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Heaven is a Metaphor for Childhood

Ramaraksha

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Ever hear of old-timers talking about the good old days? They were right, the good old days were actually very good - for all of us. What we are talking about is our childhood - a time to play, not worry about the world, taken care of, sheltered - Heaven! isn't it?
As a kid we would play and when we got thirsty, we ran into the house, "mommy, I am thirsty" and magically a glass of water would show up in front of our face, we gulp it down, throw the glass on the table and off we go. Or we say, "mommy, I am hungry" and again magic, a plate of food appears, we eat, throw the plate on the table and off we go back to play. When we come back, more magic - the plate or glass has been cleaned & put away. We throw our dirty clothes in the hamper and more magic happens, in a few days, the same clothes show up neatly folded in our drawers, all clean and ready to wear
Daddy or mommy lose their jobs? Not to worry, just go play, no need to worry, Mommy and Daddy will take care of it - it was a magical time
Heaven then, is the yearning for those days - a time to just sit and enjoy and not to worry - Childhood for eternity!
It is a bit surprising to me that most psychologists have not commented or written about this idea, sadly, they too may have been brainwashed
There is a logical explanation to Reincarnation also - here it is the opposite, by asking us to come back, it is asking us to grow up, to be Adults - to face the world, warts and all. No magic Sugar Daddy coming to save the day, no, you can't run away to magic lands, what you see is what you get. Don't like it? Well, get to work and make things better, the future is in your hands
Little wonder that Reincarnation has fallen out of favor & it will remain so as long as we humans remain weak, that we think we can leave the problems of the world behind for someone else to deal with and can run away to magic lands
 

Tom Sawyer

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I agree with your analysis that Heaven is a metaphor for childhood, but don't get the part about how making up imaginary other lives to life like one does with reincarnation is somehow more adult.
 

Ramaraksha

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I agree with your analysis that Heaven is a metaphor for childhood, but don't get the part about how making up imaginary other lives to life like one does with reincarnation is somehow more adult.
Well the other alternative is Death and one can't really convince anyone to choose Death over magic land. So, the alternative is life & life as we know is difficult - nothing is free, no free lunches, everything has to be earned, we stay a child for a short time, the rest of the time we stand on our own two feet - it flows logically that if one chooses Life over Death, one will eventually have to grow up. It is amazing that millions still believe that magic man is "coming any day now, all the signs point to it" over the total lack of any such evidence for all these years of recorded history - that's why the part of growing up is implied - otherwise it doesn't make much sense
 

braces_for_impact

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Sounds like a deepity. Many kids have a hellish childhood. 16 million kids go hungry in the U.S. A plate of food doesn't "magically" appear.
 

dockeen

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I have come to see heaven as an inversion of the parts of life that are bad in "life as we know it"

Tired? Heaven is a place of eternal rest.
Hungry? The eternal feast
Bad health? Perfect health
Sexually frustrated? Virgins who are great in bed
 

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Given that God is basically a parent that will never die on you or stop telling you what to do, this fits.
 

Ramaraksha

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??? I am talking about a kid with a home and family - to the kid it is magic - when a kid is taken to a store and mommy says just tell the nice man what kind of ice cream you want and he gives it to you, to the kid it is magic - because when we are kids, we don't grasp the idea of money. That is why to kids stories are very magical - they haven't grasped the idea of working for things and obtaining them. To a Kid it is Santa who bring gifts, as he grows up, he realizes the truth
 

Ramaraksha

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yes - we see many people creating online Avatars - nothing wrong with that - but some get so engrossed in this fake fantasy lives that they stop living a real life - Heaven was the fake fantasy life befor computers were invented. Reincarnation is the idea that we must face life as it is - it is choosing Real Life over Fake life however tempting it might be
 

Tom Sawyer

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yes - we see many people creating online Avatars - nothing wrong with that - but some get so engrossed in this fake fantasy lives that they stop living a real life - Heaven was the fake fantasy life befor computers were invented. Reincarnation is the idea that we must face life as it is - it is choosing Real Life over Fake life however tempting it might be

Wait ... so the fake thing with no connection to reality is choosing reel life over fake life? How about just admitting that we're worm food and over and done with when death comes along as the way to choose real life?
 

Ramaraksha

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Wait ... so the fake thing with no connection to reality is choosing reel life over fake life? How about just admitting that we're worm food and over and done with when death comes along as the way to choose real life?

Wait why don't we just get rid of all these categories and just have 2 - ideas with evidence and ideas without? why bother with philosophy, art and ideas that make us think? When plato wondered about the cave and its inhabitants, he wasn't saying that was what was really happening, he was trying to make us think, imagine. When the English guy who saw the stars and said they are the same as our sun - he didn't have the evidence, YET - he was inspired by an idea, a thought
 

Ramaraksha

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Wait ... so the fake thing with no connection to reality is choosing reel life over fake life? How about just admitting that we're worm food and over and done with when death comes along as the way to choose real life?

