HEAVEN CAN'T WAIT
We believe that Heaven is within us and that we experience it to the degree that we become conscious of it.a
As we explore our monthly theme of Changing the World - perhaps it is time we embodied this ideal!
Today, we will look at what it means to create heaven on earth and how we do it. Is there a formula? Is there a procedure? Is there a plan?
Or might the key be an attitude, an approach, a perspective? You might expect that I am going to say it's the latter: an attitude, an approach, a perspective. And if you expected that, you'd be correct! It's like this . . .
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip one weekend. As they were settling in for the night, Holmes said, "Watson, look up into the sky and tell me what you see."
Watson said, "I see the heavens, of course."
"And what does that tell you?" Holmes asked.
Wanting to impress him, Watson replied: "Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Meteorologically, it tells me that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Theologically, it tells me that God and the Universe are infinite."
After a brief pause, Watson said to Holmes, "And, what does it tell you?"
"Well, it tells me somebody stole our tent."
Yep -- creating heaven on earth is a matter of perspective, of attitude, of approach! So, today, we are going to look at two simple, yet profoundly important, questions:
1. Where is heaven?
2. Where are we dwelling?
WHERE IS HEAVEN?
1. Where is heaven? I want to address this question briefly right now, just to make sure we're all on the same page.
At Luke 17:20-21 it says: "Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, The kingdom of God does not come by observation, neither will they say 'Behold, it is here!' or 'Behold, there it is!' for behold, the kingdom of God is within you."b
In the New Thought tradition, we think of Heaven not as a place, but as a state of consciousness -- now not just any state of consciousness, but a specific state of consciousness.
In fact, heaven is defined in the Metaphysical Bible Dictionary as: "a state of consciousness in which the soul and the body are in harmony with Divine Mind."c
Heaven is defined in the Science of Mind textbook as: ". . . 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. . . . Heaven is not a place, a locality, "with streets of gold and gates of pearl." It is the real state of Being ."d
And even though the guy who started Christianity said that the Kingdom of Heaven is within us and not out there, somewhere along the line that message got lost in the Christian teachings and Heaven became a place in the sky where we go when we die.
I said a moment ago that in the "New Thought" tradition, we believe that Heaven is a particular state of consciousness. Well, it's not just the New Thoughter's who think this any more! In fact, the Pope agrees with this. An article appeared in a Tucson newspaper in August 1999, which read: "'Heaven,' the pontiff said . . . , is 'neither an abstraction nor a physical place in the clouds, but a living and personal relationship of union with the Holy Trinity.'"e
So, if we define Heaven as . . .
a living and personal relationship of union with God;
a state of consciousness in which the soul and the body are in harmony with Divine Mind;
a state of happiness;
the real state of Being . . . .
Then . . .
WHERE ARE YOU DWELLING?
2. Where are you dwelling? Are you dwelling right now in Heaven -- are you creating Heaven right here and now on earth? Because, here's the deal, it's waiting -- just waiting -- to be created on earth -- and, my friends, it really can't wait much longer. Now is the time!
I am feeling a real sense of urgency. Heaven (God) consciousness can't wait. Each and every one of us needs to make a decision to place our awareness in Heaven more and more and more, remembering: . . . . Heaven is within us and that we experience it to the degree that we become conscious of it.
But what will motivate us to MAKE THE DECISION to actually experience our Heaven? What will motivate us to begin to dwell in Heaven? When we have suffered long enough! When we no longer let our history determine our future!
You are a walking, talking, living, breathing manifestation of God. Powerful beyond your wildest imagination. Whole, perfect and complete in every way.
When will you have suffered enough from pangs of self-doubt and self reproach?
When you will have suffered enough from the abandonment or abuse you experienced as a kid?
When will you have suffered the paralysis of fear enough?
When will you say that's enough? I no longer need to be controlled by this. Because this is not who I am?!
This is when, this is precisely when, we will begin to dwell in Heaven.
Now we may not stay there permanently. But we can get a glimpse of it! We can see it, we can taste it, we can know it is possible. And the more we get a glimpse of it, the more we experience it; and the more we experience it, the even greater our experience of it will be.
It's like a self-fulfilling prophecy. You all know what that is, right? It's like this . .
It was autumn, and the Indians on a remote reservation in the hills asked their new Chief if the winter was going to be cold or mild.
Since he was an Indian Chief in a modern society, he had never been taught the old secrets, and when he looked at the sky, he couldn't tell what the weather was going to be.
