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Donal2018

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Heaven on Earth
« on: August 27, 2020, 02:51:05 pm »
So one thing I reject about Abrahamic religion is the idea that the world is a terrible place and we have to work to earn a place in some afterlife heaven. I am a Religious Humanist and believe that this life is probably it, there is no afterlife. As a consequence I feel that we humans need to try and make this world and this life the best it can be.

Yes there is evil in the world, but also good. We should work to eliminate one and expand upon the othrr. Maybe we need to try and build a Heaven on Earth. What do various paganisms say about this if anything? Do we need an Othrrworld  or should we not be morally obligated to try and make this world the best it can be? Can we not make this world a Paradise or a Utopia?

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Re: Heaven on Earth
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2020, 04:52:45 pm »
So one thing I reject about Abrahamic religion is the idea that the world is a terrible place and we have to work to earn a place in some afterlife heaven.

I'm inclined to agree with you on this point.

I feel that we humans need to try and make this world and this life the best it can be.

And also this point.

I'm by no means the leading expert, so perhaps other members will want to add more over time.  But with Druidry it's common to believe in reincarnation (though it's been renamed latterly, and I can't currently recall what the new terminology is).  And between incarnations, one dwells in the 'Otherworld'.  But it's nevertheless also common to subscribe to ideals such as giving back to the community & etc in this world.  So, there being an Otherworld does not preclude striving to improve this one.

Do we need an Othrrworld  or should we not be morally obligated to try and make this world the best it can be? Can we not make this world a Paradise or a Utopia?

I'm not sure about these questions right now, save to say that utopia is for me a nice but unattainable idea.  That's not to say we shouldn't strive in that direction -- I very much believe we should.  Shoot for the moon and all that.
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Anon100

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Re: Heaven on Earth
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2020, 06:06:50 pm »
Do we need an Othrrworld  or should we not be morally obligated to try and make this world the best it can be? Can we not make this world a Paradise or a Utopia?

Personal view here as I tend to go my way rather than stick to a rigid path or know all the details of any one path.

I'm very much going to agree with Perdita here.

I don't think one negates the other, for a start. Even if I go somewhere else when I die it doesn't stop me wanting here to be a good place - I want it to be nice and good so that I know there is a good place even when Ive left it.
I also don't think of it as a responsibility so much as just being me. Responsibility makes it feel like a job where the responsibility may go away at some point. But that's just me picking hairs.

I also think our ideals of Utopia and Heaven are very idealised and some are impractical or potentially boring, after all, whats fun for a decade would get tedious over a century let alone forever.

Donal2018

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Re: Heaven on Earth
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2020, 06:19:23 pm »
So one thing I reject about Abrahamic religion is the idea that the world is a terrible place and we have to work to earn a place in some afterlife heaven. I am a Religious Humanist and believe that this life is probably it, there is no afterlife. As a consequence I feel that we humans need to try and make this world and this life the best it can be.

Yes there is evil in the world, but also good. We should work to eliminate one and expand upon the othrr. Maybe we need to try and build a Heaven on Earth. What do various paganisms say about this if anything? Do we need an Othrrworld  or should we not be morally obligated to try and make this world the best it can be? Can we not make this world a Paradise or a Utopia?

Also I have been thinking a bit about Science Fiction ideas of both Utopias and Distopias. I  have been wondering what role science and technology might be in the future of paganism. Some have said science and religion have little if anthing to do with each othrr, but I am not so sure. I think we need to balance Nature with Technology. Not sure what I am driving at, but I am thinking about society in the future.

ehbowen

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Re: Heaven on Earth
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2020, 02:50:37 am »
So one thing I reject about Abrahamic religion is the idea that the world is a terrible place and we have to work to earn a place in some afterlife heaven. I am a Religious Humanist and believe that this life is probably it, there is no afterlife. As a consequence I feel that we humans need to try and make this world and this life the best it can be.

Yes there is evil in the world, but also good. We should work to eliminate one and expand upon the othrr. Maybe we need to try and build a Heaven on Earth. What do various paganisms say about this if anything? Do we need an Othrrworld  or should we not be morally obligated to try and make this world the best it can be? Can we not make this world a Paradise or a Utopia?

Putting on my "Eric the Heretic" hat here....

To be perfectly honest, I have now come to believe that the Abrahamic notion of Heaven and specifically the Revelation's vision of "a new heaven and a new earth" arose in a time and place when my God, frankly, despaired of ever truly overcoming the corruption of this world and this universe. So the plan was to stabilize it as much as possible for as long as possible while identifying as many like-minded participants as possible and removing them to a place of safety...and then slamming the door closed and locking it, The Last Battle (C. S. Lewis) style, forever. Lewis writes this as a triumph, but in actuality it is a retreat and a surrender—if you subscribe to the "alternate realities" theory there is now a reality where Narnia is no more, Calormen is triumphant, and its subjects who remain no longer have any hope for truth, beauty and justice. Something to think about....

