an explanation; what do you mean? . . . but what did I get?

      A suggestion to use a psychedelic drug so that I may “see” clearly.

      That’s the sum total of your answers . . . OK, then, let me address that.

      I don’t drink, so can I just get drunk? How about other drugs? Will those help me see the . . . What, exactly? Does it have to specifically be Ayahuasca? Others claim other drugs and even other methods. Perhaps I can injure my brain so that “I’m not right up there” and achieve the same thing?

      You speak of subjective experiences and that’s all fine and good. In fact, it’s what believers will always tell you when asked to explain what in just the prior sentence they were willing to name with certainty and fervor.

      Not only name but claim as the “truth of it”.

      Here’s the part that’s vexing . . . I’m asked to “have a trip” so that I may gain my own understanding.

      But, what makes whatever one experiences while in a drugged state any more compelling than what one experiences in a lucid state?

      What if I already have an understanding? What if my understanding makes sense relative to everything I observe and everything I know about the history of humanity? How does a vision that cannot be reconciled with reality have any more validity than what I already know? And, what of all those who have taken these trips but don’t get revelations? I mean, sometimes they just have a fun trip, and sometimes they have bad trips, but they know they were on a trip and came back without carrying anything back.

      What about people with serious neurological issues who “see” things? People who believe they’ve seen Elvis alive and walking among us? People who hear voices or otherwise live a different reality than the rest of us? Are we to heed them? Do they offer insight we should follow?

      I mean, what’s the difference between a disturbed brain and one whose workings are altered by drugs?

      This is a simple question and you should be able to answer it: what gives more import to conclusions reached by people indulging in drugs versus those of people who just ponder about things?

      Don’t worry; I’m not expecting a cogent answer.

      I especially like your magnanimous and generous closing statements:

      “Seek your own experience, and stop looking for somebody to argue with.
      It’s not my business to convince you, or anybody.”

      Well, now, that’s mighty wise of you . . . but, you didn’t follow your own advice. You came here, you read, you offered an opinion. And you offered it with a wink and a nod as if you know something others don’t.

      I’m only asking you to back it up with something — anything — that others might grasp at.

      You are correct that we should stop looking for someone to argue with . . . but I wouldn’t be writing these words if people were happy to just keep it to themselves. Nope. Got to spread it. Got to be proud of it. Got to make rules based on it. Got to kill for it?

      Remember, you came here . . . Do you know what I do if I open a blog and there’s any hint of spiritualism, religion, or any other kind of woo? I leave. I don’t comment. Live and let live, I say.

      Oh, wait, there was an answer I gave to an “Open Letter to Atheists” . . . but I considered that an invitation and I won’t do that again because religious (and spiritual) people have one thing in common: they get testy when people don’t buy into their drug-induced realities.

      By the way, here’s the part of the FAQ you should have read:

      1c) if, however, you hold and express beliefs not anchored in reason and rationality and you express them on my blog, prepare to defend them because they will be challenged. Other than in extraordinary circumstances, I won’t be nasty, but I will be blunt. I say all that, and it sounds antagonistic . . . no; it’s just a fair warning; I’m old, I have little patience for wasting time, and I am frank with my opinions. Some people don’t like that. If you are one of them, stay away.

      Like

      • theburningheart says:

        Live and let live, I say. Precisely my point!

        No need of so much words, and rules.
        Respect for others opinions, and just leave it there!

        Take care! :-)

        Like

      • disperser says:

        . . . well, I have less respect now and after every encounter . . . perhaps if I don’t hear them for a while, that might change.

        Thank you.

        Like

        • theburningheart says:

          You have to have the last word, and that’s the problem,
          Change your attitude it may help! 😀😉

          Like

        • disperser says:

          My blog, my rules . . .

          However, discounting for a moment your attempt at cleverness, know that you’re now crossing into troll territory.

          Have the decency to either contribute something of value or go enthrall people on your own blog, which, by the way, out of respect, I quickly recognized as someplace I best avoid (nary a dissenting voice, did I cross, which must obviously be a tremendous boost to your self-image) and not because I don’t have anything to say about the offered pablum.

          You could do me the same courtesy. I mean, it’s not like you lack readers to dazzle with your deep insights into the nature of human consciousness and existence.

          And yes, I get the desire to spread your seed, as it were, but you’ve done that; you’ve stained the rocks and it’s now time to move on and troll other blogs.

          Like

  6. PHOTO: Love the vibrant color and the blue frame makes it pop even more!
    CARTOON: HA! The answer to that might be very depressing to Ethel!
    DOODLE: This one is fun! And it has 2 of my fav colors in it!
    HUGS and can’t believe it’s Wednesday already! My week has been super busy!

    Like

  7. macquie says:

    Not sure though how much you believe in blah blah blah (aka BS), but in spiritual world, your soul is regarded as light which is a part of universe. You in the light were born with your full body suit (=in physical body) for your current life living on the earth. So you are back to light after you died. So you dont need to worry about what stage / phase of you will be brought with you when you died. :-)

    Like

    • disperser says:

      The amount of belief I have in BS is exactly zero.

      Also, I prefer to think I came from darkness (nothing) and to darkness (nothing) I’ll return.

      In case it’s not clear, I have zero worries about what happens after I die. For one, I won’t know I’m dead because I’ll be no more.

      Like

    • disperser says:

      I’m not sure you got the gist of it . . . I don’t need to know about fairy tales; plenty of tales already out there . . .

      . . . and that’s an old joke. Still funny, though.

      Like

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