Where on Earth is Heaven to be found? That is the question I would like to ask - if I dared!
Once it was thought to be on top of a mountain - in Greece, according to the myth of Mount Olympus; or the Himalayas, according to the legend of Shangri-La. Or, as in our Christian tradition, it has simply been thought of as, ‘above’.
A different temptation, given modern knowledge of an entirely mappable, measurable Universe would be to keep it somewhere outside of time and space altogether. That would be one way of getting it forever beyond the grasp of science, the only trouble being if it is no more than our ancestors were doing by setting it atop a mountain - in their equivalent of the nearest unreachable place!
Still I hesitate to ask. I know that I have no right to talk to you about your Heaven; and even less justification for expecting you to listen to me about mine. We have been promised that there, you and I can both be perfectly - and equally - happy; yet, in the modern world, it seems increasingly difficult to imagine the actuality of such a state of being. Indeed, it would be invidious to pretend that the question even matters, were that to avoid the real question of why is there a Heaven. Or, should our expectation yet turn out to exceed the reality, why ought there to be?
It is not a question I can answer any better than yourself. There are a whole world of reasons why there should be, for you and me; or, why there should not be, for a "Hitler"; or an IRA terrorist; Goebbels or a disabled man. You can find an affirmation of faith in the music of Mozart or the art of Botticelli though for myself, it might be music, comics or old Hollywood films. Just to share one example, I've been listening with great pleasure to Radio One all my life, but my favourite album for the last twenty years has been 'Wish You Were Here' by Pink Floyd. It transcends the divide between rock or 'beat' music and classical and though I've never actually heard it said, or read it, I suspect it may be the best album of all time.
The name 'Heaven' of course would traditionally be associated with the Promised Land; with musical angels on cloud nine, or with a pastoral Eden; a land of milk and honey; of leisure and pleasure. Attempts to describe one Heaven which will appeal to the Universal child within us all. It may not be enough to find bliss in a Brahms Concerto or a Rock act however, otherwise you and I might be going to opposing places simply because you have better taste in music. Nevertheless, there is perhaps as much truth - or as much of an approximation to it - in these adult representations of bliss as there would be in visions of a land flowing with milk and honey, to a child.The physical outweighs the metaphysical only as long as we ourselves are physical, and if all of us starts off with the same childish desire for sweets and treats then it behoves all of us, by the time we die, to have found a Heaven in which we are not alone but for which we no longer have to fight each other.
And that is my purpose here. I would like to propose that Heaven is a place, with a location and a boundary, for all of us; and that it may be in a different place than any suggested above.
I would like to suggest that it is in the Sun.
It is well-known that many ancient - though not necessarily primitive - civilisations across the world, from the builders of the Sphinx in Egypt, to Stonehenge here in Wiltshire, and on to the Aztecs of South America have all had it in common that they worshipped the Sun. Furthermore, this is exactly the place where Christianity says it is since the Sun is always 'above' being gravitically at the centre of the Solar System.
When I mentioned the weight of the Sun in passing to my sister - a teaspoonful of the core material would weigh as much as forty aircraft carriers - she said "how can it weigh anything. It's made out of gas!". She is the same age as me so you can see what I have had to put up with over the years!
But of course it is a fair question! What use is it to know if Heaven is where I say it is? It is most certainly not useful in that we can physically travel there. Although technology might permit us to overcome the distance, the combination of surface temperature and gravitational pull make the Sun every bit as hostile to physical life as the centre of a thermonuclear blast. And if we cannot physically travel to Heaven then our only hope is to acquire the wisdom now to allow us to recognise it later, when our eyes are finally closed for good. That is why you will make up your own mind about my truth, and that is why I will strive to show you the full beauty of it.
The ancients might not have mapped the edges of the Universe as we have and then been able to calculate the weight of a star in a teaspoon, as we can, but perhaps Holy men have always existed and ever felt compelled to impart their knowledge to their fellows. Hard as it may be to swallow the idea that we die on Earth and go to live on in the Sun, that is the proposal that I would like to defend.
