Heaven Spread over the Earth

I came upon the ‘Gospel of Thomas’ three days ago. It is a list of sayings attributed to Jesus, discovered in 1945. The saying I first saw was this:

(113) His disciples said to him: On what day will the kingdom come? It will not come while people watch for it; they will not say: Look, here it is, or: Look, there it is; but the kingdom of the father is spread out over the earth, and men do not see it.


This sounds eerily like Clara wrote in The Salt Island Diaries. She writes:

Heaven is not a holy place; it is holiness of attention…. Heaven is no special time. It is eternal, which means, not later, but now and always. When Jesus said, “The kingdom of Heaven is at hand,” he did not mean `soon,’ but rather, it was available at that very moment, and still is.

If you are not in Heaven — right now — it is because you cannot admire yourself or anyone like you. What you perceive as reality is simply the non-Heaven that you insist upon. So shall you be, in life, and thereafter, until you make of yourself what you wish to see in others.

The Salt Island Diaries

A critical moment in The Diaries comes when Clara rejects the heaven she dreams of in order to stay with her embittered sister. She would rather build a heaven than to accidentally wander into one.

It is implied that to love in Heaven is to make Heaven. In Hell, love is connected to horniness, infatuation, fear, and disappointment. In Heaven, it is an act of creation. One does not seek other persons worthy of love, rather, one creates an environment which resonates only with others’ best impulses.

You can fall in love, or you can build love up. Love can either be an expression of will or will-lessness; in Heaven, it is will.

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