Author Topic: What does the entrance to heaven look like (if one exists)?  (Read 644 times)

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Offline LVMark

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What does the entrance to heaven look like (if one exists)?
« on: April 24, 2013, 12:29:17 PM »
Let me start by saying I am an atheist.  However, I had to go to a funeral a few days (now weeks I guess) back, and there was a discussion regarding how the person who died would be so happy in Heaven.  I started to think, if Heaven does exist, what is the process of getting there?  I have read numerous times on the God Is Imaginary web site about the complexities of what the Bible says regarding heaven.

Is your whole body transported there, or just your spirit?  If it is your whole body, then why is there still a body in the ground back here on earth (assuming that you were buried and not cremated)?  Or, if it is just your spirit or sole, then do they give you a new body?  Does the new body look exactly the same as your body was here on earth?  Which body -- the one you had at 20, or the one you had at 80 (assuming you lived that long)?  I see this whole "spirit transfer" thing much like when you get a new cell phone.  They hook up your old cell phone to a computer device, and hook up the new cell phone, then they transfer your contacts from old phone to new phone.  Certainly, you'd want that, to transfer all of your memories from life on this earth to your new brain and body, wouldn't you?

When I got back home, I did some searches on the Internet regarding how many people die every day on planet earth.  I will let you do that search for yourself if you desire, but the answer I got was about 150,000 to 155,000 people per day.  That is a pretty large number.

So, here are these 150,000 (approx) people per day that are arriving at the gates of heaven.  Let's assume their spirit (or, more accurately, all of their memories of life on earth) are transferred to a new body, that looks like their old body.  I'll leave it to you to decide if that was their body at 20, 80 or something in between.  If I get a choice, I think I'd like to have the body I had at about 25 or 30 but that is just me.

One image that you might have is the pearly gates and a line waiting to meet St. Peter.  But wow, 150,000 people in line every day?  That doesn't sound too good.  I think in terms of "queue management."  Think Disneyland or when you fly from one country to another and have to go through immigration.  You can't just have one line.  There are 86,400 seconds in a day.  Thus, the throughput needs to be about 2 people per second, so that the line is not growing. 

So, St. Peter cannot process 2 people per second all by himself, 24x7x365.  The process has to be more complex than going through immigration at LAX.  Remember, "you can't take it with you" and that includes your passport.  You have no "papers" to identify yourself.  Now, maybe heaven is a pretty advanced place, where they have a fingerprint scanner or a retina scanner or similar.  I guess this would assume that angels come down at night and do a scan of you, say shortly before you die, then upload that information to a database, so when you get there, they can quickly identify you.  Of course, they needed to make that new body they gave you have the same fingerprint and/or retina as your current body.  But, lets assume that for sake of argument.

Now, not all people that are dying are Christians.  Again back to the Internet, about 31.5% list themselves as Christian.  Let's call that 1/3 for easy math.  About 23% (call it 1/4) are Muslims and 15% (call it 1/6) are Hindi.

So, one way to help with the queue management issue is to put up some signs.  At LAX, for example, there is one line for returning Americans, and another line for those coming from countries that we don't require a visa, and another line for those countries where we do require a visa.  The same could work in heaven.  Only the Christians go to the St. Peter line, and there are other lines for the Muslims, Hindi and other religions.  For us nonbelievers, I'm not sure what happens.  Do we get a chance to get in, or is there a sign "go to hell, go directly to hell, do not pass go, do not collect $200?"

I'm not sure if there are different heavens for the different religions or is there just one heaven?  Let's assume there are different gates for different religions.  After you go through the gate for your religion, either that leads to "your heaven" or it leads to "heaven."  If it is multiple heavens, then it is like Disneyland, except that when you go through the main gate, you are immediately in tomorrowland or Frontierland (in heaven you are in Christian heaven or Muslim Heaven).  There is no "main street" immediately behind the gate.  Or, maybe it is like that, but you are required to branch off to "your heaven."  Also unclear is whether you are allowed to go from one heaven section to another.  I don't know what heaven section I am going to be assigned to, but I have friends here on earth of all faiths and I would like to be allowed to go from section to section to visit them, or have them visit me.  Just like at Disneyland, Tomorrowland might be my favorite, but I want to visit all "lands."

