According to apostate Ed Babinski, “taking the Bible at its word also means thinking in terms of a flat earth…Stories of ascents and descents from heaven appear throughout the Bible,” TCD, 130.
One of the obvious problems with this claim is the assumption that stories of ascents and descents necessarily refer to physical locomotion. Although that’s sometimes the case, this imagery can be both a literary convention as well as a description of the mystical experience. Take the following:
In visions of God he took me to the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain, on whose south side were some buildings that looked like a city (Ezk 40:2).
And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God (Rev 21:10).
But this is conceived in visionary or out-of-body terms, and not a literal ascent to heaven.
Locomotive imagery is also employed in mystical literature. The mystical “rapture” represents the upward motion, the mystical “ecstasy” represents the outward motion, while God’s descent into the soul of the contemplative represents the downward motion. And this corresponds to the phenomenology of the mystical trance. Cf. Nelson Pike: Mystic Union: An Essay in the Phenomenology of Mysticism (Cornell 1994), chap. 2.
Spanish mystics like Bernardino de Laredo (Subida del Monte Sión) and San Juan de la Cruz (Subida Al Monte Carmelo) also utilize the mountain motif in depicting the spiritual progress of the soul it its pilgrimage to God. So there’s a mystical cosmography. Yet a contemplative wouldn’t confuse this picture language with real space or real motion. Rather, this picturesque literary depiction is what Joseph Maréchal calls "the spatial localization and exteriorization of an interior representation," Studies in the Psychology of the Mystics, 104.