A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.
—Albert Einstein

If we accept the view that heaven is not a place but a state of consciousness, we can place our emphasis on realization—expanding our consciousness—instead of the pursuit of heaven. By doing the inner work and learning how to express the six heart virtues into our life to the benefit of all, we find our sense of interconnection with one another growing, and we discern the wholeness and unity in what formerly appeared to be separateness and isolation.

The habit of looking outward through the eyes of separation is changed through the application of the when-which-how practice because its signature strength is aligning the individual with a sense of service to humanity—not because humanity is broken or suffering in misery—but because it kindles the natural perception we have of our intrinsic interconnection with one another that we feel within our hearts.

One of the perennial truths that psychologists have uncovered is that the best determiner of happiness is the degree to which a person has meaningful relationships. Relationships that are truly meaningful have a foundation of emotional maturity that imbues genuineness to the relationship, by means of assisting others to flow through the density of everyday encounters with greater ease and understanding. This goes beyond trust. You can trust someone who is honest, but it doesn’t necessarily signify that the relationship is meaningful and authentic in service to a greater good.

There is a story in chaos theory that infinitesimally small actions can eventually cause major changes (i.e., the flutter of butterfly wings ultimately causing hurricanes on the other side of the globe). This story is a good metaphor for the intelligent communication that occurs from the smallest particles of existence spanning out to galactic scales. There is a vast interconnection, not only between humans, but between all particles of existence. And this interconnection is intelligent, communicative, and part of a Designing Force that we all exist within.