Heaven - Does it exist?

19 Jun 2014 12:19 #150666 by Wescli Wardest

"The true object of all human life is play. Earth is a task garden; heaven is a playground."
- Gilbert K. Chesterton


Monastic Order of Knights
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19 Jun 2014 14:05 #150674 by Analyze
Replied by Analyze on topic Heaven - Does it exist?
right on man :) peace to all things : )

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19 Jun 2014 21:10 #150706 by Gisteron
Replied by Gisteron on topic Heaven - Does it exist?
What I meant was that Heaven and Hell are words invented to refer to not the same thing you are talking about. The point remains exactly as it is, since even in this thread whenever you say you are being in Heaven, you are also saying that it is rather a "Heaven on Earth" and you then go on to explain exactly what you mean. In a sense you are trying to smuggle in that word but then strip it of its actual meaning and assign one to it for which we already have dedicated words. You are perfectly free to do so, it just seems somewhat... wasteful. Why bother writing paragraphs to express what can be expressed in mere words? Just so you can smuggle in a word that so many people are used to encounter? Why make a paraphrase instead of a phrase? But I think I have said this before.

As for my thoughts on oneness, perhaps, in order to not encumber this thread with it, it'd be better if we discussed this in another place. Feel free to message me or meet me on the Hangout if you so wish. Also, I am comfortable releasing the discussion to public review, too, if you think doing so would be a service to others.

Better to leave questions unanswered than answers unquestioned

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20 Jun 2014 19:49 #150780 by Streen
Replied by Streen on topic Heaven - Does it exist?
As is said in the Art of Peace:

"Heave is right where you stand."


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21 Jun 2014 14:30 #150806 by Alan
Replied by Alan on topic Heaven - Does it exist?
The title of this thread "Heaven - Does it exist?" has given me no little problem. The quality of ‘existence’ is ordinarily given to objects. Philosophically, it is substances that exist, things that have being are physical objects, though ideas and spiritual 'things' are real. For Christians (and Platonists) ideas are more real for they exist in the mind of God and the physical things of the world only participate in these ideas.

The related problem is that the question has mistakenly taken the mythic designation Heaven and given it the property of being a place. (Capitalized here as a formal noun/place name.) So, asking a question about Heaven as existing is implying that it is some kind of object, a physical place, rather than a spiritual condition. To be is to be in a place unless that place is spiritual then the quality of 'being' is essentially different. Heaven is no more a place than a soul is an organ in the body. Asking about the reality of myths, if they are factual or historical is to misunderstand what a myth is.

The traditional, mythic conceptualization of Heaven comes from Christianity; the related monotheism, Islam, posits a variation. Myths are narratives of beginnings/origins and the myth of Heaven as the condition and occasion of the body in the afterlife is related more to Christian theology than to Judaism; even though the myth of Heaven is related to the shared mythic condition of exile from the Garden of Eden from the shared Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. Neither is Eden a physical place but rather it is the myth of how once God and human beings lived together. Eden, like Heaven, is the condition of being one with God. Heaven is not a place unless God lives in this place and that is exactly the issue. Where is God? How do we find God? How do we make our being, our home, and His being, Heaven, the same? The most important question raised in the myth of Eden is: If Heaven is where God is mythically emplaced, then how do humans, as mortal and physical beings, find their way back to God? What is the way to spiritual union with God? Mythically, it is clear that the idea of place shifts from a physical location to a spiritual condition and cosmic occasion. In Christian practice, there are many paths back to God.

In Christian theology, Heaven is the condition of being with God again. It was not invented to control except in the sense developed by Augustine that it provides ethical imperatives regarding how and why one is to live a morally virtuous life. The idea of Heaven is used as a proof of the freedom of the will. Augustine argues that because God is just, human beings must have freedom of the will, because when her/his choices are free, God can justly judge their actions and choices, and so, Heaven is the 'reward' of a life lived freely in God’s love and grace. Love and freedom are not places, but these concepts are essentially related to the Christian theology of the nature of God as loving and just.

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