I used to wonder why we all wanted to go to heaven to just play a harp. That sounded boring. But, I wasn't supposed to like Hell either.
I used to believe that when you died and went to heaven, you'd get a big stack of video tapes of your life. I was sure God has a bunch of survellience cameras watching you constantly and when you died you could see them again. I seemed to remember this upon doing something embarassing - sure that not only would I see it again, but that everyone in heaven was watching it at that moment.
Brought up as a Catholic, I was taught to take care of my soul so that I would be entitled to get into heaven in due course. I used to believe that my soul was a weetabix-shaped organ in the middle of my body. Well, not just weetabix-shaped. When I imagined it, it looked exactly like a real weetabix.
When I was little, I was taught about heaven and how when we went there we'd be able to fly. I was also taught that if we had enough faith, we'd be able to do anything. Thinking that the only thing keeping me from flying now was my "weak" faith, I would think about God while jumping off a chair. Of course, I always fell and so concluded that in heaven people simply lined up behind one of those man-cannons, for their turn to be shot into the sky. They just fell slower.
Soon after my paternal grandmother died, I entered puberty and discovered the shameful joys of auto-eroticism. For a long while afterward, I agonized over whether my grandmother, from her seat in Heaven, gazed disapprovingly upon my carnal transgressions.
I used to believe that when animals died they became camels in heaven. I think it came from all the sunday school lessons with the stick-on felt picture boards where they always had camels in the background.
I used to think Heaven was a holiday resort and Spain was where you went when you died. I nearly split my ring when Dad announced he was going to Madrid on a business trip.
This is actually my dad's belief. When he was little there was a dry cleaners near his house that emitted alot of steam out of the back. He was convinced that this cleaners was pergatory and that they were cleaning souls in there.
When I was very young, a Catholic playmate told me about Purgatory, only he pronounced it "perkatory." I immediately had an image of a land that looked like the inside of a giant coffee pot, with percolator baskets growing out of the ground, hot coffee raining all around, and steam shooting up out of the ground.
Maybe I wasn't that far off after all.
my sister used to tell me that manhole covers were direct portals to hell.
In parochial school we were always told that the soul was physically part of you, was inside of you, and when you died the soul left your body and flew off to heaven. Well then: part of you, inside of you. . . . A soul must be one of your inner organs! I used to picture heaven to be lots of clouds with little kidneys in sneakers and wings, playing harps. When I think about souls today, that's still the first picture I get.
I used to think that the beams of light coming from the sun that peaked through the clouds was God "beaming up" all the newly dead people.
I used to believe that souls, for no explicable reason, looked like floating, shiny rib cages. When I was taught about heaven, I pictured all these golden rib cages (as souls) floating around, about 3 feet from the floor.
i used to think that there wouldn't ever be enough toilets and refrigerators in heaven because of there being so many dead people =]
When I was 10 a friend told me that if you said "devil" and "hell" more often than you said "God" and "heaven", then you would go to Hell (and vice versa). I was really worried so every time I said "hell" or "devil" in whatever context I would say heaven lots of times. When I wasn't doing anything I would often be saying "God god god god" just to even out the score.
I attended a Christian school, where they told us that, come Judgment Day, every thing we'd ever done would be shown to everyone who ever lived (like a movie), and that we would be terribly ashamed when all of our sins were revealed.
I kind of believed this. But even at the age of 11, I thought "Well, if we all have to watch ALL the sins of ALL the billions of people who have ever lived -- by the time they get to me, everyone will be too bored to pay attention.
when I was about 4 i was out walking with my mother and kept staring at the clouds in the sky.
She asked me what I was looking at, to which i replied "god's up there somewhere picking the flesh off the dead bodies..."
I was such a sweet child..
My parents were fundamentalist Baptist. We were told, as young children, that when you died and went to heaven that your bodies would be like Jesus's.
They MEANT that it would be like his body after the ressurection: healed; float; fly; walk through walls; etc.
BUT to me, it meant that we'd all be floating around heaven naked and we'd all look like Jesus, which was o.k. for the guys but how would the gals handle this and how would we recognize anyone?
When I was about 5 or 6, I use to believe that if Hell was hot and all Fire, then Heaven must be cold and all Snow and Ice.
For no apparent reason, I used to envision heaven as a series of rooms connected by tunnels. In the biggest room, God sat in a throne and Jesus sat at his right side. In the corner of the room, there was a trap door where dead bodies would come from Earth. Worker angels would pile the bodies up in stacks, then later come back and zap them with afterlife. Then they would turn into angels and float around through the tunnels. I didn't really look forward to heaven.