Monday, November 5, 2007

Thoughts on hell fire

Though I never watch horror movies (they would haunt me for weeks) we have been glued to the coverage of the California fires.

This scenario is too close to home. We get forest fires in this area. It got pretty scary last summer, especially when we got some hot winds (see blog post 'region without power') Fire terrifies me.

In a philosophical mood it got me to musing about the notion of hell fire. I have a hard time extending the respect for religion to this idea.
I believe there is a kernel of truth in all religions, and as long as we stick to the mystic heart of any of them we do fine. Mystics generally get along fine with mystics of other religions, witness Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama. It's certain priests protecting their power base, who create problems.

If I must wear a label, call me a Pagan Taoist. Nature is my personal connection to the Great Mystery, the Tao.
I will gladly honor the different connections others use. There is power and comfort in ritual, community and tradition.


Where in the name of all that is truly holy did this hell nonsense creep in?
The great Creative Force of the Universe gives these poor mortal creatures one lousy shot at life, and if they don't measure up they get to burn alive for ever and ever and ever?

Should the punishment not at least have some kind of end ? Say, a year of torment for each year of badly lived life? Still kind of harsh, but we're trying to make a point here.
This concept- eternal reward or punishment after a finite life- is presented as the law of a supposedly loving and merciful divine being.

Sure, the poor mortals get a chance to avoid hell if they believe in the sacrifice of the Son. Too bad if a person prefers to stick with his ancestors a year after the missionary shows up. You had your chance, down you go!

I find the notion of never-ending hell a truly silly and even blasphemous concept. Silly, because it represents eternity as an endless supply of time, instead of its absence. 
Blasphemous, because it is an offence to the Creative Life Force. The most evil among humans is bound to be more merciful than that.

And finally: if it were real and a Being existed who would inflict it, I'd join Its opposition.

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