Heaven or High Water
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Some are of opinion that heaven is everywhere, as God is everywhere. According to this view the blessed can move about freely in every part of the universe, and still remain with God and see everywhere. Everywhere, too, they remain with Christ in His sacred Humanity and with the saints and the angels. For, according to the advocates of this opinion, the spatial distances of this world must no longer impede the mutual intercourse of blessed. In general, however, theologians deem more appropriate that there should be a special and glorious abode, in which the blessed have their peculiar home and where they usually abide, even though they be free to go about in this world.

For the surroundings in the midst of which the blessed have their dwelling must be in accordance with their happy state; and the internal union of charity which joins them in affection must find its outward expression in community of habitation. At the end of the world, the earth together with the celestial bodies will be gloriously transformed into a part of the dwelling-place of the blessed Revelation Hence there seems to be no sufficient reason for attributing a metaphorical sense to those numerous utterances of the Bible which suggest a definite dwelling-place of the blessed.

Theologians, therefore, generally hold that the heaven of the blessed is a special place with definite limits. Naturally, this place is held to exist, not within the earth, but, in accordance with the expressions of Scripture, without and beyond its limits.

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All that we have said on the secondary object of the beatific vision is the common and reliable teaching of theologians. God then completed his creation by forming the sky into seven firmaments, adorning the lower firmament with lights, and assigning to everything its just measure. The Pyramid Texts envision a happy afterlife for royalty alone; the dead king is identified with Osiris as well as with the triumphant rising sun. Official Sites. Red Sky Rooftop. Finally, that all else is of minor importance for beatitude is evident from the fact that nothing save God alone is capable of satisfying man.

All further details regarding its locality are quite uncertain. The Church has decided nothing on this subject. There is a heaven, i. On the lot of those who die free from personal sin, but infected with original sin, see LIMBO limbus pervulorum. The existence of heaven is, of course, denied by atheists, materialists, and pantheists of all centuries as well as by those rationalists who teach that the soul perishes with the body — in short, by all who deny the existence of God or the immortality of the soul.

But, for the rest, if we abstract from the specific quality and the supernatural character of heaven, the doctrine has never met with any opposition worthy of note. Even mere reason can prove the existence of heaven or of the happy state of the just in the next life. We shall give a brief outline of the principal arguments. From these we shall, at the same time, see that the bliss of heaven is eternal and consists primarily in the possession of God, and that heaven presupposes a condition of perfect happiness, in which every wish of the heart finds adequate satisfaction.

Revelation also proclaims the existence of heaven. This we have already seen in the preceding section from the many names by which the Bible designates heaven; and from the texts of Scripture, still to be quoted on the nature and peculiar conditions of heaven.

Here on earth we have no immediate perception of God ; we see Him but indirectly in the mirror of creation. We get our first and direct knowledge from creatures, and then, by reasoning from these, we ascend to a knowledge of God according to the imperfect likeness which creatures bear to their Creator. But in doing so we proceed to a large extent by way of negation, i. In heaven, however, no creature will stand between God and the soul. He himself will be the immediate object of its vision. Scripture and theology tell us that the blessed see God face to face.

And because this vision is immediate and direct, it is also exceedingly clear and distinct. Ontologists assert that we perceive God directly in this life, though our knowledge of Him is vague and obscure; but a vision of the Divine Essence, immediate yet vague and obscure, implies a contradiction. The blessed see God, not merely according to the measure of His likeness imperfectly reflected in creation, but they see Him as He is, after the manner of His own Being.

The Scriptural argument is based especially on 1 Corinthians cf. Matthew ; 1 John ; 2 Corinthians , etc. The argument from tradition is carried out in detail by Petavius "De. Several Fathers, who seemingly contradict this doctrine, in reality maintain it; they merely teach that the bodily eye cannot see God, or that the blessed do not fully comprehend God, or that the soul cannot see God with its natural powers in this life cf. II, c. The Vatican Council expressly declared that man has been elevated by God to a supernatural end Denz.

In this connection we must also mention the condemnation of the Ontologists, and in particular of Rosmini, who held that an immediate but indeterminate perception of God is essential to the human intellect and the beginning of all human knowledge Denz. That the vision of God is supernatural can also be shown from the supernatural character of sanctifying grace Denz.

