Why do I like hell? I like it because it is where I live and Iím attached to it. It's my home. Heaven is too foreign for me to imagine, and it is not tangible for me. I like hell because it is tangible, and it feels like home.

        I like it because I can experience thrilling sensations which arenít possible in heaven.

        I like it because of RISK. Yes! Without risk there would be no excitement of danger. If I was immortal so that I could not die, then there would be no danger. Each day would be as bland and boring as the day before. I would be as safe and secure as if I was in a padded cell with all my needs fulfilled and nothing more to desire, but also with no fear of any loss or danger or unexpected challenges. Boring.

        I like it because I feel like a victim of powers which are greater than me, and over which I have no control. It is this kind of victim consciousness which permits me to fight back with no holds barred, no rules, laws, mores, ethics, morals, honesty, integrity, no restrictions on me in this battle against a world superior to me. It is up to me to survive by my wits, and there is no God to judge how I do it. A victim is truly free!

        Freedom. Yes, thatís it; Iím free to do whatever I feel capable of doing, unrestrained by rules or expectations. Libertine, thatís the word. Anything goes. Good or evil, doesnít matter, live full-out, pedal to the floor. No God, nothing matters except what pleases me.

        I like it because I deteriorate as I age. When I was young, I witnessed others getting old and dying, and I thought it was terrible. I would still tell anyone that I loathe my old age debilitations. But, secretly, aging gives me an excuse to be another kind of victim. I can blame it on God or on doctors or on genetic heritage. In any case, it offers me further excuse to decline responsibility for my life. Iíll grow old and decrepit and die, and it wonít be my fault. Oh, what bliss to blame my wasted life on a fate beyond my control. Iíll get to sit around as worthless while others are bound by social mores to serve my needs, even if I act the ungrateful bastard. Oooh! Sublime bliss.

        I like hell because it is a banquet of naughtiness, wickedness, unrighteousness, and sensual satiations. Sex, food, flashing lights, risque touching, fulfillment through secret fantasies and perverted delights. I can connive and scheme to get what I want. I can compete with others for affections of their women. I can compete with others to cheat them unless they are clever enough to catch on. No rules. Dog eat dog. Get it before someone else does. The one who dies with the most toys wins. None of this is possible in heaven.

        I like hell because it limits me to a physical life which includes such things as pain, agony, ugliness, obesity, crippled limbs, diseases, illnesses which permit me to wallow in pity in my bed while others wait on me. Those things, and a hundred more, all serve to satisfy my emotional needs of pity, anger at others, anger at myself, revenge on others, reneging on obligations, dependence on doctors whom I can then blame. Oh, the glorious satisfaction of ailments and incapacitations! Oh, the bliss of self-pity! Oh, the wonderful contempt I can feel toward those who pity me, and who feel obligated to pander to me. Only in hell can I have this. Limitation is the substance in which I wallow.

        There was a time long ago when I lived in Heaven, in union with God. Whatever I imagined in my mind was there for me. Unlimited! At first it was satisfying to satiate myself with palaces and foods and beauty and wealth and grandeur and splendor. But, that paled amazingly quickly; soon nothing outside myself even appealed to me anymore. I lost interest in them. God attracted me to the mind-game, like Das Glasperlenspiel. Centuries passed as I played with patterns, paradigms, models, complex designs, and wondrous realizations. The universe yielded its mysteries, and the grandeur of His Design was my playground. We designed concepts together. We played with spiritual realizations, shades of righteousness, double helix puzzles, colors of Truth, mathematical paradoxes, the clear light of love, quintessence of power, holiness of will, knowledge of good, wisdom in infinity, and such. We designed complex interplays in the universe with stars as our marbles. I forgot that old sense of finite limitation and risk that I had known in the World before graduating into the Kingdom of God.

        Sublime bliss and contentment were the nature of my reality so that even Time became non-linear and relative. Infinite power was mine by nature, and I knew no alternative lifestyle. There was no such thing as marriage, gender relationship, sexual desire, anger, violence, danger, attachments, loss, or any kind of limitation. My life was One with His. I was an archer who never missed the mark.

        Then came the age of the Serpent, 18,000 years ago. It was a strange awakening in me that I pondered what it might be like to live under handicaps which would blind my mind from knowing Truth and which would provide the satisfaction of challenging a reality which I believed superior to me. I felt that I could enjoy the thrills of limitation again, and could certainly solve the mysteries there, plus find my way back home anytime I wished by claiming once again the Truth which was my true nature. How could I resist the temptation to battle in that arena of good and evil? Let me confront the Lie face to face. Go ahead, Father, blind my mind and let me once again play the terrible and wonderful World game again. Oh, yes, where each day offers the risk of death and the complex challenges to survive by my own wits. Unless I once again do the negative and forbidden, the positive loses its value to me. I need the challenge. I need the game. I need to live and die over and over again. I want the thrill of hell again.

