Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Concept of Heaven and Hell

What is Hell? Many will tell you that hell is a pit of fire and ash where the souls of the damned and unrepentant live and are tortured until Judgment for their sins. Others will tell you that hell is the life they're living, crushed under countless burdens and regrets. There are even those who will say that it is a place they deserve to go when they die; seeing themselves as unforgivable for whatever events happened to them in the past. Perhaps they are right, perhaps they are not; my question is how do we know that our perceived notions of the Abyss are correct?

Personally, my idea of hell is having no physical body to perceive sensations; no sights, no sounds, no feeling... With only your own thought and conscience to keep you company for the rest of eternity. That is a punishment I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

Now, The concept of Heaven (in a collective term) is an idea of the ultimate reward. It is the grand prize for making it through life living by a certain code of conduct or by seeking enlightenment and bettering yourself physically, mentally and spiritually. Each person's idea of Heaven (as with Hell) is radically different. For some it is being reunited with their loved ones who had passed on before them and living in peace and harmony for the rest of existence. For others Heaven is more personal; being given a personalized heaven that can be crafted and changed according to the soul's wishes.

As I have shared my Hell, I shall also share my Heaven. My idea of heaven coincides with the latter example given above. In it, I have a large wooden house in the middle of a tranquil forest. A winding dirt path leads into a small community several miles away. The house is filled with bookshelves crammed full of booms, a full kitchen and entertainment room, a plush office and several comfortable bedrooms. The house would be busy and hectic with the sounds of my children getting ready for school, playing games, eating snacks or just talking. I would be able to be around them and watch them grow; helping them through tough times and laughing with them during the good. But I have gone on long enough, let me get back to the point.

There is absolutely no reason to believe that either the concept of heaven or hell hold any modicum of truth to them as both realms are available to those who have passed beyond the realm of the living and are no longer attached to the mortal coil. Who's to say that these views are correct, or even at all accurate? For those who don't know, I do not subscribe to modern religion. It is not that I believe that the various religions are flawed or that those who follow them are wrong, it is the fact that I have my own view of how the universe works, and I will continue to believe in it until I am proven wrong. My view of the universe can be summed up into "The Force" from the Star Wars series. I believe that there is a uniting force that connects all living things through an invisible, immaterial bond. It isn't good or evil necessarily, more like it simply is and allows us the choice between the two extremes for one cannot exist without the other. As I have stated previously, humanity is capable of both good and evil, and it is this Force that allows us the ability. Then again, perhaps I am completely wrong; I'll be the first to admit that I simply do not have all of the answers. But until I have been proven wrong, this will continue to be my world view.

I suppose in the grand scheme if things, it is these concepts that will ultimately consume us for better or worse. Until that time, however, I will continue to live my life as I always have and continue to strive to be a better person. Like the saying goes, "Don't take life too seriously, no one gets out alive anyway."

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