For centuries within literature, music and art it was common to find themes which had to do with a heavenly kingdom being established on the Earth. It is a theme which I rarely, if ever, encounter when it comes to works which have been produced in the past 2-3 decades. Why is that? Has the notion of a heaven on Earth become passe’? Have people, writers, artists, and composers lost their ability to conceive of such a thing? Maybe the theme is there, somewhere and I just haven’t encountered it. It’s hard to believe no one else thinks about it any more. I really doubt that.
Of course, when considering the concept of heaven on Earth, there is also the matter of how many different concepts of such a heaven exist? Some might say as many different concepts as there are people. And maybe that would be correct. However, unless we believe in a heaven which suits our individual eccentricities but in which we are the sold occupant (because everyone else is in their personal idea of heaven), maybe we should be looking for the things we can agree upon and start from there? I have a high degree of confidence that loneliness is not a part of anyone’s idea of heaven.
For heaven to have a population of more than one it would have to be heaven to everyone there, wouldn’t it? I mean we couldn’t have slaves or underpaid servants or anything like that. If we did we’d have dissatisfaction, jealousy, envy on one hand and pride, vanity, inflated egos on the other. Slowly the behaviors that accompany those feelings would begin to take place and then where would we be? Certainly not heaven. We’d be on our way back to what currently exists in the world. So that doesn’t work. For heaven to exist it has to be heaven for everyone!
What would some of the practical considerations of a heaven on Earth have to be? Certainly the parameters of the systems which are essential for a culture would have to reflect the qualities of balance, equity, environmental and social/economic sustainability. Money would have to no longer be seen as an end, a goal, in itself. The distribution of worldly resources to adequately provide for the population would necessarily be a primary goal and function of industry and government.
That necessarily implies a good deal of moderation. Well-being would have to be the mission statement, not extravagance. Everyone would necessarily have to be continually engaged in cooperation and reasonable accommodation. The only place for competition would be on the sports field and in competing with one’s self as a tool of self-improvement. (But, for it to be heaven, some extravagance would have to exist…in moderation.)
A necessity worth repeating is that cooperation between individuals and groups would be absolutely essential! Watchers, watching watchers who watch other watchers in order to police an unwilling populace certainly does not qualify as any kind of heaven.
A century ago such a worldwide coordinated effort would have been all but impossible. Now with the internet, it isn’t so hard to imagine. People around the world are becoming fed up with industrial/governmental cartels, special interests, that have little or no apparent concern for the well-being of the general population. The pictures and stories of the abuses of such systems are no longer hidden from the world, they are publicized for all to see. We know how bad it can get. Now the question is, can we envision how good it can be? Can we communicate, organize, share, coordinate and embrace each other, worldwide, as brothers and sisters in the family of humankind, in order to bring the most desirable and practical aspects of a vision of heaven on Earth into reality?
I think that actually we are working toward that reality right now. People around the world are becoming more conscious, more educated, more willing to share, to live and let live than possibly any other time in history. Maybe all we need to do is to stay focused on the on dream, share, listen, learn, and little by little reality will follow.