I was thinking today, about how glorious the all made new will be. How a part of the glory will be the earth made new, "wherein righteousness is to dwell". The physical universe. I was thinking about this as I was looking at a glorious tree this evening, with a glorious sunset behind it.
When I happen across the idea, I find myself rejecting it (strongly), the idea that we will be some sort of floating consciousness. If that's what God wanted, that's what He would have made. (Imho.)
Those heavenly creatures around His Throne, crying "Glory! glory! glory! To He who is, and who was and is to come".. Real creatures. I would be sad to think they are mere metaphor for some abstract mystery. Not that I don't believe in abstract mysteries! And maybe like all things they are metaphor.. (also). But I think people need a gospel and a promise they can get their teeth into.
I think the living water is first and foremost within. Refreshing and keeping "alive", renewed and inspired the soul/being/individual. But I also think it will be a literal river of crystal clear sparkling water(s) upon the planet made new. In the vicinity of which the lion will eat straw like the ox and the bear will graze with the cow. I also think His leading His own to springs of living water includes during critical apocalyptic days when he will lead His own to fresh water. (Artesian.)