Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Nine Circles


I'm still superstitious enough to include two "God" pictures with this post.

DISCLAIMER: I respect everyone's opinions about Hell and the Devil, including all those that do not align with my own. I'm not saying here that I'm right or that this is definitive. There's room for everyone to have her/his own sense of this. OK? Hope so.

Do you believe in Hell? I do, definitely. Though unclear about what happens after death, I've definitely encountered Hell in life. Haven't you?

The great Rabbi Manewith said it perfectly; that Hell is a condition in which you forget or can not locate your connection to the Divine. Cut off from the bright, pure, unformed source of everything feels a whole lot like slogging through pits of fire, weighed down by heavy iron chains. Oh yeah.

Some forms of Hell are self-inflicted: staying in hurtful, destructive relationships past the point at which you continue to learn, staying in hideous jobs that make no sense to you, feeling trapped in the need to be somebody you aren't. All of these forms of Hell "look" - to me - exactly like the Devil card in the Tarot. The people in that card could easily escape, if only they had the presence of mind to remove the chains and carry on. There is a strong quality of stuckness, rigidity and lack of imagination in this kind of Hell.

Other forms of Hell have nothing to do with the games we play in our own minds. When people are diagnosed with cancer and other horrible diseases, or are placed in the middle of the desert in Iraq with 80 pounds of body armor and a big gun, they go straight to a Hell that was not of their own making and over which they have absolutely no power. Losing a loved one, no matter how it happens, is a ticket to Hell. Victims of violent crimes, those who suffer from severe depression ... I could go on about this, but you get the picture, right?

All the above said, I'm actually not one of those people who believes Hell "shouldn't" exist (whatever that means). I don't even think of Hell as bad, though of course it's uncomfortable. Sometimes the only way to really learn, to become wiser, involves a visit to Hell. There is a cleansing energy around visits to Hell, though that kind of harsh purification always leaves its mark on those involved; scars, baldness, missing body parts, or a deeply careworn, sad look on the face.

The point of a visit to Hell is to purify - or whatever - then GET OUT. The getting out when the time is right seems to be the tricky part, as far as I can tell, since visits to Hell create stuckness and rigidity. At least that's today's working theory.

Is it true that a part of life in this form involves visits to Hell? Though not at all sure about it, I don't know anyone who has never been there. Do you? Similarly, encountering the Devil is inevitable. You know you're talking to the Devil when you begin to believe that maybe you'll win the lottery, or something will solve all your problems for you. Fantasies of fame, beauty, allure? That's the prince of darkness whispering in your ear, definitely. Dark fantasies like paranoia and all the phobias are also the work of old Shatan.

Mastery of encounters with the Devil involves recognizing what's going on, then saying NO. No thanks, I can figure out my own problems with the help of some friends. No thanks, I'm fine as I am. NO. I love that phrase, "Satan, get behind me." That makes so much sense to me. A friend gave me a pin way back when that says, "What part of I BANISH THEE don't you understand?" Loved that pin. I wonder what happened to it?

Now maybe I have no business trying to figure out the hellish and the devilish. Indeed I was once so superstitious I wouldn't have dared to write about it publicly. Those kinds of superstitions give power to the hellish and devilish. I'm so glad to have risen from that level of interaction with the dark side. Whew!

Today in DC is going to be a little taste-o-Hell: 95 degrees, thick humidity, and toxic air, a.k.a. "unhealthy for sensitives," a phrase that always makes me wonder - I mean surely it must be unhealthy for everyone, right? Including the insensitives, yes? I say yes. I'm going to lay low, mostly. I'll run an errand or two just because I'm stubborn, but I've visited Hell plenty of times in my life. There is no need to breathe toxic air just to be recalcitrant. I think I'll sit this one out, if you don't mind. Oh yeah.

24 comments:

Bee said...

That kind of hot, humid weather really does suck the energy out of a person. I wish that I could instantly transport you to England . . . where we are having a cool, sunny day. Maybe those clouds will continue to gather and give you a cleansing thunderstorm.

On a more hellish note, this morning I read an article about South Africa -- and the widespread incidence of men raping infants and small children. It was very, very disturbing and I had a hard time getting it out of my mind. I remember thinking, as I read it, that a person has to be so degraded do such a thing. Truly hell on this earth. (Now I've thought of it again; I'm going to have to go water my plants and commune with the bees.)

Reya Mellicker said...

Great to "see" you here, Bee. Now I'll spend some time sending energy to the victims of that kind of Hell. Jesus. How horrible.

Bee said...

I felt so much respect and awe for the doctors and volunteers who try to put those little body and souls back together. There must be a special blessing for innocents who are trapped in a hell not of their own making.

Reya Mellicker said...

I can't pretend to understand anything about it, but I can send love and prayers, and hope for the best.

California Girl said...

my concept of Hell is still the Biblical one. I like your thoughts on it tho' I prefer not to think of people who are ill as visiting Hell even if it is hell for them.

