Heaven-Hell-Purgatory

Is Heaven Really a Human Construct?

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. – June 5, 2021

 

Let me respond to this question in a way that it can be integrated as one of the basic tenets in our Catechism. But the presentation below is still technical, though. It has still to be reworded in layman's terms.

1. Heaven is not a place. It's a state. Therefore, if I'm in a state of bliss, joy, peace, and happiness, even while still here on Earth, I'm in heaven.

2. The state of bliss, joy, peace, and happiness is a mental state. Once the mind dies, there's no more bliss, joy, peace, and happiness.

3. But there's that somebody who is consciously observing what's going on in the mind, without being carried by it. It simply observes the things and events that are passing by in front of it and around it.

4. This Conscious Observer is what many in science, philosophy, and theology call the "Self" or "I am" and which is often referred to as the essence, substance, and core being.

5. The Consciousness of the observer is pure awareness, watching all the things and events surrounding it. It is not a package of thoughts, feelings, aspirations, longings, or visions; all of these are product of the operations of the mind.

6. This Consciousness, which is who and what we are, is not subject to the restrictions imposed by the laws of science, philosophy, causality, theology, and any religious belief. It is not bound by the laws of matter, space, and time.

7. In other words, it is timeless, infinite, immortal, formless, nonlocal, etc. Consciousness remains even after the physical body dies.

8. To the extent that we accept the above premises, then, we can pursue the following question:

9. "If there's life after death, where do we go from here when our body dies?

10. Buddhism calls this Nirvana a transcendent state in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self. Another term for this is Moksha, a state of perfect happiness; an ideal or idyllic state.

11. There's no equivalent and definite word for the term "heaven" in Christianity, in particular, Catholicism. The closest is the Garden of Paradise, which is in modern-day Iran.

12. Heaven is an anthropomorphic term, as far as my research is concerned. It's a human invention to refer to a space-time in the "sky" where God, the gods and goddesses, angels, seraphim, and Cherubim dwell in varying hierarchical order.

11. But even if heaven is only a human construction, as long as it serves my purpose, then, it's fine with me. As long as it's able to give me sense and meaning to all the chaos, killings, manipulations going on today, then, it's fine with me, compared with those who say there's no heaven at all and that it's only an opium of the people.

At least I know there's something out there I can go to after my mortality expires.

If I Were a Rich Man

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. – May 6, 2022

 

“If I were rich [man], I'd have the time that I lack to sit in the synagogue and pray. And maybe have a seat by the Eastern wall.” ~ Fiddler on the Roof. Then, all my troubles would soon be over (PPM). For I would be assured of a seat in heaven where I will have all the time conversing and communing with the Lord all by myself (CD).

But this is not the case. "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" (Mark 10:25).

Jesus was angered and even felt insulted when the rich man didn't accept his offer to sell everything he has, give the money to the poor, and then come and follow him.

Undoubtedly, the rich man have had other ulterior motives. His attachment to his wealth and possession far outweighed his intentions of giving his possessions to the poor. He turned his back away from Jesus and left hurriedly without a word.

I imagine myself to be that rich man that was invited by Jesus to come and follow him. What would have I done? Would have I done the same?

Would I also turn my back on Him and walk away? Or, like Peter, would I immediately drop my nets and follow him? Good that I was not born then.

But Jesus maybe also inviting me now, as He is to you: “Come to me. Sell what you have and give them to the poor. Then follow me.”

I can only leave this invitation open for each and every one of us to reflect and respond.

Entering the Kingdom of Heaven

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. – June 6, 2021

 

If heaven is not a place then how can you "go to" it after your mortality expires? ~ Edwin P. Mirabueno - XVD Association

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First, Buddhism is not able to give us a direct answer to this. It simply teaches us to sit down, do nothing, and go inward and think of nothing, as they do in a prolonged state of meditation.

Even Tibetan Buddhism could not tell us what we will find inside us, much less how we will be able to attain that state of blissfulness.

Second, the experiences of the founders of new physics tell us many diverse ways of arriving at that state of blissfulness. One may just be walking idly along the beach, engrossed purely in its own little world, thinking also of nothing, just relaxing, and purely in communion with one's Self.

One of the oldest and well-known tales is Archimedes' legendary “Eureka!” moment. While taking a bath in a tub, he made a remarkable discovery of what is now known as the Archimedes Principle.

