- Bob Ginsberg
Creating Heaven: It's Not What You Think
Every once in a while there is a story in the media that describes an extraordinary act of kindness. We have all heard about mega anonymous gifts to a university or charity, a Good Samaritan who pays off the mortgage for a needy family and then disappears, or a restaurant patron who gives a goliath size tip to a waitress. I don’t know about you, but my thoughts always race when I hear of such an occurrence. What was the motivation behind the gift giving? Did the donor feel indebted to the recipient in some way? Was the donation provided purely for the greater good and given with a total absence of ego? Or, could this be an attempt at redemption? So many religions lead one to believe that sins can be absolved if one repents – what better way to wipe the slate clean? Or, could this simply be an excellent way to accumulate Karma points in an attempt to head into the afterlife with a storehouse of extra points to tip the scales?
It always comes down to the same possible scenarios when we discuss the possibility that our actions in the physical realm have a direct and significant effect on a continued existence after bodily death. If we believe that we each are separate units of matter, chemicals and energy that cease to exist after we die, these questions become moot. If our consciousness is obliterated upon death, perhaps it is true that the ones with the most toys win the life game. However, if we believe that we all come from the same point of light and remain connected to a web of consciousness in a life continuum, one would expect some sort of ripple effect manifesting from each and every action we take.
Suppose that after you went to sleep tonight a solar eruption of massive proportions played havoc with the energy fields surrounding the Earth, and you awoke to find that you could “hear” the thoughts of everyone else and could “feel” their emotions. You quickly come to the realization that this is not just you with these new abilities, but every conscious entity on the planet. What are some of the ways that our lives would change? How quickly would world hunger and death from preventable disease be eradicated if we heard the actual suffering and felt the pain? Would war and violence continue to flourish if we felt our own flesh being ripped apart by the bullets we sent into another? If our thoughts were an open book, could cheating and profiteering continue to be part of business? Sure, the prospect of losing one’s privacy and competitive edge would at first seem threatening and troublesome to some as they navigate this new world. However, I believe that we would very soon realize the extraordinary benefits. The combined thought of all, working in unison for the continuous betterment of mankind and the planet, would surely manifest in a “Heaven on Earth.”
If we choose to believe the countless accounts from near death experiencers, doesn’t the above scenario sound a lot like the afterlife? Such reports describe a process of a “life review,” where we relive the good and bad actions we took in the physical while instantly feeling the pain and elation that we evoked in others. These experiencers, as they try to describe ineffable experiences of heightened sensory awareness, report a dimension where thought is the basis of communication and understanding. If we accept this evidence, if we believe that there is a direct and inescapable correlation between our thoughts and actions here with our future existence, it might be a good time to reassess our priorities. Our actions here are not in preparation for bargaining with a judgmental deity nor should they be meant to make ourselves feel better. I suspect that until such a time arises where we understand a fundamental connectivity to everything and everyone surrounding us, true meaning and purpose will remain just beyond our grasp.