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Where is Hell?

Anonymous
Anonymous
Where is Hell?
Copyright © 2015, 2017 Truth Publishing
ACTUAL TRUTH PUBLISHING
www.actualtruth.org
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Printed in USA

The information provided in this book is for educational and


scientific research purposes only. The information is not medical
or legal advice and is not a substitute for medical care or legal
advice. There shall be neither liability nor responsibility should
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other than for the purposes of education and scientific research.
While some animal research may be referenced, the author does
not support the use of animals for research.

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Anonymous
Where is Hell?
First Edition
1. Science. 2. Philosophy
Bibliography and References; Index

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For my Teachers,
who have taught me where hell is
and how to rise above it.
Table of Contents
Introduction ..................................................................................1
1. Where Hell is Not.....................................................................3
Decomposition by animals, insects and microorganisms ...3
Molecular decomposition ........................................................4
How long does it take for our body to decompose? ............5
Casket degradation ...................................................................5
Cremation...................................................................................6
Pouring the ashes ......................................................................7
How can a dead body go to hell?............................................7
2. Who Goes to Hell? ...................................................................9
What is death? ...........................................................................9
Where is the life? .....................................................................10
Which body part is alive?.......................................................12
Matter versus life.....................................................................13
Temporary matter ...................................................................15
Are we brains? .........................................................................17
How old are we? .....................................................................19
Are we chemicals?...................................................................20
Are we DNA? ..........................................................................27
Who is the observer?...............................................................35
The person within ...................................................................39
What happens when my body dies? ....................................40
3. Depictions of Hell..................................................................43
Warnings of hell ......................................................................43
The Bible and hell....................................................................43
The metaphors of hell.............................................................49
Fire ......................................................................................49
Descending or Falling .........................................................51
Chambers.............................................................................53
Chains..................................................................................54
Sin........................................................................................57
Anger...................................................................................58
Wickedness..........................................................................58
Forgetting God ....................................................................59
Death ...................................................................................60
Destruction ..........................................................................60
The Soul and Death .............................................................61
Speculations of hell .................................................................62
4. So Where is Hell? ...................................................................67
The threat of hell..................................................................... 68
Being in hell............................................................................. 69
The suffering of hell ............................................................... 71
The short respites ................................................................... 75
The three-fold miseries of materialism................................ 77
Perpetual fear.......................................................................... 78
Other regions of hell .............................................................. 80
The fall into darkness............................................................. 81
Can we escape by withdrawal?............................................ 82
The purpose of hell ................................................................ 83
5. Advanced Topics of Hell ..................................................... 87
God’s rehabilitation center.................................................... 87
A place with the hypocrites .................................................. 92
The illusions of hell ................................................................ 93
The law of consequences ....................................................... 95
Why we ended up here ....................................................... 102
Raising consciousness.......................................................... 103
Why is there so much suffering?........................................ 104
The fall ................................................................................... 106
Landing in hell...................................................................... 111
Escaping hell ......................................................................... 114
Getting Home........................................................................ 120
A creation of love ................................................................. 140
"But seek His kingdom...".................................................... 146
References and Bibliography................................................ 151
Introduction
Most of us have grown up with the concept that if we don’t
do the right things in life, we’ll end up in hell.
But where is hell?
This is not just a rhetorical question. This question is not be-
ing asked in order to generate an ecclesiastical argument in order
to prevail a particular religious ideology.
In other words, the purpose of asking the question is not to
threaten. It is not a concealed attempt to get people to join one
religious sect or another. Nor it is an attempt to dissuade some-
one from their particular religious leanings.
Rather, this is a practical text that discusses the scriptural
sources of the notion of hell, and the particular specifications of
its existence and location.
We will also explore the various ecclesiastical myths regard-
ing hell and the origins of those.
Then we will reveal the only scientifically valid locations for
the place we call hell, utilizing the specifications as detailed in
the scriptural sources.
In other words, we will separate the myths about hell from
the realities about hell.
And we will carefully and accurately define hell consistent
with scripture.
As such, we will also explain how one arrives in hell and
how one escapes hell once arrived.
The information contained in this text is derived from three
central sources:
Scripture will be a central source of information – which will
be referenced and quoted. The scriptures used will focus upon
the Bible because it is readily accepted in Western civilization.
Modern science and current affairs will also be discussed.
These will be indicated as observations with some referencing
for concepts that are not readily known.
However, the overriding knowledge and wisdom being dis-
seminated in this text comes from an ancient lineage of spiritual
teachers that have handed down this wisdom for thousands of
years. Each teacher within this lineage has passed on the wis-

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dom to a student who eventually became a teacher to pass it on


to others.
What this text does not contain is speculative discourse. The
content is not the author’s opinion. Let’s repeat that: The content
of this book is not the author’s speculative opinion. The author
does believe in the content of this book, but the content does not
come from the author. It is not a creation of the author.
This departs from most of the philosophies that are being
passed around today. Someone made some speculations and
created the philosophy at some point. For some philosophies, it
was a preacher from a few centuries past. For others, it was a
more modern person with a Ph.D. or some other credential or
group of followers.
Regardless of the credential or number of followers, these
philosophies are speculation. They are creations of speculative
minds – minds that are prone to error.
Some philosophies provide a speculative thesis for the exis-
tence or non-existence of God and our purpose on the planet.
Some are provocative and some are quite stunning.
For example, one philosophy says that we have all de-
scended from aliens and God is an alien. Without commenting
on the philosophy itself, we know that the source of this phi-
losophy is ultimately some person who imagined it to be true. It
is speculative fantasy.
The content of this book is not speculative fantasy.
In other words, the content of this text passes on the very
same teachings that have been passed from teacher to student as
mentioned above. Referencing modern scientific observations,
modern society and human behavior in general is done to illus-
trate the truth to these teachings. Yes, these teachings – contrast-
ing with many ecclesiastical teachings about hell – are consistent
with natural scientific observations.
This information provided here is also consistent with both
natural science and scripture because these originate from the
same Source – the Supreme Being.

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Chapter One

Where Hell is Not


Our notion of hell, at least in western society, imagines a
dungeon-like environment full of pain and suffering. When we
see renditions of hell it is usually conceived as people being
chained to a brick wall in a room with a fire burning.
This notion has been misinterpreted from scripture and it is
not incorrect.
Certainly one of the problems lies with the understanding of
where this place is located and what form the inhabitants of hell
are in. In other words, who are the citizens of hell?
Such a question is typically answered by saying that sinners
go to hell. Certainly but this doesn't fully answer the question.
This tells us what a person did to deserve to go hell. It doesn't
indicate who goes to hell.
This of course relates directly to identity.
Let's put it more practically. When someone dies, the body
becomes lifeless and is buried or cremated. If the body is buried
it decomposes and the flesh and tissues biodegraded. How does
this take place?
Decomposition takes place from three levels.

Decomposition by animals, insects and


microorganisms
The decomposition process is accelerated by certain types of
organisms – those that specialize in decomposing flesh.
If the body is available to airborne insects, flies will be the
first to feed off the flesh. These are called flesh flies. Flesh flies
include Blaesoxipha, Gymnopsidia and Opsidia species. The
adults will eat flesh, but they will also lay eggs in the flesh and
their larvae will also eat flesh as they develop.
Another type of fly that eats flesh is called the blow fly – or
Cochliomyia sp. There are many species of these around the
world and the larvae are the typical flesh eaters – although
adults will sometimes eat flesh.

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When bodies are buried, these larvae will also make their
way into dead flesh under the surface. They are adept at locating
and finding their primary food source.
Beetles are also good at burrowing into the soil and getting
to their favorite food source. In the case of dead flesh, a number
of beetles will chomp on decaying carcass. These include carrion
beetles (Silphidae), rove beetles (Staphylinidae) or rove beetles,
and dung beetles (Scarabaeidae).
The species of beetles will vary by region. The small Ameri-
can carrion beetle (Necrophila Americana), the giant carrion bee-
tle (Nicrophorus americanus) and the gold-necked carrion beetle
(Nicrophorus tomentosus) are common species in North Amer-
ica. In South America, dead bodies are ravished by the rove bee-
tle called the devil's coach-horse beetle (Ocypus olens) or the
scarab beetle (Coprophanaeus lancifer). These can grow quite
large.
Larger scavengers that feed off of dead bodies include coyo-
tes, vultures and a few other birds.
In the microscopic world, a number of parasites will begin to
feast on a dead body's tissues. Along with these are flesh-eating
bacteria – but also yeasts – will assimilate and break down cell
tissue into nutrients they utilize for energy.

Molecular decomposition
The last form of decomposition takes place at the molecular
level. Here molecules that once made up the cells and tissues are
broken down, with atoms being lost to other molecules. These
loosed atoms will combine differently with other atoms to make
different molecules. In this way, what once was flesh will now
become soil.
This process of molecular breakdown and repositioning will
also occur as worms and bacteria digest the flesh. The difference
is that their digestive processes will force the metabolic process
where as nature's elements can also bring about the process,
which leaves the nutrients in the soil for plants or others to util-
ize for nutrition.

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In other words, after its death our physical body will become
nutrition for other organisms.

How long does it take for our body to


decompose?
This depends greatly upon the environment the body is be-
ing placed. Modern burials will embalm the body with formal-
dehyde and numerous other chemicals. These will help slow the
decomposition process. These chemicals – when combined with
a casket made with wood soaked in preservative or synthetic
materials – will deter the ability of microorganisms and worms
to enter the body.
But because the body already contains billons of microorgan-
isms that may only partly be inhibited by the embalming fluid,
the microorganism-driven decomposition process is merely
slowed and delayed a little.
Furthermore, the molecular breakdown of cells and tissues
will still continue, though this is slowed through preservation as
well.
The bottom line is that the body will decompose despite at-
tempts to preserve it.
Embalmed bodies will typically decompose completely
within a few years. The formaldehyde will gradually be broken
down, leaving the body to biodegrade.
This is evidenced by exhumations – sometimes done for au-
topsies. Exhumations have discovered significantly decomposed
bodies after only a few months. The bone matter of the skeleton
may remain, but most of the flesh and tissues have broken
down. The bones will also typically take longer in a casket.

Casket degradation
A body buried directly into the soil will certainly degrade
faster. Here soil comes into contact with the body, bringing in a
variety of microorganisms and insects to devour the body. Even-
tually this will also take place with a casket – once the casket
biodegrades.
Once the casket decomposes, allowing soil within the casket,
the tissues will decompose within a few weeks and the bones

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likely a year or two. But not much because the same elements
that break down the body also break down the casket assuming
natural materials.. This will certainly depend upon the type of
soil. Soil with plenty of humus will decompose a body faster
than a body that the snow will, or a volcanic eruption will.
These latter scenarios explain why bones are sometimes
found thousands of years later. Snow or volcanic flows can in-
hibit the decomposition process due to the excessive cold or
heat.
Here the excessive cold or heat will also deter microorgan-
isms and insects.
In the case of snow and ice, most microorganisms are
blocked or at least slowed.
The molecular breakdown of the cells and tissues is also
slowed in slow and ice. For this reason, a few optimistic scien-
tists have offered cryogenic freezing services for those who think
that if their body is frozen after death, some future technology
will be able to revive the body and thus bring the dead frozen
body back to life.
As we will discuss further, the problem with this theory is
that at the death of the body, the person leaves and moves on.

Cremation
Cremation produces the same end result but much faster and
more abruptly. Cremation is done by placing the dead body into
a furnace. The body is burnt until only ashes remain. The ashes
are then put into an urn and given to the family.
Figuring out what to do with the ashes now becomes quite
the challenge.
Cremation leaves the process of death with a more emphatic
departure as the body can no longer be seen. Even still, grieving
relatives and spouses of the dead body will typically design
elaborate ceremonies around the urn and ashes. They might toss
the ashes into the sea or another part of nature.
Of course many of us have also seen some absurd ceremo-
nies – as the ashes are often treated as though they are the per-

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son. Some will talk to the ashes or otherwise treat the urn as
though it is the person.
This creates an absurd situation, should the family identify
the body as the self. Such a family will see those ashes as the
person they once cared for. But now that body has been reduced
to ashes and the family must figure out what to do with the
ashes – basically dust.

Pouring the ashes


Some families will pour the ashes into an ocean or other
body of water while others will dump them onto some land
seemingly meaningful to the person. Some will keep the ashes in
the urn.
It is as if the person is somehow still existing within the
ashes. What an absurd thought.
Sometimes the dead body’s ashes get spilled accidentally.
Sometimes, just as the ashes are being dumped, a gust of wind
will sweep the ashes into the person dumping them. What hap-
pens then? And where did the person go?

How can a dead body go to hell?


This brings up an important question. Given the above un-
derstanding of how a dead body will biodegrade, essentially
turned to ashes, it is nonsensical to believe a dead body –
whether decomposed or cremated – can physically go to hell: Or
any other place other than composted soil.
Yes, in the end, the dead body will turn into soil. Soil is com-
posed primarily of the feces of animals, insects and microorgan-
isms. These critters that eat dead flesh will absorb the nutrients
and then excrete the rest as feces. Thus what once was our flesh
will now become soil.
This soil will then become nourishment for other species of
life. These include plants, which become nourishment for species
of animals, including humans.
In other words, what once was the flesh of a human body
will become part of the soil which will nourish the plants, which
will in turn nourish our own bodies. This means that essentially,

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our physical bodies are composed of nutrients that once made


up other physical bodies. It is a recycling of matter.
But we are not seeing the total equation here. These physical
bodies – made of molecules and cells that are nourished from
other dead bodies and feces – are differentiated from who we are
within. We are not these physical bodies.
Let’s take a closer look at our real composition.

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Chapter Two

Who Goes to Hell?


The points in the first chapter illustrate that before we can
delve further into what hell is and where hell is, we must under-
stand just who it is that would experience hell.
This is a practical issue. Let’s say we log onto an internet site.
They will ask us for a user name and password. Why? Because
they want to verify our identity before they let us in. They want
to make sure the person accessing the site is supposed to access
the site. If we are not holding the password, the site assumes we
are not who we claim to be.
Identity is a big issue because it distinguishes a person from
others. Without identification, how could one person go to hell
and the other person not go to hell? Is it distinguished through
DNA? Or some other means of distinction?
While we might gloss over this concern, assuming the exis-
tence of hell does require a deeper understanding of who is the
experiencer: Who experiences life. Just who experiences death?
And who lives on after the body dies?

What is death?
Before we can understand just who would go to hell, we
have to understand what death is.
We know the body dies. We can easily observe that at the
time of death, the body no longer functions. Regardless of which
outward signs and symptoms we use, there is a dramatic change
in the body at the time of death. The body ceases function. The
body ceases the display of life and the outward demonstration of
personality.
Where did this personality go then? Did it disappear into
thin air? Did it evaporate with the final breath? Did this person-
ality die with the death of the body?
Before we can fully understand death, we must understand
who is the living person. What is a live person, and what is the
difference between life and death? What is the difference be-

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tween a dead body and a living body, and how is the personality
we know and hold dear connected with life?
This means we must delve into the source of the energy and
life of the body. Where is the generator of the body? Who or
what is running the body? This certainly relates to the concept of
identity: Are we each simply a temporary physical body? Are we
simply cellular machines that decompose after a few decades?
If we ask someone who they are, they will most likely de-
scribe their body’s physical features. Or perhaps their body‘s
country of origin. They might say “I am American;” “I am
black;” or “I am five feet tall, weigh 125 lbs, and female with
brown eyes.” The logical question here is: Am I this physical
body? If so, what happens if the body gains 100 lbs of weight or
becomes disfigured? Does the person’s identity change?
Most of us assume that our identity runs deeper than our
physical body. A person with a black body wants equality with a
person with a white body because that person considers that
beneath the skin, we are all of the same substance. Similarly, an
obese person wants to be treated equally with someone of a
more slender stature. Why would we request equality unless we
are assuming we have deeper identities?

Where is the life?


Discerning the difference between a living body and a dead
body was a topic of deep debate by the Greek philosophers. The
existence of a living force separate from the body was promoted
by many, including Plato, Aristotle, Ptolemy, Socrates, Hippo-
crates, Pythagoras, Origen and many others. Hippocrates pro-
fessed that the life within the body was due to a “vital spirit”
within, which acted through four different humors, for example.
When one of Socrates’ students asked him how he wanted to
be buried, Socrates gave them a clear reply: They could do what-
ever they wanted with the body, because he would be long gone
by then.
By any physical observation made during the death of the
body, the living force suddenly leaves. When we see a living
body full of life, movement, energy, personality, and purpose,

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we understand these symptoms of life are residing within the


body. When death arrives, suddenly those symptoms of life
leave: There is no movement, no energy, and no personality re-
maining within the dead body. The body becomes lifeless. There
is no growth, no will, no personality and no purposeful activity.
For thousands of years, doctors and scientists have autop-
sied, dissected and otherwise examined millions of dead bodies.
No one—not even modern researchers with highly technical
instruments—has been able to find any chemical or physical
element missing from a dead body that was previously present
when the body was alive. The dead body has every physical and
material component the living body had. All of the cells are still
there. The entire DNA is still there. All the nerves, the organs,
the brain and central nervous system—every physical molecule
and cell—are still resident in the cadaver.
The one and only claim of a difference, reported in 1907 by
Massachusetts physician Dr. Duncan MacDougal, proposed a 21-
gram weight difference between a dead and live body. He could
not identify the substance of the difference, however. Dr. Mac-
Dougal’s results were also inconsistent, and were never corrobo-
rated.
MacDougal’s experiment consisted of monitoring six patients
as they died upon a table rigged with a beam scale. Of the six,
two were eliminated because of technical issues. Three subjects
died of tuberculosis. Two of these were losing weight before and
after death by “evaporation and respiratory moisture.” One subject
died from “consumption” and seemingly lost ¾ of an ounce in
weight as he was dying—later converted to 21.3 grams. Dr. Mac-
Dougall admitted that it was difficult in some cases to know at
what point the patient had died (MacDougall 1907).
A fellow doctor in Massachusetts, Dr. A. Clarke, immediately
debated Dr. MacDougal’s hypothesis. Dr. Clarke argued that the
typical sudden rise in body temperature before and subsequent
cooling without circulation upon death could account for slight
weight changes due to evaporation. Especially noting some of
the patients had lethal tuberculosis.

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While Dr. MacDougal assumed the moment of death oc-


curred when the patient convulsed a bit and then lay still with-
out breathing, modern research tells us that brain death must
also occur—something Dr. MacDougal was not monitoring for.
Until his own death in 1920, Dr. MacDougall tried to repeat
the results and could not confirm his findings. In one test, he
cruelly killed fifteen dogs while weighing them and found no
weight loss. No other study has substantiated such a theory of
weight loss upon death. The 21-gram concept is now relegated to
urban legend standards.
With the exception of these weak findings, many centuries of
cadaver research and autopsy have carefully examined organs,
bones, nerves, brain, blood, neurochemistry and other vital body
parts. None has found any structural or biochemical difference
between a live and dead body. The dead body is simply missing
an immeasurable element of life that once animated the body:
An invisible force that gives the body personality, energy, moti-
vation, and the will to survive.
The life force of the body has never been seen under a micro-
scope or by any other instrument. Furthermore, since this living
force separates from the body at death—leaving the physical
body with no life—it is obvious that this life force is not part of
the body. Since the personality is also gone when this life is gone
from the body, it would also be logical that our personality is
part of this life force, and not part of the physical body. The
physical body—including all the DNA and neurons—remains
intact. Just as the driver is not the car: The driver can step out of
the car at any time. Therefore, the driver has an identity separate
from the car.

Which body part is alive?


Following an amputation due to an infection or other injury,
no one would claim the amputee is any less of a person. This is
because the same personality is there despite a massive struc-
tural change in the body. This logic can be extended to even se-
vere cases such as the loss of both arms and legs or other major
parts of the anatomy. An explosion or other traumatic accident

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might leave ones torso intact while amputating both the body’s
arms and legs. Regardless of losing these appendages, the per-
son is still perceived as a whole person—the same person as be-
fore—even though their body cannot function the way it did
before. The person who operates the body still contains the same
conscious being with the same personality. This is why paraple-
gic and quadriplegic rights are protected by law; and why Dr.
Steven Hawking, a quadriplegic, is considered one of the today’s
foremost theoretical physicists despite his physical handicaps.
He is regarded as no less of a person than the rest of us. Physi-
cally disabled people are given equal rights because society con-
siders these persons equal in all respects, despite deficiencies in
their physical bodies.
The physical organs illustrate the same logic. It is now com-
monplace in medicine to surgically remove and replace organs
such as kidneys, livers, hearts, hips and other parts in order to
preserve the healthy functioning of the body. Some parts—like
hearts and hip sockets—are now replaced with artificial ver-
sions. Modern medicine has illustrated through many years of
organ transplants that a person’s identity does not travel with
the organ. Otherwise, we might have—as a few comedic theatri-
cal performances have suggested—people whose personalities
reflect their organ donors. Imagine what would happen if some-
one receiving a heart transplant assumed part of the personality
of the dead donor. We’d truly have a mess on our hands.
This situation is analogous to an auto accident: A car is in-
volved in an accident and brought to an auto mechanic. The me-
chanic determines that the car needs a new set of tires, a new set
of bumpers put on, and the engine rebuilt before the car can be
put back on the road. The driver waits for the repairs to be com-
pleted, and then gets back in the car and drives it away. The new
car parts do not affect the driver.

Matter versus life


The difference between the physical body and the living per-
sonality requires a clear differentiation between matter and life.
This investigation has been captured by science under the term

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autopoiesis. Autopoiesis is the study of the characterization of a


complete living system as it compares to either a part of another
living system or non-living matter.
To investigate this we could first analyze the difference be-
tween a living organism and a piece of matter without the com-
ponent of life. An easy comparison would be between single-
celled bacteria and a dead cell separated from a living body. A
single-cell bacterium is a complete living organism. Studies have
shown bacteria indeed respond to stimuli, avoid death, and
avert pain. As we know from medicine, bacteria will intelligently
mutate and adapt to antibiotics. Antibiotic-resistant superbugs
are bacteria that have intelligently defended themselves. Living
bacteria also conduct all of the activities required for independ-
ent survival: consumption, digestion, reproduction, self-propul-
sion, sense perception and emotional response, the intention to
survive, and self-organization. Clive Backster’s (2003) EEG work
with bacteria proved that bacteria could sense danger through a
subtle means of communication. This is also called quorum sens-
ing. In quorum sensing, bacteria communicate amongst each
other to come to consensus about the safety or risk about a par-
ticular environment.
Non-living objects display none of these characteristics. A
machine may digest and respond to stimuli, but it will not have
sense perception and emotional response. A machine relies upon
a living person to program its tasking and response. Once a cell
has been disconnected from a living organism, the cell ceases
independent function.
A single cell can be put into a Petri dish and kept alive, how-
ever. This in vitro survival makes the cell now dependent upon
the environment of the lab equipment, driven by living lab op-
erators. The cell has thus become a surrogate of the lab, just as it
was formerly a surrogate of the living body. It displays no inde-
pendent sense perception, the desire to survive or independent
emotional response. While the cell is part of the living body, it
maintains the body’s self-concept. Once detached, it displays
metabolic continuation, but no separate self-existence.

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Over many years of laboratory research, test results have


demonstrated that all animals and plants also have this self-
concept awareness, which prevails through their responses to
various environmental challenges. The functions of their me-
chanical physiology have also confirmed that this self-concept
pervades through all living tissues, reflected by the display of
episodic memory—remembering specifics about past events and
past sensations. For this reason, we see animals learning quickly
which activities result in pain and which activities result in
pleasure. They immediately respond simply because every liv-
ing being seeks pleasure.
So who is it that seeks pleasure? Surely we can agree that the
person seeking pleasure must maintain innate cognition and
awareness. How could something without cognition and aware-
ness seek pleasure?
When we consider the element of cognition, we naturally re-
fer to awareness. Cognition is the awareness of self and non-self.
The awareness of self and non-self are required for a living or-
ganism to consider pleasure and survival important. Without an
awareness of self and non-self, there is no intention for fulfill-
ment. Without intention and the awareness of self, there is no
consciousness. Without consciousness, there is no life.

Temporary matter
Throughout its physical lifetime, our body is continually
changing, yet we continue to maintain our core identity and con-
sciousness. Research has shown all living cells in the body have
a finite lifespan, ranging from minutes to days to years. A few
cells—such as certain bone marrow stem cells and brain cells—
may exist through the duration of the body.
There are only a handful of these cells compared to the esti-
mated 200 trillion cells making up the body, however. By far the
vast majority of cells in the body will participate in cell division.
Following division, older cells time out. They are broken down
by the immune system and discarded, leaving the newly divided
cells in their place. Using this process the body constantly
sloughs off older cells from the body, replacing them with new

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ones. Different cells in different parts of the body have different


lifespans. For example:
• Gastric cells are replaced about every five minutes;
• Stomach lining cells are replaced within a week;
• Skin cells are replaced within about 90 days;
• The entire liver is regenerated within two months;
• The bone cells will all be replaced within a year.
While nerve cells and stem cells can live longer—for years—
the composition of every cell, including all nerve and stem cells,
undergoes an even faster turnover. Every cell in the body is
made up of ionic and molecular combinations. These molecular
combinations make up a cell’s DNA, RNA, cytoplasm, organ-
elles, and membrane.
These atomic and molecular sub-units are constantly being
replaced. New molecular matter enters the body from the envi-
ronment. Old molecular matter is expelled through waste and
respiration. Processes of cell membrane diffusion, osmosis and
ionic channel conveyance allow each living cell to undergo a
constant recycling of atomic elements.
Active cells will replace molecules and ions quite rapidly.
Brain cells will recycle all their atoms and molecules within three
days. Ninety-eight percent of all the atoms and molecules in the
body are replaced within a year, and most biologists agree all the
atoms and molecules within the body are replaced by new ones
within five years.
Understanding that our physical bodies change nearly every
cell within days, weeks or years; and all our body’s atoms and
molecules are being replaced from the food we eat, the water we
drink and the air we breathe, we can accurately make the follow-
ing statement:
The body we are wearing today is not the same body we
were wearing five years ago.
We are now wearing a completely recycled body. In effect,
we have each changed bodies. Every rhythmic element of matter—
every vibrating atom—is different.
This might well be compared to a waterfall. The water within
a waterfall is always changing. From moment to moment, the

16
WHERE IS HELL?

waterfall will be made up of different water. Therefore, the wa-


terfall we see today is not the same waterfall we saw yesterday.
Since each of us is the same person from moment to moment
and year to year within an ever-changing body, logically we
each have an identity separate from this temporary vehicle. We
cannot be the body, since the body has been replaced while we
are still here. Should we look at our photograph taken five years
ago, we will be looking at a completely different body from the one
we are wearing today. The very eyes looking at the eyes in the
picture are different.

