Where, When, or What is hell?

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“I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own — a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty.”  …Albert Einstein

I’m not going to write a post that argues for any position on this subject. I’m not going to try and provide any historical or other evidence to prove whether or not hell exists. I simply feel led to express my perceptions concerning it. It is not meant to be argumentative, nor anti anything. It’s simply meant to be “for” something. which is the lessening of fear.

As I’ve stated here, and in other places throughout this blog: My posts are not meant to sway, convince, persuade or teach anyone but myself. They’re simply my own perspectives – my own thoughts expressed in my own way. You’re free to take whatever may resonate with you and leave the rest.  My only purpose in writing these posts is to find my own way back to my true Self. The “Self” God created, and by doing so, let go of the one I made.

The only sources I will appeal to for help in writing this post are some recorded thoughts by others, such as the above quote by Albert Einstein, my own power of reason, and some quotes from that great spiritual work, A Course in Miracles. But that being said, I’ll use my power of reason most, and use the others to reinforce it a bit.

01-26-1

Unable to Fully Accept the Teachings

My parents were adherents of a Christian denomination which had one of the better teachings concerning hell. They taught – and probably still do – that there is no hell. But still they taught a scenario that instilled some fear into a young and impressionable mind. This is very simplified, but they taught that those who failed to live up to God’s standards during this lifetime would be judged and simply burned up – or cease to exist.

I used to think a lot about that when I was a kid. I used to wonder why God was so much worse than my parents were when it came to punishment. I knew my parents loved me, and there was absolutely nothing bad enough I could do that would cause them to burn me up. I had no doubt that a firm talking to, a spanking, or being forced to endure the embarrassment of making an apology was as bad as the punishment would ever get.

But God, whom, I was taught, loved me way more than my parents ever could, was ready to do away with me by hurling me into a fire. He was not only ready to do this, but unless I followed his instructions carefully He was absolutely going to do it.

There was something about this scenario that, even though I had my on and off times with it, I couldn’t fully accept. I couldn’t accept that God could love me more than anyone else could, but yet do such a horrible thing to me. Therefore, when I got old enough to decide for myself I separated from that denomination.

01-27-2

The Teachings Get Worse

I’ve never been the type to accept something just because someone else tells me it’s so. If what I’m being told doesn’t pass the tests of reason and logic then I cannot accept it. I guess that’s what has kept me searching for answers my whole life. And I have found some answers that satisfy my curiosity to my own satisfaction, even though they may not resonate with many others.

I think the worst teaching I’ve ever ran across is one that’s quite prevalent amoung many Christian denominations, which is this: There is a literal and eternal hellfire into which a loving God is going to send those who don’t live up to His expectations during this so-called lifetime. I understand that’s a very simple way of expressing it, but my goal is to always keep my ideas simple.  As the Course points out: “The truth is simple—it is one, without an opposite.”

Such a teaching as the hellfire scenario mentioned above should immediately cause anyone to summon the power of reason. For what could be more oxymoronic than the idea that a “loving” God could. or would, sentence His own creations, which He is supposed to love unconditionally, to such a punishment? I think such an idea is so utterly unbelievable that even those who adhere to the organizations that teach it, don’t fully believe it.

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” The Holy Spirit teaches thus: There is no hellHell is only what the ego has made of the present.”   …ACIM

Regardless of how good or bad our sojourn through this physical world may seem to be, it’s the only place hell will ever be experienced. The Course also tells us that fear is hell. And as long as the ego is listened to and followed there’s not one human to whom terrifying fear will not reveal itself sooner or later. Until we can accept certain truths it’s practically guaranteed that it will, at times, make its terrible presence known.

The most important decision any of us will ever make is the one this blog mentions quite regularly. which is this: “You see the flesh or recognize the Spirit. There is no compromise between the two.” And as the following information informs us, it is a decision. The Course continues: “What you decide in this determines all you see and think is real and hold as true.”

If we appeal to our power of reason we cannot but perceive that if we decide to see the flesh, we’ll believe the body to be our only reality and our true home. This decision leaves us with a reality and a home that is subject to disease, aging, pain, misery and in the end death. Which raises the questions; what could be more fear provoking than that; and what is there that could represent a deeper hell?

The thing about this is, the decision to see the flesh is made by default. It’s already made when we enter this world of illusions, otherwise the ego couldn’t deceive us into believing  we’re actually here.

01-28-1

“There is hell or Heaven, and of these you choose but one.”   …ACIM

A casual glance at the above quote could leave the impression the Course concurs with the idea of a literal hell. But that is not the case at all. In simple terms, what it’s talking about is giving in to the temptation to see ourselves as that which we’re not. In other words, to see only the flesh and by doing so remain asleep dreaming fearful dreams of an illusionary world. Which is the only hell there is, or will ever be. Or to recognize the spirit and begin the awakening process and eventually realize we’re already in heaven. These are the only choices available to us, and we can choose but one.

We must understand that the spirit is not hidden from us. Even though it cannot be seen with the body’s eyes it’s actually the only thing that is in plain sight because it’s in everything that lives. It’s the very Life every living thing shares with God. Therefore it’s always there and can be easily recognized because we already know it. How could we not know it when it’s the Life we share with God?

We are ideas – or thoughts – in God’s mind. Most of us find this hard to accept, but nevertheless that’s what we are. As the Course says: “What you find difficult to accept is the fact that, like your Father, you are an idea.” And it also informs us that, “ideas leave not their source.” If we’re in God’s mind and cannot leave it, then we can never be any other place than Heaven, except in illusions.

“Until you choose Heaven, you are in hell and misery.”   …ACIM

In answer to the questions, where, when or what is hell? The above quote answers all three. The only hell there is is right here; right where we think we are. And it’s right now, for now is the only time there is. As to what it is, it’s the mistaken belief that we’re flesh bodies living in a world where we see ourselves as separated from our Source. A world set in time where everything is destined to grow old and die.

I’m going to close this post with another quote from A Course in Miracles: Heaven is not a place nor a condition. It is merely an awareness of perfect Oneness and the knowledge that there is nothing else; nothing outside this Oneness and nothing else within.” 

 

 

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THERE IS NOTHING BUT LOVE  –  THERE NEVER WAS – AND THERE NEVER WILL BE