I was tempted to begin this post with a warning not to believe any of it, but I can’t honestly find a way to warn against it without it turning into doubting the aspects I do know to be true among the riddles I look to discover answers for. So, this is the warning, some parts of the post are meant to be taken as a possibile solution, and are not being presented as the solution to the riddles. That’s all.
Love, it is a such a small word, but such a big word. It can be nearly impossible to define in words, but seems at times, something rather to be shown then spoken. Yet, it is a great mystery, why do we love, what would compel us to willingly set ourselves aside for the sake of another? Why do we take another’s best interest to heart, refusing ourselves to exalt them? Sometimes we will forsake anything of our own, if those around us can benefit from it, but why do we do that? Why do we love? I mean, what particular reason do we have to be anything but selfish creatures? It seems to me that the very fact that we are able to get outside ourselves, to transcend ourselves, if you will, and love someone other then ourself, is a miracle, a true miracle.
We should be wholly selfish creatures, in theory, so why are we not?
Why do we love?
Then again, I cannot speak from much personal experience, for most of my life, my heart has been a righteous heart. My heart was made new, a greater miracle then that we love, when I was three years of age. That means there is only three years of when I had a heart that was not whole. I don’t remember much of that time, to be honest, so I must look at this knowledge of the evil of the heart of man not from personal experience, but from theoretical knowledge alone. I can only guess what it is like to not hold a pure and holy heart. I do not know what it is not to be righteous. I’ve been a perfect man for nearly my entire life upon this Earth, because I have the identity of Christ himself, and have held him as my identity since I was three years old. Everything that he is, so I am, by holding as my own identity, himself. He is my identity. I am in Christ, so all that he is, I am through him. I put on Christ at three years of age and I am secure in him forevermore. I cannot escape my new creation, my old man, the person I was at the age of three and below, has been dead since. He has already been crucified with Christ, and I now am a living creature who walks in wholeness. A new man. The man I was when I was born is dead. The man I am now, is a regenerate man. I’ve already faced my death, and I am dead, it is more of akin to a rest that I await, but I am already in Heaven, even now. And so I always was, the moment I was given life, when the choice was made, everything I am, the whole of myself, the past me, the present me, the future me, all of me, that choice sealed my wholeness of who I was, am, and will be, all in one thing. Oh, I don’t know how to describe it, other then to say that I am in Heaven, I always have been in Heaven, and I am going to Heaven. All three are true, at all times. I’ve only ever been a creature of Heaven. Just like those who reject Christ, have only ever been creatures of Hell. Once the decision has been made, the identity of what creature they are is made, if they choose Christ, they become what they always were. If they reject Christ, they become what they always were. In this manner, we are free to make our choice whether to choose Christ or not, but it can also be known whether or not we chose Christ. But the crossroad of the matter is entirely our choice, whatever road we go on for there is the road we’ve always been on, always will be on. Once we make the choice of which road we are traveling on, that is the choice of which road we are traveling on, and it is the only road we will travel on. But every single person has the crossroad, some choose the road that leads to life, and others choose the road that leads to destruction. But it always was, and always will be, the choice of the traveler, which road it is that they will travel.
It is the resolution of whether or not we are free to choose our fate in regards to our destination, or whether we are destined one way or the other, regardless of what we wish. Yes.
Hell has long troubled me, I think it exist, but as to what it is, that is where I start asking questions. Did God create it, yes. But if he did, why do people end up there, if it was never designed for humans, then it seems a terribly unjust oversight on behalf of God. I hear it said that “Hell was never designed for humans.” the problem with that, is it is at conflict with the justice of God. If Hell was never designed for humanity, then for humanity to end up there as result of God’s judgement is at conflict with his being just. Let angels face the Hell of angels, but for God to be just, let men face the Hell of men. Otherwise, God is not just, to set upon men, the judgement of angels.
So, what allows for Hell to be, and not be in conflict with the nature of God?
