HEAVEN ON EARTH
Our angel smiled at us. “Is it not good to see the eternal patience of Heaven’s realm?”
“Oh, it is,” Janet said fervently. “Each one is so happy, yet learning all the time.”
“And not hurried in any way,” I commented.
“It is just one vast scale of growing,” the angel agreed. “Always remember the continuity of life. People on earth so often think of life where they are and life where they will be, beyond death’s door, as entirely separate – as though it were composed of two rooms, like Frank’s shack. Actually it is one, and continuous. When people begin to awake in the spirit they sometimes start to yearn and sigh for Heaven. Foolish ones…”
“Are they?” I asked doubtfully, for I too had ‘yearned and sighed’ on earth.
“Of course Heaven is not a blissful place in the next room. It can begin (and does begin) with the first moment of conscious earth-life.”
Do tell us more fully “Janet cried eagerly. “It will comfort so many people to think that their loved ones on earth can not only find fulfilment here.”
“Well, fulfilment is only possible here,” our teacher admitted, “but some of the great happiness of Heaven is available to all who will seek for it there. It is necessary, first of all, clearly to see all life as one. One continuous living, whether on earth or beyond death’s door. Once this is realised, a man begins to see that he has not to wail for Heaven, but he can start living the Heaven-life right away.” I was listening intently, watching our angel’s face as it glowed in the light of the setting sun. We were sitting high up on the mountain-top and the vast stretches of country laid out at our feet seemed to illustrate the angel’s words. Janet had moved close, holding a fold of the angel’s robe and looking up.
“What must he do?” she whispered.
“Well now, the bliss of Heaven is particularly experienced in three ways. The first, a consciousness of universal charity among men. The second, a freedom from care. The third, the abiding Presence of the Father’s Love.”
“He cannot find all that on earth surely?” I asked urgently.
“No, but he can make what he does not find.”
“Oh!” Janet and I exclaimed together.
“Let us consider them one by one.” Our angel was leaning forward with an absorbed expression, evidently enjoying the subject as much as we were. “It is certainly not true on earth that there is universal charity. However, a man may live in universal charity in his heart, and thus enter into a consciousness of Heaven’s joy. It will come to him immediately if he straightway resolves to be charitable in his thoughts. How simple, familiar, almost stale that sounds! Those on earth have heard it a thousand times. Let us, however, visualise it in action. Suppose a man awakes one morning with the thought; ‘I want to start living my Heaven life now, so I will be charitable in all my thoughts from now on.’ (He has probably been taught in the Plane Between during sleep).”
“He rises and begins to dress, and soon impatient thoughts begin to enter his mind against another man. Immediately, he enters into his mental conception of heaven as though he met this man on the broad field of Heaven’s realm. He remembers that the first joy of Heaven is universal charity. At once, all the stupid resentments melt away. ‘Why,’ he thinks, ‘if his ways annoy me, my ways must annoy him!’ That is the first step, for he begins to see himself with another’s eyes. ‘Suppose he wanted to speak against me,’ he continues, ‘how many things he could say! Probably I should find some of them quite new – maybe unconscious habits of mine that he dislikes, or some way in which I have unknowingly misjudged him,’ Musing, he begins to enter more deeply into his Heaven-consciousness.”
“‘When I reach Heaven, all that will have to go,’ he thinks at last. ‘After all, there we shall all be just God’s children. There, all our sins will be forgiven us, only to the extent that we have forgiven others,’ Unconsciously, he draws again on the wisdom that came to him in sleep. ‘What about my own sins, faults and failings? Most of them have not been deliberate just sudden little temptations and falls. I have meant well. Perhaps he has meant well, to o- and yet I would hold it against him as though he set out deliberately to harm me7”
“As he begins to prepare his morning meal, he thinks wonderingly of the absurdity of his former way of life. He sees that, while desiring to be in Heaven he has made no effort to bring the universal charity of it to earth. ‘If I cannot enjoy it here, how can I hope to enjoy to there?’ he asks himself in a flash of insight. ‘All this thought of wanting Heaven has been nonsense! I just wanted to get my own way, to have eternal bliss – and to go on looking down on my fellow men! They did not deserve it – I did!’ Suddenly, he laughs at himself – a good sign!”
“‘From now on I will live a Heaven-on-earth,’ he resolves. ‘I will think with kindliness and sympathy of others, knowing that I have just as many faults as they. When their ways annoy me I will remember that very few people deliberately sin. Mostly it is just like it is with me – I have sudden falls and so do they. Yes, I will make as ready an excuse for them as I make for myself. In the majority of cases I shall have reached the real truth of the matter.’ ”
“By this time, the man has finished his meal and set forth on his earth-journey for the day. Carrying his Heaven-consciousness with him; he is happy and at peace. No wonder – for to him it is Heaven on earth.”