Friday, May 20, 2011
Is Stephen Hawking right? Is Heaven just a Fairy Tale?
Stephen Hawking says, “Heaven is a Fairytale” - Is he right?
Recently, the famous British scientist, Stephen Hawking, in an interview with the Guardian newspaper, declared that ‘There is no Heaven. It’s a fairy story.’ (source) He has previously, in his book The Grand Design, explored the idea that according to the current accepted laws of physics, God is not necessary as the creator of our Universe. This latest claim, however has many up in arms, scrambling to explain away and by any means refute Hawking’s recent remarks that not only is God not ‘logically necessary’ but that Heaven most certainly does not exist.
His remarks seem to be not so much his professional opinion as a scientist, but rather his own personal conclusion based on his application of common sense.
So, what to make of this? What is Heaven? Does Heaven exist? What would that imply if it did, and how would it affect our lives Here on Earth? If Heaven does not exist, then what would that imply, and is there anything we can do about it? Is our existence meaningless or is it still possible to find a meaning to our lives?
I would like to address these questions using my own application of Common Sense and Self-Honesty, and if you are willing and able to stand Equal in that application, then perhaps we can lift the veil a little and consider what Heaven is really all about.
There are countless different ideas and conceptions about the exact nature of Heaven - there are probably as many different versions as there are individual minds. Meaning, each person, in their own mind is able to make up their own definition of what Heaven is. This in itself is not only one of the major difficulties in defining Heaven, but also one of the major reasons to suggest that Heaven does not, in fact, exist. And, even though we saw that each can potentially have their own definition, what we find when we look at the groups that exist in this world, is that large percentages of the human population adhere to several distinct yet fundamentally similar conceptions of Heaven, which they download through their participation in religion, media, and their childhood. Why don’t we explore some of these major conceptions and see if we can find the common core?
Heaven as an Actual Place
The predominant protestant Christian concept of Heaven is that it is an actual place (not in this physical universe, in another one where God lives), where God hangs out along with Jesus and everyone else who lived a moral Life according to the rules set forth by the specific denomination.
The activities that place one on Heaven’s Ban List (according to the Protestant Bible) are as follows:
fits of rage
sorcery (Sorry Harry Potter fans, lolz)
While each faith picks and chooses which are firm rules and which are more just soft guidelines, the key component that unites most of the protestant conceptions of Heaven is that Heaven is an actual physical place. You have seen it depicted metaphorically in movies as being in the clouds, and many ‘Christians’ will refer to Heaven as being ‘up there’ and even point up, without considering the fact that we live on a sphere and therefore ‘up there’ to an American is actually ‘down there to a Chinese person. The fact there there is no physical evidence for this place does not seem to bother these believers either, because they have ‘faith’ that Heaven exists - which means that they just believe it because they either want it to be so, or they are afraid of the consequences of not believing that it is so - which means they might end up ‘down there’ (or ‘up there’ for Chinese readers).
In this conception, Heaven is pictured typically as a ‘peaceful’ place, where people constantly praise God’s name and never do any wrong. No one works or is in need and people are reunited with long lost loved ones. Of course, one has to wonder what happens when one person wants to be reunited with loved one who has no wish to be reunited. Does God simply create a clone for the one to avoid any form of unrequited love in Heaven?
I remember lying in bed at night as a young child, 7 or 8 years old, considering this concept of Heaven. I asked myself where this place was, because I couldn’t see it? And I knew enough about modern astronomy to realize that the idea that it was ‘up there’ was ridiculous on multiple levels. It seemed to me, that it was patently obvious, that Heaven was simply made up by people in their minds. And yet, upon encountering Dante’s Divine Comedy in high school, I learned that people actually conceived of Heaven existing in layers as concentric circles expanding outwards around the Earth. In the book, Dante described ascending through the multiple layers, kind of like reaching each successive level in a video game, complete with level bosses and everything. Reading this only served to reinforce my own belief that Heaven was merely a product of human imagination. Which leads us to our next concept of Heaven: as a state of Mind or Being.