Are we brains?
One might propose that maybe we are the brain. Most of us
have heard of the famous neurosurgical experiments first docu-
mented by Dr. Wilder Penfield, where he stimulated the tempo-
ral cortex and stimulated particular memories during brain
surgery. These results and their confirmations left scientists with
an impression that life must reside in the brain since emotional
memories were stimulated with the electrode testing.
This assumption is disputed by other brain research over the
past fifty years on both humans and animals, however. The as-
sumption that the emotional self is contained in the brain has
been conflicted by the many cases of emotions and memory fol-
lowing the removal of brain parts and even a majority of the
brain.
Yet we find from science that brain removal does not remove
the person. Mishkin (1978) documented that the removal of ei-
ther the amygdala or the hippocampus did not severely impair
memory.
Mumby et al. (1992) determined that memory was only
mildly affected in rats with hippocampus and amygdala lesions.
According to a substantial review done by Vargha-Khadem
and Polkey (1992), numerous hemidecortication surgeries—the
removal of half the brain—had been conducted for a number of
disorders. In a majority of these cases, cognition and brain func-
tion continued uninterrupted.

17
WHERE IS HELL?

A few cases even documented an improvement in cognition


after parts of the brain were removed. Additionally, in numer-
ous cases of intractable seizures, where substantial parts of brain
have been damaged, substantial cognitive recovery has resulted
in 80 to 90% of the cases.
These and numerous other studies illustrate this effect—
called neuroplasticity. In other words, the inner self is not reduced
by brain damage or removal. The same person remains after
brain parts are removed. The same personality remains. Many
retain all their memories.
The majority of brain-damaged stroke patients go about liv-
ing normal lives afterward as well. Even in cases where memory,
cognitive and/or motor skills are affected by cerebrovascular
stroke, the person within is still present. Though handicapped,
the person remains unaffected by the brain damage.
Memory, sensory perception and the emotional self-concept
are not brain-dependent. Many organisms have memory and
sensory perception without having a brain. Bacteria, for exam-
ple, do not have brains, yet they can memorize a wide variety of
skills and events, including what damaged or helped them in the
past. Other organisms such as plants, nematodes and others
maintain memory and recall without having brains or even cen-
tral nervous systems.
MRI and CT brain scans on patients following brain injuries
or strokes have shown that particular functions will often move
from one part of the brain to another after the functioning area
was damaged. We must therefore ask: Who or what is it that
moves these physical functions from one part of the brain to an-
other? Is the damaged brain area making this decision? That
would not make sense. Some other guiding function must be
orchestrating this move of the function. What or who is guiding
this process?
The retention of memory, emotion, and the moving of brain
function from one part of the brain to another is more evidence
of a deeper mechanism; an operator or driver within the body
who is utilizing the brain—rather than being the brain. The driver
is the continuing element. Physical structures continually un-

18
WHERE IS HELL?

dergo change, while the driver remains, adapting to those


changes.

How old are we?


Consider how most of us perceive the aging of our body with
respect to our identity. Most of us try to deny the age of our
body in one respect or another. Teenagers want to be older and
more mature, while older adults want to be younger and more
youthful. Most adults refuse to accept getting old. As any birth-
day party will illustrate, adults are surprised at the body’s age as
it gets older. We try to disconnect ourselves from the physical
age of our body somehow. This denial is often joked about, but
to most of us—as we are faced with an ever-wrinkling body—it
is no laughing matter. We are often embarrassed by our body’s
age as we get older. For this reason, many older adults do not
want to state their age. They are embarrassed by it. They want to
distance themselves from it. Furthermore, many of us dress the
body with make-up, hair dyes and/or trendy clothes in an at-
tempt to hide the body’s age.
For this same reason, many in our society undergo extreme
forms of surgery in order to achieve a younger looking body. In
these cases, the self is in conflict with the images left by the
body. Plastic surgery, hair-removal, hair transplantation, breast
enhancement, and various other medical interventions are all
extraordinary attempts to reconcile our identity with the tempo-
rary physical body.
This same issue applies to gender identification issues. The
struggles relating to identity with regard to gender over the last
few decades has led to the growth of a condition described as
gender confusion. One recent report estimated as many as three
million children in the U.S. suffer from gender confusion. In an
attempt to accommodate this confusion, many of these children
are prescribed hormone blockers to prevent normal puberty de-
velopment. The concept is that hormone blocking will allow
them to make a decision after they turn eighteen as to which
gender they want to be—now that they have the option to un-
dergo surgery for a sex change.

19
WHERE IS HELL?

These are all symptoms of a critical issue: The confusion be-


tween our temporary physical body and our true self.

Are we chemicals?
Over recent years, various researchers have proposed from
one basis or another that our identities are chemical. They have
proposed that emotions and personality are seated within the
chemicals (such as hormones and neurotransmitters) that flow
through the bloodstream, basal cell network and the synapses of
our nervous systems. Could our identities simply be a mixture of
complex chemicals? A logical review of the scientific evidence
would indicate otherwise.
Emotional responses to environmental stimuli will initiate
any number of biochemical cascade pathways to occur within
the body. A cascade occurs when one chemical release stimulates
the release of another biochemical, and that biochemical in turn
stimulates the release of another. The biochemicals in the cas-
cade might stimulate a particular cell, tissue or organ function.
With each cascade, there are initiating stimuli and subsequent
responses from various tissues and nerves.
Because neurologists and other researchers have seen these
biochemicals involved with emotional response, some have pro-
posed that these biochemicals contain the emotion. They propose
that chemicals such as endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, epi-
nephrine, or acetylcholine each contain the particular emotions
they reflect, and are thus the sources of the emotion. They pro-
pose that these signaling biochemicals connect with receptors
positioned at the surface of the cell; and the response by the cell
is the emotion being released from the chemical. An example
some have used is the famed opiate receptor, linked with the cell’s
reception of morphine or endorphins, and the sensation of euph-
oria. The idea is that the feeling of euphoria is produced when
the ligands like endorphin connect with the receptor.
One problem with this speculation is that no two organisms
respond identically to the same chemical. With opiates for ex-
ample, some may hallucinate while others may only respond
casually. On the other hand, some may have nightmarish experi-

20
WHERE IS HELL?

ences. If these structurally identical neurochemicals contained the


emotion, why would each person respond differently to the
same chemical and dose?
Another major problem with this thesis is the observer: Who
is observing that the body is feeling euphoria? Who observes the
hallucinations created by certain chemicals? Who observes the
positive or negative sensations of the body? The fact is, without
an observer, there is no way to be able to view feelings. A physi-
cal body that is experiencing a physical emotional response with
no observer could not observe and review the experience. There-
fore, there could be no discretion regarding the event. There
could be no judgment available as to whether the experience was
positive or negative. There could be no available decision on
whether the experience should be repeated or curtailed. There
could be no analysis or learning experience from our activities.
These require an observer of the experience.
The perception of pain may offer some clarity. In 2005, Dr.
Ronald Melzack, co-author of the now-standard 1965 gate control
theory of pain transmission, updated his theory of pain from a
simple gateway effect to one of a multidimensional experience of
neurosignatures. His new theory—which he calls the body-self
neuromatrix—explains that the consensus of clinical research on
acute pain, behavior and chronic pain indicates an independent
perceptual state of self; observing and exchanging feedback and
response with the locations of injury.
Because doctors and researchers have found a good portion
of the pain response is unrelated to specific injury but rather a
modification of sensory experience, this neuromatrix indicates
that pain requires an interaction between the nervous system
and what Melzack calls the “self.”
In other words, pain requires two components: 1) The sen-
sory transmission of pain and 2) the observer or experiencer of
that pain. Once that pain is experienced, there may also be a
feedback response from the experiencer. This feedback may ei-
ther be: 1) take action to remove the cause of the pain; or 2) if
there is no apparent cause then become extra-sensitive to the
pain until the cause is determined (Baranauskas and Nistri 1998).

21
WHERE IS HELL?

This increased sensory elevation leads to what is called nociceptic


pain—pain not appearing to have a direct physical cause. Some
might also refer to this type of pain as being psychosomatic, al-
though psychosomatic pain is often considered not real. Noicep-
tive pain is considered real, but its cause is not obviously
physically apparent.
Regardless of the name, this type of pain is very difficult to
understand and manage. This is especially true for doctors and
patients who deal with chronic pain that appears unrelated to
trauma or inflammation. Because the self naturally seeks pleas-
ure, we would propose that the current cause of that pain is al-
ways real, from either a gross physical level or a more subtle
level.
Regardless of the level, the self experiencing the pain would
certainly be considered separate from the pain, along with any
biochemical messengers assisting in its transmission. After all,
how could the self “escape” pain unless it was separate from the
cause of the pain? Because they increase the separation of the self
from the pain source, pain medications are a multi-billion dollar
business.
Since the biochemical transmission effectors such as substance
P among neurons are present during pain responses, it is logical
that these chemicals have a role in the physical responses to emo-
tions or memories. However, the proposal made by scientists
such as Candace Pert, Ph.D. that emotions exist within the
chemicals is not supported by logic or observation.
Researchers have observed an increase in biochemicals like
dopamine, serotonin, and various endorphins in the blood-
stream during feelings of love or compassion. The question be-
ing raised is whether the emotions stimulated the biochemicals
or the biochemicals stimulated the emotions.
The implications of proposing the limited view that the emo-
tion was created by the biochemicals are many. This would be
equivalent to saying love comes from biochemicals. It would
open the door to a murder suspect pleading that his body’s
chemical balance was responsible for his committing the fatal
crime.

22
WHERE IS HELL?

Dopamine, serotonin and endorphins are circulating at


heightened levels following activities such as laughing eating,
sex and post-traumatic stress. These biochemicals are also circu-
lating at other times, during other emotions, albeit at different
levels. What comes first, the biochemical or the emotion? Does
the emotion drive the biochemical levels or do the biochemicals
drive the emotional response? To break this down properly, we
must separate the physiological response to an optional response
relating to optional behavior and decision-making.
Yes, a biochemical reaction or ligand-receptor response can
stimulate a physiological response. But can it dictate behavior?
Could a hormone or neurotransmitter ligand-receptor response
force us to shoplift? In that case, we should be able to find that
certain biochemicals were “shoplifting” chemicals. We’d be able
to just reduce their levels and forget about putting shoplifters in
jail. We’d also have to look at blood donors’ criminal records
before accepting their blood.
The reason we put shoplifters in jail is to teach them that
shoplifting is morally wrong. This is decision for an observer—
an inner self—who can observe the body’s activities. Each of us
can observe our activities and steer them with decision-making.
We may not always be able to steer our physiological responses,
which also produce certain moods within the brain and nerves.
But we can observe those moods and decide whether we are
going to let them control our activities. While more shoplifters
are likely to have bad moods, we aren’t forced to shoplift by a
bad mood.
If biochemicals create emotion, they would be present only
in and prior to particular emotions. Instead, they are present
during a variety of emotions. Again physiological changes can
be brought about by biochemicals. But emotions stem from life:
There is no emotion left in a dead body.
Furthermore, if chemicals could contain emotions, these
emotional characteristics should exist in the chemicals both in-
side and outside of the particular body of the person experienc-
ing the emotion. Illustrating this, health workers regularly
remove biochemicals (in the form of body fluids such as blood,

23
WHERE IS HELL?

plasma and marrow) from one subject and transfer them (or
their components) to other subjects. In none of these cases are
emotions transferred from one person to another. Supposed
“emotional biochemicals” do not retain or display the emotions
of their donor once they are transferred to a new host. Certainly,
if we found that blood transfusions resulted in changes in per-
sonality or emotions, blood transfusions would not be very
popular.
Thus, the basis for a biochemical self fails thousands of times
a day around the world in hospitals that transfuse blood.
This is not to mean that injected biochemicals cannot stimu-
late a physical response within a new host, which may or may
not facilitate particular emotions to be expressed. The organism
receiving epinephrine or another neurochemical may experience
a physical response consistent with the vanilla biochemical re-
sponse related to that particular molecular structure.
Injected adrenaline may produce a physical reaction of in-
creased heart rate, for example. However, adrenaline drawn
from one person during a fearful response will not induce a re-
call of the donor’s fears. The recipient’s physical response after
the injection will neither reflect the appropriate response re-
quired for the donor’s particular fears.
Once the inner self responds to a particular sensory input—
often signaled through biochemical reception—the unique emo-
tional response of the self stimulates particular biochemicals to
translate and express the emotion. In other words, these bio-
chemicals help translate the emotional self’s response.
Just as current travels within an electrical wire, neurotrans-
mitters help transmit sensory feedback messages to the inner
self. They also help transmit emotional responses from the inner
self. The self is the observer of sensory input, and stimulates
feedback responses utilizing some of the same biochemical
transmission pathways.
We must therefore conclude that there is someone inside
who is either—directly or indirectly—receiving and responding
to the body’s neural transmissions. Any response that proceeds

24
WHERE IS HELL?

with direction and decision-making must come from a conscious


source. Otherwise we would simply be machines.
Fuel may ignite a spark in the cylinder of an automobile en-
gine causing combustion, which will push the rods into motion,
exerting force on the axel cranks. Fuel is not the original stimu-
lant, however. Nor does fuel contain the ability to guide and
steer the car. Rather, there is a driver within the car who con-
sciously turns the key and drives the car to a particular destina-
tion using the steering wheel, accelerator, and brakes. The driver
optionally stimulates the flow of fuel through the injection sys-
tem. The driver can also stop the flow of fuel by turning off the
car.
When the driver of the body leaves at the time of death, there
are no emotions exhibited in the dead body. Yet all the hor-
mones, neurotransmitters, genes and cells—all the biochemical
ligands and receptors—are still contained within the recently
dead body. The body supports no memory or emotional re-
sponse because there is no longer a conscious driver present. The
conscious driver who drove the feedback and response neuro-
chemistry has left.
Emotions elicited from a response to an observation or other
sensual stimuli would logically come from someone separate
from those stimuli. Because emotion is integral with interpreting
stimuli, an observer would be necessary for that interpretation.
Without an observer, there could be no decision-making: There
would be no optional behavior.
This does not mean that all physiological responses require
conscious interpretation and decision from the self. For example,
should we touch the burner of a stove there is programming in
place within the neural network to instantly react by pulling the
hand away. This will often happen before the self has a chance to
make a decision.
However, this programming does not mean the self cannot
engage in the decision to resist that reaction of pulling away. A
firewalker may intentionally walk on the coals despite his sym-
pathetic system’s programmed response to jump away onto the
cool sand. These observations lead us to understand that the self

25
WHERE IS HELL?

can be involved in almost any sensory reception should there be


determination and intention.
Most other stimuli requires the emotional self to respond.
Otherwise, no action would occur. This is where intention comes
in. Upon hearing the alarm in the morning, the self could choose
to do nothing—lying in bed for the rest of the day. The self could
also intend to accomplish something that day, and rise to begin
the day’s activities. Ultimately, the self creates the intention and
impetus for those activities.
While biochemicals participate in the process of conscious
response and feedback, they are actually conductors for electro-
magnetic wave transmissions. Once sensual stimuli are pulsed to
the neural network after ligand reception, neurons produce spe-
cific information waves. As we will discuss later in more depth,
at any particular point in time, there are billions of brainwaves of
various frequencies moving through the brain.
As the different waves collide—or interfere—they create dif-
ferent types of interference patterns. The neurological research
headed up by Dr. Robert Knight at the University of California
at Berkeley and UC at San Francisco illustrated that the interac-
tion of these interference patterns together formulate a type of
informational transmission and mapping system.
This mapping system forms a type of observational screen
from which the self can view incoming waveform information.
Using this mapping system, the self can view the sensory infor-
mation coming in from sense organs, and combine these with the
feedback from the body, creating a total perception of ones envi-
ronment and situation.
As the self views these waveform interference pattern im-
ages, we can respond with intention. Intention from the self is
typically translated through the prefrontal cortex and medial
cortex to create brainwave patterns that express the self’s re-
sponse.
These response brainwave patterns are translated through
the hypothalamus and pituitary gland to produce master hor-
mones such as growth hormone, adrenocorticortropic hormone,
follicle-stimulating hormone, oxytocin, luteinizing hormone, and

26
WHERE IS HELL?

others, stimulating the cascade of biochemicals that translate the


response into action. The brainwave transmissions also stimulate
a particular nervous system response which activate particular
muscles, organs and other tissues. The end result is a physical
action combined with certain biochemicals that stimulate a
physical response.
We can illustrate this process more practically. Let’s say that
we heard from a friend that a relative was hurt. The transmission
brought through our body’s ears will cause an emotional reac-
tion from us as soon as we hear it.
The emotion was experienced following the auditory recep-
tion of the announcement. Upon interpreting the sounds by our
brain, our inner self reacts emotionally. The particular response
would depend upon our personal connection with the relative. It
is not automatic. If they were a vicious, hurtful relative, we may
react far differently than if they we had established a close per-
sonal relationship with them.
Assuming a close personal relationship, our inner self may
then initiate a physical response, producing tears and a rush to
the hospital to be with them.
These physical activities were stimulated by the emotional
response of our inner self. The emotional response and subse-
quent activities were optional responses made by a conscious
individual. It would be nonsensical to say that this was a bio-
chemical response. Why would a group of unconscious bio-
chemicals have a problem with another group of remotely
located biochemicals?

Are we DNA?
A newer version of biochemical identity put forth by scien-
tists over the last few decades is the notion that the self is the
genetic information—or DNA—of the body.
The assumption that we are DNA is buried within the theory
that genes accidentally evolved from chemicals. The gene evolu-
tion theory supposes that genes, and life itself, spontaneously
arose from a random pool of chemicals. This theory requires a
process called spontaneous generation. Unlikely as it seems, the

27
WHERE IS HELL?

spontaneous generation of life theory was debated by scientists


for hundreds of years, as they observed life seemingly growing
from barren flasks. Finally, Dr. Louis Pasteur refuted spontane-
ous generation by illustrating that this growth was due to the
presence of tiny microorganisms invisible to the naked eye. For
many decades this assumption has continued nonetheless. Many
researchers have attempted to create life from ‘primordial’
chemicals—all without success.
To analyze the likelihood of even one typical protein mole-
cule to have been randomly developed, we can reference Dr.
Francis Crick’s statements in his 1981 book Life Itself: Its Origin
and Nature. Here Dr. Crick calculates that the chance of even one
conservative protein molecule of two hundred amino acids com-
ing into existence is one chance in 10260—the number one with
two hundred and sixty zeros behind it. He furthermore states
that this would be analogous to a billion monkeys typing onto a
billion typewriters and somehow typing one sonnet of Shake-
speare.
The chance of a 1,000-nucleotide chain DNA molecule form-
ing accidentally is more remote. Both Dr. Dawson and Dr. Crick
agree with this. Lester Smith (1975) calculated the probability as
about one in 10600.
The probability of genetic mutations accidentally leading to a
new species is even more remote. Dr. Lee Spetner (1998) calcu-
lates that a new species (one positive mutation step) would have
a (negative) probability of 2.7 x 10-2739, using Stebbins’ (1966)
estimation that five hundred intermediate mutations would be
required to establish one positive mutation step.
This fantastic assumption that chemicals spontaneously
(even a gradual development is still considered spontaneous
without a determined cause) created genes and life assumes also
that the chemicals combined somehow developed the desire to
survive. In other words, these chemical combinations somehow
developed the intention to improve their chances of survival.
Have we ever observed chemicals desiring survival? Chemicals
simply do not display this characteristic. No scientist has ever
found the intent to survive outside of a living organism. No

28
WHERE IS HELL?

chemical desires survival unless part of a living organism—


hence the name biochemicals (bio = life). Chemicals may react and
form various substances, and certainly will change structure
when heated or cooled. Having a desire to survive is another
matter altogether.
The desire to survive is connected to the desire to improve
survival factors and eliminate threats to survival. The need to
improve survival requires that someone values survival over
death. Otherwise, we would be talking about a group of uncon-
scious chemicals somehow beginning to value their existence.
Chemicals that value their own existence means that the
chemicals could somehow recognize a difference between living
chemicals and dead chemicals. This in turn requires that chemi-
cals have awareness, because the desire to survive requires an
awareness of self-existence. It also requires a fear of death: Could
a chemical become afraid to die?
In order to desire survival, a living organism must be aware
that it is alive. A living organism must be able to differentiate
itself from a dead batch of chemicals. If there is no distinction
between life and death, why avoid death? Why desire life with-
out a distinction between living and nonliving chemicals? Cer-
tainly it would be easier for a batch of chemicals to remain dead
than to have to struggle for survival in the midst of all the envi-
ronmental challenges to staying alive.
A small unicellular organism can be killed by so many envi-
ronmental challenges: Freezing, direct sun exposure and any
number of natural enemies. If there were no distinction between
living or dead chemicals, the path of least resistance would be to
remain dead chemicals. Why try to survive without a benefit for
living? If there were no awareness and desire for survival in the
face of all this resistance, there would be no incentive for genes
to develop and evolve towards greater complexity—the basic
tenet of the evolutionary theory and the ‘survival of the fittest.’
Put more simply, if a living entity could not distinguish itself
from a nonliving entity, there would be no urge to survive.
Without the urge to survive, there would be no motivating factor
to encourage adaptation or mutation. There would be no impe-

29
WHERE IS HELL?

tus to evolve because survival is not valuable without an aware-


ness of life.
In his 1977 book The Selfish Gene, Dr. Robert Dawkins pro-
posed that genes themselves somehow became not only selfish
in their orientation, but also somehow acted upon their selfish-
ness. Certainly, we can all agree that in order to become “self-
ish,” there must be a “self.” Without a self, how could something
become selfish? How could there be an orientation towards one-
self without there being a self?
We must also ask, logically, just who would be available to
recognize life in a chemical-based existence? We are being asked
to assume a batch of chemicals developed a state of conscious-
ness, yet there is no individual present the chemicals to be con-
scious of being alive?
The incidental gene theory of life simply has no logical basis.
Genes cannot desire survival. They cannot mutate, or make
changes that promote survival without a conscious self present
within the organism who values life. This living being must be
aware that it is alive, and must therefore value survival.
Once the self values survival, it has a logical basis for making
genetic and physiological adjustments to better adapt to the en-
vironment. Because the self is fundamentally alive when it is
inserted into a temporary physical body, it naturally strives to
survive within that organism.
Admittedly, the total mapping of the genome and further
mapping of the individual allele locations within codons—their
haplotypes and collectively, their hapmaps—reveals a complex-
ity of design beyond our current understanding.
Over the past three decades, tremendous research efforts
have gone into creating statistical models to match the physical
traits of humans and other organisms with particular gene se-
quences. As a result, thousands of species genomes have been
tabulated and connected with physical characteristics.
In addition, different diseases have been connected to certain
sequences. Although these efforts are laudable, science has un-
fortunately succumbed to a blurring of the relationship between
these genetic traits and life itself. The erroneous assumption is

30
WHERE IS HELL?

that gene sequences—the particular arrangement of alleles or


nucleotides at different positions of the DNA molecule—are the
cause of those physical or behavioral traits. That somehow, those
sequences together make up the identity of the individual.
While some might call this a chicken-and-egg problem, the
solution is certainly clearer than this. This assumption that the
self is the genetic hapmap would be equivalent to saying a tele-
phone is the source of the voice we hear through its speaker. It is
elementary: The voice on the line is coming from a remotely lo-
cated person. We may not be able to see the person while we are
speaking with them, but we know a person is out there because
we exchange personal communication and perform a type of
voiceprint analysis as we hear their voice.
In addition, the voice on the other side responds to our
statements with a clarity that can only come from a conscious
speaker. Even computerized voice greetings are clearer if they
are recorded by real people.
The sequencing of genetic haplotypes indicates its complex
structure. This complex coding indicates programmed design.
As with any programming, there must be an underlying motive
for the program.
It is not logical to assume that a complex, well-designed code
with specific rules comes from a chaotic and accidental design
process. Just as we can connect the lucid voice on the phone to a
personal consciousness, we can tie the sequencing of genes to a
living, intentional component, ultimately driving its design with
intention.
If we were to extract a DNA molecule from our skin or body
fluids, and place it onto the table or even in a test tube, we will
find there is no display of life. Just as the body after death is life-
less, DNA or RNA molecules extracted from a living body be-
come lifeless. It should also be clarified that RNA transcription
and genetic mutation is impossible without a living being driv-
ing the process.
We can certainly force a mutation upon an organism or its
seed through the vehicle of a virus. Yet the mutation will only
become duplicated through an organism if there is a living force

31
WHERE IS HELL?

present in that organism. In other words, we cannot insert a mu-


tated gene into a dead body and see that mutation replicated
through the dead body.
The proposal that personality is determined by genetic code
is refuted by children who have inherited genes from parents.
Children are each born with distinct personalities, talents and
character traits not necessarily portrayed in their parents or
grandparents. While we are quick to notice similar physical
traits among our children, each has their own character and per-
sonality.
We can easily observe children behaving significantly differ-
ent from their parents in similar situations. We can also witness
the many conflicts that arise between children and parents. We
have also observed that the extraordinary talents of child music
geniuses or savants are not passed down genetically. In most
musical savant cases, the parents have relatively little or no mu-
sical gift whatsoever.
If personality and behavior were genetically driven then ge-
netically identical twins would live parallel lives and have iden-
tical personalities. They would make the same decisions, leading
to identical histories.
This is not supported by the research. Twins live dramati-
cally unique and individual lives from each other. Depending
upon how much time they spend together, they will make dis-
tinctly different choices in life as well. In general, they display
significantly unique and often diverse behavior. Hur and Rush-
ton (2007) studied 514 pairs of two to nine year old South Korean
monozygotic and dizygotic twins.
The study findings indicated that 55% of the children’s pro-
social behavior related to genetic factors and 45% was attributed
to non-shared environmental behavior. It should also be noted
that shared environmental factors could not be eliminated from
the 55%, so this number could well be higher if shared environ-
ments were removed.
In another study from Quebec, Canada (Forget-Dubois et al.
2007), an analysis of 292 mothers demonstrated that maternal
behavior only accounted for a 29% genetic influence at 18

32
WHERE IS HELL?

months and 25% at 30 months. In a study of 200 African-


American twins, including 97 identical pairs, genetics accounted
for about 60% of the variance in smoking (Whitfield et al. 2007).
In a study done at the Virginia Commonwealth University’s
Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics (Maes et al.
2007), a large sampling revealed that individual behavior was
only about 38-40% attributable to genetics, while shared envi-
ronment was 18-23% attributable and unshared environmental
influences were attributable in 39-42%. These studies are also
confirmed by others, illustrating a large enough variance from
100% to indicate the presence of an individual personality within
each twin.
Distinct identity despite genetic sameness is further evi-
denced by the fact that identical twins will have distinctly differ-
ent fingerprints, irises and other physical traits, despite their
identical genetics. Many twins also differ in handedness and
specific talents. Researchers have found that twins will often
have significantly different lifestyle choices later in life such as
sexual preference, drug abuse, and alcoholism.
For example, say two people purchase the exact same make,
model and year automobile at the same time. Comparing the
two cars in the future will reveal the cars had vastly different
engine lives and mileages. They each had different types of
breakdowns, and different problems.
This is because each car was driven differently. One was
likely driven harder than the other was. One was likely better
taken care of than the other was. They may have been the same
make and model, but each had different owners with different
driving habits.
Because twins have the same genetics—just as the cars
shared the same make and model—the unique factors related to
the eventual circumstances of their lives stem from the fact that
each body contains a distinct driver.
Because geneticists are not aware of the inner self, they are
now trying to resolve the inherent inconsistencies of the gene
theory with the developing theories of epigenetics. In general,
epigenetics is the acceptance of additional factors (called marks

33
WHERE IS HELL?

or phenotypes) that affect the switching on or switching off of


genes.
This is also called gene expression. It was hypothesized—
and confirmed by research—that while the DNA may or may
not change within a species, there are many physiological and
anatomical changes that will take place within a lifetime or
within immediate generations that will reflect environmental
changes. These environmental changes are seen as turning on or
off these phenotypes, enabling changes in the epigenome of the
individual or family.
The concept of epigenetics was proposed by geneticist Con-
rad Waddington in the early 1940s to explain how environ-
mental circumstances could effect genetic expression. In the
1980s, Dr. Lars Olov Bygren studied Northern Sweden popula-
tions that descended from families who were isolated and sub-
jected to periodic famines. He found that children of famines
had different genetic traits than those who did not live through
famine. Those who lived through periodic feast and famine
years died sooner and had more cardiovascular disease.
As researchers have discovered more genetic anomalies—
such as the twins research mentioned earlier—the concept of
epigenetics has received increasing attention.
The biochemical relationships between gene expressions
have focused upon the action of DNA methylation or histone
regulation. These biochemical messengers have been implicated
in the process of switching alleles on or off. The assumption once
again has been that the body’s switching systems are purely me-
chanical and robotic. There is no intentional driver or observer
present: Only a biochemical machine that somehow acts with
desire and direction.
However, the very research by geneticists that theoretically
supported epigenetics also exposed a major shortfall in the the-
ory. In mice experiments at McGill University’s Douglas Hospi-
tal Research Center (Szyf et al. 2008), epigenetic phenotypes
could be turned on and off within baby mice by the increased
nurturing from the mother. In other words, baby mice receiving

34
WHERE IS HELL?

mama’s nurturing would switch on genes differently than mice


not receiving nurturing from mama mouse.
Quite simply, this indicates the presence of another influence
upon the genetic switching of epigenetic phenotypes: That of an
exchange between emotional personalities. Nurturing is, in its
very essence, the expression of love between one living being
and another.
When a mother communicates love through nurturing, the
baby receives that expression of love through those nurturing
activities. As the expression is received, there is a resonation or
hand-shaking between the two living beings. That resonation
produces an effect upon genetic expression through the path-
ways of the brain, nervous system and the body’s biochemicals,
which bridge the self with the body and its genes.
The inner self is also connected to the body’s genes through
conscious decision-making. The research has quite resoundingly
connected environmental changes with epigenetic changes. Yet
many environmental changes are the direct result of the deci-
sions of the inner self.
Let’s say we decided that we wanted to live in a warm cli-
mate. Furthermore, we decided that a warm climate was more
important to us than having a good job. So we packed up our
belongings and moved to Hawaii. We settled down in Hawaii
and lived there for the next twenty years.
Over that time, our body will undergo many adjustments as
it accommodates the warm, humid weather of Hawaii. Eventu-
ally, these environmental conditions will affect the switching on
and off of certain genes, ultimately changing our genetic out-
come.
The bottom line is that epigenetics research illustrates that
we are not the genes: We are the person within, who can affect
and change our genes with our conscious choices.

