It’s hell all the way to Hell and heaven all the way to Heaven: Two Mental Health Professionals Dialog On Law of One and Christianity

The following is a question and reflection dialog between a licensed psychologist in Canada (K) and myself, a licensed clinical social worker.

K: I find many “Christians” to not consider reincarnation part of Christian teachings because most pastors only talk about Heaven being our last stop on the trip of life, IF someone is judged to be worthy of entering the gates of Heaven. This seems like a great barrier from integrating LOO into the teachings of Christianity. How do you tackle this topic, as I think many people would consider LOO teaching to clarify parts of the Bible if they believed in the cycle of reincarnation. If integrated, this would then support a learn/teach cycle that LOO strongly suggests is needed.
heart-rate-variability

Doug:

Yes…. this is a big problem.  How I handle that is that I repeat what my spiritual mentor, Richard Rohr, says: It’s hell all the way to hell and heaven all the way to heaven and at the end our life, god just gives us what we, ourselves, have chosen.  Then I ask them what their thoughts of hell are…
First we have to walk them through that hell is not a place of burning…. literally. “Burning” is a metaphor to describe shame.  Example, the last time that you were in shame… shamed about something or ashamed about something… didn’t you feel your ears burn? Wasn’t there a kind of pain in the chest and heart and a desire to shy away, to disappear?  That’s a kind of burning, for sure.  That’s what burning in hell means.
Now, if you get people to unpack what hell is, they’ll say something like: isolation, alienation, emotional suffering, judgement, cold and barren, etc… Well, I say, those are descriptors of affectivity of feeling “separate from…”  Hell, by definition, then (and this is Biblical) is separation from God.
But what is God?  The Mystery of Union and Unity.
In reality, there is no separation from God, ever, because we ARE God having this experience in the illusion of separation.  But what is true, is that we can shut our perception of unity and union off. We can perceive only separation if we choose, hence the left hand path (aka service to self path).
What is the emotional condition of someone in hell?  depression and desolation.  How then, does one live their life if they feel this kind of isolation, alienation, judgement, etc?
They usually try to assuage these conditions.  For the hardy and extreme souls, they make “the choice in third density” of the STS path. The STS path requires one to harness the pain into the phenomenon of anger and then through anger, assert domination over carefully planned endeavors. When one’s plan of domination comes to fruition, one fills the void temporarily (aka is fed by negativity or what metaphysically is known as “loosh”). Nevertheless, the resting emotional state of such an individual is emptiness because they are choosing separation.
Another way to assuage that desolation might be to become, ironically, hyper religious.  I’ve known people who attend church every day and outwardly live righteous lives, yet inwardly, they are cold, frigid, judgmental, holier-than-thou, etc.  There is little warmth.  So.. even if they have gone through the rituals of “being saved,” and they, themselves, feel that they are moving towards heaven after they die, their lived reality, when exposed by the light of honesty, is in fact, hellish.  The point is that they are already in hell and when they die, their consciousness will continue (as we know from NDE’s), at the same level that it was before death until they slowly awaken to the fact that they are a part of One Body.  That final assent to being one with all can happen in a life time or in extreme cases, according the Law of One metaphysics, can last for millions and millions of years until by the mid-6th density, one HAS to leap into union with all, since there is no other reality than unity (heaven).
But… if we can enjoy that unity now, then we are experiencing heaven.  Church services, etc, can be helpful in forming communities and enkindling the heart center (4th chakra) but I know people who are even atheist in their belief systems (and that is a belief system for sure) but feel connected to humanity and try to make the world a better place.  Their affective experience is more joy than anything else. So… they are in heaven and when they die, they’ll awaken to the reality that they have, indeed, always participated in congruency with the flow of the One Infinite Creator, irregardless of belief systems.
heartfear
Update: Here is an interesting reflection from Richard Rohr, OFM, that is relevant to the above.  This is from his daily meditations and this one, appeared the day after I posted the above reflection:

Eastern Christianity

Universal Restoration
Thursday, September 13, 2018

The shape of creation must somehow mirror and reveal the shape of the Creator. We must have a God at least as big as the universe, or else our view of God becomes irrelevant, constricted, and more harmful than helpful. The Christian image of a torturous hell and God as a petty tyrant has not helped us to know, trust, or love God. God ends up being less loving than most people we know. Those attracted to the common idea of hell operate out of a scarcity model, where there is not enough Divine Love to transform, awaken, and save. The dualistic mind is literally incapable of thinking any notion of infinite grace.

The common view of hell and a quid pro quo God is based not on Scripture but on Dante’s Divine Comedy—great poetry, but not good theology. The word “hell” is not mentioned in the first five books of the Bible. Paul and John never once use the word. Most of the Eastern fathers never believed in a literal hell, nor did many Western mystics.

Eastern fathers such as Origen, Clement of Alexandria, Gregory of Nyssa, Jerome, Peter Chrysologus, Maximus the Confessor, and Gregory of Nazianzus taught some form of apocatastasis instead, translated as “universal restoration” (Acts 3:21). Origen writes:

An end or consummation is clearly an indication that things are perfected and consummated. . . . The end of the world and the consummation will come when every soul shall be visited with the penalties due for its sins. This time, when everyone shall pay what he owes, is known to God alone. We believe, however, that the goodness of God through Christ will restore [God’s] entire creation to one end, even [God’s] enemies being conquered and subdued. [1]

Morwenna Ludlow describes Gregory of Nyssa’s two arguments for universal salvation as:

a fundamental belief in the impermanence of evil in the face of God’s love and a conviction that God’s plan for humanity is intended to be fulfilled in every single human being. These beliefs are identified with 1 Corinthians 15:28 [“so that God may be all in all”] and Genesis 1:26 [we are made in God’s “image and likeness”] in particular, but are derived from what Gregory sees as the direction of Scripture as a whole. [2]

If we understand God as Trinity—the fountain fullness of outflowing love, relationship itself—there is no theological possibility of any hatred or vengeance in God. Divinity, which is revealed as Love Itself, will always eventually win. God does not lose (see John 6:37-39). We are all saved by mercy. Any notion of an actual “geographic” hell or purgatory is unnecessary and, in my opinion, destructive of the very restorative notion of the whole Gospel.

Knowing this ahead of time gives us courage, so we don’t need to live out of fear, but from an endlessly available love. To the degree we have experienced intimacy with God, we won’t be afraid of death because we’re experiencing the first tastes and promises of heaven already. Love and mercy are given undeservedly now, so why would they not be given later too? As Jesus puts it, “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living—for to God everyone is alive” (Luke 20:38). In other words, growth, change, and opportunity never cease, even during and after death! Why would it be otherwise?

References:
[1] Origen, On First Principles, trans. G. W. Butterworth (Ave Maria Press: 2013), 69-70.

[2] Morwenna Ludlow, Universal Salvation: Eschatology in the Thought of Gregory of Nyssa and Karl Rahner (Oxford University Press: 2000), 239.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, Hell, No! (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2015), CDMP3 download.

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