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Distributed for Swedenborg Foundation Publishers

Getting into Heaven--and Out Again

Imagine that you’ve just died. An angel appears in front of you, ready to guide you to the next life. You say to him, "I want to go to heaven." His reply, "OK, let’s go!"

In this light-hearted tour of the afterlife, based on the writings of Swedish scientist-turned-seer Emanuel Swedenborg, Albrecht H. Gralle takes the reader on a tour of heaven, hell, and the spaces between. What is it like in heaven? What about hell? What happens to people who have suffered horribly in this life? How do we reconcile that suffering with the idea of an all-loving God? What happens to people who simply don’t believe in anything beyond this world? What happens to the people who do? Is there sex in heaven? What about tea? 

During pauses in the tour, Gralle poses some hard-hitting questions about the nature of belief that speak directly to people who wonder how a modern, rational person can have faith in the absence of proof. The result is at once humorous and thought-provoking.

120 pages | 6 x 8

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You can enter heaven any time you like. I don’t mean that in the clichéd psychological sense; I’m not going to tell you that “heaven is your inner joy.” No, I mean the real heaven, the one your grandparents talked about and wanted to go to, the one the slaves in the cotton fields dreamed about when they sang “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” They were imagining a heavenly place where you do indeed feel better, where you get a new pair of shoes and jump for joy. A place where you can finally laugh at yourself again, where all wrongs are righted, and your hunger and thirst for justice is finally satisfied.

I mean the heaven where holiness and lust for life aren’t mutually exclusive; where there’s singing, talking, and planning; where life is finally full and complete.

I do not mean that boring old place where you have to sit on a cloud all day long singing hallelujah with no beer in sight.

Here’s the good news: You can enter this real heaven any time. You don’t need to be a Christian, a Buddhist, a Jew, a Muslim, or a member of some far-out cult.

Just tell the angel who is guiding you into the otherworld from the hospital where you just died, “I want to go to heaven.”

And he’ll respond, “Sure, you can go any time you like. I’ll accompany you for a while.”

At this point, you might be saying to yourself, “Hey, why is this so easy? Why did people on earth make such a fuss about it? Going to churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, or the gym, wrestling with moral issues and commandments and prohibitions and all those deep questions—and now this nice angel is saying, ‘Just go right in?’”

“Yes,” the angel says, hearing your thoughts as loudly as if you were screaming. “God isn’t the killjoy you always thought he was. He doesn’t deny anyone access to heaven. Here’s the entrance. After you!”

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