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Heaven and Hell - what are they like?

Updated on August 19, 2015
A common depiction
A common depiction | Source

Experiencing Hell

I began to ponder this question some years ago after receiving a piece of devastating news - the kind that almost physically pushes you to the floor, as if the weight of the world is on your shoulders.

I felt cold, literally, and very alone and realized why a 'heavy heart' is called that.
It was the very worst day of my life til then.


Tall Claims

Not long after, I happened to watch an online video of an Islamist terrorist claiming that everyone who didn't conform exactly to what he had decided was the correct way of life was 'doomed to eternal hellfire'.
He waxed nonsensical about the pain of being in hell but all I could think was

'No physical pain could be worse than how I felt that day'.

It set me thinking - had religious leaders in the past simply equated fire with Hell because it was a physical pain they knew everyone could identify with?

The maniac in the video seemed to be contradicting himself - he believed that people would leave their human bodies behind and their souls would be punished....but in a very non-soul, actually-physical kind of way.

Wouldn't a soul, bereft of its physical confinement in a human body, be impervious to the physical pain of being burnt?

blah blah Hellfire blah blah Boling Water blah blah
blah blah Hellfire blah blah Boling Water blah blah | Source

Heaven and Hell, Reincarnation and Moksha - how does it all fit?

There is no science to this. You can disagree and offer rebuttals in the Comments, but for the sake of this Hub, I will make these assumptions:

1. All humans have souls.
2. Souls are eternal.

Body and Soul
Body and Soul | Source

I believe a 'soul' is a collection of memories and energy, irreversibly bound together. If you throw reincarnation in the mix, it would mean memories are repressed (not completely, by some accounts) when a soul leaves one body and enters another.

Reincarnation, as believed in in Eastern religions like Hinduism and Buddhism, gives every soul a number of chances to get things right/as right as possible. Continued existence in the physical plane is seen as prolonged punishment (Hell, in a sense), whereas release (moksha) from the cycle of life-and-death (samsara) is the ultimate achievement and reward - the return of the soul to, and fusion with, the Supreme Consciousness.

Existence after Moksha is thought to be a perpetual state of blissful rapture that does not ebb or die. It is the closest thing to the 'Heaven' described in the Abrahamic faiths (in terms of eternal happiness), with the main difference being that the Earthly-type pleasures are regarded as a 'lower level' of enjoyment that the soul is beyond.
It is worth noting that moksha is also associated with knowledge, perhaps suggesting 'all will be revealed' to the soul that attains it.

Easy does it
Easy does it | Source

Burning question

Do you believe you have a soul?

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Cardinal Sins

Do you think there are sins/crimes that would debar one from Heaven/Moksha forever? If yes, tell us which ones in the Comments.

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The devil and the deep blue sea

Which system seems better/more logical - one try at life then Heaven/Hell OR Reincarnation?

See results


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    • Terrex profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago

      Thank you, manatita44.

      Wow, never knew that about yoga - I'll delve into it. Thanks.

    • manatita44 profile image


      3 years ago from london

      Nice Hub and interesting ideas. Continue. Note that Yoga states that you are the Soul and not that you have a Soul. This is profoundly significant and different from the average western thought.

      Otherwise a nice well-written article, Carry on, Bro. Salaam!!


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