Symbols - What does heaven look like
Fields and meadows
If you manage to go out of body and enter the Aether level you are in an area of peace, bliss and divine love. On death this is known as Paradise, but some manage to see this area when they are living through both near death experiences and forms of enlightenment – moksha and nirvana, annihilation and the mystic marriage.
Visually this area is occasionally presented to the person as meadows – but often exceptionally beautiful meadows – truly and astoundingly beautiful.
There is the implication in all mystic thought that after we have ‘ascended’ through all the levels after death [with a stop at the Fire level on the way] this is the ‘place’ we end up in first. The stay is temporary. Similarly before birth, and before we ‘descend’ there is the belief that the same place of beauty is used to prepare us for birth if we are to be reincarnated.
In effect, a meadow is not symbolic of anything of the spirit, it is a place for the spirit – a place to rest and revive, reflect and recuperate.
Whether you are having a spiritual experience whilst alive or have died, the purpose is the same. It is only temporary, however, the implication is always that once revived we must ‘move on’.
There are no ‘people’ in the meadows of heaven, or houses or any forms of habitation, the meadow is free of everything that represents physical living, survival and everyday life. Furthermore, the meadows of heaven are quiet places. You may ‘feel’ a warm wind, but you will hear virtually nothing, they are places of total peace and tranquillity. The sun is always shining, there may be white fluffy clouds to make the sky appealing, but the place is warming and cheering, no threats. And there are often numerous flowers, nature at its best and most uncultivated, the grass is usually fairly long, the flowers all in flower and numerous, again a symbol of a ‘man-free’ environment one untouched by physical interference.
Thus by being in a meadow, we are symbolically free from physical cares and free to reflect in quiet.
All the observations on the site, aside from emphasising the beauty of the place, also make it clear that because we have no form we are free of the things that make life onerous – pain, hunger, thirst, aging, sorrow, rules, work, again enabling us better to reflect and rest.
Many observations and belief systems indicate that there is also an area in the Fire level which acts as a resting place and is used prior to ‘purification’ which is actually the removal of unwanted functions. Some people end up here during rebirth experiences
This is not a meadow, but a level we pass through on our ‘way out’. It is still a form of resting place but its purpose is different. If we thus refine the definition – a Field is more likely to be found in the Fire level whereas a true meadow is in the Aether level. In fields other souls may be seen.
Symbolism in use
Most cultures and religions appear to believe that the meadow is the first truly ‘heavenly’ place we get to after death once we have left the body and the cone. There are numerous synonyms for what is in effect the same place or realm or level whatever you want to call it.
Native American - In Native American beliefs, the meadowland is portrayed as an eternal hunting ground – the so called ‘Happy Hunting grounds’.
Greeks - For the classical Greeks, the Elysian fields was a paradisaical land of plenty and thus a true meadow – thus we might better call this the Elysian meadow. But the Asphodel fields were indeed true fields.
Egypt - In old Egyptian beliefs, the meadowland is called Aaru, the reed-fields of ideal hunting and fishing grounds where the dead lived after judgment.
Fowling in the marshes
Fragment of a wall painting from the tomb of Nebanum, Thebes. 18th dynasty around 1350 BC. Nebanum stands on a small papyrus boat with his wife Hatshepsut behind and his son below him. He lets fly a throw stick into a mass of birds above a papyrus thicket.
To the Egyptians, the equivalent of the Greeks’ Elysian Fields was the ‘Field of Reeds’.
This place was believed to be almost an exact replica – though perhaps more lush and plentifully stocked with life – as the Egyptians’ own surrounding with waterways, fields of rushes and reeds, corn growing and the normal agricultural pursuits of life.
India - The Vedic Indians believe that the physical body is destroyed by Fire but the Higher spirit is delivered to this meadowland in a state of bliss – a belief consistent with that of the Greeks. In Hinduism, the meadowlands extend to become almost an entire kingdom, with its own capital! The purpose and symbolism, however, are identical
In Hinduism, Svarga (or Swarga) is set of heavenly worlds located on and above Mt. Meru. It is a Heaven where the righteous live in a paradise before their next reincarnation. Svarga is seen as a transitory place for righteous souls who have performed good deeds in their lives but are not yet ready to attain union with Brahman, which requires enjoyment of all the soul's punyam (virtuous deeds) as well as abstinence from pāpa (sin). The capital of Svarga is Amaravati and its entrance is guarded by Airavata. Svarga is presided over by Indra, the chief deva. This is a "Good and nice" kind of temporary heaven where the soul enjoys all its Punya karmam before attaining either moksha, or rebirth according to its Karma.
Islam - Like the Hindus, the meadow is believed to be far larger and more extensive than just a simple meadow. Although the description below reads ‘garden’, the correct translation is closer to a ‘park’ or large estate, …..
Jannat (Arabic: جنّة), or Jannah is the Islamic conception of paradise. The Arabic word Jannah is a shortened version meaning simply "Garden". According to Islamic eschatology, after death, one will reside in the grave until the appointed resurrection on Yawm al-Qiyāmah. Muslims believe that the treatment of the individual in the life of the grave will be according to his or her deeds in the worldly life. According to Muslim belief, everything one longs for in this world, will be there in Paradise.
The Islamic texts describes life for its immortal inhabitants as: one that is happy — without hurt, sorrow, fear or shame — where every wish is fulfilled. Traditions relate that inhabitants will be of the same age, and of the same standing. Their life is one of bliss……….. The dwellings for inhabitants will be pleasant, with lofty gardens, shady valleys, fountains scented with camphor or ginger; rivers of water, milk, honey and wines; delicious fruits of all seasons ..
One day in paradise is considered equal to a thousand days on earth. Palaces are made from bricks of gold, silver, pearls, among other things. Traditions also note the presence of horses and camels of "dazzling whiteness", along with other creatures. Large trees are described, mountains made of musk, between which rivers flow in valleys of pearl and ruby.
There is not from what I can see one place for each belief system, this is one unified place for all spirits.
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