What is Heaven or a Heavenly Host and what is Hell?
Generally, the word heaven is used to describe a non-physical place or realm in the hereafter where our ancestors reside after physical death. The circumstances of those in the beyond are according to a Universal Justice determined by their comportment while having lived on Earth. This is the general idea of the unseen heaven.
Different cultures have different names for heaven. The Norse had Valhalla, the Germanic; himmel, the Chinese; Tian, the Buddhist Samsara, and so on. Even though each culture’s concept of heaven is similar there are often differences in the purpose of heaven, where it is said to exist and what the beings that enter into it do when they are there.
It is not without significance that in many cultures the original words for heaven also meant sky and often the word heaven is used to mean the stellar firmament and that planets and stars are still often called heavenly bodies.
Whatever it may be called the concept of heaven itself is a much broader and universal concept and in order to be understood better must be explored further.
What is Heaven?
Religious concepts aside; what is the term “heaven” to mean in order that it might paint a more complete picture of the subject matter. If we consider for a moment that people of different professions have several more words that they use to more precisely define exactly what they mean when dealing with the materials and particular processes of their respective professions. To a lay person, a carpenter is someone who simply works with wood. To the carpenter, the dozens of different types of wood alone each have their own names and different uses. To an Eskimo, whos knowledge of snow could mean the difference between life and death, what might appear as simple snow to the average person will likely have a very specific name to precisely describe it. In fact, Eskimos have about 17 different names for snow. These different names for what might appear to be the same thing to an untrained person come from and intense and direct experience with a subject or substance itself. The concept of heaven is the same for most people who are almost completely unfamiliar with it. To most heaven is a distant concept that is very seldom even contemplated and so heaven remains an idea that remains with little definition or form.
In Reality there is a general “Heaven” wherein all possible possibilities exist and are contained. This “All in All” is God. Within this All in All, all other definitions of heaven have their place, order and purpose.
Heaven might mean several things:
The sky itself which in Latin is “cel” and thus the word celestial which also happens to refer to the color celeste or sky blue. In Jakob Lorber’s depiction of this region it is described as a place corresponding to the hereafter stratified into three layers.
The lowest layer, which is the layer right at the Earth surface is where those who are very material and “Earth bound.” It is in this area that human beings who are viced try to satisfy their vices through other people. Also, where the so called dead who still walk the Earth wandering, not accepting or believing themselves to be physically dead.
The next layer above the lowest layer is where those who have accepted their physical demise but are too material to leave the Earth.
The uppermost layer is for those who have been good people on Earth and are awaiting their location into the Astral realm.
This is the physical place that corresponds to the place in the astral world that relates to our Earth in particular where the departed find themselves after their mortal life and is what was often referred to throughout all mysticism.
This general structure or stratification is not too dissimilar from old traditional beliefs. The idea of holy men ascending into the sky (heaven) is clearly described in the Bible and is exactly what Jesus Christ Himself did.
This general celestial abode of the souls of the righteous after death, of immortal beings and angels; is not the same as the abode of God. God being omnipresent has no abode per se. God is everywhere, and in everything, all the time. The Bible puts uses the term “the highest heaven” associating it with being actual abode of God: as stated in (Deut. x.14), “Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord’s thy God.” At this point the celestial heaven is not the abode of God, it is God Himself when referred to as the “Akasha.” This is a hard concept for most people to swollow.
Based on this logic, it would be correct to say that being with God is the same as being in Heaven because the “Kindom of God is within” and therefore also completely at hand at all times. This state can exist even while on Earth and being physical alive.
Along with this conceptual order of “cel”estial heaven should also be included the number of concentric spheres, or spherical shell-like divisions, into which the space about the earth is divided according to the old systems of cosmography that have absolutely nothing to do with astronomy- the order of the spheres. (d. empyrean, n.); These realms are also referred to as separate celestial abodes or seven heavens in the Talmud and Kabbalistic theory. Along this same idea is also the concept of the “heaven of heavens” which would also indicate a hierarchy within the heavenly order much like the concept of the “Holy of Holies.”
or expanse of space surrounding the earth, appearing as a great arch or vault in which the sun, moon, and stars seem to be set (in prose use now commonly in pl.: as, a map of the heavens); sometimes, a particular kind or region of sky, with reference to clearness or cloud, climate, the land beneath, etc. (as, “flowers of all heavens”:
– heaven of heavens, in . Also fig. – seventh heaven, the highest heaven, the abode of God and the most exalted angels, according to rabbinical doctrine; hence, fig., the highest attainable place or state of joy or felicity (as, to feel one’s self raised to the Seventh heaven with delight).
In the past the term “heaven” was also used in medical terminology by some healers. They referred to the soul as a heaven, the physical body as a heaven and the spirit as a heaven as well as their respective realms as heavens. This is very interesting because it opens a few other possibilities that would better define the term heaven itself. Several authors have written of this concept and some have also illustrated it.
The concept of heaven is always represented as a highly organized hierarchy of beings each grouped or organized into specific and primordial realms that together govern and maintain existence in a gradual, steady and purposeful course in a lawful and orderly fashion that is determined by the Deity. It makes sense then, that in the Biblical sense heaven is referred to as a “the kingdom of heaven” which would imply much more than it would seem. As in any kingdom, there must be a hierarchy of beings to assist in its governance.
This being the case, then, “heaven,” in addition to being a place where the departed reside, is also made up of the uncounted beings that put order to it and in it. Also, if the order of life on Earth is also governed by unseen hierarchies, Earth itself can be seen as an organized heaven, albeit physical. The idea that there are multiple realms and consequently multiple heavens within a hierarchy is not too farfetched.
