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Choosing between Celestial and Inner Heavens

Updated on October 11, 2018
ValKaras profile image

Val is a life-long practically oriented student of effective emotional and attitudinal responses to the many challenges of life.

Dumping Responsibility for Our Wellbeing on a "Higher Force" Is a Widespread Trend
Dumping Responsibility for Our Wellbeing on a "Higher Force" Is a Widespread Trend

Shying away from Responsibility

In no other aspect of human personal orientation have I seen a more self-deluding inclination than in those expectations by so many folks that an outside heaven with its celestial personnel will intervene in their problematics.

To me it's an intellectually shocking experience to see folks messing up their health, relations, prospects of happiness and peace of mind - and then by merely doing certain religious rituals believing they are booking a ticket to their Garden of Eden.

This tendency of dumping their own responsibility onto an outside source of mercy and benevolence is actually a general trait, not only typical of religious mentalities but also of many others of more mundane orientation.

It's Amazing how Dependent We Have Made Ourselves  -  Counting on Help from so many Sources
It's Amazing how Dependent We Have Made Ourselves - Counting on Help from so many Sources

Pick a Fixer

Indeed, whether it's his-deity-the-doctor, or shrink, dietician, motivational speaker, guru, gym instructor - we seek them to make us whole and happy one way or another. Of course, not to forget mentioning material goodies, the hoarding of which is supposed to fill that void in our hearts, like that one of a kid who wants more and more toys for the lack of love, attention and an incentive for self-expression.

However, while theirs is at least a tangible source of a fix, religious folks are placing all eggs into an imaginary basket. It would be quite plausible if they were at least following the example of their spiritual idol and by doing so achieve that inner peace, love, and harmony prescribed by his teachings.

So much Has Been Done in the Name of "Unconditional Love"
So much Has Been Done in the Name of "Unconditional Love"

Being Too Human to Follow Divine Recipes for Living

As it is in reality, I still have to meet such a devoted believer who made a considerable leap in personal evolving by achieving a vibrant health, great relationships, happiness, while serving as an example to others---rather than posing as a pissed off preacher criticizing the "evils of the world".

At times it gets even comical when you really think of it, that those propagators of peace, love and harmony are actually disturbing the crap in this world with their "struggles for a morality and values" tailored by their particular recipe.

In my humorous mind it's like a scenario in which I would terrorize my family with demands to "show unconditional love". Believe it or not, but I have personally seen a sample of such "religiousness".

Surrendering to the "Higher Volition" Lacks some Basic Rationality
Surrendering to the "Higher Volition" Lacks some Basic Rationality

Taking the Line of the Least Resistance

There is something definitely missing in many versions of religious mentality---not that all of them may be inclined to release every aspect of personal responsibility for their desired outcomes into hands of their deity.

However, being religious partially means exactly that---entrusting God for all outcomes. All of us must have heard : "It's not up to me, it's in God's hands". Or : "It' was God's will". Quite honestly, I find it hard to believe that grownup individuals, some of them even very educated, choose to resort to this kind of reasoning.

Life is a multifaceted experience calling for many different measures of maintenance and nurturing, and it's beyond my comprehension that people may surrender all that responsibility to hands of a deity.

Why Bother Seeking Medical Help if Almighty God Will Answer Our Prayers for Health?
Why Bother Seeking Medical Help if Almighty God Will Answer Our Prayers for Health?

Always Ready Answer

Even less I understand this matter of a selective, or limited faith. When someone tells me that "God is almighty", I am trying to avoid an argument, but my mouth is itchy to ask - "Why do you go to a doctor if your God has a power to heal you?" But then I laugh inside, knowing the answer - "God created doctors, so He is healing me through them".

Well, people's religiousness doesn't really "bother" me---it just makes me wonder, because I can't understand it. If I wanted to play with the words of religion, I could even say something that we may hear as a religious slogan here and there: "Help yourself and then God will help you."

While it does sound like delegating the duties between those of God and those of ourselves, let me leave this aspect of self-deluding and shift my attention to that mundane aspect of responsibilities.

It's Avoidance to Take Responsibility that Puts Us in Trouble Most of the Time
It's Avoidance to Take Responsibility that Puts Us in Trouble Most of the Time

Responsibility Puts Us in the Driver's Seat

Proper eating, breathing, a life-promoting life-style, a good stress management, nurturing of good and lasting relationships, fun, humor, mind expanding interests and hobbies, expression of talents, and spirituality not tied to a religion but to an evolvement from within---these are ingredients of a "heaven on earth".

