Purgatory and the Nature of Reality A Tract Book Essay By Anthony J. Fejfar, B.A., J.D., Esq.

, Coif © Copyright 2007 by Anthony J. Fejfar Once upon a time a lot of people believed in Heaven and Hell. Even longer ago in time, many people believed in Purgatory. I argue that Purgatory best represents the real Nature of Reality and that both Heaven and Hell are antiquated concepts. First let us talk about Heaven. What is the nature of Heaven? What is Heaven like? Well, in point of fact there is no agreement. Some think that we will spend eternity in heaven going to church and praying. Others think that this would be boring and not Heaven. Some think that Heaven is like Paradaise, and that Heaven will be filled with great food, entertainment, etc., and of course, with a suitable number of beautiful women (or men) of the opposite sex, just waiting for the perfect relationship. Others think that there will be no sex at all in Heaven and that beautiful people will not be allowed in. Interestingly, even some Satanist think that they will be going to Heaven. These are extremely irrational people who think that anything can mean anything. So, they define evil as good, as good as evil, and Heaven as Hell, and Hell as Heaven. They are so deluded that they think that they will go to Heaven for being evil. Obviously, most people come to the more sensible conclusion that good people go the Heaven and evil people go to Hell. Then there is Hell. Since about 1960, or so, Hell has become an increasingly unpopular concept. The idea that a Good God would leave a person in Hell forever,

suffering torture, seemed a little bit extreme. So people soon either tried to redefine Hell, or to define it out of existence. Additionally, there were always conceptual problems with Hell. If you were truly evil then you went to Hell. But, the problem was that Satan was in charge in Hell. Satan is considered to be evil. In fact, it is generally thought that Satan tempts people to be evil on Earth. So, if one was Satanically evil, then one might ask why Satan would torture you in Hell. Perhaps he might reward you for being evil. Somehow, it only makes sense that people are punished in Hell if God is in charge in Hell, not Satan. But, then, some contemporary theologians define Hell as the complete separation from God. Obviously, both cannot be true. If God is in charge in Hell, then obviously a person in Hell is not separated from him, instead one is being punished by him. The last problem with Hell is ecumenism. Many Catholics and Protestants are ecumenical, that is, they try to find the Spirit in other religious traditions. Where before, my Protestant friend might think I was going to Hell for not being a “Born Again” Christian, and I, his Catholic friend might think that he was going to Hell for missing Mass on Sunday, or something else, after ecumenism, this began to fade. In fact, even in the old view, many of us cheated, praying for a friend or relative who was in the “wrong” religion. This was especially true when there were children of mixed Protestant Catholic marriages. It’s hard for a kid to think that one of his parents was going to Hell for being in the wrong religion. Finally, there is Purgatory. Purgatory is defined as a place which is conducive to Spiritual Growth. In the old view, the idea was that you spent time in Purgatory before you could go to Heaven. Once in Purgatory, you could not go to Hell. On the

other hand, in the old view, I guess it was possible that some would spend a very long time in Purgatory, never quite “getting it.” Now, I would like to argue that Heaven and Hell no longer exist, if they ever did, and instead what exists is something like Purgatory. Purgatory is a place for education, reflection, and Spiritual Growth. One might argue that Purgatory ranges from “Virtual Heaven” on the top end, to “Virtual Hell,” on the bottom end. Purgatory is a Spirit World which is based upon the paradigm of spiritual and intellectual growth. Those who are in sync with this paradigm find Purgatory to be Heavenly, and those who are not, find it to be Hellish. You see, if you spend all your time on Earth being anti-intellectual and anti-spiritual, then you are going to find Purgatory to be a difficult place to be. Recall, at this point the notion of Reincarnation. I argue that Reincarnation is ordered toward personal growth, both spiritually and intellectually. In his book, Journey of Souls, by psychologist Michael Newton, Newton describes a Spirit World which is ordered toward spiritual and intellectual growth. It is this World, this Purgatory, that we return to between lives on Earth. If we do not learn our lessons in the Spirit World, then we must learn them on Earth in later lives. Perhaps, then, Hell only exists for those who reject the existence of Purgatory, and for no others. Since spiritual growth can go on forever, it would seem that the notion of a “Perfect” Heaven is not logical.