Will Fido And Frisky Go To Heaven?

A simple strategy to ensure financial success in the world of publishing is to give people what they want. As a philosopher/theologian, I could make a big pile of money writing a book assuring pet owners that Fido and Frisky will make it to the gates of heaven.

If I wanted to become filthy rich (in the true capitalistic spirit) I would not be worried about where to draw the line, either. Billy’s pet gerbil, Johnny’s corn snake, and Susie’s guppies would all be included in God’s Infinite loving scheme for all creatures, big and small, to enjoy eternal blessedness. Heck, wouldn’t an all-loving God offer redemption even for lowly bacteria?

Unfortunately, I could not write such a book, even though I have shed my share of tears over many beloved pets in my lifetime. I can only offer an opposing view and hope that I can escape being skinned alive by animal lovers and pet owners because of this short post. I am willing to risk ridicule by well-meaning people because I feel this is an important issue to address. It involves making rational (rather than emotional) sense out of what is involved in eternal salvation.

All true religious worship involves walking with God. This means recognizing the Lord as the God of heaven and earth, while adopting God’s tenets of unselfish love into our lives. This path involves acts of service to others from a spiritual principle.

Animals cannot walk with God – even with a leash. The reason is, that even the most intelligent dog (or primate), cannot follow a person embarking on a spiritual path. This path is not a street sidewalk or park path. A spiritual path is the direction a man or women’s heart and mind is going. Being bipedal, four-legged, or eight-legged is a non-issue.

Heaven is not a place you go to. It is something you become. That is the whole purpose of religion – to offer values that will change our inner realities towards more heavenly qualities.

It is one thing to “roll over.” It is quite another to turn one’s life around.

Animals are unable to adopt higher principles into their lives because they are hard-wired into their natural instincts. They cannot rise above their biological loves of self-preservation, finding comfort, food, and reproduction.

If you insist that animals have souls just like us then you downplay the very reason and importance of religion. Eternal life requires conjunction and relationship with God. Relationship with God is reciprocal, not one-sided. Humans must learn to return God’s love through religion and the revealed wisdom of the Holy Word.

However, all might not be lost for the devout pet lover. According to the theological writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, when we are in the spiritual world and think about another person, that person becomes immediately present (all spaces and measurement in heaven are states of mind). Perhaps there is some wiggle room for allowing Fido or Frisky’s “image” to reappear before us in heaven as the spirit moves us. You may draw some comfort from that. But to enjoy the real blessedness of heaven is to have our attention more perfectly turned to God.



About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at http://www.staircasepress.com
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26 Responses to Will Fido And Frisky Go To Heaven?

  1. Linda Austin says:

    What! Don’t you believe in reincarnation! Somehow, when I look into Buddy’s eyes, I see a soul looking back sad to be trapped in a dog’s body. The cats now… bless their sweet fluffy brains…

  2. thegodguy says:

    You have cleared something up for me. When my wife looks into my eyes she sees a former highly developed being trapped inside the lowly and inferior body of a middle-aged American male. I am treated like part of the family, though…

  3. Israel Jeremiah Godfrey says:

    Thanks for believing in love. That really is what God is about. Not hell. You have blessed me today.

  4. thegodguy says:

    If more people really understood the significance that God is Infinite Love, and that God’s heavenly kingdom consists of love, they would understand that faith alone will not lead to eternal happiness.

    Goodness is a choice. Therefore, Heaven is a choice. True religion centers on changing one’s heart, not on resting one’s salvation on some hope or belief.


  5. billy36278 says:

    Sorry to disagre, but there is nothing in the bible (the letter from all mighty God) that says there are no animals in heaven. This is just your opinion thats all.
    God is a loving God, he loves us uncondionally just like our loving furbabbies love us. We as humans are sinners, our animals don’t sin therefore they don’t have to be saved through Jesus Christ. Animals have souls, it says that in the bible.
    With prayers through Jesus Christ anything is possible. Its no way that our loving God would give us such sweet/kind souls to serve us and after their death here on earth to just vanish and its over.
    There are way too many people that have littery died and was brought back to life by cpr, on hospital surgerys etc that have seen their loving pets for a brief moment in “the light ” waiting on them.
    So your opinion is your opinion. Prove to me in the bible (gods words) that our loving pets will not be there when our job on earth is done. You Can’t simple as that.
    I can’t prove they will be there but I know with God, anything is possible. As for me, I am keeping the faith, praying and doing Gods work as he wants me to do here on earth untill its my time to go home.
    God Bless, I will pray for you all.

