Heaven vs Hell: Do They Exist?

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Does Heaven really exist? Yes, I believe it does but not in the traditional Judeo-Christian sense of the word. Respectfully, I think any idea of eternal bliss, possibly amongst the clouds, must be put aside. Heaven is where ever and when ever one can find it. Heaven is not a permanent place, but a state of mind, a state of being. When you die, no matter how good of a person you are, there’s no such place you can go to live happily ever after. I wish that was true, but it’s impossible to obtain uninterrupted eternal bliss forever and ever, because we all have to have moments of pain in order to have moments of pleasure. You can’t permanently have one without the other, for they define each other. One has to be hungry before he or she can experience the pleasure of being filled. A door has to be closed before it can be opened.

The good news is the same can be said for Hell. No matter how bad of a person you may be, you will not go to a place to burn and suffer forever and ever, non stop. I find it too difficult to believe a god would create subservient beings to torture and punish for all time simply because they didn’t know any better to believe in him or because they lied, or bore false witness, or took their god’s name in vein.

Life is always part pain and part pleasure. Both are needed. Pain is what allows the perceiver to experience pleasure, again, much the way a door has to be closed before it can be opened. If you are having a very pleasurable moment, then you are in a heavenly state, regardless of geography. If you are experiencing a moment of extreme suffering, then you are in a state of hell. During Hitler’s rein, German scientists placed twin children into a bat of boiling grease to see if the twin’s sibling could sense it from another room. Now if that is not a moment of hell, then I don’t know what is. If there is a god, in the traditional sense, then He sure seems to be an absentee father figure, and if He allowed those children to suffer in that way, then I believe He has a lot to answer for. Let us also never forget the most cruel conditions African men, women, and children found themselves in while being transported deep within the bowels of slave ships. Hundreds of them were packed in like sardines in a can. They had to wallow around in their own vomit and feces in the dark and in the unrelenting heat for days on end, even when they were sick. The conditions were so harsh and unbearable that countless many died along the way. Again, if that is not a hellish moment, then I don’t know what is. What decent god would allow such a thing, and how would such a god ever justify it? I promise you, God, the universal being, is only half decent like the Yin and the Yang, which is the true heart and ultimate law of the All. Therefore, life is part cruel and part kind. It is Heaven and Hell on earth, intertwined.

Now try to imagine what Heaven, as described by Judeo-Christians, might be like. I’m hoping most theists don’t actually believe they get to float around in white garments, perhaps playing a harp with a constant grin of joy on their face. In fact, that would be kind of creepy. What do the spirits do for eternity? Do they ever get to experience the pleasures of eating, sleeping, playing games, or having sex? And how can one experience eternal bliss if he or she has a loved one who has been sent to Hell? Consider this Heaven-Hell paradox scenario I thought up. A father and son die in a horrible car accident. The father, who had worshipped God and read the Bible all his life and who had repented for all his sins and had accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior, is sent to Heaven to live in eternal paradise, as the New Testament in the Bible promises. But his son, who was a criminal and a liar, who did not believe in God, is sent straight to Hell. How can the father truly enjoy Heaven to its fullest degree while knowing his son, who he loves deeply, is suffering forever and ever in a lake of fire? This situation creates a serious conflict. The father will surely experience suffering of his own, regardless of his place in Heaven, due to his son’s eternal fate in Hell. These extreme ideas of eternal bliss and eternal suffering are just not realistic to me and come off as illogical.

So now the question becomes, “Then where do we go after we die?” In terms of The Forever All, an infinite system which I believe always remains constant and conserved as a whole, we go nowhere. We stay right here, within The Forever All to experience moments of suffering as well as moments of pleasure, forever and ever. But in terms of our specific personal journey from within The Forever All, who can say? I’m not sure we will ever know for sure or have a completely satisfactory answer to that question. The metaphors provided by nature seem to strongly suggest a cyclic existence. We can easily observe the four seasons cycle over and over. We can witness the day turn into night and back again. We can see a caterpillar turn into a butterfly, a snake shed its skin, again and again, and a hermit crab move from one shell to the next. I know that each moment that passes by changes us. The three year old boy I once was has long since past and is no more. We are all constantly being reincarnated, from moment to moment, even now as I speak. I personally believe our mind moves from one lifetime to the next, whether by means of moving towards some inner realm deep within a chosen atom of our dying body or by some ethereal separation to drift and be drawn to a new host, a new embryo that rest within a new mother of a new life form. Either way, I believe the journey continues. Life finds remarkable ways to do things. As my second to oldest brother once instinctively said, which by the way is one of the most profound statements I’ve ever heard, “Life seems to know what it’s doing.”

In closing, it’s not a good idea to wait until you die to visit Heaven. Try to appreciate the joyous moments in your life, now, while you can, as long as it is not at the cruel expense of others and as long as you have truly earned it.

By Guyus Seralius 2005

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