        So, I came. Here I am. In hell. With you, who came here for the same reasons. We complain that we live in a pen with hogs who fare better than we do. We complain of all the injustices done to us by our opponents who have the advantage of demonic cleverness. We tire of being victims. We long to return to our Fatherís home. But, we forgot the way. We have accepted the Lie so completely that we canít see even truths which are obvious. We have bonded to the Lie so strongly that we refuse to let it go. Like the monkey who grasps a cookie in a jar, we wonít let it go so that we can have the true prize. We bond ourselves to all kinds of worldly satisfactions, such as to family relationships,  to spouses, to friends, to fraternities, to our nation, to a political philosophy, to worldly goals, to career success, to completing whatever tasks we start, to producing a fine family, to being recognized in society as important, to the vanity of being adored or respected, to having executive and political powers, to wealth, to being connoisseurs, to being respected, to sexual gratifications, to food gratifications, to aesthetic appreciations, to theater entertainments, to music, and to so many other delights of the senses. These are things which we enjoy and we will not release them. We might even rationalize our bondage with the argument that because our Father loves us He wants us to have all the worldly delights! We have fallen in love with the fake pearls so intensely that we wonít release them for Godís promise of real ones. We donít trust in promises from a God we canít see and touch and hear, for we have learned to trust only in our physical senses - which, unfortunately, lie to us. But, there it is. We wonít let go of World-hell for Godís promise of Heaven.

        Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is within us. Well, thatís just not real enough for us, so we focus on the reality in front of our eyes without ever realizing it is a mere phantasm. We made for ourselves a religion which promises Heaven after we die here. Alright! That satisfies most everyone. We donít have to give up the World, and weíll get Heaven after it is not our responsibility any more. After I die, itís up to God.

        You see, I like my hell. I might complain about it, but I wonít let go of it. Iíll finish out this life as best I can, and then God can give me my prize after I am unable to resist Him. Yeah, thatíll work. The preachers all say so!

        What the preachers donít say are Bible passages like: "work out your salvation with fear and trembling." Or as Jesus explained: the branches which donít produce get cut from the vine by the Father. Or that "many are called, but few are chosen." Since we donít want a religion which obligates us to seek Godís Truth, we pay preachers to give us an easier path. And they do. We pay for what we want, and the modern church supplies it. Any theologian who touts Jesusí hard-sayings will be out of work quickly. I like my hell, and I sure wonít abide any preacher who tries to talk me out of it.

        But, I admit there are some things which I really donít like here, things which I saw as exciting risks which originally attracted me here. Iím tired of the miseries and griefs and agonies and failures and physical ailments and injustices and victimness and persecution. So, I need a church which assures me that I can pray away consequences for my wayward actions (sins). Thatís what we do on Sunday. We pray that God will save us from the natural consequences of our sins, so that we can fully enjoy our hell, even making it into our heaven on earth. Yes, thatís it. I want to continue doing things Iíve always done, yet be saved from the consequences. My prayer becomes: "God, make this hell into heaven for me. Forgive me for doing the wrong things, but donít make me quit doing them. Just relieve me of the consequences. Turn this world into heaven for me, please. After all, donít I deserve it? Am I not your own child?  Come on, God, let me be happy in Satanís kingdom, just like I will be in your kingdom after I die." Good argument, isnít it? After all, He loves me and wants me to be happy, right? So, if thatís what He wants for me, Iím good with that. Let Him give it to me. He forgives me for my sins, so why should I quit doing them? My happiness is in His hands, and my preacher says that my faith will gain it for me. A future Heaven is but an empty promise in my mind; I want Heaven now, here, while I can enjoy it. I like this World, so let it be my Heaven. I like pleasure, so let my worldly attachments be pleasures for me. If you love me, God, youíll grant me all the pleasures! And by the way, I really do like being honored, exalted, respected, adored, and being asked to sit at the head of the table. Is that too much to ask?

        Dear friends, can you identify with any of the above satire? The truth that we ought to recognize is that our God of Justice is permitting us exactly what we have earned, namely the natural consequences of our unrighteousness. If my true Father stopped caring for me, only then should I expect the lord of this World, Satan, to grant me happiness as a reward for unrighteousness. But, our Father doesnít give up on us so easily. And we should be ashamed that we have resisted His loving call so steadfastly. Instead of seeking Truth, we have lusted for worldly satisfactions. Instead of following our Lord up that hill to Calvary, we have walked the path of pleasures. Instead of casting our fake pearls onto the dungheap, we have cast aside Godís promise of reward for those who Overcome this world. Instead of eating simple food with bitters, we have loved Fine Dining with crystal and silver. Instead of leaving our formative years of youth behind us, we have let ourselves be molded into dysfunctional connoisseurs of Worldly delights. We have found our identities here, and we feel proud of our achievements. We expect our tombstones to praise us. Instead of dying to this World, we live to the fullest. After considering these things, will you admit how much you have loved living in hell? Will you reconsider your path?

