When you hear the word “heaven” what do you imagine in your mind? Soft white clouds? Pearly gates? Perfect climate control for wearing a robe? For a lot of people, heaven equates to the great “Pie in the Sky” that you win after you pass away on earth.
Heaven sounds lovely and it motivates a lot of people to be good, charitable, and kind. If you tell some people that heaven doesn’t exist, you might get a shouting match on your hands! Why, you’ve taken away their pie!
Heaven represents the reward for a good life. But what does it do for us on a psychological level? Ultimately it gives us the context of our death. Death is a dreadful concept. Talking about it for any length is taboo. Therefore, speaking about an afterlife beyond death has its appeal. You live to get pie.
But where does Psychiatry fit in this discussion? What does it have to say about the anxiety of one’s death and of the afterlife? Is there a medication for that?
It seems this is where Religion excels. It provides an answer to what happens after our death. Do certain things and you will go to heaven. Quite a solution indeed!
I would make a good bet that the average person believes they are going to heaven. I would make an even bigger bet that most, if not all, people believe that they are going to heaven. Finally, I would also make a super-duper big bet that most people believe that most other people won’t make the cut to get into heaven. Did you notice that we have a bit of a contradiction here? Haha.
For as long as heaven is a “Pie in the Sky,” it will always keep us from developing a true and authentic context for our death. The context of our death relates to the way we live our lives. For most people, living an ethical, moral life is ideal which consequently affords them to go to heaven with a lot of Pie. But what happens after the Pie? What was the purpose of life? What was the purpose of death?
For a few, for the ones that don’t care much for pie, for the ones who are willing to face the hard questions, this life can hold so much more meaning than just heaven with pie. It can be a pursuit of something greater than yourself, an infinite wonder. It is a connection with something unseen but undeniable. And it brings out the best in you. Some call it “the Universe.” Some call it “God.”
But when you find it, heaven doesn’t really matter.
Meh, that’s rather abstract. Most people prefer pie.
Chez Eric Media
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