There is an interesting dance that goes on between religious ideas and stuff that’s in the news. The one I’m thinking about is the near death experience (NDE). There was a big story about one in 2012.
This was the story of a neurosurgeon, Dr. Eben Alexander, who was in a comma, came out of it and reported having a blissful heavenly experience. The story was front page on Newsweek and his book generated much discussion.
One problem with the concept of NDE is that the person always comes back to do a book tour. He did not die. Just how dead he/she was, compared to being really dead, is unknown.
Another part of all these stories in the U. S. is often the person, like Dr. Alexander, starts going to a Christian church. But, the NDE is not Christian, anthropologists have recorded the same experience from religions and cultures all over the world.
That the NDE reported by people is universal across the world raises two possibilities. One is there is but one religion and the heaven that goes with it is universal. The other is the experience is a human phenomenon unrelated to religion.
This latter possibility may provide an insight into where the Biblical concept of heaven came from. That would be from humans telling their families and tribes about their NDE experiences for 200,000 years. Those stories, then, found their way into the Bible as the heaven we hear about today.
Maybe heaven started down here instead of up there.
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