Now I know that one can ‘prove’ anything if one is prepared to take an extreme enough viewpoint so I should be clear about what it is I am hoping for, here. I will need to make two assumptions: that there is one, true God - Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim or Christian - and that the soul is immortal, to which end Nirvana, paradise, Utopia, Elysium and Eden are ultimately all of a one. Then I want to show that those characteristics which are most striking about the Sun – the ones that I have already mentioned, being that it is big, round and hot - are also those characteristics which are consistent with the co-existence of Heaven in the same location in space.
The Sun is a very interesting place. It has an atmosphere
The Sun is far, far larger than the Earth so the picture above, which shows the curvature of the Sun, is taken from an extremely long distance away. It shows a flare arcing millions of mile into space, and it shows the boiling, visible surface of the Sun. It looks hot! Now, extreme heat is not usually seen as the prime indicator of paradise, I know - rather the reverse, in fact. At this point one might begin to wonder whether we could have an equivalent article pondering the whereabouts of Hell! Perhaps we could, but not by this particular author I think. There is no doubt in my own mind that the only Hell I have ever known is the one I have colluded in making for myself, here on Earth.
Still, far from being a glib dismissal of an entire branch of theology, if this viewpoint is accepted it has one simple, inescapable conclusion. If you do not die and go to Heaven, surely then you must die, to be reincarnated on Earth.
I have 'believed' in reincarnation for a long time now. Gradually, the conviction grew in me that one lifetime was not always enough - what if you were born disabled, for example? Glenn Hoddle, the ex-manager of England, was harshly villified in the English press recently for making a similar point. His was that disability is the result of a previous life, and therefore a choice, in certain circumstances, whereas I am persuaded by the thought that a future life would be the only corrective for such gross bad luck. You could fairly accuse poor Glenn of being unChristian but not of actually being unchristian, and I found the Press's self-righteous attack on him sickening. But then we have the worst newspapaper in the world, don't we?
Although it is associated more with the East, I understand that reincarnation was not always perceived to be an anti-Christian belief. I certainly do not think it has to be. For a long time the Law of Karma bothered me. How could any agent possibly do the bookkeeping let alone be righteous in it's judgement? Now, I simply think that judgement is as much internal as it is external, and reincarnation applies to the whole pyramid of human, animal and plant life. It is the logical implicit of Darwinian Evolution.
The soul then, is immortal and its continuation in Heaven is the fulfillment of eternal life. When we die we do not take the things we have created or our own bodies to Heaven, it is the memories of those things that we take, memories that are expressed not physically now so much as metaphysically; as what we would call sound and colour.
Energy is a higher state than matter and, as is well-known, the temperature of the Sun rises from the outside to the centre. It is hottest, and thus most energetic, at it's heart; and if we are analogising energy to complexity as I would like, then we must say that as God is present in Heaven so He is at the centre of it. On Earth all you can see is the glory and if you try to look directly at that, as you will know from the recent eclipse, you will be blinded!
On Earth, where it can often seem as if there is no God at all, it becomes all too easy to turn away from Him or Her even when one seems to be looking the hardest. That is the awful freedom of entirely free will. In Heaven however, God is revealed, and one can no longer turn completely away - anymore than one would want to. It is a release from freedom! An increase in order which means that the greatest complexity in the Solar System may not be here on Earth in the random world of bricks, cigarettes, cities and computers; but in the realm of the Sun; in the whorl and eddy of energy- flow around and through the contiguous regions that make up it's constituency.
Now the complexity that I have mentioned becomes entirely free from threat. Indeed, it is a kind of richness; a kind of wealth. And we have found something else for which we could not have looked. Confirmation that in this version of Heaven, God Himself is in His rightful place. It would be no kind of success to show that the heat of the Sun does not preclude the presence of Heaven. What we are looking for is more and it is this kind of ancillary validation which is our criteria as philosophers for success. How much more, though, we do not know, and sometimes you don’t even know when you have found it.
