[ Setting: On a deck with a mountain vista. ]

MAYNARD:       This is a very fine view. It reminds me of the deck our whole family enjoyed in the evening. It was high enough up the mountain so there were very few mosquitoes. We could sit enjoying the fresh air and the hummingbirds.

ALLEGENTIA:       It is nice, but now that you mention it, adding a few hummers is a good idea.

MAYNARD:       Oh, there they are, thank you. Are there hummingbirds in heaven?

ALLEGENTIA:       There are many varieties of jeweled birds you will be able to enjoy, but hummingbirds are indigenous to Earth.

MAYNARD:       It will be exciting to see all of the new things heaven has to offer. During your initial talk you indicated there is much more to accomplish, and that this heaven we are heading for is not so much our final destination, but the first in a continuous progression. I lived for seventy-nine years and I thought I would be done with it all, one way or another. Was my idea of heaven so incorrect?

ALLEGENTIA:       It was not so much your idea of heaven as your idea of God; and your idea of God was not so much incorrect as incomplete. As you continue to develop an understanding of his true nature, your vision of heaven, indeed of all reality, will not only grow and expand but also will make more sense. The higher, purer, and cleaner your God concept, the easier it will be to see why things are set up the way they are. Your idea of God will be changing forever as you mature. Of course, this continuous metamorphosis only makes sense since you are a growing, finite being and he is The Infinite Being.
     Humans on your planet today have God concepts ranging from animistic pantheism to Universal Goodness, and from fear to love. The more accurate the God concept, the more advanced will be the civilization.

MAYNARD:       I see, but I followed the holy scripture as best I could, and now you tell me I have to do more?

ALLEGENTIA:       Your study of the Bible was beneficial, and some of it is held in your value memory patterns. But is it really reasonable to expect the Eternal God to be totally contained in one small book? It is all too commonly held by most organized religions that going to heaven is one big jump from the finite to the infinite. Let me remind you of the references in the Bible to the “heaven of heavens,” and being “caught up to the third heaven” and God residing in the “highest heaven.” Does this not suggest there is more for you to accomplish after your short life on Earth?

MAYNARD:       I guess it might but our preacher taught us that if we got to go to heaven, the hard times would all be over. Should I have been going to a different church?

ALLEGENTIA:       It does not matter what authority you decided to believe. You are the one who created your life. It is you who are going to your judgment based on your life choices. Although what you believed (and any other mitigating factors) are taken into account, it was still you selecting to do what you actually did. Everyone has reasons for what they choose, and everyone does learn from their options. We grow. Then we move on to choose again.
     When you get to the other side, we will introduce you to someone who had the very same expectation about heaven you have at this moment. He or she will be glad to share with you the facts of heaven not revealed on Earth. And, of course, your angelic teachers will further clarify the true state of affairs.

MAYNARD:       I will certainly need a friend to explain things to me. I wonder if it could be my old preacher. He died, let me think, it must have been about twenty years ago now. He must have picked up a thing or two since he got there.

ALLEGENTIA:       I do not know how well the man you trusted knew God. You can look him up, and he will probably be able to help some, but if he left Earth in the last fifty years, he has not been in heaven long enough to be an expert. Maybe you can go to classes together.

 MAYNARD:       Are you telling me the man I trusted for advice on all things Godly will have to go to classes to learn about God? I doubt he’s going to be very happy about that.

ALLEGENTIA:       I’m sure he has seen the need for it by now.
     Your earthly religion gave you a fundamental foundation, but institutional religions are all circumscribed in their cosmic view. This, of course, is normal and expected. But for those individuals courageous enough to cultivate their cosmic intuitions, there are several worthwhile rewards: the clarifications of fact finding; the delights of discerning the truth; the gratifications of interconnecting meanings; and ultimately, the grand satisfactions of spiritual accomplishments.
     You lived a good life but you are still very young spiritually. As you know a baby is unable to see beyond their small world. But an innocent child, as they grow, is able to go through a series of experiences, and incrementally, gain a wider perspective. Thus the little one is more able to comprehend a superior reality. It would be cruel to hold you in an elementary state of understanding, even if it was a comfortable place. It is your destiny to expand your knowledge and grow in grace as you explore the grand universe.

MAYNARD:       I appreciate your trying to make it sound like a splendid adventure, but right now, to me, it seems more like a lot of trouble and struggle. I know I could have been better, but I was so sure my difficulties were all said and done. I don’t mean to complain, but I worked all of my life. Even when I was not working, I was worried about supporting the kids. The work and worry never ended. It got so I couldn’t even put on my own sox. I assumed there would be relief from it all in heaven.

ALLEGENTIA:       You will have as much time as you need to rest and get acquainted with your new surroundings. How you feel at this moment, unencumbered by your old body, your old life, and your old worries will continue on in heaven. Who you are remains. Everything of value from your first life will be with you to use: all of your experience, knowledge, and wisdom. I can see you had an interesting life with plenty to be anxious about. Soon it will all be put into perspective.
     Angels can see, and God knows, there is so much more potential in you than you have given yourself credit for. The road to perfection rolls on and on. You are far less than you can be; there will always be more to become. As you grow you will secure a wider and deeper scope of cosmic awareness, and the possibilities will also expand to show you how “old things are passing away” and “all things are becoming new.”
     Death was a gift of transition from the old to the new. When you get to the Progress Worlds you will still see and feel much that is familiar, but indeed, you are going to experience an amazing transformation.

