Regarding the origin and history of Hell

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Salem
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Regarding the origin and history of Hell

Post by Salem » Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:15 am

Is there anyone who can tell me about how the idea of Hell came to be? I know this isn't a theology forum, but all the same, I'm sure there are some people out there who might have some similar interests as me on this topic.

I come from a Roman Catholic background, and had thought that Hell came from concepts of older religions, ie Hades from the Greeks. However, in discussing it with my dad, he said that the Greeks got their Hades from the Hell of the Old Testament. I thought this was a good point because I had somehow forgotten that the Old Testament was contemporary or before Greeks or various other civilizations.

This was disconcerting for me because I am in a place where I've all but dropped a belief in Hell, partly because of the mythology of religions, but this question of how the idea of it got started nags me.
"The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God's eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love." — Meister Eckhart

18andlife
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Re: Regarding the origin and history of Hell

Post by 18andlife » Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:24 am

I'll just add a note that the topic is not purely western, as a similar concept/state/realm exists in the Buddhist cosmology also.

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Salem
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Re: Regarding the origin and history of Hell

Post by Salem » Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:41 am

In Buddhism? I didn't know that...And that is yet another troubling revelation for me really, since I thought Buddhism was mostly non-dual.
"The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God's eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love." — Meister Eckhart

Blenderhead
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Re: Regarding the origin and history of Hell

Post by Blenderhead » Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:11 pm

I just read that hell is mentioned 31 times in the old testament. But it simply means the land of the dead. Not particularly a place of suffering apparently. Even the good people ended up in Hell. But in the New testament it seems to have changed. I believe hell is both something in the afterlife and also your state of consciousness in this life. Eckhart Talks about consciousness after death and its possible that consciousness will become free of attachment if your life has been tough. So you could "come to heaven". If consciousness has no desire to move into the world again. But he says our minds cannot comprehend it. But he has a deep feeling, that consciousness cannot be destroyed and that it is transformed in death.

But I am not a wise man, so I cannot say.

:)

Besides, there is also an underworld in egyptian and babylonian mythology which predates the old testament.

enigma
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Re: Regarding the origin and history of Hell

Post by enigma » Fri Mar 04, 2011 7:24 pm

Seems very natural to extend the ideas of good and evil, happiness and misery, into an afterlife and call it heaven and hell.

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Kae
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Re: Regarding the origin and history of Hell

Post by Kae » Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:12 pm

Interesting topic.
I don't know a whole lot about this, so I'll just write a few words here so I can easily follow it through "view your posts" :)
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Nutkins2
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Google 'what the hell is hell'

Post by Nutkins2 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:31 am

Hi there Salem,

Good question!

I had a breakdown about 12 years ago in which i was sure that i was destined to go to hell!
Whilst going for treatment with my psychiatrist i popped into an internet cafe and googled hell and got a website entitled 'What the hell is hell'. Since that day i slowly believed that God is love and that there is no such place and if there is, it is for a corrective purpose not purely to punish and it is certainly not eternal.

This site gives a lot of information of where the doctrine of hell fire came from and that it was not believed in by the early christians. I know that the word hell means the grave as it is talked about in the old testament. So in a way we are all going to hell!!!!

Godbless
Nutkins2

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