Moon and Clouds

Whatever else Jesus may have meant by heaven or the kingdom of God, I hear in these terms the promise of utter fulfillment. I imagine heaven to be not a place but an experience, the bliss of realizing our true nature, as in the Buddhist and Hindu vision of nirvana. Of all the distractions that might prevent us from realizing our true nature, none is more seductive, according to Jesus, than the pursuit of worldly wealth. One need not accept this pronouncement as divine in order to recognize it as psychologically sound. If, above all other things, we treasure money and what money can buy, our lives will be given over to securing, monitoring and protecting our hoard, like dragons defending piles of gold. The craving will consume us. Multiplied a billionfold by a global population whose numbers Jesus could not have imagined, this craving, if unchecked by ethical or cultural restraint, will consume the planet.

— Scott Russell Sanders, A Conservationist Manifesto