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Heaven and Hell in the Human Consciousness
The Concept of the Afterlife? What? How? Why?
From primordial times, people had a belief, realization, and/or a knowing that life existed after and/or beyond death. They were highly cognizant that physical death was not the end of life but the beginning of another level of existence. Being conscious of this fact, they instituted burial and funeral rites in addition to such rituals in order that the soul of the deceased will proceed into another, more eternal life.than they had on earth.
As people become more civilized and sophisticated, there was the implementation of religious systems in order to gain an understandng of unknown events and forces. They instituted religions in order to make sense of things beyond their immediate control. They knew that there was something superior to them and wanted to establish a relationship to a god or universal force. This god or universal force was considered to be a protector against the elements of nature, which could be quite unwelcoming and dangerous at times. As humans believed that there were good and/or benevolent gods or a universal force, there had to be evil and/or malevolent gods or a universal force or in their perception, many negative events would not occur with such frequency.
People also began to invent and construct scenarios as to how the afterlife will or should be. They believed that there were rewards and/or punishments in the afterlife based upon the quality of their earthly life. They contended that there had to be a consistent system of checks and balances and perhaps judgements as to what type of life is deemed good and just and what type of life is considered to quite dissolute beyond measure. They felt that without such systems of afterlife rewards and/or punishments, their earthly lives would not have any meaning. They further maintained that if there was no measurable afterlife, they would have nothing forward to look towards after their often bleak and precarious earthly existence.
The Afterlife as Consolation
People saw and still see the afterlife as consolation. In the human mind, there must be a life far more rewarding and better than this present state of life or existence. To many people, life is hell. It is full of struggle, power-play, and the usual political fanfare. They consistently have to play the game of survival whether it is just basic survival or survival in the human jungle. They do not perceive life to be quite arduous, it is the survival of the most cunning, predatory, and/or adept.
There are people who see their lives as one quagmire or another. They see life as an unending travail of events and/or occurrences. They contend that since life is one big struggle after another, they see the afterlife is a freeing and sweet release from all the trials and tribulations of life. The afterlife, in their eyes, is a release from their mortal coils. In the afterlife as far as they are concerned, there are no more sadness, misery, and/or other human concerns/worries. It is their FINAL and ULTIMATE release. They contend that there has to be MORE this life, it MUST be.
People assert that there must be an afterlife for this is what gives them a reason to live. It also gives some people to strength to carry on and/or endure the pitfalls and the other travails of life. They maintain that the afterlife is what gives richness and meaning to their lives. They feel that the afterlife is the final and ultimate plan as far as their life goes. They contend that if there was no afterlife, their life would be bleak, banal, and totally without any sort of meaning.
The Afterlife as a System of Justice or Karma
There are people who see the afterlife as a system of checks and balances regarding how a particular life is lived. They are of the school that everyone must reap what they sow in one form or another, it not in this life then in another life. They contend that no one gets away with anything- all have to meet their just rewards and/or have their just desserts.
The human brain and/or consciousness is programmed for and craves justice. People live by the premise that all wrongs must be corrected/punished while every good must be honored/rewarded. They are of the school, that there must be real and true justice regarding the quality and character of a person and how he/she lived his/her life.They believe that goodness should be rewarded as what is the purpose of being good and/or righteous if there is neither an extrinsic rewards. They further assert that wickedness must be punished and the evil and wicked must be severely taken to task as they need to be taught a lesson in comeuppance.
In reality, the good are not necessarily rewarded and the evil punished. In fact, many good people suffer endlessly while many evil people profit in this world. Many people see and are well aware of this. They believe that in the afterlife, there is a fairer distribution of justice. They know in the afterlife, those who are good will be honored and rewarded while those who are evil will be disparaged and punished. They know that that justice in the spiritual world is more evolved and just than human, temporal justice. They assert that in the pure spiritual world, nobody is treated with kid gloves as justice is very swift indeed. There is no more just and/or better karmic reward than the afterlife. The afterlife truly exemplifies the principle what is sown will be reaped.