Nevertheless, to be on the safe side - and because he didn't want to disappoint his people, he replied that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect wood to be prepared, so out they went to begin collecting wood.
But also being a practical leader, he sneaked to the phone booth, called the National Weather Service and asked, "Is the coming winter going to be cold?"
"It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold indeed," the Meteorologist at the weather service responded.
So the Chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more wood in order to be prepared.
One week later he called the National Weather Service again. "Is it going to be a very cold winter?" he asked.
"Yes," the man at National Weather Service again replied, "it's going to be a very cold winter."
The Chief again went back to his people and told them to collect every scrap of wood they could find.
Two weeks later he called the National Weather Service again. "Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?"
"Absolutely," the man replied. "It looks like it's going to be one of the coldest winters ever."
"How can you be so sure?" the Chief asked.
The weatherman replied, "The Indians up in the hills are collecting firewood like crazy."
What are you - what am I - what are we - waiting for? When we get triggered into lower states of consciousness, what are we waiting for to get out of it? Do we like staying down there? Haven't we suffered enough?!
Science Of Mind: "Hell cools off when we think of heaven."f
Heaven will arrive when I know who I am and I can proclaim to myself and to the world that I am one with God -- whole, perfect and complete. Although you might want to be a little careful about the proclaiming to the world. -
In a psychiatrist's waiting room one day, two patients are having a conversation. One says to the other: "Why are you here?" The second patient says, "I'm Napoleon, so my doctor told me to come here."
The first patient is curious and asks, "How do you know that you are Napoleon?" to which the second patient responded, "God told me I was."
At this point, a patient on the other side of the room shouts, "I MOST CERTAINLY DID NOT!"
Let me say that again: Heaven will arrive when I know who I am and I can proclaim that I am one with God -- whole, perfect and complete. Heaven will arrive when I know that because I am one with God, I am one with everyone. Heaven will arrive when I allow my inner wisdom, love, abundance, joy and peace to be expressed outwardly! That's when heaven will arrive, and not a moment before.
In the Apocryphal New Testament (early Christian writings that were not included in the New Testament), it is reported that the disciplines asked Jesus when the Kingdom of Heaven would come, and he said: "When two shall be one, and that which is without shall be as that which is within."g
As you learn to develop your ability to choose where it is you will place your awareness, you will see the demonstrations of greater heaven-like experiences in your life -- it's that self-fulfilling philosophy thing again!
So, this morning, let me leave you with an example; an example of a women who created her own Heaven on earth -- oblivious to anything other than her bliss, her joy, her state of happiness.
She says, The other day I had just come from a particularly exhilarating choir practice, and I was feeling heavenly! I drove by a religious bookstore and thought I would stop in and browse. At the counter they had a "Honk if You Love Jesus" bumper sticker. I bought it and put it on the back of my car, and I'm really glad I did. What an uplifting experience followed.
I was stopped at the light of a busy intersection, just lost in my heavenly thoughts and feelings, and I didn't notice that the light had changed when, suddenly, I found lots of people who love Jesus. Why, the boy behind me started to honk like crazy. He must really love Jesus because pretty soon he leaned out his window and yelled "Go, Jesus, Go."
Everyone else started honking, too, so I leaned out of my window and waved and smiled to all those loving people. There must have been a guy from Florida back there because I could hear him yelling something about a sunny beach, and I saw him waving in a funny way with only one finger.
My teenage son was in the backseat and so I asked him what that meant. He was so caught in the joy of the moment that he could hardly catch his breath from laughing, but finally told me that it was the Hawaiian good luck sign. So I leaned out the window and gave him the good luck sign right back.
A couple of people were so caught up in the joy of this heavenly moment that they got out of their cars and were walking toward me. I just knew they wanted to pray with me, but then I noticed the light had changed again, so I stepped on the gas. It's a good thing I did, because I was the only car to get across the intersection.
I looked back at all of my new friends standing there and leaned out of the window, gave them a big smile and held up the Hawaiian good luck sign as I drove away.
Yes, my friends, it is possible to create heaven on earth -- it just takes knowing where it is (inside!) and choosing to say I HAVE SUFFERED ENOUGH -- I'm going to begin dwelling there.
So, go on, I dare you -- Create a little heaven-on-earth -- and now is the time, because Heaven Really Can't Wait! Namaste.
aDr. Ernest Holmes first edition of the Science of Mind magazine 1927
cMetaphysical Bible Dictionary
dScience of Mind textbook
ePope Tucson newspaper August 1999
fScience Of Mind, p. 314
gThe Gnostic Apostle Thomas: Chapter 24