The Concept of Heaven as a State of Mind or Being
There are those who while not holding to ‘traditional’ belief systems, nonetheless still have a belief in Heaven as, not a physical place, per se, but rather a State of Mind and/or a State of Being. This is the Gift of the New Age, the belief that Heaven is not a place or physical construct at all, but rather something that is unique to each individual, and experienced by each individual alone. In other words, someone took to much acid and misunderstood Jesus when he said that the Kingdom of Heaven was within. Here, the individual believes that if one holds the right thoughts in mind, eats right, or chants certain words for the correct length of time, one can enter into a state of bliss (in their mind) where one is uplifted and taken away (in their mind) from the cold, hard brutal state of physical reality. Whether one calls it Enlightenment, Alchemy, Super Consciousness, a DMT trip, bliss, or happiness, this concept of Heaven boils down to the belief that one can alter one’s mind in such a way that one’s experience of oneself could be called ‘Heaven’. Obviously, nothing has changed Here on Earth, but as they say, “Ignorance is Bliss”.
When I consider this concept of Heaven, I picture a small child, frightened by a thunder storm, hiding under a blanket, with his fingers in his ears, humming to himself to drown out the scary sounds. Yes, this is what thousands of years of philosophy and meditation techniques amounts to: a scared child not able to face reality head on.
What would the existence of Heaven imply for Life on Earth?
Quite simply put, it would imply that no one needs to take responsibility for their Life here on Earth or for the consequences of their actions. Because ultimately, if the end game is basically to ensure that one get oneself into Heaven, then really, it only matters that one play the game here to win. Obviously one’s concept of Heaven will determine how one play the game, but in the end, one will not be interested in having any lasting effect Here on Earth. Why should they?
And this creates a lot of problems here on Earth, especially when we can’t agree on even one definition of Heaven.
Because, regardless of the specific belief system to which one adhere, the definition of Heaven, for almost everyone who believes in the concept, involves the idea that Heaven is in some place, dimensions, state, or system, that is not accessible directly by the vast majority of beings on this planet. In other words, it is not Here on Earth.
But the very fact that we can all (in our own minds) have different ideas about what Heaven is or how one gets there/achieves it, really should make one consider whether the idea of Heaven as being somewhere else is valid at all.
This is exactly why, for example, apartment complexes require security deposits for most tenants. Because they know that as soon as your lease is close to expiring and you plan to move out, you are not going to take care of the place. You’ll let it get totally trashed, unless there is some sort of consequence.
And in terms of Heaven being a state of Mind, if we have a bunch of people, who every time something ‘bad’ happens, run to the corner and plug their ears and cover their eyes, well who is going to take responsibility for this Reality?
Who is going to stand up for the thousands of children who die every day of hunger and preventable diseases?
Who is going to stop corporations from abusing animals and the Earth in the name of profit?
See, one thing that the ‘average person’ does not consider, is that while they are chasing fairy tales in their minds, their are those who understand how the system we live in operate and take advantage of everyone else’s ignorance. These are the people who create companies and organizations which control the flow of money and the creation of debt and who set interest rates and who decide where and when wars will be waged. These people know that Heaven is a Fairy Tale. And they know that what really drives this world is not God’s Love, Infinite Oneness, or Positive Thoughts, but MONEY.
That’s right. Cold. Hard. Cash.
And if you are Self-Honest about this point you will agree that there is not one single thing in your Life, not one single event, memory, or dream, that does not either require money or center around obtaining money. There is not one conversation you have ever had, that at the fundamental root, was not motivated by the acquisition or retention of money. Some people live to be Happy. But it’s sure damn hard to be happy when you haven’t eaten in 3 days. And hugs, sunshine, and ‘love’ is never going to put food in your belly.
So then. What is Heaven really? What is it that everyone really wants, and realizing that they can’t get it do to their position in our system, desires to escape to another magical realm where everything is better? If Heaven is not paved with golden bricks and good intentions, then what is Heaven really?
Heaven is Earth.
What? You think that makes no sense whatsoever?
Earth is the only place we are aware of that has two fascinating, and perhaps fortunate factors. One is physicality and the other is consequence.
Meaning not only can we place physical structures into reality with certain specific designs, but when we then create a system that governs their operation, assuming we consider all the necessary points, when we place the system into motion, it yields the consequence that it was designed to yield.
I mean, let’s try out an exercise for a moment. Let’s imagine an ice cream cone, with that criss/cross pattern on the sides. With vanilla ice cream on top, dripping down the sides of your hand. There is a bright red cherry on top. It tastes so sweet and you pluck it off the stem with your teeth. Mmmm mmm mmm.
Now wake up !!
It is not real, so don’t get excited about the ice cream.
