Human animals are allowed the curse, and or blessing, of having abstract thought to decide what is good and what is bad.
Although this binary system of quick judgement is flawed, and invariably leads to not clearly seeing all the shades of gray, it is a survival mechanism that is based on our neo-cortex, our adrenal response of fight or flight, and our abstractions about such things as reward and punishment, or heaven and hell.
Hormonally driven beings also find they are easy prey to addictions of certain flows of these things. We seek to fulfill the “high” of rushing hormones, and our neuro-chemically satisfying behaviors. In addition, we live in a largely artificial indoor world of alienation and technology. We are locked into some destructive choices, such as pollution and waste, for example, due to being cut off from our sustaining, nurturing, and healing outdoor world.
Most addictions, and almost all “bad” choices are due to self medicating, and coping with modernity.
Other animals, although clearly without sin, do not worry about living in the past, or the future. They are alive in the now. Many modern scholars, and even some ancient ones, have taught that the mindset of heaven and hell is best identified in the present moment.
No other time, or eternity, can exist (for absolute certain anyway), except the one you are experiencing at this specific moment. So welcome to heaven and/or hell, And now, a second later, welcome to this one.
The implications of this powerful mindset is that we create, in part, what we experience. This is both a daunting challenge and a Paradisical invitiation.
How and why, do only humans have an abstract vision of heaven and hell? We evolved a larger brain and neo-cortex then other creatures. We vastly improved memory and language when this became our most unique feature. Once it became apparent that we could effectively see a way into the recent past, and immediate future, we right away began regretting some of that past, and worrying about that future.
Our ancient tales of Eden show that we were once more connected in our hunter gatherer ways. We lived more out of doors, and with immediate connection to the night sky, the forests, hills, and waters. Perhaps a collective and fond memory of our Garden of Eden way of life led us to speculate where that paradise went, and how it may still be attained through work, grace, and goodness.
We also developed, (there is one bad apple in every bunch) some individuals that saw they could manipulate upon fears and hope, to lead others. Whether these were chieftains and or priests and kings is of little matter compared to what they developed by the creation of rules, laws, prohibitions, and a creation mythology, to center it upon.
Since before the time of Zeus and Isis, there have been ever new and assimilated, constantly changing, world religions. Our everyday behaviors and every little decision, no matter how unconscious is a consequence of all these factors.
Modern evolutionary theory, cosmology, and the newer understanding of ecopsychology and the human psyche in the world, allows us much more knowledge into the many ways in which it makes some sense to have a sense of forever working in the moment, the eternal, but also widening a circle of compassion to encompass all of the creation, life itself, and its building blocks, to realize that the Kingdom of God is within each of us, and in each moment we choose what is of ultimate benefit to all, or to our selfish benefit alone.