Is there a place called Heaven after death?

OBE's, NDE's, lucid dreams, and the like...

Is there a place called Heaven after death?

Postby RCharles » Sun Mar 15, 2009 6:58 pm

Hi all,

Here's a question for discussion. As a practicing Catholic, I have found great spiritual peace in the teachings and practices of the church. But I also have found incredible peace by living in the Now based on Eckhart's teachings. For the most part, Jesus and Eckhart taught the same things (as I see it) about living in the present and living in oneness with God.

Where they differ is in what happens after death. Jesus taught that we return to God in Heaven for eternity, or said another way, the oneness we may experience with God on earth becomes more fully realized after death of the body, and the spirit remains with God forever. Eckhart, on the other hand, teaches reincarnation.

Which do you think is correct? Reincarnation or eternal presence with God? Or is there a way that they are the same thing?

I understand that this is mainly an ego question, an exercise for the mind that we probably don't need to care about when we are fully Present, but I do still care about it and am curious about the thoughts of others on this topic.

Charles
"They are all...perfect..." --Ken Watanabe, dying scene in the movie The Last Samurai
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Re: Is there a place called Heaven after death?

Postby paridiso » Sun Mar 15, 2009 8:32 pm

How I interpret Eckhart's view on reinarcanation is that all of us are really one concsiousness. The appearance of separateness is an illusion created by the mind. This concsiousness is the core of who we are and thus never dies. When Eckhart says reincarnation occurs he really just means the one consciousness is expressing itself in another way.

So yes, the two views are pretty much the same thing.
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Re: Is there a place called Heaven after death?

Postby Juno » Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:22 pm

Hi Charles,

living in oneness with God.


God/Being/Stillness/Silence/Awareness/Kingdom of Heaven/aliveness/This/ are all pointers to our true nature. "It" can only be found right here right now. It is no-thing and everything. It is "This".

eternal presence with God?
Eternal presence As God is our true nature. An ego might take that wrong because true nature has not been realized in that body/mind.
by thinking of something you create an entity and by thinking of nothing you create another. Let such erroneous thinking perish utterly, and then nothing will remain for you to go seeking!
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Re: Is there a place called Heaven after death?

Postby RCharles » Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:52 am

So, Juno, do you believe that if we are fully conscious in the Now, we won't undergo any change of consciousness after death? If we recognize our oneness now, that's all there is to know?

Or did Paradiso answer that question for you also in saying that our particular participation in consciousness will express itself in another way after death (presumably a way that we can't know until we get there)? (I realize that's a dualistic question, but I can't think of another way to ask it.)

I'm not baiting or debating. Just wanting to understand your perspective. Thanks.

Charles
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Re: Is there a place called Heaven after death?

Postby Juno » Mon Mar 16, 2009 7:33 am

So, Juno, do you believe that if we are fully conscious in the Now, we won't undergo any change of consciousness after death? If we recognize our oneness now, that's all there is to know?


I'm not sure that in this body/mind we can be fully conscious of what we are/the now. Experiences appear to happen so there are real good looks and tastes. There is undoutedly a shift that occurs that knocks back the identity of who we thought we were and our true nature becomes more clear. As long as we have a sense of self/human it wouldn't be the same as experiencing pure Being as before birth or after death.

Everything is pure Being that arises as form and returns to pure Being only to become another form. Reincarnation.
by thinking of something you create an entity and by thinking of nothing you create another. Let such erroneous thinking perish utterly, and then nothing will remain for you to go seeking!
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Re: Is there a place called Heaven after death?

Postby RCharles » Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:22 pm

Wonderful reply, Juno. Now I understand what you were saying.

I also understand now how Paradiso sees reincarnation and eternity with God as the same thing. We are never apart from God. As you said, we just have the illusion that we are separate.

Presumably, when we are only spirit (disembodied), we escape the limitations of the body and know our oneness with God. When we are in a body, we are still one with God in spirit, but we don't know it--until we start to awaken.

Thanks for taking a moment to clarify. Your response helped me to gain an important insight!

Charles
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Re: Is there a place called Heaven after death?

Postby Sighclone » Sat Mar 21, 2009 7:26 am

RCharles -

Respecting that you are a practicing Catholic, but clearly one who entertains a broad theology, may I refer you to a fascinating near-death-experience by one Nanci Danison, corporate lawyer called "Backwards: Returning to our Source for Answers". The amazon page is a good start.

She had a remarkable experience, well worth your reading.

Namaste, Andy
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There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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Re: Is there a place called Heaven after death?

Postby RCharles » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:35 am

Thank you, Andy. I went to Amazon and added it to my wish list. Near-death experiences are fascinating. I've read a couple of books on this topic and look forward to reading Danison's.

May I also say that Catholicism is a very big tent. Under its auspices you have the egoic practices that lead to things like excommunication and the Inquisition, and you also have some very conscious people who seek the peace and presence of Christ (or what some might call christ-consciousness) through the teachings of the mystic saints. And, of course, there is the gamut of beliefs between those two poles. Those who pursue contemplation and mysticism within the Catholic Church tend to discover that the same mystical presence of God runs as a single thread through all faiths. That's how it's possible for me to cherish the Catholic faith and still practice it while also being open to the wisdom of God from sources (or the Source) outside of it. I have found that thread in my own faith, and it is a great pleasure to follow it as it runs through all faiths. That's a long way of saying there's no need to worry about offending me by suggesting reading that might not be "orthodox." :)

Thanks again, Andy.

Charles
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Re: Is there a place called Heaven after death?

Postby Webwanderer » Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:09 pm

RCharles, here is a link to another excellent account of a deep NDE. I think you will find it quite enlightening, and you don't have to wait on a book. Enjoy... :D
(Danison's story is execellent as well)

WW

http://www.mellen-thomas.com/stories.htm
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Re: Is there a place called Heaven after death?

Postby HermitLoon » Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:57 pm

Thanks for the link WW - great resonance! :D
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Re: Is there a place called Heaven after death?

Postby Webwanderer » Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:55 pm

HermitLoon wrote:Thanks for the link WW - great resonance! :D

Happy to serve HL. It's accounts like this, and many more like it, that inspires one to look a bit closer at the concept of no-self. It's not that it has no merrit, but there appears to be more to it than just nothing vs. everything. We point frequently to ultimate beingness, but there may well be a significant evolutionary process in its fruition. Curiosity suggests a great adventure.

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Re: Is there a place called Heaven after death?

Postby HermitLoon » Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:41 am

:D "Realization" is rampant!
Kind of makes the financial markets and Iraq(conflict), etc., seem kind of irrelevant.....
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Re: Is there a place called Heaven after death?

Postby Sighclone » Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:36 am

Is there a place called Heaven before death? How might they be different? How might they be the same?

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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Re: Is there a place called Heaven after death?

Postby karmarider » Fri Mar 27, 2009 3:30 pm

Eckhart seems to be along the lines of Hindu Vedanta: there is one consciousness (Brahman), which plays hide-and-seek with itself--expresses itself--in the manifested universe (leela), and many of these forms are in the delusion of individuality (maya). I kind of like Anthony De Mello's thoughts on this: don't worry about life after death, worry about life before death.
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Re: Is there a place called Heaven after death?

Postby HermitLoon » Fri Mar 27, 2009 3:42 pm

Since "heaven"is a mind construct there can only be "heaven on earth" :wink:
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