Posts Tagged ‘hell’

Flames of Our Own Making

February 12, 2011

As they breathe their last, sinners and scoundrels are not consigned to burn in hellfire for all eternity. Hell is not a physical reality; it is a delusionary state of consciousness produced by our belief that we are separate from God—and the reflection of that consciousness in the life we create for ourselves here on earth.

I like the way that Paramahansa Yogananda got that point across to a man who had fundamental views about heaven and hell. This story is from the book, Finding the Joy Within You, by longtime Self-Realization Fellowship president Sri Daya Mata.

Master was once talking to a man who had very dogmatic notions about truth. He said to Master, ” Do you not believe in hellfire and damnation?”

Guruji said, “No, except that man creates a hades right in the here and now. He makes out of this world and his own life a heaven or hell, depending upon his behavior; and this is where we suffer.”

The man persisted with his dogmatic arguments. Guruji was very intuitive; he changedthe subject, andthen after a while he said, “Isn’t it true that you have a son who is (more…)

Conclusive Proof of the Nature of Hell

August 12, 2009

hellAccording to spiritual sages, hell is not a physical reality. it is a delusionary state of consciousness produced by our belief that we are separate from God—and the reflection of that consciousness in the life we create for ourselves here on Earth.

The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n.
John Milton

God does not punish us; we punish ourselves when we ignore God’s universal laws of right living.

We are our own devils; we drive ourselves out of our Edens.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Then again, if hell does physically exist, questions arise. Such questions are creatively  answered in the following apocryphal story of a hellish college exam!

A thermodynamics professor had written a take-home exam for his graduate students. It had one question: “Is hell exothermic or endothermic? Support your answer with a proof.”

Most of the students (more…)

The Parable of the Long Spoons

April 10, 2009

Legend has it that Rabbi Haim of Romshishok, Lituania, an itinerant preacher, was granted permission to visit both heaven and hell. Upon his return to earth, he traveled from town to town sharing his journey.

THE PARABLE OF THE LONG SPOONS

long-wooden-spoonWith an angel for his guide, the Rabbi is first ushered through the gates of  Hell, which, he is surprised to find, are made of finely wrought gold. The gates are exquisitely lovely, as is the lush green landscape that lies beyond them. He looks at his angelic guide in disbelief. “It’s all so beautiful,” he says. “The sight of the meadows and mountains . . . the sounds of the birds singing in the trees . . . the scent of thousands of flowers . . . ” And then the tantalizing aroma of a gourmet meal catches his attention.

Entering a large dining hall, he sees row after row of tables laden with platters of sumptuous food; yet the people seated around the tables are pale and emaciated, moaning in hunger. Coming closer, he sees that each man is holding a long spoon, but that both his arms are splinted with wooden slats so that he cannot bend either elbow to bring the food to his mouth.

The angel then took the rabbi to Heaven, where he encountered the same beauty he had witnessed in Hell. Entering the dining hall there, he saw the same scene, except  in contrast to Hell, the people seated at the tables who had their arms splintered with wooden slates were sitting contentedly, cheerfully (more…)