Articles/Essays From Pagans
September 14th. 2014 ...
GOD AND ME (A Pagan's Personal Reply to the New Atheists)
September 7th. 2014 ...
Deer Man- A Confounding Mystery
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
A Strange Waking Dream
August 24th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
The Pagan Cleric
A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)
August 17th. 2014 ...
To Know, to Will, to Dare...
On Grief: Beacons of Light in the Shadows
August 10th. 2014 ...
As a Pagan, How Do I Represent My Path?
The Power of the Gorgon
August 3rd. 2014 ...
Are You a Natural Witch?
You Have to Believe We Are Magic...
July 27th. 2014 ...
Did I Just Draw Down the Moon?
Astrological Ages and the Great Astrological End-Time Cycle
The New Jersey Finishing School for Would-Be Glamour Girls and Boys
July 20th. 2014 ...
Being an Underage Wiccan
Greed, Power, Witches, and the Inquisition
Malleus Maleficarum - The Hammer of the Witches
Thoughts on Ghost Hunting
July 13th. 2014 ...
A World Of Witchcraft: Belief Is Only The Beginning...
From Christian to Pagan (Part III)
My Wiccan Ways...
July 6th. 2014 ...
Keys: Opening the Portals into Other Worlds
The Lore of the Door
Leaves of Love
June 29th. 2014 ...
What Does the Bible Say About Witches and Pagans?
Are You My Familiar ?
Invocations of the God and Goddess
Everything's Alright, Yes: Mary Magdalene
Results Magic and the Moral Compass
June 22nd. 2014 ...
Witchcraft vs. Religion
Christianity and Paganism: Why All Of the Fighting?
June 15th. 2014 ...
Becoming Your Own Wise One
Canine Familiars: Role of the Alpha
June 8th. 2014 ...
Moral Relativism and Wicca
Paganism in Cebu, Philippines
June 1st. 2014 ...
Rediscovering My Pagan Faith
13 Keys: The Wisdom of Chokmah
May 25th. 2014 ...
Some Differences Between Priestesses and Witches: Duties and Trials
Awakening to our Celestial Nature (A Free 8-Day Course)
How to Work With Your Muse
10 Things I Love about my Sacred Work as a Public Witch
May 18th. 2014 ...
Finding the God (From Christian to Pagan -Part II)
The Medea Within Us All
Visits from the Departed
May 11th. 2014 ...
Breaking the Law of Return
Karma and Sin
Mental and Emotional Balance- I CAN Have it!
The Sin Concept
May 4th. 2014 ...
When to Let Go...When to Hold On
Goddessy: Sorceress Speaks On Beauty
Embracing my Inner Goddess through Belly Dance
April 27th. 2014 ...
Mental Illness in the Pagan Community
World Crisis: Awaken Witches and Take Action
Being Pagan, Being Bipolar
"Earth Day" Is A Pagan Conspiracy!
April 20th. 2014 ...
Six Rules for Safer Pagan Sex: A Guide
Safety: Let's Shift Our Focus
Morality and Controversy in the Craft
A Pagan Perspective on Easter
The Star Child
April 13th. 2014 ...
Magick and Consequences: My Experience with Sigils
Being a Worrisome Witch
Don't Talk Yourself Out of Trying Something New!
What to Do When the Spell/Ritual Flops
April 6th. 2014 ...
The Elements and the Quarters
Dark Moon Scry: Aries 2014
How the Wheel of the Year Works “Down Under”
13 Keys: The Understanding of Binah
March 30th. 2014 ...
Manifesting the Dream: On Religious Organizations, Pagan Abbeys and our Order
True Meaning of Community
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Knockin' on Heaven's Door
Article ID: 8315
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 3,864
Times Read: 6,529
Author: Diotima Mantineia [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: February 21st. 2004
Times Viewed: 6,529
The results of a recent poll tell us that 76% of the American people, asked if they believe heaven is an actual place, replied that they did. Apparently, the poll did not follow up with the next obvious question - where did the poll's respondents think it might be located? With heaven full of astronauts, as Joni Mitchell once observed, the sky - such a convenient location for millennia - is no longer a viable option. The hollow Earth theory seems unlikely to be very popular; if not for scientific reasons, then certainly because it conflicts with the prevailing mythology. So where, then?
Perhaps they imagine it on another planet, or another galaxy, or even in another universe. Star Trek and Star Wars and a flowering of both science and science fiction have given us a new mythology of stories, pictures, ideas and concepts to help us integrate our ever-expanding body of scientific knowledge into our spiritual understanding.
