Your Best Life Now

Your Best Life Now


Is There Really a Heaven or Hell?…

posted by smcswain

heaven-hellI suppose.  If you need them.

But here’s another consideration.

In Falling Upward, Father Richard Rohr writes…

“When you do not know who you are, you push all enlightenment off into a possible future reward and punishment system, within which hardly anyone wins. Only the True Self knows that heaven is now and that its loss is hell–now. The false self makes religion into the old ‘evacuation plan for the next world,’ ” (p. 100-101 Fr. R. Rohr, Falling Upward).

For me, Rohr has stated it well…quite well, in fact.

“Heaven is now…”

“Hell is now…”

We create these realities now. Very likely, we have experienced both in varying degrees.

“The true self knows this.”

“The false self does not.”

What Rohr calls the “false self” is the ego. But do not think that by “false self” he means a “bad self.” Think instead, not the best self. Or, “true self,” “higher self,” or even the “soul,” as religious folks typically refer to it.

It is the ego, or the “false self,” in you and me that “makes religion into the old evacuation plan for the next world.” The “false self” pushes away both heaven and hell into some imaginary, make-believe future. It takes Jesus’ words, “I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14) too literally and misapplies it to some fictitious place somewhere in the universe and of course sometime in the future.

When Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you…that where I am, you will be” (John 14:1-3) that “place” he has prepared is the Eternal Timeless Presence Now.  You are never nearer to Jesus than when you are present now. In fact, you might say that yet another name for God is “Now!”

For me, now is heaven. Anything less is just some degree of hell.

“Heaven,” or “Enlightenment,” or “Salvation” or, if you prefer, “life lived at its optimal level”…is not a reward you receive in some future world anymore than hell is the “bad place” people are sent who deserve punishment.

Heaven and hell are realities people know, or do not know, NOW.

Permit me to put it this way: there is NO such thing as “tomorrow.” The future is a figment of the imagination. Certainly, the likelihood that tomorrow will come is pretty certain. Your experience has taught you, just as my life has taught me, tomorrow is a pretty certain uncertainty.

Not surprisingly, however, and this is the point, when tomorrow shows up, guess how it does?

As Today.

If the ego in you is attached to a belief system that includes a literal hell or heaven as actual places somewhere in space and time, when they show up, you can be pretty certain they’ll show up as yet another today.

Believe in heaven or hell if you wish.

For me, however, it make much more sense to practice making heaven a reality in my life today; it makes infinitely more sense to see what heaven I can make of someone else’s hell…today.

In other words, the goal of my life has little to do with my plans for tomorrow; everything instead with my presence today.

So, you ask, “How do I know if I’m living in the present?”

When you ask the question.



Advertisement
Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Comments are closed.



Previous Posts

Crucifixion: A New Way to Think about Jesus' Death
Crucifixion Of Jesus Why did Jesus die? The most honest answer? Nobody really knows. Not even the Apostle Paul and he was likely the first to write about these matters  (Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 12). Death by crucifixion is a painful, slow death and virtually unimaginable to the modern min

posted 3:21:37am Apr. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Stop the Train, I Want to Get Off!
Live fully into the life you have...into the person you are. All this straining, striving, searching, securing... And, for what? To BE more? How could you ever add anything to the perfect creation you are? What? You don't think God did well enough to suit your tastes when she created you ju

posted 9:13:27am Apr. 11, 2014 | read full post »

Fundamentalist Christians Do Not Take the Bible Literally Either
Those who insist the Bible is "literally true" have all but destroyed the very Bible they want everyone to take seriously. "How so?" In two ways.  First, by insisting the Bible is literally true they have established a level of expectation for its authority that people simply cannot accept.

posted 9:03:55am Mar. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Why Are Some Christians So Angry and Hateful Toward Gays?
Below is my response to Sandy Rios, the talk show host of the American Family Association, for her recently publicized remarks that "God will even the score" against Obama and gays soon enough. I wrote the following response in an attempt to address why there is so much anger and hatred among fun

posted 4:37:54pm Mar. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Is the Bible Literally True? No, Of Course Not!
Most people could care less whether it is or it isn't. If you're reading this, however, you probably care at least enough to read this. To me, the Bible is important. It is for me the sacred story of the origins of my faith. In light of this, I could no more feel as if it were unimportant than a

posted 4:27:01pm Mar. 14, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.