If you're open-minded to the idea that heaven is a place you can go, which is not the Earth, the retelling of a profound near death experiences will be clarifying and validating for you.
After leaving the body, we travel to a kind of summer land, a beautiful "other side" dimension (which is not Earth), complete with beautiful landscapes and people etc ... likely what we might call the astral plane or "lower heaven". Then we move on to a direct encounter with God in his higher dimension of heaven.
For me this is roughly the "structure" that I believe "exists", ie Earth and spacetime are a much denser lower-order realm, above is the astral "spirit world" dimension where people typically hang out between lifetimes etc, and then beyond that is heaven proper where we are one with God.
A Course in Miracles does lend itself to these ideas because as it states in Song of Prayer:
"If there has been true healing, this can be the form in which death comes when it is time to rest a while from labor gladly done and gladly ended. Now we go in peace to freer air and gentler climate" This "gentler climate" is the astral spirit world - still a dream perhaps but a higher dream and more beautiful than this lower denser world we call Earth. I do SOMETIMES wonder if "the real world" spoken of in ACIM might be perhaps in some way a reference to that "summer land", another dimension beyond this one yet short of heaven.
One possible clue is when Jesus speaks of rivers which never waste away - which have been spoken of in various near-death experiences.
"when you have looked on scenes of violence and death, and WATCHED them change to quiet views of gardens under open skies, with clear life-giving water running happily beside them in dancing brooks that never waste away; who need PERSUADE you to accept the gift of vision? And AFTER vision, who is there who COULD refuse what MUST come after?"
I guess we'll find out. For sure I am firm in the belief that this physical level of human bodies and bullshit is not and never could be God's Kingdom. Beyond this world there is at least another entire dimension, if not many. When you hear people speaking of actually experiencing it, we can no longer remain closed-minded or regard the spacetime of the "physical universe" to be real, or our true home in God. Ultimately, it is nothing.
"Salvation is no more than a reminder this world (Earth/Spacetime) is NOT your home"
"The (physical) body can be made a home like this BECAUSE it lacks foundation in the truth. And yet, BECAUSE it does, it can be seen as NOT your home, but merely as an aid to help you reach the home (when you leave it behind) where God abides (in heaven)."
When I am reminded of things like this, which sometimes are thought to be outside of "acim teachings", but nevertheless hinted at by them, I feel more in touch with my own inner truth. I recall that there are indeed other dimensions, life beyond the physical, and a heaven that is not of this world.
"Your Kingdom is not of this world (Earth/Spacetime) because it was given you from BEYOND this world (Heaven)."
"Others find it in experience that is not of this world, which shows them that the world (Earth/Spacetime) does not exist because what they behold (Heaven) must be the truth, and yet it clearly contradicts the world."
Yes thanks, the NDE’s are quite fascinating and people experiencing them is really quite validating. Thanks for the suggestions.
Hi Paul. Great reflections, as always.
About the NDEs, I suggest checking out a brazilian youtube channel called “AFTER ALL, WHAT ARE WE?”. There are many videos with stories of near-death experiences (English subtitles available).
Moreover, one of the most recent videos is the story of an autistic boy who remembers his past life. To me, it seemed believable.
There are many interesting stories, but one in particular I decided to save on my PC, because what the woman said in the story about heaven/spiritual dimension, makes me really relive the feeling of an experience I had in january, which I have already commented on here a few times.
The name of that video is “NDE – With all letters: death is something else” (the part I’m referring to is between 18:20-20:05).