There is nothing that feels more rewarding than achievements as a result of our own smart effort and intent. Whatever is given to us---can be taken away from us, but those aspects of life where we have a say, where our mind and will and spirit play their almost divine symphony of power and harmony---that's the domain of our human responsibility. Everything else is beating around the bush, well, so often---a burning one.

We May Be Closer to Our "Heaven" than We Think
We May Be Closer to Our "Heaven" than We Think

Self-Made Heaven

Let me surprise you a bit---I do believe in the after-life. Not in a religious sense, but from an experience as a long time meditator. When I first succeeded sinking down into a sort of oblivion with only a sense of a pure consciousness remaining, that sudden realization of having lost every sense of having a body startled me.

I snapped out of it with a fear that I had died. Well, later it became my most cherished altered state of consciousness, an almost divine feeling of being present in another realm altogether.

Ever since, I became prone to believe in another dimension to which we slip after the game is over for us on earth. So, I don't have a need for a religious interpretation of after-life, and my "heaven" is still my own responsibility.

There Are No Roads to Heaven outside of Our Personal Space
There Are No Roads to Heaven outside of Our Personal Space

No Holy Manuals Necessary

Through a combination of a few factors, some mental and some physical, I have trained myself to produce blissful emotions at will. I am not making them my main emotional feature of the day, because I like to experience a full spectre of my humanness.

These blissful feelings are merely a part of my self-healing routine. Not to serve for boasting, I simply want to make it clear that we are capable of establishing an inner heaven, and experience that unconditional love that religion keeps advertising.

Also capable of living as a decent human being---all without any holy books, rituals, and glorification of a deity. It is our responsibility, and we are all equipped to create it out of a thin air, from scratch.

Everybody Goes through that Stage of Wondering if "Glass Is Half Full or Half Empty"
Everybody Goes through that Stage of Wondering if "Glass Is Half Full or Half Empty"

The Glass Is Half-Full - Not Half-Empty

To many folks over 40 life may be serving one nagging question - "Is this all there is to it?" Hormones going down and leaving us somewhat tired of the game that keeps repeating itself, with sex that has lost that initial meaning in life, and ambitions that are following the path of those declining hormones.

We call it "middle age crisis" when life inventories are made, and a bunch of depressing questions and answers replace the previous zest for life. However, with only some willingness to persist in painting all that with brighter colors, yesterday's gloom can become today's delight.

We are capable of that, and even so much more because once that we make look nicer whatever already is---that impetus can take us to start creating what isn't there yet.

For Those Who Want It

You might have seen a flower growing out of a pile of manure---and so it is possible for our inner heaven to flourish out from the pile of crap of our irresponsible neglect. We are all smart enough to know which areas of life need to be addressed and made the best that's humanly possible.

So, let us not expect a doctor's pill to fix our mental laziness to create better moods. Yes, pill works faster, and if you go to church, you can have those sweet conversations that are healthier than a shot of whiskey---although with a similar temporary effect.

However, we are really talking mental crutches, not a bold marching through life. Now, is this "inner heaven" something that we "should" do? Inner heaven is for those who WANT it - not for those who see it as another "demand" upon them.

It's for those that I have written this article with a hope that my words have added to their already existing inspiration and gave another boost to their spiritual drive.


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    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      3 years ago from Canada

      Dr Pran Rangan - Your comments are always very spiritually oriented and I appreciate that. Not being a Buddhist, but from that little that I grasp about his teaching I certainly find it very enlightening.

      In my modest opinion, whereas the Buddha's teaching is pretty much wrapped around man's responsibility to refine his nature and seek the truth within by conquering the animalistic and crude tendencies and weaknesses - some other religions are emphasizing the outside source of divine truth and naming man a "born sinner". One is pointing at man's inherent greatness and a source of wisdom - and the other is degrading him. Even symbolically, the Buddha's figure is suggesting peace, love, and harmony, and Christ's figure is all about suffering and man's debt to that sacrifice.

      All in all, heavens are of a different texture, one is achieved within by means of discipline, meditation, and techniques like yoga, qigong, tai chi - while the other is localized outside, as a magical site to be deserved by clean life. The only problem is that such outside heaven, with all that guilt, debt, and fear of hell can't create peace, love, and harmony that would give us a ticket to such outside heaven.

