How do “heaven” in Christianity and
“awareness” in nonduality relate?
According to my concept heaven and awareness
are the same one Source of Life.
There is only one Reality,
and both traditions use words
for us to dis-cover our true nature,
here and now.
It is not easy to earnestly work our way
through the misconceptions
and thinking errors that create
“this world” of name and form.
The kingdom, heaven, our true nature,
is always whole and complete,
unaffected by appearances
on the stage of time and space.
For decades I couldn’t see
that my identity as the thinker
(assuming, hoping and believing)
was the sense of separation
from God – Reality, that I suffered.
Only through direct human inter-change
was I gifted with the relaxing
of my resistance and misguided thinking.
It takes humor and humility
to see that my suffering, for decades,
was simply a misunderstanding hidden
behind pride, shame and unexamined thinking.
Heaven is our natural realm,
dis-covered after personal identity is debunked.
It was very easy for me
to be stuck in thinking,
even with the most noble intentions:
“One God and Father of all,
who is over all and through all and in all.”
For the prepared thinking mind this is none-sense.
“Heaven” in Christianity and “awareness” in nonduality come from different philosophical and spiritual contexts, but there are some interesting ways in which they can be related or compared.
Ultimate Reality: In nonduality, awareness is often seen as the ultimate reality, the unchanging and eternal aspect of existence that underlies all phenomena. In Christianity, heaven can also be seen as an ultimate reality, a divine realm where God’s presence is fully realized and where believers hope to attain eternal life.
Transcendence: Both concepts point toward a transcendent state beyond the mundane world. In Christianity, heaven is often portrayed as a realm separate from Earth, where individuals can be in the direct presence of God. Similarly, awareness in nonduality transcends the individual ego and the limitations of the material world, allowing a direct connection to the fundamental nature of reality.
Unity: Nonduality emphasizes the idea of oneness, that all apparent distinctions between self and other, subject and object, are illusory. In Christianity, the concept of heaven can also involve a sense of unity, where believers are united with God and with each other in a harmonious and loving way.
Transformation of Consciousness: Both concepts can involve a transformation of consciousness. In nonduality, the shift to recognizing awareness as the true self leads to a change in perception and understanding of reality. Similarly, the idea of entering heaven in Christianity often implies a transformation of the individual’s state of being, where they are freed from suffering, sin, and separation.
Inner Experience: Nonduality often emphasizes direct experiential understanding rather than intellectual belief. Similarly, many Christian mystics and contemplatives emphasize the importance of a personal and intimate experience of God, which can be seen as a form of heightened awareness.
Language and Limitations: Both concepts also grapple with the limitations of human language and understanding when it comes to describing the divine or the ultimate reality. Nondual awareness is often considered ineffable and beyond description, much like the concept of heaven in Christianity.
Paths to Realization: While the paths to realization may differ, both traditions emphasize the potential for individuals to awaken to a higher truth. In nonduality, this awakening often involves realizing one’s true nature as awareness. In Christianity, it involves aligning one’s life with the teachings of Jesus Christ and seeking a relationship with God.
However, it’s important to note that these concepts also have substantial differences due to their respective theological frameworks, cultural contexts, and specific teachings. The relationship between “heaven” in Christianity and “awareness” in nonduality might be a matter of interpretation, and individuals from each tradition might view their concepts in their own distinct ways.