The notion of heaven and hell was created, I believe, to provide a carrot and a stick motivation for living a good life. I find Heaven, as most who believe in it have described it, totally unappealing so I thought up a description that does work for me. My Heaven is much like earth with all of the beauty but not what one might call perfect. There would still be nasty weather events. There would still be conservatives and liberals. There would still be a wide variety of beliefs that guided people differently. There would still be pain and suffering. However, there would not be polluted air or water and there would not be a great disparity between classes of people but these changes would have been realized because of the one simple difference between life on Earth and in Heaven. In Heaven everyone loves everyone.
Before my mother died she related an experience in which her mind took her to a place where all her friends were. She positively glowed when she thought of this place so I have invented my own place like that. I envision a party with a room full of my friends, all people who love me. At this party there is an Earth game in which any of us can strap ourselves in for an Earth experience. We are born, live our life and die. Meanwhile, back at the party, my friends can watch and they can enter the game to mess with me just to make the game more interesting.
When I’m in the garden chasing cucumber beetles I think of my friends messing with me. A group of them decided to be cucumber beetles and play hide and seek. It’s a fun thought that turns the job of beetle control into a game for me. Back at the party my friends might be marveling at my ability to take pleasure in the job.
It is with this attitude that I approach my feelings toward someone like President Bush. Hating him would hurt me. I know that. When I realized that he was raising my hackles, I tried to tune him out, unsuccessfully. When I thought about “the party on the other side” and that he is a friend who is just trying to mess with me my hatred was lifted.
My thought was of dieing and going back to the party. My friends cheer at the good game I just had. There is much hugging and high-fiving. Across the room is Dubya with a big grin. His right arm is raised and he is pointing his index finger at me. We high-five and hug. “Gotcha! Ol buddy,” he says. “Yeah, you sonofabitch, you got me.”
This image of a loving Dubya as a close friend brings a smile to my face. He presented me with some challenges. I have chosen happiness as my goal in life. He disrupted my happiness. If there were no challenges, life would be a pretty dull game.