Friday, November 9, 2007

Heaven and Hell

by Pa Rock

Do you ever wonder about what happens when we die? Aside from a handful of psychics and spoonbenders, and those who are religious to a fault, the rest of us may occasionally ponder that outcome. There is a lot of support for the concept of an immortality, whether that involves sitting on a cloud and strumming a harp, or roaming the Earth in some nebulous dimension and haunting the family estate or those troublesome descendants forever and ever.

Heaven and Hell may be very real places that grab our spirits and hold on tight as we pass on. Heaven and Hell might also be very real places that are in this plane of existence and not the next.

Stay with me here.

Suppose we each make our own Heaven and Hell, right here, right now. Those who do good works and genuinely show love for their fellow Man are safely anchored in a Heaven that they have created. On the other hand, those have never worked for anyone's benefit but their own are in a Hell of their own making. You can generally tell the former from the latter by attending their funerals, counting the mourners, and making an estimate of how many were truly saddened by the passing of the deceased.

If a person has lived a life of doing good works and being true to his values, he has been in Heaven. Greedheads and those who spend their lives promoting hate missed the boat - and now they're gone. There is no afterlife and they have blown their one opportunity to experience the bliss that is Heaven. Ebeneezer Scrooge finally caught on and managed to spend his last days happy.

Okay. What if I'm wrong. Suppose that I'm as full of it as the only porta-potty at a Fourth of July picnic. What then? Will our immortal souls fuel the fiery pits of hell because we strayed from dogma and spent all of that time doing good. I'm doubting it. Good works are their own reward, and if there is a Heaven in the afterlife, I believe that the good will be invited in, regardless of how many television preachers they failed to support during their days as mortals. And likewise, if there is a Hell, I'm betting that the gatekeeper will be far more concerned with how people lived their lives than if they tried to buy their way in by supporting "the one true church," or by erecting statues and buildings and schools to themselves and their enduring egos.

It's a win-win. Those who live right will experience Heaven in this life, and if there is a Heaven in the afterlife, they will experience that one as well. And their soul mates in that afterlife will be truly good spirits, the kind with whom they wouldn't mind sharing a big ole fluffy cloud.
"It's not that I'm afraid to die. I just don't want to be there when it happens." --Woody Allen

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