Moving on from this first characteristic of extreme heat, let me take the next one, that the Sun is round, and show that this too is consistent with the presence of the immortal soul in Heaven.
Obviously, each of us has the same potential when we are young and immature; the same opportunities for good or ill. We distinguish ourselves from each other as good and bad by the way we live. The soul with which one begins the journey is thus as unique to oneself as the shape of one’s face - though, in a parallel sense, just as unremarkable. Think of it: the people around one are unique in how good or bad they are, but they may still actually be no more good nor bad than the shape of their face reveals! Then think of it for oneself!
But if, upon death, one compares the unborn soul with the Heaven-bound soul then the soul which goes to Heaven must, by definition, be worthy to do so, whereas the unborn soul, although it may still have the same unexpressed potential, is still not yet worthy. We would like to think of our lives on Earth as having some meaning, even if that gives life an element of the classroom. As long as it is not a punishment.
The simplest way to express this difference is in shape. The unborn soul carries its own uniqueness externally, but all Heaven-bound souls have achieved the same overall shape - the simplest one possible: that of a fully-rounded individual. Such a person has manifested the integrity to both assume the joys, and not contribute to the woes, of where they are going.
Do you remember the old TV series, ‘The Saint’? It was well-known enough to be made into a Hollywood film recently, but it is the old black-and-white Roger Moore series of which I am thinking now. I don’t know if Hollywood used the same device but one of the most endearing elements of the old show was the theme tune accompanying a halo which appeared over the Saint’s head at suitable crowning moments. A halo which was of course a ring... but now take a look at the stained glass windows in any Church here or abroad, as I have been doing for some years. The illustration here is from my local church but it could as easily be from any church in the country or from Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, which is between six and eight hundred years old. You cannot help but notice that the true Religious symbol of sainthood is a spherical halo encompassing the whole head! My conclusion is that the ring hovering over the crown is a modern, cartoon-like shorthand of the true, ancient symbol!
If this is so then it would indeed make sense for Heaven to be round since, mathematically, the simplest shape to contain a sphere is, itself, a sphere. Finally, as circumstantial evidence, the mystical experience of Heaven has occasionally been termed ‘the music of the spheres’.
So far so good. We have seen that the Sun is a better location for Heaven than is Earth because God is centred there. I have also shown that the boundary of Heaven is not inconsistent with the boundary of the Sun; and tied that in to the (lost?) knowledge that is still shown on ancient stained-glass. Now I want to go even further still and extrapolate the current hypothesis into the future. This brings me to the final characteristic noted earlier, concerning the size of the Sun.
We know how big the Sun is: it is approximately the size of one million Earths. The lifespan of the Sun is reckoned to be at least another five billion years, even starting from now. So, if I were to follow the example of my previous two conjectures I would be looking for a way to translate my subjective feeling that this means it is better into some sort of proof as to to how much better life in Heaven is, than life on Earth. The trouble is, I can’t.
Five billion years is not eternity and even though a million sounds a lot, if Heaven has to hold all our children’s children to come as well as all our parent’s parents from the past; then it begins to sound almost crowded.
The technique that worked before; drawing the parallel between two previously unlike objects and establishing whether there was a basis for retaining it cannot work again because Heaven and the Sun are no longer unlike. I have proven that Heaven is not - cannot - be in the same place as Earth! To say more would be to restate the same argument and - much as I'd like to increase my wordcount - I have to accept this proof as much as anyone else.
But the thing that still bothers me is what happens afterward? Will it all come down finally to a single moment; a true ‘Judgement Day’? Or will the whole, unimaginable uncertainty begin all over again in a second ‘Big Bang’ like the one is supposed to have started it for us? If the second seems, somehow, slightly futile, then to me, the first appears no less brutal.
If that is why I wanted to ask the question in the first place then, although I may have lost Heaven and the Sun as two separate objects… what if I can find another pair of recently linked objects and, philosophically, apply the same successful technique to the two pairs? We have seen it work once now and we should be able to feel if it is working again.