Who is the observer?


Consider biofeedback. Sensors are attached to various parts
of the body to monitor physical responses like heart rate, breath-
ing, brainwaves, skin response, muscle activity, and so on. These

35
WHERE IS HELL?

sensors are connected to a computer, which displays the various


response levels onto a monitor for the subject to see.
The heart rate amplitude and frequency readings will be dis-
played on the monitor in waves, bars, and/or numbers. With a
little practice, most people—once they see their heart rate with
graphics clearly on the monitor—can consciously lower their
heart rate with intention.
Biofeedback has thus been used successfully to teach people
to alter physical functions such as muscle tension, hunger,
physical stress, and other autonomic functions. Biofeedback
training also gives the subject the ability to directly control a
variety of physical issues, including stomach cramps, muscle
spasms, headaches, and others—many known to be part of a
biochemical cascade.
The reason why the biofeedback subject can learn to control
certain autonomic functions is that the self ultimately exists out-
side of these bodily functions. The self is the key participant who
influences physical functions.
Once the person intends to make a change, the mind will fa-
cilitate the stimulation of the biochemicals by the appropriate
glands to produce a physiological response. This can take time,
discipline and practice. Even without biofeedback, a person can
initiate various autonomic responses. Most of us have experi-
enced how a physiological fear response may be initiated by
simply imagining a dangerous event or situation.
This happens every day in the professional world, where ex-
ecutives stress over events that may never happen. Stress in-
creases the heart rate and stimulates stress-biochemical release.
Most of us have experienced being worried about an event that
may never happen. The resulting increase in our heart rate indi-
cates our body’s autonomic response to an over-anxious self.
If the self can affect the body’s biochemistry with anxious-
ness, the self is separate from the biochemistry. Furthermore, if
the self can affect the body’s biochemistry intentionally, there is
no question of the self’s ability to direct the body through inten-
tion. The range of control the self has over the body is limited by

36
WHERE IS HELL?

design. Still, there is no doubt that intention initiates the se-


quencing of instructional signaling through the body.
This neurochemical process would be analogous to a com-
puter operator operating a computer. A computer will tabulate,
calculate, and memorize data. It will display various graphics
and perform various functions, based upon the input or direc-
tion of the operator. The software and hardware are designed in
such a way to coordinate computer functions very quickly and
automatically within particular limitations.
Regardless of the programming, the computer’s operator is
required. The computer operator must decide to turn on the
computer and must decide to input into the machine certain in-
tentional commands to initiate the computer’s programming
functions. In the same way, the physical body, with all of its
functional chemistry and various physical responses, is ulti-
mately being steered by the personality within: this is the self,
the living being—the operator of the body.
It is difficult sometimes to separate the self inside the body
from the various physical and biochemical operations of the
body. This is because the feedback-response system bridges the
self with the physical body.
For example, breast-feeding is now being rediscovered. Re-
searchers have discovered that breast-feeding not only gives the
child better nourishment and a stronger immune system, but
also stimulates brain development due to some of the biochemis-
try of breast milk. This notion is consistent with the role various
nutrients or drugs have in altering moods and behavior.
Chemicals influence behavior because they not only stimu-
late physical tissue response, but they also give feedback to the
self about what is going on in the body. For example, the feeling
of thirst is a neurochemical signal to the self that the body needs
water. The combination of hormonal, osmotic, ionic and nerve
signaling all integrate to stimulate osmoreceptors located among
brain tissue (such as the anteroventral third ventricle wall).
Once stimulated, these receptors initiate waveform signaling
through the hypothalamus, which converts into the more subtle
waveforms of the mind. Through the reciprocation of the mind,

37
WHERE IS HELL?

the self observes this feedback, and responds by initiating action


to find some water.
A computer will also feed back to its operator in the same
way. The computer is not only designed to perform operations
based upon the input of the operator, but also its programming
is designed to feed back to the operator the results of those op-
erations, signaling a need for new responses from the operator.
This process is called a feedback loop. The body’s feedback
system is designed to respond to environmental and physical
changes around the anatomy. The system is designed to signal to
the self on how the body is functioning. This is one of the pur-
poses for serotonin release in the body: To feed back the pres-
ence of balance within particular organs and tissue systems. A
diet balanced in proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, along with
physiological activities stimulate the conversion of tryptophan to
serotonin.
This conversion is also stimulated by such activities as re-
laxation, laughter, and exercise. These are all positive activities
for the body’s metabolism. This combined state of balance and
activity results in a normal flow of serotonin, which feeds back
through the brain’s translation systems to the self the presence of
physiological balance among certain parts of the body.
Pain, on the other hand, indicates quite the opposite: Some
imbalance exists somewhere. Pain feeds back to the operator the
need for an adjustment among certain functions or activities.
This necessary adjustment could be to the diet, fluid intake, sit-
ting posture, lack of exercise, or perhaps an infection of some
sort. Chronic pain indicates an unresolved lack of balance in the
body, requiring an appropriate response to fix the issue.
Just as an instrument panel on an automobile informs the
driver of the running condition of car, we can monitor the condi-
tion of our body through these and other neurochemical feed-
back mechanisms. Just as the car driver slows down when the
speedometer shows the car is over the speed limit, the self—
directly through conscious control or indirectly through the
autonomic system—can make the needed adjustment when the
body’s feedback systems indicate a problem.

38
WHERE IS HELL?

Should we misidentify ourselves as the body, we might con-


fuse positive feedback mechanisms as pleasure. This miscon-
ception leads us to attempt to manipulate our body’s
biofeedback mechanisms. Eating, for example, will stimulate
neurochemicals such as serotonin, dopamine and leptin when
there is a balance of nutrition and energy. Another example is
how our taste buds feed back positive neural signals when we
eat something sweet or fatty. These are both positive responses
to the body achieving its basic fuels.
In an effort to gain pleasure from these positive responses,
many of us continue to eat long after the body has enough for its
fuel. An ongoing attempt to become fulfilled through eating can
result in obesity, frustration, and depression. In the same way,
the car driver does not get full when he fills the car’s fuel tank.
Thus, the answer to obesity is the realization of this conflict be-
tween the body’s fulfillment and the fulfillment of the self.

“Happiness resides not in possessions and not in gold;


the feeling of happiness dwells in the soul.”
– Democritus (“The father of science,” 4th
century, B.C.)

The person within


Empirical and clinical evidence reveals the existence of a
transcendental inner self operating the body. Why do we say
“transcendental?” If the self were not transcendental to the
physical plane we would be able to see it. We would be able to
measure it with physical quantifications. As it is, we can only see
it in the animation of the body. We can only see it through the
emotions that are expressed through the body. We can only see
it in the decision-making and objectives that push the body to act
one way or another. It is, in fact, the inner self’s transcendental
nature that has caused modern science to completely ignore the
existence of the self.
The inner self is the source of personality and life, which the
body expresses through physical activity over its lifetime. There
is energy, personality and movement in a living body prior to
death. This is followed by a lack of movement, personality and

39
WHERE IS HELL?

energy after the death of the body. This means that the source of
the energy and personality must leave the body at death.
Furthermore, contrary to the proposals of many, since each
personality is unique and different from everyone else, each in-
ner self must also be an independent, individual being. We are
not, despite the seductiveness of such a statement, “all one.”
Consistent with the ancient teachings of all major religions,
the ancient philosophers, and the vast majority of western scien-
tists prior to the emergence of the accidental chemical life theory,
we can now scientifically and empirically document the exis-
tence of a unique individual being, transcendental to the gross
physical plane.
Plato, Socrates and most of the ancient Greek philosophers
referred to this inner self as the soul. The translation is thought to
originate with Aristotle, who described the self with the Latin
telos. Rather than a vague spirit-like organ, telos translates to a
personality with purpose, will, and character. In this context, we
would emphasize that each of us does not possess a soul: each of
us is a soul—accessing the physical plane through a temporary
physical body.
We conclude this discussion with a comment made by the
fifteenth-century physician, Paracelsus:

“The power to see does not come from the eye, the
power to hear does not come from the ear, nor the
power to feel from the nerves; but it is the spirit of man
that sees through the eye, hears with the ear, and feels
by means of the nerves. Wisdom and reason and
thought are not contained in the brain, but belong to
the invisible spirit which feels through the heart and
thinks by means of the brain.”

What happens when my body dies?


The research of Dr. Moody, Dr. Kübler-Ross, Dr. Sabom, Dr.
Ring and others has given us a clear scientific understanding of
what happens when we die. Thousands of clinical death patients
have come back to tell us what is on the other side. Their infor-

40
WHERE IS HELL?

mation is invaluable. With it, we can combine some of the peer-


reviewed hypnosis research and the ancient knowledge applica-
ble to this. Together this allows us to present, from a scientific
basis, what will happen to each of us when we die:
First, some event will shock our body into the sequence of
dying. This may be a heart attack, a stroke or a fatal accident. At
the point of death, our heart will malfunction and our brain will
be deprived of oxygen and glucose. This will induce brain death.
We will feel numbness throughout the body. As this happens,
our bodies will become unconscious, and we will slip out of the
body via one of the body’s orifices.
We will rise above our body. As we rise, we will have a sense
of exhilaration as we realize that we are still alive. We will be
overjoyed knowing that we are fully intact, and whatever physi-
cal handicaps we had within the body will no longer constrain
us. For example, if our bodies were in a wheelchair, we will be
amazed that we can suddenly dance and walk. If our bodies
were blind, we will be overjoyed to find that we can see in full
color and definition.
During this phase, we have left our gross physical body but
have retained our ethereal body. The ethereal body retains our
projection of false ego that defined the shape of our gross physi-
cal body. Therefore, we still identify with the gross physical
body and feel that we are still within our own dimension.
We are floating above our body, watching the events occur-
ring around it. We watch as urgent care specialists try to revive
the body. We watch as our family members gather around to
mourn our loss. We begin to speak to them. We tell them that we
are okay. We tell them that we are still alive.
After a few minutes of communicating to them we realize
that they do not hear us. They do not know we are standing
right next to them or above them, trying to speak to them. While
we are elated to be alive, this is a little disappointing.
If our relatives or loved ones are not around our body at the
time of death, we will go to them. At the speed of thought we
will immediately be at their side where ever they are. They
might be halfway around the world. We will still be there in an

41
WHERE IS HELL?

instant. Again we will be next to them or floating above, watch-


ing them. They might be crying or otherwise engaged in mourn-
ing our departure. We are a bit frustrated with this, as we try to
communicate to them that we are still here.
Soon we realize that although we are alive, our body and this
environment is no longer our home. We are moving on. Where
do we go?

42
Chapter Three

Depictions of Hell
Warnings of hell
This text makes no argument against the existence of hell.
The question is where is hell. Certainly the notion of hell is ban-
tered around, typically as a threat:

“You’re going to hell if you do that” is a common threat.


“If you sin you will face damnation in hell,” is another one.
“You’ll go to hell if you do that,” is still another one.

What are these expressions? Are they congratulatory? Are


they statements of praise? Are they qualified statements? No.
They are threats. Plain and simple, they threaten us with “go-
ing to hell” if we do something wrong.
That ‘something wrong’ is typically described as sin.

The Bible and hell


From the Books of the Bible we find clear scriptural evidence
that hell exists. Let’s consider the Biblical verses that document
the existence of hell – according to the New King James Version:

Deut. 32:22:
For a fire is kindled in My anger,
And shall burn to the lowest hell;

Psalm 9:17:
The wicked shall be turned into hell,
And all the nations that forget God.

Psalm 55:15:
Let death seize them;
Let them go down alive into hell,
For wickedness is in their dwellings and among them.

43
WHERE IS HELL?

Psalm 139:8:
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

Proverbs 5:5:
Her feet go down to death,
Her steps lay hold of hell.

Proverbs 7:27:
Her house is the way to hell,
Descending to the chambers of death.

Proverbs 9:18:
But he does not know that the dead are there,
That her guests are in the depths of hell.

Proverbs 15:11:
Hell and Destruction are before the LORD;
So how much more the hearts of the sons of men.

Proverbs 15:24:
The way of life winds upward for the wise,
That he may turn away from hell below.

Proverbs 23:14:
And deliver his soul from hell.

Proverbs 27:20:
Hell and destruction are never full;
So the eyes of man are never satisfied.

Isaiah 14:9:
“Hell from beneath is excited about you,
To meet you at your coming;
It stirs up the dead for you,
All the chief ones of the earth;
It has raised up from their thrones
All the kings of the nations.

44
WHO DIES?

Ezekiel 31:15:
“Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘In the day when it went
down to hell, I caused mourning. I covered the deep be-
cause of it. I restrained its rivers, and the great waters
were held back. I caused Lebanon to mourn for it, and
all the trees of the field wilted because of it.”

Ezekiel 31:16:
I made the nations shake at the sound of its fall, when I
cast it down to hell together with those who descend
into the Pit; and all the trees of Eden, the choice and
best of Lebanon, all that drink water, were comforted in
the depths of the earth.

Ezekiel 31:17:
They also went down to hell with it, with those slain by
the sword; and those who were its strong arm dwelt in
its shadows among the nations.

Ezekiel 32:21:
The strong among the mighty
Shall speak to him out of the midst of hell
With those who help him:
‘They have gone down,
They lie with the uncircumcised, slain by the sword.’

Ezekiel 32:27:
They do not lie with the mighty
Who are fallen of the uncircumcised,
Who have gone down to hell with their weapons of war;
They have laid their swords under their heads,
But their iniquities will be on their bones,
Because of the terror of the mighty in the land of the
living.

Amos 9:2:
“Though they dig into hell,

45
WHERE IS HELL?

From there My hand shall take them;


Though they climb up to heaven,
From there I will bring them down;

Habakkuk 2:5:
“Indeed, because he transgresses by wine,
He is a proud man,
And he does not stay at home.
Because he enlarges his desire as hell,
And he is like death, and cannot be satisfied,
He gathers to himself all nations
And heaps up for himself all peoples.

Matthew 5:22:
“But I say to you that whoever is angry with his
brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judg-
ment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be
in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’
shall be in danger of hell fire.”

Matthew 5:29:
“If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and
cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that
one of your members perish, than for your whole body
to be cast into hell.”

Matthew 5:30:
“And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off
and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you
that one of your members perish, than for your whole
body to be cast into hell.”

Matthew 10:28:
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot
kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy
both soul and body in hell.”

46
WHO DIES?

Matthew 18:9:
“And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and
cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life
with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast
into hell fire.”

Matthew 23:15:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For
you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when
he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as
yourselves.”

Matthew 23:33:
“Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the
condemnation of hell?”

Mark 9:43:
“If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better
for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having
two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be
quenched—“

Mark 9:45:
“And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is bet-
ter for you to enter life lame, rather than having two
feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be
quenched—“

Mark 9:47:
“And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is
better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one
eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell
fire—“

47
WHERE IS HELL?

Luke 12:5:
“But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him
who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell;
yes, I say to you, fear Him!”

James 3:6:
“And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The
tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the
whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it
is set on fire by hell.”

Peter 2:4:
For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but
cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains
of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;

These verses describe hell as being related to:

• Fire and anger


• Forgetting God
• Death and wickedness
• Descending and chambers
• Being dead and depths
• Destruction
• The wise turn away from hell
• A soul can be delivered from hell
• The eyes of man not being satisfied
• Hell greets you “at your coming” and “stirs up the dead
for you”
• God casting one down to hell – descending
• Climbing up to heaven from hell
• Pride, wine, enlarged desire, no satisfaction
• Becoming angry with ones brother without cause
• Sin, fire
• The soul and the body get destroyed in hell
• Sin may cause one to be cast into hell fire
• Hypocrites, ecclesiastical scribes and Pharisees

48
WHO DIES?

• Ecclesiastical Jewish priests


• Tongue defiling one
• Chains, darkness, judgment

From this list we can draw a comparison between the refer-


ences to hell. Hell is most related to the elements listed above.
While some of these are obviously metaphorical – such as chains,
fire and darkness – they represent elements to consider.

The metaphors of hell


Here is the short list of elements described with hell. Let’s
draw out each with a practical approach for the meaning:

Fire
Fire relates to the sensation of burning. But what is burning?
Is it the skin? !And what skin will be burning if the physical
body is dead? As we discussed earlier the skin will decompose
after the body dies. Or the body is cremated and turned to ashes.
So how can a person experience burning without skin?
This can only mean that a person must be given another
body in order to experience such pain. Without a physical body
one cannot experience hell. Nor the sensation of burning.
We will discuss the mechanics of this later.
Hell is a product of the physical world. Without a physical
body of some sort – either gross or subtle – one cannot experi-
ence the burning of hell.
The sensation of burning on the skin combines with emo-
tional and psychological sensations of burning. These are the
burning of lust and desire, and the subsequent anger and vio-
lence as a result. These burn at the physical level right down to a
person's core being, rather than simply at the mental and physi-
cal levels.
The burning of lust and desire also lead to frustration, be-
cause the self within is never satisfied with the objects of the
senses – those objects that are lusted for and desired.

49
WHERE IS HELL?

We might compare it to an automobile. If, for example, the


driver of the car is hungry and thinks if he fills the car with gas
he will not be hungry any longer – what will happen? The driver
will fill the car with gas yet still feel hungry inside. Such a situa-
tion will make the car driver frustrated.
In the same way, because the spirit-person within the body is
not the body, obtaining the objects of the senses will not make
the spirit-person within fulfilled. The spirit-person will remain
empty and unsatisfied – leading to frustration.
As this frustration of the spirit-person within the body is re-
peatedly dealt with, over time the person will become angry.
This anger is also a type of burning – a burning to the core of
the person. Such a sensation – feeling angry due to frustration of
not being satisfied from those things we thought would satisfy
us – can also lead a person to violence.
Violence is the result of anger, which is the result of frustra-
tion, which is the result of desiring and even obtaining those
things that were supposed to satisfy us but doesn’t.
All of these expressions – lust, desire, frustration, anger and
violence – all stem from the spirit-person within desiring those
things of the material world that do not bring fulfillment.
In some of the descriptions of hell from the scriptures we
find the terminology of being ‘cast into’ or ‘thrown into’ hell fire
the fires of hell. What does ‘cast into’ or ‘thrown into’ mean with
respect to this description of fire to be relating to lust, desire,
frustration, anger and violence?
To be ‘cast’ or ‘thrown’ relates to the spirit-person being
forced into occupying a particular physical body. In effect, the
spirit-person is cast into such an embodiment.
The point is immersion. Just consider how a person can be
cast or thrown into a body of water – be it a lake or river. Once
they are thrown in, they will be immersed into the water.
Such an immersion relates to the context of “into.” “Into” re-
lates to being put within something. Becoming immersed by that
body of water – or whatever environment we are becoming im-
mersed into.

50
WHO DIES?

In the same way, when the spirit-person is cast into a physi-


cal body, they become immersed into that physical body. They
become enveloped by the physical body.
Such an envelopment leads to the spirit-person forgetting her
identity as a spiritual entity, and identifying herself with that
particular physical body.
This is called illusion. While the physical world is real, the il-
lusion of the physical world is that we are these physical bodies.
The illusion is that this body is my identity.
It might be like getting into a Ford Explorer car and saying
that we are now a Ford Explorer. Such an identification will be
considered by others to mean we are nuts. Everyone knows that
we do not become the car just because we sit down in it and
drive it for awhile.
Yet that is what happens when a person gets into and drives
the physical body. They immediately forget their spiritual iden-
tity and identify themselves with the physical body.
This is illusion. And it is created by the Supreme Being to al-
low us the ability to – granting our wish – get away from Him.
Forgetting our identity and relationship with Him allows us to
forget our relationship with God.
As such we are being cast into this physical body, and this
ability to forget our relationship with God.

“And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The


tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the
whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it
is set on fire by hell.” (James 3:6)

Descending or Falling
The use of the word descending – meaning to fall or to have
fallen – is used repeatedly in the scriptures when describing hell.
But what is falling? What is descending?
Is it a physical body? Does a dead body fall off a cliff and de-
scend into some black hole or something? Certainly not. The
dead body decomposes after it is buried. Or is turned to ashes if
cremated.

51
WHERE IS HELL?

Therefore we must look deeper when considering the issue


of descending or falling. The person who is falling or descending
is the spirit-person who resides within the physical body and
leaves the physical body at the time of death.
This means that descending relates to hell because of the
state of the spirit-person. If a person descends into hell, they
have fallen. What have they fallen from?
They have fallen to a lower state of consciousness from a
state of higher consciousness.
What is higher consciousness?
Consciousness relates to where our focus is. It relates to our
desires and our dreams. What we wish upon. What we want, for
ourselves and others.
Let’s consider for example, the consciousness of, say a bird.
Take a few minutes and watch a bird as it sits in the tree. Where
is its focus?
Typically the bird is focused upon not getting captured or
hurt. The bird thus darts its head back and forth, making sure it
is not going to get pounced on.
The bird is also focused upon food. Where the worm is, or
where the breadcrumbs are. If we toss some breadcrumbs out,
birds will see them immediately and flock to them. Why do they
see the crumbs so quickly? Because that’s where their conscious-
ness lies. They are focused upon food. They are focused upon
survival and the survival of their offspring if they have them.
This focus upon survival means their consciousness is upon
keeping the body alive. It is not so different from a human’s con-
sciousness, if the human’s focus is merely upon their job, making
money, their family and so on.
But consider a human being whose focus is upon spiritual
life. They are studying about their identity and about the Su-
preme Being. They are using as much time as they can to in-
crease their focus upon God through prayer and praising of
God’s Names.
Such a person is of a higher consciousness than a person who
is focused simply upon the needs of the body.

52
WHO DIES?

This means that to go from a point of this higher conscious-


ness to being focused simply upon the needs of the body is to
descend in consciousness.
One might not see this as such a big fall between two hu-
mans, because such a lower-consciousness human could poten-
tially always increase their awareness of God and thus raise their
consciousness.
But what about falling from the position of human to that of
an animal? This is a definite fall in consciousness, because ani-
mals have a limited ability to increase their awareness of God.
They have a limited ability to investigate spiritual teachings.
What would we say about a person who went from a human
form of life to an animal form of life with a lower state of con-
sciousness?
We would say that person has fallen. They have descended.
This is related directly by the Supreme Being to Ezekiel:

'For they have all been delivered to death,


To the depths of the earth,
Among the children of men who go down to the Pit.'
(Ezekiel 31:14)

Just consider that the spirit-person is eternal, but the physical


body is subjected to death. To be “delivered to death” means to
become subjected to the identification of the physical body –
which means to become subjected to death.
Consider also the “depths of the earth.” Does this mean un-
derground? The word “depths” is translated from the Hebrew
word ‫( תַּ חְתִּ י‬tachtiy). This word means, according to the lexicon,
“low, lower, lowest” and “the lower parts.” It doesn’t refer to
underground. It is referring to a low level of consciousness.