  6. thegodguy says:

    Dear billy,

    Thank you for your heartfelt response.

    Having a soul does not lead to a life in heaven. Those who end up in hell have souls too! The difference between souls in heaven and souls in hell is according to whether they are oriented to God or not. One orients one’s soul to God by loving God and the neighbor.

    The souls of animals are oriented to the physical world and are instinctive. In other words, they cannot transcend their biological selves by consciously choosing a more noble principle of love to live by (like we can). As such, animals cannot enter into any covenant with God.

    However, there are animals and plants in the spiritual realm. BUT they are the reflections of the various qualities of one’s heart and mind. These qualities form the psycho-spiritual biosphere of one’s spiritual landscape.

    Remember, heaven is a non-physical realm. The human mind is also non-physical. Therefore, heaven is not a place you go to – heaven is something you become! This is why the Lord God said that “The Kingdom of God is WITHIN you.”

    Spiritually yours,

    • I don’t know what man on Earth that has taught you so many wrongs…But you have to research what every word/phrase means in the Bible in Greek/Hebru etc to see what that word/phrase really means. The Bible has been re written in English so many times and has many many mistakes in translation. For Example: The Part that Jesus said in order to get to Heaven you must Hate Your Mother and Father. There are a lot of people that read that and sadly has though it to be true and want to go to Heaven so they really have turned against their Parents and truly Hate them Now.
      But in Hebru/Greek the word “Hate” back then meant “To Love Less”.
      And now you are telling me there is not a Heaven to Go to….Well as it stands right now, when You die, your soul goes to the Maker (God) You go to a part of Heavens called Paradise. There are 2 parts of Paradise right now called the “GUF” Not like any Guff we know its just called the Guf. The ones who has overcome goes to the Good Side and the ones that just have not made it goes to the other side…Awaiting the 1000 years when Jesus comes back, the 1000 years of teaching and after that, the White Thrown Judgement.. And then we are judged, for our good deeds and our bad deeds…The ones that don’t Make it are simply “Bolted out” some call it Hell but there is really no Hell as some pastors teach..You don’t Burn forever, God is a Consuming Fire>
      the Phrase you quoted above The Kingdom of God is Within you means we are all Part of God, and the choice is ours of Free Will.
      After the 1000 years of teaching and after the Judgement, Heaven will be on Earth….

      • thegodguy says:

        Dear Billy,

        In a nutshell, God’s Holy Word contains 3 levels of meaning. The Lower or literal level is adapted to human terrestrial (literal) mind. The other two higher levels embrace non-physical and purely spiritual realities. The “Second Coming” of the Lord will be the revealing of these higher realities to the human race through a deeper perception of God’s truth. That is why the Lord, when on earth, stated that His return will not be an observable (physical) event. Spiritual realities are beyond spacetime. Therefore heaven cannot be a “place” but a way of living from deep inside the soul.

        Spiritually yours,

  7. billy36278 says:

    to probailtyzero. mank thanks and kind regards

  8. thegodguy says:

    Dear billy,

    I suspect your full response did not come through. Could you please check. I cannot comment on the few words written in your remark above.

    Spiritually yours,

  9. domenic says:

    animals will always be part of Gods kingdom, as long as our loves and affections correspond to what that animal repersents, cause animals give us spiritual energy, certain animals repersent gentle affection and others evil affection, i belive that animals don’t go to heaven in the same way we do, but they will always be part of heaven according to are affections in life. cause they play such a major role in our spiritual life and journey, our pets have all the attributes of a human, except there vices, animals were created in the order of there life we humans were’nt, so as long as they serve a spiritual purpose in our life, they will be part of it in some way shape or form in eternity. take care and God bless.

  10. thegodguy says:

    Dear Domenic,

    Thank you for contributing to this topic. Animals indeed represent human emotions. And, they can serve a spiritual purpose in our lives (the Lord arranges ALL things to do so). However, it is our subjective (chosen) emotions and values that make up the fauna of our particular ecosystem in the afterlife – not our terrestrial pets. If pets were so essential to spiritual growth we would not need God’s tenets.

