HELL & HEAVEN

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HEAVEN

In the heaven state the fulfilment of desires is not, as in the gross sphere, dependent upon having the object of desire. Fulfilment of desire comes merely through thinking of the object desired. For example, if a person wishes to hear exquisite music, he experiences this pleasure merely by thinking about it. The imaginative idea of exquisite music becomes, in this state, a substitute for the physical sound vibrations in the gross sphere. The pleasure he derives from the thought of exquisite music is much greater than the pleasure he derived in his earthly career from the actual hearing of physical sounds. In the heaven state there are no obstacles between desires and their fulfilment; the pleasure of self-fulfilment through thought or feeling is always at hand.

In fact, even in the earthly sphere of existence some individuals develop this capacity of making their pleasure independent of possession of a gross object. Beethoven, for example, was completely deaf; and yet through the exercise of imagination alone, he was able to enjoy intensely his own compositions of music. In a sense, even on earth he might figuratively be said to have been in the heaven state.

In the same way, a person who meditates on the Beloved with love derives happiness merely through the thought of the Beloved, without requiring His physical presence. After death, in the heaven state, the enjoyment of such imaginative fulfilment is infinitely greater since consciousness is then unburdened of the outermost veil of the gross body.

Discourses, 7th ed, pp. 308-309