The point is, that no matter how much you imagine the ice cream, that doesn’t make it real. Ever wonder why there are no unicorns? They are imaginary. Your imagination is of no consequence whatsoever. Except for the fact that while you are wasting your time imagining ice cream cones and unicorns, there is a very real physical reality, and a system of control that produces consequences, of which you participate in in a very real physical way. Like when you go to the store and buy ice cream which was created from wheat products bought cheap from an underdeveloped nation, where half the population lives in extreme poverty due to foreign exchange rates and national debt, you are participating in this.
See, again, there are those who realize that this reality operates as systems with designs, and not on imagination and wishful thinking.
So my question to you is this:
How can we design a system that when implemented, has the consequence of creating Heaven on Earth?
How can we create Heaven on Earth?
Heaven on Earth is a concept few are willing to consider, and yet, in common sense, it is the only concept of Heaven that one can actually approach practically while Here on Earth. I mean, even if there is a Heaven elsewhere, why should this place not be the same?
Isn’t is obvious that this world and the way it operates is nothing more than the sum total of all the interactions of each being who participates in the system that governs this reality? And the system only operates to the degree that we each agree to participate in it.
Consider that we could, if we decided, agree to a new system. What would you change?
And considering that actions have consequences, wouldn’t you make sure that the rules governing this Heaven would always results in a consequence that was Best for Everyone? That’s what Heaven means doesn’t it? Isn’t that possible here?
And it’s funny, no matter what excuse you can come up with as to why this Earth could never operate that way, it is always simply a justification and argument for the current accepted and allowed limitations in which we all participate.
Even though we know that imagination alone does not produce the result we want, let’s see what it will yield, at least a starting point for designing an actual system.
What would Heaven on Earth be like? Would there be poverty? Probably not. That must imply that everyone has enough money to buy food doesn’t it?
Would there be war? Probably not. Wouldn’t that imply that there are no countries which have interests that need defending and others who want more for themselves?
Would there be stealing? Of course not. Which implies that each has enough and therefore no desire to take from another.
Would Heaven on Earth be a place that, no matter where you are, you can enjoy yourself and be certain that you have support to live in Dignity? Wouldn’t that mean that we would all live according to the principle of Giving to each what we would like to Receive? So no matter what end of the equation you are on, the result is the same.
Would some people have work dead end fast-food jobs that they hate? No, certainly not. Which would imply each has the education to do what they enjoy and that they have enough money to educate themselves?
Isn’t it obvious? Heaven on Earth is possible if we would simply rewrite the rules of our system on Earth.
This is why we suggest an Equal Money System - because within that we agree to a new set of rules governing how we use and value money. No longer would value be placed on obtaining money in itself. Can you imagine, being in Heaven, and yet still being concerned with how much money you have? Absurd isn’t it?
An Equal Money System would ensure that each can enjoy themselves and be free to move about and communicate and create projects and LIVE - without having to worry about where to get money from. When one really look at it, that is exactly what Heaven is - A place where you don’t have to worry any more.
And I mean, Look, I am not saying that we should not be happy, however I am suggesting that if we each live our lives, only pursuing OUR OWN happiness, then that creates real problems in this world, as anyone can plainly see.
As soon as one realizes that your happiness is tied directly to the happiness or well-being of every other being and particle in existence - well you would have a completely different relationship not only with your environment, but with yourself even.
So often, I think, we pursue what we believe will make us happy, but only end up trapping ourselves in cycles of self-abuse and misery. I did that for years, as a child and teen I was addicted to pornography and a large part of my existence was essentially wasted on trying to find or gain access to it. And I only ended up placing myself in embarrassing situations which led to guilt and shame. And then as a young college student, I turned to drugs and alcohol and abusive relationships, with only the same result of compounding the guilt and shame within myself. And I really think that this is what we all experience even as we pursue our own versions of Heaven or Happiness, chasing money or pleasure or both. At the end of the day, deep down, we can’t even look the beggar in eye without feeling angry at them for all the suppressed guilt we feel about believing that we aren’t able to do anything about their situation.
And is that really what Heaven is all about? Just a happy place we run away to in our imaginations because we feel powerless in our actual physical reality?
What if there is no place to run away to?
What if we are here to make this place Heaven?
I’m here to tell you that this is more than possible. We must simply allow ourselves to give to each other what we would like which is exactly what the Equal Money System is designed to do.
Stop looking for Heaven elsewhere - Start Creating Heaven Here. On Earth.
Vote for Equal Money.