A Dome of Heaven is visualized as a hemisphere that encloses all the people, places, events, experiences, achievements, beliefs, and philosophies that define you. You are the one who determines what is included beneath your DOH. You stand in the centre of the array of all that is contained, beneath the vertex of the dome. Once established, your Dome of Heaven can continue to grow until the last breath of your last day.
Transcendence has many meanings. Transcendence implies rising above and beyond in some way, but after that, there are many ways to look at the term. There are many contexts, religious and not so religious, within which that term can exist. Perhaps the greatest impact of a transcendent philosophy in modern times was seen in the growth of the practice of transcendental meditation. How can we relate transcendence to the Dome of Heaven concept? Here is how I see it.
We collect all the positives of our life beneath our Dome of Heaven. If you look at the list in the first sentence of this post, you will notice the conspicuous absence of any mention of material objects, although I readily admit that material objects may be intrinsic to all the items listed as inclusions beneath a Dome of Heaven. We are integrally attached to all that is gathered there, but at the same time we can take a transcendent view. While standing in the very centre of the dome exactly beneath its vertex, amidst all that is contained, we cannot help but feel attachments. However, if we allow ourselves to float up toward the vertex (metaphorically and in our minds eye actually), we can detach ourselves from everything and survey the contents we have gathered in that place. As I survey what is gathered beneath my Dome of Heaven, in my minds ear I hear myself saying, “I see all the people that I love over there, and there are the places that I visited which I enjoyed and meant something to me, and there are some things that I have done that I am proud of……”, and so forth and so on. As I look around my dome, I don’t have to analyze or judge anything that I see, because that analysis and judgement was part of the selection process. I can literally transcend all that, and just sense all the feelings engendered by what I see.
I believe there is much to be gained by creating a Dome of Heaven and taking the transcendent view of your worldly universe of life’s influences. The essence of this blog is about preserving the self. That which is contained beneath a DOH is assembled from our memories. By selecting the memories you collect, you examine them and value them at the same time. By floating above them, sensing them, and letting all you “see” generate strong feelings and emotions, you give all those memories a permanence. We remember best what we feel most deeply, and what we remember is our actual self, hence we are preserving the essence of self in the process.