Is Heaven real? What do different religions say about heaven? How to get there? And what does it look like? What did scientists find in space? You’ll find all the answers here!
Mankind has always wondered, ‘What happens to a person after death, whether there is emptiness, nothingness, or after the death of the human, his soul continues to live?’ The scientists, philosophers and theologians tried to answer these questions. In the most ancient beliefs existed a lot of ideas about the afterlife: heaven and hell.
In the art the afterlife was often shown in films, paintings and musical works. Soloists of popular musical groups were fans of a variety of interpretations of the understanding of the meaning of life and the transition to the other world.
Until recently, scientists have believed, death is a natural process, covering all life cycles: everyone is born, grows and dies. And people are no exception. After death there is nothing, only the collapse of living matter. But even scientists in recent years agree that the human body, its flesh, dies and decomposes, but the energy, psychic energy of man, cannot be subject to decay. So were the priests always right, when they argued that a person has not only the body but also the soul?
Soul, mind, mind, psychic energy – it can be described in various ways. But of course, there is an indisputable fact that the soul or consciousness does not disappear after death. But then, where is the human soul, where does it live, after leaving the body?
As we have already mentioned, in every religion there is an idea of the afterlife and where the soul of man goes after death. In some ancient beliefs the afterlife is like the earth life, but there live not people, but their souls. In other beliefs it is dull gloomy place where souls are destined to wander forever.
In ancient religions there already appeared the idea that there is a heaven and hell. The man, who does good deeds, goes to heaven, also a man, burdened with the weight of bad cases, should go to hell and atone there for their sins.
Almost all religions say about God's judgment on the souls of the dead. All the good and bad deeds are weighed, all the actions are assessed. And according to the life of the man’s soul, he receives reward or punishment. This is the highest justice.
On behalf of the legendary prophet Zarathustra the fire-worshipers called their religion Zoroastrianism. Prophet Zoroaster preached the idea of supreme justice and retribution for good and evil deeds after death. Word of supreme justice was received by the prophet from the hands of God. During his life Zarathustra was called ‘Vehement’ and ‘Like a fire’.
The first time the idea of a higher justice appeared in the fire-worshipers minds, Zoroastrians. But gradually the idea spread into other religions. Prophet Zarathustra stipulated very clearly that only the righteous will go to heaven, and unjust ones should suffer in hell. This is the highest justice.
This idea turned out to be close and clear to any religion. If a person (during his life) suffers, but does not violate the divine laws, after his death he will be rewarded. He is to enter the kingdom of God, and know supreme bliss. But if the person (during his life) bathes in luxury, but commits evil deeds, after the death he will have to pay, he will experience terrible sufferings. If a person during his lifetime is tantalizing, after his death he is rewarded thousandfold.
The idea that after death heavenly bliss waits for us, if it does not violate the commandments of God, has helped a lot of people patiently to endure all the hardships of life, not to grumble and curse God, not to look for the guilty ones for their very hard life. As a rule, only the desperate ones reject God's mercy. Losing the faith in divine justice, they are beginning to make sins: to kill and rob, do lewdness and blasphemy.
They are angry at the whole world and are trying to establish their own ‘fair’ laws. In their anger and hatred they shout: ‘If God is so merciful, why does he not see how we are suffering, why doesn’t he punish the evildoers?’ However, they forget in their blindness, that the tests may befall each person that only the weak in spirit are not trying to endure the torment, lose faith in the mercy of God and reject paradise. But the great mercy of God consists precisely in the fact that only the people who are suffering, who have learned the flour, are able to assess and joy the God's love, bliss, which God bestows.
The souls are weak, broken, so they do not believe in God's mercy, and reject it, try to poison the belief of others: ‘Do not believe in the arguments about the reward for good deeds, do not believe in these false promises, no heaven, no bliss , only hell and it is here. So it is better not to wait for death and bliss in the afterlife, it is better to get the bliss of life right now’. Saying such words means they have forgot that the way of man continues even after physical death, and the soul of man will have to answer for bad deeds, and evil thoughts.
Different religions always try to explain why bad things happen. They mention that there is always choice.
The concept of heaven in various religions
For Aztec people Mictlan was the place, where almost all people go after death, and no matter what lifestyle they had. But at the same time, if the soul corresponded to certain conditions, it got an access to other worlds beyond the grave. One of these worlds was Tlalokan, that is the House of God, whose name was Tlaloc. Only those people could get there, who have died due to rain, various skin diseases, lightning or those who had decided to sacrifice themselves to a certain deity.
The Aztecs had three different heavens, where the soul goes after death. The first and lowest of them was Tlalokan - country of water and fog, a place of abundance, blessings and peace. The happiness is experienced there, it is very similar to Earth's. Dead sang songs, played leapfrog and catch butterflies. Trees are full with fruit, on the ground you can find a lot of maize, pumpkin, green pepper, tomatoes, beans and flowers.
Second paradise is Tlillan-Tlapallan. It was a paradise for the dedicated followers of Quetzalcoatl - the god-king, symbolizing the resurrection. This paradise was characterized as a nation of disembodiment, designed to learn how to live away from their physical body and not to be attached to it.
The highest heaven was Tonatiuhikan or the Sun House. Apparently, there are people, who have got full enlightenment. People of the Sun felt the full enjoyment of life.
