What if there is a continuum of levels of existence, such that at whatever point or level the soul is currently at there are many “higher” or more advanced levels above him/her, and, similarly, many lower, more base levels below the current level?
The world that you and I are currently living in is quite bad, spiritually dark, unjust, brutal and cruel. We all know this from our every day lived experiences and interactions with others. (Pity poor animals that suffer terribly at the hands of cruel humans today throughout the world.) But, as bad and corrupted as this world is, there are many lower worlds with even poorer, more hellish conditions with more brutish individuals inhabiting these. These worlds are in spiritual darkness (nescience). But, if such a continuum of levels, gradations, or planes of existence truly exists, then there are also worlds above this “fallen” one of ours where the souls are more spiritually developed. In these ascendant worlds, the inhabitants have achieved higher levels of consciousness, are more spiritually evolved or developed, and there is thus naturally more love and goodness in their reality.
What of Heaven?
What did Jesus mean when He said “In my Father’s house are many rooms.”? (John, Ch. 14, Verse 2)
For those who do progress to Heaven, do they remain there in a static state for an infinite linear time? This can cause us to wonder. Might there be future opportunities for growth, future assignments or tasks to undertake?
While we live our lives, as difficult and depressing as these can be, let us strive to make progress spiritually and help others to do the same. Let us try to build a more loving world.
some insights from the Vedic tradition of India
A material or gross physical universe exists, and there is a spiritual universe (at a higher vibration, or higher frequency so to speak). The atman (the spiritual monad, or “soul”) inhabits a physical body in this material universe, but is spiritual in its essence and substance, and can graduate to the spiritual universe in time and reside there. The continuing process of birth-death-rebirth (transmigration of the soul, reincarnation) in the material universe is a means of facilitating spiritual evolution over time, and allows for entry into higher or lower worlds depending on the spiritual progress or regression (retrogression) the individual soul has made in its current lifetime.
Western atheists are stuck on materialist science and on excluding God, or a supernatural (spiritual) reality, from their world view. Yet, the atheist position is itself an act of faith (or anti-faith, if you prefer) when you think about it. Materialist science is not competent to speak to the question of God’s existence. For scientists to be fully honest, they need to acknowledge this limitation of materialist science. (In the West today, we tend to give scientists and doctors the deference due a medieval priesthood. Yet, a quite healthy skepticism is appropriate when listening to them.)
As to the ultimate destination or goal for the atman (individual spirit soul), when one finally achieves liberation from Samsara and thus leaves the material universe, he/she enters in to the spiritual home world of Krishna, and remains there forever in bliss with Krishna and other liberated souls. Suffering and death do not exist in this spiritual abode of the Lord.
Some of the artwork, the paintings that depict the teachings of the Vedic philosophy of India are quite moving in this vein: that all that is originates from the ultimate source, which is God (for the Hindus, Lord Krsna, or Krishna), and He permeates and gives rise to and sustains all worlds, all levels, all living entities.
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