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Aaron
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PostSubject: Heaven   Sun Oct 18, 2009 12:12 am

A few months ago we had to put one of our cats down. We didn't tell our kids (I have a 5 year old and a 3 year old) because we weren't sure how we wanted to handle the situation. My son's fish died a few month before the cat and he flipped out when he heard about it.

Since then my son kept asking about were the cat was and we kept telling him that we didn't know or that he must be hiding somewhere. He asked me again this morning and I finally decided to tell him something... I told him that "Harley is in heaven". His reaction was surprisingly calm. He replied with "Oh I was wondering where he went." And that was it.

I was glad that he took it so well, but in hindsight, I kind of feel like I copped out by telling him that the cat was in heaven considering I don't really believe in heaven... at least in the classical sense of the word.

I do believe in a "source" however and I believe that all life goes back to "the source" when we cease living.

Do you think "the source" can be considered a type of heaven or am I just a big lying hypocrite?


16

Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.
Watch the turmoil of beings,
but contemplate their return.

Each separate being in the universe
returns to the common source.
Returning to the source is serenity.

If you don't realize the source,
you stumble in confusion and sorrow.
When you realize where you come from,
you naturally become tolerant,
disinterested, amused,
kindhearted as a grandmother,
dignified as a king.
Immersed in the wonder of the Tao,
you can deal with whatever life brings you,
and when death comes, you are ready.

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Uriah

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PostSubject: Re: Heaven   Sun Oct 18, 2009 3:01 am

I read somewhere that Confucius supposedly said, "Heaven is to be one with God."

So yeah, in that sense you're in agreement.


I suppose it's all just semantics anyway. What's heaven? What's God?

Nobody really knows.
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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Heaven   Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:49 pm

I like to utilize the god mythos as a way to integrate (and modernize) the cultural spiritual vernacular that I am immersed in, but to be honest with you I rarely discuss the nature of god with anyone outside of this and a few other discussion forms.

In day to day life just calling "It" nature works for me.

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Uriah

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PostSubject: Re: Heaven   Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:12 am

I understand completely. In fact, it was via the Internet that I discovered that I am a member of an odd minority (seemingly) of people for whom the discussion of the nature of God is not only very interesting, but one from which we derive enjoyment and does not cause us to become irrationally angry and blind.
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PostSubject: Re: Heaven   Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:17 am

I think we possess a healthy dose of agnosticism (which most Theists and Atheists that I have run into don't) which probably helps.

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PostSubject: Re: Heaven   Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:52 am

Hi Aaron. My kids are older than yours, and I've told them that I don't think there is a heaven in the sense that you "keep on living" the way we do now. But I said that the essence of who we are is eternal and exists as a part of God.
This is basically what I think, except that I often avoid the term God.
Seems close to your idea.
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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Heaven   Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:21 pm

Steve Esser wrote:
Hi Aaron. My kids are older than yours, and I've told them that I don't think there is a heaven in the sense that you "keep on living" the way we do now. But I said that the essence of who we are is eternal and exists as a part of God.
This is basically what I think, except that I often avoid the term God.
Seems close to your idea.

I'd probably get into trouble with my wife at this point if I told our kids that I didn't believe in an "egoic afterlife", partly because they are so young and partly because she believes in the survival of the ego after death.

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DRichards



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PostSubject: Re: Heaven   Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:04 pm

As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.
- Carl Jung, "Memories, Dreams, Reflections", 1962
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Sigma



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PostSubject: Re: Heaven   Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:07 pm

It seems to make more sense than a literal nowhere of nothingness to me at least, without somewhere to go it would become impossible to ever experience your own death. That's an area of confusion for me even though I'm otherwise relatively comfortable in not having any specific religious faith which deals with the subject.
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PostSubject: Re: Heaven   Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:10 am

IMO, a lot of the NDEs that we hear about have to do with the brain shutting down. I'm not sure of the physiology of it all but my guess would be that our brains (including our central nervous system) continue to function at some level much longer than most equipment has the ability to pick it up.

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Sigma



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PostSubject: Re: Heaven   Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:41 am

You can experience the process of dying just not the actual death that comes after if there isn't such a thing as an after. I'm guessing there would be such a thing for the sake of continuity but as to what it involves or whether or not it would be nice is another question. But we won't have too long to wait in order to find out so no real need to speculate.

It's ok to tell young children there's a heaven though, they still believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy anyway so you're not corrupting them.
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PostSubject: Re: Heaven   Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:37 am

Aaron, I've always considered you to be a Deist-Buddhist mix, so where do you stand on reincarnation?

