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John Michell Mysteries

~ MYSTERY ARCHIVES ~
~ BOOKS BY JOHN MICHELL ~


ARCHIVE for Thursday 25th October 2001 - Heaven, and where do you find it?

Last week I wrote about hell, so the subject today is heaven.

There will always be a mystery about what happens after death. Some people say that once your brain is dead, that is the end of everything and you experience nothing more. Others say that your soul is not material, so it is not subject to decay and survives the death of the body. In that case you have to submit to judgment. If you have led a wicked life you are imprisoned in hell until you have served your sentence. If you have always been good and truthful, you find your reward in heaven.

A classical story is that, when you die, you are taken to a place where there are entrances to four tunnels. Two of them are for souls going into and out of paradise, and the other two lead downwards into and out of hell. Souls that have come from one or other place meet and discuss what it was like there. Then they go back to earth and are reborn. But fIrst they have to drink ftom the river Lethe the waters of oblivion. That means you forget everything you have seen in the other world. Plato said that you should not drink too much, because it is useful to remember something about your previous existence.

If you are chosen to enter paradise you enjoy all kinds of pleasures. Religious people give different accounts of it. It is often said to be like earth, only far more beautiful and delightful. One way of getting there, according to some mystics, is to visualise this earth as paradise while you are still alive.

"If we do not find it here, how can we find it there?" asked the Persian poet, Rumi. Another poet, the Irishman George Russell, described a moment when he saw and felt paradise around him. "Then I realised that the Golden Age had never departed," he wrote. "It is just that we have forgotten how to see it. I think there is much truth in that. The more you practise seeing goodness and beauty in the world, the happier you become."

The best-known description of heaven seen on earth is St Johnís in the Bible (Revelation 21). After his visions of dreadful wars and tyrannies to come, he sees a beautiful, shining structure coming down from heaven. It is like an ideal state or city, perfectly and justly ordered, reflecting the pattern by which the world was made. In this pattern are the secrets of creation. This means that humanity now has the key to a world of peace and harmony - to a state of heaven on earth.

You can feel John's excitement in the glorious poetry with which he pictures the heavenly city. I share that feeling. There may be paradise in another world, but the time to look for it is now, and the place to find it is here on earth.

John Michell


If you have a favourite mystery subject - from spontaneous human combustion to ancient Celtic ritual sites, write to John, suggesting a theme. And if you have any answers or theories about the mysteries John will be highlighting, he would particularly like to hear from you.

Email jon@cainer.com with subject heading: John Michell
Please note, we regret that due to time restrictions personal replies may not be available.


John Michell is a prolific author. Below are just two of John's books which might interest you. We have arranged with our friends at The Daily Mirror for website visitors to order books mentioned on this site.

This service is for UK orders only.

Unexplained Phenomena, A Rough Guide Special
(co-author Bob Rickard, rrp £12.99) at the special Mirror Direct price of £9.99 + p&p.
Who Wrote Shakespeare?
(Thames & Hudson, rrp £8.95) for the Mirror Direct special price of £6.95 + p&p.
Call 0870 165 8587


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