Category Archives: Under my Dome of Heaven

Blogs about things that are important in my life.

In my Dome of Heaven ideas abound

In my last post I introduced the idea of floating (in our mind) toward the apex of the hemisphere that is our Done of Heaven. The purpose of this exercise is to transcend the actual contents assembled within and sense the importance of what is there. The inspiration for this post, and posts to follow under this category, are all the result of that mental process.

The first thing I sensed within my dome of heaven is the importance of ideas. I seem to thrive on ideas and even revel in them. Not just my ideas, but the ideas of others as encountered through literature, art, music, science, through personal encounters, and observations of what is going on in the world. The more I let the sense of ideas sink in, the more I believe that it would be difficult to populate my personal hemisphere of life without them. Having ideas, explaining them to others (as teacher for much of my working life), and exploring ideas leading to new and interesting places (studying the pure sciences for years and participating in the experimental process), have been a constant in life. Even writing this blog on a regular basis is an outlet for an insatiable desire to express and explore ideas.

When we have our own ideas, it is concrete proof of our cognitive activity and relates to a basic level of awareness and understanding of ourselves, and the world around us. Some ideas generate from impressions however slight, and some ideas might be expressed as opinions which may or may not be well founded. Plans of actions are a sequence of ideas directed toward achieving a goal, which are best thought through carefully before implementation. Just the same, all these are evidence of our functioning brain and intellectual activity, and what are we without those two aspects of self.

Ideas need to have a rational and some valid information behind them, or else they may fall under the category of supposition and fantasy. Ideas that come from others, outside of our trust circle need to be validated. There is always the possibility of self-interest and ulterior motive working behind the facades of personality presented in public. There is a segment within society that is bent on having their ideas adopted as correct notions and worthy of belief. I include politicians, all bureaucracies, advertisers, lobbyists, purveyors of panaceas, populists of all sorts, the dogmas of religion, and over zealous religious or political leaders, to be within in this category of individuals. Ideas from these sources need to be measured against our personal form of “Occam’s razor”, or common sense reasoning, before there are accepted and perhaps adopted.

In the end, I was comfortable that the ideas I selected to be within my Dome of Heaven, were selected with due care. What about the ideas you might include within your DOH? As I reflected on this important component of my Dome of Heaven, I considered what naturally flows from having ideas including:  ideals, ideologies, and ideologues, but those are topics for my next post.

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Transcendence and our Dome of Heaven -Thoughts continued

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.

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Transcendence and our DOH

Before I continue examining the idea of discovering and enhancing our dome of heaven, I need to reflect on an email I received. I will not name the sender except with the first initial of their first name “K”.

K thoughtfully suggests that our DOH is the transcendence of self. She went on to state that the self is culturally constructed, which of course is true, hence she reminds us that there is no self without interactions outside of ourselves. Without cultural and social interactions one aspect of self, the actual self, will never form. The other element of self, the corporal self always exists. The true reflection of body/being, or as I might put it, the actual self/corporal self, exists only in the moment, rather than over time. Our memories are an accumulation of those moments. If as K suggests, our DOH is the transcendence of self, which may well be the correct way to look at the concept, then the accumulation of self beneath our DOH, provides the opportunity for transcendence.

I believe that to transcend the self, requires us to know the self intimately. Our Dome of Heaven is exactly the place to stand back and look at a lifetime in perspective.

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