So, if we have multiple "gates" and only the Christians go to the St. Peter gate, then the Muslims can go to the Muslim gate.  That certainly helps St. Peter, as he now only has to process about 50,000 people per day instead of 150,000.  Still, he has less than 2 seconds per person to correctly identify you and decide if you meet the criteria for entry.  Again, think back to LAX and the Customs and Boarder Patrol (CBP) agents.  They scan your passport, wait for the computer results and kind of look you over while you are waiting.  Looking to see if you are sweating, I guess.  My understanding is that the airlines provide electronic data to CBP about who is on their airplanes so that the CBP can be ready to intercept an incoming person who they don't want in the United States.  Similar processes are possible.  While they are giving you your new body -- which who knows, could take days or weeks -- they could also be identifying you and helping to route you to the appropriate line (queue).

Now, maybe St. Peter is like the director of Homeland Security?  He doesn't personally screen each incoming person, he has agents that do that.  However, that makes you wonder, if you die, do you get assigned a job in Heaven?  Who gets assigned the job of being the equivalent of the CBP agent?  I thought when I died, if I went to heaven, that things were going to be, well, heavenly.  Nobody ever said anything about having to WORK there.  There are worse jobs here on earth than a CBP agent, but that really isn't my first choice.  Yet, it would seem that there is a need for consistency in the job, so you'd want the same people doing the job day after day.  Is there some group of people who have to serve as CBP agents, maybe for a year or so?  Is that what they call "limbo" when you are not in heaven nor hell?  But then again, would you want the people that came from earth who weren't the best people on earth to be the CBP agents, deciding who gets in and who doesn't?  Maybe being the CBP agent of heaven is actually one of the most coveted positions?  It just boggles the mind, doesn't it?

Now, some people coming to the gates of heaven are, if you believe religions, not going to get in.  Just like the CBP agent, if you are on the "watch list," you get sent to secondary screening and ultimately sent back to the country you came from.  At heaven, they call that being sent to "hell."  (Again, we are assuming such places exist, for the purpose of understanding how the process might work, toward the ultimate goal of deciding if such a process is possible at all, giving us a clue as to whether such a place might exist).

Queue management might be further refined at various religious gates.  Over at the Muslim gate, there might be a VIP line (much like at LAX where there is a special line for those who flew first class).  The VIP line there would be for jihadists.  They would get a special welcome, thanking them for dying for Allah.  I am not sure if the 72 virgins are assigned to them or do they pick from a pool of available virgins?

It is important to note, for this group (the jihadists), that a "body" is absolutely necessary.  Wouldn't it be a cruel joke on the jihadists if they actually did get 72 "virgins" but all the entities in heaven were merely the spirit of the person and not the actual person, complete with his body?  When I think of "spirits" I think kind of the "wisps" that you might have seen in the movie "Brave."  Also (again, playing along with the very unlikely scenario that jihadists actually get 72 virgins in heaven), it would be a cruel joke on them if they did not get a body that functioned sexually as we think of it here on earth.  Because, what would be the point of having 72 virgins if (a) the jihads didn't have a sexually functioning body and (b) the virgins didn't have sexually functioning bodies?  Remember that the jihadists are supposed to be good boys here on earth, never having sex, saving that until they got to heaven, and then having better sexual experiences in heaven than they could ever have with these "dirty" women here on earth.  However, it is said that the 9/11 guys did visit a Las Vegas strip club before flying the airplanes into the twin towers in New York.  Not sure exactly why they did that, as the Las Vegas strip club girls, while some having nice bodies, are certainly not the type of women that any good Muslim boy would want to be with.

Also thinking about that, where do these 72 virgins come from?  Are these women that died here on earth?  Certainly any jihads would only want a good Muslim woman, not a Christian woman that might at some time here on earth would have exposed her ankle or worse yet, a part of her thigh or breast to a man.  Were these girls that died young (say age 15 or less) and they keep them around at the Muslim gate, waiting for one of these jihadists to show up?  Do the virgin girls get to volunteer to be part of the available pool, does Allah decide which ones go to the pool, or exactly how does this work?

I hope that the above gives you a chance to think about whether heaven and/or hell exists and if it does, what those first few steps into it are like.  Your additional thoughts are appreciated.

Offline Quesi

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Re: What does the entrance to heaven look like (if one exists)?
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2013, 02:19:39 PM »
You clearly have very strong management skills.  I have no doubt that in the afterlife, you will be assigned a role ensuring increased efficiency in terms of processing entrants through the celestial gate.   

There are a lot more people than there used to be.  And a lot more deaths daily.  So it is clearly time for an overhaul of the system.  I'm pretty sure that once it is implemented, all existing copies of the scriptures will automatically update to reflect the new reality. 

I think it is pretty ambitious of you to take into account all of the afterlives associated with monotheistic religions.  The process for assigning appropriate afterlives for those who believe in reincarnation will be even more challenging.

