Thursday, November 21, 2013

Celestial North Korea

"Heaven's here on earth;
In our faith in humankind
In our respect for what is earthly
In our unfaltering belief in peace and love and understanding." - Tracy ChapmanHeaven's Here On Earth

Heaven has been imagined and re-imagined for centuries by the dreamers and prophets deluded. In the Bible heaven is described as a city where the streets are made of pure gold, where our creator will wipe away all our tears, and the lion will lie down with the lamb, according to one prophet. There will also be multi-winged seraphims and cherubims on every corner, crying to one another 'Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory'. This sounds like eternal bliss, right?
I don't know about you, but if I had a friend, a parent or a lover that required praise and adoration every single hour of every single day I would extricate myself from their presence. I would think of them as egocentric and maniacal, at the least. Imagine your mother telling you that you MUST constantly thank her for everything she has ever done for you. As much as I love my mother, I would be forced to take her to a mental hospital. But, this is a promise of heaven. Yes, you will get to/have to praise God all day long! Oh, imagine the endless joy!
You will get to walk on golden streets and milk and honey flow eternally, they say, but what's the catch? This will all happen after you die. I don't know about you, but to me this story reeks of suspicion. You are asking me to endure suffering on Earth, with the one life I know I have to reap the possibility of paradise after I die? What if you get there and you don't like it? Can you leave? What of the beauty that is all around us? What if heaven is the joy we feel when children laugh? What if we experience heaven in every moment of ecstasy?
"They say in heaven
There's no husbands and wives
On the day that I show up
They'll be completely out
Of their forgiveness supplies." - Brand New, You Won't Know

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