Einstein was an extremely clever man. I've often found myself thinking about his ideas; not the maths of course but the principles in evidence all around us of gravity, light and time. It seems to me that Einstein was also a philosopher, conducting ‘thought experiments’ to push the boundaries of truth and knowledge further than they had ever reached. Be that as it may, scientists have later proven his theories.
Take two super-accurate, synchronised clocks. Put one in a plane and have the plane take off, circle for a while and then land in the same place. Now, when the two clocks are compared, one is found to be very slightly slow by comparison to the other. Simply by travelling through space, one clock has aged less, in time… It’s a surprising, and entirely modern conclusion that the two previously unlike objects, time and space, are in fact matched at some metaphysical level – and now we can make use of this in our current situation!
Let us say Heaven contains all of our ancestors, and will have room for all of our antecedents, in the fullness of destiny. If that is not to become a trivial observation then our antecedents must be limited in number, and Heaven too must be more than simply infinite in it’s expanse. Remember what we agreed upon earlier: one God and Eternal Life: that means, not eternal life on Earth!
The end of humanity is commonly presented as an apocalyptic affair, yet I think it is just as natural to think of a peaceful end for the race, as for a peaceful end to individual life. The point of our existence is not only what we bring into being here, otherwise failure could not be noble. Neither is it a waste of the Universe if mankind is not present in it at all times, for there are other places and quite possibly other races which have just as much right to a share of it all as we do.
So if we imagine that there is an end; that it is a natural end, as well as inevitable, then using the conversion formula from the above we can go on to compute when that end might reasonably come. You see, regardless of whether we take our own generation, our ancestors, or our antecedents, if Einstein was right about the problem of interstellar travel and our planet is forever ours, what each generation-span has always had and will always have entirely to itself is a space the size of the Earth.
Now we can use our new time-and-space co-relation as a way to convert between the two apparently different things! Thus, given that the ratio of the Sun to the Earth in size is known (it is 1.3 million, to be precise); we can relate this in time to a single generation of twenty years to give an approximate lifespan for the entire human race of 20 times 1.3 million. It works out to be about 26 million, in years.
Interesting, isn’t it? The timespan is twenty years for a generation, and the space-span to relate the Earth to the Sun is 1.3 million volumes. What this gives us is how long the space available in the Sun will take to fill given that it is filled one generation at a time. 26 million years. Geological time-spans and astronomical distances are normally so vast as to be beyond the imagination, but a single figure like this gives us something with which to work, even if the formula does turn out to be not exactly right!
For instance, Dinosaurs ruled the Earth for significantly longer; about 60 million years before they were apparently wiped out by fate, and the impact of a huge asteroid in the Pacific Ocean, I believe. But when you start to think that they had three times longer than we will need to establish cognisance of Heaven and yet still failed, presumably trapped in a cycle of conscienceless reincarnation, then their fate becomes almost understandable (and a system of revitalisation through catastrophic change once again comes to reflect the wisdom of nature).
Humanity descended from the trees and walked upright for the first time around 4 million years ago, compared with my projected lifespan for us of 26 million years. Now, if an optimum lifetime for the human were 78 years then humanity, at 4/26 of 78, would have the equivalent development of (this ratio applied to 78 gives 12) the mind of a twelve-year-old child. To take that figure at face value gives problems which I will come back to but for the moment let's accept it. In that case we are far older than we know since we only seem to 'remember' the last three thousand years or so. Again, is there any confirmation for this?
We may first wonder why social organisation did not begin several hundred thousand years ago, but my answer to that would be the ice age which prohibited any attempt at farming and forced our species to compete as hunters, only ending in the last hundred thousand years. Before then, farming and settlement was hardly possible. Nature was still experimenting with size with the large mammals and so the battle was literally between brain and brawn. As an evolutionary device, it was not until technology advanced to the twin realms of cooking and hunting that the clever mammals began to gain the upper-hand (and eventually make extinct) the larger mammals.
