Monday, October 5, 2009

Heaven Without God

The other day I was thinking about the possibility of there being a heaven without a God. In the face of tragic events, persons of faith become angered with God. They feel a lack of understanding in why such an even has occurred, which can ultimately lead to the loss of faith. The problem is that we can not actually be angry with God, but only angry with our idea of God. If you see God as an entity that is loving, promotes justice and, wants the best for us, we can not make sense of the horrific tragedies that plague us every day. With such a specific definition of the nature of God, we can not explain many events that contradict this definition. Having a complete loss of faith is not necessary when faced with such events. The only change should be our realization that we really do not know the nature of God.

If one thing still stands from my of Catholic education growing up, it is the idea of heaven. When I say heaven, I don't mean a white place in the clouds with angels, harps, and a golden gate. Anything that has to do with transcendence of the soul into a reality we can not know is heaven to me. God doesn't necessarily need to exist in order for heaven to exist. I like to imagine heaven as another dimension parallel to the dimensions of the physical universes. Accepting the idea that we can not know the nature of god allows us to take comfort in the fact that we can not know why tragic events happen. Organic life is fragile and our bodies - part of this physical realm - can not survive without all its parts working properly. It's all very complex physical matter we can alter and label. The idea of a non-physical soul that possesses consciousness, allows us to look past the physical reality and take comfort in the possibility of an eternal spiritual life.

As Stephen R. Covey put it; "We are not human beings on a spiritual journey, we are spiritual beings on a human journey."

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