MAYNARD:       Well, I do feel pretty good now and I’m plenty glad to be going to heaven, but it is just that I expected reward not work. I tried to live a good life and avoid evil. I did everything they said I was supposed to do. I followed the rules.

ALLEGENTIA:       The activities of these new worlds are about equally divided between three main areas of life: work/service, study/investigation, and play/relaxation. You will enjoy the company of angels as well as many people from Earth and other planets. You will be astounded at the entertainment available. Everyone experiences the joy of advancing their talents. And you will learn to crave the value of sincere prayer, and the rejuvenation and bliss of worship.
     Yes, there is work and some of it is difficult, but there is also great excitement in becoming more than you are. You may have anticipated your reward to be a life of ease and pleasure, and heaven will deliver these in abundance, but there is so much more. Those who told you what to expect had but a hazy glimpse of the actual satisfaction awaiting the faithful. God knows the true desire of your heart and has fulfilled his part of the contract. He has and will continue to give you a greater understanding of the truth, a sweeter appreciation of beauty, and an augmented gratitude for goodness.

MAYNARD:       Okay, I’m starting to get the idea. I suppose expectations do get in the way sometimes. I took the leap of faith to believe in God in the first place, so I thought all I did and learned on Earth would be enough. It sounds like the church did not give me the full picture after all.

ALLEGENTIA:       You are correct, some impetus on your part is essential. Yet the “leap” does not refer to faith exclusively. Every quality has a range from a simple, single step to a great leap. Trust is often an indispensable ingredient for the success of acquiring a desired quality. It is a catalyst.
     Consider the quality of duty. It is always easier when you have someone spurring you on. This could be a parent, a friend, or an angel, but you move because you believe they are giving you the needed push with your best interest in mind. Simple duty can turn into responsible obligation, and eventually into loyal commitment – even up to a sacred trust. In the end you will not need the push, you will be a genuine leader.
     As you pursue a quality, you will acquire some of it; bringing it into your soul. Every positive quality you attain gives you a clearer vision of who God is. You are getting to know him by emulating him.

MAYNARD:       Okay, so I have to get a better idea of who God is. Can you tell me something I need to know?

ALLEGENTIA:       You have heard about many qualities attributed to God. I will give you a simple and yet accurate list of his primary nature and attributes. First of all God is a person. He is infinite love and he is absolute. Absolute is relative to nothing outside of itself. He is the center; everything and everyone is relative to him. He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. He is the creator, controller, and upholder. He is the source and the destiny of all reality. He is reality. He is gentle, generous, and giving. His justice is abundantly tempered with fairness and mercy. He is gloriously mysterious, but he will help you penetrate those mysteries as any good parent helps a curious child. He will tell you the truth because he is truth. And because he is absolute, all of his qualities and attributes are in perfect harmony. He is worthy of your worship.
     These are some of God’s perfect qualities, but you have already taken many good human qualities into your soul during your life. The more you sharpen your qualities, the more you will acquire the senses you need to perceive ever higher things and beings. If you compare yourself to the best Person of all, and strive to move toward Him, you will have an infinite quest worthy of the effort.

MAYNARD:       Wow, that sounds like a tall order!

ALLEGENTIA:       At the beginning of time God broadcast the admonition to “Be you perfect, even as I am perfect.” This may seem like an impossible task. And, of course, no finite being can be absolutely perfect in the same way God is. But every person can strive for perfection wherever they are – within their sphere of reality. You have been provided with the fundamental gifts to accomplish his command. For instance, you can fathom things beyond your actual acquired qualities and mental accomplishments. Pushing your boundaries helps you see beyond them. When you hear a list of values you know they are good. But your life will no longer be a simple choice between good and evil, from here on you will more and more seek what is better and best.
     God’s instruction to be perfect does not stop at physical death. Perfection is a long process, but there is increasing joy in every step from here to him. You will eventually be experiencing God all of the time and yet he is always much more than we can ever imagine.

MAYNARD:       Okay, now I know I will need a lot of help.

ALLEGENTIA:       You will have all the help you require. We have designed a very complete school which started on Earth, although we could only do so much there. But we, and you, will be able to continue your life lessons in heaven. You will find angels to be very knowledgeable, friendly, and fair. And humans, who have already taken the next steps, will be most obliging in giving you a leg up.

MAYNARD:       Well then, let me ask you a big question. Why did God do everything he did?

ALLEGENTIA:       Your survival in the universe has a function, for you and for God. For God, it is to share his loving nature and to escape infinity. For you, it is to find God and, in the process, to become eternal.

MAYNARD:       What do you mean “escape infinity?”

ALLEGENTIA:       Before there was anything the I AM was whole, undifferentiated, complete, infinite. There is no place to go and nothing to do if you are Primal Perfection. But Divinity is never without options. Since his overarching nature is dominated by love he was compelled to share himself; thus he decided to create everything and everyone. There are a myriad of beings between him and you, and we all have a relationship with him, and he with us.

MAYNARD:       Okay, I grant you I have a lot to learn. Thank you for helping me get started.