How about if Hell was an indirect creation of God. What if, it is not God that builds the Hell that humanity knows, but it is we ourselves. We are the ones that build it. We build it for ourselves. It’s like this, we build up walls against God, we reject him, his love, and so forth, by building our little fortresses. We keep building our fortresses, and unless we surrender, and accept his help to get out of them, we will keep on building our fortresses until the day we die, we keep on building it, and when we die, it is finished. But, the fortress we spent our entire life building? We discover that it isn’t a fortress, it is a prison. We built it ourselves, to be a fortress. But fortress or prison, it is but a matter of perspective. Our death alters our perception of our fortress, and it becomes our prison. We built it, and chose to remain there, but it is a fortress once complete that we cannot escape, not even by dying. It is the perfect prison. One designed to keep God himself out of our life. We could not build a more perfect prison then this, it keeps out all. Leaving us in absolute and perfect isolation. In essence, Hell, is getting our wish. To be the god of our domain. We get it in the end, and we call it Hell, but it is wholly, and absolutely, ours. We spent our lives building it, and we will spend the rest of our eternity in absolute and utter isolation. We can’t even have anyone else in our domain, because then the illusion breaks. We cannot be gods in the presence of other gods, but must be completely and absolutely, alone, if we wish to see our greatest desire, the desire that will overcome all desires in the human heart, fulfilled. To be master. To be the supreme ruler of our hearts. Hell is getting that.
Humans are not meant to be so wholeheartedly self-centered. Hell is the complete turning inward of the self, the implosion of the human being into a realm so completely self-centered, that everything else ceases to exist. You become the only thing to remain in existence. Not even God can be made known to you, even if he is right there. You cannot, at this point, see outside of yourself. You are hopelessly blind to everything, and everyone else, even if someone else is all powerful, you still cannot see them, nor can they open your eyes. You’ve completely lost all capability to see, and you’ve absolutely lost the ability to even find it again. There is no hope of being able to know anything other then yourself at this point, the work is too complete, too absolute, for it is a matter that at this point, is completely taken to its utter and absolute end, there is nothing else left except yourself at this point, and that is all that you can ever know. It is a state of complete hopelessness, there is no longer any hope to be anything other then this. It is again, the perfect prison. You cannot by any means escape it, and you are the one who built it, it is the success of your greatest endeavor. To escape God. If you run from God, where is it that you are running to? If not to the complete inward turning of the human being, then where else is there to run where God is not? God is everywhere. Except, for those who have lost the ability to see. There can be two reasons why the presence of something can be removed. The first is the thing is removed, the second, the ability to sense the thing is removed. Obviously if God is everywhere, sees and knows all things, and so forth, then it cannot be true that God is not in Hell, or that Hell is the absence of God. The only possibility that remains is that Hell is the loss of the ability to know the presence of God, not because God has changed, but because we’ve changed too much to retain that part of us, we succeed in running from him to the only place we can succeed in running from him, the perfect prison of the inward turned, self.
Hell is to be the god of our own creation. We do not have the capability to do it, and so no greater torment can there be then to be the god of our own creation. There is only one entity that is able to withstand the wholeness of what reality is at its most fundamental level. If anyone else tries, the idea will destroy them. Hell is us, succeeding in becoming our own god, unable to know anything outside of ourselves.
