The Return to Heaven
Let’s do a thought experiment. Think about one person who makes you feel uncomfortable. Maybe this person has done things to you that you perceive as hurtful. Or maybe this person has done things to hurt your friends or associates. Whenever you think of this person, you feel fear, anger, or hate. You would never accept this person as your friend on Facebook, you would never invite this person into your home, and you might even have thought about killing this person.
Now suppose that you were told that you would have to live with this person for eternity. Suppose that you were told that you would not have real peace until you made peace with this person. What if the one who told you these things was correct? Would you say that this is not fair? Would you hold onto your resentment because you believe that your judgment and condemnation of this person is just and right? Would your desire to prove yourself right and your desire to condemn the other person be stronger than your desire for peace and happiness?
A Course in Miracles says that God’s creation is living in the illusion of fragmentation, that this illusion is a self-made hell, and that God’s creation can leave this hell and enter heaven only by spiritually reuniting. Physical bodies are the symbols of this fragmentation or separation. However, when minds become one, physical bodies can no longer separate the parts of God’s creation. The spiritual reunification of God’s creation is the salvation of the world. Since God’s creation is united in reality, God’s creation will simultaneously leave the illusion of separation when the wish for separate existence and the fear of union is given up.
Let’s return to our thought experiment. From the previous paragraph, we can see that we cannot return to heaven without our “brother,” the person that makes us so uncomfortable. When we have forgiven our “brother,” that is, when we have realized that nothing that our brother did (and nothing that we have done) can damage reality, we will return to the awareness of heaven. Fortunately, this forgiveness is not something that we have to do with our own strength. All we need is a little willingness for healing, and the Holy Spirit will direct our thoughts and actions to achieve this healing. All things point toward the reunification of God’s creation and to the realization of heaven. We can delay this reunification for a long time, but we cannot permanently block it because it is God’s will. Eventually, even our worst enemy will become our friend and our circle of friends will extend into infinity as we laugh about how we took ourselves and our “enemies” so seriously. Imagine the joy of not having any enemies and of not feeling like the targeted enemy of others!