Nonetheless, planets, galaxies and universes are all still places that physically exist. It would seem that many people believe that the afterlife is just a different, nicer, but still physical life: it's clear that our current cultural mythology is at odds with both modern science and the wisdom of mystics from many religions, both ancient and modern.
There may have been some Pagans among the poll's respondents, who simply substituted the Summerland or Valhalla for heaven and answered in the affirmative, but Pagans, most of whom have some kind of psychic training, generally understand the reality of the non-physical better than most. As a group, we also tend to be well read, computer-literate, and have a better-than-the-average-bear's understanding of current scientific knowledge. Our mythology, rituals, and stories reflect this knowledge, as they reflect an understanding of the Infinite that comes only from inner experience. It is a measure of the sophistication of Pagan thought that our belief systems seek to incorporate the discoveries of science, not deny them. For the majority of Pagans, physical reality and spiritual reality are seen as intertwined, not as two separate realms.
Of course, some scientists inevitably disagree - often heatedly - with even the concept of any reality that is not physical. They will be the first to jump in and tell you that [harrumph!] "Consciousness is an epiphenomenon of the brain." In other words, if brains had not been created through the purely material process of evolution, consciousness would not exist. They really believe that if you don't have a functioning brain, you don't exist. You have no consciousness. There is no possibility of consciousness without a body/brain. Brain must equal consciousness. Consciousness must equal brain.
Most Pagans would, I suspect, reject this assertion out of hand, and they find themselves in excellent scientific company when they do so. The incredible discoveries that have been made in the field of physics in the past century have left most physicists astounded, awed and not a little confused. More than a few have come to believe that physical reality as we know it is inseparable from consciousness, and perhaps even created by Consciousness, no matter how much that idea seems to fly in the face of our experience.
Even with an ingrained predilection for swimming beyond the bounds of the five senses, lately physicists have often found themselves in very deep water. Many of the discoveries of modern physics apparently defy all reason and logic, not to mention common sense. In fact, however, those discoveries show us both the limitations of human reason and logic while encouraging our mental expansion. The current cultural mindset has lead us to depend on - even worship - external knowledge and reasoning to the extent that if we cannot make what we consider to be logical sense out of something, then we reject its very existence. It isn't real. It's an illusion - a trick of the mind. However, as it turns out, we are having trouble making sense of the very basis of physical reality...until we consider that perhaps it doesn't exist. It isn't real. It's an illusion - a trick of the mind.
Physics - the study of the interaction of matter and energy - and metaphysics - the study of the nature of reality - are truly inseparable. The experiences of those who are willing to explore these fields have and will continue to indicate that consciousness can exist without matter - but not vice versa. Consciousness is First Cause. Intuition working in tandem with reason will lead us towards a more comprehensive scientific understanding, which, it now seems, must include a view of reality that is so far removed from our current everyday experience as to be profoundly disorienting.
Disorienting, perhaps, unless you happen to have been making a concerted effort to expand your view of reality, and have been meditating and communing with the non-physical realms for years, while others told you that what you experienced didn't exist...wasn't real...was an illusion - a trick of your mind. For example, Annie Besant and Charles Leadbeater, Theosophists and authors of a book called "Occult Chemistry" were laughed at for years for their seemingly wildly inaccurate psychic perceptions of the atomic structure of various elements, which they wrote down between 1900 and 1932. But Stephen M. Phillips, a particle physicist with a Ph.D. in the subject from the University of California, has studied Besant and Leadbeater's work, and has argued that they have accurately represented the structure on the levels of quarks and superstrings.
Mystics of many religions have been telling us for millennia "You are not your body, you are not your brain, you are not your thoughts, nor even your emotions. You, your true Self, exists beyond even these concepts." The reality behind the one we experience is a reality of infinite love. It is a reality that both physicists and mystics tell us is inextricably entwined with our minds and our conscious existence. We are part of the ever-expanding creativity and infinite joy of the Whole, the Tao, God/Goddess/All That Is, as it is learning to know itself through our experience.
How do we discover that joyous, creative and expansive reality for ourselves? We need discover nothing, only open ourselves to what is within us by being aware, being fully open to life, by expanding our minds to connect with other, different facets of the one Consciousness. We change our awareness through meditation, patient observation, allowing the mind to be still, to turn inward, to just be...present...now.
Here's a memo for those who are looking for a manifest heaven: You are not defined by your body, mind, thoughts or emotions. You are able to be physical because you are ultimately not physical. You are a creator, part of God/Goddess/All That Is, and you...yes, you...can create all the heaven you need with just what's inside you. Welcome to the real world. Welcome to heaven's door.
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