Chambers
This word is used in some verses when referring to hell.
What is a chamber? Most people think of an enclosure or en-
closed room. When most think of this with regard to hell they
think of a cavern within a cave – a type of chamber.

53
WHERE IS HELL?

The point of the word is not so much that it is a room. For


example, a person might have a bedroom in their house. Would
they consider their bedroom a chamber?
Typically not, because a chamber is typically considered to
be a place where a person is tightly enclosed – or trapped within.
Thus chamber is often referred to when considering a tomb
or underground room that is difficult if not impossible to get out
of. In other words, a place where a person is trapped within.
But consider this carefully. What is the physical body? I it an
enclosure within which the spirit-person dwells within. It is, in
fact, a type of chamber. Why? Because the spirit-person is effec-
tively trapped within the physical body.
And because the physical body is but a fraction within the
physical world, to be trapped within the physical body means
being trapped within the physical world.
Thus we can conclude that the physical body and the physi-
cal world in totality should be considered to be the chamber as
referred to in the scripture.

Her house is the way to hell,


Descending to the chambers of death (Proverbs 7:27)

Chains
This notion of being chained relates to the spirit-person be-
ing trapped within the confines of a physical body and thus be-
ing effectively chained to the physical world.
This also relates to consciousness. A person who is chained is
trapped by desire: Succumbing to the desires that are rooted in
self-centeredness.
We see this often in the form of addictions. A person can be-
come addicted to any number of activities, including eating, sex,
alcohol, drugs and so on. What is behind these addictions?
Modern scientists would say that it is the release of serotonin
and dopamine within the brain and nervous system that causes
us to become addicted to these activities. Are they right?
Yes and no. The neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin
are actually only the symptoms or physical effects of the attach-

54
WHO DIES?

ment that the spirit-person has to trying to become satisfied


within the physical world.
The desire for satisfaction runs deep within the spirit-person.
We were created to be satisfied. Satisfied by loving and serving
the Supreme Being. But once we wanted to be satisfied outside
of our relationship with God we are left with emptiness.
That doesn’t mean that we stop seeking fulfillment. As we
reach for something that we think might fulfill us we become
attached to that activity. We become attached because we be-
come vested into that activity. We become committed.
The serotonin and dopamine are merely the offshoots of that
commitment. They serve to encourage us to repeat the activity.
But the decision to repeat the activity still lies deep within, at
the level of the spirit-person, who is still seeking fulfillment in a
self-centered manner.
So we might consider the addictive neurotransmitters to
merely be a self-fulfilling prophesy. The addiction is rooted in
the initial rejection of those forces that warn against the addic-
tive activity – which represent the authority of the Supreme Be-
ing.
Yes, by engaging in addictive activities we are, in the deepest
sense, essentially rebelling against the Supreme Being. We might
think that by doing drugs after being warned by their parents, a
teenager is simply rebelling against their parents.
But the teenager is actually rebelling against authority –
which ultimately descends from the Supreme Being. Rebelling
against authority is simply a reflection of our ultimate rebellion:
The rebellion against our relationship with the Supreme Being, a
relationship where He is the dominated person and we are being
dominated. We are the servant and He is the boss.
We don't want to be servant. We want to be boss. We want to
be the hero. We want to be the star.
Even though He is all these things, we want to be these
things. This means, basically, that we became envious of God’s
position as God.

55
WHERE IS HELL?

The Supreme Being knows this. This is why the Supreme Be-
ing created the physical world: For us to forget Him for awhile
so we could chase around our self-centered desires.
Here in the physical world we can play the boss. The hero.
The star. The guru. Here we can play numerous roles, even the
role of parent. Yes, we can even play creator (parent) here in the
physical world.
But this is the perfect illusion, created by the Supreme Being.
The physical world was created to convince us that we are these
roles we are playing. But this of course requires us to forget who
we really are. If we remembered who we really are, we couldn't
really pretend we were these roles, could we?
We might compare it to how a movie set is arranged to con-
vince the viewer that the events are real. The movie elegantly
hides the various props and green screens – rendering images
that are truly convincing to any movie-goer.
Yes, the Supreme Being has created an awesome realm of il-
lusion here. While there is physical evidence all around us re-
garding our identity as spirit – such as clinical death and the fact
that this body is always changing – we choose to be convinced
that we are these temporary physical bodies.
Even though a person who loses his arm or legs or both is
still considered the same person – we still think that we are these
bodies.
Even though we see our body age from a baby body to an
elderly body – we still think we are these bodies.
Even though we know scientifically that every atom and
molecule in the body is recycled within five years – we still think
we are these physical bodies.
Even though we can look at a dead body and find no physi-
cal particle missing from when the body was alive – we still
think we are these bodies.
Yes, this is truly an illusion. But it is an illusion supported by
ourselves. We want to think we are these physical bodies be-
cause we wanted to get away from our real selves. We wanted to
escape from God. We wanted to get away from our responsibili-
ties as one of His servants. We wanted to escape from the notion

56
WHO DIES?

that we are servants rather than the boss. Or the star. Or the
hero.

For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but
cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains
of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; (Peter 2:4)

Sin
This word comes up repeatedly in the scriptures. But what is
sin? In the New Testament the word “sin” is translated from the
Greek word ἁµαρτία (hamartia), meaning “to err,” “to miss the
mark,” and “that which is done wrong, sin, an offence, a vio-
lation of the divine law in thought or in act.”
In the Old Testament, the word sin is translated from the
Hebrew words ‫( ָחטָא‬chata'), ‫( ָכּשַׁל‬kashal) and ‫`( עָוֹן‬avon). These
mean “to sin,” “to stumble” and “iniquity, perversity, deprav-
ity” respectively.
All of these descriptions refer to activities founded upon a
particular consciousness. What is that consciousness?
Self-centeredness. Greed. Wanting something for oneself,
typically at the expense of others. Self-centeredness without
hurting others is considered less sinful, but at its core it still is
considered in these references as related to hell.
Sin and self-centeredness is related to hell just as love and
loving service to God are related to the spiritual realm.
Thus it would be appropriate to consider that sin – self-
centered activities that have the potential of hurting others – is
hellish. It is a characteristic of hell.
Just consider the elements of this world that we consider the
most hellish. Most of these relate to violence, bloodshed, anger,
stealing and so on. These are activities based upon self-
centeredness.

57
WHERE IS HELL?

Anger
As mentioned, anger is associated with hell due to becoming
frustrated with not becoming fulfilled by the things we thought
would fulfill us.
By identifying with these physical bodies, anger will become
inevitable because we cannot become satisfied by the things of
this world. Anger results from frustration. And frustration, from
desiring satisfaction from matter.
Anger is also the result of feeling that I (or my extended self
in the form of my family) am the most important person in my
life. This self-centeredness leads to emptiness.

“But I say to you that whoever is angry with his


brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judg-
ment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be
in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’
shall be in danger of hell fire.” (Matthew 5:22)

Wickedness
Wickedness relates to all of these symptoms, with the addi-
tion of not caring how our actions may hurt others. A person
who is wicked is considered self-centered, thinking oneself bet-
ter than others and thus not caring about how their actions may
affect others.
Such a person will seek their self-centered desires at the ex-
pense of others’ suffering.
So how does wickedness relate to hell? By the statements
above we see that wickedness is one of the prerequisites of hell.
One is sent to hell due to their wickedness.
Or is wickedness itself hell?
Absolutely. The two go hand in hand, because ones con-
sciousness relates precisely to where they end up. This is God’s
design as He set up the physical world. Each destination of our
journey is determined by our consciousness.

Let them go down alive into hell,

58
WHO DIES?

For wickedness is in their dwellings and among them.


(Psalm 55:15)

Forgetting God
Forgetting the Supreme Being is one of the hallmarks of hell
as described in scripture. Why? Because those who descend into
hell descend specifically because they want to forget the Su-
preme Being.
Just consider the loving Supreme Being. He loves us each
and cares for us deeply. But because love also requires freedom,
the Supreme Being never tries to force anyone to love Him.
In fact, love requires freedom. The freedom to love or not
love. Could a person even be forced to love? Certainly not.
If, for example, a man kidnapped a woman and tied her up
in his basement – would that woman ever love the man? Cer-
tainly not. Even if the man tried hard to make the woman love
him – she still wouldn’t. Because love requires the freedom to
love or not.
As such, the Supreme Being created each of us to love Him
and serve Him. But He also created free will and the freedom for
each of us to decide for ourselves whether we wanted to love
Him or not.
This means the Supreme Being must also create an option for
those who decide they don’t want to love Him. After all, what is
the sense of having freedom if we cannot exercise that freedom?
In other words, there must be an option to loving the Su-
preme Being in order for loving Him to be done out of free will.
That is what the physical world presents to the spirit-person:
An alternative to not loving God.
How does the Supreme Being do this?
By setting up the physical world in such a way that we can
forget Him. By creating an illusory situation where we can pre-
tend to be who we are not.
After all, if we could see who we really are then how could
we forget the Supreme Being?

The wicked shall be turned into hell,

59
WHERE IS HELL?

And all the nations that forget God. (Psalm 9:17)

Death
Death is often used in conjunction with discussions of hell in
the scriptures. Many verses suggest that hell follows death, and
some relate to hell as death in itself.
Many sectarian institutions and their teachers interpret this
to mean that hell comes after a person’s body dies. But is this
necessarily true?
Note, for example, the use of the word “dead” by Jesus:

"Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead." (Matt. 8:22)

Thus Jesus is utilizing the word “dead” to mean more than


just a dead body. He is inferring that a person whose body is still
alive could also be dead. How so?
Jesus is discussing their spiritual state: Their current relation-
ship with the Supreme Being. A person who is ignoring the Su-
preme Being and thus worshiping dead bodies is to be
considered dead by this verse.
But this also indicates a deeper context with regard to the re-
ference of hell and death in many verses. What is that?
A person can be dead even though their physical body is still alive.
Note that hell is often characterized as either following death
or death itself. Should we accept Jesus’ definition of being
“dead” then we must accept that going to hell also does not have
to follow the body’s death.
In other words, we can be in hell right here and now:

Let death seize them;


Let them go down alive into hell (Psalm 55:15)

Destruction
This notion ties in specifically with the element of death. Hell
is often tied to destruction in the scriptures just as it is tied to
death. But what is being destroyed? Are cities or houses or even

60
WHO DIES?

bodies being destroyed in the type of destruction discussed in


the scriptures?
No. They are speaking of the destruction of the soul. The de-
struction of the spirit-person’s connection with the Supreme Be-
ing. Connection means relationship.
In other words, a person who has destroyed their relation-
ship with the Supreme Being by rejecting God and consciously
offending God have effectively destroyed their chance to renew
their relationship with the Supreme Being.
This of course is the opportunity offered by the human life-
time. Any of us during our human lifetime have the opportunity
of making amends and renewing our loving service relationship
with the Supreme Being. No matter how fallen we are, we can
apologetically reach out to the Supreme Being and His mercy
will be extended to us.
But should someone reject this opportunity and instead con-
tinue to reject their relationship with God even though they have
become aware of it, they are effectively destroying their oppor-
tunity.
This is the type of destruction being referred to by these
verses in scripture:

Hell and destruction are never full;


So the eyes of man are never satisfied. (Proverbs
27:20)

The Soul and Death


Many of the references to hell discuss the soul. We find this
especially among Jesus’ statements regarding hell.
Furthermore, hell is often used in conjunction with discus-
sions of death in the scriptures. Many verses suggest that hell
follows death, and some relate to hell as death in itself.
We see above a mixture of allegorical and metaphorical ref-
erences to hell, along with some clarity of who actually goes to
hell, as Jesus stated:

61
WHERE IS HELL?

“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot
kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy
both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)

Along with the other references above, this statement by Je-


sus indicates clearly that:
• the soul and the body are separate, and we live on after
the body dies (or is killed);
• the physical body is related to hell (“body in hell”)

Speculations of hell
Beyond these verses, hell has also been speculated upon by
the various ecclesiastical sectarian institutions and their teachers.
Various painters – many commissioned by these institutions –
have thus depicted hell within paintings and drawings.
These have described and depicted hell as some sort of cav-
ernous situation where its residents are chained to walls and
subjected to the torture of the devil.
We thus often see depictions of a horned devil carrying a
pitchfork.
We also often see a fiery dungeon where people are chained
up.
We also often see these people who are chained up are in
some sort of agony and suffering.
Often we might see the horned devil beating those tied in
chains.
Sometimes there are multiple devils in these depictions, but
often there is just the one.
Certainly these depictions have as their source the meta-
phorical statements regarding hell within the scriptures as we
have discussed above.
But should they be taken literally? Put it this way: Assuming
that we accept these depictions of hell are metaphorical, is there
any value in taking those depictions literally?

62
WHO DIES?

The first thing to consider within this question is that every-


thing within the universe is owned and controlled by the Su-
preme Being. This would also include the metaphors regarding
hell and the depictions of hell we see in paintings and other art.
Therefore, we can accept that there is – just as there is for
everything – a reason for these depictions, even if the depictions
are in error with respect to a literal sense.
As to the precise reason for their purpose, this is known by
the Supreme Being and not necessarily by us. But we must ac-
cept that there is a reason why these depictions of hell are so
scary.
No one wants to be thrown in a hot dungeon, tied up in
chains and tortured to death – do they? Surely, no one.
As a result, this depicture does have a purpose of scaring
those who would believe in a literal interpretation of the parts of
scripture excerpted above.
But we must ask: Does God want to scar us into becoming
devoted to Him?
Certainly He wants our love. And love is based upon free-
dom. Could we really love Him if we were being threatened
with hell if we didn’t?
One might compare it to some of the extremist fanatics in the
world who kidnap people and force them to convert to their
sectarian institution. If the prisoner does not convert, they will
be beheaded. So many of the prisoners do convert. But are they
really converting to this fanatical institution?
No. They are pretending. They are succumbing to the threats
in order to become released or at least avoid beheading.
In the same way, could we accept that a person who decides
to go to church because they are afraid of going to hell is actually
devoting themselves to the Supreme Being?
Again, no. It is simply a business relationship. The person is
performing devotional activities in order to avoid going to hell.
As such, this misinterpretation of the scriptures with regard
to the existence of hell – and its depiction as being an obvious
fictional fiery dungeon with a horned devil torturing people

63
WHERE IS HELL?

could be considered offensive against the Supreme Being, be-


cause it misrepresents the situation.
This, in other words, is the choice of those who have created
institutions of power so they can exert their own authority over
people and thus threaten innocent people.
But at the same time, there is always an ultimate purpose, in
that the Supreme Being does want to warn us of the conse-
quences of leading a life of self-centeredness.
But what He is trying to communicate to us – through the
scriptures and through His representatives such as Jesus and
David is that:
Self-centeredness is hell. Rejecting the Supreme Being is hell.
If we are rejecting the Supreme Being and seeing ourselves as the
greatest person and the most important person in my life then
we are already in hell. That is hell.
And yes, hell does have consequences, and these include
burning, because lust burns, and anger burns. But they burn our
hearts. They burn from within. It is not that we are being literally
burnt – although our bodies can certainly be burnt sometimes
but this is not necessarily related.
What is related is the fact that rejecting our relationship with
the Supreme Being and becoming self-centered results in our
being sent to the physical world and being given physical bod-
ies.
Yes, these physical bodies and this physical world is a place
of suffering. As we will lay out in the next chapter, the physical
world comes with a variety of forms of suffering, each of which
can be considered hellish.
And these physical bodies in themselves are designed to ex-
ert the illusory energy – something set up to convince us that we
are these physical bodies rather than spiritual children of God.
So the combination of these physical bodies and this physical
world – a place of consequence and suffering – does provide the
basis for the many metaphorical descriptions used to explain
hell.

64
WHO DIES?

After all, each of us – the spirit-person – is chained into this


physical body. We are trapped within this physical body, which
can be considered a dungeon or a chamber.
And the various events of the physical world can serve to
provide the notion of fire, death and wickedness – as this physi-
cal world is teeming with wicked people.
This physical world is, as mentioned by Peter, the place
where the wicked go:

For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but
cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains
of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; (Peter 2:4)

65
Chapter Four

So Where is Hell?
In Jesus’ teachings in the four Gospels, the word "hell" is be-
ing translated from the Greek word γέεννα (geenna). Centuries
ago, Biblical scholars determined the word is derived from the
name of a valley – Gehenna – in the Southeastern region of Jeru-
salem.
Gehenna is recalled for the cries of children as they were
thrown into the fiery arms of the idol Moloch, which was shaped
in the form of a bull. In the 7th Century B.C., King Josiah abol-
ished sacrificing to Moloch, but Israelites continued to use the
former location of sacrifices to Moloch as a refuse area, where
dead bodies of animals and executed criminals would be
thrown. Here the bodies and refuse were burned, so the valley
had a residual putrefied stink to it.
Over time, this Gehenna valley began to be referred to meta-
phorically as a place in hell where people would be subject to
burning fires. Eventually it assumed the vernacular and as we
see here, even Jesus referred to hell metaphorically using this
term, as it was understood to be so by the people he was teach-
ing.
Yet Jesus is clearly stating this place is not where dead bodies
go. It is a place where the spirit-person – the person who occu-
pies the physical body temporarily – may go after the death of
the physical body. This means – since the physical body decom-
poses or is cremated after its death – that the spirit-person leaves
the physical body and goes somewhere.
Once again, this text is not arguing that hell does not exist.
Such an argument has been made by modern scientists who
have examined the physical evidence and find no indication that
the classical definition of hell exists.
But there is more evidence, as we have examined in the sec-
ond chapter. But further than this, we find the existence of hell
quite logical. If one accepts that we are not these physical bodies,
and accepts the existence of the Supreme Being, then one can
easily come to understand precisely where hell is and what its
characteristics are.
67
WHERE IS HELL?

Following is a series of essays on the location of hell, and the


rational behind that existence. These essays have been prepared
on separate occasions, so they may include duplicated concepts.
At the same time, each will provide slightly alternative ap-
proaches for consideration:

The threat of hell


Many religious philosophies and scriptural texts discuss the
possibility of going to hell in the future. As a result, the fear and
avoidance of hell is oftentimes the reason a person begins to at-
tend a church, mosque or temple. A person threatened with
eternal suffering in a hellish atmosphere will often react with
fear and repentance.
It is taught that hell is a place of suffering: a place of anguish
and unhappiness. It is taught that hell is a place where misery,
sadness, pain, and suffering exist. Hell is said to be a place of
heat and fire. Popular depictions of hell show people chained up
in red-hot, fiery dungeons being tortured by monstrous horned
devils. Anguish and pain are the most common features of this
depiction.
This depiction assumes that we are not in hell right now.
But what about the pain, anguish, torture and emptiness ex-
isting here on this planet right now?
What about the wars, the murders, the terrorists and the
starvation around the world right now? What are these, then?
What should we call the state of existence where millions of
people around the world are dying of starvation? What should
we call places that do not have clean water to drink and millions
of people die from dysentery? What about places were people
die from malaria?
What should we call the places where women are raped and
murdered with little or no protection?
And what is that place where greedy bankers, CEOs and
lawyers steal money from unsuspecting investors who put their
trust in them?
Where is the place where hurricanes, earthquakes and torna-
dos rip apart homes and lives?

68
WHO DIES?

Where is the place where oil gushes into the ocean and
washes up upon the beaches, turning them black and poisonous
and killing birds and seals and other sealife?
What should we call the place where a child is locked up in a
closet by lunatic parents and beaten or raped throughout their
childhood?
And where is that place where someone is condemned as in-
sane and locked up in a mental institution—tied down to their
bed and given drugs that cause horrendous ghoulish night-
mares?
What shall we call the place where someone is jailed in a
small cell as a criminal and subjected to violence and rape?
What should we call the place where a person is locked in a
dark cell and tortured as a political prisoner by a violent gov-
ernment regime?
Are these places not hell? Are they not places of anguish and
pain and suffering?
Surprisingly, most of us don’t relate with these states as ac-
tually being hell. It would seem that these sufferings are not bad
enough to be called hell. Possibly each of these instances did not
occur in a hot-enough or fiery-enough place to be called hell.
Perhaps because we don’t see any horned people or fiery dun-
geons, we can’t identify them as hell.
How about the rest of us, living more average lives here in
our modern society?

Being in hell
You see, we are living in hell at the moment.
Yes, we don't need to worry about going to hell after we die
– we are already there.
Just consider the state of affairs around the world: Mass
shootings, chemical gassings, bombings, kidnappings, civil wars,
stealings and ripoffs, starvation, torture, wife and child beatings,
murders – the list goes on and on. The physical world is a place
of suffering, much of which is brought on by us – the citizens of
the physical world.

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WHERE IS HELL?

In Jesus’ teachings, he commented on the fact that while he


has come to this planet place to try to save people – those very
people he is trying to save will be organizing his persecution and
murder.
Consider this for a moment. Consider going to a place where
you love others and you try to help them, and they turn against
you and persecute you. Let’s look at what Jesus faced during his
journey on this planet:
From birth, he was hunted. Herod was threatened by a “king
of the Jews” so he ordered the murder of every male child born
in the region where Jesus was born. So Jesus’ parents had to flee
with young Jesus to escape the murder of baby Jesus.
Growing up, Jesus faced hostility in the form of prejudice
and racism, as his mother was considered a harlot because it was
suspected that she didn’t conceive her baby in wedlock.
As Jesus traveled during his teachings, crowds pursued him
aggressively, seeking to be healed. Jesus had to escape to moun-
tains and out to sea for solitude from the crowds.
Jesus was repeatedly tested and pursued by the Jewish
pharisees who become increasingly envious of his ability to at-
tract large crowds. They were trying to trick him into saying
things that would allow them to arrest him and put him to
death.
They eventually did this. The guards of the high priest ar-
rested him outside of Jerusalem and then turned him over to the
Roman governor, Pilate. When Pilate saw no grounds to perse-
cute Jesus, the high priests and their followers pleaded with Pi-
late to kill Jesus’ body. They won Pilate over – as Pilate was
afraid of a riot – and they tortured Jesus’ body and hung him
from a cross.
Did Jesus not enter into a hellish place? As described in the
scriptures, we find Judea and the people and the situation to be
akin to the descriptions of hell above. Judea was very hot. Hun-
ger was prevalent as people worked hard to survive in a subsis-
tence manner. People were tortuous and cruel. Stonings and
hangings were frequent. Do just the slightest thing wrong and
you were persecuted.

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WHO DIES?

Quite certainly, we can agree that Jesus had entered into a


hellish place – and was persecuted by demons.
In fact, this world today is also hellish.

The suffering of hell


A spirit-person born into the physical world is born into one
degree of hell or another – depending upon our past decisions
and consciousness.
This means that those of us who are fortunate to be born into
wealthy countries are still born into hell – though our suffering
may not be as bad as some of the forms of suffering mentioned
in the section previous.
Nonetheless, anyone born into a physical body is being de-
livered into hell.
Our sufferings begin at conception. Our bodies begin their
lives by forming in a hostile environment—the womb. We find
ourselves trapped inside this dark womb for many months. Re-
search has revealed that not only do babies feel pain in the
womb, but they are extremely sensitive. The slightest jolt creates
a painful experience that can only be expressed by recoiling or
trying to adjust. Microorganisms also live within the womb, irri-
tating the baby’s new skin.
When our bodies are finally pushed out of the womb we
immediately cry because of the harshness of the new environ-
ment. We are born in pain, evidenced by our screaming. Of
course, most of us do not remember this excruciating experience.
Throughout childhood, we must adapt to various harsh reali-
ties. Our bodies undergo various physical aches, pains, and dis-
eases. These are often described by the expression, “growing
pains.” Feelings of intense hunger alternate with teething, bloat-
ing, gas, fever, nausea, mumps, measles, and other childhood
maladies. A dose or two of laughter and a few games provide us
with short breathers for respite.
Our dealings with others are also often painful as we grow
up. Even innocent games can easily turn competitive and hostile.
Children can be hurtful and callous towards one another. Seem-
ingly innocent games like dodge ball hide the pain and mental

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WHERE IS HELL?

anguish caused by other playmates, siblings and parents. Not


many of us can say that we haven’t been beaten up by another
child or even our sibling as children.
We have little control during childhood. We are perpetually
subjected to the whims of our parents, teachers and other
adults—who may or may not have our welfare in mind.
Children do not cry by accident. We cry as children because
we are either in some kind of pain, or feeling frustrated with our
situation. Crying seems to do little to alleviate the pain and frus-
tration we feel, however. It might bring us a little attention—
which we crave—but this will not always be the type of attention
we are looking for.
We are not able to do much to change things, though we
desperately try. We might win a few slight victories here and
there as we throw a few tantrums. Many of us will learn to cry
for affection as we strive to be loved. Our parents will often fig-
ure this means we want another toy or bottle of milk, however.
After being given these things often enough, we also may start to
think that perhaps this physical stuff is what we need to alleviate
our pain and emptiness.
Once our bodies grow a little, we are thrust into school. This
often feels more like prison. Our school experience results in
new kinds of pain. Most of the other kids are as miserable as we
are, and as a result, we struggle with each other, fighting for
pecking order and attention. Our childhood soon becomes a
race: Who can get others to like or even fear them the most.
Many of us will simply struggle to fit in.
As our bodies grow older, we are introduced to new types of
pain. Middle and high school opens an entirely new level of
greed among our classmates. Sports and other activities, which
bring attention to successful children, bring out stiff competi-
tion—often leading to violence and discrimination—as kids jos-
tle for popularity.
As we age, new stresses are added: The pressure to get good
grades, get into, pay for and get through a good college is added
to the pressure of choosing a career. Getting through school usu-
ally means being forced to spend many hours each day memo-

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WHO DIES?

rizing mostly inconsequential facts and figures in order to pass


exams.
Meanwhile, we experience so many heartaches, bouts of
loneliness, growing pains, and the feeling of being trapped.
Fights with parents can get worse, as our parents don’t seem to
understand us. Between the pressures of fitting in with our
schoolmates and pleasing our parents, we find ourselves strung
between two worlds, as we attempt to figure out our place in
society. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is the
common question we’re supposed to have an instant answer for.
These pressures lead to various mental and emotional anxie-
ties. On top of this, we must deal with the issues of our parents.
These may range from drug abuse and alcoholism to violence.
Incest is a surprisingly frequent occurrence, especially among
step-parents. Imagine being forced to live in a house with a rap-
ist, and not being able to tell anyone for fear of their threats.
Now why would this not be considered hell?
To add to these parental derangements, we will likely have
to suffer from bullying, often from an older siblings. While
schoolyard bullies can be devastating, having a bully in the next
bedroom can be much worse. Again, under threat of worse pun-
ishment, we may be forced to keep quiet about these forms of
suffering.
It is no wonder many teenagers in western society are on
various drugs and medications. No wonder many are depressed
and/or suicidal. No wonder many have developed perversions
such as self-mutilation.
Childhood is full of pain. Childhood only appears attractive
to reminiscing adults who have conveniently forgotten all the
pain and suffering: A typical tendency of the mind.
As we graduate into adulthood, another level of suffering
emerges. We now must figure out how to survive on our own in
a competitive adult world. In the world of physical survival,
there are so many people who make a living out of scamming or
otherwise taking advantage of us. The free market system is set
up to allow the bullies of society to con or otherwise take advan-
tage of the weaker, nicer people.

