One of the advantages in deconstructing Stanley's paintings through his own words is the glimpse they offer of the significance he attached to what he called his Cookham-feelings.

As a child, Stanley was taught the names of plants and trees by his elder sisters on afternoon walks. As a boy, his older brothers told the tale of the birds round Cookham. In the summers, he swam with companions in the Thames and explored its hay-meadows, flooded in winter, but richly grassed and wild-flowered in summer, so that the marsh meadows, full of flowers, left me with an aching longng, and in my art that longing was among the first I sought to satisfy.

Blend these experiences of nature with those from a happy and protected (cosy) home life at Fernlea, from his mother's chapel-going and bible reading, from his father's church organ-playing and advocacy of Ruskin, from his siblings' daily music making, from his adolescent access to a family library which ranged from Dante to Milton, and from the Metaphysical Poets to the The Golden Bough, and the heady brew is distilled which Stanley called his Cookham feelings. We swim and look at the bank over the rushes. I swim right in the pathway of sunlight. I go home to breakfast thinking as I go of the beautiful wholeness of the day. During the morning I am visited, and walk about being in that visitation. Now everything seems more definite and to put on a new meaning and freshness. In the afternoon I set out my work and begin my picture. I leave off at dusk, fully delighted with the spiritual labour I have done. It is little wonder that in adolescent days, Cookham came to embody for Stanley the Paradise he saw reflected in Early Italian paintings.

Stanley's concept of the meaning of Paradise is most clearly evidenced in the succession of Resurrection paintings he undertook.
It is tempting to interpret them as imagined Resurrections, as though he were himself a medieval artist dutifully making an inspired guess at what the event might look like. But this website constantly argues that he did not use that inventive kind of imagination in making his pictures. He always started with the basic facts of his experience. If it can be accepted that the Resurrections he depicted are not literal representations of the Christian event as such - in other words they are not occurring after the physical death of the participants - then we can conclude that his scenes were intended to take place during the lives of the figures shown and of Stanley himself as the artist who fashioned them. He was deriving from his concept special meanings  - that is, universal meanings, but inevitably expressed in terms individual to himself.

If this notion is developed, it can be seen to imply that in Stanley’s thinking, heaven must exist concomitantly with our physical experience, and can be reached while we live. We get to it in those mysterious moments when we feel ourselves to be in synchronicity with the universe. In those moments we experience a calmness of the spirit, a peace he called happiness. On each such occasion we achieve a moment of perfection, that is, we come briefly into our universal identity. The occasions join up to comprise our up-in-heaven life.