God can. Which is why he can create reality, and not have it turn to hell, but when we try, and succeed in that endeavor we we cannot sustain it as anything other then what it is we are made of, which is ourself. God, is the truth behind all goodness, he is at the most fundamental core, the very thing, the thing we get the ideas of truth, beauty, goodness, love, and so forth. All of these are rooted in the true thing that they are, the greater reality, which is ultimately found in God. We, take from God, these attributes. It is but us acting out of God’s attributes that we do good things, find things beautiful, and so forth. All of these are stuff that have their source in God himself. When we succeed in creating our perfect prison, the ties that bind all men to the source, are cut. We die, and the threads we had that gave us these things, truth, beauty, goodness, love, and so forth, are cut, and we’re the ones who cut them. It was the last brick we laid in our fortresses, and it is the key that changed it from a fortress into a prison. We’re left, to ourselves, as ourselves, without any concept of truth, we can only ever know lies after this, any concept of beauty. Nothing will be beautiful, because beautiful is not in our ability to understand anymore. We can only ever know ugliness. Love is lost. After this point, we can only ever know hatred, and hatred appart from even the illusion of love. Love in any form, ceases to exist in our understanding, at all. Not even as a memory. Goodness is lost, and we may, after this last brick is laid, only ever know evil. It’s all that we are left with, because, death is the last brick we lay, and in so doing, we cut off all ties to that from which we drew these things. We lose everything that ever made us human, and become the antihuman. Yes, we succeed in our endeavor to be the god of our fortress, but in so doing, we’ve also succeeded in closing the door to the perfect prison, and once that door is closed, neither we, or even God, can open it again. It is impossible.
God doesn’t send people to Hell, and he didn’t create it, neither does he force Heaven on the unwilling heart. That too would be just as much a Hell to the person who doesn’t want God as what I’ve just described: If you were a person who remained imperfect, you do not hold the ability to survive, as you are, in the presence of God, without anything guarding you from his presence. To have the entire reality of love, of goodness, of truth, of righteousness, of beauty, come upon you without having the ability to deal with it would also destroy you. You would literally be destroyed as a human being if the full reality of these things were to come upon you, and you were not equipped to deal with it. The closest thing I can come to describing it is that if this was to happen to you, it would be as though you never existed, at all. Ever. Not even as an idea, a memory, or a thought. You literally would not ever have been, you wouldn’t be, and you couldn’t be in the future if you never were to begin with. Probably not a perfect description, but it is as close as I can find words for. And yet, you would exist, so you would be aware that you couldn’t be existing. You would have the idea, even if nobody else did. This too would be a torment. Unregenerate man in the presence of God, unmasked, unveiled, with nothing between God and man, completely unable to withstand the full reality of God, you’d be completely undone. Where would you go? Again, the only place you could. Inward.
The only idea of Hell that I can reconcile with God and all of his attributes, is that we are the ones that build our Hell for ourselves and we send ourselves there. It is all our own doing, and only our own doing, and there is nobody, not even God himself, that can help us, if we don’t want to be helped. If we insist on building our fortress, we will eventually place the brick that changes it to a prison, or we must accept help, abandon our project, and be made whole, holy, righteous creatures, who because of their identity in Christ, can stand before the fullness of the reality of God, and not become undone as a result of it. Surrender is the only option in our salvation, or we must continue building our fortresses and when we wake to find ourselves in prison, the only thing that can be true, is we sent ourselves there.
It is my guess that God cannot defy his attributes. Therefore, we must have the ability to defy him and send ourselves there. If he snatched us against our will, he would be violating his attributes, and not even God can do that. If he forced us to keep at our project, he violates his attributes. Because we may chose to accept or reject God, we are the only ones who can chose whether or not surrender or to maintain our project. Yes, there is a surrender involved, but like the fortress/prison being a matter of perspective, so it is with surrender. Is it us surrendering or is it us being rescued? Depends on how you look at it. If you have us surrendering, but there is nobody there to surrender to, then we are not rescued. If we are rescued but dig our heels in and fight it instead of surrendering to the rescue, we also are not rescued in that case either. Call it surrendering, call it rescuing. They have to happen together for it to work, and they have to take place wholely in the one who needs rescuing. You cannot save that which does not want salvation. Particularly if you are a being that is the full reality of all that is righteous and true, all that is good, and beautiful, and just. You cannot manipulate, force, or violate. You can only ever save, that which will be saved. All others must be left to keep building their fortresses until they either surrender, or succeed in building their prisons.
It is all a matter of perspective.
As a matter of some amusement to me, I set out to write something more about Valentine’s Day coming up this week, but it turned into Hell. Sorry about that.