Even unaided reason recognizes that the immediate vision of God, even if it be at all possible, can never be natural for a creature. For it is manifest that every created mind first perceives its own self and creatures similar to itself by which it is surrounded, and from these it rises to a knowledge of God as the source of their being and their last end.

Hence its natural knowledge of God is necessarily mediate and analogous; since it forms its ideas and judgments about God after the imperfect likeness which its own self and its surroundings bear to Him. Such is the only means nature offers for acquiring a knowledge of God, and more than this is not due to any created intellect ; consequently, the second and essentially higher way of seeing God by intuitive vision can but be a gratuitous gift of Divine goodness. These considerations prove, not merely that the immediate vision of God exceeds the natural claims of all creatures in actual existence ; but they also prove against Ripalda, Becaenus, and others Recently also Morlias , that God cannot create any spirit which would, by virtue of its nature, be entitled to the intuitive vision of the Divine Essence.

Therefore, as theologians express it, no created substance is of its nature supernatural ; however, the Church has given no decision on this matter. Palmieri, "De Deo creante et elevante" Rome, , thes. Thomas seems to teach I, Q. Elsewhere, however, he frequently insists on the supernatural character of that vision e. III, Q. Hence in the former place he obviously supposes that man knows from revelation both the possibility of the beatific vision and his destiny to enjoy it.

On this supposition it is indeed quite natural for man to have so strong a desire for that vision, that any inferior kind of beatitude can no longer duly satisfy him. This was defined by the Council of Vienne in Denz. For the beatific vision transcends the natural powers of the intellect ; therefore, to see God the intellect stands in need of some supernatural strength, not merely transient, but permanent as the vision itself.

This permanent invigoration is called the "light of glory ", because it enables the souls in glory to see God with their intellect, just as material light enables our bodily eyes to see corporeal objects.

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On the nature of the light of glory the Church has decided nothing. Theologians have elaborated various theories about it, which, however, need not be examined in detail. According to the view commonly and perhaps most reasonably held, the light of glory is a quality Divinely infused into the soul and similar to sanctifying grace, the virtue of faith, and the other supernatural virtues in the souls of the just cf. Franzelin, "De Deo uno", 3rd ed.

It is controverted among theologians whether or not a mental image, be it a species expressa or a species impressa, is required for the beatific vision.

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But by many this is regarded as largely a controversy about the appropriateness of the term, rather than about the matter itself. The more common and probably more correct view denies the presence of any image in the strict sense of the word, because no created image can represent God as He is cf. Mazzella, "De Deo creante", 3rd ed. IV, a. The beatific vision is obviously a created act inherent in the soul, and not, as a few of the older theologians thought, the uncreated act of God's own intellect communicated to the soul.

For, "as seeing and knowing are immanent vital actions, the soul can see or know God by its own activity only, and not through any activity exerted by some other intellect. The primary object is God Himself as He is. The blessed see the Divine Essence by direct intuition, and, because of the absolute simplicity of God, they necessarily see all His perfections and all the persons of the Trinity.

Moreover, since they see that God can create countless imitations of His Essence, the entire domain of possible creatures lies open to their view, though indeterminately and in general. For the actual decrees of God are not necessarily an object of that vision, except in as afar as God pleases to manifest them.

Therefore finite things are not necessarily seen by the blessed, even if they are an actual object of God's will. Still less are they a necessary object of vision as long as they are mere possible objects of the Divine will. Consequently the blessed have a distinct knowledge of individual possible things only in so far as God wishes to grant this knowledge.

It is usually associated with the upwards direction from Earth, the opposite of Hell. When a righteous soul reached Heaven, they would be greeted by Uriel. He would welcome them with a speech that Lucifer described as "worse than Hell". When both God and Goddess started neglecting their family, Lucifer felt so forsaken that he rebelled against God and started a war in Heaven.

When Lucifer lost the war, God cast him out of Heaven and into Hell as punishment. Sign In Don't have an account? At all times these people can govern the Brahma multitudes as great Brahma lords, and they are among those in the Great Brahma Heaven. Those who flow to these levels will not be oppressed by worries or vexations.

