Question: What is Heaven?
Answer: A Course in Miracles says “Heaven remains your one alternative to this strange world you made and all its ways; its shifting patterns and uncertain goals, its painful pleasures and its tragic joys.” ACIM establishes Heaven as a choice for something other than the world of limitation, suffering and pain. It represents salvation. But unlike traditional teachings of Heaven, ACIM teaches us that Its attainability is not dependent on time. It is a present choice to accept NOW.
“Why wait for Heaven? It is here today.” – A Course in Miracles
For too long I used to believe that Heaven was a place for which I could get to sometime after death. I perceived this physical life to be a test of sorts. If I behaved or if I was a good person, I would pass and be rewarded with a seat in Heaven. If not, hell would be my punishment. But with honest inquiry and spiritual investigation, I can see that time is the ultimate punisher…and the experience of living in time IS hell because it is a world of past and future, regret and worry. Freedom lies in the timeless reality of right now, no preoccupation with the future or wasteful thoughts of the past.
ACIM says “The holy instant is a miniature of Heaven, sent you FROM Heaven.” The holy instant, which represents wholeness or timelessness, is an instant of mental clarity. It is being fully present without concern of any kind.
The Course says Heaven is “framed by time,” which is to say it is framed by mental chatter and story telling (which is dependent on time). Therefore for the holy instant, the seeming gap between thoughts, is the portal to Heaven.
Heaven is the awareness of eternity right here, as it is. It is the simplicity of Life unfolding…without judgement or need to control outcomes. Heaven is a mind unburdened by misperception. It has nothing to do with good deeds or intentions. It is a way of being or state of Mind that is effortless. Heaven is way of seeing and experiencing that is exposed to us when our desire for something else dissolves.
“You do not have to know that Heaven is yours to make it so. It IS so. Yet to know it, the Will of God must be accepted as your will.” – A Course in Miracles
Without a need to act independent, autonomous or for oneself (small me) we can expand our perception by inviting the quietness that governs peace into our minds. By our willingness to step back and watch without judgment (forgive) we can be shown that Grace has always been at work, providing us with everything that has ever been wanted or needed.
To accept the Will of God is to relinquish the will of the ego. Give up the idea of “me” and join with all that is. It is the recognition that ALL is one movement sourced by God with no separate parts. What emerges thereafter is the Allness and innocence you always were.
Heaven can’t ever really be defined by words, but yet words like free, unbound, awake, joyous, honest, consistent, integrated and whole, function as good pointers, and when accepted, direct us to the inner experience for which they represent.