Sunday, April 13, 2008

03 - What Do You Mean the Next Stop Is Hell?

Hmmm... What a weird topic. Sometimes it would simply be easier to skip a topic and make one up, but no... I will continue on this weird blogging journey.

I guess this can be interpreted your take on the after life. It could be that you have simply gotten onto the wrong bus. It could be that your life is going to shit. What take to decide on?

All religions, including Buddhism, Hindu, Mayan, Christianity, Islam, Jadaism and many other, have a notion of a place of eternal suffering for some following death. I personally like the Bahai version of hell which is seem as a "remoteness from God". Everyone has a soul in Bahai and it is linked to the character of that person. When a being dies, the soul lives on eternally - freed from the physical body. Heaven is seen, in part, as a state of nearness to God; hell is a state of remoteness from God. Each state follows as a natural consequence of individual efforts, or the lack thereof, to develop spiritually throughout their lives. So live a good life and you will be close to God. Live a "bad" life and you will be held remote from God after death. No fire and brimstone, no fires and devils - simply consequence for your life's actions.

I guess I have always been Christian in a way, but I don't think that description offered by Christianity is necessarily a reasonable description. I have always believed in spirituality regardless of the belief structure behind it. There is "something out there" but who knows what?

I am by no means a theologian in any way. However, I really don't understand religion from a "god" point of view. To me the bible is a great book of stories provided to the massess to give them hope in bad times and to give direction when you feel lost. As for the factual nature of this... I really have no answers.

I don't think I agree that is it facutal. I don't necessarily agree that "Christ died for my sins". I believe he may have well been a real person who was a great leader, but that would be my limit of understanding. I have difficulty understanding the miracle worker side of the story. However, I agree that it would have given hope to many in hard times to believe someone like that was out there.

During premarriage counselling we were asked what our spiritual understanding and belief structure was. I had to admit I couldn't bring myself to answer "yes I believe in God". I struggled to find the words for my beliefs, but I think in the end it came to - I believe there is a guiding force, an energy or a "being" who assists or guides us along our life's path. I read this the other day and I found it a really interesting interpretation.

God is simply a word, nothing more. God is a word that represents collectively all the fathers thoughtout all time protecting their children. God is an idea. God represents many thoughts. We all share the same great great great great... grandfather and grandmother so we are all children of the same father and mother. We are all children of the same tribe.

Maybe "God" is simply a being like the parent's of Turanga Leela in Futurama - Turanga Morris and Munda. In the episode "Leela's Homeworld" you see her mutant parents have always been with her. Protecting her from falling down stairs, pulling a blanket up to stop from being cold, etc.

Maybe "God" is simply an energy that directs you one way or another in your life's journey. Offers you paths and it is up to you if you chose them or not. I have to admit I stopped, for a long time, in my life taking notice of the pathways offered to me and as a result the place I ended up was a long way from my destination. It took me a while, but I honestly feel like I am back on my intended pathway - or at least travelling up the service road running parallel to it.

Artists have, for centuries, painted images of their concept of what heaven and hell. But what is hell? For me it would be a place without love, without hope and without direction.

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