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WHERE IS HELL?

In some places, we see wealthy corporations capitalizing on


the efforts of children and poor adults to produce goods for
wealthier people. Unbelievably, in some parts of the world, we
also still see people being bought and sold as though they were
commodities. Active slavery isn’t as prevalent as it was just a
century ago, but today there are still subtle forms of it in many
societies.
While wealthy people can make one million dollars during
one phone call, others make a few cents or a few dollars per day
toiling in drastic factory conditions, or laboring on industrial
sized farms choked with pesticides. While some gorge them-
selves on super-sized meals, people in many parts of the third
world are lucky if they can get a bowl of rice for the entire day.
Oh, what a wonderful world.
Regardless of where we live, and upon which economic level
we stand, we experience an increasing level of discomfort and
pain as our bodies age. None of us makes it through adulthood
without becoming extremely sick on occasion. Most adult bodies
get multiple colds and/or flu viruses each year.
No one—not even those with the healthiest of bodies—is
spared from a devastating and miserable illness at some point.
This is why hospitals are constantly lined with sick people, suf-
fering in pain and agony from either disease or injury.
Almost everyone ends up in the hospital at some point in
their physical lives. There are thousands of different illnesses we
can contract in our lifetimes. Medical books are thick with the
various illnesses, and each sickness creates its own special form
of misery.
Illnesses are directly related to our past or recent past activi-
ties, and there is little a physical body can do to avoid some of
them. Escaping illness in our physical lifetime—though modern
medicine tries heroically—is not possible. Quite simply, our
physical body is designed to be inflicted.
In addition to the various pains associated with illness, there
are many other stressors that affect us throughout our lives,
causing us various degrees of discomfort and pain. There are so
many environmental stressors our bodies must face. In many

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WHO DIES?

places, the seasons range from brutal cold, wet and snowy to
boiling heat and sweltering humidity. Is there any place on the
planet we are truly comfortable?
For this reason, many consider a tropical environment the
perfect location. However even tropical places have their envi-
ronmental problems: Mosquitoes, horrible rainy seasons (floods
or hurricanes), and humid jungles that cause the body to sweat
through the day and night are just a few of the many issues
those tropical climates come with.
Add to this various human-created environmental problems
including air pollution, water pollution, overcrowding, noise
pollution and so many other stressors we’ve created within our
modern society.
We face so many hassles from others, including people we
work with. Our boss or management in general—or our peers—
want to outmaneuver us as they gain authority over us.
Employees often wish they owned the company, but the
business owners deal with their own range of stresses. These are
associated with investors and stockholders, and the incredible
financial challenges of staying in business. To this we add hav-
ing to compete with other businesses that would just assume we
were out of business.
There are so many other people-oriented stressors:
Neighbors who disturb us. Disagreements or controversies be-
tween friends or family members. Crime and violence by those
around us in one way or another. As soon as we think we have
escaped one type of stress, another stressor arises. Just as we
solve one challenge, a new challenge will present itself to take
the first ones place.

The short respites


In between so many of these miseries, pains and sufferings
are brief bursts of neural feedback – which we consider pleasur-
able. But are these actually pleasurable? In reality, they are better
described as respites than pleasure. These brief episodes of neu-
rochemistry allow us to temporarily forget all the stresses and

75
WHERE IS HELL?

pains for a minute or two. For this reason, memory is often se-
verely subjective.
A good example of this is the sexual orgasm. The orgasm is
what many humans live for. Many strive for the sexual orgasm
throughout their sexually active lives—continually seeking that
momentary rush of neurochemistry. Humans will struggle for
many years—enduring many hardships—to arrange their lives
in such a way that will attract the opposite sex. Humans may
even sacrifice their reputations and the health of their bodies to
achieve this momentary urge.
Getting to the orgasm with a partner is not an easy task,
however. First one must find a willing partner. This can get
complicated, and can take months if not years of determined
searching and dating. Through the process of finding a willing
and suitable partner, we may endure painful confrontations; the
pains of breakup; and many other forms of rejection. Then to get
to the orgasm—assuming we have found a willing partner—we
must partake in various forms of ritual: often referred to as fore-
play.
These rituals can take time, and if not done just so, the whole
thing can be ruined. It is a tight-rope scenario. One slip-up—a
bad joke, ill-timed flatulence, or a wrong move—could easily
ruin the whole occasion, leading to embarrassment and pain.
After all of this effort, the culmination—the orgasm—will only
last for a few seconds, and sometimes may not happen at all.
Then there is the disappointment of it coming too early.
Should the orgasm come, all the built-up expectations and
anticipation will immediately be over—typically leaving let-
down due to our expectation of fulfillment. For many this fol-
lows by a smoke or something to eat. Why so quick to move on
to more consumption? Isn’t the most sought after part of physi-
cal life satisfying? No. This is because the sexual orgasm is: 1)
only fleeting; and 2) not satisfying to the transcendental inner
self.
Often the sexual effort only leads to additional suffering.
Should the man not perform well, he will be embarrassed and
anxious, as his reputation becomes damaged. Should one of the

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WHO DIES?

partners have a sexual disease, they will both come to suffer


from an often excruciating experience, which might bloom into
AIDS, herpes or a number of other sexually-transmitted diseases.

The three-fold miseries of materialism


Our attempts at other physical pleasures can be even more
fleeting. The pleasures of eating good tasting foods, buying ma-
terial goodies or other physical possessions offer brief flashes of
neural feedback. A new car, house or other material item may be
anticipated for many hours, days, or weeks in advance. They
may also be accompanied by struggle and frustration to get
them. They will usually require hard work, planning and deal-
ing with people who want their own piece of the pie.
This is illustrated by the violence surrounding the dealing of
drugs by international drug cartels. Each cartel struggles to
dominate the distribution of their drugs, leading to bloodshed
on each side.
Typically our plan for the acquisition is never what we envi-
sion. We think the new goodie will somehow fulfill us, but it
never does. Once we get it, we are usually disappointed that it
did not deliver any fulfillment. Once we get it, we are stuck hav-
ing to take care of it and protect or maintain it. We have to work
hard to reduce the potential that our acquisition may be stolen or
otherwise damaged.
The ancient texts describe this in detail. They describe the
three anxieties attached to material acquisition:
1) The anxiety of obtaining the difficult-to-acquire pleasures,
possessions or positions within the material world;
2) The anxieties involved in protecting and maintaining the
pleasures, possessions or positions of the material world;
3) The anxieties associated with the loss of a pleasure, pos-
session or position with the material world.
These three anxieties are miserable. They combine to form
the three-fold miseries of material existence. The struggle for
obtaining and maintaining those things we think will make us
happy is in itself miserable. These struggles combine to form the
opposite of happiness: They create anxiety.

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WHERE IS HELL?

In more general terms, we are anxious about obtaining what


we don’t have. Then once we get those things, we are anxious
about losing them. Then once we lose them we are anxious be-
cause we lost them.
Yes, materialism is the pervading condition of hell.

Perpetual fear
Anxiety is attached to fear. Most of us live our lives in per-
petual fear. As children, we may be afraid of the bogeyman.
Then we may be afraid of schoolyard bullies. Then we may be
afraid of failing. Then we may be afraid of being embarrassed.
Then we may be afraid of losing money.
Then we may be afraid of getting sick or injured. Then we
may be afraid of being hurt by others. Then we may be afraid of
dying. Fear drives so many of our actions and consciousness
during our physical lifetimes.
Look carefully at the other organisms of this planet. Take a
look at a bird—or any other animal for that matter. They are in a
perpetual state of fear for their lives. This is evidenced by their
quick motions of the head and their darting, watchful eyes. (Just
try approaching them for a confirmation of this.)
Most organisms deal with multiple threats from various or-
ganisms. Many are faced with terrifying situations: A bug is
faced with monstrous creatures. Consider what a frog looks like
to a fly: ferocious. Or what a cats with sharp teeth looks like to a
mouse. Consider a rabbit faced with giant hawks, wolves, foxes
and other beasts. Should they ambush the rabbit, they would
devour it within minutes.
The human form faces similar frightening scenarios. These
are caused by other animals, by other humans, by our environ-
ment and by our own technology. Machines, chemicals, weapons
and bombs we have invented have become extremely danger-
ous.
Millions of people die each year from automobile, plane, or
train accidents. They move so fast that we are literally on the
edge of death. The simplest intrusion—such as a deer in the

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WHO DIES?

road—can instantly cause a nightmarish and disfiguring acci-


dent if not death.
Other threats we can thank our modern scientists for include
various dangerous medications, genetic mutation, electromag-
netic radiation, pesticides, toxic waste, air pollution and global
warming. These modern threats more than replace any of the
protective benefits of our technology.
The most brutal part of living in this physical environment is
the loneliness. As we pretend to casually relate to our friends
and relatives, underneath we are lonely. Why? We feel alone
here in this physical world, where everyone is out for them-
selves. Those that seem to care tend to care sometimes and not
care other times.
We feel alone when we discover that our friends are not real
friends after all. We are lonely when we find out our friends are
actually acquaintances out of convenience. When it is no longer
convenient for them, we don’t hear from them.
We feel alone when the family and relatives we depended
upon for love go away or break up.
Just when we think we have adapted to this hostile physical
environment, we are forcefully yanked away by death. Death
rages in without notice to remove all of our attachments: our
spouse, our friends, our family, our house, our car, our wealth or
lack thereof—everything—is taken like a thief in the night.
Death creates a dread for every living organism. Death will
snatch us away from everything. Some like to pretend to have
joyous burials and wakes full of remembrance for the person
who passed away. Beneath these masquerades are family mem-
bers and friends who are in shock. They cannot believe that we
are gone. They cannot believe that death is that close. This is
because most of us feel that we will never die. Only others die.
So now we must ask again: How far away from hell is this?
Does the constant state of alternating anxiety, illness, injury,
sadness, anger, frustration, hate, loneliness, violence, and fear
not qualify as hellish enough? Does the terrorism, torture, vio-
lence or starvation, hatred, prejudice and rape not qualify as
hellish enough?

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WHERE IS HELL?

Or does the momentary fleeting absence of physical pain or


brief neural surge qualify this world as being better than hell?
And if it is above hell, how far above hell is it?
Yes, some of us live in a worse hell than others. Some of us—
especially those living in lower forms of life—are living in a bru-
tally more hellish hell than most of us. A living being subjected
to a physical body designed for various levels of pain, old age,
disease and death is in hell. The level of pain and suffering var-
ies to species. The species in turn varies to consciousness.
Now what about that depiction of hell as a hot, fiery, burning
place? We’ve all heard someone describe a particular pain as a
“burning pain.” We have also heard of situations where some-
one is “burning with anger,” or “burning with desire.” The
‘burning fire’ of material existence can range from these physical
pains to the suffering related to the various fears of the world
and the heated nature of selfish competition, violence and tor-
ture.

Other regions of hell


This is not to say that there are not other hells worse than
ours, to one degree or another. We can simply review the vari-
ous species of life here on this planet to see just how variegated
suffering can be among different life forms. Simply picking up a
rock will reveal a tiny world of predators and violence among
the insect world.
Or consider the hellish world of a mouse. A mouse lives in
constant fear – fear of cats, people, practically any larger creature
will devour the little mouse body for a snack.
To a mouse, such large creatures loom like a horror movie.
Large fangs, ripping into their tiny body. Such is the hell of a
mouse.
Or consider a minnow swimming in shallow waters. Bears,
birds, raccoons – practically every type of carnivore will head
over to the stream to snack on the minnow. This means the tiny
fish is faced with gigantic creatures that will reach into the water
to swoop them up and gulp them down into huge cavernous
mouths.

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WHO DIES?

What? You don’t believe that you could ever occupy a body
of an insect or a mouse or a minnow? Think again. These are
physical bodies just as our human body is a physical body. A
spirit-person may occupy the body of an animal or insect or fish
just as easily as the human form.
So why do some spirit-persons inhabit animal or insect bod-
ies while others inhabit human forms?
The cause-and-effect mechanism within the physical world
also explains the cycle of evolution and de-evolution. Yes, it is
possible for a person to descend into the lower species of life.
Such an unfortunate condition is certainly a lower region of hell.

The fall into darkness


By living a life focused upon the animalistic activities of sex,
violence, eating and defending without a meaningful search for
God, the inner self during the human lifetime, we are subject to
descending into the animal species by taking on a body that most
closely our consciousness and past activities at the time of death.
Consider, for example, what species a person whose dog is
the center of their lives will attain after this lifetime? Any
guesses? Has anyone ever noticed how people begin looking like
their dogs even during this lifetime?
This is critical, because we must understand that our actions
and associations have consequences. We may not always realize
the consequences of our actions in the immediate future. But we
will indeed bring upon ourselves the consequences of our ac-
tions during our next lifetime if not during this lifetime.
The suffering we bring on to others is returned with our fu-
ture suffering. Some have referred to this as the law of cause and
effect. Others have referred to it as “as you sow, so shall you
reap.” Still others have referred to it as the law of karma. And
others have referred to it as “going to hell.”
The later referral, “going to hell” has been described by
many scriptural verses. If we examine each one, we find that
each is describing the results of self-centered activities. Things
that we do have consequences—and selfish things we do that
harm others eventually harm our bodies in the same way.

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WHERE IS HELL?

On the other hand, being less aggressive and more caring


toward others will usually result in receiving less pain. This is
the way the physical world has been designed, in order to edu-
cate us. There is a price for any selfish action. If we decide we
want to try to control others for example—utilizing some sort of
governorship or business ownership: this will require us to pay a
stiff price for the opportunity and the results of such leadership.
If we want to become comfortable at the expense of others, there
will be a cost for that comfort.
This is the perfect design of the physical world. Everyone re-
ceives what they have dealt out when they had a choice. The
human lifetime provides choice and intelligence not afforded by
many other species. Therefore, how we utilize our human form
is critical.
This also explains the age-old question of why some people
are born into suffering in the world. Those who are born into
suffering undoubtedly inflicted suffering upon others during
their previous lifetimes. This is not to say that we should not be
compassionate about others and try to help others.
We should always have mercy upon others in less fortunate
situations. But at the same time, we should not be blaming God
or anyone else for the suffering of this world. The suffering of
this world has been brought upon us by ourselves. We are the
captains of our own ships, and collectively, members of the same
ship.

Can we escape by withdrawal?


Withdrawing from the world is only a temporary fix. Many
propose that we need to transcend this painful world by with-
drawing from our attachments. Many supposed spiritual prac-
tices teach we should meditate in an effort to withdraw from the
sensory world—the goal being to merge into “nothingness” or
“everything.” However, methods that attempt to eliminate de-
sire will not be successful. The living being is perpetually active,
and must be attached to something (or stated more correctly,
someone). The inner self cannot simply disconnect from desire.

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WHO DIES?

This attempt to withdraw is no different than alcoholism or


drug abuse in an effort to escape the pains of life. Suicide is also
a form of withdrawal. None of these attempts to withdraw will
result in any solution. As for suicides and lives spent inebriated,
the disappointing result merely means taking on a ghost body
for the duration of time that was cut short by the withdrawal.
The worst part of this is missing the opportunities that
would present us with needed lessons – lessons that must now
have to be repeated as a result of missing them.
Our bodies have an intended lifespan depending upon our
past activities (which can also be changed with activities of this
lifetime). If we cut our physical lifespan short by committing
suicide, drinking or drug-taking, we will live out the difference
within our subtle ethereal body.
Rather than try to withdraw and disconnect, the real solution
is to become attached to the Supreme Person. This is our natural
constitution, and the only way that we can permanently become
detached from this hellish environment.
Becoming attached to the Supreme Person solves a number
of problems: Because He will protect and deliver us from suffer-
ing, we can depend upon Him.
Because He is our Best Friend, we no longer need to experi-
ence the distress of loneliness. Because He is always there for us
to console us, we do not have to be concerned with any future
stresses of the physical world.
Because He is from the transcendental world, with Him we
can transcend our various physical miseries by focusing our
senses, efforts, and results towards Him. By becoming attached
to the Supreme Person, the various anxieties caused by being
attached to these physical bodies will gradually evaporate.

The purpose of hell


Why is this place such a hellish place? Is God not kind? Why,
if he were kind, is the world not a better place?
The fact is, this place was set up by God to house those of us
who have rejected their loving nature, and rejected the spiritual
realm, rejected God and our relationship with God.

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WHERE IS HELL?

Yes, we have each fallen. We are the fallen ones – fallen an-
gels so to speak. We don't need to find the devil because we are
each devils, and that is why we are trapped within the confines
of the physical world – because we have rebelled against God.
We became jealous of God's enjoyment and His controllership.
In essence, we want to be God. This is why the citizens of the
physical world are mostly fighting for control. We are fighting to
control the things around us. We are trying to own and possess
things. We are trying to be the boss. We are trying to become
famous. We are trying to become wealthy and powerful. Why?
Because we want to be in the position of controller – of domina-
tor.
Yet none of us are. No matter what our temporary physical
position is here, we will lose it. We might think we own so much
but none of it is ours and it will be taken away from us at some
point – if not the time of death.
So God set up this virtual dimension for us to be able to ig-
nore Him and even pretend to be Him. He gave us these tempo-
rary physical bodies to occupy and gave us these temporary
lifetimes to play out our desires.
But we are here in this hellish physical realm not just to get
away from God and play out our self-centered goals: The Su-
preme Being also set this world up to teach us. This is a rehabili-
tation center.
And this is why there is so much suffering here, and conse-
quences to every action we take. This is why there are so many
natural disasters, such as flooding, earthquakes, fires, tornadoes,
hurricanes, sickness, chronic disease, and eventually death.
In fact, we suffer from the time we are born into this world to
the time we leave it. At any stage of our lives we are suffering
from some kind of negative situation that stresses our bodies
physically or our minds emotionally.
We toil our lives away hoping that one day we will retire in
comfort, only to find that retirement is plagued with body pains
and eventual death – if we even see retirement. And this is
among the wealthier places in the world. Those from less advan-
taged places face a fate far worse as they age.

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WHO DIES?

Despite our illusion that it is, this world is not our play-
ground. It is not a place where we "make our mark." It is not a
place where we enjoy life and live forever.
Rather, it is a place where lessons are learned. It is a place of
consequence. Yes, we can rise above hell if we choose. This is the
purpose of the human form of life.

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Chapter Five

Advanced Topics of Hell

God’s rehabilitation center


We are in prison. We are in God's rehabilitation center.
Just imagine if a social worker came to a high security prison
where all the prisoners were hardened criminals. And the social
worker's goal was to try to get some of the prisoners to change
so they could be let out of prison. So he comes to jail and lives
within a cell, trying to invoke change in others.
What will likely happen to this social worker? He would
likely be beaten up and possibly even murdered in prison.
This is the status of Jesus. He has descended into hell to try
to save people. He took on a temporary physical body to walk
the earth teaching about God. And indeed, he did save many
with his teachings.

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you


hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a sin-
gle convert, and when you have succeeded, you make
them twice as much a child of hell as you are.” (Mat-
thew 23:15)

We can conclude that Jesus did indeed describe himself – as


the Greek indicates – as the “Son of Man” – properly translated
to the Servant of Humanity – but also, as other verses clarify, as
the servant of God – and a special servant of God. A loving,
compassionate servant of God who came to rescue us from the
depths of hell.
But God's loving servant Jesus was also brutally tortured and
murdered by humanity, due to the self-centered objectives of not
only the Jewish priests and the Roman government at the time,
but the very people Jesus was trying to rescue.
This is what Jesus is trying to communicate here, and why he
said to his disciples, "Listen carefully to what I am about to tell
you:"
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WHERE IS HELL?

We see here that traveling far and wide on a mission to con-


vert others is not limited to the ecclesiastical sectarian missions
of today and over the past few centuries. Some call this Salva-
tionism.

"You travel over land and sea to win a single con-


vert..."

Over the centuries, missionaries have traveled by boat and


by land, and now by air to distant locations to convert those of
other beliefs to their particular sect. By Jesus’ statement, this was
also taking place in those times among the Jewish sects.
If we consider these "salvation" efforts over the centuries, in-
cluding the many Crusades of the middle ages, we find that not
all were intended to pass on Jesus' teachings. Many of these
supposed Christians often incorporated violence and intimida-
tion to convert natives in foreign lands to Christianity. While
there may have been those who sincerely wanted to bring Jesus’
teachings to others, there were many others who simply sought
the glorification and acceptance of others from being able to
claim that they have converted so many.
Most of the violent Crusades, for example – where millions
of innocent people were slaughtered for the sake of supposedly
being saved – were organized by the ecclesiastic Roman church,
which dominated the Christian world with an iron fist. They
burned and pillaged any family or village that did not succumb
to being mass converted to the Roman church and Roman gov-
ernment. Was this pleasing to Jesus? Certainly not. As we can
see from Jesus' statement, conversion can also be condemned,
depending upon who is doing the converting.

".. and when he becomes one, you make him twice as


much a son of hell as you are.”

Jesus confirms that the 'missions' of these sectarian Jewish


priests were worthless, and their converts become as lost as they

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are. This is confirmed by the Greek phrase υἱὸν γεέννης, which


has been incorrectly translated to "son of hell."
The more appropriate translation for υἱὸν γεέννης would be:

follower of those who will suffer.

The word υἱὸν has been incorrectly translated as son. While


υἱὸν can mean 'son' in the context of a father and his physical
son, this is not the correct context. This context indicates the
translation, as confirmed by the Greek lexicon, υἱὸν should be
"used to describe one who depends on another or is his fol-
lower." So a person who becomes converted by one of these
hypocritical pharisees, becomes one of their followers.
The next word in the phrase is γεέννης. γεέννης has been
translated to "hell," and this is not altogether wrong, but Jesus'
concept of hell should be clarified.
The Greek word γεέννης, transliterated as 'geenna,' is an al-
legorical reference to a location south of Jerusalem in the valley
of Hinnom, called 'Gehenna.' Here there were ghastly sacrifices
of children and animals to an idol called Moloch. The animals
and children were thrown into the fire. This place and its prac-
tice was abhorred by the Jews, and they used reference to this as
a place of suffering, where people followed a demoniac god and
suffered as a result. Therefore, this place (Gehenna) became re-
ferred to allegorically as a place of suffering.
Many people have been lulled into a concept prognosticated
by ecclesiastical Christian teachers that hell is a place under the
ground, where a fiery devil named satan lives and tortures peo-
ple who are chained up on cavern walls. This erroneous teaching
has even been taken to the extent that the entrance to hell are
among certain volcanoes.
This of course has been proven wrong by those who have
explored these volcanoes, and by those who have drilled many
miles deep into the surface of the earth. There are no caverns
where people are being chained to walls and tortured.
Again, they have not found hell because hell is right here.
We are living in hell. The question is to what extent we are suf-

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WHERE IS HELL?

fering in hell. This physical dimension simultaneously supports


relative degrees of hell, depending upon our past activities.
Again, do we not think that a person who is starving in the
Sahara is in hell? Is a woman in Africa who is repeatedly raped
at gunpoint not in hell? How about a person in the grips of war
in Afghanistan? Are they not in hell? How about a Jew who was
tortured by the Germans during the Holocaust? Were those Jews
not experiencing hell? If these are not hell, what is hell then?
Many other species of living organisms are living in lower
regions of hell. Consider a small mouse who lives around a
house with a big cat. The mouse is constantly in fear, being
chased by this gigantic cat with huge teeth, who eventually rips
it apart in a gruesome death. Is this not hell? How about a bug in
constant fear that he will get snagged by the gigantic tongue of a
frog? Is the fly not living in hell?
All of these circumstances, to one degree or another, are hell-
ish. Why? Because they are wrought with suffering. Consider
this question, asked of Jesus by his disciples:

"Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he


was born blind?" (John 9:1)

This question was very logical. Why did Jesus’ disciples ask
this question? The question arose from an understanding of Je-
sus’ teachings. In other words, it was assumed that before the
man was born, he had the ability to sin, and this sin caused his
current suffering.
In order to have the ability to sin, the man must have had a
previous physical body. Why? Because as Jesus also taught that
sinning was an activity executed through the flesh. In other
words, the person must have had a prior physical body in order
to have sinned before he was born.
In the alternative, they asked if the man was born blind be-
cause his parents sinned. This is also a pertinent question, as it
assumes that a parent's activities can also result in a particular
condition, which they will have to deal with.

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Note also that Jesus did not ridicule or criticize this question.
He accepted it. He did not say, “what a stupid question.” What
he said was:

"Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this


happened so that the work of God might be displayed in
his life. As long as it is day, we must do the work of
Him who sent me.” (John 9:2)

As he admits this was a special case, Jesus accepted the fact


that a person could suffer in his next life from sins of the past
life.
This is also confirmed here in Matthew 23:15, as Jesus con-
firms that the pharisees will suffer, and so will their converts.
Jesus is not threatening a fictitious place called hell. He is simply
telling them that they and their followers will suffer in the future
for what they are doing now.
This of course indicates that we should be very careful about
who we chose to follow. We should not blindly accept a teacher
just because they wear the robes and have a title in a particular
sect or have many followers. We must investigate whether they
are teaching what Jesus and the prophets taught.
We can look around us each day and see how in the physical
world there serves up a reaction for every action. All of us suffer
our particular situations for the activities we did in the past.
Consider a person sitting in jail. They are in that hellish situation
because of their past activities. Or a person who has lung cancer
from smoking. Their smoking addiction caused their current
suffering. Or a person who is beat up by another person after
starting a fight.
All of these indicate that the physical world is a place of con-
sequence. Everything we do has consequence here: Good or bad.
Why is this? Did God put us here to suffer? Actually, God set
up the physical world as a place of learning. This is a rehabilita-
tion center, where we have the opportunity to grow.

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WHERE IS HELL?