Although they have not developed proper samadhi, their minds are pure to the point that they have subdued their coarser outflows. Those beyond the Brahma heavens gather in and govern the Brahma beings, for their Brahma conduct is perfect and fulfilled. Unmoving and with settled minds, they produce light in profound stillness, and they are among those in the Heaven of Lesser Light. Those whose lights illumine each other in an endless dazzling blaze shine throughout the realms of the ten directions so that everything becomes like crystal.

They are among those in the Heaven of Limitless Light. Those who take in and hold the light to perfection accomplish the substance of the teaching. Creating and transforming the purity into endless responses and functions, they are among those in the Light-Sound Heaven. The heavenly beings for whom the perfection of light has become sound and who further open out the sound to disclose its wonder discover a subtler level of practice. They penetrate to the bliss of still extinction and are among those in the Heaven of Lesser Purity. Those in whom the emptiness of purity manifests are led to discover its boundlessness.

Their bodies and minds experience light ease, and they accomplish the bliss of still extinction. They are among those in the Heaven of Limitless Purity. Those for whom the world, the body, and the mind are all perfectly pure have accomplished the virtue of purity, and a superior level emerges. They return to the bliss of still extinction, and they are among those in the Heaven of Pervasive Purity. Attaining heaven is not the final pursuit in Hinduism as heaven itself is ephemeral and related to physical body. Only being tied by the bhoot-tatvas, heaven cannot be perfect either and is just another name for pleasurable and mundane material life.

According to Hindu cosmology , above the earthly plane, are other planes: 1 Bhuva Loka , 2 Swarga Loka, meaning Good Kingdom, is the general name for heaven in Hinduism, a heavenly paradise of pleasure, where most of the Hindu Devatas Deva reside along with the king of Devas, Indra, and beatified mortals. Since heavenly abodes are also tied to the cycle of birth and death, any dweller of heaven or hell will again be recycled to a different plane and in a different form per the karma and "maya" i. This cycle is broken only by self-realization by the Jivatma.

This self-realization is Moksha Turiya, Kaivalya. The concept of moksha is unique to Hinduism and is unparalleled. Moksha stands for liberation from the cycle of birth and death and final communion with Brahman. With moksha, a liberated soul attains the stature and oneness with Brahman or Paramatma. Different schools such as Vedanta, Mimansa, Sankhya, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, and Yoga offer subtle differences in the concept of Brahman, obvious Universe, its genesis and regular destruction, Jivatma, Nature Prakriti and also the right way in attaining perfect bliss or moksha.

In the Vaishnava traditions the highest heaven is Vaikuntha , which exists above the six heavenly lokas and outside of the mahat- tattva or mundane world. It's where eternally liberated souls who have attained moksha reside in eternal sublime beauty with Lakshmi and Narayana a manifestation of Vishnu. However, the Nasadiya Sukta questions the omniscience of this overseer.

The shape of the Universe as described in Jainism is shown alongside. Unlike the current convention of using North direction as the top of map, this uses South as the top. The shape is similar to a part of human form standing upright. The Deva Loka heavens are at the symbolic "chest", where all souls enjoying the positive karmic effects reside.

The heavenly beings are referred to as devas masculine form and devis feminine form. According to Jainism, there is not one heavenly abode, but several layers to reward appropriately the souls of varying degree of karmic merits. Similarly, beneath the "waist" are the Narka Loka hell. Human, animal, insect, plant and microscopic life forms reside on the middle. The pure souls who reached Siddha status reside at the very south end top of the Universe. As per Sikh thought, heaven and hell are not places for living hereafter, they are part of spiritual topography of man and do not exist otherwise.

They refer to good and evil stages of life respectively and can be lived now and here during our earthly existence. He claims to know the Lord, who is beyond measure and beyond thought; By mere words, he plans to enter heaven. I do not know where heaven is.

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Everyone claims that he plans to go there. By mere talk, the mind is not appeased. The mind is only appeased, when egotism is conquered. As long as the mind is filled with the desire for heaven, He does not dwell at the Lord's Feet. Says Kabeer, unto whom should I tell this? The Company of the Holy is heaven. The Nahua people such as the Aztecs , Chichimecs and the Toltecs believed that the heavens were constructed and separated into 13 levels. Each level had from one to many Lords living in and ruling these heavens. Most important of these heavens was Omeyocan Place of Two.

