Dear Jonny, Heaven And Hell?
Do you believe in heaven? Hell?
I don’t believe that an unrepentant “sinful” existence will lead me to the fiery pits of hell any more than I believe that, at the end of my life, donating millions to charity will leave me with harp-playing angels nestled atop soft, billowy clouds. Those beliefs are the result of age-old control mechanisms used by some humans to dictate the behavior of the masses. Besides, any person with half a brain can see that, depending on the nature of an individual’s circumstances on earth, they certainly don’t have to leave this place in order to experience conditions that are comparable to our traditional ideas about heaven and hell. If, as the only son of poor, illiterate, indescribably abusive parents living in a third world country, I’m sentenced to a brief, loveless existence of filth, hunger, pain, and disease, then, with the exception of chance, it’s pretty much safe to say that my life is a living hell. On the flip side, if, as one of several siblings born to prosperous, educated, remarkably caring parents living in an industrialized country, I’m afforded ample opportunity at a long, love-filled existence of cleanliness, nutrition, joy, and health, then, with the exception of chance, it’s fairly safe to wager that my life is one of many heavenly pleasures. That said, I do believe that what you do with who you are will ultimately lead you to some place other than here, but since no one has any solid proof of where and why that is, I usually prefer to just shut my mouth and wait until I can find out for myself.