Many of the worlds religions believe in Hell, a place of eternal suffering, with demons and devils, and is much the focus of many people's lives to escape, and do all they can to be saved from this future.
I don't see hell in this way... I see hell as a symbol for that which is possible, now. If I'm correct on this quote, Jesus stated "Heaven and Hell are here on earth, now and forever." This is aligned more with my thinking... That in duality, the possibility for choosing to create one's perceptions and experiences of reality are directed by each individual according to his or her beliefs and desires.
I wonder though, why so many are somehow attracted to the fear of hell, almost as an imposition of revenge for those they judge as being deserving of such a fate. Is it the ego's desire to be self righteous, to be on top of the pedestal, to be the chosen one? That other's who are not aligned with your way, are deserving of such a fate.
Haveyou ever caught yourself in this way of thinking - when seeing great autrocities imposed on others? To see those imposing great suffering on another as deserving of a return of that suffering of equal or greater degree.
To me, Hell is the illusion of seperateness. Some may see that earth is a symbol of a kind of hell - a seperation in the vast abyss of space, humanity fallen away from the Divine (as in the mythology of a fallen god or angel). At times, many perceive themselves alone, seperate, not in the presence of the Divine. Would this be considered a hell of sorts?
Then, the suffering hell of fire, brimstone and visions of apocalyptical events are believed to be a possible reality by many, a fearful trap as payment for one's sins.
Also, there are those who see reincarnation as a symbol for hell, that karma is the debt paid for one's sins and repetition of lifetimes will occur until one moves towards a higher consciousness, reaching towards Divinity on the ladder of ascension.
To me hell is a symbol of one's ignorance, lack of awareness and lower consciousness, it is not a physical other worldly place, it is only an experience that exists as a possibility in this dimension in one's own life. Hell is looking at reality in a negative perspective, to see Hell as reality, is to actually create "Hell consciousness". Hell is one's perceptual level of what is, on a very low level, and therefor people have the power to ascend from those levels by choice. To evolve in one's life through the force of spirituality, to ascend to a higher level of consciousness, one must be aware of that which is negative to have a measure of the higher goal of change.
What ultimately does the Mythology and beliefs surrounding the concept of hell, teach us about our deeper selves?
The Meaning of Life is to Eat the Apple - Me
Wisdom comes from asking questions
Nothing really matters, love is all we need. - Madonna
I predict the weather will be unpredictable this year - Sylvia Browne
An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind - Gandhi
If it doesn't make sense, it's usually not true. - Judge Judy
In my worldview there is no place for Hell, nor do the Elders teach about it. I used to wonder why since growing up I was told that I was a pagan, a heathen and I would burn in hell if I participated in ceremony and such, then as I got older and deeper into our traditional spirituality I began to understand. In general terms First Nation people believe in living ones life according to concepts of humility, humanity and honour. This is even more specific when you look at the culture of the Anishinabe, the values governing life are known as the 7 Grandfather Teachings; Humility, Respect, Courage, Generosity, Compassion, Love and Honour. You think about it, living in a communal egalitarian society means that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one. If you live a life that is contrary to these teachings then you will have a hard time on this earth.
We believe that hell is here on earth. This is where we experience pain and loss, hardships etc. This is also where we learn our lessons and we have a choice, live our life in a good way according to these teachings or we can do our own thing. It is not the Creator that creates the hardship, but rather our own choices.
There are three words which are generally translated as 'hell' in the biblical text, the Hebrew word Sheol and the Greek words Gahanna, Hades, Tartaroo. Both Sheol (or Sha-wal) and Hades both simply mean the grave; it has nothing to do with the condition of the spirit, it is just the location of the physical body after death, in the grave.
Tartaroo is the abode of devils, but the word Gahannah which is most strongly associated with the modern conception of hell is derived from a Biblical place called the Valley of Hinnom. This place was the garbage dump for the city of Jerusalem outside of the city gates. The city’s waste was burned there and the stench of it became a symbol of hell and torment, the place of eternal punishment. It was also in the Valley of Hinnom where pagan Baal worshippers sacrificed children. The Valley of Hinnom was also known as Tophet. Jeremiah the prophet said that God would bury the wicked of Jerusalem in Tophet until there was no more room to bury Jeremiah 19:1-14. This imagery was used to impact the mind of orthodox Israelites who would have been concerned with a proper burial after death, as an unburied body was taken to be a symbol of a curse and divine rejection.
500-600 years later Jesus spoke to the people in terms of imagery with which they were culturally familiar.
To paraphrase CS Lewis,
Hell is a state of mind. Heaven is reality itself. Any state of mind locked within itself is hell.
Hell is hell if you refuse to leave.
Personally, I think hell is the term unprepared people use when experiencing spiritual gravity.
However, this is where the power of the will resides.
To abandon it completely, I believe, lands people into an altogether different sort of hell.
The hell of levity.
Experience without visceral feeling.
Levity specifies direction, Gravity lends momentum.
Momentum without direction collapses in on itself.
Intense heat and pressure.
An awful and expansive singularity.
Direction without momentum is nothing at all.
There are no bad feelings and good feelings. They are just there.
To combine them is alchemy.
The indestructible human heart is the philosopher's stone.
Hell is the God gun preachers hold to your soul as they reach for your wallet.
Obviously, one can't have Heaven and Hell without judgement, and, as discussed recently on the Judgement thread, it is one of the attitudes that creates suffering for us and others. We do tend to want to judge our own path and decisions, as well as those of others.
We also tend to see ourselves as being separate from those we judge, which can also create the illusion of suffering.
In fact, there is some justification for saying that the Higher Self doesn't discriminate between "good" and "bad" events, believing that all experience is valuable for us to have.
If we have incarnated with the purpose of experiencing life in a physical body, with its different focus than being disincarnate, and for our soul's progression and purpose, then it stands to reason that each moment is perfectly designed for our benefit, regardless of what it brings.
Very succinct.Hell is the God gun preachers hold to your soul as they reach for your wallet.
The concept of Hell, I think, began on the back of the idea of the Underworld.. but the eternal damnation for non conformism was new. Odd, from a religion purportedly based on a message of universal love. Purgatory, I think, comes nearer to the original concept of a place of cleansing.. not of judgement, but of spring cleaning the soul to dispose of any taint left over from the events of a life, before beginning anew.
"Ah, Love, Could thou and I conspire, To grasp this sorry scheme of things entire, Would we not shatter it to bits, And then rebuild it nearer to the hearts desire?"
Omar Khyyaam of Naishapur
On the other hand, if we are conceptualizing, perhaps "Hell" is the awareness of karmic workings that remains in the collective consciousness.
I can relate to hell being on earth, if you look around at what is happening, wars and power struggles etc I can see a relation to what people have seen as perpetual hell. The struggle to understand where we fit in and the constant battle to become a better person as a result of it.
I was brought up Roman Catholic but hated the confines of it, I have always been spiritual and when I left the church (age 11) I decided to look for my own interpretation. Hell to me is the struggle to find that inner centre of knowingness that will allow me to start to experience heaven on earth, the joys and the feelings of enlightenment.
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