I've linked this here before, but it is about my neighborhood, and I can't link it enough.  And I suspect you might appreciate it.

 http://www.theonion.com/articles/various-deities-still-sorting-through-victims-of-t,2248/

Offline Backspace

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Re: What does the entrance to heaven look like (if one exists)?
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2013, 02:52:11 PM »
Wouldn't it be a cruel joke on the jihadists if they actually did get 72 "virgins" but all the entities in heaven were merely the spirit of the person and not the actual person, complete with his body? 

Made me lol  :laugh:.
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Offline LVMark

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Re: What does the entrance to heaven look like (if one exists)?
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2013, 04:23:18 PM »
You clearly have very strong management skills.  I have no doubt that in the afterlife, you will be assigned a role ensuring increased efficiency in terms of processing entrants through the celestial gate.   

There are a lot more people than there used to be.  And a lot more deaths daily.  So it is clearly time for an overhaul of the system.  I'm pretty sure that once it is implemented, all existing copies of the scriptures will automatically update to reflect the new reality. 

I think it is pretty ambitious of you to take into account all of the afterlives associated with monotheistic religions.  The process for assigning appropriate afterlives for those who believe in reincarnation will be even more challenging.

I've linked this here before, but it is about my neighborhood, and I can't link it enough.  And I suspect you might appreciate it.

 http://www.theonion.com/articles/various-deities-still-sorting-through-victims-of-t,2248/

Thank you, but I was not volunteering for a work position.  :)  However, I do find it very frustrating when going anywhere and finding long lines.  Although Disneyland isn't perfect, they definately are highly skilled in the management of large crowds.  It was reported after 9/11 that the US Gov't requested the help of Disney with regards to lines at the airport.  However, the simpliest solution to any line is to add more lanes.  If you are at a grocery store and they have 20 check out lanes and the lines are long, they probably need 30 check out lanes, or more. Keep adding lanes until the problem goes away, or make each lane process people faster -- for example adding a bar code scanner vs. the old way of ringing up each item on a cash register.  Same thing works at the immigration station at LAX.  More lines equals faster throughput.

Still, I was hoping for a heaven where I didn't have to work.  Nonetheless, if I can just offer suggestions without having to implement them, I might stop by the front gates now and then to see how it is going.

The number of people on earth is growing and therefore the raw number of deaths per day is growing as well.  This also is a frustration of mine.  If a business sees this ever increasing demand for its product, then they should add staff and/or equipment to meet the demand, otherwise their customer service will decrease over time. 

Offline Hierophant

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Re: What does the entrance to heaven look like (if one exists)?
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2013, 04:30:51 PM »
Well, L. Ron Hubbard reported that he went to Heaven and what it looked like:

Quote
The gates of the first series are well done, well built. An avenue of statues of saints leads up to them. The gate pillars are surmounted by marble angels. The entering grounds are very well kept, laid out like Bush Gardens in Pasadena, so often seen in the movies. Aside from the implant boxes which lie across from each other on the walk there are other noises and sounds as though the saints are defending and berating. These are unimportant to the incident.

The second series, probably in the same place, shows what a trillion years of overt acts does (or is an additional trickery to collapse one's time). The place is shabby. The vegatation is gone. The pillars are scruffy. The saints have vanished. So have the Angels. A sign on one (the left as you "enter") says "This is Heaven". The right has a sign "Hell" with an arrow and inside the grounds one can see the excavations like archaeological diggings with raw terraces, that lead to "Hell". Plain wire fencing encloses the place. There is a sentry box beside and outside the right pillar. The road "leading up" to the gates is deeply eroded. An effigy of Joseph, complete with desert clothing, is seen approaching the gates (but not moving) leading a donkey which "carries" the original Madonna and child from "Bethlehem". The implanting boxes lie on either side of this "entering" path at path level.

Offline LVMark

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Re: What does the entrance to heaven look like (if one exists)?
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2013, 04:39:19 PM »
Wouldn't it be a cruel joke on the jihadists if they actually did get 72 "virgins" but all the entities in heaven were merely the spirit of the person and not the actual person, complete with his body? 

Made me lol  :laugh:.

Glad you enjoyed.  The whole "72 virgin" thing just has so many holes in it that I can't stop thinking about them. 

OK so the 19 terrorists from 9/11 get to heaven.  They go to the VIP line at the Muslim gate.  Mohammad and Allah were aware of Bin Laden's plans so they got the virgins rounded up and ready.  They would need a minimum of 19x72=1,368 virgins. 

