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.
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