heaven

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heaven,

blissful upper realm or state entered after death; in Western monotheistic religions it is the place where the just see God face to face (sometimes called the beatific vision). In Judaism, heaven is pictured as the abode of God to which he ultimately welcomes the righteous and faithful. Many Christians believe that after the general resurrectionresurrection
[Lat.,=rising again], arising again from death to life. The emergence of Jesus from the tomb to live on earth again for 40 days as told in the Gospels has been from the beginning the central fact of Christian experience and a cardinal feature of Christian doctrine
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 the body of a Christian will be glorified and reunited forever with the soul in heaven. The Roman Catholic church teaches that before entering heaven many souls must pass through purgatorypurgatory
[Lat.,=place of purging], in the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, the state after death in which the soul destined for heaven is purified. Since only the perfect can enjoy the vision of God (inferred from Mat. 12.36; Rev. 21.
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 to be made ready. Much of the conventional imagery of the Christian heaven—e.g., golden streets—is based on the Book of RevelationRevelation
or Apocalypse
, the last book of the New Testament. It was written c.A.D. 95 on Patmos Island off the coast of Asia Minor by an exile named John, in the wake of local persecution by the Emperor Domitian (A.D. 81–96).
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. In Islam, the Qur'an describes heaven in graphically idyllic terms, replete with fleshly delights; but Islam also has a strong mystical tradition which places these heavenly delights in the context of the ecstatic awareness of God. In Zoroastrianism, the souls of the deceased must pass over the Bridge of the Requiter, which widens to allow easy passage for the good, who enter a kingdom of joy and light. In both Hinduism and Buddhism, existence is considered cyclical, making the rewards and pleasures of heaven a desirable but temporary experience; the higher objective is often conceived as a release from any form of rebirth, whether in heaven or on earth. For comparable ideas see Elysian fieldsElysian fields
or Elysium
, in Greek religion and mythology, happy otherworld for heroes favored by the gods. Identified with the Fortunate Isles or Isles of the Blest, Elysium was situated in the distant west, at the edge of the world.
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; Fortunate IslesFortunate Isles
or Isles of the Blest,
in classical and Celtic legend, islands in the Western Ocean. There the souls of favored mortals were received by the gods and lived happily in a paradise.
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; ValhallaValhalla
or Walhalla
, in Norse mythology, Odin's hall for slain heroes. This martial paradise was one of the most beautiful halls of Asgard. The dead warriors, brought to Valhalla by the Valkyries, fought during the day and feasted at night.
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.

Bibliography

See P. Toon, Heaven and Hell (1986); C. McDannell, Heaven (1988).

What does it mean when you dream about heaven?

Over and above the obvious theological connotations of heaven, dreaming about heaven represent an individual’s sense of harmony and joy. Could also represent a retreat from life’s difficulties.

Heaven

See also Paradise.
Height (See GIANTISM, TALLNESS.)
Aaru
abode of blessed dead and gods. [Egyptian Myth.: Benét, 1]
Abraham’s bosom
reward for the righteous. [N.T.: Luke 16:23]
animals in heaven
Jonah’s whale and Balaam’s ass are among the ten animals allowed to enter paradise. [Muslim Legend: Benét, 37]
Anu
(An) Babylonian god of heaven. [Babyl. Myth.: Benét, 41]
Asgard
abode of the gods. [Norse Myth.: Walsh Classical, 34]
Avalon
the blissful otherworld of the dead. [Celtic Myth.: NCE, 194]
Beulah
allegorical name for Israel. [O.T.: Isaiah 62:4–5]
Dilmun
dwelling of gods where sun rose. [Sumerian Myth.: Gaster, 24]
Elysian Fields
home of the blessed after death. [Gk. Myth.: Kravitz, 88]
Elysium
abode of the blessed after death. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmer-man, 94; Gk. Lit.: Odyssey]
Fortunate Isles
(Happy Isles) otherworld for heroes favored by gods. [Gk. Myth.: NCE, 861]
garden of the Hesperides
in this garden grew a tree with golden apples. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 109]
Happy Hunting Ground
translation of Indian name for heaven. [North Am. Indian Myth.: Misc.]
Holy City
poetical name for heaven. [World Rel.: NCE, 1213]
Land of the Leal
abode of the blessed dead. [Scot. Myth.: Misc.]
Mount Zion
celestial city. [Br. Lit.: Pilgrim’s Progress]
New Jerusalem
new paradise; dwelling of God among men. [N.T.: Revelation 21:2]
Olympus
abode of the chief gods. [Gk. Myth.: Espy, 22]
Paradise
poetic name for heaven. [World Rel.: NCE, 1213]
seventh heaven
formed of indescribable divine light; inhabitants are supremely happy, all chanting of God. [Islamic Religion: Benét, 449]
Valhalla
celestial banquet hall for departed war heroes. [Norse Myth.: Brewer Dictionary, 1122]