In the creation myths of Polynesian mythology are found various concepts of the heavens and the underworld. These differ from one island to another. What they share is the view of the universe as an egg or coconut that is divided between the world of humans earth , the upper world of heavenly gods, and the underworld. Each of these is subdivided in a manner reminiscent of Dante 's Divine Comedy , but the number of divisions and their names differs from one Polynesian culture to another. Different tribes number the heaven differently, with as few as two and as many as fourteen levels.

One of the more common versions divides heaven thus:. Other Polynesian peoples see them being supported by gods as in Hawaii. In one Tahitian legend, heaven is supported by an octopus.

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The Polynesian conception of the universe and its division is nicely illustrated by a famous drawing made by a Tuomotuan chief in Here, the nine heavens are further divided into left and right, and each stage is associated with a stage in the evolution of the earth that is portrayed below. The lowest division represents a period when the heavens hung low over the earth, which was inhabited by animals that were not known to the islanders.

In the third division is shown the first murder, the first burials, and the first canoes, built by Rata. In the fourth division, the first coconut tree and other significant plants are born.

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It is believed in Theosophy of Helena Blavatsky that each religion including Theosophy has its own individual heaven in various regions of the upper astral plane that fits the description of that heaven that is given in each religion, which a soul that has been good in their previous life on Earth will go to. The area of the upper astral plane of Earth in the upper atmosphere where the various heavens are located is called Summerland Theosophists believe hell is located in the lower astral plane of Earth which extends downward from the surface of the earth down to its center.

However, Theosophists believe that the soul is recalled back to Earth after an average of about years by the Lords of Karma to incarnate again. The final heaven that souls go to billions of years in the future after they finish their cycle of incarnations is called Devachan. Anarchist Emma Goldman expressed this view when she wrote, "Consciously or unconsciously, most theists see in gods and devils, heaven and hell; reward and punishment, a whip to lash the people into obedience, meekness and contentment.

Many people consider George Orwell 's use of Sugarcandy Mountain in his novel Animal Farm to be a literary expression of this view. In the book, the animals were told that after their miserable lives were over they would go to a place in which "it was Sunday seven days a week, clover was in season all the year round, and lump sugar and linseed cake grew on the hedges". Some have argued that a belief in a reward after death is poor motivation for moral behavior while alive. The problem with this linkage between religion and morality is that it gives people bad reasons to help other human beings when good reasons are available.

In Inside the Neolithic Mind , Lewis-Williams and Pearce argue that many cultures around the world and through history neurally perceive a tiered structure of heaven, along with similarly structured circles of hell. The reports match so similarly across time and space that Lewis-Williams and Pearce argue for a neuroscientific explanation, accepting the percepts as real neural activations and subjective percepts during particular altered states of consciousness.

Many people who come close to death and have near-death experiences report meeting relatives or entering "the Light" in an otherworldly dimension, which shares similarities with the religious concept of heaven. Even though there are also reports of distressing experiences and negative life-reviews, which share some similarities with the concept of hell, the positive experience of meeting or entering "the Light" is reported as an immensely intense feeling of a state of love, peace and joy beyond human comprehension.

Together with this intensely positive-feeling state, people who have near-death experiences also report that consciousness or a heightened state of awareness seems as if it is at the heart of experiencing a taste of "heaven". Works of fiction have included numerous different conceptions of heaven and hell. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the metaphysical term "heaven" and the astral dimension it denotes. For other uses, see Heaven disambiguation. Place where beings such as gods, angels, spirits, saints, or venerated ancestors are said to originate, be enthroned, or live.

Main article: Ancient Mesopotamian religion. Main article: Canaanite religion.


Further information: Hittite mythology. Main article: Heaven in Christianity. Main articles: Heaven in Judaism and Olam Haba. Main articles: Heaven in Islam and Paradise in Islam. Main article: Tian. Heaven ordered the sun, the moon, and the stars to enlighten and guide them.