        After writing all the above, I saw that I neglected to address the subject of how one should proceed through daily life after he has truly decided to die to this world and to seek the Truth, which is Christ. Well, this world exists in our perceptions only because of our attachments to it. As one cuts those cords of bondage, one feels more and more free, in a spiritual sense that canít be explained to another. As one seeks the Heaven within, one finds a happiness that canít be explained to another. One begins appearing eccentric to those around him. He might joke about living out there in the ethers, and about seldom touching ground. He feels foreign to mundane affairs. He feels distant from the nightmares in which his friends are mired. He feels somewhat alone, as a solitaire who would rather be with God in quiet meditation than with worldly pleasures. He feels he really has died to the World, and longs for release from it. He accepts the idea that it might take years more on the path before reaching its end, so he manages his daily affairs with detachment. He steps through mundane tasks with an inner smile, not caring whether he is doing something important or doing drudgery. He only cares that each day is that much closer to his return home. He has been prodigal, and looks only toward that light at the end of this lifeís path. Nothing else matters. Nothing else really matters. He knows the happiness of finding Heaven within, and henceforth sees the world as repugnant in comparison.

        And finally, he knows one little sadness that will never leave him, that he cannot ever convince any other person of the treasure he has come to know. He might devote his life to an attempt to communicate what he has learned in his quest for Truth, but ultimately he must let go also of his hope of sharing that joy, love, and peace with any other. At long last, he finds himself able to understand the aloneness of his brother who died on that terrible hill, an aloneness so profound that he feels forsaken even by his Father. "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" Truly, one must even release that last hope of Heaven, yielding to a possible evaporation into the great dark void of infinite nothingness. The solitaire devotes himself to a quest for an unreachable star.

        Okay, perhaps vanishing into the void will not be his ultimate fate after all, but it is his supreme achievement to yield to it without knowing for certain. He has been a warrior in a World arena which despised him. He dreamed an impossible dream, and challenged an unbeatable foe; he bore an unbearable sorrow as he ran where the brave dared not go. His life was driven by the noble ideals expressed in Don Quixoteís song: "To right the unrightable wrong, To love pure and chaste from afar, To try when your arms are too weary, To reach the unreachable star. This is my quest, To follow that star, No matter how hopeless, No matter how far. To fight for the right, Without question or pause, To be willing to march into Hell For a heavenly cause. And I know if I'll only be true To this glorious quest, That my heart will lie peaceful and calm When I'm laid to my rest. And the world will be better for this, That one man, scorned and covered with scars, Still strove with his last ounce of courage To reach the unreachable star."

        At the end of this little article, can I even write a conclusion? How to explain this path to which Jesus calls us? What can possibly motivate a person to despise and reject a knowable World because he has been promised an unknowable one by an unknowable God? From where did Don Quixote get the courage to fight the unbeatable foe? From where does a soldier get the courage to charge into certain death? How can it be that a simple value like "the world will be better for this" might motivate a man to trade his very life for that?

        Did you understand that question? Read it again. Here is the answer to it: It is God Himself, actively loving His world (kosmos/order/design) through such individuals, that is His expression of Himself? Isn't this what we saw in Jesus when He willingly yielded His life? Is there not something inside us that feels a kinship with such noble men? Doesnít that make us kin then to our Father who expresses Himself in this way? Doesnít this kinship make us a family? Is there any other treasure which can compare to the honor of being a member of this family? For what worldly value would you give up your noble position in His family? For hell? Would you say that if you ever have to make a choice between God and this World that you would choose this World?

        If the above article resonates within you, stirring your soul, then that is proof that the Spirit of God is aflame within you, because no child of World would ever consider such a radical notion. The Spirit is not aflame in any others than His own Israelite race of European white-race children. That flame within you is the light to guide you along your path home. So, you might consider turning your vision away from that false image out in front of you, and inward toward Him who is the Truth. Simply stay focused on that unreachable star. And whenever that seems like an illogical thing to do, pause for a moment to consider the alternatives which the Great Enchanter/Deceiver offers, as he wants to redirect you from your delusional ideals to return you to his sane world. You get to choose. The caveat in all this is that you donít have the option of not choosing. Even by closing your eyes to the truth you have made a choice. Your very being is at stake in all this, and you have the power to decide for yourself.


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