Thoughts on the Hereafter

(Entry below was written by hand on 1/4/06 at 12:25am)

It’s so hard to write lately. Sometimes I’m really afraid. I get scared that upon my demise I will meet a vengeful God. And what if He really does punish me for acting on my lust? I think most people believe they will get to heaven and that they are good enough as long as they haven’t done something as terrible as murdering or raping someone. And even those people who do those sins probably feel that they will be forgiven and let into heaven by the mercy of God. But what if that’s not the way it is at all?

What if it’s like Dante imagined the inferno with all the different circles of hell detailing all the specific punishments that will befall particular kinds of sinners? What if he wrote “Dante’s Inferno” as a result of divine provenance? What if God was speaking through him? Divinity is usually named as and believed to be the source of all creative and artistic output. What else is the muse but God? Trying to enlighten the world through the work of a human being he uses as a vessel to carry his message?

It’s a scary thought: to ponder punishment in the afterlife for sins, to live in fear of it unless you confess and are truly sorry (before it’s too late and your life is taken from you). Lisa (my meditation teacher) used to say that death always comes sooner than you think, so you have to be prepared to face it and realize life’s worth and impermanence.

This is the stuff most people try to spend all their lives avoiding thinking about. And the older I get, the harsher that reality seems to be. It is ever-present and sometimes I get scared of simply living, wondering if it all means anything-how we live our little lives. I wonder if it has any bearing on the grand scheme of things.

Is it really worth sinning a few times here on earth to have eternal torment in the hereafter? And if there is no eternal torment and we simply cease to be, will we have missed out on all the pleasures of living? In this life that is a gift for us, it’s so easy to be led astray, to not know what to do, to feel scared and lost all the time, day after day.


November 24, 2012. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

The Way to Yourself

(Entry below was written by hand on 1/7/06 at 12:55am)

“The way to find your true self is by recklessness and freedom.”
Brenda Ueland

I love that quote. It gives you permission to go a little crazy every now and then. Everyone needs that I think, especially stuffy, uptight people like me. It reminds me of a fortunate cookie fortune I once read and kept that said something like “Don’t play for safety, it’s the most dangerous thing of all.” I still have that fortune in the photo slip plastic in my wallet.

I struggle to write and part of the reason might be my insistence on these slow ballpoint pens. But I bought a big stack of them and now I feel guilty if they don’t get used. Another reason may be this journal I write in. The current pages have such light-colored lines that I can barely see them and barely write straight. And the other big thing is my lack of a real writing space- and fatigue. I’m so tired and need sleep. But I struggle to sleep too. And desperately I long to write.

That desire won’t leave me alone. It just takes over me and I find myself composing journal entries that I should be writing, just as my head has hit the pillow and my eyes have closed and I should be focusing on trying to sleep. Can’t seem to lose consciousness lately. Feeling this urgent need to stay awake, take advantage of any small amount of free time and use it to nourish my spirit, to find a way back to myself.

I remember stopping by at a restaurant/deli type of place one morning, ordering a hot chocolate and sitting down to write about a dream I had the night before. I decided I would be late for work, and gave myself the time and space just for writing. And it felt so wonderful, so comforting and true. In those days I didn’t have to punch in, so I could just make up some believable excuse to be late if I wanted to. I also didn’t have half as much work as I do now.

Writing, meditation, music, movies, books about writing- these will have to be my pleasures for now. And how I treasure those pleasures. But it’s so hard to find time after cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, dish washing, working. I am just tired and it’s really difficult. I don’t want to be in the hell of living someone else’s life. This drive to write is something that can’t be ignored and is just a part of me. I need to have my thoughts and observations expressed through the written word. But I am so sleepy as I write this, and I don’t want to sleep.

It’s hard to find the balance between writing and making time for life and friends and family. One almost always suffers from too much focus on the other two. I can’t seem to figure it out. Time for sleep, I hope I’ll have more time to write soon in the near future.

November 24, 2012. Tags: , , . writing. Leave a comment.