“Both are here. Both gates exist here on planet earth. Both heaven and hell are here and nowhere else.”
You see, it really is a choice – or certainly is for most – in terms of which gate we choose. When I look around me, it would seem, many are choosing hell. In the process, hell is becoming more prevalent; more apparent in the world.
“How we do the choosing isn’t in fact a complicated procedure. It’s what our minds unconsciously seek, that holds the key. Changing this involves becoming wise to it.”
Take the example of a young boy in Aleppo who witnesses his mother and sister dying in the street: blown to pieces by a mortar rocket. Does this child live in hell? In the moment he sees his family destroyed by a mindless act, yes. Later though, he will have a choice.
The child can go on to harbour anger, bitterness and resentment for the suffering inflicted on him, through having his family brutally taken away, or he can look to understand it. He understands it to take away the pain and suffering. He gives the loss of life a purpose. “They died in the name of love” perhaps. “They died as an example of how mindless war is” perhaps. Or better still: “Wrong place, wrong time, and nothing more.” The religious, of course, understand it as ‘God’s Will.’ Hold to that, and we’re all pretty much powerless, to change anything.
During a recent experience, I realised, that the person who was bullying and abusing me (as many of us are, all we need do, is wake up, and open our eyes) was frightened. Terrified in fact. I could have easily added to her fear, yet on this occasion, I decided to respond to the situation with love. Not love of her, love of me.
“Love of me said: Becoming angry with this child will only harm you. In this way, even though I was – once again – being abused by the frightened, I remained calm.”
Be aware, at first, responding to abuse and anger with love, is hard, however, I firmly believe, that in time, it will soften even the most violent of abusers. My abusers – as do yours – live in their own personal hell. Don’t allow them to show you those gates.
The more we allow frightened, unaware people, to influence how we think, react and live, the wider the gates to hell are opened: A great yawning cavern of ignorance, hate, anger, and fear, lies before us.
I seek heaven here on earth as I believe it must exist. It exists, for the simple reason fear, and the man made hell we’re currently so busy creating, also exists. Think of war zones, Think of working 50 plus hours a week in a boring dead end job (as does my abuser). Think of being forced, on a daily basis, to do what we dislike. Think of being unable to breath because car emissions are choking our cities. Think: so much of the wildlife on this planet is under threat. Think: thousands of people starving to death in Yemen. Never think I always exaggerate. Starvation is the cruellest death.
“Heaven is found when we find a sanctuary within ourselves. When we no longer fear alone, when we no longer fear anger, when we no longer fear death, and when we no longer fear loss or change, we are safe in the sanctuary of our soul.”
Safe, because we’ve found our soul through the removal of the misty haze, fear and confusion creates. In addition to sanctuary within our souls, when we clearly see suffering as choice, we are freed by our own courage. Such a favourable position to be in. So favourable is this position, that we’re then able to spread this around, by teaching it others. When we teach it, we reinforce it within ourselves; our souls.
At times I think to myself: ‘It’s not my job to teach this person how to be a good manager, a good, kind person, a loving mother or son, a beautiful wife, husband or parent,’ And yet, if I give up, we all give up. Don’t you think?
Think: how do I continue to choose suffering and then show others the gates to my personal hell? And then think: how could I make this place a more comfortable habitat for me and others? Think: what do I need to do, to open the gates to my heaven, to experience it, and then share it with others? Think: I. Love. YOU.