If one accepts the concept of reincarnation, wouldn't heaven be more of a way-station rather than an eternal resting place?
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PostSubject: Re: Heaven   Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:45 am

In a sense, the source is heaven. Perhaps you can explain to him what you meant by heaven sometime. I suppose you don't need to but if he asks then you definitely should. Most think of heaven as a paradise but I'm guessing that your son didn't know what heaven was and will likely ask someone.
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PostSubject: Re: Heaven   Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:16 am

Paul Anthony wrote:
Aaron, I've always considered you to be a Deist-Buddhist mix, so where do you stand on reincarnation?

If one accepts the concept of reincarnation, wouldn't heaven be more of a way-station rather than an eternal resting place?

I like many aspects of Buddhism but I think I'm actually more of a Taoist-Deist mix, therefore I tend to take more of a Taoist approach to reincarnation.

From a physical perspective when a plant, animal, or other living system dies its constituent parts usually break down and become something else, often a part of another living system, at which point another cycle in the circle of life is completed. So I guess that can be viewed as a type of reincarnation.

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PostSubject: Re: Heaven   Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:26 am

FractaLove358 wrote:
In a sense, the source is heaven. Perhaps you can explain to him what you meant by heaven sometime. I suppose you don't need to but if he asks then you definitely should. Most think of heaven as a paradise but I'm guessing that your son didn't know what heaven was and will likely ask someone.

I think my concept of heaven is probably way over his head... Plus I have a hard enough time explaining it to adults. I know my daughter thinks that heaven is just another place like Disneyworld. You can just get on a plane and go visit when you want.

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Sigma



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PostSubject: Re: Heaven   Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:28 am

Aaron wrote:

From a physical perspective when a plant, animal, or other living system dies its constituent parts usually break down and become something else, often a part of another living system, at which point another cycle in the circle of life is completed. So I guess that can be viewed as a type of reincarnation.

It's like saying you reincarnate a chicken when you eat it, but really you just release it's energy for use in your body.
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PostSubject: Re: Heaven   Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:07 pm

Sigma wrote:
It's like saying you reincarnate a chicken when you eat it, but really you just release it's energy for use in your body.
That's not reincarnation, it's recycling! Smile
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Sigma



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PostSubject: Re: Heaven   Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:19 pm

I suppose reincarnation is the recycling the nonmaterial element. Not I'm really too keen on reincarnation in that it would be possible to come back as say a psychotic serial killer or terrorist then if there is such a thing as a karma you would have to pay for the actions of someone else who happened to be you at the time.
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PostSubject: Re: Heaven   Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:53 pm

Sigma wrote:
Aaron wrote:

From a physical perspective when a plant, animal, or other living system dies its constituent parts usually break down and become something else, often a part of another living system, at which point another cycle in the circle of life is completed. So I guess that can be viewed as a type of reincarnation.

It's like saying you reincarnate a chicken when you eat it, but really you just release it's energy for use in your body.

Yes, it's a reincarnation of the energy that helped form the chicken. Grant you, this is a very materialist take on reincarnation.

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Sigma



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PostSubject: Re: Heaven   Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:04 pm

Nothing material is ever destroyed it just gets constantly interchanged between matter and energy. Though when you build up matter and energy a certain way it seems to bring a conscious mind into existence which is an interesting effect. A chicken won't have much of one with it's tiny brain but it will have one.
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PostSubject: Re: Heaven   Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:10 pm

I view the mind/body problem from a proto-panexperientialist vantage point. In other words I view consciousness and matter/energy as different aspects of the same thing. I believe that all systems posses some sort of prehension or proto-consciousness which has the ability to become full fledged consciousness in more complex systems.

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Sigma



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PostSubject: Re: Heaven   Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:42 pm

Aaron wrote:
I view the mind/body problem from a proto-panexperientialist vantage point. In other words I view consciousness and matter/energy as different aspects of the same thing. I believe that all systems posses some sort of prehension or proto-consciousness which has the ability to become full fledged consciousness in more complex systems.

I think you would call that Panpsychism it was popular belief in the 19th century.

Personally I see it more as physical matter being able to manipulate energy in a way that has some kind of funky sci-fi extradimensional effect, so there would be some kind of non-material element equivalent to a supernatural soul.
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PostSubject: Re: Heaven   Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:28 pm

Panpsychism is similar. The term panexperientialism* derives from Whitehead and is a little broader than panpsychism. Proto-panexperientialism is even broader still.

*Panexperientialism is the view that experience exists throughout nature, and that mentality (i.e., a thing requiring cognition, functionally construed) is not essential to it.

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PostSubject: Re: Heaven   Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:35 pm

Okay, now I'm confused. It seems the consensus here is that we are only material in nature. We know our material selves won't be leaving this plane, so what is there that could go to heaven if not a "soul" - or "consciousness"?
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PostSubject: Re: Heaven   Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:12 am

Well I was taking a materialist approach to reincarnation. I'm agnostic to the concept of reincarnation in the traditional sense. I do believe that our "souls" live on in this world through the people and things that we have touched eventually all things return to "the source" however.

I don't know if that clarifies anything.

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