A theory about Hell.
I think it is well understood by now that Hell is not a place that exists after death but it is a very real thing we create here on Earth.
Hell is obviously created by malevolence. Spreading seeds of malevolence into the world is the most obvious way to create Hell but there is a more subtle way I’m going to introduce today. You tell me what you think:
You create Hell on Earth by rejecting Life’s invitation to grow.
Take, for example, the Peter Pan man. He never leaves home. Maybe works remedial and soul sucking jobs or maybe no job at all. Lives in his parent’s house. His mother coddles him and his father criticizes him but he won’t take the leap out of the nest. He can’t make any relationships with women because women don’t want a child as a partner. What once was the nursery where he grew into preparation for adulthood, is now a prison keeping him in a frustrated and infantile state. He rejected Life’s invitation to grow by not stepping out into the unknown.
That sounds like Hell.
Or take, for example, a woman that is an addict. At one point, she meets someone willing to support her on her path to recovery. Afraid to be without her numbing substance, she rejects the offer to get clean and instead the addiction spirals even more out of control. She lives on the street and degrades herself to maintain her addiction. Her family and friends don’t recognize her and she can hardly recognize herself. She rejected Life’s invitation to grow into something more than an addict.
That sounds like Hell.
Or take an example of a young person starting in a corporate job. They are making good money but are spiritually and personally unsatisfied with their work and their immediate world. They are offered the chance to take a big risk and join a startup of young entrepreneurs aligned with their values. Out of fear, they reject the offer and stay at their corporate job. For the next 20 years, same dreary, unsatisfactory, and predictable 24 hours plays on repeat. They rejected Life’s invitation for adventure and to grow more into themselves.
That sounds like Hell.
Nature shows us that we have two options in life: growing or dying. There are only two reasons why a plant is not growing: 1) it is healing or 2) it is dying. That is it. We are no different in this way. If we are rejecting Life’s invitations to grow and heal, we are casting our vote for death and the decay of our own life.
By accepting Life’s invitation to grow, we must wander into a place we don’t know. This is the archetypal hero’s journey which is also the symbolic representation of our journey of personal growth, self-realization, and individuation. It is also the basis of pretty much every story you know. To accept Life’s invitation, the hero must leave the world it knows and venture into the unknown which forces and fosters the hero’s growth. This is why it is usually under some type of strain or scare that finally sparks us into action for doing the things we have been putting off for a long time. Like a health scare that sparks a health routine that was put off for years or a financial or spiritual strain that forces us to pursue our inspired career. This is Life’s loud (and sometimes last) invitation to grow into more than what we have been.
Instead of taking Life’s hand to dance in adventure, many people are actively engaged in maintaining their personal Hell right now simply by being unwilling to evolve their personal opinions when they are presented with new information. This is being unwilling to step into the unknown where they maybe don’t have a firm handle on all the variables. Many people also are invested in making their relationships Hellish by not addressing the elephants in the closet, under the rug, behind the couch, or under the kitchen sink. By not having those uncomfortable conversations when necessary, they are rejecting Life’s invitation to enter new territory which could be the very soil for growing a healthy relationship.
What’s worse to contend with, beside from actually living in Hell, is that we are the only one responsible for creating our Hell and then living in it. It is our own fear of evolving, of stepping into an unknown, that wraps us up tightly into a living Hell of our own making.
You can assess and direct your next steps into Heaven or Hell on Earth by asking yourself something along the lines of:
“what would someone that wants to heal this situation do?”
“what would someone that wants a healthy relationship do?”
“what would someone that wants to succeed do?”
“what would someone that wants to create a better health/finances/friendships do?”
“what would someone that wants to end this cycle do?”
“what would someone _______________ do?”
Using your answers as a compass, you can follow actions intuitive to you that fall in line with creating your Heaven on Earth.
Human to human, accept the invitation to grow, my friends. A healer told me once that we are here for the adventure of life. To be the hero of your own life means heeding the call to adventure into the unknown, whatever territory that may be for you at this time. Only through this journey can you truly become wholly yourself.