Of late, it has really been hittin' me that 'heaven is in your heart'! No, seriously, this is not just another religious post ( ? ) about the fact that Jesus promised His followers that He & His Father ( the Holy Spirit ) would take up residence in their hearts. This is not just another feel-good post about how, if you FEEL like you're in 'Heaven', you'll BE in 'Heaven' ( relativity ). This post will explore all three options, how we ARE in 'Heaven' because we're in the Presence of our Creator, who is also our Father ( let THAT sink in ), that we're eternally blessed because of how we face life & how 'Heaven' is a state of mind ( quality versus quantity )!
First off, I realize that 'quality versus quantity' is a mathematical equation, so please don't even...................but seriously, as far as 'state of mind' goes; how often do we seem to hit a switch & the whole situation, our whole attitude, goes from 'I hate my life' to 'I fucking love my life' in less than 60 seconds? I'll admit, because this is often the way it happens with me, that our circumstances, whether it involves human beings or happenstance, usually determine our attitude towards life. Like it or not, agree or not, it most often happens this way, that our environment determines our attitude. Whether we like it or not, our God-given emotions, those bequeathed to us by our Creator, play a HUGE part in whether we FEEL like we're in 'Heaven' or 'Hell'!
Next on the chopping block; we cannot deny that when we face life with a certain attitude, the 'right' attitude, things just seem to be all 'roses', no matter what life seems to throw at us! Even if it seems that we have gotten the wrong end of the stick ( 'shaft' ), if we take it with a cheerful, care-free attitude, then 'it is what it is', right? 'Que sera, sera', what will be, will be! As much as we try to keep that attitude, SOMETHING's going to occur that will test our faith, to make us understand that it's not ALL within our own little power; we MUST understand that there IS a Power out there beyond us & thankfully, beyond our circumstances as well!
So, we're down to religion; 'why does it ALWAYS come down to RELIGION? Well, we've explored the fact that, when it comes down to it, one's religion is what that one believes! Some people's religion seems to be based on the consumption of alcohol ( 'I believe I'll have another beer' ); no, really, it's almost THAT simple: the trials of life, to some people, seem to be lessened ( or is that 'deadened' ) by the ( over ) consumption of alcohol, or other drugs ( anything can be used as a drug )! Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against the consumption of alcohol ( by no means, God forbid ), but alcohol will NEVER get you into 'Heaven'! Oh, it may seem for a short while you're in 'Heaven', but after a bit it will become obvious you're simply in one of the chambers of 'Hell'!
Is it really as simple as all THAT? Can a person really BE in 'Heaven' simply because they BELIEVE they're in 'Heaven'? Well, yes; Jesus said that when a person BELIEVES in Him & ( VERY important ) follows His Word, that the Father would love him & THEY would come to him & make THEIR Home with ( In ) him: is THAT not 'Heaven'? I dare say, 'YES'; even 'hell yes'!
Now, religion cuts both ways; if your religion tells you it's right to commit murder against those who don't believe like you do, then you're doing it wrong. When a person loves their neighbor as themselves & treats everyone the same way that they themselves want to be treated, then that person has learned how to live in 'heaven'. According to the orthodox way of belief, that person is not IN 'Heaven' unless he or she acknowledges & loves the Creator, but that might be another subject for another time.........................
'Attitude is everything'! It's a known fact that how we face our circumstances determines ( most often ) the kind of life we will lead! Many of us are given certain hurdles to overcome & depending on the attitude with which we confront those adversities, we may be seen to dwell in 'Heaven' or 'Hell'. Do we live in either place because of how we feel about it, because we believe one way or the other? IS 'Heaven' ( or 'Hell' ) JUST a state of mind? Can we be in 'Hell' one minute & the next, floating on 'Cloud Nine'? Well, sorta! If we're honest with ourselves, we ALL have those moments where nothing seem to go right, NOTHING seems to work in our favor! The next minute, though & it can work just like a faucet, our attitude will change & we realize that EVERYTHING, whether we like it or not, IS working in our favor; it IS all good!
Emotions, too, are a funny thing! How we feel about ANYTHING often changes by the minute, even by the second. We are taught not to trust our feelings & while that is sometimes not a bad idea, we ARE given those emotions for a good reason. The Creator has programmed us in such a way that our bodies know instinctively how to ( correctly ) react to certain stimuli. We are taught that is wrong, this is right & often what our feelings say are right are wrong, because of our fallen nature or whatever. However, while we SHOULD NOT ( necessarily ) trust our feelings ( 'follow your heart'? ) all the time, we SHOULD trust that those faculties that were bequeathed to us by the Creator were NOT given to us for no reason; they were given to us so that we could Experience Heaven!
Charles Haddon Shank