HEAVEN is what every one wants and is seeking, even if he does not call it heaven. All this human strife and struggle is the effort to obtain a fuller and better sense of life, and the best of everything that it affords. This reaching out for the best is an instinctive impulse to gain the perfect, which means heaven. Mortal man, no matter how limited and unsatisfying his present condition, has always had this instinctive hope for betterment. His quest has been so continuously defeated, however, because of his material belief, that he has been forced to regard the attainment of the complete and perfect sense of life, which is called heaven, as an impossibility in this world. Death has been regarded by mankind in general as the only door to heaven, and it has been held that no matter how good the man, he must die in order to enter heaven; but the thought of death is so repellent that no one ever really desired the heaven supposedly gained by that gloomy passageway.
In Science and Health (p.560) Mrs. Eddy has said, "The grand necessity of existence is to gain the true idea of what constitutes the kingdom of heaven in man;" and on pages 587 and 590 she has given some statements which are effectual aids in gaining this true idea. There is so much in the present sense of life besides the activities of divine Mind that it is surely not "the kingdom of heaven." No matter how humanly fortunate and satisfying it may seem at the moment, it involves so much possibility of change and disaster that no one would think of calling it heaven. Only the absolutely harmonious and unchanging sense of life can be heaven,and the going from the imperfect and changing sense of life to the perfect and unchanging, must be "going to heaven." As we advance from an imperfect sense of life toward the perfect, one of the first discoveries made is that all sense of matter will have to be eliminated. One cannot conceive of even the ultimate possibility of perfection in any material person, place, or thing. The human sense of perfection has been, and always will be, a relative and constantly changing concept. Mortal thought has had to concede the utter futility of any hope for perfection in matter, and has had perforce to relegate the experience of a perfect and unchanging sense of life called heaven to "a future world." Spirituality has always been the only basis and hope for immortality and heaven, and the teaching of Christian Science brings us a new basis and hope for the attaining of this spirituality.
A misunderstanding of what constitutes spirituality has given rise to the uncertainty and remoteness of heaven. In Christian Science the word spiritual is used to mean the perfect and eternal, because it signifies the opposite of what is called matter, wherein is no hope for either perfection or eternality. The word spiritual does not in any sense refer to the remote or intangible, or to a future world. It has to do with the present, with something very practical and available. There need be no uncertainty as to what is spiritual and what is not spiritual. The absolute, the perfect and eternal, is spiritual, and nothing else is. There is no possible compromise.