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What is Hell?

Posted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:28 am
by Salem
I used to believe in Hell from the fundamental Christian view, not in that only non-Christians and phony "Christians" go to hell, but in that people who actively rejected God in their life went there for punishment. Maybe not fire, but something awful that comes from being cut off from God.

Now I don't believe in Hell like that at all. I don't believe in a Hell as an option in the afterlife. I also understand that the Christian notion of Hell comes from different places and myths throughout time, like Hades and Gehenna. I can't speak for other religions, though.

But what is Hell? Is there anything at all that it can be. If "Heaven" is the "Kingdom within us" ie, being awake, is Hell simply being unaware? And by that logic, are all of us in hell until awakening?

Despite the sufferings I've had in life (less than many people, yes, but still painful suffering to be had) I certainly don't feel like an unawakened life is hell. If the Scriptures of Christianity and other religions are not pointing to a literal place, what are they referring to?

Re: What is Hell?

Posted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:18 am
by enigma
What do you have to compare hell to in order to know this isn't it? As with all techings, religions have distorted the concept of hell and as usual assigned a literal afterlife condition.
If "Heaven" is the "Kingdom within us" ie, being awake, is Hell simply being unaware? And by that logic, are all of us in hell until awakening?
That would be my vote.

Re: What is Hell?

Posted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:08 pm
by smiileyjen101
I certainly don't feel like an unawakened life is hell. If the Scriptures of Christianity and other religions are not pointing to a literal place, what are they referring to?
I have two views on this, one (earthly) is from the perspective that some (in) organised religions create an opposite to their views based on power and control issues in order to maintain their power, and their control over others - a (imho) very base hypocrisy to that which they espouse themselves to be.

This employs fear in order to control and impose their power over others, whilst espousing that love and the light is the way. In Conversations with God there is a passage about natural consequences unfolding for every choice, (no choice is wrong, it just brings a different experience) but that for those that are impatient for natural consequences to evolve, punishment is employed. Punishment is also used as a control mechanism, curtailing free will - albeit in societies by agreement of the societies (maybe and definitely debateably).

For me the extolling of banishment to Hell as a punishment for not choosing love is a little like fighting for peace.

If you were to look at any of the Commandments or 'laws' within religions there would be natural consequences to them all - but in experiencing and being aware of the consequences without fear being the basis of learning, they may also lead to choosing love over fear, learning the error of the choices and raising the vibration and consciousness. If we punish - take away the evolving of natural consequences we short circuit the natural progression of learning (maybe - also very debateable).

The other perspective is spiritual - for me, to be in a state of choosing other than the light and the truth of the oneness and unseparatedness of everything, to be in darkness by our own choices - would be hell.

M. Scott Peck's novel 'In Heaven as on Earth' details something of choices in the 'after-life' that make for interesting reading.

But for me the 'truth' of eternal choice and the opportunity to eternally choose fear over love is to be found here on Earth (okay, maybe as in Heaven). Knowing what we know and even within or without organised religions we (collectively) even with all the wisdom that has been shared with humanity throughout the ages, through nature and science and philosophies and continual proof - continue to choose fear over love. We choose to employ and engage in activities and choices that diminish who we really are, that take us away from the light and make more dense the darkness.

A bigger question for me would be - given that we have free will - choice in every moment - why do 'we' collectively and individually choose that which we know will take us further away from the light? (Creating our own 'hell' on Earth)

Re: What is Hell?

Posted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:01 pm
by enigma
A bigger question for me would be - given that we have free will - choice in every moment - why do 'we' collectively and individually choose that which we know will take us further away from the light? (Creating our own 'hell' on Earth)
Usually a fear of hell on Earth. :wink:

Re: What is Hell?

Posted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:45 pm
by garuda
Salem wrote:But what is Hell? Is there anything at all that it can be? If "Heaven" is the "Kingdom within us" ie, being awake, is Hell simply being unaware? And by that logic, are all of us in hell until awakening?
After viewing several of Joseph Campbell’s videos, I got the impression that he felt that “Hell” was what an un-awakened human being experiences on the earth when in the delusional state of mind. I cannot disagree if this was his meaning. One may conclude from that, that heaven may be experienced here on earth if we successfully climb the ladder to higher levels of consciousness through realization (merged). I could probably give you a more precise answer if didn’t keep falling off the ladder. Don’t buy those cheap ladders at Walmart! :D
smiileyjen101 wrote: I have two views on this, one (earthly) is from the perspective that some (in) organised religions create an opposite to their views based on power and control issues in order to maintain their power, and their control over others - a (imho) very base hypocrisy to that which they espouse themselves to be..... This employs fear in order to control and impose their power over others, whilst espousing that love and the light is the way.
I tend to agree with this for the most part. But I don’t think this “fear factor” is working so effectively now as it once did in the past.
Salem wrote: If the Scriptures of Christianity and other religions are not pointing to a literal place, what are they referring to?
I have no idea. You’ll have to ask them. :D

In a more serious vain, I try for myself not to burden my weary mind or expend too much pointless energy questioning the aspects of heaven or hell --- for these issues are merely more mental constructs (imaginings) that distract me from my arduous practice of alert conscious focus on the ultimate truth of my understanding/insights --- mere Being. Even if I knew absolutely what is hell, what would I do with that knowledge? Entertain others with my frivolous, idle imaginings about hell? Would that not be an unintentional disservice to those who tread wearily along the tedious path with me?