As those of you who have read my ramblings might realize, I don't subscribe to that notion. I believe that it's possible to go all the way down the rabbit hole and confront Satan in his lair. And I think that this starts, in earnest, when my God is physically present in this universe and this world. We had a taste of that two thousand years ago, but for one reason or another (I have some ideas, but they're for later) things were put on hold and the fulfillment of that promise has been sidetracked awaiting orders. For quite a while but not, IMO, forever.
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Donal2018

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Re: Heaven on Earth
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2020, 01:16:50 pm »
Putting on my "Eric the Heretic" hat here....

To be perfectly honest, I have now come to believe that the Abrahamic notion of Heaven and specifically the Revelation's vision of "a new heaven and a new earth" arose in a time and place when my God, frankly, despaired of ever truly overcoming the corruption of this world and this universe. So the plan was to stabilize it as much as possible for as long as possible while identifying as many like-minded participants as possible and removing them to a place of safety...and then slamming the door closed and locking it, The Last Battle (C. S. Lewis) style, forever. Lewis writes this as a triumph, but in actuality it is a retreat and a surrender—if you subscribe to the "alternate realities" theory there is now a reality where Narnia is no more, Calormen is triumphant, and its subjects who remain no longer have any hope for truth, beauty and justice. Something to think about....

As those of you who have read my ramblings might realize, I don't subscribe to that notion. I believe that it's possible to go all the way down the rabbit hole and confront Satan in his lair. And I think that this starts, in earnest, when my God is physically present in this universe and this world. We had a taste of that two thousand years ago, but for one reason or another (I have some ideas, but they're for later) things were put on hold and the fulfillment of that promise has been sidetracked awaiting orders. For quite a while but not, IMO, forever.

That is interesting, thanks for commenting Eric. In a Christian context, I was thinking of the Millennium or the Kingdom of God on Earth. A Christian Paradise or Utopia.

According to lore, the Kingdom begins in our hearts. I believe that we then build the Kingdom in this world through our Works. I keep coming back to the idea that God/gods gave us brains and hands for a reason. We were meant to have sciences technology, and civilzation.

So I think the Kingdom of God is half built. A Pagan perspective on this is the myth of Prometheus. He gave Man kind fire, the basis of technology and knowledge, and the power of the gods. So the gods gave us fire/technology/power. We were meant to have it.

But I know some Christians think Prometheus is Lucifer, and technology is an evil. They believe the Kingdom will just be a giant garden and we will all go back to Nature. I disagree, and think that craft and technology are a gift from God/gods and are the basis for a Utopia, Christian, Pagan, or otherwise. That is my UPG. What do you think?

ehbowen

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Re: Heaven on Earth
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2020, 07:17:54 pm »
But I know some Christians think Prometheus is Lucifer, and technology is an evil. They believe the Kingdom will just be a giant garden and we will all go back to Nature. I disagree, and think that craft and technology are a gift from God/gods and are the basis for a Utopia, Christian, Pagan, or otherwise. That is my UPG. What do you think?

Well, first let me disclaim by saying that in a universe the size of this one there is room for variety...South Seas island paradises among them. If that's the kind of life that you aspire to, that aspiration will be fulfilled. But...

In regards to "craft", how did Jesus sustain himself and his mother's large family during those years between Joseph's (probable—he's not mentioned during the public ministry AT ALL) death and when Jesus finally left home to begin his public ministry? Almost certainly by working in wood—the nearest thing that era had to modern manufacturing. I understand that tradition suggests that some of the plows which Jesus crafted were still being used by area farmers more than a century later.

Finally, in regards to technology overall, my own UPG is that some if not all of the personalities of the Godhead are the biggest Star Trek fans in the universe. Do I really need to say more?
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Donal2018

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Re: Heaven on Earth
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2020, 08:30:58 pm »
Well, first let me disclaim by saying that in a universe the size of this one there is room for variety...South Seas island paradises among them. If that's the kind of life that you aspire to, that aspiration will be fulfilled. But...

In regards to "craft", how did Jesus sustain himself and his mother's large family during those years between Joseph's (probable—he's not mentioned during the public ministry AT ALL) death and when Jesus finally left home to begin his public ministry? Almost certainly by working in wood—the nearest thing that era had to modern manufacturing. I understand that tradition suggests that some of the plows which Jesus crafted were still being used by area farmers more than a century later.

Finally, in regards to technology overall, my own UPG is that some if not all of the personalities of the Godhead are the biggest Star Trek fans in the universe. Do I really need to say more?

Yes I also note the fact that Jesus was a Carpenter taught by Joseph. Old School Technology. I was raised Catholic and we were taught that Joesph was the Patron Saint of Houses. So Joseph and Jesus were Builders. This is in accord with the view that God is the Great Architect of the Cosmos, which is part of what we humans should aspire to emulate.

I am a Trekkie, and find the idea that God/gods/goddesses are Trek fans as well to be a comforting thought. So, I think that our capacity to build and use tech is god given, but we must strive to use it morally. I think that is one theme of Trek. The moral use of technology part, not the god given part.

Also , I do not personally aspire to live in the South Seas, but more power to those who do. I aspire more to the Shining City on the Hill. Surrounded by beautiful forests and ripe golden fields.

Thanks for the response.

