Thursday, 28 May 2015

Hell, an Earthly Realm

Do you believe in hell?
I believe we make our own hell. Here. On this earth.
That's a powerful statement. Would you care to elaborate? For instance, what does your version of hell look like?
Hell is not a vision of fire and satanic figures. It's not a lion-filled pit you can see. It's a place we create inside ourselves that keeps us circling. Unable to break free. A life sentence of repeating the same worn-out pattern. You may realise that you're in some kind of insolvable maze, yet when you spy an exit you hesitate. Like that old saying: You can't see the wood for the trees, so you endlessly circle or hover above as if you were a helicopter. Consider a situation from all sides to help you decide whether to land, return to base or propel yourself onwards. Sometimes you never reach a satisfactory answer, so you let go, trust in God, whatever that concept means to you, or more likely than not take no further action. Remain where you are. On repeat. Other times, you celebrate thinking you've finally found a way out, then after a brief sojourn realise you're somehow still on the very same route you thought you'd departed a while ago. Permanently looping the M25. Hell is full of pot holes, traffic obstructions and comfort break zones. It's a delusional ground-level world.
That's some explanation.
Yes, but my idea of hell, as with any of my beliefs, may not be yours. Views are experience and knowledge based, and they may change with time. Ask me again five years down the line and I may have changed my mind. Found a solution to this hell and fallen in another one. But right now, I'm drawn to a circular shape, and not just in my own experience of life - I frequently observe others doing the exact same. Becoming aware does not help, but it makes a difference.
Interesting...How does your perception of this aid you?
In signs. You still make the same clumsy mistakes, but you spot them sooner; quickly realise you're lapping the same oval track and the length of those laps is getting shorter. The distance covered in-between wrong choices is not as great. The time you've got left to make changes is less. You lose more and more control on your approach to the summit. Reaching the peak is not the goal, but having the desire to avoid it. And if you feel even a tiny bit of that, then you may be about to turn down a forward path. You can still act, take charge, but if you persist in your foolishness to reach the top or fail to heed those road warnings, then your free will becomes a slave to acts of God. A Higher Power greater than you that will force you to stop. Push you over the razor-sharp edge. Wipe out everything you've known, take away all you own. Impel you to reassess, begin over. Nobody wants to crash, but sometimes that sense of impending peril is not enough.
So knowing you've constructed, aided and abetted this hell isn't a release, it's an added pressure? Is that what you're saying?
Yes and no. Life is a classroom, and as Dante described it a divine comedy. Some things we can change, some things we can't. Some things if and when we act have a different outcome – for better or worse as in the marriage vow. We observe, we engage, we learn. Our observance of ourselves is the key, not all this distraction we're submissive to. I'm not advocating self-absorption, but developing a fuller sense of who you are without outside input. What makes you YOU, what are YOU about. Do you even like yourself? Or the road you're journeying on? Don't silence doubts or instinct. Hear out your indecision. Study your repetitive patterns and the habits you've attached yourself to. Detach, disconnect, recreate. Hell, for me, is an earthly burden, but it can be a short-lived fate.

Picture Credit: Dante and his poem the 'Divine Comedy 1465, (Dante and the Three Kingdoms) by Domenico di Michelino