Monday, November 23, 2015

"Heaven is Beautiful" and real (video)

Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson, Wisdom Quarterly;; Host Dave Shrader (C2C)
"GOD?" above with Budai (Hotei) standing and smiling (Isabel Gareau/

DailyDevotions.orgPeter Panagore's Heaven is Beautiful: How Dying Taught Me That Death is Just the Beginning recounts a remarkable near death experience (NDE) that occurred during an ice climbing expedition when he died at just 21 years old. "This is the story of how I died, why I came back, and what has happened to me since...."

Heaven is Beautiful is a profound, true story offering amazing proof that there is more. This book and its illuminating truth pushed my restart button! Best page-turning read of the year!”
—Jennifer Skiff, author of God Stories: Inspiring Encounters with the Divine and The Divinity of Dogs

“Heaven is hot right now -- not in temperature, but in public interest. Everyone who longs to get a glimpse of the afterlife [and life means rebirth after rebirth called samsara] will be grateful for this gripping first-person account by Peter Panagore, who dies on a cold mountainside after a heart-pounding ice climb in the Canadian wilderness....”
—Henry G. Brinton

When Peter Panagore died on the side of a mountain, his life was forever changed. In those minutes on the "Other Side," he experienced hell, forgiveness, and unconditional love of something less like God (Brahma) than GOD (Brahman). He joined Coast to Coast Host Dave Schrader (dave@darknessradio.coml) to discuss how his NDE changed his life and resulted in an intense spiritual journey that has continued for decades.
  • The first hour guest, Steve Johnson, set out on a quest to prove his precognition. He shares his proof of futuristic visions and what he sees in the coming years.
Heaven is real in Buddhism? 
What about this whole "God" thing?
God/Dog's Heaven (A.Greenaway/J.Ramakrishan/R. Copp/

Most Americans mistakenly think Buddhism is atheistic. It is not. (It is nontheistic, which "common sense" says is the same thing, but which investigation shows is quite something else). There are many heavens (sagga) just as there are many "gods" (brahmas and devas, potent divinities and deities, with a wider more akin to the pantheon of ancient Greece).
Christianity is polytheistic, as is (or was) Judaism. Their switch to monotheism did not suddenly negate the many gods of the Bible, although that's what we are told, just as the concept of the Trinity (triune-godhead) does not negate the unity of the three. Careful reading of both the Christian and earlier Judaic biblical texts (as the Book is actually a collection of many books) shows that God is plural, the Gods, this group and that group from space. Of course, people have spent centuries trying to explain this away.
"We are all GOD," Christ is said to have said, and he's not the only one to have said so. We are all divine at the very least in potential. The mystical experience often concerns a direct perception of this unity of ALL things, and that all-ness can be talked about, to the extent it can be put into words, as an experience of "God" or our own divinity.
But here we would say it is better to use the word GOD (Brahman in Brahmanism) so as not to confuse any personal being with the staggering immensity of the ALL or as the comedic science fiction writer Douglas Adams put it, "Life, the Universe, and Everything." Popular Christian conceptions are wrong -- as are most popular conceptions of any religion. Islam is wrong. Judaism is very wrong. Buddhism is wrong. 

I AM thy God, your Father, so shut up.
But wait, how can Buddhism be wrong? It is not that the Buddha was wrong but that the message that gets miscommunicated to us, misquoted to us, is misinterpreted by us, misunderstood by us. The Buddha was speaking to a people of a time and place, with far different assumptions about daily reality than we hold and, by the way, our understanding is wrong just as theirs probably was.

Goddess loves you, so speak.
(This being the case, it is not that Jesus of Nazareth was wrong or that the Christ Consciousness is wrong, or that Mohammed or Moses, or any seer is wrong about what s/he perceives. But what they saw and tried to teach are now much mangled, and that mangling began with the first generation of students and apostles). The Buddha, unlike other great teachers, did not teach people what to believe. He taught people how to see, and seeing is believing in a sense. But what need is there for "believing" for one who truly sees?

Many Buddhist temples are designed like heavenly halls in space in better worlds (
Devil Kerry visits Islamic heaven (AP).
This book by Peter Baldwin Panagore is excellent because what his near death experience taught him was not to believe in God. That may confuse the heck out of readers, or seem to contradict what he is saying, or be our misreading. But listen to his interview and he explains it quite well: the direct mystical experience is not about believing social or spiritual constructs. They all fall short.

How we going to get ourselves into heaven, Dick? - The hell with heaven; we're going to other places, Georgey Boy, and Kerry's coming with us, Hillary too. (Tom Tomorrow/This Modern World).

