There's something I've only told a few people in my life. I've written extensively about religion (Christianity specifically) and its affect on my life. Most people talk about being instilled with the fear of hellfire and brimstone. For me, I came to the realization after years of living with this fear, that hell didn't add up. I mean how were you supposed to enjoy heaven knowing that some friend or relative was roasting and being tortured in hell for all eternity?
However, heaven didn't seem much better. I know that sounds crazy. I mean how could anyone be fearful of or dread a place of everlasting life and happiness. Let me explain.
First, many people go on and on about these mansions and crowns laid up for them in heaven. But this didn't seem to match with the talk of these new bodies everyone was supposed to have. You know, the ones that never get old, tired, hungry, sick, etc. I mean what exactly would these houses have in them? There'd be no need for food, beds, water, TV, computers, or anything. It sounded as unnecessary as streets being paved with gold. What does it matter?
I also heard many preachers and fellow church members alike say heaven would be one big nonstop praise party. Everytime I heard this, no matter how hard I tried to block it, I'd think: Forever? I can barely get through 90 minutes of church! How am I supposed to be praising His name and giving the glory for all eternity? And if we're all busy gettin' down for Jesus, what need is there for the houses? I mean would there be intermissions for everyone to chill out for a second?
In my view heaven is an extreme. And extremes, whether they be pleasant or terrifying, soon become cliche and boring. While I love the idea of a place where there is no pain, sadness or death, an eternity spent worshipping and serving a deity (pretty much the same things you spent your whole life doing) would likely become mindnumbingly dull after awhile. But I think what makes me the most uncomfortable about heaven was that it seems to symbolize the death of human creativity. No more new music, art, books, movies, fashions or technology to discover or celebrate. Instead things would become static and unchanging for all eternity.
With all this said, I still believe in an afterlife, however improbable or illogical it might seem to some. I just don't believe we die and that's it. My version of heaven (the afterlife, celestial plane etc.) is a place where not only is there no more suffering, death or sadness but where people's differences are celebrated. Constant change, creativity and innovation would be on display and everyone would have equal space to express themselves and be heard. Like a big performing arts school in the sky lol.
So what's your idea of the afterlife? There are no wrong answers.