In my early childhood days, I spent some time going across the border to The Shriner's Hospital for Crippled Children. In my young mind there were basically two countries; Canada and the United States. I couldn't fathom any other borders or countries; I didn't know how it worked. I asked my mom if there was an end to the world; she didn't understand my question and referred me to my grandmother as she was more religious than her. They got me all wrong; the question was a geographic one not a religious one.
It would seem that from my early days forward I would ask questions which no one understood. I would also get answers that I would not understand. Because I am a Taurus and firmly connected to the earth, or maybe cemented to it; I never thought about any other possibilities other then were my feet were planted. My roots are deep and I can really feel my connection to the earth.
During my early indoctrination into religion I became even more confused with the introduction of Heaven and Hell. Back in those days; they were places, not concepts. Recently Pope John Paul 1V declared them as not actual places, but states of the mind. So you can't really go to Hell; you can only live in Hell in your mind. He didn't mention Heaven as being a state of mind; but because Hell is the opposite of Heaven, then it to must be a state of mind. So the farther you get away from Hell the closer you get to Heaven and visa versa. They really are the same thing at different ends of the stick; as cold is to hot.
If Heaven and Hell are really just states of mind, then anything can be considered either one or the other, as all things are states of mind. If God lives in Heaven and the Devil in Hell; then they to are just states of mind. There is no separation from one or the other just degrees of each other. If you are in a state of Heaven, you are also in the state of Hell at the same time, but to a lesser degree.
If one is religious; this is also a state of mind, and likewise if you are not religious, it is also a state of mind. So if everything is a state of mind, then it is possible for one to be in Heaven if they are in the right state of mind even if they are not religious. Then if you think you are in Heaven, that is what you will experience; religious or not. So the concept of what Heaven is is also a state of mind; therefore anything can be considered Heaven if you are in the right state of mind. Therefore there is nothing you would have to do to get there except know that you are.
This is not that difficult of a concept to grasp onto if you consider that there is really one mind anyway - there is only one life-force divided into many parts. We are all the creators and the created and are a state of mind of the one mind. Existence and non-existence are the same just different ends of the stick and you are always both.
Being in the state of Hell is just a check point along the stick as you work your way towards the other end. But the stick is not straight; it is circular and you are continuously going around the stick from one state to the other in consciousness. It is like walking around a playing field; you are always leaving and arriving no matter where you start.
Therefore religion is just a state of mind which causes us to move continuously from Hell to Heaven; around the playing field. The whole concept of right and wrong or good and bad is the same. They are not actual things, but expressions of movement from one place to the other. So if the idea or state of mind is all about moving from one place to the other, which is the event we call life, then it doesn't really matter how you do it, just so long as you do something. Because life is continuous, it uses what-ever means it can create to keep moving. It is only the conscious mind which lives in the illusion of what is and what is not that creates the circumstances of movement.
All things are continuous in that they keep us moving and they are valid in our experience. It is our values which conceive of them as desirable experiences or not. In the greater picture no theory or state of mind has greater value over another. If the natural flow of energy is from positive to negative; then it would seem that are values are backwards. We come from perfection (as religion teaches) to go to imperfection so that we may make our way back to perfection as in walking around the playing field. In other words we must find bad to know good. But it is always the natural of things to move to a better state of existence; to evolve. In the bigger picture, the sinner is the saint in transition and visa versa. It's simply a matter of desire and what one wishes to experience in the moment.
Heaven and or religion are not the better ways or even the only way. They are neither a starting point nor and ending point. They are just points along the way. In your conscious life they are just points that you are willing to settle for. If you find all this confusing, remember; confused it's just a point along the way and all those who are enlightened were once confused.
Heaven is not a place; God is not a person or a thing. They are states of mind, concepts created in your mind. They are the "Creator" becoming the "Created." They are simply steps to a greater awareness of the oneness of which you are a part. They are not ends and as much as you want you hold onto them you will eventually move past them.
Your journey is continuous and it doesn't end at the grave. The grave is another point in the circle that you are moving to and from perpetually. It is not even a learning experience such as moving from grade one, to two, and then three and so on. It is simply an experience or manifestation of the one mind or thought experiencing everything it imagines. Because you are the creator and the only one creating; all things you create will continue as you do. Your friends, family, and strangers will be continuous along with you in one form or another. Thoughts do not come and go; that is an illusion of time and space. They are there as goods stored on a grocer's shelf. They are experienced as you walk by them; they are static and it is you who is animating them as you walk bye. They are thoughts or images on a deck of animation cards. It is your movement of your thumb over the cards which give them the illusion of movement or time and space.
Heaven is a concept or state of mind, and it can be experienced anywhere on the circle. As you move forward, every step you take can be considered a step away from hell, and a state of heaven not previously experienced or visa versa. You can never get to either place because you are always moving away from one or moving toward the other. It is in how you interpret your present position as to whether you will experience it as one or the other. It is not your guide (religion) that is responsible for your experience - it is you.
It is not religion that will bring you to Heaven. If Heaven is the point, then religion is the trip, and it does not work for religion to have you get there. Religion is an end unto itself; a dead end.
If all events or probabilities already exist, then reaching for the "God" brand of soup at the beginning of the isle is only the first step along the way, and one of many brands not yet experienced on the trip around the super market. Religion tries to can or package God and sell it, and denies his very existence in the physical world. Once you have moved past that awareness you will begin to realize that the can is just an empty container and it is actually God that is walking the isles. The super market is an illusion and nothing really exists beyond your own awareness. Heaven, Hell, God, and the Devil are states of mind you are creating in the conscious mind so that you may know them physically. You are the creator and the created - there is nothing else.
You are not what you think you are; you are much more, much, much more.