Did they have the exact number waiting, or did they have more than that, and each terrorist got to pick from the available pool?  If it were me, I'd like to pick from the pool.

Were the virgins covered head-to-toe in clothes (sorry, I don't off hand know the name of that head-to-toe garb that Muslim women wear), or were they wearing clothes that we would commonly find here in America?  Or, were they wearing bikini's?  Or, was it like the Las Vegas strip clubs that the terrorists visited before getting on those airplanes?  Again, if it were me, I'd want to see as much as possible of these women before selecting them.  Some of those Muslim girls are not that pretty and if you are going to be stuck with them for life ... well, I'm just saying...

Now, if these were relatively young girls that died, but then grew up to full adulthood, that might be OK.  On the other hand, if these were women that were 80 years old and still virgins, well ...  may not be the pick of the litter, so to speak.

OK, so terrorist #1 goes first and picks his 72 virgins.  It would only seem right that they give him a pretty nice house.  I'm not saying that it has to have 72 bedrooms, but certainly needs one really nice master suite and rooms large enough for his harem of 72.  Maybe 3 virgins to a room?  That would be a 25 bedroom house. 

So, terrorist #1 either was also a virgin, or perhaps sinned while here on earth, but his mistakes were wiped away by flying the plane into the building.  First night in the house, he selects one of his 72 virgins.  The next morning ... well there are 71 virgins in the house.  Repeat with some frequency and in about 72-90 days ... ummmm... there are no more virgins in the house. 

And this would be his life for the remainder of eternity?  Oh yeah, and 72 women saying "I want this, I want that."  And, why do you spend more time with #47 than you spend with me?

Long term, it doesn't sound so great, now does it?  :)

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: What does the entrance to heaven look like (if one exists)?
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2013, 06:35:36 PM »
Wouldn't it be a cruel joke on the jihadists if they actually did get 72 "virgins" but all the entities in heaven were merely the spirit of the person and not the actual person, complete with his body?
I have this amusing image of the entirety of Heaven filled with Wisps.

Quote from: LVMark
That certainly helps St. Peter, as he now only has to process about 50,000 people per day instead of 150,000.  Still, he has less than 2 seconds per person to correctly identify you and decide if you meet the criteria for entry.
I bet Heaven moved to holograms a while back to give poor St. Peter a break.  Think like The Doctor from ST: Voyager - a solid hologram that handles the mundane processing to get into Heaven.  Put five of these St. Peter holograms in different lines, and each one gets about ten seconds to review entrants.  Thirty gives a minute each, enough time to actually spend a few seconds in idle talk.

Offline stuffin

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Re: What does the entrance to heaven look like (if one exists)?
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2013, 07:47:35 PM »
The suggestions of waiting in long lines and heavenly residents having to work sure don't sound like heaven.

I think they use something like hospitals do for outpatient procedures, PRE-REGISTRATION. They can't capture everybody this way but it would help eliviate the burden of Saint Peter.

The other thing they could do is eliminate the gate. If god has ordained you as heavenly wispy material there would be no need for a gate, just come on in. Now if those souls who are going to the other place try to sneak in you would probably need a gate.

What the heck am I thinking, god shouldn't need no freakin gate!

End of rambling thoughts and mumbles on the subject.
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Offline Nick

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Re: What does the entrance to heaven look like (if one exists)?
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2013, 09:09:32 PM »
St Peter is the ultimate Wal- Mart greeter.  What kind of reward is that for Jesus favorite apostle?
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: What does the entrance to heaven look like (if one exists)?
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2013, 02:50:40 AM »
Guys, guys - we're focussing too much on the QUEUES.  With the Disney analogy, you don't go to Disneyland to queue, you go for the rides and the shows!

Different sources give different figures, but a reasonable average seems to be around 100,000,000,000.  I'm going to err well on the side of caution, and say that just a quarter of those get into heaven.

But that still means that heaven currently holds some 4 times the entire current population of the earth - and rising rapidly.  So I'm less concerned with the line to get in, and more concerned with how long it takes to get served as the deli.

And what are the transportation links like?  Imagine living where you live now - but with 4 times the population.  What's travelling going to be like?  I hope there are some good transport links, because its going to take forever to get anywhere under your own steam.  Wings I guess will make it easier, and it may be that - living forever - taking five days flying to pop to see a friend won't be a "waste" of eternity.  But I hope there are a lot of books available, I reckon I'd get WELL bored with all the boring "a to b" stuff.