Re: What is Hell?

Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:42 am
by smiileyjen101
But I don’t think this “fear factor” is working so effectively now as it once did in the past.
I think it's alive and well, the 'religion' has just changed. Switch 'security' for 'salvation', switch shopping malls for churches, politicians for clergy, social banishment for pergatory,
our societies very much employ fear to control the masses.

Re: What is Hell?

Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 2:04 am
by garuda
smiileyjen101 wrote:I think it's alive and well, the 'religion' has just changed. Switch 'security' for 'salvation', switch shopping malls for churches, politicians for clergy, social banishment for pergatory, our societies very much employ fear to control the masses.
I have to be careful here as not to step over the fine line into the socio-political discussion arena. We have to behave ourselves here because this is a spiritual forum, I’m told.
In the socio-pol aspect I agree with you..... totally, I think. Yes.... fear, news censoring, and marketing strategies are (or can be) powerful deception, persuasion, and control mechanisms.

But I simply meant that I think most proclaimed religious people are not attending church, reading the bible et al, or attempting to practice kindness and goodness (or Commandments) through fear or intimidation of otherwise going to hell. The majority of the thousands of people I know......well, maybe hundreds....... or less. Okay...... of the six people I know, most don’t believe in a physical hell after death along with the fire, demons, and other delightful accouterments. :D

And happy holidays, young lady!

Re: What is Hell?

Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:45 pm
by goldieflower
garuda wrote:The majority of the thousands of people I know......well, maybe hundreds....... or less. Okay...... of the six people I know, most don’t believe in a physical hell after death along with the fire, demons, and other delightful accouterments. :D
:) ... :D ... :lol: :lol: :lol:

Re: What is Hell?

Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 12:15 am
by smiileyjen101
Happy Holidays all too. And Garuda you made me laugh! Just when I was coming to terms with being on the verge of becoming a wise old crone and all the benefits of that, you tickle my ego with 'young lady' lol!!!!

I agree the churches are quieter and possibly better for it these days. There seemed to come a time when people went - you mean all that fun stuff only happens in Hell?.. Where do I get it!!! (I do remember making a smart-alec comment to a religious zealot of a 'sect' kind who was asking about my non-church going habits and if I really wanted to go to Hell. I think I quipped something like, well that's where all my friends and family will be according to you, so ...yep!).

But in all seriousness (and I think this overlap is important in a spiritual topic about Hell) the shift from churches to commercialism (and from natural to manufactured) happened as people became more financially affluent and bought into the sales pitch that 'things' could bring you happiness. The constant chasing of that creates the misery many would deem as hell.

The interesting thing is that the 'spiritual' ones are often the outcasts in this world, but, for the most part we don't seem to care.

For me I'm grateful, they don't burn my kind at the stake anymore :lol:

(...wanders off whistling... always look on the bright side of life, always look on the right side of life... dodo, dododododo... )

Re: What is Hell?

Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 10:01 am
by Mouse
If a consciousness goes into hell it is because that consciousness loves that condition of hell. To that consciousness it is heaven. To another it would be an intolerable hell.

It has been said we all gravitate to the heaven that suits our vibration most. And there are 7 heavens to select from...a too high heaven would be just too much..a too low heaven not enough( like a hell of kinds)..there is a place that is just right for every consciousness. :oops:

Re: What is Hell?

Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 10:02 pm
by enigma
No individuated consciousness loves what it would see as a condition of hell. It's true that one person's hell is another's heaven, at least some of the time, and it's engaged because there is an interest, if that's your point. The difficulty is when we find ourselves in a hell created through ignorance and don't know how to get out. It is, in fact, consciousness trapped in it's own hell and the suffering is as real as it gets. Such a possibility is, ironically, the consequence of ever-present freedom.

Re: What is Hell?

Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 10:23 pm
by KPO
Hello Salem,
As you see, you have a lot of different opinions to choose from; or not.
Many years ago I discarded the Christian dogma on Heaven and Hell I realized that if, as claimed, only those who led a caring and loving life reached Heaven and the rest to the everlasting fire of Hell, then those reaching Heaven ( 'living' in perfect bliss ) would either have to be blissfully ignorant of the terrible suffering in Hell; or totally insensitive to that suffering. Impossible.

Re: What is Hell?

Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 10:30 pm
by KPO
I think enigma is as near the truth as one can get.

Re: What is Hell?

Posted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 6:08 am
by Sighclone
Belief systems which survive tend to be internally consistent and logical.

Let's see:

1) There is one God out there. (So there must be an "anti-God" which would be Satan.)

2) God's home is heaven. (Satan's is Hell.)

3) God's home is where we go when we die if we are faithful. (And we go to Hell if we're not.)

4) Heaven is beautiful and wonderful. (Not Hell!! - just the opposite.)

5) Because one of the principal results of a long-standing belief system is the inherent power of Church Dogma to justify its Leaders, they need to regularly remind the marginally faithful that "they are on a slippery slope, but we know the truth and might be able to spare you from the fiery fate" (and pass the plate.)

Gotta remember the origins of the "Opposite of Heaven."

Andy

Re: What is Hell?

Posted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:02 am
by enigma
You can't sell bottled water by the pond unless you pee in the pond first. :shock: