If you ascend to heaven in a dream, you will fail to enjoy the distinction you have labored to gain,, and joy will end in sadness. If young persons dream of climbing to heaven on a ladder, they will rise from a low estate to one of unusual prominence, but will fail to find contentment or much pleasure.
Mircea Eliade has something to say about the symbolism of heaven which is rather less abstract and therefore fails to be so cosmogonic: the azure of the sky, he suggests, is the veil which hides the divine face. The clouds are his garments. The light of heaven is the ointment with which he anoints his immense body. The stars are his eyes. Again: among oriental peoples, the dome of heaven is associated with the nomad’s tent—quite apart from the usual heaven/earth association—as if they had a presentiment that three-dimensional space is only a kind of lid which prevents Man from penetrating into the mystery of the other world. Celestial space, then, ceases to be a container and becomes content of hyperspace, or rather, of trans-space.