How Does One Burn In Hell?

For one thing, there is no physical fire in Hell because it is not a physical realm. So this is a question for physics as much as it is a question for theology.

What does it really mean to “burn” in hell?

First of all, we should consider what damns a person in the first place? Cruelty, hatred, avarice, revenge, adultery, deceit, hypocrisy and impiety can all do us in. These “evils” are all derived from the love of self.

Everything an individual thinks and does is ruled by their intentions – that is what one ultimately seeks and loves. We often describe a person’s excitement as getting all fired-up. Perhaps hell is a realm where an evil person is consumed by the “flames” of his or her own self-love.

Anger is often described as a “smoldering” from within. It usually is ignited by some frustration, whereby something important to us is thwarted or foiled. Those with evil leanings often smolder when others do not do their bidding and promote their personal goals and self-interests. Inwardly, such individuals harbor a burning hatred for others.

Therefore, hell would be a “place” where evil souls go and are eternally frustrated by not being able to dominate over others or hurt others. Does not such a punishment fit the crime? How would justice be better served?

The idea that God would burn people in a culinary fire, and miraculously keep them alive to have their flesh cooked to an eternity is barbaric, and, contradicts the idea that God is Infinite Love and Infinite Wisdom.

Even on earth, we mortals have the sense to create a system of justice whereby the punishment fits the crime. Is God less rational and fair than we are?

Goodness is its own reward and evil is its own punishment.

Heaven and Hell are psychoscapes. That is, not existing in time or space, they are reflections of the qualities of our hearts and minds. The Lord’s heavenly kingdom is a kingdom of mutual love. Those who put themselves first cannot endure such a realm and seek to remove themselves from God’s influence, where they can worship themselves.

Such individuals are eternally thwarted by the self-interests of others, who also constantly seek their own prominence in all things. In such an infernal society, happiness can never be attained. This is what is meant by, “burning in hell.”

Does this make sense to you?

Website: http://www.staircasepress.com

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About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at http://www.staircasepress.com
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5 Responses to How Does One Burn In Hell?

  1. artrockpoetry says:

    🙂 I’m glad you wrote this. It’s nice to see these ideas out there. Keep up the wonderful work. 🙂 Hope you check out Love Rants @ http://artrockpoetry.wordpress.com

  2. ANONYMOUS says:

    I agree with you on most of what you said here but you made a mistake. Cruelty, hatred, avarice, revenge, adultery, deceit, hypocrisy and impiety are all poison to our soul but you make it sound like its wrong to be rich.How is it wrong to want to live a life of wealth as long as you don’t put this above heavenly and spiritual things. If your wealth can be useful and helpful to others and provide you with joy(as long as not living for the world alone and not putting anything above what is spiritual) then why not?? The most happy people in heaven have been wealthy on earth and have lived a life of heavenly joy.Heavenly joy consists of being happy on earth as long as you are in charity(love to the neighbor). The world and wealth is there for us to enjoy as long as we know our means of end and purpose. As long as we relate our worldy life to our spiritual there is no problem with having wealth. Is not wealth a representation of those who are rich in goods and truths ?? That is love and faith ??? or love to the neighbor?However, You may be thinking of desiring wealth for the worlds sake or for the sake of wealth alone please explain what you mean by avarice ???

  3. thegodguy says:

    Dear ANONYMOUS,

    Thank you for your comment.

    You guessed it – I do use the term “avarice” as the desiring of wealth for the sake of self alone. I thought I was making myself clear by placing all these “poisons” under the category of SELF-LOVE, which is in opposition to the LOVE OF GOD AND THE NEIGHBOR.

    Having wealth is ONLY representative of those who are rich in goods and truths when one’s wealth is the outcome of a sincere desire to serve the common good (mutual love). The biggest charge against capitalism is that it often lacks ethics (and even morality).

    In heaven, one’s wealth is according to the quality of one’s heart.

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify my message.

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  4. I believe the expression has an implied meaning:

    Indulging in anti-social, or to generalize, evil acts will eventually come back to haunt your conscience, without any reprieve to clear the stains on one’s conscience.

    Thereby, each day will be a torture of the mind, coming back to haunt again and again. This might be the implication behind “Burning in Hell”.

  5. thegodguy says:

    Dear Praz,

    I am talking about both a bad conscience in the world and the non-physical realm one finds oneself in after the death of the material body. One’s heart and mind, which contains one’s conscience represents the quality of our inner being, called the spirit. The spirit has a body as well, but consists of spiritual substances.

    Spiritual substances are what create our thoughts and feelings. Therefore, one’s conscience is one’s spiritual embodiment and eternal reality. In the spiritual world, after we shed off our physical bodies, we become “clothed” with the qualities of our heart and mind. We become who we really are.

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

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