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Re: Heaven on Earth
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2020, 09:34:13 pm »
So one thing I reject about Abrahamic religion is the idea that the world is a terrible place and we have to work to earn a place in some afterlife heaven.

Just to be clear, this is not remotely a tenet of Judaism, which one might say is the original Abrahamic religion.  ???

Traditional Jewish wisdom strongly rejects the idea that the "coming world" or any sort of Heaven could ever be as important to us as the world we live in now. Most of our teachings emphasize things we, as Jews, should focus on in order to improve the Earth and its people.

Notably, many stories advance the idea that the Messiah (who ushers in world peace and a paradisaical way of living) will only appear in the world when human beings have learned to overcome our cruelties and bigotries and make a just and kind world ourselves.
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Eastling

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Re: Heaven on Earth
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2020, 09:41:16 pm »
Do we need an Othrrworld  or should we not be morally obligated to try and make this world the best it can be? Can we not make this world a Paradise or a Utopia?

I should also add, after addressing the Judaism issue, that this is a peculiar question to me. It doesn't matter whether we "need" an Otherworld or not to be a Utopia. The land of fantasy and magic is there, just a breath away from our world, and we are at our most mature and powerful when we learn to engage with it without forsaking the imperfect material world.
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Donal2018

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Re: Heaven on Earth
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2020, 09:46:17 pm »
Just to be clear, this is not remotely a tenet of Judaism, which one might say is the original Abrahamic religion.  ???

Traditional Jewish wisdom strongly rejects the idea that the "coming world" or any sort of Heaven could ever be as important to us as the world we live in now. Most of our teachings emphasize things we, as Jews, should focus on in order to improve the Earth and its people.

Notably, many stories advance the idea that the Messiah (who ushers in world peace and a paradisaical way of living) will only appear in the world when human beings have learned to overcome our cruelties and bigotries and make a just and kind world ourselves.

Yes sorry, my mistake, thank you for the correction. I need to study more, maybe a course in Religious Studies. I don't know enouhh about Judaism, and some other religions as well. I am just trying to find my way. No offense intended.

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Re: Heaven on Earth
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2020, 09:48:09 pm »
Traditional Jewish wisdom strongly rejects the idea that the "coming world" or any sort of Heaven could ever be as important to us as the world we live in now. Most of our teachings emphasize things we, as Jews, should focus on in order to improve the Earth and its people.

How traditional is the semi-mystical 'all of Hashem's goodness is broken up into fragments and scattered through the world and needs to be released into the world by human action' thing that I picked up somewhere along the line as How It Works?
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Donal2018

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Re: Heaven on Earth
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2020, 09:59:10 pm »
I should also add, after addressing the Judaism issue, that this is a peculiar question to me. It doesn't matter whether we "need" an Otherworld or not to be a Utopia. The land of fantasy and magic is there, just a breath away from our world, and we are at our most mature and powerful when we learn to engage with it without forsaking the imperfect material world.

I guess that my point would be that this world already is magical. I don't think the world is imperfect which might be part of my original point. The world definitely needs improvements but I do not believe it is imperfect or basically flawed. Others may view diffeently. It might be splitting hairs or boil down to different use of language.i will try to write more later to clarify my position.

(I would like to discuss this more, but I have to shut down soon for the night. I will check this thread tomorrow. Just did not want to bail out in the middle of a discussion).

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Re: Heaven on Earth
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2020, 10:02:34 pm »
How traditional is the semi-mystical 'all of Hashem's goodness is broken up into fragments and scattered through the world and needs to be released into the world by human action' thing that I picked up somewhere along the line as How It Works?

I want to say it's late medieval Kabbalistic and seeped into more mainstream thought somewhat after that, but I'm going to check some of my books first...

...so it appears to be more complicated than that, judging by my books on Jewish mythology and some basic internet searches.

Tikkun olam as a concept--that is, the idea that Jews bear a responsibility to "repair the world" and that therefore the world is broken but worth saving--originates in the early Common Era, no later than the early 3rd century CE. In early times, it was constructed as the idea that God sent out the essence of goodness in vessels (sometimes construed as "the first worlds" which God created and then destroyed because they were imperfect) and those vessels were destroyed somehow when the world was created.

The idea that Hashem himself was shattered in the act of creation, however, appears to be quite new and born largely of applying Holocaust theology to the above idea.
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Re: Heaven on Earth
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2020, 10:15:58 pm »
We had a taste of that two thousand years ago, but for one reason or another (I have some ideas, but they're for later) things were put on hold and the fulfillment of that promise has been sidetracked awaiting orders. For quite a while but not, IMO, forever.

"Dispatch, this is Extra 4011 South, still at Tuscan siding. Do you have any orders for us YET?"

 [ Invalid Attachment ]

(Note for Inclusivity: This is a photo of an abandoned train in Russia. Apparently, during the Cold War the Soviet Union parked many fully functional steam locomotives and cars on remote tracks in Siberia and elsewhere as a contingency in the event that an actual nuclear war took down the national electric grid and electrified locomotives became useless. These were never needed or used (fortunately!) and were left to rot in place. This is one in Siberia; image taken from Reddit.)
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