Could an enlightenment experience as described by various wisdom traditions not be considered as a form of heaven? And those are available to us while we are still on Earth. — Tzeentch
No one, absolutely no one, since the Shakya sage Siddhartha Gautama about 2500 years ago, has been credited with a bona fide state of Buddhahood. Isn't this odd? — TheMadFool
Let's assume attaining complete enlightenment is indeed quite rare — Tzeentch
So what about these enlightenment experiences (note, not the same as "being enlightened") that people have had and described? Why would something like that not qualify as a kind of heaven? — Tzeentch
What is interesting is that 'hell' or 'the underworld' (Hades, etc.) have often been associated with the physical world. One can even see parallels with Buddhism here, as attachment to the physical will prevent one from attaining (degrees of) enlightenment. — Tzeentch
Describing Heaven as an unspecified awesome place is very clever from a PR standpoint.
It lets peoples imagination fill in the blanks.
So what can we learn? Wanna lure people in, be vague. Wanna scare people off, be specific. — John Onestrand
I love this post! Its a good point. We know what hurts us and what we fear, but we don't know very well what obtaining "heaven" would be like. I think heaven is often times described as the "absence of pain.". It is peace. Which is amusing if you think about it, because heaven is often described as having an absence, not of having "some thing". — Philosophim
Could we create such a place on the world where displeasure is completely eliminated, and every single need and want is fulfilled? We could try. I think you would need enough wealth that you did not need to work. Work would be optional, as in a pursuit that satisfies your personal desires. If you trained your mind and body to be healthy, and could do so with optimal nutrition and rest, to avoid pain or damage. Finally you would need safety, security, and people who loved you to the rate that you would find fits you best. — Philosophim
So heaven is freedom from having to do anything for others for survival, health, and adequate love. I think there are a few lucky individuals who fit this on Earth. What do you think? — Philosophim
but an enlightened person would likely handle these events without suffering as much as someone unenlightened. — Pinprick
One issue is, in today’s culture the ‘sensory domain’ - the world perceived by the physical senses and its electronic enhancements - is regarded as the only reality. Whereas in traditional cultures, other domains - hells and heavens, abodes of heroes and demigods - were alive through myth and legend and were considered just as real as the world that mortals live in.
You see echoes of this awareness in popular culture, especially today’s highly animated superhero and action-adventure films. They are populated by beings with supernatural powers or who can travel to other realms. Yet at the end of the day, they are fictional. Whereas in pre-modern culture, such tales are regarded as real.
I just listened to a long interview with a fascinating novelist, Kate Forsyth, who is an expert on the history of fairy tales. She’s brilliant on how these tales reflect cultural archetypes and morals from the cultures in which they originated, and on how they are transformed by them as they travel. (For instance, Cinderella started her life as a Chinese fairy-tale, hence the emphasis on bound feet, represented in the Western version by glass slippers.)
As to the reality of heaven and hell - I personally believe these term signify profound realities which it is impossible for the mortal mind to imagine. I don’t know, of course, but I’m certainly not convinced by the sceptics that they are merely folklore. — Wayfarer
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