Maybe we all teleport whenever we want to?  Hope there's good admin there too - with 25 billion people popping in and out all the time there must be a high chance of two people popping in together.  Explosion?  Conjoinedness?  I need to know!  And also, are there exclusions as to where you can go?  I sincerely doubt that I will like ALL the 25 billion people in heaven.....how can I stop them from teleporting into my front room while I'm watching TV?  At least with no teleporting I can pretend to be out.

So yeah - queues are the least of the issues.  It transportation, privacy, and boredom that will be the REAL issues in heaven.
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Offline LVMark

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Re: What does the entrance to heaven look like (if one exists)?
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2014, 04:51:05 PM »
Guys, guys - we're focussing too much on the QUEUES.  With the Disney analogy, you don't go to Disneyland to queue, you go for the rides and the shows!

Different sources give different figures, but a reasonable average seems to be around 100,000,000,000.  I'm going to err well on the side of caution, and say that just a quarter of those get into heaven.

But that still means that heaven currently holds some 4 times the entire current population of the earth - and rising rapidly.  So I'm less concerned with the line to get in, and more concerned with how long it takes to get served as the deli.

And what are the transportation links like?  Imagine living where you live now - but with 4 times the population.  What's travelling going to be like?  I hope there are some good transport links, because its going to take forever to get anywhere under your own steam.  Wings I guess will make it easier, and it may be that - living forever - taking five days flying to pop to see a friend won't be a "waste" of eternity.  But I hope there are a lot of books available, I reckon I'd get WELL bored with all the boring "a to b" stuff.

Maybe we all teleport whenever we want to?  Hope there's good admin there too - with 25 billion people popping in and out all the time there must be a high chance of two people popping in together.  Explosion?  Conjoinedness?  I need to know!  And also, are there exclusions as to where you can go?  I sincerely doubt that I will like ALL the 25 billion people in heaven.....how can I stop them from teleporting into my front room while I'm watching TV?  At least with no teleporting I can pretend to be out.

So yeah - queues are the least of the issues.  It transportation, privacy, and boredom that will be the REAL issues in heaven.

Those are good points.  With 50,000 to 150,000 people arriving daily, it must be the ultimate housing boom.  Sure, if the wife dies first and the husband arrives, *maybe* he will go join her in the house she already received?  Or ... he might apply that "until death do us part" thing and get his own house and start over?

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Re: What does the entrance to heaven look like (if one exists)?
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2014, 04:56:10 PM »
I figure the gates of heaven would resemble the McDonalds arches.
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Offline kcrady

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Re: What does the entrance to heaven look like (if one exists)?
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2014, 05:52:36 PM »
Even if we set aside all the talk of mundane limitations (Heaven = Disneyland, queues at the gate, etc.), and assume that Jesus can walk with everyone individually on the beach for as long as they want because omnipotence (he walks with each one in their own slice of the Heavenly Multiverse?), there's still the issue of non-omnipotent beings.  How many Christians are going to want to meet the Apostle Paul or Archangel Michael?  How many Muslims will want to hang out with Mohammad or the Caliphs?  The line for autographs will never. ever. stop.

As for the "72 virgins" thing, my guess is they'll be magic sex-robots with auto-regenerating hymens.  That particular fantasy is not geared toward men who actually want to have relationships with real women.  It'd be relatively simple to program a robot to act shy at first, then moan and cry out like a porn star.  Basic chatbot software with some motor control and sensing for the bodies, and you're done.  The Japanese could just about do it today. 

Unless Allah is just a really sick bastard, Muslim Heaven is women's Hell, and he also wants to torment his terrorists by providing them with 72 sets of in-laws.

Also, I have to wonder: will women be given spiritual sex-change operations before they enter Christian Heaven?  Think about it: it's an all-male spiritual universe--male God(s), male angels, male Devil, male demons.  Jesus is portrayed saying that in Heaven "they will neither marry nor give in marriage, but will be like the angels."  In the Bible, every angel that we ever see is male, and no indication is given that there are female angels being kept locked inside angel houses.  The Christian spirit realm is a boys-only treehouse.  So, either deceased Christian women are the first female spirit beings in Heaven, or they each get issued a spirit-dick on their way in.  Maybe they don't call him St. Peter for nothing?
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Offline Nam

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Re: What does the entrance to heaven look like (if one exists)?
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2014, 06:19:32 PM »
^like here on Earth: women are used then thrown away.

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Offline Betelnut

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Re: What does the entrance to heaven look like (if one exists)?
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2014, 08:50:49 PM »
OP, I think you would enjoy the great film, A Matter of Life and Death (Stairway to Heaven), directed by  Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger.  It is beautifully filmed and has a very interesting idea of heaven.  There are actually bureaucrats there managing activities.