This month, I am participating in a rather LARGE blogging challenge which involves writing a series of 26 posts – one for each letter of the alphabet – based around a theme. My theme is about nature and all its amazing features. The Tao Te Ching speaks often of nature and then patterns of nature are where the I Ching gets its roots.
So, today is all about Heaven.
We have lots of meanings for the word heaven in our English language. In Spanish, the word for heaven is cielo, which is also the word for sky. They also use the word paraíso, which is more for the “paradise” definition of heaven. Then of course, there’s Heaven (with a capital H) which has been a sore subject for many. To some, Heaven is the exclusive domain of the religiously correct. This definition of correct varies from one religion to the next, of course. For as long as Heaven with a capital H has been a thing, people have been fighting over it. Who gets to go there? Will I get to go there? How does God/Allah/Yahweh/Tao/Jehovah decide who gets to go? Like the tragedy movies where there is only one ship leaving… someone’s gotta stay behind, right?
I personally have never adopted this way of thinking. In my opinion, a god that blocks people from experiencing heaven is not a friendly god and certainly not a god that I choose as my own. What would be the point of creating billions of souls, only to then have those souls go to hell? It makes no sense. What makes more sense to me, is mankind using religion as a way to control people. How better to control people than to make them afraid to live their lives as they wish to?
Every religion has suggestions for how to live. In Taoism, there are beings called the Immortals – people who have reached a high standard of perfection as a human being and thus, have been granted a permanent state of being. For religious Taoists, becoming immortal is the highest potential. I am not a religious Taoist. I personally do strive to live the best life possible, but I also believe in moderation. I think that way too many people get caught up in doing things the right way so much that they forget to enjoy their lives. Life is precious: there’s so much to see, do and experience, that it hardly seems wise to waste your life with limitations and judgments of other people, and yourself.
I like the definition of heaven that pertains to the sky. The sky has so much to teach us and we are just infants in this domain. In studying the I Ching, I have been studying the patterns of the planets and learning about how the ancient people (of various indigenous nations all across the globe) have been studying the sky for centuries. The Ancient Greeks named everything in the sky a God. I could certainly use a little more sky in my life! I often think to the simpler cultures where they lived outdoors with no technology and all they had to do to entertain themselves was to look up. Many people today are recreating this way of living by choosing tiny homes. Tiny homes foster a love for the outdoors. Tiny homes often have limited capacity for electricity, so you don’t just blow your nights watching TV.
Here is an interesting video of a woman who lives with her partner in a tiny home that uses no electricity…
So heaven is many things to many people. What is it to you? Do you strive to live a good life? Why do you do it? Tell us about it in the comments.
This post is part of a series called the A to Z Blogging Challenge, taking place during the month of April 2016. Each day is a new letter throughout the month. My theme this month is NATURE. To view other bloggers writing about this alphabet, check out the list here.
If you are enjoying the A – Z Challenge and want more blogging connection in your daily life, considering joining our Inspired Blogging Group on Facebook!
The list so far…