What's your concept of heaven?

Let’s say we accept what the bible says as truth that there is a heaven after we die. What would you think that heaven might consist of? I have a bit of a problem with the " streets of gold" heaven found in the bible. Seems like gold is kind of an earth bound thing.

My humble opinion:

Sometimes I wonder if heaven might just be a collection of all those good feelings you have had during your lifetime no matter how many or how few. The feelings I am talking about are things like waking up on a crisp fall morning and feeling great. Being 6 years old and discovering the circus. Falling in love for the first time. What if we felt those things all the time? I have mused that heaven might be that way…no pain just a collection of great feelings. Great feelings and seeing those love ones again that we have lost. That in my humble opinion, might be heaven.

What’s yours?

PS. Mods. I didn’t write this to start a great debate, just to get some other opinions. If it needs to be moved then please move it.

I like your version of heaven, aha, but my idea would be that it’s not there. Maybe your soul goes to a better place, but mostly you are at peace. I don’t want to spend eternity reliving good experiances until they are dull and meaningless or watching the people I love make mistakes. I just want a nap. :slight_smile:

Being raised in the open minded faith of Catholicism ( note sarcasm) it was drummed into us to be good children and we would go to heaven. I can vividly remember thinking, " Well, then what?"

Then years and years later, while scanning through the dial on the car radio, I came across a station that asked its callers what their concept of heaven was. I was really blown away. I never knew that, well, other people and other Christian based religions thought differently.

One caller said, that she was raised that when a person died, their memories here on earth were erased upon entering heaven.And, I guess, the spirit just floats around the celestial clouds grinning like a fool.{watch for comma splices} The reasoning behind this was because: what if, say , your boss, whom you thought to be a huge prick, but in reality, was a pretty decent guy get to go to heaven. And there you are, and the two of you start to fight about this and that all over again. Then that wouldn’t be heaven, now would it. Kinda makes sense.

Part of me wants to adopt this because I would naturally want to reunited with loved ones that crossed over before me. However, it is seriously flawed, because if I have to spend eternity with the dipwad sister in law I have, I will demand reassignment to another freakin’ cloud.

This is a damn good question. I guess I’ll have to think about it.

Heaven…heaven is a place…a place where nothing…nothing ever happens.

{Go ahead. Call me a Buddhist, I can take it.}

{looking over at Ike} Buddist!

{giving Shirley SUCH a whack with the Diamond Sutra…the HARDEST Sutra there is}

I don’t think heaven exists but if it does (yep, I’ll be surprised), I think it must be whatever you want it to be. Kind of like a jukebox of memories where you select the thought and it becomes your reality. I remember I used to be able to think my way through dreams in a similar fashion – it was great being in control of where a nocturnal fantasy was going. But, as it’s heaven, timeless.

I think I’d spend a lot of the time in a 1940’s restaurant/bar with a large dance floor. We’d move between Big Bands, Crooners and then mix it up – a nice duet between Sinatra and Lennon. Then Satchmo and Dorsey. Bogart would be hanging around the bar, Astaire lurking near the floor, Groucho making a nuisance of himself, John Cleese chasing him around, Cole Porter tinkling the ivories, Noel Coward sharing a table with Dorothy Parker and looking bemused……and with everyone feeling great, relaxed, in their prime and permanently happy but not drunk. The vibe would be like that beautiful moment when, at a gathering, everyone unspokenly realises that no one there would wish to be anywhere else but where you all are.

Most of the people there would be family, friends and everyone I’ve loved, cared for or acquaintances I’ve admired and respected. Anyone I want to be there.

Then I’d go home with Catherine Deneuve, 2 bottles of Champagne………and maybe Cleopatra as well – if she did look like Liz Taylor.

Beautiful, London_Calling.

I revise my idea of heaven: all the pot I can smoke…No, just the feeling pot gives me forever and ever.

Hijack: I honestly think if more people smoked pot, the world would be a more peaceful place! End Hijack.

Uke Ike, it’s hard to imagine that nothing at all … could be so exciting.

As for my blue heaven, I imagine it more like a continuation of what we know as life, with even more experiences, yet we would always know how to prevent problems (especially with each other). So if I meet that manager I just couldn’t agree with, we’d talk and end up laughing about the whole thing. As a Christian, I find the connection to God necessary here – no more uncertainty or doubt. (Hell, OTOH, would be a lot like life here but with an increase of doubt. no peace at all.)

Does anyone know massacred that song in the movie Philadelphia? I think they changed the words to “a place where nothing ever hurts you” or something similar. That put me over the edge with that movie’s manipulative sentimentality.


panama jack

“Sometimes rock stars get over-stimulated and the idea of a place where nothing ever happens sounds pretty appealing.”
– Chris Frantz, in the Sand in the Vaseline liner notes.

My idea of heaven would be a mind-merge with God himself and to be given all the knowledge of the universe, Then to be set free to explore and see it all for yourself.

Could you imagine being able to see atoms spinning, to float into a black hole to see whats really there, or to be able to instantly travel anyplace and check out the other suns and planets.

Yeah…the heck with a harp and streets of gold, just give me my wings and turn me loose.

