Thursday, 30 May 2013

Sleep in Heaven?

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Lying in the bath, and dozing, I suddenly realized that I had always operated under the subliminal assumption that there was no sleep in Heaven - and that this was one reason why I found it hard to be wholly positive about the idea of eternal life: it seems so unrelentingly exhausting to be continually on-the-go.

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But then I realized, simultaneously realized, that this assumption was probably wrong, and that probably our resurrected bodies continue to operate cyclically, such that eternity would be divided into days (i.e. sleep, wake cycles).

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I infer this from the assumption that Jesus Himself slept, even after resurrection. Admittedly I see no positive Biblical evidence of this fact! - but I presume that if He had never slept this would have been so striking as to warrant mention...

Also, I do not see why the perfection of a Man should mean that he never sleeps - as if sleep were a flaw in human life, rather than an intrinsic part of human life.

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My new working hypothesis is therefore that sleep would be perfected, not abolished, in the Heaven-dwelling resurrected Man.

At any rate, for me, the assurance of regular perfect sleep would covert eternity from a terrifying prospect into a positively appealing affair...

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5 comments:

  1. Heaven and discipleship is certainly associated with rest over and over again in scripture and Christian tradition.

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  2. @A-G - I don't just mean rest but actual sleep. Since the Mormon concept of Heaven is the only one I can understand well enough to believe; you will recognize that this is especially important - because, without being punctuated by sleep, the descriptions of eternal progression sound absolutely exhausting! Don't you agree?

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  3. At least in heaven the whole "man, I'm wasting a third of my life asleep" thing is not an issue...

    What I'm going to do for all eternity during the time that I'm not asleep is another question entirely.

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  4. @JP - wrt your first comment, I am working on a book on sleep at present - which is why there are so many posts on the subject - and my main task is to present a view of sleep which does not see it as a waste of time, nor even as subordinate to waking life - I'd like to restore the idea of the whole day as the unit of life (not just the waking day).

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  5. some quick observations -
    (a) thinking heaven is bad because it is eternal is like thinking human life would be bad if there were no romantic rejection - infinities contain infinities...
    (b)a book on sleep and dreams would be fascinating, but there are no documented experts on dreams, because once you focus intensely on the subject of dreams you lose the required stance of treating dreams in a humane manner ( for example, it is hard to take the Romantic Poet Dreamers seriously, whereas the best writers on dreams - Tolkien, Shakespeare, Keats (too good to be called a "Romantic"), etc, kept their dream references restrained) ...
    (c) finally, without dreams, those humans who have experienced decades of chronic pain (and who, by that experience, had learned fortitude, painfully exquisite balance, and otherwise unattainable hunting skills) would be in much worse shape with respect to the underlying desire to live into the long-term future- and thus would be, to the detriment of others, much greater risk takers; so, while I think the evolutionist pretenders are mistaken in thinking they understand more than 10 or 20 per cent of biology, there is definitely something to the possibility (with which the e. pretenders might agree) that, without the blissful dreams that chronic pain sufferers often are privileged to dream (at least as far as I can tell), those sufferers (representing, regardless of era, 4 to 7 percent of people in the prime of life, would be my guess) would be orders of magnitude less able to contribute to the survival of their loved ones (and yes I am aware that literally nobody fully understands the logic of group selection) and hence their dreams, in a very real way, might be considered as vital to the propagation of their genes ...

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