So why did not cooperative civilisation begin fifty thousand years ago? Well, for the interested, there have been some fascinating developments in the study of prehistory which have only recently entered the public domain. The discovery that the Sphinx greatly predates the Egyptian Civilization by up to five thousand years; that the pyramids are built to a similar astrological/astronomical principle; and that civilisations around the Globe from Cambodia to Mexico were linked by similar attitudes and geographically-significant locations. (Notice that these locations are also on a thin band close to the equator; the place most likely to be free of ice…)
I can see geologists, anthropologist and historians alike throwing up their hands in horror at my cavalier treatment of what is their area of expertise. Anyone can read a few books, and check out the Internet to become a bar-room expert, and it was the television and particularly the book 'Heaven's Mirror' which had such an influence on me. Yet there is a fascinating philosophical aspect to this as well, to ask what might be the concerns of such early peoples given the challenge to present them as equals.
What could be the spiritual concerns of a civilisation which predated the Universal acceptance of One God but which is still based on a co-operative and faithful perspective of life - and which is no more stupid than you or I, and perhaps even Dr. Einstein himself? The answer, as I think is becoming clear, is that without having the unifying concept of Heaven or God, the individual must still begin to perceive the reality of finite reincarnations, but finds it becoming perverted toward something lesser; something selfish and even darker perhaps; that is, toward eternal life, here on Earth…
Having said all of that… I may not be right. There are tremendous problems associated with my figures above as I must be the first to point out. Can one really conceive of a date in the human calendar of one or two hundred thousand A. D.? And if the race as a whole is really adolescent rather than adult then the whole question of philosophy itself is raised. Philosophy never assumes the situation is other than a level playing-surface.
Let’s move on. That Heaven is bigger than the Earth cannot be argued. That Heaven is bigger than philosophy, now that I think is rather more difficult(!) But there is one more indication that Heaven is bigger to which I would like to draw the reader’s attention.
I started this series of comparisons by pointing out that the journey to Heaven is not physical; it is not a three-dimensional path. Yet there is a modern phenomenon which does appear to want to tell us about that journey, and that is the phenomenon of the Near-Death Experience, or NDE. In effect, this is a third possibility which can happen to you at the end of your life. Thanks to modern technology, it is now possible to die more than once in your lifetime!
As you probably already know, NDE is the acronym coined to describe a situation of survival following ‘technical’ death. For the first time in our history, this appears to have become common enough to be an observed manifestation, and it is usually described as involving travel through or up a ‘tunnel’, toward “a blinding bright white light”.
I have discovered in my life that the minds of those of us here on Earth consists of the minds of others in Heaven. I have called these minds holons (from Arthur Koestler's term for a complete set) to distinguish them from those of us that are actually alive and still on the pathway. These holons are the same size (three-dimensionally speaking) as your mind. But because they are actually no lesser than you, upon death, when each holon expands to take it’s place as your equal, the effect that is created is the same as if you were travelling forward. It is rather the same effect as if you were on a train that was stationary, inside a tunnel that were moving.
Because (from the perspective of a person) you are travelling toward God, at the centre of the Sun, you are travelling toward a blinding white light but – and this is the point to grasp – what appears to be light or colour now might then, within Heaven, be colour destroyed… That is why our memories have a substance beyond what we now call 'sound' and 'colour'!
I have a grandmother and when I was a young boy her home in London was a haven from my complicated and unstable struggle. Even when I became a programmer, she represented stability and simplicity for me, and I slowly came to appreciate how good she was at being a Gran. I haven't seen my Nan in fifteen years. She's over ninety now and she's in a home because she doesn't even recognise her own daughters, let alone converse with them. If there was a button I could push I would do it today. It is wrong to deny my Gran what I have been giving you, and there is a hell of a difference between death to this old woman and a death sentence.