A place with the hypocrites


“He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with
the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnash-
ing of teeth.” (Matthew 24:51)

So where is this place that Jesus compares to "a place with the
hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth"? Is this
hell? Most interpreters agree that Jesus is describing hell.
But where is hell? Is hell some dungeon deep beneath the
earth's surface where people are chained up and beaten by a
horned red devil – causing them to weep and gnash their teeth?
Why haven't we found this place as we've drilled miles into the
crust of the earth then?
The word "gnashing" comes from the Greek word βρυγµός
(brygmos) which means, according to the lexicon, "used to de-
note extreme anguish and utter despair."
And this also fits with the word "weeping," as those who are
in extreme anguish and utter despair often also weep.
Where do people weep and have extreme anguish and utter
despair? We can see this all around us. We can turn on the news
on any day of the week and see people weeping and in extreme
anguish and utter despair.
Yes, right here, in the physical world, we find weeping and
utter despair. While it may not affect each of us at the same time
and in the same way, each of us will have a good measure of
weeping and utter despair at some point in our lives. For those
in the West, there is much less physical despair, but much men-
tal despair and anguish. Among those in poorer countries, we
find rampant weeping, utter physical despair and extreme an-
guish.
In other words, hell is the physical world, although some en-
vironments and species within the physical world undergo
worse hell than others.
Why hypocrites? What is a hypocrite? A hypocrite is some-
one who pretends to be who they are not. In Jesus’ context, he is
speaking of those who were pretending to be devoted to God

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but were in fact thinking of their positions, and their relative


respect, and their wealth. This is diametrically opposed to what
they presented themselves as – devoted to God.
But within this world we find hypocrisy is rampant in many
other ways. People pretend to be kind, generous, thoughtful and
caring. Meanwhile, they seek to cut others down and take ad-
vantage of others. This is material society, where everyone is
competing for the same limited resources.
The result is a hellish environment where the resources are
damaged and depleted, and people go crazy to fight each other
for the remainder. While people act nice, calm and cool, under-
neath they seek to take others’ positions and wealth.
This is materialism. It is wrought with hypocrisy. And we
are subject to this as long as we engage in this world, seeking the
illusion of happiness.

The illusions of hell


The physical world is real, but it maintains an illusory en-
ergy. This tricks us into a reality that this hell is our home and
God does not exist. Let’s look at this a little further.
There are four central illusions of the physical world, de-
signed by the Supreme Being:
The illusion that we are these physical bodies;
The illusion that this world is our home;
The illusion that we are permanent here;
The illusion that the possessions of the physical world will
fulfill us.
We might compare this to a movie. Let's say that a person
goes to a movie theater and pays $10 for a movie ticket and sits
down in the dark theater and watches the movie. Is the movie
reality?
No. It is an illusion of reality. The movie is a reproduction – a
film – that has been made of actors who are pretending to be
certain characters in the movie. Meanwhile the movie is filmed
on a set that is a facade of a real place. The buildings and scenes
are green screen backdrops or facades of real places. In other

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WHERE IS HELL?

words, the movie is staged: It is not reality. It maintains an illu-


sion of reality.
Furthermore, the movie is on film and it is showing up on a
flat screen in the front of the theater. With the combination of
music and great film scenes, the moviegoer is being tricked into
thinking that the movie is real – and the characters and the
events are to some degree real.
Thus the moviegoer is drawn into the movie and begins to
relate with the "reality" of the movie – by crying when things get
sad and laughing when things get funny.
Meanwhile, the "real" world is outside the theater, and even
within the theater when the lights go on. This is why theater
rooms are darkened. So people will change their focus from the
people and life all around them to becoming focused upon the
illusion of reality within the movie.
This is what is taking place here in this physical world. We
are not these physical bodies. They are machines that we tempo-
rarily occupy. These machines, along with the world around us
are made of moving atoms and molecules: These atoms and
molecules – and this physical body – is not who we are in reality.
They bring us the illusion of identity and reality. Each of us has a
real identity and existence separate from this body and this
physical world.
We can easily see this physical world is not real in the sense
that it is not permanent – when see things changing, degrading
and decomposing. A baby body grows into a teenager body and
then to an adult, then an old body and then dies and decom-
poses. Which of these bodies are we? The baby body? The teen-
ager body? The old guy body? How about the decomposed
body?
We see bodies dying and decomposing all around us. Where
does the life and personality animating each body go after that
body dies? Where do we go?
The person – the real person – is not visible with the senses
of the physical body because the real person – each of us – is
made of another substance and comes from another realm. This

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is the spiritual realm – the genuine, permanent realm. It is reality


– while this physical world is a temporary illusion of reality.
Yes, the physical world does exist. And these bodies do exist.
But they are not permanent. They are temporary shapes made of
molecules. The visual forms of our bodies are produced by the
reflection of light upon those molecules. Our eyes don't actually
see the molecules that make up our bodies: Our eyes only 'see'
the lights and colors that reflects off of those molecules.
So we can better compare our physical world and our per-
sonal situation to acting in a play. We have put on some tempo-
rary costumes (these physical bodies) and we are assuming
temporary identities for the duration of the play. Once the
physical body dies, the play is over and we move on. Where do
we go?
Well, it depends upon how we play it out here: Should we
focus our lives upon real existence within the spiritual realm –
by focusing ourselves upon our eternal relationship with the
Supreme Being – then we can return home after this physical
body dies. Otherwise – should we focus upon materialism and
our self-interests – we are destined to continue our existence in
hell within whatever species that reflects our current conscious-
ness and the consequences of our prior actions.

The law of consequences


Why does Jesus and other teachers teach that hell is a place
we can go after death then? This is because Jesus and others
from his lineage all taught transmigration: If we do not return to
the spiritual world at the death of this body, we assume another
physical body. Jesus and his disciples confirmed this when they
asked him why a man had been born blind:

His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man


or his parents, that he was born blind?" (John 9:2)

This very question assumes that both Jesus and his disciples
accepted that a person could sin prior to being born. In order to
sin, the person must have the facility to sin: a physical body.

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WHERE IS HELL?

The Orthodox Jewish philosophy accepted reincarnation of-


ficially until the 1800s. Today Kaballism still assumes reincarna-
tion. This is the ‘resurrection of the dead’ that Jesus discussed
along with many others during ancient times.
We also find that many early church teachers, such as Origen
Adamantius (184 – 253 AD) – assumed transmigration in their
teachings. Several centuries later, after Christianity became
dominated by the Romans and its surrogate the Roman Catholic
Church, the teaching was banned because it did not threaten
parishioners enough – who understood they'd have another
change to regain spiritual perfection if they failed in this lifetime.
And therein lies the answer to where hell is. How we live
during the lifetime of this body determines where we go at the
time of death – as Jesus indicates in this parable. Should a person
hurt others and live selfishly, we will take on another body – one
that precisely experiences (both good and bad) the results of our
activities of our current lifetime.
This of course solves the oft-asked question many ask: If God
exists, why is there so much suffering? Why are some children
born in poverty or with diseases?
There is so much suffering because some of us choose to hurt
others and cause pain. We cause the suffering. The physical
world is simply a place of consequence – meant to teach us and
help us rehabilitate from our disease of self-centeredness. Those
who cause pain to others simply receive that same pain in kind.
The same goes for pleasure or good fortune. In other words,
whatever situation we find ourselves in is due to the conse-
quences of prior activities. And those born in a situation of suf-
fering caused others suffering in their previous lifetime(s).
Transmigration and suffering, however, must be understood
within the context of who we are and what is our identity. The
bodies we wear are simply vehicles. They are not us. The body
we wear changes from a baby body to a teenage body to an adult
body to an elderly body and then dies. We remain the same per-
son despite all these changes in the body. It is like a car – we sit
down in it and drive it for awhile. It is not actually us. Therefore,
the pain and pleasure that take place in the body is not happen-

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ing to us, much as a dented fender on a car doesn't necessarily


affect the driver. (Though we – the spiritual being – is affected
by what we learn in our occupation of a physical body.)
The physical world was set up for those who decide they
want to enjoy life away from God. Here we can pretend to be
independent, and try to accomplish our self-serving goals with-
out God. This is symbolized in the analogy of Adam in Genesis:

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his
wife and clothed them. And the Lord God said, “The
man has now become one of us, knowing good and evil.
He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take
also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” So
the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to
work the ground from which he had been taken. After
He drove the man out, He placed on (in front of) the
east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming
sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the
tree of life. (Genesis 3:21-24)

The garments of skin spoken of in Genesis are our temporary


physical bodies. Because we decided to choose not to do God’s
will, desiring instead to become like Him (to “become one of us,
knowing good and evil”). As a result, God banished us from the
spiritual world (the Garden of Eden), and put up a border between
the physical and the spiritual worlds (cherubim and a flaming
sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life).
The creation of the physical world might be compared to
Dad building a young boy a treehouse in the backyard. The boy
can now get away from the seeming control of the parents and
feel that he is independent. In the treehouse, he feels that he is
independent of his parents. The parents still keep a close watch
on that treehouse, however. The boy never really is free from
their control, however. But the treehouse gives him the illusion
of independence.
In the same way, this physical universe is set up with the il-
lusion that God isn’t around. He is around, however. He is al-

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WHERE IS HELL?

ways there, watching and waiting patiently for us to reconsider


our decision to abandon Him.
The treehouse analogy is a little weak because the treehouse
is usually a simple box nailed into a tree with a ladder. The
physical universe is designed with elaborate mechanisms that
precisely reflect our consciousness and teach us along the way.
At every step, we are given a physical body that matches our
goals, desires and activities.
Every activity in bodies of higher consciousness (i.e., human
form) has a consequence. Just as parents often give their children
who do bad (or even good) consequences to learn and grow
from their actions, God sets up a consequential relationship be-
tween our activities and our future.
For example, child psychologists are now saying, after many
years of research, that the best way of teaching a child is to set
up reflective consequences for their actions. Say a child throws
some food against the wall. As a consequence, the child will
have to clean up the wall, clean up the room, and do chores to
earn enough money to pay for the food that was wasted. This
exercise, according to behavioral scientists, more thoroughly
teaches the child than, for example, a spanking might.
Rather than it being a selective (prone to error) method as
parents might apply in a consequential situation, God’s physical
universe is set up with an automatic mechanism of reflective
consequences. In other words, He does not have to intervene and
set up a consequence for us. Our bodies and physical environ-
ment are automatically programmed to do that, just as a video
game might be programmed to respond to certain activities of its
game players.
For example, let’s say that we slapped someone at work. This
sets up an immediate consequence for us to experience. Most
likely, the immediate consequence is that we will precisely ex-
perience the pain we inflicted upon the other person when the
other person slaps us back.
Now should the other person not slug us back, we experi-
ence an array of other consequences as we get fired by the boss
for our actions. Then we might have difficulty finding another

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job because we got fired for being violent at work. This might
end up in us taking a construction job or other hard labor job—
one that ‘slaps us back’ in different ways.
We discussed this before. In many instances, the full effect of
our consequences will not be seen until the next lifetime. This is
because sometimes this is the only way a precise consequence
can be set up. For example, if we are wealthy, and we use that
wealth to take advantage of poor people, then it would not be
possible for us to experience the full effect of our actions without
becoming poor. So we take on a physical body in a poor family
or society during our next lifetime, and we are taken advantage
by wealthier people. This gives us the full experience of how our
activities affected others.
This reflective consequence mechanism of the physical world
is perfect and completely fair. Many of those who question the
existence of God ask the fundamental question: Why do some
people suffer more than others? And why is there suffering in
the world in the first place?
This situation is described allegorically in the description of
Cain. This consequence Cain must deal with after killing his
brother symbolizes the law of consequences existing within the
physical world. We must each suffer the consequences of our
actions, whether good or bad.
It also illustrates how we continued our fall into the physical
realm through the different species. God condemns Cain to be-
coming "a restless wanderer on the earth." This symbolizes our
wanderings from one physical body to the next, and even one
species to the next – as we have descended into the depths of
hell in a progression of one physical body after another.
The design of the Supreme Being is that whatever self-
centered action taken in the physical world has a reaction that is
perfectly reflected back to us, either in this life or a future physi-
cal lifetime. This includes things that we do that might help oth-
ers – which effect us positively in the future. The balance
between the two, combined with the state of our consciousness
(desires), determines our future fate.
This provides for what we might call 'consequence learning.'

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WHERE IS HELL?

The Supreme Being's design utilizes the best way to learn.


Child psychology research has even illustrated that 'consequence
learning' is the best way for a child to be trained. This is because
we learn best by experiencing the consequences of our actions.
The Supreme Being's consequential learning system pro-
grammed into the physical world has certain definitions. It only
impacts us to the degree of our awareness and the awareness of
those we affect. Thus humans will receive clear consequences,
because we humans have the awareness of how our actions can
help or hurt others. Animals, fish, insects, plants and microor-
ganisms are generally in survival mode. They do not suffer con-
sequences because they are not aware of how their actions affect
others.
If we hurt another without realization then there is less con-
sequence. But to the degree we know our actions will hurt an-
other, there will be a corresponding reaction. This is also
reflected in our justice system, which punishes crimes of pre-
meditation (such as "murder") more than accidental crimes
("manslaughter").
Some have called this "as you sow, so shall you reap."
Others have called this 'consequence system' the "law of
karma."
Still others have referred to it as "going to hell."
In fact, every scriptural reference to "going to hell" includes
the concept of consequence. It is not as if a person "goes to hell"
by accident. We "go to hell" because of our activities. "Going to
hell" in fact, is 'consequence learning.'
God created a perfect mechanism. It is perfect because God
set it up with love in mind. Just as a parent has our ultimate
benefit in mind when they issue consequential discipline, God is
seeking our ultimate benefit with the design of the physical uni-
verse. God wants us to grow.
God wants us to learn and reclaim that wisdom we once had
before the fall. We must ultimately remember that these physical
bodies are not us. They are temporary, virtual machines we drive
around for a few decades. We get away unscathed (outside the
wisdom we gain).

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Why does God want us to gain wisdom? Because He wants


us to enjoy the relationship we once had with Him. Like any of
us, God is motivated by love. Because He loves us, He wants us
to be happy. And He knows that returning to our relationship
with Him will make us happy.
God's process of creation utilizes time to pace with our evo-
lution. God programmed DNA to reflect the individual's con-
sciousness, so that our particular physical body at a particular
time would reflect our personal evolution – our level of rehabili-
tation.
If we compare this to the grade system in school, each pro-
gressive grade has different activities. Kids in the seventh grade,
for example, can now pick course electives, because they have
advanced through the first six grades where they had no choice
in the subjects. So these seventh graders utilize a school that is
set up differently – with more choice.
In the same way, as we advance through the lessons of the
lower forms of life, we eventually arrive at the human form,
where we have higher consciousness and more choices. Now we
can choose how we make our living – or survive. We can also
choose whether we want to be nice to people or be mean to peo-
ple. These choices are permitted because we rose through the
lessons that the lower forms of life taught us: Such as the value
of survival, the fact that others exist besides us, and others ex-
perience pain like we do and so on.
This process of growth – our rehabilitation – is symbolically
represented in the six days of creation. God created the elements
first, and put into motion with the element of time. Then He de-
signed and stimulated the process of evolution by creating the
bacteria and aquatic plant life with specialized DNA, which
evolved into the more complex creatures by design. With each
passing "day" the creatures became more complex.
Why? Because those living beings within those bodies were
going through their rehabilitation process, and with each pro-
gressive body they learned more progressive lessons. As we rose
in our evolutionary process, we eventually have the chance to
gain the human form of life. This occurs on the sixth day, be-

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WHERE IS HELL?

cause it is the height of the evolutionary process – the point


where we are given greater consciousness, and the choice of
whether we want to return to God.

Why we ended up here


Why are we here in this hellish physical world? Those of us
in this physical world are here because we became envious of
God. We wanted to be God rather than love and serve God (our
natural constitution). So we were sent down to this physical
world and given virtual temporary physical bodies in order to 1)
exercise our right to try to enjoy away from God and try to pre-
tend to be God; and 2) to learn.
And since these bodies are temporary virtual shells, the mis-
eries they suffer are also virtual. We might compare this with an
icon in a video game. The icon may get shot, but we are still sit-
ting there handling the video game controller.
This virtual world has a purpose, however. We have been
sent here to take on these virtual physical bodies because God
wants us to learn once again how to love. He wants us to return
to Him and His loving kingdom. In order to return, however, we
must have a change of consciousness. We must be willing to give
up the idea that we are going to enjoy as if we were God. We
learn what it means to love and care for someone other than our-
selves.
Isn't this what the physical world constantly teaches us? That
loving and caring for others brings happiness, while self-love
and selfish behavior brings us misery? Is this a coincidence? No.
It is intentional. God programmed the physical universe to teach
us about love.
You see, our disease at the moment is self-centeredness.
When we are self-centered, we want to fill ourselves up – we
want to be self-satisfied. Because of the illusions related to mis-
identifying ourselves as these bodies, we think possessions – or
sex, or the acclaim of others – will make us happy.
Once we arrive at this self-centered conclusion, there is no
end to our search for pleasure because we never find it by gain-

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ing the things of the physical world. So we keep looking – all the
while becoming more desperate because we are still empty.
Thus greed can come in many forms: For wealth, posses-
sions, achievements, fame, sexual or other physical pleasure and
so on.
When greed advances without fulfillment it can turn into an-
ger. From there it can turn into violence.

Raising consciousness
This suffering is happening to the physical body, not us. We
are each spiritual persons 'driving' a temporary physical body.
In other words, we do not physically suffer – only our vir-
tual, temporary physical bodies suffer. They suffer by design.
Our bodies suffer – each uniquely, depending upon our past
actions – during birth, when teething, when hungry, when sick,
when hurt, when cold, and when hot. They also suffer from dis-
eases, aging, and eventually death.
Second, this system of 'consequence learning' is designed to
teach us, in order to raise our consciousness. Should we ignore
the opportunity to raise our consciousness, we are plunged into
species of ignorance – precisely to the extent we want to ignore
reality. But if we embrace the lessons physical life teaches us,
and we seek the wisdom from them, then our consciousness be-
comes raised, as we learn more and more about who we are and
what our purpose for existence is.
And finally, most importantly, the Supreme Being has set up
an escape valve for us. We might compare this to the old car-
toon, "Tooter the Turtle" – about the turtle who asks the wizard
to get sent into different situations. Then, when the turtle gets
into a tough situation, he shouts "Mr. Wizard, Mr. Wizard, help
me!" and the wizard then pulls the turtle out of the situation and
back home. The Supreme Being has a similar escape valve set up
for each of us. At any time, at any place, regardless of our situa-
tion, we can call the Supreme Being and He will pull us out of
this 'consequence system' and bring us back home to Him. This
is His promise – His covenant – with each of us.

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WHERE IS HELL?

Plus He is always calling us back home through His repre-


sentatives and through scripture.
We are like children who have run away from home. But in
this case, our parent happens to control everything. So He de-
signed a place – this physical world – where we could feel that
we are really away from home. This place He designed gives us
independence and the facilities to act out our desires.
He also programmed the physical world with facilities that
teach us. We might compare this to a Dad who builds a tree-
house for his son, so his son could get away from the house and
pretend he has his own house. But like the good Dad who built
the tree-house, the Supreme Being is always there for us, lov-
ingly waiting for us when we want to return to Him.

Why is there so much suffering?


In fact, the suffering in the world is actually created by us. It
is created by our greed and self-centeredness. God simply cre-
ated a perfect mechanism to exercise our desire to be independ-
ent of Him. But with that must come responsibility: What we do
to others comes back to us just as we dealt it out. Either in this
physical body or our previous one(s), we determined our current
situation by how we treated others. Whatever we have subjected
to others before is now what our bodies are experiencing (we are
reaping what we sowed).
We have to remember, however, that these physical bodies
are not us. We are the spiritual individual that is operating the
body, just as a driver operates a car. We step into the body and
drive it around for awhile. Then it dies, and we exit the body.
We might also compare this to a video game. In a video
game, each person assumes a virtual icon for the duration of the
game. We do not become the video game icon. We simply use
the icon to travel through the game. During the game, our icon
must abide by the rules. Depending upon what we do in the
game, our icon might be punched, blown up or even killed.
But then at some point, the game is over and we can turn off
the computer and walk away unscathed.

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It is the same with regard to the body. Currently we are in


the illusion that we are these bodies, but they are only virtual
machines we are using while we are within the physical world.
Whatever suffering the body receives does not happen to us.
When the body dies, we, the spiritual individual, steps out. This
might be compared to waking from a dream.
Why do we take on these physical bodies then? Because we
became self-centered and wanted to get away from God. So God
built this virtual physical universe where we could focus upon
our self-centered desires and pretend to be the center of the uni-
verse.
But we aren't the center of the universe, and this physical
dimension was also set up to teach us this reality. Every reaction
within the physical dimension is set up to teach us that we will
be happier when we return to our loving relationship with the
Supreme Being.
While the Supreme Being has let us forget Him for awhile,
He is giving us the freedom to return to Him or not (i.e., we can
keep getting physical bodies and forget Him indefinitely if we
wish). But He loves us, and knows we will be happier when we
return home to the spiritual world.
So He continually sends us subtle messages – many in the
form of consequences of our activities: We can either hear these
messages or ignore them – that is our freedom.
This is why one person can be living in Somalia, undergoing
torture and rape at the hands of evil mercenaries (devils) while
another person is living in Hawaii in a luxurious house on the
beach. It is also why some children are born into wealth and in-
heritance while others are born into abject poverty.
This is precisely why many people think that God is not fair.
The reason most of the organized ecclesiastical religions today
cannot answer this question about why there is so much suffer-
ing is because their professional teachers do not know the an-
swer. This of course leads to intelligent people straying from
their faith in God.
Our bodies are temporary vehicles, which we operate for a
few decades. They are like automobiles that we get in and drive

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WHERE IS HELL?

for a while and then get out. This means those things that hap-
pen to our physical body do not actually happen to each of us. It
is like a car getting in a fender-bender. The car may be totaled,
but we can get out and walk away.

The fall
Where did we come from and how did we get to hell in the
first place? Consider the texts from the Book of Genesis:

So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of


Eden to work the ground from which he had been
taken. (Genesis 3:23)

This verse has been misconstrued and mistranslated. Ecclesi-


astical professional translators have interpreted this section of
Genesis to be describing a location on the planet earth – the
"Garden of Eden" – and Adam and Eve are the first humans on
the planet.
This misunderstanding has created many imaginative and
speculative journeys to find the location of the Garden of Eden
somewhere in the Middle East. Others have suggested that its
location is in Asia. They have also performed archaeological digs
in hopes of finding the bones of Adam and Eve, again to no
avail.
The reason no one has found the Garden of Eden on the
planet is that the Garden of Eden was never on the planet. And
the reason they find no evidence of Adam and Eve is because
they didn't exist as portrayed.
The word "banished" is being translated from the Hebrew
‫( שלח‬shalach), which means to be 'to send away' or 'to let go' ac-
cording to the lexicon. It can also be described as 'to let loose,' 'to
cast out,' 'to dismiss,' or 'to be divorced.'
So is "banished" the right word to use? "Banished" sounds
like losing a country club membership or something. It doesn't
communicate the event accurately: God is casting Adam (us) out
of the spiritual realm. God kicked us out, in other words.
So where is God casting us out of? The Hebrew being trans-
lated to Garden of Eden as ‫( גן ןעד‬gan 'Eden). ‫ גן‬refers to an enclo-

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sure, a space protected by adequate barriers; and Eden refers to a


location of pleasure.
Notice that the depiction of the Garden of Eden does not de-
scribe any kind of walls or fortress around this enclosed Garden.
If Eden were on the earth, these walls would have to be pretty
big to be enclosed. And in order to be cast out, there must be
something to be cast out of.
These problems illustrate that the Garden of Eden was never
on the earth. Rather, Garden of Eden is a section of the spiritual
realm. And the word Eden is associated with 'pleasure' because
the spiritual world is pleasurable. In the spiritual realm we ex-
perience the ultimate pleasure.
And what is that pleasure? This is being symbolized in the
story by the "Tree of Life," located in the "middle" of the Garden.
The "Tree of Life" represents love for God. This is the core of the
spiritual realm. It is love for God that gives us complete fulfill-
ment and the ultimate pleasure.
Just consider how we all search for true love with so much
intensity. Even if we have wealth, prestige and fame, we still
pine for true love. Most of us focus our love upon our family
members, friends and spouses. But still this is not enough. Most
people keep on searching for love, whether it is a new lover,
friend or respect (as we want others to love and appreciate us).
We perpetually seek that perfect person who will love us un-
conditionally: that special someone we can give our heart to and
care for.
In other words, we are engineered for love. We are all about
love. Our most popular songs are about love. Our most popular
movies are love stories.
But we are typically frustrated with the love found within
the physical realm. It just doesn't do it for us. This is why there
are so many divorces and break ups. This is why kids leave
home. This is why people get depressed. This is why people feel
lonely, even when surrounded by people.
The love in the physical world doesn't work for us. Why? Be-
cause the inhabitants of this physical world are just like us – they
were also cast out of the spiritual world.

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WHERE IS HELL?

Each of us has been thrown out of the spiritual world. Why?


