Enlightenment. Paradise. Oneness. Heaven.
These are some nebulous things. “Some Guy in the Sky,” surrounded by clouds with a big fluffy beard is the image I have when I think of the “cultural understanding” of these “places.”
Maybe I think of a Hubble Telescope enhanced picture of a nebula. Really. Nebulous.
I’ve studied religious texts and I’ve read a lot of self-help books, articles, and classes. I’ve always been into this stuff – probably because my INFJ personality (even referencing an MBTI type in this makes me laugh, because it feels like it’s proving my point BUT… it’s true. So let’s go with it.).
Sometimes I wonder if studying these things is just a feedback loop. I study these things, so I think about them. In thinking about them, I bring them closer to reality (and internalize the concepts). Then, I study these concepts more, and the cycle continues.
So was I always an INFJ or did I just become one because I researched it?
The Heavenly Space
If studying and researching a thing brings it closer to reality, then studying Heaven, Paradise, Oneness, Enlightenment, necessarily does the same thing.
I focus on Heaven, so it becomes more real. As it becomes more real, I study it more, making it even more real and so on.
If I follow this logic, it connects easily to concepts of quantum physics, as well as the Hindu concept of maya (the world is illusion), because I’m influencing reality with my thoughts and observations.
On the one hand, the idea of this Heavenly Space is real because we think about it. On the other, it is illusion because it is simply us creating it.
But what if there were some things that existed outside of this illusion?
The One Thing
Regardless what a person believes about the nature of reality, there is one thing I believe is outside the confines of “illusion.”
It is a nebulous thing. It is a difficult concept to grasp – a word thrown around everywhere, all the time – is so common place, and yet we can’t easily define it.
But this is the closest experience or sensation I can give to Heaven, Enlightenment, Oneness, or Paradise. The descriptions of these spaces are illusions – descriptions used to help people feel positively about a state of being that is difficult to understand, and a struggle to reach.
I am speaking of Unconditional Love.
The feeling encompasses total connection, deep peace, profound gratitude, and overwhelming joy. It really is like every good thing rolled into one. It isn’t a temporary high like a person might get from a drug – drugs manipulate the body to simulate such feelings, but they disappear or do lasting damage to the body.
Unconditional Love requires discipline. It is a fundamental change in the mind and heart, which once in place, influences the body. And it’s permanent.
Once reached, it’s easy to get back to that state of Unconditional Love. Once committed, it becomes second nature to express gratitude and fully enjoy the present moment. And the more you do it, the easier it becomes. The easier it becomes, the more likely you are to do it. Before you know it, you’re walking around in a permanently loving state – you’re walking Heaven.
But how do you get there?
There is no single path to Unconditional Love. That is why there are so many world religions. They are all paths to this place, in one form or another. Some find one easier, and others another. If they lead to you to Unconditional Love, they are good and you should continue to practice them. Period.
Continued study to reach this state is essential. You cannot come to Unconditional Love without regular study. The words of scripture or present-day teachers will reveal layer upon layer of meaning. One day they will help you realize one thing. The next, as your perspective changes, a deeper meaning will reveal itself. The same words will deepen in power and strength, pulling you along the path the further you go.
This is why you read. This is why you join groups of like-minded truth seekers. This is the power of Church and Temple. It is the power of study groups, classes, and clubs. It is the power of online forums (I recommend guides and communities in this post).
And while you study and connect with others, above all else, spend time with yourself. Call it prayer or meditation – it can function in the same way. Below is the way I prefer to meditate (and I do this exercise many times a day):
Take a breath.
Feel the body – and how wonderful it is. Really appreciate the gifts of bodily experience.
Take another deep breath.
Find something in the present, nearby, that is glorious. The sky, a bed, the sound of birds, a beautiful song, a photograph, etc.
Contemplate the wonders of it.
Connect that feeling to life – see how each thing in this world is like the item you were just contemplating – full of meaning, beauty, joy, and wonder. How amazing this world is! How amazing this experience is!
Connect to each person and living being – their experience is just as amazing and wonderful! Their experience is just as beautiful and glorious!
Sit in this feeling of joy and love for all of life – for yours and theirs – as long as you like.
Breathe, and come back to the present.
I’ve been blessed because I have been surrounded by spiritual mentors from birth. It’s been relatively easy for me to find communities with which to connect who nurtured my growth. Everyone is not so lucky, which is why I was led to begin these compassion posts and newsletter (you can sign up here). Out of that came the development of my class the Heart Unboxed, and coaching.
I really recommend you find your community. That could be with The Heart Unboxed class. It could be at your local community center. It could be on the golf course or garden. It doesn’t matter where it is, as long as you have it and it genuinely feeds your spirit.
I can’t stress enough that you need guides – without a teacher, it is very difficult to get to a state of Unconditional Love. I would be honored to be your guide on this journey, if you would have me (to see if we’re a good match, contact me about a “Rapid Change” session here). It doesn’t matter who the guide is, as long as they resonate with you and lead you further on your path.
Remember: You are loved.
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