Jack Mclean is a Bahá’í scholar, teacher, essayist and poet published in the fields of spirituality, Bahá’í theology and poetry.
In the Bahá’í view, heaven refers basically to two realities: the first experienced in this life and the second after death. The first is a supernal state of mind, i.e. achieving the good-pleasure of God in this life through righteous living, with all that it implies; the second refers to attaining a state of supreme and ineffable felicity after death.
The promise of heaven or life after death has been the promise of all the great holy books. Its most primitive expression was found in the ancient teaching of reincarnation, later in the resurrection of the body, and finally in the explicit promise of the soul’s beatitude after death.
The teachings on life after death have been greatly expanded in Bahá’í scripture, bringing renewed hope to believers that all we have known and loved will not be lost when the body dies.
Bahá’u’lláh (1817-1892), the Prophet-Founder of this youngest of the world’s great religions, has revealed: “O Son of the Supreme! I have made death a messenger of joy to thee. Wherefore dost thou grieve? I made the light to shed on thee its splendour. Why dost thou veil thyself therefrom?” (The Hidden Words, Arabic, no. 32).
In this life and the next, heaven is the realization of divine love: “O Son of Being! Thy Paradise is My love; thy heavenly home, reunion with Me. Enter therein and tarry not. This is that which hath been destined for thee in Our kingdom above and Our exalted dominion” (The Hidden Words, Arabic, no. 6).
Here is another explicit article of faith: “As to Paradise: It is a reality and there can be no doubt about it, and now in this world it is realized through love of Me and My good-pleasure. Whosoever attaineth unto it God will aid him in this world below, and after death He will enable him to gain admittance into Paradise whose vastness is as that of heaven and earth” (Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets, p. 188).
Like the child in the womb of its mother is not aware that soon it is born into a much vaster world, we are now in the “womb-world,” growing spiritual wings for flight in the next.
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