Neither Here Nor There
When I was growing up and sitting in church every Sunday listening to my dad or anyone else speak about Heaven, I remember thinking to myself on more than one occasion, that it sounded awfully boring to me.
I mean, it was a nice enough idea to imagine pearly gates and gold bullion boulevards and no pain or sorrow and angels floating around in full view . . . But I kept wondering, what I was going to do up there for all eternity. You can only imagine so much singing and rejoicing before the novelty wears off.
This train of thought actually came up for me because I’ve been wondering off and on about whether the bliss I’m trying to follow is really some place on a map that I can get to and once there, really feel that I’ve arrived. Do I ever reach a point where it feels like I’ve made it? Do the pearly gates ever close behind me as I drive up to my version of a mansion where I’ll just kick back and chill from that point on? So I asked the Shower Team about the idea of the journey versus the destination. Where’s the “there” I want to be—and how close to heaven can I get?
You have correctly felt or suspected for quite some time that there is no real endpoint to your existence or some sort of graduation and awards ceremony that marks the completion of what you keep coming here to do—which is to joyfully and vigorously and energetically and passionately continue the expansion of who you are. And while the idea of a long break or vacation from the stresses that you often fill your life with can understandably seem like a nice idea for a while, pretty soon the notion of eternally not doing much of anything can get old fast.
Some part of you has understood that there is a kind of truth to the statement, “Heaven is a place on Earth.” because you recognize that when you are really experiencing your life in the fullness that is available to you, when you are creating that life from a place of absolute joy and passion and zest and eagerness . . . then you truly are in Heaven.
Even more important than that, is the recognition we would offer you that not only is Heaven not some place you are waiting to go in order to slip into a shiny robe and play a harp for the rest of eternity, but that Heaven is not a place, period. Heaven is not a destination in any sense of that term. You often hear the words spoken that, “It is the journey not the destination that matters.” But like most words that smack of platitude, you tend to pay lip service to it and then, typically, dismiss it and get right back on your treadmill to presumed glory.
What we would like you to understand is that there is no there there. And in fact, there is really no here, either. What you want is neither here nor there . . . where you stand or where you hope to go. What you really really want is on the way from here to there— to wherever or whatever you are currently imagining Heaven to be. But we promise you—it wouldn’t matter how grand and glorious, how stupendous or spectacular that destination turned out to be . . . sooner or later you’d start to get bored there and want to move on. Or you would want to change it somehow. You’d want to make some improvements on Heaven because that’s just how you are—constantly evolving, constantly forming new preferences, constantly deciding on new directions or dreams . . . It is what makes you eternal and what makes you part of the eternal expansion of all that is.
It is also the reason we are always encouraging you to enjoy yourself more, to strive less, to make your life the joyous journey that you intended it to be. And it is the reason we keep saying that it doesn’t matter where “here” is . . . or where “there” is . . . you can and will get from here to there . . . and then you’ll straight away want to be heading somewhere else. And will.
So when you concluded long ago that Heaven sounded boring you were right in the sense that any heaven—any destination you arrive at no matter how delightful—will still yield to you new desires, new dreams, new destinations. Heaven will always be another point on the horizon or another addition or new look to where you live . . . some place or some thing you’re looking and moving toward . . . and the heaven you can feel is always yours to choose, yours to celebrate and savor—as you continue to pack your bags and launch the next leg of your journey.
I do hear that. And I like the idea of a life continually in motion, of always being on my way, even as I recognize that not everyone embraces the traveler archetype quite so readily. But at least until I forget again that what I really want is neither here nor there, I/We shall remain—even as I/We continue our constant journey—transitionally complete.