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By Joe Niemiec
Do you believe in heaven?
Heaven: “A state of happiness. Heaven is within, it revolves about us; it is the result of that atmosphere of conviction which our thought awakens within us. The Kingdom of Heaven is unformed, unlimited, unconditioned. Heaven is not a place, a locality, ‘with streets of gold and gates of pearl.’ It is the real state of Being. We do not make it real, for it is eternal Reality. If we abide in the Father and He abides in us, in harmony, in power, in peace, in wisdom; and our thought is friendly, happy, confident and open, our Kingdom of Heaven is a good place in which to live.” Holmes, Ernest. The Science of Mind: The Definitive Edition (p. 598).
The above is the definition which was given by our founder Ernest Holmes. An excellent example of this is through this Buddhist story:
As a monk was moving through Japan a great Samurai came up to him and demanded he explain heaven and hell to him. The monk looked him in the eye and said he’d never waste his time trying to explain such a complicated idea to such an intellectual clod as he.
The Samurai turned red with anger and drew his blade and said he’d show the monk what an intellectual clod could do to such a runt. To which the monk responded “this is hell.”
The Samurai sheathed his sword and with great compassion apologized, wanting to stem his anger and violence, to which the monk responded “this is the path to heaven.”
Hell as we know it today was a concept created in Dante’s Divine Comedy (Dante’s Inferno) in the 1400’s. It was picked up by the Holy Catholic Church as a way of keeping people in the church and Heaven was thrown in as the carrot on the stick if you, lived a good life according to the church.
We, as Religious Scientists, believe that when we are living in harmony with our beliefs we are in “heaven,” when we get out of congruence it is then that we move to a place of “hell,” until we are able to move back in harmony with our deepest beliefs.
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