What if there is no heaven or hell? What if this grand play we call life is simply a proving ground for lessons in which we are being taught the proper way to use what powers and gifts we have been given?
I recently came across another perspective on the heaven and hell concept. The prevailing model of reward and punishment is that hell is a place of flames and unbearable heat populated by a bunch of malnourished, red skinned imps with horns and pointed tails scurrying about with extra sharp pitchforks. Heaven, on the other hand, is this place reached by traveling through a tunnel of brightness, then up streets paved with gold where we’re met by St. Peter outside huge gates made of alabaster pearl signing us in as we are surrounded by winged, halo wearing residents of Paradise.
This concept of heaven and hell came tempered from the mind of European writer, Dante Alighieri (1265-1321 AD) and his work in his Divine Comedy. For something of such monumental import, each individual life and soul being judged for eternity with no opportunity for redemption seemed awfully cruel and severe. This did not appear to be the benevolence of an All-Wise Benefactor. After I realized this was the conceptualization of a mind from medieval Europe fostered by the Roman Church, I decided to look elsewhere for some sort or reasonable logic or rationale on the matter.
I began to realize that any so-called truths concerning the European’s version of religion, ethnic history, and spirituality might be better understood if we reversed it. The resulting thought pattern might be a more accurate version on the subject at hand. Am I saying that hypocritical, pathological liars work today’s existing system of control? No, not at all. It is just that every now and then I see the vestiges of a split in the speaking appendage (the tongue), which should lead the prudent person to question the veracity of the speaker. Then again, perhaps he is given too much credit regarding the truth of certain matters. Maybe he does not have an inkling as to the truth either.
Realistically, do we really want to pin our faith, our spiritual substance and eternal hopes of justice, peace, joy and paradise on the veracity of a proven hypocrite—a liar? I am not necessarily speaking of a particular individual but rather a system that brings about its will based upon the actions of individuals. To say that I disagree with the prevailing notion of judgment day simply because the European is the prevailing power at hand would be ridiculous. However, what if there were no grand throne with some Indescribable Presence sitting thereupon reviewing the scrolls of our life’s deeds and misdeeds? What if our judgment was based upon something much closer and dear to our hearts? What if we had to judge us in the final analysis? What if the pure soul that we were before emergence into this cruel and wicked world now rejoined our once again pure soul, after our journey into this physicality—to judge what we, the physically manifest entity, did during our journey on this planet? After all, we know everything that we have done—like it or not. It would be a most interesting tribunal. The most difficult person in the world to lie to would be ourselves. What if?
Note: Our concepts of certain mystical, spiritual understandings are based upon the philosophies of the European culture. It cannot be all-inclusive, because there have been other more ancient civilizations about which we know little that undoubtedly touched upon the subject. But unfortunately, due to the conquering Europeans’ modus operandi, these mysteries were destroyed upon defeat by the conquering invaders.