D.C. in Summer is a kind of hell. Living in Richmond all those years and having two summer babies was defnitely hell. I was never so hot in my life...until hot flashes took over!

Cynthia Pittmann said...

We've been having trouble over here in Puerto Rico, too, Reya. Weather and worrisome behavior is impacting us...thank goodness that there are beautiful creative moments of success to celebrate.

And I agree that "sensitives" are made of the same stuff as "insensitives" so why hide it- when the pollution is dangerous just admit it!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on hell. I understand that the most confused state of separation from others, love and life is hell. I hope that a nonmaterial conceptualization of hell is possible.
Here's hoping that your purifying trip through hell is brief! xx

Reya Mellicker said...

Actually I'm staying away from the taste-o-Hell today, staying in the A/C except for a brief trip out to do things I have to do, like visit the bank.

I respect everyone's opinions about what Hell is or isn't, California Girl. Nice to see you here!

Janelle said...

i can't believe that a place can be buried under snow one minute then jungly and humid the next!? amazing! and i loved your post on the all the soldiers with the pictures of the daisies...your words, so poignant, as always. and yes. i also believe in hell...when you can;t forgive yourself, re-align your energy...that must be hell. lots love to you reya and thanks for you and your blog. xxx j

Barbara said...

I just poked my head out to water the geraniums on the deck. The air is thick, heavy, and HOT. I'll stay indoors today making dog food, playing the piano, and taking it easy. This is when I'm glad I don't have a job that requires me to be outside breathing that unhealthy air. In fact, I'm glad I don't have a job at all.

As for heaven and hell, it seems like we have both here on earth. What could possibly be different after we die?

ellen abbott said...

You are so right about hell being here on earth, man made, inflicted on ourselves or others. As for the Christian concept of eternal damnation, the lake of fire after death, I do not believe the source of life would condemn anything, anyone, to that. The 'devil' cannot even compare to the horrendous mind and behavior of man...the torture of the inquisition, napalming villages, raping infants and children. the lake of fire would be a welcome relief!

Reya Mellicker said...

Ellen as you know I am a lover of my species in spite of all our flaws.

I like what you said, Barbara, that Heaven, too, exists on earth. Maybe I'll write about that tomorrow.

Linda Sue said...

Heaven hell- concepts of extremes that stimulate our faulty reward punishment mentality- it just is what it is...and it's all pretty much in the same chapter.
We are having a winterish day - storm passing over, blowing raining, cold. It is doable. Come on over for a cuppa hot something and a pie!

Whitney Lee said...

I tend to believe that hell here on earth is very much an individual experience-one that facilitates growth. I agree that the getting out part is crucial and difficult at times. As for the concept of hell after death, I tend to believe we'll experience exactly what we expect to experience and that we can change that experience as soon as we change our minds. Perhaps it's simplistic but if it makes me happy...

The heat and humidity today are ridiculous. I'd like a nice big storm to wash the icky away!

Ronda Laveen said...

Not a believer of Hell, Satan or Heaven for that matter. Would take too much elaboration to explain here.Energy is neither good or bad. It just is.

That hot weather you're having does make one ponder the Eternal fires, though.

Reya Mellicker said...

What really got me started on this topic was the contemplation of an old pattern of mine that I thought I had successfully dismantled. But here it is again, rearing its adorable little head. Hmmmm ...

Paul C said...

I see Hell as metaphor. How does one navigate out of it and into wholeness? There are so many Hells one can descend into or be subjected to as you discuss so well.

Tom said...

interesting observations...i spent a bit of time in hell today mowing the lawn...but actually i enjoy that sort of thing, even weeding can be fun, and hellish temps make the ice tea taste that much better.

Reya Mellicker said...

Yes, Tom, you and I are aligned on that one! I like my tea with some lemonade mixed in. Yum.

Here's how radical I am. I believe Hell is a part of wholeness. That said, there are hells and then there are Hells and of course there are HELLS.

Wouldn't wish it on anyone, but it seems to be part of the spectrum of life. Or so it seems today.

Rick said...

Well, here's to removing chains... with a little help from our friends. The time is right.

love,

faerose_ said...

Your right about people getting stuck... whats interesting according to neurofeedback, is that is is certain parts of the brain that get stuck in the on position and keep us in hell even after our bodies have left.

Reya Mellicker said...

Rick? Oh yeah.

Faerose, wow. I believe it. Would love to read more about it.

Pauline said...

loved the "God" pictures -

Interesting thoughts... being cut off, whether from the "divine" or from a safe place, is definitely hellish

The Pollinatrix said...

Interesting rumination. Having just watched the movie, The Road, that is the image of hell that comes first to mind right now. It's been haunting me ever since I saw it.

Kerry said...

The description of hell as a place or condition from which it is hard to see one's way out of darkness sounds much like a description of clinical depression given to me by a psychologist. She was trying to help those of us attending a memorial service to understand the suicide of a beautiful young woman. The suicide was a strategy for becoming un-stuck. Hell, indeed, does exist.