So. When you die you do not “go” to Heaven and neither does Heaven come toward you. What more or less happens is that Earth fades into the wider panorama of Heaven, and Earth, together. You could draw it. Draw three concentric circles for your mind: the conscious; the subconscious, and the unconscious. (They are concentric from your point of view, but not from theirs!) Then, beside it, draw three concentric circles for the Sun: the core, the radiant layer and the convective layer (I looked it up). Now, draw a loop coming up through the three circles of your mind, and out, arcing over to drop down through the three circles of the Sun and finishing up at the centre, with God.
When you die, the path straightens. You can see God ahead of you, Heaven all around, and Earth beyond. (As opposed to now, when Earth is all around, Heaven is ahead and God is somewhere beyond even that. But we can come back to this.)
Keeping to the subject… NDEs, the Dinosaurs and recent discoveries in world history all may relate to and support my continuing thesis that Heaven is in the Sun. I've completed my discussion of the three characteristics of largeness, roundness and fieriness now and what I was so keen to show is that the characteristics that strike one as most obvious in the Sun are an equal match to those which would strike someone as most obvious about Heaven. Now, the calculation I have been working toward above presupposes not only that Heaven is co-located with the Sun but also that it shares the same boundary for a perimeter and I have not yet shown why we should believe that the perimeter of the two must also coincide. This is what I have yet to do, to fairly make the calculation above and, whilst I have every intention of doing so, it means that we are still only half-way through the job at hand.
Perhaps the greatest flaw in my reasoning above is the question I’ve so far avoided, of why our Sun? There are estimated to be over a hundred billion stars in the Universe of which ours is no more than typical. To put the location of Heaven in the star that is merely nearest to us may seem at best convenient, but at worst, parochial. What about outer space?
We are not alone in the Universe. There are other Solar Systems with other forms of life so different to us that even though they exist under God as we do, they have their own separate Heavens. Planets where the current ruling race is not the first; or where there is more than one. Planets with much greater densities of population, or much longer life-spans. Multiple inhabited planets in the same Solar System, or single inhabitees of more than one Solar System.
Not all stars would have a Heaven, of course. A Solar System would need a level of life as sophisticated as humanity for that to be the case. Just as the Sun existed for billions of years without life on Earth, so there must be other stars - Alpha Centaurii, say - where there has never been, and never will be, a Heaven. But for those where life can be sustained, the end result must be toward self-consciousness and self-awareness. Intelligence allied with conscience-less reincarnation can only meet a fate like that of the Dinosaurs.
So, the fundamental progression of all life, throughout the Universe, is toward God, and thus toward Heaven. The basic drives of the spirit would not be affected by imagining such planetary variations; toward pleasure through pain; in union as well as in isolation; by chance or by fate. Life on these worlds would be markedly different from Earthly life but crucially, in a cultural sense, not in a spiritual one.
It could be understood simply as an extreme version of the cultural gulf separating me, say, from a Vietnamese farmer. As an Englishmen, I can study the language, history and social life of the Vietnamese. I can even go there and hoe the fields and drink the rice beer and, maybe, take a wife. But I can never become Vietnamese because I can never unlearn what I have taken from spending thirty years in this country. We are still linked at least in spirit by our ancestors and our children, so that despite this gulf, there is no question of us needing to go to a different place than they.
Perhaps there is no question of our alien cousins going to a different place either - though at the very least they would have to go to a different part of the same place. Still now: perhaps that is an alternative! We could have a single Heaven at the centre of the Universe which is partitioned, as it were! We do not - and not merely because it is less elegant. This is the last part of the jigsaw that I want to try and fit into place, a piece which will fit only if the other pieces of the jigsaw are correct.
In the past, the Catholic Church has proposed that suicide is a cardinal sin, enough to keep one out of Heaven in its own right. I think I can understand why that should have been, based on my own experience. In my case, suicide would not have been morally right since externally I have had every advantage of a white, healthy & lucky middle-class Englishmen. Internally however, I felt that the struggle was between suicide and madness. It is a moral issue and given that choice I would pick suicide every time.