But how we will arrive at that Eureka state, nothing is said. Archimedes does not know also.

Many scientists also experience communing with the beyond during and after their moments of near-death-encounter(s) or when they have tasted an afterlife experience.

This triggered them to undertake several experiments that tried to verify this subject of going beyond. Indeed, there's an emerging interdisciplinary science in the academic circles devoted solely for this endeavor. Scientists call it NEURO-BIOLOGY.

This new science advances that we have our own direct personal experience of God which is distinct for each one of us. This concrete, subjective experience makes it possible for us to "feel" or "sense" the physical manifestation of God within us.

Neurobiology is now offered as a course. It's basic program includes topics like "the structure and function of neurons, the role of synapses in neural communication, cellular signaling systems, and membrane receptors."

This ecstatic experience is something we cannot ignore, much less dismiss. Laboratory findings, in fact, show how our brain reacts when we think of religious and spiritual things or God.

So, as far as these neuroscientists are concerned, whatever we are looking for is within us. Our brain is already finely structured to answer whatever we are looking for. What we are looking for is not out there up in the sky.

Reflection:

The above accounts suggest to us that we don't have "go to it" after we die. We don't go outside looking for it. Rather, we go inside us and look for it in there. What we are looking for is already inside us.

After we die, we carry this with us in the other dimension. There's no need to go anywhere since it has been with us ever since. It's only a matter of being conscious and aware of this. It's the mind that looks for it outside, either by going to the past or by looking forward into the future, but never in the here-and-now.

How About Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory?

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. – May 10, 2002

 

Do they really exist? In my FB posts, I sometimes say that there is no heaven, no hell, and no purgatory. At other times, I say there is. Again, it’s high time to put these highly controversial issues at rest, at least as far as my own personal experience and interpretation is concerned.

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Life in my class is much better than heaven, hell, or purgatory. Heaven requires that students must pass the examininations given here on earth. For it is only those who pass the test are worthy of the kingdom of heaven.

In my class, all that the students have to do is just to finish and defend their doctoral dissertation in flying colors. They can easily do this if they want to. For they have the brain of Albert Einstein. Then, they go sraight to heaven.

But if the students fail, they'll just have to repeat everything, which is hell-of-a-lot of work, time, and money.

They can take their time too. They are not pressured to complete their degree. They can stay in purgatory for as long as they want. I have students who took life in stride (as in 30 years of hibernation), enjoying and savoring their title, Ph.D. candidate. It is as if ASI has become their permanent address.

In the final analysis, students only have to make a choice of their future. As teachers, we only give our best shots.

But do heaven, hell, and purgatory really exist?

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Heaven

The dictionaries define heaven as “the abode of God or the gods, as well as of angels, deified humans, the blessed dead, the spirits of the righteous after death, and other celestial beings.

It is “a state of peace, love, communion, and worship, where God is surrounded by a heavenly court and other heavenly beings” and “where everything operates according to God's will.”

It is also described as a “condition of utmost happiness: something that is very pleasant or enjoyable.” This is, most especially, the view espoused by the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition.

Science, on the other hand, has its parallel description of heaven, as expressed in its concept of "white hole", where light reigns supreme.

A white hole is where no particles or objects outside it can enter. As if an imposing sign is posted on its door: "No entry. Violators will be prosecuted!" For only those who are worthy of entering heaven can enter heaven. And once you're in heaven, you are in heaven.

Hell

Hell is the opposite of heaven. From the anthrophomorphic point of view, it is described as an imagined state in which there is great suffering or injustice. Applied to our world, this is similar to societies typically run by totalitarian, fascistic,

authoritariam, militaristic, and violent regimes.

In many religious beliefs, hell is defined as a state of existence in which one is severely tormented by suffering--whether physical, mental, or spiritual.

It is defined more picturesquely in the Holy Bible as outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (Mark 25:30), and where the “wrath of God” is experienced without end (Revelation 14:10-11).

Science does not use the term “hell” but it speaks of a “Fire in the Hole!”. Cosmologists and astrophysicists theorize the existence of dark holes (also called black holes) that exist in the world of planets, stars, and galaxies. Dark holes are the entrances or gates to this hellish place.

Deep inside this entrance is a “wormhole,” which is where the "fire-and-brimstone" takes place. Inside, objects and particles, caught by the black hole, bump into each other, smashing their heads into each other, producing sounds similar to the “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Luke 13:28).

