Sometimes I have those reoccurring thoughts that just keep popping in my mind…I know there is probably a reason why but I am not sure about this one. I have been thinking a lot about Heaven and life in general. I feel like my thoughts are distorted because they are a little out of the norm I guess.
Anyway, I have been thinking so much about life and death in general. I wonder, if Heaven is so wonderful and it is where we want to end up, why don’t we wish to go there sooner? Why, instead of being sad that people pass away, that we are not happy that they have finally made it there? I mean, I understand we would miss them, but why shouldn’t we be happy for them? Or even envy them? Why do we spend so much time trying to stay healthy and live longer when life is difficult and Heaven is, well, Heaven? Why not want to get there as soon as possible? A few months ago I heard a story about an 18 year old girl who died in a tragic car accident. I thought to myself, “She is lucky. She got the easy way out.” Isn’t that horrible? I didn’t feel sorry for her, I envied her. I don’t really talk about this because I feel like people will think I am suicidal. I do not feel that way…at least not consciously. Weird.
Does this sound like someone who leads a miserable life, or do many others think of these questions?
Let me know your thoughts on this please!!
A. You mention in your letter that you feel like your thoughts are distorted because they are out of the norm. Your thoughts are much more common than you might think. From the earliest moments of recorded history, mankind has had these thoughts. It is safe to assume that man’s thoughts on this topic had occurred even before recorded history. These are the thoughts that bring and have brought individuals to religion. Philosophically speaking your thoughts are existential. They are thoughts of being.
I’m sure that you’ve heard the expression “the philosophical questions.” The philosophical questions are those questions that ask: why am I here, where did I come from, what am I supposed to be doing, where will I go after I die?
Your thoughts are of this philosophical bent. Not every religion believes in heaven. But every religion deals with the survival of death. The survival of death means more than simply “am I going to exist after death?” It will also ask “where will I be going, what will I be doing?”
You specifically mentioned heaven. I know of no religion that believes in heaven and does not believe in God. If you believe in heaven, then you must believe in God. It was God who created heaven. It was God who created you. And it was God who put you in this world, in the circumstances that you find yourself in.
You question the purpose of life. You are basically asking does life have a purpose? Is it a temporary inconvenience, of no relative value, that simply delays you from that of ultimate value: heaven? Have you asked a good question or a silly trivial question? The answer is: you have asked a very good question that many philosophers have asked before you. It is such a good question that you should not be given a trivial answer. The question is of such ultimate complexity that you should not be satisfied with a trite or dogmatic answer.
Anyone who offers you an answer is in essence suggesting that they know as much as God or knows the mind or purpose of God. Can mere humans or science know the mind of God? After all, we don’t know where we came from, we don’t know why we’re here, we don’t know what we’re supposed to be doing and we don’t know where will be going (when we die and we will die). Science has told us much about creation. Science can take us back to the Big Bang but no further. What science tells us about creation and the Big Bang is simply unimaginable. Science tells us that there was nothing; no matter, no space, no time, no light.
Imagine, no space, all things at the same point. Imagine no time, no before, no after, no “right now.” I say imagine but really what I mean to say, is try to imagine because I know full well that it is impossible to imagine. However, it is essential to try.
Though no one can give you a good answer, including our best quantum physicists and cosmologists, it is essential to understand the complexity of the question. There was a time that science would laugh at the idea of heaven or the survival of death. Today science proposes a reality that is so amazingly complex, that it may well be beyond human comprehension. Science talks about our existing in many dimensions, beyond the three of which we are aware, height, width, length (and time, the possible fourth). Science says we exist in those dimensions but we are unable to perceive them. Though we can’t perceive them we can prove their existence, mathematically. At least that is the contention of many quantum physicists. Perhaps even more impressively, science suggests the existence of a “multiverse,” of which our universe is just one of an infinite number of others. Each universe has its own laws of physics and each is different. Science also says that perhaps we exist, you and I, in each of those universes. Science also says that time, may simply be an illusion, not real at all.
As science becomes more advanced, as it discovers more knowledge, it allows for the existence of God, of heaven, of the survival of death.
Not everyone thinks about the philosophical questions or about quantum physics or about cosmology but those that do are certainly not among the unintelligent. No, your questions and thoughts are neither simple or abnormal. Those are thoughts of an insightful mind. You say that you are absolutely not suicidal. I would suspect however, that you are struggling. Though struggling is not pleasant, it is a part of life.
I can’t tell you why you are here or where you’re going. I can’t tell you because it is so amazingly complex that only God could tell you.
It should be the simplest thing in the world to trust in the intentions of the only being who could answer those question for you, God: who created “all of heaven and earth.”
And that would include you.
If I can be of any further assistance, please just write back.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 16 Feb 2012
Randle, K. (2012). Recurring Thoughts, Heaven and Questions of Spirituality. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 25, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/02/16/recurring-thoughts-heaven-and-questions-of-spirituality/