      As you may sense, my story would go further than this, but I just wanted to suggest these few points. Again, thank you for your very interesting comment.

    • Dr Pran Rangan profile image

      Dr Pran Rangan 

      3 years ago from Kanpur (UP), India

      Thanks ValKaras for sharing the hub.

      I have also experienced such states of altered consciousness in my regular meditations and it is a great feeling as if I had been to the heaven.

      In fact, the concept of celestial heaven has been created by various religions in order to make the followers lead a righteous and disciplined life so that the total collective consciousness of the society is raised for benefits of its members. The same is reason for the concept of hell in order to make the followers of certain religions desist from non-righteous acts.

      This is my own interpretation of the concept of heaven and hell. There are innumerable people, who will differ from me about it.

      The Buddha has said that if one has achieved mastery over one's senses, one begins to live in heaven.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      3 years ago from Canada

      Rachel - If what you call "struggles in life" is beyond your power and ability to fix, then I understand your seeking the intervention of those higher powers. My hub is about people who don't do what is necessary but expect their God to do it for them. I am happy for you that you found peace through your faith.

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 

      3 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      All I can say is I am very happy I know I have a Lord and Savior who is Jesus Christ, Who I can go to with my struggles in life. Life would be too hard otherwise. Not that all of the problems and struggles go away, but I receive the Grace to get through them.

      Blessings to you.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      3 years ago from Canada

      Hello, Missy - You certainly make a lot of sense with your comment. There is really nothing "wrong" about having a God, or to believe in anything for that matter. After all, no one would be called upon to tell others what they "should" or "shouldn't" believe, and I am not enough of a normative dude to even consider doing that.

      However, my hub was about the general trend of people replacing responsibility for their lives with faith in the outside intervention - whether a God, or a guru, or a motivational speaker. You might have noticed that my theme of many hubs is personal sovereignty, and I am reminding the folks about their own power which they are neglecting.

      In that sense, if a good friend told me that he was depressed, I would rule out a physical cause by asking him if his doctor gave him a clean bill of physical health. And then I would not suggest to him to go to a church, or to a shrink, or to a motivational seminar - I would remind him about his own power to deal with it, because whatever mind can do - mind can undo.

      I am not much into pep talk, although I will give an encouragement and support, but mainly I see people's ability to mobilize their own power to find their emotional solution. Everybody can do it. My hypothetical depressed friend would have to stop using his mind for self-defeating thoughts, about self, those around, and the globe. Our thoughts don't "happen" to us, we produce them, consciously or by a habit. And then emotions follow them like their shadow. When we treat depression as an emotional habit, or even an emotional addiction, and observe "how" we are doing it - oftentimes the magic happens by that sole observing, as we expose our turmoil to the light of consciousness and notice how sneakily our mind is playing tricks on us - when we let it.

      So, anyway, to round it up, Missy dear, you certainly have my friendly blessing to have a God - just like you describe Him, and I respect that you are not going around advertising Him. It is your intimate divine friendship with a deity, and it's fine, we all need friends.

    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 

      3 years ago from Florida

      I find everything you discuss here deeply interesting, and very soul searching when I get finished reading.

      I have to say, I do agree with much of what you explain about religious beliefs. I, myself, have never quite mastered the church rituals every Sunday and Wednesday. I have, at no time, listened to the preacher man and felt a tremendous power from the lord he speaks of.

      In saying that, I do believe there is a God. However, I believe we, on our own, have our specific relationship with him, and it is not necessary to share it with the world. It actually seems ridiculous to me to do so. I mean, why do I have to state to others that I believe by showing up to church and hugging a congregation? I don't believe in that. I have my own relationship with God that lives comfortable inside myself. When I need to leave it in God's hands, I don't need to be ridiculous and say that out loud.

      I do understand why you believe the way you do. I've had to search my soul many days and ask myself if it is possible to have a master who resides in heaven. My answer is always that he is to everyone someone different. As you have not found your soul's motivational speaker, then it has to be you, right? That would not be unheard of to me.

      See, actually, we are all our own motivational speakers. We bring our spirit problems to our personal God of choice whom resides inside ourselves. I hope that makes sense? :)

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Interesting perspective.


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