Dismissing Deism's conception of the unmoved Prime Mover, all of the world's most popular religions - except Buddhism in its purest form - choose instead the other fork in the road.
They envision a universe supervised by an engaged God who seeks our spiritual advancement, a fatherly eminence who invites worthy humans into a paradise of infinite contentment, to be attained chiefly after we die. These faiths hold that life should be lived as a monumental self-improvement course comprised of strenuous exercises in delayed gratification, ultimately delivering us through pearly goal posts.
Across all these scenarios, your experience of heaven will be, well, heavenly. In at least one celestial storyline, if you've been good, you'll find a bevy of sexy virgins awaiting your eternal pleasure. (But what good, and how good, could an eternal virgin possibly be, anyway? Maybe a just reward for Tantalus, arriving over and over, on Groundhog's Day.)
"Come In!" is a poignant chamber piece by Vladimir Martynov, who introduces the work with this parable:
"An ancient hermit said to his disciple: 'Strive to enter the inner cell of your soul and there you will behold the heavenly cell. Both are one: you enter them by the same door. The staircase to heaven is inside you: it exists secretly in your heart.' And it is true. Our whole life is but an attempt to find this miraculous entrance. All our deeds are but a timid knocking on this mysterious door. All our hopes are to hear, one day, perhaps, a voice that would respond, 'Come in!'"
More than any of heaven's sweepstakes winnings, this sweet vision, ultimately, is the promise of God.
TITLE - "Come In!"
WHERE - Port Moody, British Columbia (2015)