Gan Eden is the latest stage in the spiritual Judaism, and there all the souls of the preachers spend their eternity with God. Gan Eden, as described, is sixty times better than what we experience on the ground. Also it is opposite to Geinomy, that is, the Jewish purgatory, where all the women must clean off theirs soul from sins they committed in life.
Judaism maintains that life after death is different from life in this world. ‘In the world of the future, will be no food, no drinks, no breeding nor trade, no envy, no hatred, no competition, but the righteous ones sit with their crowns on their heads and enjoy the radiance of God’ (Talmud, Berachot 17a).
Valhalla is a paradise and the place, where the souls of fallen warriors (from Norse mythology) live. But at the same time, as it is stated in the myths, a part of them went to a place called Folkwang. Freya ruled that afterlife world. There are few descriptions of Folkwang, but we know that there was the main hall of Freya Sessrumnir, which was said to be ‘a great and fair’. And all the women got there.
In Christianity, there are two different notions of heaven. The first reflects the theological and metaphysical conception of the kingdom of heaven in which angels and saints are enjoying the presence of God, beholding his existence. The symbolism is associated with this concept, combines the image of the Jewish kingdom from the ancient Greek concepts of concentric celestial spheres and the spiritual path. Representations of the paradise or the Garden of Love are based on the myth of the Golden Age and on the image of the Garden of Eden. These symbols include a certain geographic location, elements of pristine nature, golden walls and a road paved with emeralds.
The ancient Greeks believed that after death the souls go to the islands Of the Blessed and to the Champs-Elysees, located on the other side of the Atlantic, at the edge of the earth. There's a great climate, there is no rain, snow or strong wind, and fertile soil, which three times a year produces fruit, sweet like honey. Orphics, who believed that salvation is liberation from the shackles of matter and earth, considered the Champs-Elysees as a place of fun and relaxation for their pure spirits. Initially, these fields were buried in the underground world filled with strange lights, and then on the upper layers of the sky.
Indian mythology is full of colorful descriptions of the heavenly places. According to the ancient Vedic tradition Yama, the leader of the dead, ruled in the kingdom of light, which was located on the outer sky. All the dead heroes, who stayed there, were painless and carefree. They enjoyed the music, the performance of sexual desires and sensual pleasures. In Hinduism, the transcendental myths are the areas of beauty and joy, inhabited by various deities. A person could get an access there due to an appropriate way of life and the correct performance of rituals.
In Buddhism, the closest analogue is the description of heaven is the world of gods, where people can be reborn after death if they have accumulated (during the previous lives) a lot of good memories. All desires that arise from the inhabitants of heaven, instantly become true: ‘barely they get into the water, the water will rise in accordance with their desires: the ankles, to the knees, the waist or neck. If someone wants the water to be cold, it is cold, if the other wants the water to be hot, it will be hot, if they wish it to be hot and cold, it will become hot and cold at the same time, in order to please them, and so on. But, despite the fact that the world of the gods is so good, there is no opportunity for development, and when positive feelings accumulated in previous lives come to an end, the being is reborn in the lower worlds.
The image of heaven as a place of living souls after death exists in numerous North American indigenous cultures. For example, some North American Indian tribes, such as Choctaw and Sioux believe that the dead people live where the sun goes down, or where the successful hunt is. Some Eskimo tribes consider their dead souls get into the glow of the aurora borealis, happily playing with the whale’s head. The mythological picture of the world of the African people Tumbuka, inhabiting Malawi, says about a range of spirits, which is located in the underworld, where the dead stay young forever and are never unhappy or hungry.
Heaven according to the scientists
One well-known Orthodox priest recently joked, ‘People, I have bad news for you - heaven and hell exist. Why is it bad? Because a lot of people think that here they can mass around, then just asleep calmly. But no!’ Modern science does not stand so well on their previous positions, claiming that there is no life after death. Ancient scientists believed that man has a soul, and after his death it gets the form of plasma, which continues to exist. Naturally the question arises, where does the soul live? And scientists are conducting research, experiments, put forward various hypotheses. Often the food for thoughts is offered by the American space telescope ‘Hubble’, showing the remote corners of the universe.
For example, at the end of the last century, ‘Hubble’ took a few photos at the center of the universe, which clearly reflected the Angels, in the form of which they are shown in the Orthodox world. Some of the researchers dared to suggest that this place is heaven paradise. By the way, according to ancient sources, humanity has received their knowledge from the gods arriving from the constellations Cygnus and Orion.
Gods taught men to build pyramids and temples, given knowledge of the starry sky, writing. It was that place, near the constellation Cygnus, where telescope made a picture of the galaxy, which looked like an angel. Can really, this area of the universe may be one of the possible locations of heaven for the souls of the righteous? And another mystery, presenting by ‘Hubble’.
On December 26, 1994 ‘Hubble’ was making pictures in the area of the star cluster, which was rather far away from Earth. The pictures were transferred to the Space Flight Center. After processing was done with a maximum photo resolution, there was a fantastic white town on the screen that simply floated in space. City shone a blinding light and was huge (billions of kilometers). This beautiful floating and may be the abode of the Creator and a haven for souls.
However scientists still haven’t found proof of heaven or heaven gate, people still believe in it. Heaven definition is individual for everyone. If you believe in heaven or hell – behave well and you’ll get what you believe in. Whether heaven is a scam – it’s up to you.
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