A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead.
He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.
After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight.
When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side.
When he was close enough, he called out, ‘Excuse me, where are we?’
‘This is Heaven, sir,’ the man answered.
Would you happen to have some water?’ the man asked.
Of course, sir. Come right in, and I’ll have some ice water brought right up’.
The man gestured, and the gate began to open.
‘Can my friend,’ gesturing toward his dog, ‘come in, too?’ the traveler asked.
‘I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t accept pets.’
The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog.
After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.
‘Excuse me!’ he called to the man. ‘Do you have any water?’
‘Yeah, sure, there’s a pump over there, come on in..’
‘How about my friend here?’ the traveler gestured to the dog.
There should be a bowl by the pump.’
They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it.
The traveler filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog.
When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree.
‘What do you call this place?’ the traveler asked.
This is Heaven,’ he answered.
‘Well, that’s confusing,’ the traveler said. ‘The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.’
‘Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That’s hell.’
‘Doesn’t it make you mad for them to use your name like that?’
‘No, we’re just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind
A Parable About Hypocrisy
This wonderful story is actually a parable about the hypocrisy often found in most religions and cults. They all have their concept of ‘exclusiveness’ and some form of elegant utopia in an afterlife. Within this ‘exclusiveness’ is the assumption they are members of a divine club, members only, and the remainder of the countless lifeforms in the universe are excluded, damned in some form or another. This arrogance is fundamental to the inhumanity of our humanity; and, a contradiction to all the platitudes of a divine and loving God or deity.
Of course, exclusiveness is a great marketing leverage for an ignorant and fearful creature. Selling someone a pass to an assumed heaven is good business. And, as long as those in ‘authority’ can keep a populous thinking small and full of illusions, the power over humanity continues.
As one who has been blessed, or cursed, with the ventures beyond the mortal body, conscious of the broad past, present, and future, the illusions of the human consciousness are both an enlightenment and one of despair. Within all humans, in all forms of life, there is the subliminal awareness of a universal existence, timeless and of a manner far beyond what has imprisoned our consciousness to perceive.
Yet, we remain within our little boxes and invent the utopias of our little creative minds. The angelic and mystical animations and myths and dreamy envisionments are a paradox in that they are elementary at best, but evidence of this subliminal universal awareness hidden within us.
Becoming aware that time is an invention and there is only a present tense, a permanent NOW, is far beyond us if we consider it from our limited preconceptions of reality. As the sciences and our journeys into the universe continue, we still assume an end to the expanse of it. Yet, there is no end. This exceeds our capacity to imagine.
With all this considered, when we can overcome our need for ‘exclusiveness’ we begin to liberate ourselves to a venture of endlessness in both time and space, far beyond the pagan concepts of ‘heavens and hells’.
Clay (The Universal Infidel)