heaven

1. Christianity
a. the abode of God and the angels
b. a place or state of communion with God after death
2. the sky, firmament or space surrounding the earth
3. (in any of various mythologies) a place, such as Elysium or Valhalla, to which those who have died in the gods' favour are brought to dwell in happiness

Heaven

(dreams)
Heaven represents all of those things for which most people hope. Some of us may not be convinced of its existence, but all of us have definite ideas about what heaven should be like. In your dreams it may symbolize happiness, peace, understanding, rest, love, union between God and man, and many more positive things. Some people work for a “heaven on Earth.” Others believe that there are many different heavens and in their dreams they visit those places through soul travel. Whatever your belief system or your dream experience may be, this dream usually leaves you feeling positive and energized.
References in classic literature ?
Hilbery continued, with one of her sudden changes of mood, "though, Heaven knows, I don't want to see you married, surely if ever a man loved a woman, William loves you.
This correspondence, however, continued a whole year, even all the while the lieutenant was quartered in that town; for which I was contented to pay the tax of being constantly abused in the manner above mentioned by my husband; I mean when he was at home; for he was frequently absent a month at a time at Dublin, and once made a journey of two months to London: in all which journeys I thought it a very singular happiness that he never once desired my company; nay, by his frequent censures on men who could not travel, as he phrased it, without a wife tied up to their tail, he sufficiently intimated that, had I been never so desirous of accompanying him, my wishes would have been in vain; but, Heaven knows, such wishes were very far from my thoughts.
It is necessary for human health, so all the preachers say, and Heaven knows I've never been afraid of it.
The sarcastic tone of this reply might have provoked a rather acrimonious retort from Miss Squeers, who, besides being of a constitutionally vicious temper--aggravated, just now, by travel and recent jolting--was somewhat irritated by old recollections and the failure of her own designs upon Mr Browdie; and the acrimonious retort might have led to a great many other retorts, which might have led to Heaven knows what, if the subject of conversation had not been, at that precise moment, accidentally changed by Mr Squeers himself
Not feeling sure that I had really seen the Sergeant-- and not desiring to make needless mischief, where, Heaven knows, there was mischief enough going on already--I told Mr.
Heaven knows, I cannot find it in my heart to blame you, but this much I will say, be it kind or unkind: when Captain Smollett was well, you dared not have gone off; and when he was ill and couldn't help it, by George, it was downright cowardly
This is my last night on shore for heaven knows how long and I am going to take Olive off to see my photographs of the 'Scorpion.
Heaven knows what she was doing in the place; but that's Bryce's business, not mine.
No, hang it, William, I beg your pardon"--here George interposed in a fit of remorse; "you have been my friend in a hundred ways, Heaven knows.
I only use the word to express a monster in a lecturing castle, with Heaven knows how many heads manipulated into one, taking childhood captive, and dragging it into gloomy statistical dens by the hair.
Whereas, heaven knows that if I could get out of the mountains of wiglomeration on which my unfortunate name has been so long bestowed (which I can't) or could level them by the extinction of my own original right (which I can't either, and no human power ever can, anyhow, I believe, to such a pass have we got), I would do it this hour.
I would have you consider that the word which you have uttered is one at which numerous persons, and very respectable persons too, in a figure pulling off their coats all in a moment, and seizing any weapon that comes to hand, will run at you might and main, before you know where you are, intending to do heaven knows what; and if you don't prepare an answer, and put yourself in motion, you will be prepared by their fine wits,' and no mistake.