Fans of David Lynch’s “Eraserhead”, one of my very favorite films, of course know this line. If you’ve never seen Eraserhead, especially the beautiful new transfer available on DVD, get to davidlynch.com and grab a copy.
But what does this have to do with “Outside In”? The concepts behind of “heaven”, “the heavens above”, “heavenly sky” are interesting subjects to explore. From the earliest recorded human consciousness, we’ve looked to the sky, to the heavens above as our source of meaning, understanding truth and our likely ultimate destination.
From ancient belief systems to the major religions of the world, for centuries, the sky above was heaven. Then came science, specifically Copernicus, Keple and Galileo and the end of the earth-centered universe. A huge rift began to open between scientific and religious views of the skies above.
But even in our recent modern age, many people wondered if the first astronauts in space might find God. But now, for the the most part, many religious people now refer to heaven or their God’s dwelling place as some alternate or supernatural dimension, apart from the universe revealed by astronomy and science.
But here’s the interesting perspective. If you read any modern cosmology or astronomy stuff concerned with the history, present and future of the universe, it’s basically the same questions as most of our religions pose: What began it all? What (who) made it? Why are we here? Were are we going? How will it all end? Will it end? etc.
The most compelling part of this is where we expect to get the scientific answers – out there, above, “in the heavens”. Not only does Stephen Hawking think that his life’s work is about trying to understand the “mind of God” (his words), he also is a big proponent of starting human colonization of space as soon as possible.
Is space heaven? Is heaven in space? Are they the same thing? Interesting stuff…
So are religion and science really that far apart? When you look at the concept of “heaven”, perhaps not. We might all be asking the same questions and looking for answers in the same place without even realizing it.