Because we became envious of God. We wanted to be like God.
We wanted what the Supreme Being has. The Supreme Being
has power, fame, glory, beauty, all the attention, and many other
attributes. We wanted all that. We got jealous.
We were each created to love and care for God in our own
unique way. But with this, He also gave us the freedom to love
Him or not – because love requires freedom. This explains the
two symbolic trees of the "Garden." We can either eat from the
"Tree of Life" – love of God – or we can eat from the "tree of self-
centered pleasure and pain" (see this commentary for a break
down of the Hebrew). In other words, we can either love God
and act in such a way to give God pleasure, or we can become
self-centered and seek our own pleasure – and experience its
consequence, pain.
How were we thrown out of the spiritual realm? Were we
just cast off into space? No. We were pushed into these physical
bodies. We, the spiritual living beings, were each forced to take
on a particular temporary physical body within this virtual
physical domain, the physical universe.
We could compare this to how a person might get forced into
an automobile. Let's say a big person stuffs us into the driver's
seat of a car. Because there isn't much else to do in the driver's
seat of a car, we start the car and begin driving it. Because cars
were built for streets and highways, we find ourselves within an
environment of streets and highways. That is akin to finding
ourselves stuffed within a physical body born within the physi-
cal environment.
Now let's say the car was especially designed by a very
smart engineer to be so functional that once we began driving it,
we began to identify with it. We forget who we were before we
got stuffed into the car, and because the car is so functional, after
some time we lose the ability to walk on our own. We become
completely dependent upon the car, and forget who we were
before we got in the car.
This is our situation with these physical bodies. The verse
just before this one says:

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The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and


his wife and clothed them. (Genesis 3:21)

What are the "garments of skin"? As we described in the


commentary, this is symbolic for our physical bodies. God de-
signed these physical bodies for us to occupy. Then he cast us
out of the spiritual realm and into these physical bodies.
This leads us to the real meaning of the rest of this verse, 'to
work the ground from which he had been taken.'
The Hebrew word ‫`( עבד‬abad) means to 'cultivate' or 'work,'
but it also means 'to serve', or more complete, 'to serve as sub-
jects'.
The Hebrew word ‫'( אדמה‬adamah) can refer to 'ground,' but
also 'land, territory, country,' or the 'whole inhabited earth.' In
other words, the physical world.
The Hebrew word ‫'( אשר‬asher) is a conjunction or pronoun
participle that serves to connect, either with 'which,' 'who,' 'that
which,' 'that,' 'when,' 'since,' 'as,' or the conditional use of 'if.'
Here it is translated as "from which," but this is speculatively
assuming that Adam came from what is being described here as
"the ground." This of course would be a contradiction, because
God is throwing Adam out. How could Adam be made of the
stuff that he is being thrown out into?
The key to the meaning of this last section of the verse comes
from the meaning of the Hebrew ‫( לקח‬laqach) which is assumed
to mean "taken from." This, however, is an incorrect usage of the
word, as ‫ לקח‬means to be 'taken' in the sense of being 'taken by,'
'taken away,' or to be 'carried off by' something. It has been used
to describe how a man might take or snatch away a wife. It is
also used to describe being taken away or captured by some-
thing.
Yes, we are indeed each captured by the physical world. We
are trapped within these physical bodies, and forced to work
hard to keep it alive and safe. We have to work to feed the body,
keep it warm or cool, and keep it healthy. This means we have to
defend our body from danger caused by the physical environ-

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WHERE IS HELL?

ment or others – be they other humans, animals, insects or mi-


croorganisms. It is not easy to keep the body alive and safe. We
have to toil at it.
We are also captured by the physical world. We are enam-
ored with it. We identify with our physical body, and our physi-
cal family, house, car, job, community, country and so on. We
strive to gain the acceptance of others, and we strive to achieve
fleeting sensations of pleasure, amid a constant battle against
discomfort, sickness, aging, stress, pain and death.
Even though everything dissolves at the time of death, we
are still captured by this world. Even though we will lose our
house, money, house, fame, family, friends, position, country
and physical identity at the time of death, we are still captivated
by them. Even though everyone around us is dying, we live as
though we will never die. Now this is being captured.
Ironically, the very mistranslation and misinterpretation of
this verse by ecclesiastical professional religious translators and
teachers is caused by their assumption that we are these physical
bodies, and this physical world is our home. They have also been
"captured by" the physical world and its illusion that we are
these temporary physical bodies.
The very purpose of this scripture – and all scripture – is to
teach us that this world is not our home. God teaches within
scripture that the physical world is a temporary place, and our
true identity and natural position is as one of His loving care-
givers in the spiritual realm. Scripture is trying to teach us that
this is where we will find real happiness – not within this tem-
porary physical place surrounded by greed, envy and self-
centeredness.
It is sad, this mistranslation of this beautiful and magical text
of Genesis into English. This wonderful text that describes, with
prose and elegant symbolism, how we each rejected being one of
God's loving care-givers by becoming envious of Him, and sub-
sequently fell from the spiritual realm into the physical world
and these temporary physical bodies.
The saddest element is that these mistranslations hide the
true message being communicated through the text: That the

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Supreme Being wants us to come home to Him. He wants us


back. He doesn't want us to selfishly suffer any longer within
this world of greed and envy. He wants us to return to His lov-
ing arms.

Landing in hell
How and why did we land in hell? What did we do to de-
serve this? Consider the texts from the Book of Genesis:

"For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will
be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and
evil." (Genesis 3:5)

This statement by God is the crux of the event. By becoming


envious of God, we no longer can retain our loving relationship
with Him. The pureness of that relationship (symbolized by
Adam and Eve's nakedness before eating the symbolic fruit) be-
comes tainted, and there can no longer be an exchange of love
between us and God.
This is common among any relationship. We can't be envious
of someone and have a loving relationship with them at the
same time. The two emotions are simply not compatible.
Therefore, envy is not compatible with being in the spiritual
realm.
The spiritual realm is full of love, humility, kindness, giving,
play, laughter, games and so many other events. None of these
events are compatible with envy, however. A person who is en-
vious of God – the Supreme Being and the center of attention in
the spiritual realm – simply cannot continue to reside in the
spiritual world.
God's cursing of the serpent to "crawl on your belly and you
will eat dust all the days of your life" symbolizes the fact that
once a person becomes envious of God, and selfishly motivated,
we must leave the spiritual world, and this requires us to take on
a physical body within the physical world. Thus, "crawl on your
belly" symbolizes taking on a physical body, and eating "dust all
the days of your life" symbolizes becoming a citizen of the hell-
ish physical world.

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"Dust" here is translated from the Hebrew ‫`( עפר‬aphar),


which means, according to the lexicon, "dry earth, dust, powder,
ashes, earth, ground, mortar, rubbish." The meaning is clear. Not
only are we talking about the physical world here, but it is being
described as desolate, burnt and trashy.
This physical world is precisely that. While there is joy, love
and play among the loving relationships of the spiritual realm,
the physical world is full of war, hatred, violence, crime and
greed. Here we are all competing with each other. This physical
world is the dark side of existence. While so many worry about
going to hell, few realize that this is hell. This is the place where
those of us who became self-centered and envious of God were
sent to play out our desires to rule over others and attempt to
enjoy ourselves.
This hasn't worked out very well. On a worldwide basis we
find starvation, disease, drought, and people born into slavery
and suffering. Why is this? Why has God permitted so much
suffering? Is God a mean God?
What God simply did is programmed the physical world
with consequences. This feature makes it so each person must
experience – in this life or the next – the results of our activities.
Activities that helped the physical bodies or minds of others re-
sult in good things happening to our physical bodies or minds,
while activities that hurt the physical bodies or minds of others
result in a similar suffering to our physical bodies or minds.
It is like looking at a mirror. If we raise our hand as we look
in the mirror, the reflection shows a hand raised. This allows us
to see what we just did. God programmed the physical world in
the same way – our activities are reflected back at us in the form
of going through what we put others through.
Thus, we can see that our actions are the cause of the suffer-
ing in the physical world. We have caused our own suffering by
our previous actions. Each person who now suffers, caused oth-
ers to suffer previously.
This is meant to teach us. God designed this world with con-
sequences to teach us, just as parents teach children through
consequence learning. This form of discipline, by the way, has

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been found by child researchers to be the most effective way to


learn. Why? Because we learn by understanding the conse-
quences of our actions. We learn through experience.
Luckily, no matter how much our physical body might suf-
fer, we are not the physical body. We are spiritual beings tempo-
rarily occupying physical bodies – just as a person occupies and
drives a car. Therefore, if our body is starving, we are not starv-
ing. Our suffering is related to the extent that we identify our-
selves as these physical bodies. Once we leave the physical body
at the time of death, our connection with it – outside of its les-
sons and consequences – vanishes.
This physical world is like a virtual classroom. It is meant to
gradually teach us that love, kindness, and caring for others is
our true nature – and what truly makes us happy. We are not
enjoyers by nature. We became envious of God because He is the
Enjoyer.
He created us to care for Him and exchange a relationship of
love with Him. Thus our natural position is His loving servant,
and this is the only thing that will truly fulfill us.
But we must have the choice in order to truly love, so God
gave us each a little part of His essence, which contains the de-
sire to enjoy like God. This gives us each the choice to love God
or not. For those of us who allowed the "serpent" of envy to gain
a foothold in our consciousness, we now need rehabilitation.
And that's what the consequence learning system of the physical
world gives us.
That is, if we want to return to the spiritual realm. Some of
us want to continue ignoring God and ignoring our true nature
as spiritual. For those of us, we find all kinds of reasons to con-
vince ourselves that God does not exist. We make all kinds of
"scientific" postulations that assume that the universe was cre-
ated through a big explosion, and everything – including living
organisms with the innate ability to love or be envious – was all
a big accident. Like a prisoner who believes that jail-time and a
life of crime is better than being a law-abiding citizen, God has
given each of us the choice to love Him and return to Him, or
ignore Him in this prison-like physical world.

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WHERE IS HELL?

Escaping hell
Hell is that place where God is forgotten. Hell is that place
where people avoid the Supreme Being and His servants and
His representatives. Therefore, hell can be any place or time
where the Supreme Being is forgotten.
In other words, we can be in hell right here and now. Or not
– depending upon our consciousness.
But why is hell also referred to as this hot place – a dungeon
– where people are chained up and beaten by the devil?
This is actually metaphorical. Just look around. There is suf-
fering all around us. Our bodies suffer from the time they are
born to the time they die. Yes, there may be glimpses of momen-
tary pleasure in between, but most of life in the physical world is
difficult and full of suffering. And heat – yes, both metaphori-
cally and literally – heat pervades this world. The heat of burn-
ing desires and the sweltering heat of summer.
Here in this world we experience disease, starvation, getting
old and then death. Our bodies constantly get sick. The body
gets hungry several times a day even when there is enough food
to eat. And in between the body is suffering from all sorts of
ailments. Is this not hellish enough?
Thankfully, we are not these physical bodies. And the world
was designed to help us rehabilitate. The physical world is a
place of rehabilitation. So there is a way out.
Today hell is thought of not too differently than its meta-
phorical use more than 2,000 years ago – as some physical place
where people's bodies are thrown into the fire and burnt.
Yes, at the end of this lifetime, our physical bodies will either
be doused with formaldehyde and stuffed into the ground in a
box or will be thrown into a fire to be burnt.
But before our bodies die, if we are focused upon the illu-
sions of the physical world, we will become slaves to desire and
slaves to ugly masters within the world.
We will be essentially chained to these prisons of the physi-
cal body and essentially whipped with various aches and pains
associated to hunger, disease and ultimately the death of the
physical body.

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Yet Jesus is clearly stating this place is not where dead bodies
go. It is a place where the spirit-person – the person who occu-
pies the physical body temporarily – may go after the death of
the physical body. This means – since the physical body decom-
poses or is cremated after its death – that the spirit-person leaves
the physical body and goes somewhere.
In other words, this is where we are now – and if we con-
tinue our self-centered lives, we will simply take on another
physical body and live another hellish lifetime.
We find that Jesus is clearly stating that one may be sent to
this place referred to as hell. But where is it? Is it an underground
cavern? If it was, then all the drilling and excavation we have
done in recent times would have discovered some underground
cavern as described, right?
Rather, we find that under the surface of the earth is soil,
rocks and water, then deeper we find hot molten rock, and then
lava and so on. Volcano research and excavation projects have
found that this hot lava region could certainly not support life as
we know it.
So where is hell and where can a spirit-person go after leav-
ing this body?
Hell is right here – in this physical world.
All around us is hell. Despite the metaphorical descriptions,
we can know that hell is that place where the Supreme Being is
ignored, and those of His children who have rejected Him seek
their own self-centered enjoyment amongst an environment of
pain and suffering.
This means that those who are ignoring the Supreme Being
are, in fact, in hell – to one degree or another.
We say to one degree or another because the degree of our
hell not only relates to our consciousness, but it also relates di-
rectly to the type of physical body we are currently occupying.
This is because the type of physical body we occupy is di-
rectly related to the state of our consciousness, along with the
results of our prior activities.
Those who want to completely forget the existence of the Su-
preme Being, and not have the ability to seek knowledge and

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WHERE IS HELL?

truth are given physical bodies that allow such a consciousness.


What kinds of bodies are these?
These are the bodies of animals, aquatic life, plants, insects,
bacteria and so on. With each of these organisms lies a spirit-
person. This is why animals display emotion, and even plants,
insects and bacteria – though their consciousness is significantly
covered with ignorance – still avoid pain and death – because
each organism is occupied by a spirit-person. These bodies are
like the prison cells of hell.
Specifically a spirit-person who has previously rejected the
Supreme Being and wishes to forget Him altogether will receive
one of these bodies because they allow the spirit person the ig-
norance they seek. They wanted to express their freedom to be
away from Him. They wanted to ignore their spiritual existence
and become ignorant of Him.
Such a decision is made during more conscious lifetimes –
such as the human lifetime. In this lifetime we are given the con-
scious choice of whether we want to become closer with God or
not. This is, in other words, our cross-roads lifetime. We make
our choices now, and those choices determine what type of body
we will take on in the future.
Jesus certainly taught this to his students, though much of
these teachings were confidential and not portrayed much if at
all in the four Gospels – which cover only a tiny portion of Jesus'
confidential teachings.
Nevertheless, we find that Jesus certainly accepted that there
were spirit-persons within the bodies of plants. We find, for ex-
ample, that Jesus talked specifically to a fig tree:

Then he said to the tree, "May no one ever eat fruit


from you again." And his disciples heard him say it.
(Mark 11:14)

If the fig tree were not alive – who would Jesus be speaking
to? Who is the "you" within the tree that Jesus spoke to? It is the
spirit-person, temporarily occupying the body of a tree.

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Furthermore, we find Jesus and his disciples understood that


not only can we take on another body in the future – human or
otherwise – but that our actions from one lifetime carry on to the
next. This is why Jesus' disciples asked him:

“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he


was born blind?” (John 9:2)

We find within this question two important points: Jesus'


disciples accepted that the man's previous sins could have
caused his blindness. In order for that to happen, the person who
was born blind had to have existed within a prior body – in or-
der to sin previously.
This indicates – as does Jesus' statement in Luke 12:5 – that
what we do in this lifetime has consequences that will determine
where we go in the next lifetime. Jesus also confirmed this else-
where:

Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him,


“See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something
worse may happen to you.” (John 5:14)

Jesus clearly taught the law of consequences: "As you sow, so


shall you reap" – as it has been written.
This is quite obviously the same determinant that sets up the
possibility of "going to hell."
While the reality of hell may not be well understood – or
taught by ecclesiastical sectarian teachers – the metaphorical
descriptions of it do have meaning, and this is why Jesus used
the word γέεννα (geenna). Hell is likened to fire and burning
because within a state of consciousness where the Supreme Be-
ing is rejected produces an emptiness that creates burning de-
sires related to the physical world – greed, lust, anger and
violence.
These are related to fire because fire consumes: Just as a body
is consumed after being thrown into a fire, the self-centered de-
sires related to greed, lust, anger and violence consume a person.

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WHERE IS HELL?

We can see this as we witness a person who has gone on a


rampage and harms others – whether it be in a fist-fight or a
bombing or a shooting. Such a person has been consumed by the
accumulation of geed, lust, anger and violence to the point
where they care not in the slightest for others. Their natural in-
clination to care for others – which comes from the spirit-person
within – has been consumed by their greed, lust, violence and
anger – just as a fire can consume a dead body thrown into a fire.
Further to this point, such a person who has become con-
sumed through their decisions and activities while occupying a
human body will go – after the death of their current body – into
another body that reflects this consciousness, and further con-
sumes – and covers – ones consciousness.
This is seen amongst the lives of animals who are very vio-
lent – such as wolves and jackals – who feast on violence every
day. Those spirit-persons who dwell within these hellish bodies
got there due to the choices they made in more conscious human
lifetimes where the choices were clear. Their consciousness be-
came consumed with violence.
As to the person Jesus is referring to – "Fear him who, after
your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell." – this
is metaphorical and practical at the same time.
The understanding here is that while we certainly make our
own choices and thus determine our own future with regard to
where we go after the death of this body, we can also be influ-
enced by others who are already heading for worse hells – and
want to drag us down with them.
Some might refer to this as peer-pressure. We might be pres-
sured by others to go drinking with them, or to fight others as
they would do – or influence us to do a myriad of other things
that essentially can lead us further into a consciousness of greed,
lust, anger and violence.
Today we also find so many in the world who are focused on
territorialism, hostility towards others who might have a differ-
ent nationality or race, or those even in a different political party.
They are always seeking others to join them in their efforts.
These endeavors to struggle with others over what is actually

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God's property essentially pulls us away from being able to fo-


cus on our relationship with the Supreme Being.
Furthermore, those groups who engage people towards vio-
lence in the name of their religious sect also pull others into hell.
This is called fanaticism and in no way is the Supreme Being
pleased with fanaticism. In fact, fanaticism is diametrically op-
posed to the Supreme Being's efforts to invite us back to Him
because love requires freedom.
Fanatics want to try to force others to surrender to abide by
their sect. But this in itself is atheistic, because it assumes that
God has lost power and needs others to force us to come to Him.
This denies the existence of a Supreme Being who is in full con-
trol.
In other words, if God is in control, don't you think He could
force everyone to worship Him if He wanted to?
The Supreme Being does not force anyone because love re-
quires freedom. How can a person be forced to love someone?
They can't. Love can never be forced. God wants our love.
And this means we have to decide to love Him voluntarily. We
cannot truly love Him if we are being forced, nor if we are being
threatened with "going to hell."
The fact is, we don't have to worry about going to hell be-
cause we are already here. Welcome to hell – that place where
people hurt each other and hate each other and commit violence
against each other through self-centeredness.
But the Supreme Being – through Jesus, His representative –
is inviting us back to Him. He wants us to leave hell and return
home, voluntarily. He wants us to return to our loving relation-
ship with Him. This is why, when asked which was the most
important commandment, Jesus answered:

“  ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and
with all your soul and with all your strength and with
all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
(Luke 10:27)

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WHERE IS HELL?

The best way out of hell is to gradually and realistically de-


velop a higher taste. This higher taste is accomplished by re-
developing our innate loving relationship with God. We can do
this with prayer and praise – by glorifying His Holy Names –
and by making offerings to Him. These facilities bring us closer
to Him.

Getting Home
Heaven has been presented to us by spiritual wise men and
saints for thousands of years. Heaven’s existence has been docu-
mented in every theistic scripture of the world. Even still, there
is great controversy and speculation about heaven and its loca-
tion. Why is this?
It is due simply to a lack of trust in those who have already
presented heaven to us. While faith is often thought of as joining
a particular religious sect or denomination, the real definition of
faith is trust: Do we trust what the great saints such as Abraham,
Moses, Solomon, David, Jesus, Mohammad, Ramanuja, St. Fran-
cis, Vyasadev and many others have written or spoken about
heaven? Or do we simply want to speculate?
Here we will present neither speculation nor a sectarian posi-
tion. We will simply provide the position that is consistent with
all the great teachings of saints from every monotheistic disci-
pline. Here are seven key principles to consider:
God is the Original Being and the Creator. God created eve-
rything in existence, including us.
God is the All-Powerful Being. He controls every part of His
creation. Never is He out of control. God never comes under the
illusion of the physical universe. He created the physical uni-
verse and its illusions. This means that God does not become
subject to the laws of the physical universe. God does not lose
control of His creation: that is what makes Him God.
Rebellious living beings like ourselves are given temporary
physical bodies as vehicles of learning. Within the body dwells a
spiritual being—each of us are individual spiritual beings. When
we are dwelling in the physical world, we are not our physical
bodies. This does not mean that we do not have a body. We each

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have a spiritual body, but our spiritual body is non-different


from our self. God also has a Body. His Body is spiritual, and
thus non-different from Himself.
The spiritual world is a universe transcendental to the physi-
cal world. At the same time, heaven is anywhere where God’s
will is being done. Since God has created everything, and owns
everything, the distinction between heaven and hell is that
heaven is where God’s will is being done, and hell is where
God’s will is not being done.
In those places where God’s will is not being done there is
typically greed, hatred, jealousy, violence and pain. This is be-
cause selfishness is the driver of this dimension. In God’s dimen-
sion—where His will is done—there is love, compassion, peace,
giving, and devotion. In God’s dimension there is no selfishness,
because everyone there is in love with God.
This point was clarified by Jesus:
And what about the "heaven" that those who like to show
their allegiance to Jesus discuss as they ignore the Supreme Be-
ing? Jesus speaks to those here:

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter


the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the
will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to
me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in
your name and in your name drive out demons and in
your name perform many miracles?' Then I will tell
them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you
evildoers!'" (Matt. 7:21-23)

“Evildoers” are the occupants of hell who do not follow Je-


sus’ teachings. The key phrase here is, "but only the one who
does the will of my Father who is in heaven."
Despite this clear statement there are many so-called follow-
ers of Jesus that speak of heaven as this place of enjoyment –
imagining themselves sitting back and enjoying life in a beauti-
ful place.

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WHERE IS HELL?

They want heaven without the Supreme Being. They want to


enjoy life in a perfect place but they don't care about the Su-
preme Being. Is this really heaven? No.
Jesus is speaking of doing the Supreme Being's will. Doing
something for the enjoyment of God. This is the consciousness of
heaven. And this is the opposite consciousness of a person who
is seeking their own enjoyment – and forgetting the Supreme
Being.
And this concept of a "satan" or "devil" that has somehow
gotten out of God's control is preposterous. The Supreme Being
is the absolute Controller of everything.
Because God gives everyone the choice to love Him or not,
some choose not to. And those who choose not to love Him are
sent to the physical world to live their lives forgetting their rela-
tionship with the Supreme Being.
This is the world of misidentification. It is the world of for-
getfulness. It is the world where its citizens want to forget the
Supreme Being and their lose relationship with Him.
As we misidentify ourselves with our bodies, we think the
accumulation of matter will satisfy us. There is a saying that he
who dies with the most stuff wins – but is this true? What do
they win?
Nothing. Because that's what they will be left with – nothing.
All our possessions are taken away from us at the time of death.
Everything – all our money, our house, our wife or husband, our
family, our job, our reputation, everything – will vanish for us.
What will we be left with? Our consciousness. Our desires
and whatever relationship (or lack thereof) we have developed
with the Supreme Being.
And it is these desires – and our consciousness – that will de-
termine where we go at the time of death. And whatever rela-
tionship we've developed with the Supreme Being will
determine whether or not we take on a new body within the
physical world or go to our real home in the spiritual realm with
the Supreme Being.
You see, our relationship with the Supreme Being is the only
thing that is eternal. It is the only thing that will outlive our

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physical body. Some people will say our family will be left, but
their bodies will all die too.
Our real family is with the Supreme Being. All of His chil-
dren are our brothers and sisters. And He is not only our Father,
but our Best Friend and Soul Mate. He is the Soul Mate we
spend our lives looking for (and never find) within the physical
realm. He is that Best Friend we seek out among our different
relationships of the world – most of which we become disap-
pointed with.
And if we focus our consciousness and point our desires to-
wards coming to know and love the Supreme Being – this will
fulfill us. This will complete us and satisfy us.
This is because the inner person – the spirit-person within –
is only satisfied by love and loving service. This is the food that
fulfills us because we were created to exchange a loving relation-
ship with the Supreme Being. This is why Jesus said:

“My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to


finish His work." (John 4:34)

Jesus states that doing the will of the Supreme Being – serv-
ing Him with love – is what satisfies Jesus. It is was motivates
him. It is what feeds him.
This applies to each of us. We can only become fulfilled
when we are tasting love for the Supreme Being and serving
Him with love. This is why Jesus' most important teaching was:

" 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with
all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first
and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37-38)

This love for God naturally spreads to all of God’s children


as well. As a result, everyone in God’s dimension is working
hard to take care of God and take care of others. This is because
God is a nice God. He is a caring God. He wants us to naturally
love Him because that is why He created us—to exchange a lov-

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WHERE IS HELL?

ing relationship with Him. (Why else would God have created
us? Everyone—even God—wants a playmate, friend and lover.)
Time does not exist in the spiritual dimension. Since time
does not exist there, none of the rules governing the physical
relationships of distance, speed, age and death apply. Like the
physical universe, there are a variety of different locations and
environments within the spiritual universe. Different living be-
ings inhabit those different locations.
We each have a particular relationship with the Supreme
Person, and our home is a particular location within the spiritual
dimension where that relationship is expressed. This does not
mean that we cannot be within the physical body and still be
exchanging that relationship with God. Should we be ready, we
can begin to re-establish our original relationship with Him
while still inhabiting this physical body.
God has created a number of categories of living beings. The
first are His Direct Expansions. The second are His Partial Ex-
pansions—those who have some individuality, but will never
waiver in their relationship with Him. The third are the free
souls. These living beings are individuals who have been given
the complete freedom to love God or not.
For these free souls (each of us), God sets up a continual test-
ing process to give us the choice to stay with Him or not. This is
the analogy of the “tree of life” from the Garden of Eden. God
kindly asked Adam not to eat of the tree. Why was the tree even
there? It was there because God was giving Adam the choice to
obey Him or not.
While God domiciles within the spiritual dimension, He still
pervades the physical dimension through His creative and
communication features. God regularly sends messengers in the
form of teachers to represent Him. The reason we do not “see”
God within the physical world is because we do not want to see
Him.
This is also why we spend so much of our lives looking for
that perfect mate who will love us, care for us and fulfill us. This
is also why we all share this feeling that we belong in a world
that is peaceful, where everyone loves each other. Innately it is

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the Supreme Being we are looking for, and it is the spiritual


realm we are trying to return to.
But we must remember that we also have to be ready to re-
turn to Him. Most of us are not ready, because we are immersed
in the depths of self-centered consciousness. This requires a puri-
fication process.
For anyone who sincerely asks the Supreme Being to return
home to Him, He begins to guide us and prepare us for our re-
turn home. This is a personal training process unlike the conse-
quential learning system, because it is custom-designed for each
of us, to help us re-establish our lost loving relationship with
Him.
And this is the purpose for all the spiritual teachers that God
has sent through the ages. They have been sent specifically to
help train those who have requested from God to help them re-
turn home to Him.
This is also why the "first and greatest commandment" as
taught by Jesus and Moses, focuses on returning to our loving
relationship with God.
Consider the so many statements by God in Bible. Consider
this statement by God speaking through Malachi:

“But for you who revere my Name, the sun of right-


eousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you
will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.”
(Malachi 4:2)

Why is God’s Name so important? To revere God’s Name


while in this physical world is to revere God. This is because,
while a name of a physical body is different from the spiritual
self, there is no difference between God and His Name. There is
no duality within the spiritual world. The reference to God is
non-different than Himself.
The importance of incanting the Holy Name of the Supreme
Being as a means of escaping hell is repeated throughout the
Biblical scriptures:

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WHERE IS HELL?

Genesis 4:26:
At that time men began to call on the Name of the
LORD.

Genesis 12:8:
From there he [Abraham] went on toward the hills east
of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west
and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD
and called on the Name of the LORD.

Genesis 13:4:
...and where he had first built an altar. There Abram
called on the Name of the LORD.

Genesis 21:33:
Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and
there he called upon the Name of the LORD, the Eter-
nal God.

Genesis 24:48:
"...I bowed down and worshiped the LORD. I praised
the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who had
led me..."

Genesis 26:25:
Isaac built an altar there and called on the Name of the
LORD. There he pitched his tent, and there his servants
dug a well.

Exodus 9:16 [God speaking to Moses]


"But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I
might show you My power and that My Name might be
proclaimed in all the earth."

Exodus 20:7:
"You shall not misuse the Name of the LORD your
God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who
misuses his Name."

