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 ?
He wasn't ever expecting to go to heaven, much less that there was going to be any fuss made over him, so I reckon he was a good deal surprised when the reception broke on him.
These three names are common and familiar in every nook and corner of heaven, clear from one end of it to the other - fully as well known as the eighty Supreme Archangels, in fact - where as our Moses, and Adam, and the rest, have not been heard of outside of our world's little corner of heaven, except by a few very learned men scattered here and there - and they always spell their names wrong, and get the performances of one mixed up with the doings of another, and they almost always locate them simply IN OUR SOLAR SYSTEM, and think that is enough without going into little details such as naming the particular world they are from.
His name will be carried pretty far, and it will make our system talked about, and maybe our world, too, and raise us in the respect of the general public of heaven.
Well, you will find it the same in any State or Territory of the American corner of heaven you choose to go to.
The learned men from other planets and other systems come here and hang around a while, when they are touring around the Kingdom, and then go back to their own section of heaven and write a book of travels, and they give America about five lines in it.
207-210) But these sons whom be begot himself great Heaven used to call Titans (Strainers) in reproach, for he said that they strained and did presumptuously a fearful deed, and that vengeance for it would come afterwards.
371-374) And Theia was subject in love to Hyperion and bare great Helius (Sun) and clear Selene (Moon) and Eos (Dawn) who shines upon all that are on earth and upon the deathless Gods who live in the wide heaven.
And after these Erigenia (16) bare the star Eosphorus (Dawn-bringer), and the gleaming stars with which heaven is crowned.
She received honour also in starry heaven, and is honoured exceedingly by the deathless gods.
He added that when Luscinda found herself in his power she lost all consciousness, and after returning to herself did nothing but weep and sigh without speaking a word; and thus in silence and tears they reached that inn, which for him was reaching heaven where all the mischances of earth are over and at an end.
If on the other hand you choose to persist in spunging upon one man, heaven help me, but Jove shall reckon with you in full, and when you fall in my father's house there shall be no man to avenge you.
Then Eurymachus, son of Polybus, answered, "It rests with heaven to decide who shall be chief among us, but you shall be master in your own house and over your own possessions; no one while there is a man in Ithaca shall do you violence nor rob you.