What and where is heaven? In the last post, we looked at statements made by Jesus in Luke 17:20-21 where he conveyed that heaven was a state of being inside one’s self instead of a place “out there”.
Now let’s look at another scripture from the Old Testament, and this whole concept will come alive. In Exodus chapter thirty-three, Moses asks God to see His glory. The Lord responds by saying that no man can see His face and live. However, God doesn’t leave Moses hopeless. God places him in the cleft of a rock, covers him with His hand, and then passes by and proclaims His glory. The scripture says that although Moses didn’t see God’s face, he was able to see His back parts. Hmm…back parts? Does God even have a literal back? No, this was never meant to be taken literally. His back parts represent physical creation, the “out there” that we have been talking about. It is the part that we can all see. In other words, His “back parts” represent the physical universe that we live in. So what is meant by God’s face? His face is representative of the invisible aspect of God, which no man (flesh and ego) can see. God’s face represents the Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus said was within. This is where no man can live because when we go within the Kingdom through prayer and meditation, we see ourselves as we truly are and the ego disappears. Our egos tell us we are separate from creation, but in the Kingdom the personal ego sheds away, and God and His creation merge as one.
Have you ever actually spent time looking within yourself? Try it. It’s a strange feeling. Actually, if done right, with a little bit of persistence in meditation, one gets the strange realization-feeling that they are looking at the Face of God. I’m not talking about something prideful or arrogant here. I’m talking about something truly humbling. After this experience you come out a different person. A new level of respect develops for all of creation because you become aware that you are a conscious part of it.
So could it be that in Luke 17 Jesus is really teaching us to know ourselves? I think so. By going within the kingdom, or withdrawing from the “out there,” we begin to understand that we are spirit beings having a physical experience. Then life becomes a playground where we aren’t afraid to use our talents instead of something to be taken so seriously that we live in fear. So what, or where, is heaven? It’s as Jesus said all along, a state of being within you! Try going there sometime. Judgment, fear, pride, and all those other nasty aspects of our egos will slowly begin to fade, and you become more like the image of Christ.
In the next and last post of this series, I explore more about the Kingdom of Heaven within. More specifically, I discuss why meditating is the practical way to enter. Find that post here.
As always, I want to hear what you think? Is the Kingdom of Heaven still a place to go to, or is it that mysterious quality about us that can only be explored through self reflection, prayer, and meditation? What does it mean to you when Jesus said, “It is within you!?”