Heaven and Hell

As I’ve alluded to in a previous post, there are some ideas and concepts from Christian Science that have stuck with me, and always will. It’s not all misguided illogical doublespeak. Some of it is logical and makes sense, to me at least. One of the biggest ones is the Christian Science concept of heaven and hell (I don’t capitalize these terms, as I do not believe in them as actual places).

HEAVEN. Harmony; the reign of Spirit; government by divine Principle; spirituality; bliss; the atmosphere of Soul.

HELL. Mortal belief; error; lust; remorse; hatred; revenge; sin; sickness; death; suffering and self-destruction; self-imposed agony; effects of sin; that which “worketh abomination or maketh a lie.”
(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 587 – 588)

In Christian Science, one is taught that heaven and hell are states of mind, they are not actual places to which one goes after death for punishment of sins. I firmly believe this to be true based on my own experience, and what seems logical to me. Some may think in terms of happiness or depression rather than heaven or hell, call them what you will–I think of them in both ways. I have been through what I would call hell, and I’ve been through what I’d call heaven. On this basis, throughout life, and sometimes throughout a single day, you can move between states of heaven and hell.

In hindsight, I view many parts of my experience in Christian Science as a drawn out form of hell, with heaven sprinkled throughout–after all, I did not spend 40 years in complete misery. My latter experiences in Christian Science were definitely an exquisite form of hell that finally pushed me out of the faith. But, that perspective has helped me enjoy and appreciate the more “heavenly” life I lead now, away from Christian Science with its hellish mental gymnastics, and ever present physical suffering and harsh (often self-imposed) judgment. I also realize that all of what I’ve experienced in the past has brought me to where I am now. Pull at one thread in the tapestry that is your life, and you risk the whole thing unraveling.

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One thought on “Heaven and Hell

  1. I agree with you completely. The idea that heaven and hell are states of mind make a great deal of sense to me and I’m sure this if from my upbringing in CS When my christian fundamentalist and catholic friends begin talking about heaven and hell I am always perplexed as to why they really believe these are physical places! I have many great memories from growing up in Sunday School and attending Principia. However, it was a “wolf in sheep;s clothing” that could have come crashing down at any moment. I’m glad it didn’t crash until I was in my thirties and could handle it better but will always be sorry that I didn’t stand up to it sooner.

    Thanks for all your great posts!

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