Physicists say black holes can come in various sizes. Some are so small that they can be inside our bodies and are becoming an integral part of our life, influencing our thoughts, feelings, and actions.

Others could also be passing through us in droves exercising much stronger influences on our bodies, minds, psychosocial, and spiritual make-up.

Even light, passing close to the perimeter of dark holes, gets swallowed and ceases to exist, giving way to total darkness. Individuals devoured into this hole are “tormented with fire-and-brimstone” with zero possiblity of escaping or returning. It’s a one-way ticket.

What grinds particles inside a black hole is the strong suction force of the gravitational pull that triggers the twisting, swirling, bending, stretching, screaming, and rotational motion of captive particles, producing sounds similar to the “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Luke 13:28).

This experience of hell goes on and on in a cyclical fashion and ends only when we totally get rid of our materiality and truly become pure energy unsoiled by the duality of the physical world. We experience this grave suffering here on Earth, the reason why hell is considered as a place.

Purgatory

Between the wormhole and the rest of the universe is what scientists call “event horizon”, which is the point of no return. Science says that particles entering into this horizon are "in a limbo" (similar to what Christians call "purgatory"), as if waiting for the day of reckoning to come.

Over some undefined waiting period, quantum physicists say there is that possiblity for the imprisoned particles to exit and land on another realm, which could be another blackhole.

What happens when somebody is already outside the white hole?

The individual will find itself in another universe. If there is another dark hole nearby, the person will be easily swallowed into it, thus, repeating the same experience of what it means to be in a hellish place. "To hell and back."

If there are no dark holes nearby, then, the individual remains in a state of limbo or purgatory.

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Yes, there is heaven, hell, and purgatory here on Earth. These three cosmic elements exist here with us mortals as a place.

And, yes, there is no heaven, hell, and purgatory from the metaphysical or religious perspective. For in the world beyond, there is no locality, no time, no matter. These three cosmic elements do not exist as a place. They are states or conditions of existence.

Everything, therefore, is dependent on which dimension one is viewing reality.

God Created Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell: From the Perspective of the Holy Scriptures

Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. – December 2, 2021

 

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things (Isaiah 45:7). Our works both good and bad will be judged (Ecclesiastes 12:14, 2 Corinthians 5:10). Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Mark 25:30).

 

But, as an economist, going to heaven, purgatory, and hell nowadays involves economics and economics is all about money and investment. What does God say about this?

Let me quote lengthily from Matthew 25, 14-30:

"For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey.

“Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

And what was the reaction of The Master when he returned?

“You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents...Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

And what does this mean to us?

We are all encouraged to be smart by investing our money: “Study the money lender’s methods. He wants to give modestly and get back with profit; you do the same. Give little and receive on a grand scale. Look how your interest is mounting up! Give temporal wealth and claim eternal interest, give the earth and gain heaven (Augustine of Hippo, 4 A.D.).

We are the slaves entrusted with money. But borrowing in the formal sector today entails going to the bank, opening a debit card and credit card. In the process, we have a lender and a borrower.

What does the bible say about interests? Well, it says it's ok to impose interest. But it warns us.

If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury (Exodus 22:25). Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of anything that is lent upon usury (Deuteronomy 23:19-20), [because] thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbors (Ezekiel 22:12). The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender (Proverbs 22:7).

Lending and borrowing are a way to our salvation because it is supposed to help each and every one of us. But they instead lead us to purgatory and hell. Yet, the kind of economics we have today has been established by the Roman Catholic Church through the Templars during the so-called Holy Crusade in the 12th c.

The objective was clear: “…as far as their strength permitted, they should keep roads and highways safe … with special regard for the protection of pilgrims. In praise of this New Knighthood, the Templars were considered to be the epitome...of Christian values."

We can no longer escape from today’s usurious kind of living. Usury has become an inevitable prerequisite to enter heaven, purgatory, and hell. We pay our way not only to heaven, but also to purgatory and hell. This is the engine that propels our economic growth today. This is also the engine that tied us to perpetual debt and slavery.

In the midst of this breakdown, who will lead us to our economic freedom? The Churches have long abandoned us. Their favorite philosopher and theologian Augustine has justified their stand. Jesus Christ has saved us indeed, but not from our economic mess.