This logic can be extended to include the human being and living things in each of their respective kingdoms. The terms, animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms would make absolute sense.
creating your own heaven.
heaven of heavens
In this context heaven would mean
When discussing the concept of heavenly hosts it is important to define the term first before attempting to explain it. The term heaven has already been discussed and now in defining there term host we will see the concept that arises from the two terms in unison.
The term “host” has a few general meanings. Of instance it can be an organism harboring another organism on or in itself. It can be
Jesus said that; “my Fathers house has many mansions,” for a good reason.
One common theme regarding heaven is that there is a hierarchical nature to the spiritual heaven that has gradations according to the orderliness of heaven. These gradations represent distinct compartmentalized “zones” according to the maturity of those who have been relegated to the specific areas. Consequently, there are the positive angelic realms and their opposite. The maturity of all beings is determined according to their behaviour while having lived on Earth.
Those who, through having lived a “clean life” enter into the positive heaven and those who have lived an “unclean life” enter the negative heaven also called “hell;” the term “clean” is the most accurate term to describe the state of a soul after having lived on Earth. Life on Earth is actually a school of good and evil. Good and Evil are concepts that human beings are exposed to more on Earth than anywhere else. The idea being that the enticing allure of evil that is what material life is made of is to be resisted that the good in us might triumph. The exposure to evil teaches us of the nature of evil. It is easy while on Earth to adopt a little or a lot of evil into our being that eventually needs to be removed.
The observance of the Commandments is intended to generally prevent the adherence of that which is negative into us resulting in what might be best described in a clean life. Should the negative substance of life on Earth be adopted by someone it can have a menacing and spiritually blinding effect that will tend to draw more of the same into the being; like attracting like. This added burden makes for a much more difficult and trying spiritual experience that will bear consequences on Earth and in the astral world (the beyond). The Astral world, where the soul resides is not the same as the spiritual realm. The soul being the harbinger between the spirit realm and physical world protects the spirit from contamination and harm while permitting the free will to be exercised. But, the soul being the body of the spirit can suffer damage from its physical experience that can take a much longer time to repair once in the beyond than while still living within its physical body.
This is why those who have observed all of God’s Laws or have otherwise been “good,” are said to have thereby earned the right to be in that blissful place where the Supreme Being is supposed to reside exclusively. Even though this is generally true conceptually, there is, however, an inherent error in this much repeated and widely held mantra like religious belief.
Consider this for a moment; God as the Deity, could not be the Supreme Being without being Master over all. To believe that God as the God of absolute Love would create a place like Hell specifically for the eternal torment of beings that simply “displease” Him would be to deny the very Love that is the essence of God. If instead, Hell would be seen as a place of spiritual cleansing and the metaphorical cleansing fires of Hell seen as a means to separate that which is incompatible with the positive Heaven would explain God’s omnipresence, omnipotence and omnipotence. If God created a place like Hell as part of the whole created existence, then He must also be in absolute control of it and it must serve an ultimately good purpose otherwise, God is not God. God does not and cannot fear Satan and his/her predestined purpose. The idea that God is the “All in All” should be seriously meditated upon.
Another way of designating the boundaries or the various Heavenly hierarchies and the various Hellish hierarchies would be by the mind sets of those who would inhabit each zone. Meaning, beings of the same mind set are placed with those of the same mind set, which is completely fair. If they are of a positive mind set they would naturally help one another into a purer and clearer reality. If the beings are contaminated by an illusory negative mind set they would subject each other to the same mind set resulting in torment at each other’s hands. This being overseen and managed by angels; the demons and devils are actually the beings possessing the negative mind set. In their continuous cycle of almost self inflicted torment the beings are left to question their own behaviour because of their preventable pain and hopefully decide upon a better course of action. This independently arrived at conclusion and decision to refrain is otherwise called, repentance and atonement. (Is this experience any different on Earth?)
The beings that are believed to be condemned to Hell are subject to their own self condemnation that can be ended by simply and sincerely refraining from their negative behaviour and is not based on a pre-specified time but on how long it takes for that being to recognize their own false light and accepting the True Light. If this type of redemption is possible even in Hell, then there must be even worse places than Hell that does impose an actual time of stay, often called an eternity that is reserved for those who do the greatest harm to humanity en masse. World leaders, elected or otherwise, seen or unseen, and other specific professionals beware. It is one thing to do harm to one person but, to deliberately harm multitudes or even the whole world is quite another and the punishment is accordingly.
The dogma that those condemned to Hell are continuously tormented by demons for eternity has filled up church pews for centuries but, is actually contrary to reality and God’s Love. A soul that is possessed of many vices will necessarily appear deformed to others in the beyond according to the nature of its vices which are often already visible in a person’s physiognomy while still living alive on Earth. This has been depicted in several rather morbid medieval paintings. Consider for a moment in every day life the people we have met. People of the same type tend to congregate together and also have similar physiognomies. Gang members generally hang out with other gang members. Tattooed people have friends who are similarly tattooed. The humble are with the humble, the arrogant are with the arrogant, thieves with thieves, the spiritually minded with other spiritually minded and so on and so forth. It is not unusual to notice that the facial features and poise of people of each group will be quite similar and as the physical body is animated by the soul, it stands to reason that the souls of the people in each group will have the same beauty or ugliness as their body. Beauty here is not necessarily of the “Hollywood” type.
It makes sense that the so called regions of “Hell” are monitored by Angelic beings in order that the unfortunate souls in Hell might be carefully guided back to the Light. These souls will appear as dark and tormented and also in a form that is compatible to it in order. It would be a shock for such a soul to be confronted by a pure angelic presence as it would represent its antithesis. For this reason an angel assuming a form similar to that of the dark soul will be more able to engage it without frightening it raising its pride thereby bettering the chances of raising that soul from its self imposed darkness.