|"GOD?" above with Budai (Hotei) standing and smiling (Isabel Gareau/flickr.com)|
“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....”
- 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.
|God/Dog's Heaven (A.Greenaway/J.Ramakrishan/R. Copp/theinspirationroom.com)|
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.|
|Goddess loves you, so speak.|
|Devil Kerry visits Islamic heaven (AP).|
|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 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.|
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.
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.|
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.|