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Exodus 20:24:
"Make an altar of earth for Me... Wherever I cause My
Name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you."
(Exodus 20:24)

Deuteronomy 5:11:
"You shall not misuse the Name of the LORD your
God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who
misuses his Name."

Deuteronomy 18:7:
"...he may minister in the Name of the LORD his God
like all his fellow Levites who serve there in the pres-
ence of the LORD."

Deuteronomy 18:22:
"If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD
does not take place or come true, that is a message the
LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken pre-
sumptuously. Do not be afraid of him."

Deuteronomy 21:5:
"The priests, the sons of Levi, shall step forward, for
the LORD your God has chosen them to minister and
to pronounce blessings in the Name of the LORD and
to decide all cases of dispute and assault."

Deuteronomy 28:10:
"Then all the peoples on earth will see that You are
called by the Name of the LORD, and they will revere
You."

Deuteronomy 32:3:
"I will proclaim the Name of the LORD. Oh, praise the
greatness of our God!"

1 Samuel 17:45:
David said to the Philistine, "You come against me
with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against

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WHERE IS HELL?

you in the Name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the


armies of Israel, whom you have defied."

1 Samuel 20:42:
Jonathan said to David, "Go in peace, for we have
sworn friendship with each other in the Name of the
LORD, saying, 'The LORD is witness between you and
me, and between your descendants and my descendants
forever.'" Then David left, and Jonathan went back to
the town.

2 Samuel 6:2:
He and all his men set out from Baalah of Judah to
bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by
the Name, the Name of the LORD Almighty, who is en-
throned between the cherubim that are on the ark.

2 Samuel 6:18:
After he had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings
and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the
Name of the LORD Almighty.

1 Kings 3:2:
The people, however, were still sacrificing at the high
places, because a temple had not yet been built for the
Name of the LORD.

1 Kings 5:3:
"You know that because of the wars waged against my
father David from all sides, he could not build a temple
for the Name of the LORD his God until the LORD put
his enemies under his feet."

1 Kings 5:5:
"I intend, therefore, to build a temple for the Name of
the LORD my God, as the LORD told my father David,
when He said, 'Your son whom I will put on the throne
in your place will build the temple for my Name.'"

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1 Kings 8:17:
"My father David had it in his heart to build a temple
for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel."

1 Kings 8:18:
But the LORD said to my father David, ‘You did well to
have it in your heart to build a temple for My Name.'

1 Kings 8:20:
"The LORD has kept the promise he made: I have suc-
ceeded David my father and now I sit on the throne of
Israel, just as the LORD promised, and I have built the
temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel."

1 Kings 10:1:
When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of
Solomon and his relation to the Name of the LORD,
she came to test him with hard questions.

1 Kings 18:24:
"I will call on the Name of the LORD."

1 Kings 18:32:
With the stones he built an altar in the Name of the
LORD, and he dug a trench around it large enough to
hold two seahs of seed.

1 Kings 22:16:
The king said to him, "How many times must I make
you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the Name
of the LORD ?"

2 Kings 2:24:
He turned around, looked at them and called down a
curse on them in the Name of the LORD. Then two
bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of
the youths.

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WHERE IS HELL?

2 Kings 5:11:
But Naaman went away angry and said, "I thought that
he would surely come out to me and stand and call on
the Name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over
the spot and cure me of my leprosy."

Jeremiah 20:13:
"Sing to the LORD! Give praise to the LORD! He res-
cues the life of the needy from the hands of the
wicked."

1 Chronicles 16:2:
After David had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings
and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the
Name of the LORD.

1 Chronicles 21:19:
So David went up in obedience to the word that Gad
had spoken in the Name of the LORD.

1 Chronicles 22:7:
David said to Solomon: "My son, I had it in my heart
to build a house for the Name of the LORD my God."

1 Chronicles 22:19:
"Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the LORD
your God. Begin to build the sanctuary of the LORD
God, so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of
the LORD and the sacred articles belonging to God
into the temple that will be built for the Name of the
LORD."

1 Chronicles 29:10:
David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole
assembly...

2 Chronicles 2:1:
Solomon gave orders to build a temple for the Name of
the LORD and a royal palace for himself.

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2 Chronicles 2:4:
"Now I am about to build a temple for the Name of the
LORD my God and to dedicate it to Him for burning
fragrant incense before Him, for setting out the conse-
crated bread regularly, and for making burnt offerings
every morning and evening and on Sabbaths and New
Moons and at the appointed feasts of the LORD our
God. This is a lasting ordinance for Israel."

2 Chronicles 6:7
"My father David had it in his heart to build a temple
for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel."

2 Chronicles 6:10:
"The LORD has kept the promise he made. I have suc-
ceeded David my father and now I sit on the throne of
Israel, just as the LORD promised, and I have built the
temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel."

2 Chronicles 18:15:
The king said to him, "How many times must I make
you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the Name
of the LORD ?"

2 Chronicles 20:19:
Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites
stood up and praised the LORD, the God of Israel,
with a very loud voice.

2 Chronicles 30:22:
For the seven days they ate their assigned portion and
offered fellowship offerings and praised the LORD

2 Chronicles 33:18:
The other events of Manasseh's reign, including his
prayer to his God and the words the seers spoke to him
in the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel, are writ-
ten in the annals of the kings of Israel.

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WHERE IS HELL?

Job 1:21:
"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I
will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken
away; may the Name of the LORD be praised."

Neh 8:6:
Ezra praised the LORD, the great God

Daniel 2:19:
Then Daniel praised the God of heaven

Psalm 7:17:
"I will give thanks to the LORD because of his right-
eousness and will sing praise to the Name of the LORD
Most High."

Psalm 20:7:
"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we
trust in the Name of the LORD our God."

Psalm 23:3:
"The LORD is my Shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes
me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside
quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along
the right paths for His Name's sake."

Psalm 54:6
"I will sacrifice a freewill offering to You; I will praise
Your Name, LORD, for it is good."

Psalm 91:14-16:
"Because he loves Me," says the LORD, "I will rescue
him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges My Name.
He will call on Me, and I will answer him; I will be
with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him and show him My sal-
vation."

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Psalm 102:15:
"The nations will revere the Name of the LORD, all the
kings of the earth will revere Your glory."

Psalm 102:21:
"So the Name of the LORD will be declared in Zion
and His praise in Jerusalem."

Psalm 113:1:
"Praise the LORD. Praise, O servants of the LORD,
praise the Name of the LORD."

Psalm 113:2:
"Let the Name of the LORD be praised, both now and
forevermore."

Psalm 113:3:
"From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the Name of the LORD is to be praised."

Psalm 116:4:
"Then I called on the Name of the LORD: "O LORD,
save me!"

Psalm 116:13:
"I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the Name
of the LORD."

Psalm 116:17:
"I will sacrifice a thank offering to You and call on the
Name of the LORD."

Psalm 122:4:
"That is where the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD,
to praise the Name of the LORD according to the stat-
ute given to Israel."

Psalm 124:8:
"Our help is in the Name of the LORD, the Maker of
heaven and earth."

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WHERE IS HELL?

Psalm 129:8:
"May those who pass by not say, "The blessing of the
LORD be upon you; we bless you in the Name of the
LORD.""

Psalm 135:1:
"Praise the LORD. Praise the Name of the LORD;
praise Him, you servants of the LORD"

Psalm 148:5:
"Let them praise the Name of the LORD, for He com-
manded and they were created."

Psalm 148:13:
"Let them praise the Name of the LORD, for His Name
alone is exalted; His splendor is above the earth and
the heavens."

Proverbs 18:10:
"The Name of the LORD is a strong tower; the right-
eous run to it and are safe."

Isaiah 18:7:
"At that time gifts will be brought to the LORD Al-
mighty from a people tall and smooth-skinned, from a
people feared far and wide, an aggressive nation of
strange speech, whose land is divided by rivers — the
gifts will be brought to Mount Zion, the place of the
Name of the LORD Almighty."

Isaiah 24:15:
"Therefore in the east give glory to the LORD; exalt
the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel, in the is-
lands of the sea."

Isaiah 50:10:
"Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust
in the Name of the LORD and rely on his God."

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Isaiah 55:6:
"Seek the LORD while He may be found; call on Him
while He is near."

Isaiah 56:6:
"And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to
serve Him, to love the Name of the LORD, and to wor-
ship Him..."

Isaiah 57:15:
"For this is what the high and exalted One says — He
who lives forever, whose Name is holy..."

Isaiah 59:19:
"From the west, men will revere the Name of the
LORD, and from the rising of the sun, they will revere
His glory."

Jeremiah 3:17:
"At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the
LORD, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to
honor the Name of the LORD. No longer will they fol-
low the stubbornness of their evil hearts."

Jeremiah 20:13
Sing to the LORD! Give praise to the LORD! He res-
cues the life of the needy from the hands of the wicked.

Jeremiah 26:16:
Then the officials and all the people said to the priests
and the prophets, "This man should not be sentenced to
death! He has spoken to us in the Name of the LORD
our God."

Jeremiah 26:20:
Now Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath Jearim was
another man who prophesied in the Name of the LORD

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WHERE IS HELL?

Joel 2:26:
"You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you
will praise the Name of the LORD your God, who has
worked wonders for you; never again will my people
be shamed."

Joel 2:32:
"And everyone who calls on the Name of the LORD
will be saved"

Micah 4:5:
"...we will walk in the Name of the LORD our God for
ever and ever."

Micah 5:4:
"He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of
the LORD, in the majesty of the Name of the LORD his
God."

Malachi 1:11:
[LORD God says] "My Name will be great among the
nations, from where the sun rises to where it sets. In
every place incense and pure offerings will be brought
to Me, because My Name will be great among the na-
tions," says the LORD Almighty.

Malachi. 4:2:
[LORD God says] “But for you who revere My Name,
the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its
wings. And you will go out and leap like calves re-
leased from the stall.”

Zechariah 13:9:
[LORD God says] "They will call on My Name and I
will answer them; I will say, 'They are my people,' and
they will say, 'The LORD is our God.'"

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Zephaniah 3:9:
"Then will I purify the lips of the peoples, that all of
them may call on the Name of the LORD and serve
Him shoulder to shoulder."

Zephaniah 3:12:
"But I will leave within you the meek and humble, who
trust in the Name of the LORD."

Jesus directly taught his students to praise God's Holy Name:

Luke 11:2 and Matthew 6:9:


"Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your Name."

Jesus also indicated his mission to spread the praising


of God's Holy Names:

Matthew 21:9, Matthew 23:39, Mark 11:9, Luke 13:35,


Luke 19:38, and John 12:13:
"Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord!"

This is because Jesus emphasized the importance of


praising God:

Matthew 5:14-16:
"In the same way, let your light shine before men, that
they may see your good deeds and praise your Father
in heaven."

John 17:11:
"Holy Father, protect them by the power of Your Name,
the Name you gave me, so that they may be one as we
are one."

And Jesus' miracles caused people to praise God:

Matthew 9:8:
When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe;
and they praised God...

137
WHERE IS HELL?

Matthew 15:31:
The people were amazed when they saw the mute
speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking
and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Is-
rael.

Mark 2:12:
He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of
them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God

Luke 2:28:
Simeon took him in his arms and praised God.

Luke 7:16:
They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A
great prophet has appeared among us,” they said.
“God has come to help his people.”

Luke 13:13:
Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she
straightened up and praised God.

Luke 18:43:
Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus,
praising God. When all the people saw it, they also
praised God.

Luke 23:47:
The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised
God...

Jesus also praised God directly:

Matthew 11:25:
“I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth"

John 17:26 (praying to God):


"And I have declared unto them Your Name, and will
declare it"

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REFERENCES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY

Jesus' disciples followed the instructions of Jesus after


he returned to the spiritual realm:

Luke 24:53:
And they stayed continually at the temple, praising
God.

Jesus' followers continued this ancient tradition of praising


and glorifying God's Holy Names:

Acts 2:21:
"And everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will
be saved."

Acts 3:10:
When all the people saw him walking and praising
God.

Acts 9:28:
So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Je-
rusalem, speaking boldly in the Name of the Lord.

Acts 10:46:
For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising
God.

Acts 16:25:
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and sing-
ing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listen-
ing to them.

2 Timothy 2:19:
"Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm,
sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those
who are His," and, "Everyone who confesses the Name
of the Lord must turn away from wickedness."

139
WHERE IS HELL?

James 5:10:
"Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suf-
fering, take the prophets who spoke in the Name of the
Lord."

Romans 10:13:
"Everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be
saved."

2 Corinthians 11:31:
"The God and Father of the Lord Jesus Who is to be
praised forever..."

Ephesians 5:19:
Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual
songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.

Colossians 3:16:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach
and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you
sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude
in your hearts to God.

A creation of love
Hell is a creation of love. It is meant to teach us about love
and how we will only happy when we love others and put our
love upon the Supreme Being – Who is our Eternal Master and
Beloved.
God's process of creation of the physical universe – hell –
also utilized time to pace with our evolution. God programmed
DNA to reflect the individual's consciousness, so that our par-
ticular physical body at a particular time would reflect our per-
sonal evolution – our level of rehabilitation.
If we compare this to the grade system in school, each pro-
gressive grade has different activities. Kids in the seventh grade,
for example, can now pick course electives, because they have
advanced through the first six grades where they had no choice

140
REFERENCES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY

in the subjects. So these seventh graders utilize a school that is


set up differently – with more choice.
In the same way, as we advance through the lessons of the
lower forms of life, we eventually arrive at the human form,
where we have higher consciousness and more choices. Now we
can choose how we make our living – or survive. We can also
choose whether we want to be nice to people or be mean to peo-
ple. These choices are permitted because we rose through the
lessons that the lower forms of life taught us: Such as the value
of survival, the fact that others exist besides us, and others ex-
perience pain like we do and so on.
This process of growth – our rehabilitation – is symbolically
represented in the six days of creation. God created the elements
first, and put into motion with the element of time. Then He de-
signed and stimulated the process of evolution by creating the
bacteria and aquatic plant life with specialized DNA, which
evolved into the more complex creatures by design. With each
passing "day" the creatures became more complex.
Why? Because those living beings within those bodies were
going through their rehabilitation process, and with each pro-
gressive body they learned more progressive lessons. As we rose
in our evolutionary process, we eventually have the chance to
gain the human form of life. This occurs on the sixth day, be-
cause it is the height of the evolutionary process – the point
where we are given greater consciousness, and the choice of
whether we want to return to God.
Those who decide they want to return to God enter the sym-
bolic seventh day, where they begin learning how to devote
themselves to God. This is the holy period. It is also a day of
"rest" because during this stage of our lives we can stop focusing
our consciousness upon survival issues – which relate to the de-
sires to eat, have sex, and defend ourselves. In this advanced
stage, we can refocus our consciousness towards serving God.
This is why, for example, Jesus did not stop his work serving
God on the seventh day.

141
WHERE IS HELL?

Should we arrive at this point in our existence, we can re-


establish our loving relationship with God, and after the end of
this lifetime, return to God in His spiritual dimension.
The temptations of the material world are tests. They teach
us to grow stronger by illustrating how weak we are without the
Supreme Being. It is not as if the temptations of the world have
come from another place other than God. God designed the
physical world and its temptations for a particular reason. He
created the physical world for those of us who rebelled against
Him and wanted to be independent of Him.
While we can never actually be away from God because He
has created everything and is present everywhere, He has cre-
ated a place where we can pretend He is not present. Here we
have temporary senses and the physical body and mind that
give us the illusion He is not here. These give us the opportunity
to attempt to enjoy ourselves.
At the same time, He does not completely let us go. As we
travel through this physical world with these temporary physi-
cal bodies ‘of clay’ – we continually find emptiness without Him.
As we reach out to God and request to return to Him, it is
not an automatic process. Consider the situation if we were to
want to be friends again with someone we rejected years ago.
Suddenly we wanted to be their friend again. Would such a per-
son just forget the past and accept us back into the relationship
we had with them before? Certainly not. They would want to go
slowly, and make sure we won't leave them again. They would
likely test us to make sure we didn't have any ulterior motives.
The bottom line is that they would want us to be serious
about having a relationship with them.
This is similar to God's process. However, He already knows
our intentions, so He does not test us in order to understand our
intentions. He tests us so that we can understand our intentions.
The temptations of the world are here to help us see just how
serious we really are about returning to our relationship with
God.
In other words, we don't have to be afraid of going to hell –
we are already here. The question is how do we get out. Jesus

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REFERENCES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY

gave us the path out of hell: By learning to re-establish our lost


loving relationship with the Supreme Being
Those who do not use this human form of life to advance
spiritually are sent back to the lower forms of life. This is be-
cause they have not learned those lessons they were supposed to
learn. For example, if an individual in a human form has not
learned to treat others with kindness and fairness, and they hurt
others, they will suffer the same consequences of their treatment
of others, either within another human form (if they made any
advancement) or within the form of an animal. Depending upon
their consciousness, they may fall within the species to the point
where their rehabilitation process can be renewed. This is what
is described in the scriptures as "hell." Lower forms of life live
within a hellish world of constant fear and violence.
The six days of creation and the seventh day being a day of
rest are both allegorical. As we've discussed, we know scientifi-
cally that God did not produce the universe and all the creatures
in six 24-hour days. But we do know that the process of creation
took place in a gradual, stepped process. This gradual pacing
illustrates God's process as He designed and programmed an
epic physical universe replete with the pacing of time to allow
for an evolutionary rehabilitation process. "In all their vast ar-
ray," the physical universe is massive and complex. We cannot
even begin to fathom it with our minds, let alone fathom the
spiritual dimension.
What we can fathom, and why this creative process is boiled
down to six days – with the seventh day being a day that is to be
spent focused upon our relationship with God – is that we really
don't need to know all the minute details about this atomic ele-
ment or that atomic element, or this DNA gene or that DNA
gene. We only have a limited amount of time within this human
form, and we need to use it wisely to re-develop our relationship
with God. This was realized late in the lives of two of the great-
est modern scientists, Leonardo da Vinci and Albert Einstein.

In his elderly years, Albert Einstein said:

143
WHERE IS HELL?

“I want to know how God created this world. I am not


interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum
of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts.
The rest are details.”

And Leonardo da Vinci wrote in his later years:

"It is true that impatience, the mother of stupidity,


praises brevity, as if such persons had not life long
enough to serve them to acquire a complete knowledge
of one single subject, such as the human body; and then
they want to comprehend the mind of God in which the
universe is included, weighing it minutely and minc-
ing it into infinite parts, as if they had to dissect it!"

In other words, knowing God is the only true knowledge


worth anything. And to know God is not like knowing an in-
animate object. God is a Person. Therefore, just as we cannot
really know another person unless we have a relationship with
them and they allow us to know them, we also cannot know God
without having a relationship with Him and Him allowing us to
come to know Him.
Knowing God is the only true knowledge worth anything.
But knowing God is not like knowing an inanimate object. God
is a Person. Therefore, we cannot really know another person
unless they allow us to know them. And in God’s case, we are
introduced by someone who already enjoys a relationship with
Him. This is why Moses, Jesus and all of God’s representatives
introduced their students to God and taught this most important
instruction:

“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and
with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deu-
teronomy 6:5)

“Love the LORD your God and keep his requirements,


His decrees, His laws and His commands always.”
(Deuteronomy 11:1)

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REFERENCES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY

“So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving


you today – to love the LORD your God and to serve
Him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deu-
teronomy 11:13)

“If you carefully observe all these commands I am giv-


ing you to follow – to love the LORD your God, to
walk in all His ways and to hold fast to Him – “ (Deu-
teronomy 11:22)

“…because you carefully follow all these laws I com-


mand you today – to love the LORD your God and to
walk always in His ways – “ (Deuteronomy 19:19)

“For I command you today to love the LORD your


God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commands,
decrees and laws” (Deuteronomy 30:16)

“…and that you may love the LORD your God, listen
to His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the LORD is
your life....” (Deuteronomy 30:20)

“But be very careful to keep the commandment and the


law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to
love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, to
obey His commands, to hold fast to Him and to serve
Him with all your heart and all your soul.” (Joshua
22:5)

“So be very careful to love the LORD your God.”


(Joshua 23:11)

“Love the LORD, all His saints!” (Psalms 31:23)

“Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for He guards
the lives of His faithful ones and delivers them from the
hand of the wicked.” (Psalms 97:10)

145
WHERE IS HELL?

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with
all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first
and greatest commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38)

"But seek His kingdom..."


"And do not set your heart on what you will eat or
drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs
after all such things, and your Father knows that you
need them. But seek His kingdom, and these things will
be given to you as well." (Luke 12:29-31)

Why is Jesus telling his students not to worry about what


they will eat or drink? Is Jesus saying that they shouldn't work to
feed themselves?
Putting it another way: Don't most of us in the physical
world worry about survival in one sense or another? If not spe-
cifically getting enough to eat or drink, at least be concerned
about keeping healthy and keeping our job? Or making sure we
have enough to retire on?
For many people of the world, the concerns are more direct:
Getting the next meal is a concern for many in third world coun-
tries. And during Jesus' time, many were living in this manner of
subsistence. They were farmers or fishermen or laborers, and
their next meal was often the result of hard work.
Jesus is not telling them not to work. Nor is he telling them
not to eat. Rather, Jesus is speaking of their focus: What are they
focusing their lives upon? Let's discuss the translation to under-
stand Jesus' statement more clearly:
"And do not set your heart on" is translated from the Greek
phrase καὶ ὑµεῖς µὴ – actually translates literally to "And seek
not..."
While "do not set your heart on..." is substantially different
than "seek not" – such a translation does indicate that Jesus was
not advising his students not to feed their bodies or work to feed

146
REFERENCES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY

their bodies. He was speaking of where they place their focus.


Where their consciousness is focused upon.
This is confirmed by the word "worry" – being translated
from the Greek word µετεωρίζοµαι (meteōrizomai) – which
means, when used metaphorically as Jesus was, "to cause one to
waver or fluctuate in the mind," "to agitate or harass with cares,"
and "to make anxious."
Why is Jesus asking his students not to be anxious or agi-
tated by food or drink?
The key to understanding this is identity. Understanding our
identity means knowing that we are not these physical bodies.
Our physical body is a vehicle for the spirit-person within. And
like any vehicle, once the driver gets out, the vehicle no longer
functions.
As such, we can compare our physical body to an automo-
bile. We drive this body for a few decades and then we leave it
behind at the time of death.
Jesus stated this clearly in his teachings. This is a key point,
but the word "kingdom" is not what Jesus is speaking of. If he
really said this, then he would be telling his students to be fo-
cused upon gaining access to a physical place -a self-centered
goal.
And isn't this the objective of many ecclesiastical sectarian
institutions and their teachers? They wanna be saved so that
they can get to this place called heaven. Why? Because they want
to enjoy life.
So we must ask – why would Jesus tell his students not to en-
joy life here on earth but instead seek to enjoy life in heaven?
Does that make any sense? Why not just enjoy life here if enjoy-
ing life was the goal?
Oh – is it because if we don't enjoy life now we will be re-
warded by being able to enjoy life even more later?
This is, in fact, the proposal of many ecclesiastical sectarian
teachers – that if we join their club and make some sacrifices
now, we will get to enjoy life in heaven. Some sects even prom-
ise their followers they will be able to enjoy a bunch of virgins in
heaven if they make sacrifices now. Others speak of "inheriting

147
WHERE IS HELL?

the earth" – enjoying heaven right here – after all the people who
didn't join their sect are knocked off of course.
This is nothing but trickery – it is fraud. And this is not what
Jesus said at all.
Jesus used the word βασιλεία (basileia) – which according to
the lexicon, does not refer to a physical kingdom at all: "royal
power, kingship, dominion, rule;" "not to be confused with an
actual kingdom but rather the right or authority to rule over a
kingdom."
The word is followed by the word αὐτοῦ – meaning "His" –
referring to God. This means that Jesus was speaking of accept-
ing God's royal power and God's dominion, and God's kingship.
What does this mean?
It means to accept the Supreme Being as being in charge of
my life. It means to surrender myself to the Supreme Being. It
means to surrender my will to the will of God.
Jesus wasn't promising his students that they would enjoy
life later. He was advising them to focus on surrendering their
lives to the Supreme Being here and now. Why?
Because this is our natural position. Each of us is the spirit-
person within this physical body. Each of us is a child of God –
created by the Supreme Being to love Him and serve Him. As
such, this and only this will give us fulfillment.
So why – if the lexicon is clear that the word does not mean
"kingdom" – do they insist on translating the word to "kingdom"
– not only in this instance, but in many other instances among
Jesus' teachings?
Because that is what they want Jesus to say. They want to
pretend that Jesus was promising that they could enjoy life even
more later.
Because the people who have been translating these words
over the centuries – among the various versions of the Bible –
have not been interested in surrendering their lives to the Su-
preme Being. They were interested in getting paid for their
translation work, so they translated it as others in the institution
did.

148
REFERENCES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY

In other words – ironically – they were more concerned


about what they "will eat or drink" than they were about under-
standing Jesus' teachings.
When a person accepts someone else's "dominion" over their
lives, they are surrendering themselves.
This type of phraseology – accepting another's dominion or
rule – comes from a time when tribes or individuals within a
tribe might surrender themselves to another tribe or leader after
a conflict. Such a position would be to accept control – to come
underneath the control of the other.
But Jesus uses this term to speak of a loving surrender – not a
forced surrender. Jesus is speaking of falling in love with the
Supreme Being and devoting our life to Him. To surrender our
life at the feet of the Supreme Being means to give ourselves in
love to Him: To live our lives to please Him. This is what Jesus
was doing:

"By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear,


and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself
but Him who sent me." (John 5:30)

Jesus’ focus was upon pleasing the Supreme Being. For ex-
ample, when most of us are driving our car, we are focused
upon the car as a means to transport us from point A to point B.
And the fuel the car needs is seen as a means to keep the car run-
ning as it gets us to point B.
But what if instead, our purpose for getting into the car and
driving it was to drive it to the gas station to get some fuel?
Would that make any sense?
Most people would laugh at us if the main reason we drove
our car was to drive it to the gas station to get some fuel. In such
a case, having a car would be purposeless.
But that is precisely why it makes no sense to utilize the re-
sources of this physical body and mind simply for the purposes
of getting food and shelter, and protecting the body from dan-
ger. Just as we wouldn't drive a car just to get fuel, why use this
body just to keep it alive?

149
WHERE IS HELL?

Jesus is speaking of using this precious human form of life –


a life that comes with the intelligence to investigate spiritual life
– to learn about God and make a choice on whether we want to
return to our relationship with the Supreme Being.
If we follow Jesus’ central instruction, we can immediately
get out of hell, whether we are wearing a physical body now or
not:

" 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with
all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first
and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37-38)

150
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