    If you want to believe that our pets can follow us into the spiritual world (as our outward realities peel away to bring forth more inner realities) that is fine. Such a sincere and loving emotion will not hurt your spiritual destiny.

    Spiritually yours,

  11. domenic says:

    it all depends on the spiritual role that animals played in our life, cause heaven is made up of different sociaties accorrding to our mental states of mind, and the lord provides our life with the affections we had here on eartth, loving God is also part of loving the things that he created, providing they serve a spiritual purpose, so that i dont repeat myself the bottom line for me is what ever we loved her on earth will be recreated in eternity according to our emotions towards the things we cared about here, Good or bad. this is what i meant by our surrondings in the spiritual world. what would it be like in eternity to the animal lover who loves animals in a spiritual way, without them. Good post on your behalf… God bless

  12. thegodguy says:

    Dear Domenic,

    Thank you for the compliment. Yes, love all things in God’s creation!

    Spiritually yours,

  13. domenic says:

    the reason the animals have such a short life, is because they already know how to love. Humans are given more time to learn. thought id add that into the topic.

    • thegodguy says:

      Dear domenic,

      If what you are saying is true then all animals are a shoe-in for heaven. Is there a cutoff point in your worldview – like microbes?

      Swedenborg states that heaven and its happiness is a choice (from free will). If animals are all born for heaven then they have no actual choice in the matter. If they have no choice in the matter than they have no true individuality or inner freedom.

      Furthermore, heaven and its angelic societies are analogous to the HUMAN form and all its cells, tissues and organs.

      Spiritually yours,

      • domenic says:

        not all animals only, gentle animals that repersent spiritual affections, like sheeps rams horses and cattle and maybe some domestic animals, will be seen in heaven, like i said i dont belive they go to heaven like we do, that i agree, the wild and destructive animals will repersent hell. the good heaven, like you said heaven is not a place you go to but what we become. animals were created to repersent aspects of heaven, which is unconditonal love, were we were created to be like heaven,they dont need inner freedom like we do to chose, cause there a repersentation of our heavenly loves, thats why we will see them, i think we can agree on that much.

  14. thegodguy says:

    Dear Domenic,

    Animals indeed appear in heaven – as representations of human affection. This is different than a physical animal dying and going to heaven. Swedenborg states that animals do not make such a cosmic transition.

    Even angels of the highest heaven continue to be purified throughout eternity, so how is it that animals escape such a perfecting process. I am not aware of dogs or cats symbolizing something as noble as unconditional love within the scheme of correspondences. In fact, as a person regenerates, the animals that represent his or her loves in the spiritual world, changes as well. So, if you are spiritually advancing, Fido would have to morph into Nelly Bell or into some other species with a higher correspondence to keep up with you!

    In Scripture, individuals (whether historic or not) are also used to represent the Lord’s qualities even if in real life they were highly flawed (and ended up in hell). To be as innocent as a “dove” does not mean that a physical dove is, itself, a creature of spiritual innocence.

    Spiritually yours,

  15. domenic says:

    all im saying is, if you truly and honestly love God and your fellow man and his creation,life in eternity and how it will be like will take care of its self, regardless of all are total understanding on the subject, true love never disapoints. God bless

  16. thegodguy says:

    Dear Domenic,

    Yes, “true” love is the key. I think my next book will surprise you!

    Spiritually yours,

  17. domenic says:

    i hope your next book does, for jesus said i have cast fire on the world, and see, i guard it till the world is a fire. when will your next book be available.

  18. whats the title of your next book

    • thegodguy says:


      I will make an announcement soon. It will be my first publication that is available as both a printed book and as an ebook. It will cover topics that even Swedenborgians overlook!

      Spiritually yours,

  19. Domenic says:

    what would be the ideal reading concerning animals, from emanuel swedenborg, if there is any

    • thegodguy says:

      Dear Domenic,

      I am unaware of any Swedenborgian books that deal specifically with animals, either naturally or spiritually. Statements concerning animals can be found in both Swedenborg’s scientific and theological writings. Books like “Dictionary Of Bible Imagery” available from the Swedenborg Foundation can give you the spiritual correspondences of the animals mentioned in Holy Scripture. Sorry.

      Spiritually yours,

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