You have to do better than keep saying there is no evidence - you are not going to gain much success with this tack - yes most religious people do realize that there is no evidence, so is there another method that we can use? I don't know how much you read sociology - have you read Malcolm Gladwell or Freakanomics? There is a logical down-to-earth reason why we believe or do anything - that is what i am interested in and pursuing - what is the rational explanation for x belief? It is very interesting to me & that is what i post
 

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In order that the happiness of the saints may be more delightful to them and that they may render more copious thanks to God for it, they are allowed to see perfectly the sufferings of the damned … So that they may be urged the more to praise God … The saints in heaven know distinctly all that happens … to the damned. [Summa Theologica, Third Part, Supplement, Question XCIV, “Of the Relations of the Saints Towards the Damned,” First Article]

childhood?
 

Ramaraksha

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childhood?

Didn't get what you posted - All children are born with love for all in their hearts - there is no such thing as an evil baby or child - society changes them. Some of us so lucky - we got to live with loving parents who took care of, sheltered us, taught us the right way to lead our lives, but quite a lot of people did not get that chance. Even the worst, people like Stalin or Mao would say they are good people - very few of us think that we are bad. I find nothing intelligent or enlightening in the concept of Hell - a primitive idea to extract vengence upon those who have wronged us - God turns into a torturer, a master - No mother would whip her own son, no Father would rape his own daughter - but a master would gladly whip and rape his slaves/servants - God becomes a master, a torturer and followers of such religions in turn lower themselves down to slaves/servants, down on their knees, shaking with fear, begging for mercy
As a Hindu, I want to part of that - We are ALL born children of God, we belong in God's lap - Fear of God is never, ever taught in Hinduism - God is my Father, My Teacher, not my Master and i refuse to be His slave
 

Tom Sawyer

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You have to do better than keep saying there is no evidence - you are not going to gain much success with this tack - yes most religious people do realize that there is no evidence, so is there another method that we can use? I don't know how much you read sociology - have you read Malcolm Gladwell or Freakanomics? There is a logical down-to-earth reason why we believe or do anything - that is what i am interested in and pursuing - what is the rational explanation for x belief? It is very interesting to me & that is what i post

Ya, the rationale behind belief is straightforward and I understand it fine. What I have a problem with is your mocking one stupid belief while holding up your own stupid belief as a sensible alternative to it. All the resurrection tripe is just as dumb as the crap you're slagging.
 

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There is a logical, down-to-earth explanation for most ideas...Little wonder that Reincarnation has fallen out of favor & it will remain so as long as we humans remain weak, that we think we can leave the problems of the world behind for someone else to deal with and can run away to magic lands
Bill Cosby once said that parents aren't interested in justice, they're interested in peace and quiet.
So they allow do-overs in children's games. Someone thinks another player cheated, or moved too early, or moved too late, or cut a corner, we have a do-over.
It's, like, magic. Whatever you think happened, it didn't really happen and you get to go again.

Wouldn't that be a logical basis for the concept of reincarnation? A do-over? You didn't quite do well enough for Heaven (or nirvana, or the happy time fun place, or the happy hunting grounds or whatever), but there's no reason the universe can't reward you because, gosh darn it, you did try. You did your best.

Maybe life is just one, great, big 'everybody gets a trophy' day.

Sounds like something the universe would do, right?

I mean, you look at a kitten that got run over by a car and lived long enough to see a dog start to eat it's ruptured intestines and the very first thing you think is that the universe simply HAS to give that kitty cat a do-over because otherwise things would be not-cute and unfair, and darn it, that's just not the kind of world we live in, is it?
 

Clivedurdle

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Didn't get what you posted - All children are born with love for all in their hearts - there is no such thing as an evil baby or child - society changes them. Some of us so lucky - we got to live with loving parents who took care of, sheltered us, taught us the right way to lead our lives, but quite a lot of people did not get that chance. Even the worst, people like Stalin or Mao would say they are good people - very few of us think that we are bad. I find nothing intelligent or enlightening in the concept of Hell - a primitive idea to extract vengence upon those who have wronged us - God turns into a torturer, a master - No mother would whip her own son, no Father would rape his own daughter - but a master would gladly whip and rape his slaves/servants - God becomes a master, a torturer and followers of such religions in turn lower themselves down to slaves/servants, down on their knees, shaking with fear, begging for mercy
As a Hindu, I want to part of that - We are ALL born children of God, we belong in God's lap - Fear of God is never, ever taught in Hinduism - God is my Father, My Teacher, not my Master and i refuse to be His slave

I mean that I cannot see any relationship between the concept of heaven as evidenced by my quote and childhood. The idea of Heaven is more like a symptom of madness!
 

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I have wondered if heaven isn't just a concept that our brains "remember" from the first 3 years of life. At that age, you barely comprehend the life you're living. There are those huge people that are so powerful - relative to you - they literally can make you happy and fulfilled with things like food and medicine, again things you don't comprehend. And when they don't answer your pleas and ignore you, you suffer, again inexplicably.

So maybe adults, as perceived by the 3-year-old's mind, survive in the brain as the seed that later becomes the basis for the gods, and that early life the basis for heaven.
 

jonJ

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Like you, I think that the mind of a 3-year-old is the happiest place on earth to be. So here's an ethical question: say medical science reaches the point where it can freeze human growth at the age of three, and we could all live forever as happy three-year olds, looked after by benevolent robots. Should we implement that?

Oddly enough this has a bearing on one of the other topics, about contact with aliens. I have a theory that the reason we don't find intelligent extraterrestrials exploring outer space may be because they've already found much more cost-effective ways of making themselves happy.
 
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