Monday, December 1, 2014
In spiritual life, who does not squirm and writhe in an effort to soothe or eradicate the fires of hell? Subtle or gross, the effort consumes page after page of exposition, day after day of effort, year after year of crying out. Hell is no damned joke any more than hitting your thumb with a hammer is some kind of joke.
And yet does anyone sense the overwhelming loss that might occur if hell were to dissolve? There may be lots of praise for this notion -- get rid of hell, attain heaven -- but where the rubber hits the road, where the possibility might actually be within reach ... hell is so comforting and ridding oneself of comfort hardly makes any sense, let alone be truly desirable.
Dante did the Christians a favor with his technicolor depiction of a Disneyland-esque hell. As hell threatened, so heaven was simultaneously burnished. And others inclined towards spiritual prisms did what they could to keep pace with Dante's screen play. Individuals are no different.
But the convenience and comfort of "hell" -- the pit where the wind blows and the shit flies and things hurt like hell -- can't be denied, I suspect. Many are content to let hell light a fuse for heavenly realms ... but isn't that just more of the same: It's like inviting a couple to your party: You like the wife and can't abide the husband, but they come as a set, each miraculously completing the other in ways that please them but don't please you.
Heavenly hell. Hellish heaven. Really, I don't think the blessing of hell should be overlooked, let alone shunned. It's about like anything else: Keep an eye on it and after a while it has the chance to disappear ...
Who ever made this shit up in the first place?