One man who had been more influential than others during bodily life retained his desire for power in the other life. I told him that he was in another realm—an eternal one—and that the power he had exercised on earth was dead. “Here,” I said, “the only standard by which people are evaluated is the amount of goodness and truth and of the Lord’s mercy they possess.
“The situation in this realm,” I added, “is just like that on earth, where people acquire status only through wealth or through favor with the head of state. Wealth in this kingdom is goodness and truth, and the ruler’s good favor is the Lord’s mercy. If you want any other kind of influence, you’re a rebel, because you are in Another’s realm.”On hearing these things, the man burned with shame.
I spoke with some spirits who thought heaven and heavenly joy consisted in being greatest. But I told them that the greatest in heaven is the one who is least. Whoever wants to be least has the greatest happiness. Since the person with the greatest happiness is the person who is least, it follows that such a person is the greatest. What is being greatest if not being happiest? Happiness is what the powerful seek in power and what the rich seek in riches.
I added that heaven does not consist in the desire to be least for the purpose of being greatest, because then the hope and longing is to be greatest. Heaven is wishing better for others than for ourselves with all our heart and serving others for the sake of their own happiness, not for any selfish goal but for love.
Some have such a simplistic idea of heaven that they think it is just a matter of being let in. They even picture it as a room with a door. The door will open and the doorkeepers there will announce their arrival.
from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 1, Sections 451, 452, 453