Whether one believes in metaphysical realities is down to one’s own volition, but a religious believer lives their life in order to get to heaven. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and other religious traditions may have different names for the other realm, nevertheless it is through understanding our purpose in this existence and living a life of goodness and penitence that one achieves true success. The following description of heaven is my simplified and shortened summary from religious and philosophical texts.
Because we can’t see heaven- nor have we experienced it- any description of it is somewhat allegorical, in the sense that we can only use human language to describe it, when, really, it is beyond human comprehension. The Greek Philosopher Plato believed that everything in this transient sojourn is a bleak version of what exists in the world of forms- or what many would call ‘heaven’. We do however, receive glimpses of what exists within the heavenly realm in this life. We have colours like red, blue, green and yellow, but in heaven their will be colours that will be new to us.
After the Day of Judgement when all human beings would have been questioned for their deeds and all matters that were unresolved in this life would have been resolved by our Lord, we will, through God’s justice, enter our final destination. For those who chose to live a life worthy of being admitted into heaven, will have the gates of paradise opened before them, and will run towards their home-you will instinctively know where you live. This home will be a palace, better than Buckingham palace, or should I say, better than all the palaces in this world combined. The ‘bricks’ of your house will be made from gold and silver. Architecture unlike you can imagine.
Men will be reunited with their wives, and will find that their partners are more beautiful than they could ever have imagined. So beautiful in fact, that you could sit their for ‘years’ admiring her beauty, although ‘years’ doesn’t really make sense in a realm which is outside time, space and matter.
There will be flowing rivers beneath your feet, some rivers of water, some milk, and others honey and wine. One can drink from the rivers as much as they want, but it will be purely for pleasure, not necessarily to satisfy the bodily needs. The food will be readily available, you can take anything of the trees, and anything you desire will be yours.
In heaven there are no meetings, no school, no work, no appointments, just an infinite amount of time. We will not be in the bodily form we inhabit now, and therefore our state of mind will be different and wont be subject to the mundane thoughts we currently exhibit.
There is no summer or winter, no sun or moon as such, but will just be the constant light which will emanate from the throne of our Lord.
What form will we take? We will be the height of Adam (approximately 90 yards tall), the age of Jesus when he ascended to the heavens (33) and the men will be as beautiful as the prophet Joseph. The philosopher John Hick believes that once we die, and take on a new form, we will not take on the form we currently inhabit, but we will have this recognition device which will instinctively tell us who people are.
If our inner state is not willing to ascertain the truth of this life then our heart cannot gain experiential knowledge of the divine. The heart has the ability to see things which are not always outwardly manifest and can at times gain a piercing insight into the metaphysical realities. Heaven may seem like a wild fantasy created to appease our psychological needs and something which fills the void in our life. But even if one doesn’t believe in heaven, one should still live their life as if there is one.