Ascension and the Heavens

On Easter Sunday, I told the story of the ascension to my younger family members, as I had learned it. After the story and half way through dinner, I was asked, “Where do you think heaven is?”

I’m not quite sure if this was a question or a challenge, maybe both.

It took me some time to formulate a response to this important question. I do think about death, and am even preoccupied with questions of this nature. I’m keenly interested in what may happen to people and animals after death. We rarely speak about it directly. And I’d never focused on where heaven would be as a place, I had thought of it as a state of mind.

Yet, if we are aiming for something good, it’s important to know what and where it is. And if we hold something up as an ultimate good, it is equally important to have a concept of what we mean when we refer to it.

When I was a child, I imagined that whether a person went to heaven or the other place would be decided only by their own state of mind at the precise instant of death. If happy or peaceful then a person would go to heaven and if sad, angry, frightened, then to the other place.  Watching certain things and people die had given me this impression.

I think heaven may be in a different place for everyone. To answer the family, I said that I think for me heaven will be in the ether–the space between the molecules of air. I don’t expect it will be in any particular place but if I had to say, maybe the ether which flows around in between the molecules of my very favorite places. Free and natural spaces like the Botanical Garden, or the old pear tree in the Bronx garden, if I am lucky.

Astronomers may see it differently. Today online a friend shared the most beautiful photos of the heavens, the astronomer’s heavens. Watching this new time lapse photography captured in April 2011 by photographer Terje Sorgierd transformed me. I’ve embedded it here. It shows how perfectly suspended earth is as part of the universe. I’m not sure if our place is being stuck to this planet or among the stars. But both places seem infinitely beautiful and I’d be happy with either.

Where do you think heaven is?

23 thoughts on “Ascension and the Heavens

  1. Interesting topic…
    Where do you think heaven is? …think?
    Because Death is absolute truth, I cannot just think of where heaven may be…I cannot live my life and expect my death anytime… on hypothesis.
    Here, I need to be sure…I need certainty!
    Heaven is within the realm of the supreme chief designer, the creator of life and death..beyond my limited created thinking…

  2. Belinda Carlisle song “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” comes to mind here.
    I truly believe that’s the case, we make our heaven or hell. Sometimes we don’t necessarily have a choice which visits and sets down in our lives. I’ve been introduced to both – heaven in the beauty I see around me, the innocence of a child, hell in the pain inflicted in abuse, the greed I’ve witnessed, sorrow.

    So to me we have a measure of both places already present in our lives, depends on which one you give more attention where you’ll end up. I guess to answer your question fully, heaven is all around us. (Hugs)Indigo

    P.S There is Cherokee legend ‘Two Wolves’ which goes pretty much along the lines of what I just said here :
    http://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/TwoWolves-Cherokee.html

    1. Hi Indigo, Thank you for the great teaching in the Cherokee legend at the FirstPeople link. I’ve bookmarked this link to learn more. When you say where we put our attention is where we end up, it means this part is in our control. I’ve often hoped this will be true and maybe that is why I read a lot of myth and scripture from many sources. I’m so happy you visited the site and shared views here.

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