Thursday 13 February 2020

Contrasting Heaven with mortal life - strengths and weaknesses

Our mortal life on earth is designed (by God, the creator) for experiencing and learning. That is why all is transient, why nothing lasts.

In mortal life we are meant to have an experience, to learn its lessons; and then we are meant to have other experiences. Nothing repeats exactly. Nothing can be held-onto.

In other words, mortal life is well designed for our benefit - as would be expected from a Creator who is our loving parent.

Heaven, by contrast, is a place for eternal commitments; a place for strong, solid Love: more accurately, the work of Heaven is built-on, built-from, strong and solid Love.

Therefore, Heaven is not a place for learning.

Since Love is the most important thing in God's creation; we could say that mortal life - not Heavenly life - is the place for learning about Love.

God's creation is 'bespoke' - individually tailored to the specific needs of particular persons.

And some people, some spirits, need to learn more about love than others; before Heaven. Perhaps some do not need to learn anything at all - they are incarnated and then die. Others need to learn a lot if they are to have a chance of being capable and willing for eternal Heavenly life; so to give them the best chance, their mortal life is organised accordingly - perhaps it is prolonged, perhaps they experience a lot of certain types of experience with respect to love...

Exactly that which makes it possible for Heaven to be Heavenly, also makes Heaven a poor place for learning.

Conclusion: There is good reason for this mortal life; and for the transient nature of this mortal life!



Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Excellent analysis -- and one that only makes sense in the (broadly speaking) "Mormon" context of God working with spirits that were not created by him in the fullest sense but were "already there." If God had created us from nothing, he could have created us already-fit for heaven and skipped all this "learning" business.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Wm - Yes, that's true. I was just thinking this morning about how important the basic 'building blocks' of Mormon theology have been for me, in terms of making sense of things - and especially in understanding the reason for mortal life. For example the division into pre-mortal spirit/ mortal incarnate/ immortal incarnate - this (which is something I have not found anywhere else prior to Mormon theology) seems to explain everything that needs explaining - including that which many/ most religions have 'needed' to explain by reincarnation.

'In a rational world' Mormon theology would be studied in all serious theological colleges and religious studies and philosophical departments, as an astonishingly original and fertile explanatory system or model - perhaps the single most original and radical metaphysical reformulation since... well, the Ancient Greeks, I suppose.

But, of course, this is not 'a rational world' - and almost nobody is interested enough to bother finding out!

(Plus, Mormons themselves are mostly not very interested!)

Andrew said...

I have come across numerous Christian pastors and teachers on Youtube, who I would describe as coming from a non-denominational background, who teach from the Bible and use the pre-mortal spirit/mortal incarnate/immortal incarnate template to explain God, Creation, Christ and Man. And they've often had personal Revelation to help explain passages in the Bible that lay out this template.

-Andrew E.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Andrew - Interesting, I've never come across anyone but Mormons; but then I suppose I don't actually spend time exploring the kind of resources you mention. If the kind of protestants you mention have converged on it, given all the weight of hostile tradition concerning creation ex nihilo/ ensoulment at conception etc., that would count as a significant convergence.

Ron Tomlinson said...

>In mortal life we are meant to have an experience, to learn its lessons; and then we are meant to have other experiences.

Seems consistent with the idea that dreaming is a significant source of real experience (whether we remember it or not). Perhaps for experiences that are impossible to recreate otherwise, e.g. to revisit a past situation and decide or interpret things differently.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Rt - That's my understanding of dreaming too - or at least, one of its functions.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Wm - Just noticed the scare quotes around Mormon - Now, now, don't be naughty; we'll not have any of that implied (Orwellian? Mangerialist? Cock-up?) nomenclature revisionism *here*!

That's one advantage I have from being a Theoretical Mormon - I can stay a (sort of) *Mormon*.

Note: This comment is a bit of an in-joke for Wm and myself - don't worry if you don't get what I'm hinting at.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Haha, good catch, Bruce, but I plead not guilty! The scare quotes were intended to indicate that I was using the term loosely, much as I might describe any believer in predestination as a scare-quote "Calvinist." As Andrew has pointed out, the metaphysical assumptions I was referring to are by no means exclusive to members of The Church With the Really Long Name That Must Never Ever Be Abbreviated.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Wm - So - you are claiming to have used "scare quotes" in a grammatically appropriate manner... Well, that's a novelty.