It is difficult to say. If we take an elevator to the top of the Sears tower, or climb a mountain we may find ourselves engulfed by clouds. Have we reached the heavens? We still have a fundamental attachment to the earth. We feel the height we have reached, but we are aware that there is much more above us.
If we fly in an airplane or a jet, we may find ourselves above the clouds with nothing but blue sky above us on an overcast day. Have we reached the heavens? We are sometimes frighteningly aware that we still have a fundamental attachment to the earth. We may not have bedrock under our feet, but gravity still tugs at us and turbulence reminds us that it is a long way down, but we would reach it faster than we want to.
If we fly in the space shuttle or the International Space Station, have we reached the heavens? At 250 miles above the surface of the earth, we are outside the atmosphere completely and the tug of gravity is almost negligible. But even though we have no physical attachment to the earth, we continue to have a dependency. The air we breath and all the food and water we take in are gifts from the world below. If we tried to sever our ties with the ground, we would not fall to our death, but it would come just as certainly.
What about the Apollo astronauts, did they reach the heavens? Going 100 times further than the space shuttle flies, they went higher than any human has ever gone. Only to reach another place where they stood on the solid ground and looked up into the heavens.
Contributed by: Timothy Darling