What images come to mind, immediately?
Is it Spring? Fall? Is the concept of season meaningless?
Think about the world you would create, if you had the ability. Maybe Thanos gives you his glove, and you can snap any universe into being. Or maybe you would just make one world, continent, or square kilometer just as you would want it.
Perhaps it would be empty, excepting yourself. Perhaps it’s full of family, friends, loved ones, and perhaps some friendly animals. Then again, perhaps it would be full of potential friends (strangers), each more alluring than the last.
The exercise is not to find out what actual, objective, paradise would be like. That’s probably a futile effort, anyway. The exercise is to show you that whatever your paradise is, eventually it will be hell.
Have you ever been a believer in a religion which preaches the promise of heaven? It’s not relevant if the same preaching includes a hell, because it’s the promise of heaven that I’m interested in, here.
Have you considered shopping around, and trying to find the religion with the best heaven? Sounds prudent. The alternative–avoiding the worst hell–is a similarly futile endeavor. It’s futile because if you accept something as a story you’ll “believe” in, or at least live within, whether in some metaphorical sense or with some regard for rigorous orthodoxy or orthopraxy (hey, your kinks are ok, I suppose), in the end you have not even considered the question, most likely, of whether truth matters to you.
I mean actual truth. Not your truth. But let’s not get distracted by that, already. I know…it’s not in fashion today, to consider truth. Trends, as they are.
Ok, so you’ve found your designer religion, with its bellini sunday brunches or Friday night whippings or even both simultaneously (like I said, your kinks are yours), and you are comfortable, occasionally gazing into a passing thought about the heavenly reality that you either look forward to or are emulating in real time. Hey, whatever paradise is for you. I can’t decide that.
But here’s the thing. I’m not sure that any paradise, whether we are talking about an afterlife, whether eternal or not, a set of ideals, or even a code of laws (logic included?), is ever going to be sufficient or necessary at all levels of scale, both in terms of space and time.
What I mean by that is that I don’t think that any ideal world, values, or laws are worth sacrificing ourselves to. I’ve never seen a religion, political philosophy, or code of ethics that always worked, in all situations.
So, I’ve given up on ideals.
Everything is a work in progress, and the targets are temporary stops, at most, along the way.
Remember: heaven is a place, where nothing ever happens. The world is a place where everything happens, but we keep missing so much of it because we’re so distracted by a blur of heavens everywhere.
Focus on the living Force, my friends.