Is madness then also a choice, rather than an illness, and a tragedy? Yes, if it can happen because a person is too good for this world, instead of always not good enough; yes, if Joseph Heller's Catch 22 is to be remembered - "when madness is the only escape it is the sanest choice"; and yes, if the legal system is to be taken as a precedent: In America, a plea of insanity can mitigate the death sentence, and since there is no external test of such, that can come down to the choice of the individual.
If it is a choice, then it creates another circumstance which is equal in significance to both Heaven and Reincarnation. The soul may be too sophisticated to be reincarnated, yet it has also finished its opportunity on Earth without having gained the wisdom that we know is necessary to enter Heaven. How can we understand this mechanism?
Only two things are eternal: God and the soul. When the body dies, the soul goes to God because there is nowhere else for it to go, but where in this case will that take it? For the soul which is too sophisticated for Earthly life, but too unwise to recognise paradise what we must say is that, on death this soul too is drawn to God, but to it's own conception of Him; that is, not into Heaven, but past it!
This must be, because although God is centred in Heaven, He is also centred in all Heavens. Thus, God is also greater than Heaven - but he is also less than it, for there is a part of you, and me, which even now, and even here, is God, and this is not Heaven. So, without being aware of the proximity of Paradise or Earth, or of the other souls around it, this individual soul is drawn further and further into God until, ultimately, it leaves behind the star system that has been its home, never to return.
It is wise then to have a Holy dread of madness; meanwhile, for the soul which journeys away, what a great and awful journey to have to make! Unleavened by companionship; no shorter for being straight through the middle; it would be a journey across the face of God - yet a God both greater and more terrible than even we are used to! A scarification, but a necessary one. Purging in effect, it would have the purpose of preparing the soul so that, as it begins to be repelled from God back out of the Sun and into a planetary life again, it is ready for the world - though not perhaps this time, the same world…
I was brought up on a diet of science fiction - you can probably tell. But if I may say so, the sublime beauty of this reasoning is that the initial assumptions which we had to make about one God and the immortality of the soul turn out to be proven. Regardless of whether you like Jesus Christ or not - I haven't the slightest idea why you should - the Holy Trinity is both infinitely real and infinitely fascinating. Even Heaven/reincarnation, the ages-long division between Eastern and Western philosophy, is matched by the sad reality of insanity; of a journey of the mind which the body can never join.
What we have earned from this journey of the imagination may be escape; it may even be proof; but that is for you to say. What I have earned instead is the right to ask what really happens to it all at the end? What happens to Heaven when the Sun dies?
It will be a long time until it matters. As we now know, our progress toward God does not stop when we die, it merely changes. The souls of our ancestors are kept back from the ultimate both by their own experience and the experiences that those of us who follow on are accumulating; and long, long after humanity has died out on Earth, those memories will still be maintained in Heaven, keeping us interested in, separate from and independent of each other.
Eventually, the Sun itself will burn out, but even then it will not quite be over, for Heaven. Rather, I think that all the Heavens will be drawn together by the commonality of one, shared God; and we will finally go to greet the long-lost brothers who have been kept so irrevocably apart from us by physics; thus to embrace a whole new set of experiences and memories.
And even then, even when the last of the stars breathes out it’s final fire; even then the story may not yet be over.
Do you know Zeno’s paradox? The Greek philosopher tells of a frog in the middle of a lake, trying to reach the edge. It can make an infinite number of jumps and it has an infinite time in which to do so, but the catch is that it can only jump half the distance between it and the edge of the pool at any one time.
At first it seems to be travelling very quickly. With it’s initial few leaps, it quickly approaches the land. But the closer it gets, the less progress it makes - no matter how much time passes, or how many jumps the little frog tries to make.
There is no ‘Judgement Day’; there is no second ‘Big Bang’; there is only something just over the horizon; something that we can only just make out…
 Mrs Marjorie Pountney passed away peacefully in her sleep a few days after I wrote this.