First sutras then Abhidharma
Read mystical texts, and until you have the experience, the thinking-mind will necessarily misunderstand. After experiencing these things, we can begin to see how assumptions trap us, language traps us, and our very thoughts themselves trap us! Then it is possible to hold the self-evidently contradictory thoughts as there is a God/there is no God.

Read How To Know God, an excellent translation of The Yoga Aphorisms [Sutras] of Patanjali (or read Swedenborg, Meister Eckhart, Teresa of Avila, Eckhart Tolle, Byron Katie...). And one need not think we are selling out. We don't believe in God, or if we believe in it, it is surely not the popular conception of God our society holds or our religions teach us.

The sacred feminine: God is a Girl.
That's what nontheism means: Whether there's a God or no God, heavens or no heavens, whether you believe or do not believe, it doesn't matter as regards enlightenment. Believe if you like. Don't believe if you like. Karma is still karma. These "Gods" are wrapped up in it, too. All beings are reborn, all die, all come back, all fall away, and all are at every moment along the way falling away. Then why did we just say there is no God?
We said so because the conception of what "God" means in other religions is wrong. Saying there is no God is not the same as saying, There is nothing. There is something, but it's not what you think. [What do you think? You think what's there has three characteristics it does not have: permanence, the potential to satisfy, and self when it is really and ultimately (not conventionally but only ultimately-speaking) impermanent, unsatisfactory, and impersonal.]

The "Gods" constantly visit earth, build it up, have their own agenda.
And the same goes for "heaven." No heaven, no matter how exalted, is permanent. Now heaven, no matter how beautiful and pleasurable, is able to satisfy. No heaven, no matter how real it seems, is personal.
It may last a long, looonnng time. Nevertheless, what seems imperishable is perishable. For example, compared to this body, a rock lasts forever. But a rock doesn't last forever. It wastes away after a very long time. The same goes for rebirth in heaven: compared to this life, it's an eternity. But we've all been there in those worlds, yet here we are. Everyone will eventually get there again, yet here (and worse) we'll be again.

Why? Samsara is like that. Karma is like that. We will experience the results of our actions. (We will experience what we have put others through, even unintentionally, as Panagore confirms). We are responsible, ultimately, for ourselves and others for themselves, and we are all connected and inter-dependent. But though we may help many, we still have to help ourselves. Though many help us, we still have to help ourselves. Though we help others, they still have to help themselves.

Good and bad are by ourselves done.
Good and bad are by ourselves left undone.
No one saves another.
No one can and no one may.
We ourselves must walk the Path.
Buddhas only point the way.

Q: GOD (Brahman), God (Maha Brahma), and gods (brahmas and devas) are all real -- and anatta is real, so in an ultimate sense, how can it be said that any "being" or "thing" is real?

A: This is the same as asking, How can physicists possibly believe (or know with complete certainty) that matter is mostly empty space? They can. It is.

Out of the way, God coming through.
Conventionally, matter is dense. Ultimately, it is more than 99% empty space. Both are true. It is not even a paradox except to a person trapped by assumptions, language, and/or thinking. Religions are stupid and bad; that's not to say that they're not useful and hinting at something that's true and good. Until we directly experience it, it's just words. It's just beliefs. It's just dogmas and doctrines that can be used to mislead us.

Ask not what to believe. Ask instead, How can I know? How can I get there? How can I see for myself? That's what the Buddha taught, only people kept asking what they'd see when they saw reality and the Buddha had to give some sort of answer using words, ideas, and analogies, always warning of the danger that not seeing for ourselves holds, always encouraging us to eventually put the words and thoughts away and experience reality directly.

(This is accomplished by cultivation of serenity and insight, meditation to calm and gladden the heart/mind and systematic insight-practice (vipassana) tracing something called Dependent Origination, the direct seeing of how this has all come to be. When we see it, the mind/heart lets go, and the Truth sets us free. Until then, heaven or heavens (various levels) are real, and they are beautiful, and it is better to be here than there only because it is easier to gain permanent freedom from here. But most would rather just go back there, a place many of us like to think of as our "real home." It is not our real home, but compared to this place it is. It's a whole lot better than this place. You'll see.

Catholicism is a great religion. Or not.
Or get regressed to past lives or projected to future ones if you must know right away. But meditate, too, or you will not know that what you "know" is true or not. Panagore -- who met and communicated with GOD as God (that immensity in a form he could understand it) repeatedly states that he (Panagore) practices mindfulness meditation and hatha yoga, which we at Wisdom Quarterly recommend to all.

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