Heaven, the ULTIMATE Passing Grade
Many people contend that the afterlife is the ultimate report card. They believe that after their death, they will arise and undergo judgement regarding their lives. If they are deemed worthy, they will go to their heavenly reward.
Many people see heaven as the ultimate passing grade and/or being on the ultimate honor roll. After all, heaven is the highest state of positivity. It represents the most positive state there is. In heaven, there is utter peace. In heaven, all is good, beautiful, and wonderful. It is pure bliss. It is the ultimate nirvana. It is the highest possible evolution possible. It is a supreme happiness beyond happiness. Everything in heaven is the infinite superlative of goodness
There are people who believe that in heaven, they will be sitting next to God, Buddha, Christ, or other spiritual deity. They further assert that in heaven, all earthly worries and woes will be no more. They also maintain that all earthly desires, needs, and/or wants are no more as they are pure spiritual beings and left their earthly embodiment.
There are other people who view heaven as the highest possible state of consciousness whether it is God, Christ, Buddha or other highest forms of consciousness. They further contend that in this heavenly state, they are gods themselves. They believe that as gods, they are experiencing a spiritual level of awareness and/or knowing that was not possible at a lower human consciousness level. They also believe that they are at the best possible state of awareness anyone can ever be.
Other people believe that once they get to heaven, they will be totally submerged with the Godhead or Ultimate Universal Being. They maintain that they will be no more as they will be united or as some believe reunited with God, the Ultimate Universal Being, or God Consciousness. They are of the assertion that once they are in heaven, all aspects of their beings and souls i.e. they selfhood as they have known it will be no more and they will be merged into the God essence. Their selfhood will be dissolved and absorbed by the Universal Being.
Hell, the ULTIMATE Failing Grade
As there will be some people who pass judgement and proceed heavenward, there will be those who will fail judgement and go to quite another place. Hell is the ultimate failure. It means that one has failed miserably as far as living a worthy life goes. It also means that one has seriously missed the moral and/or ethic mark. In essence, one has received an F in terms of a living a good and/or principled life.
Hell is abject negativity. No, it is beyond abject negativity. It is the darkest and blackest negativity. It is blacker than the blackest black psychically and spiritually. It is evil magnified. It is descension into the lowest and most abysmal form of consciousness. It is becoming more bestial and baser in nature. It is utter damnation. It is unimaginable and neverending angst and pain. It is the bottom of the bottom. It is the beyond the point of no return.
Many people see hell as a place of eternal fire and torment. They contend that those who are in hell endure horrid and unimaginable tortures and agony. They also assert that such tortures are neverending. Some will maintain that those in hells will be subject to quite abominable cruelties at the hands of demons and other lost and damned souls. They view hell as the ultimate penitentiary.
There are those who view hell as devoid of the presence of God and/or goodness. Those in hell will be endless longing and/or wishing for God and/or goodness. However, they will be separated from the presence of God forever. They will no longer experience the presence of God or the Godhead. They will be surrounded by evil and utter baseness. They will be in psychic darkness and abject spiritual desolation.
There are people who believe that hell is when all traces of a soul's existence is totally destroyed. To them, hell is not about torment and/or being absent from the presence of God. They contend that once a person enters hell, all traces of his/her existence is eradicated forever. All traces of his/her consciousness is gone; it is as if he/she was never born.
Belief in the afterlife has existed since the first humans. People have always contended that life existed after death. They further assert that the afterlife must be so much better than the earthly life with its all travails and tribulations. They are also of the belief that in the afterlife, there exists a heaven for those who lead moral and principled lives and hell for those whose lives were reprehensible. People view the afterlife as a consolation and a system of karmic balances which one will either receive the ultimate reward or the most abysmal of punishment.
© 2013 Grace Marguerite Williams