It will definitely be a place of happiness, no sorrow or tears. While I believe that we will know each other, I don’t think it will be in the same ways that we do here. I’ll know my mom, but not as my mom, but as another spiritual being. You don’t even want me to go into more detail.

Because of the importance of this topic, I am sending it to the Great Debates forum. You’ve been promoted! :slight_smile:

hit with the diamond sutra huh?

i hit you both with my zen stick!

may you all know peace and happiness :slight_smile:

my view on heaven? this is my heaven. this is my hell. this is just this. like this, this is.


There’s a band in heaven…they play my favorite song…

Seriously, I don’t think heaven is a place, or something we’re conscious of. I see the “afterlife” as the memories people have of you after you’re gone. You live on in those memories, and many of your imperfections are washed away if you were a good person. On the other hand, if you were a prick on the mortal coil, you can be tortured for eternity in the minds of others.

“Christianity outside the box,” I call it.

Dr. J

What about the concept of souls? I am believer that each person has a soul purpose in life and whether or not we complete that soul purpose determines our souls’ evolution, and each time we complete our soul purpose we move higher up on the soul evolution “ladder” (so to speak). Some people complete or find there purpose in one life time, for others it make take many… our goal however is to reach the highest point of soul evolution.
I believe when we reach that point…when our souls are completely evolved, we reach a place of true enlightenment, which with my earthly knowlege I believe is the true understading of how ALL of “this” works-- stars, galaxies, GOD, earth… all of it.
This, I believe, would be heaven.
Now my theory of souls is far more extensive than this… but I’ll stick to the subject.

Tell me, xelakann, how did you arrive at your concept of the “soul purpose”? It sounds like it is informed by Buddhism and/or Hinduism, and I was wondering if you had studied one or both or if you just listened to a lot of vintage George Harrison records or something.

For me, heaven would have to have bad stuff in it. Not the kind of bad stuff that brings you down - it woudn’t do to have Aunt Polly kicking off in heaven, for cryin out loud - just the kind of bad stuff that puts the thrill of fear into you. Let’s say you are in the club, and Satchmo is there as has been suggested (a great image, by the way). Then a bunch of gangsters with Tommy guns come in, and only through brave, rapid action do you save all your favorite celebrities from meeting their Maker. In fact, the Maker might be there too, and you couldn’t just let the Maker take a slug to the chest, now could you?

Of course, it’s quite the paradox to have gangsters running around heaven and almost killing people who died a long time ago. But that’s the whole point - on Earth, we get satisfaction from solving problems. As a not-dead-yet person, I can’t really imagine much excitement without some problems to solve, preferably the kind that aren’t dull and boring and tedious. So it’s hard for Heaven to be perfect and still be interesting. Maybe if you had a really bad memory, you’d forget that the cards were stacked in your favor, it being Heaven and all, and still get a thrill that you just barely were able to knock Louis Armstrong out of the way of the gunfire without denting his horn. If you had a good memory, even the challenges would get kind of old, since eventually you’d just be thinking, “It’s Heaven! I’m not scared of those old “gangsters”! Nobody’s actually gonna suffer! This is totally bogus! Put me on the next plane to Earth, pronto.”

Either that, or my idea of Heaven would just involve some sexy women and good food and maybe some sightseeing in foreign cities. But how interesting would that be to right about?

Boris B, Buddhism doesn’t specifically deal with “soul purpose”, it’s more about, “may all beings know peace and happiness”, and cultivating the soul in this life so that in the next it will be higher. to be more exact, it’s: To associate not with the foolish, to be with the wise, to honor the worthy ones, to reside in a suitable location, to have good past deeds done, to set oneself in the right direction, to be well spoken, highly trained, well educated, skilled in handicraft, highly disciplined, well caring of mother and father, look after wife and children, engage in a harmless occupation, outstanding behavior, blameless action, open hands to all relatives, and selfless giving, to cease and abstain from evil, to avoid intoxicants, to be diligent in virtuous practices, to be reverent and humble, content and grateful, the hear the Dharma at the right time, to be patient and obedient, visit the spiritual people, discuss the Dharma at the right time, to live austerely and purely, see the noble truths, realize nirvana, a mind unshaken when touched by the worldly states, sorrowless, stainless, and secure, These are the blessing supreme.

my apologies for the slight hijack, but perhaps it’s somewhat relevant, since in Buddhism, the concept of heaven is something else entirely, and not even close to what Judeo-Christian beliefs hold. It just is. Like this, just is. :slight_smile:

I want to be sitting under a tree, a cold glass of coke at my side, reading a fantastic book, on a warm peaceful summer’s day.

That is the perfect ‘feeling’ of contentment I would like my eternal afterlife to be.

With no sense of the passing of time, of course, because then I’d get bored with it.

Why do you want me to call a Buddhist for you?

That was very informative. I was kind of thinking of the search of nirvana as the “soul purpose”, but I don’t really understand nirvana or its relationship to Buddhism write large.

I only brought it up since xelakann described what sounds like a process of successive reincarantions. Now that I think about it, it sounds much more Hindu than Buddhist. But I think Buddhism itself was informed by Hinduism, so I was just kind of searching for something in common.