That were the Mind dissolved—
The Site—of it—by Architect
Could not again be proved—
'Tis vast—as our Capacity—
As fair—as our idea—
To Him of adequate desire
No further 'tis, than Here—
F413 (1862) J370
No one knows where heaven is or what it is. No one can honestly say whether or not it exists at all. Those who believe in it do so by faith, not observation. Dickinson makes that point here. All we believe or think we know of heaven is within our mind: that’s where the vision is, that’s where we harbour what we’ve learned and heard; that’s where our imagination is.
So far this hints at a skeptics’ argument: Prove it! Once the mind is “dissolved” there is no more trace of the heaven it once believed in. Even an architect skilled in reading complicated drawings and plans would be unable to find heaven. It is too much "of the Mind." So how can it possibly exist?
|Everyone has their own sense of heaven
(permission of artist: Paige Bridges)
We saw an early formulation of this in F236, “Some keep the Sabbath going to Church,” where the poet celebrates the Sabbath “With a Bobolink for a Chorister – / And an Orchard, for a Dome.” She ends that poem by exclaiming that “instead of getting to Heaven, at last – / I’m going, all along.”
And I think that makes eminent sense!