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Friday, November 29, 2013

WHAT DOES HEAVEN LOOK LIKE?


Of course, the first question should be:  Is there a Heaven?  For the sake of this posting, let us, for now, assume there is some elysian, celestial, paradisiacal place after death.


CNN's Anderson Cooper has a Special Report, To Heaven and Back, at 7 and 10 PM (Eastern time, or 2 and 5 PM Hawaii time) on Sunday, December 1.  This will mostly be about that return from Heaven experienced by orthopedic surgeon Mary Neal (above) in 1999, but more.  Two years ago Dr. Neal wrote a book, Heaven and Back:  A Doctor's Extraordinary Account of Her Death, Heaven, Angels, and Life Again.  Four years ago Todd Burpo had Heaven is for Real:  A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back, and just last month, Eben Alexander's Proof of Heaven:  A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife.  These near-death experiences are not uncommon, but to have two surgeons publish their stories provide some real life credibility.

But what does Heaven look like?

If you're in New York City, you can stand in line for a long time to spend a few minutes at the David Zwimer Art Gallery to view Yayoi Kusama's "I Who Have Arrived in Heaven" Exhibit:


Yes, that's Kusama above.  Somehow, I'm not particularly convinced that she has any pipeline insights into anything like a Heaven.

This is Friday, I should heed the admonitions of my readers to keep my postings as short as possible, but I feel compelled to at least balance the subject.  Most Americans believe in a Heaven:
  • From Gallup poll:
  • A Fox poll says 87%.
  • The True Life in God Foundation reports that 62% believe in Heaven...and think they are going there.
  • Pew survey indicates 75%.
  • ABC poll shows 90% of people in the USA believe in Heaven.



I pointed out this huge discrepancy in my religion chapter in SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity.  Like it or not, here are my views on the matter of Heaven:
  • Of course there is a heaven, like there is love and the world wide web.  The concept is in our minds, throughout the ether and is as real as life itself.
  • Those individuals in those books, I believe, sincerely portrayed their experiences.  Sure, they went to Heaven...in their minds.  I have dreamt of Heaven in strange, and usually colorful ways.  
  • Love is a chemical reaction, with oxytocin being a key compound in your brain, which can be confirmed through brain scans.  The notion of heaven can similarly be proved to be real by scientists.
  • However, when you die, these chemical reactions stop.  Memories, Heaven and life forever enter the realm of eternal gloom.  I suspect the color of Heaven is black.


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