What do you think The Kingdom of Heaven could be?
In so far as it exists, I think we are living in it.
For the most part, what stops us appreciating it are our stories, and our declarations about what is and is not so; including accepting simplistic paradigms like right/wrong, true/false, good/evil. It seems to me that it is only by moving beyond such simple notions and into infinite spectra that we can begin to appreciate the simplicity and the complexity of the reality in which we find ourselves.
It is very difficult to give up our judgements, and simply accept what is without judgement.
When we can do that, and then use our creativity to, from that neutral place, create for the joy and contribution of creating; then we experience something that is quite amazing, quite beyond ordinary experience.
If people want to call that heaven, then I wont argue.
This is getting interesting.
Acknowledging all that Judi wrote, and taking the most interesting use of the word “hew” from Brian, and looking at the term “kingdom” in the sense of ruler as provided by Andrew, I am left contemplating that it seems that it is “sword” of science that has allowed us to hew (cut into tiny pieces with a sharp implement) our understanding of the reality in which we find ourselves to the point that it starts to make some sort of sense.
It seems that there are rules in this reality.
It seems that the rules are probabilistic in nature (rather than hard) and have degrees of freedom involved at all levels, allowing for self aware systems to evolve that can have choice and influence over what actually happens.
I wonder at Andrew’s words, “an existence which is perfect and unchanging”. The idea of anything being unchanging does not allow for perception or being as a conscious entity. Consciousness is change, at many different levels. The idea of an unchanging anything doesn’t do anything for me.
The idea that we can find security in a changing environment is one that appeals to me.
So it seems to me that we are finally approaching a point where we can cut the many infinitudes that surround us into small enough pieces that we can all begin to appreciate the beauty in both the complexity and the simplicity beyond the complexity, that makes it all what it is; including making us what we are.
It seems to me that understanding evolution, games theory, physics, chemistry, and mathematics are fundamental to any such understanding (hewing).
It seems to me that there are many traditions that have found very powerful techniques for achieving both states and stages of awareness, and it also seems that all explanations of what is actually occurring in these states and stages that are more than about 30 years old are seriously deficient in many essential components.
So it does seem that we can create states and stages of awareness where we can acknowledge all of the change that we see about us, and within us, and can create some stability and security from that.
It seems very likely that in the very near future we will also be able to extend lifespans indefinitely and cure all know diseases. This will provide a security (not an absolute certainty – such things appear to not exist in this reality of ours), of long and happy life for all.