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EUROPEANS CONCEPTS OF HELL (3/3)

by Dr. Joseph A. Bailey II, MD., FACS on 23rd-May-2016

After establishing concepts for Hell, Europeans’ descriptions of it have been extremely confusing and conflicting. Of the numerous Bible references of various types I reviewed, some do not mention Hell. Yet, since this sphere was mainly supposed to be found in the Underworld (Num. 16: 30; Matt. 11: 23), it was also called “the Pit” (Isa. 38. 18)—“the bottomless place (Luke 8. 31)—Abyss or the “lower parts” (of the world; Ps. 63: 10)—and Inferno. Some said it is the prison of evil spirits (Revelations); the original Chaos in the Greek Bible,imparting a tumbling sense inside an Abyss (Gen. i. 2); and a symbolized realm outside the cycle of life while in a state of emptiness, caged in hostile atmospheres. Some say it is a place; some say it is not (Isa. 66: 24). As a place, in the sense of future punishments, it is distinctly taught in the European Bible, more-so in the NT than in the OT. Some say it signifies the grave and the place of disembodied spirits—both good and bad. Sheol and Hades refer to Hell as a general dwelling place of souls after death (Gen. 37-35; Acts 2.27). Gehenna in the NT is a place where both soul and body could be destroyed. Jewish writings from the C3 BC onward speak of places of punishment by fire for evil spirits and the wicked dead (1 Enoch 18: 11-16). Revelations describes a lake that burns with fire and brimstone in which the wicked will be eternally punished (Rev. 19: 20; 20: 14-15; 21: 8). Some say it is used for the place of the departed spirits and for the place of tormenting the wicked after death. Wicked was defined as the violation of God’s intention and how evil Appears–including displays that are vile, sinful, depraved–as inequity, injustice, and wrong. Some say Hell is on Earth, with agonies of the mind equaling, if not exceeding those of the body. Some say the ever-lasting hell fire is not meant to be taken literally but rather, as a metaphor, it expresses endless remorse in eternity to come, when separated from God and all that is good. Thus, it is confined with all that are bad. There are many perennially debated questions.

Is Hell about everlasting pain where sinners must dwell with devils—in darkness, fire, and chains? Are humans divinely predestined, some to eternal salvation and others to eternal damnation (“double predestination”)? Or does “Hell” perhaps signify sheer annihilation?” Are all humans to be finally saved (“Universalism”), or only some? Does “Hell” signify an eternal state, or is it a temporally bounded purgatorial experience that might lead to eventual salvation? “Eternal” is used in the NT for “eternal”; for “the aeon, or age”; or for what stands above time and space. But what always catches my attention about European Supernatural (fantasy) subjects is that authors generally speak of how it is in non-European cultures but not about their own. For example, in speaking about Africa, one highly respected European “authority” says: “the idea of a hot hell is an afterthought…. With the Egyptians, Hell became a place of punishment by fire and not earlier than the seventeenth or eighteenth dynasty, when Typhon was transformed from a god into a devil. At whatever time this dread superstition was implanted in the minds of the poor ignorant masses, the scheme of a burning hell and souls tormented therein is purely Egyptian. Ra (the Sun) became the Lord of the Furnace in Karr, the hell of the Pharaohs, and the sinner was threatened with misery “in the heat of infernal fires”. None of this is true! It is entirely European!!  The Ancient African Bible’s discussion of Duat (Dwat) concerns the part of the Astral plane where the evil or un-righteous are punished, as mentioned.

This is the realm of the Unconscious human mind and at the same time the realm of Cosmic Consciousness or the mind of God. My Mother told me: “the mind can make a heaven of Hell or a hell of Heaven” (Milton). In the C8 BC Egyptians' Book of Caverns, Purgatory was like a cocoon where the damned enter, became non-Beings as a result of elimination of what is not about the Spiritual Elements, and then emerged as renewed beings, like a butterfly. While inside the cocoon, they remain in a “dream world” of their own making. Its human counterpart, while on the Astral level of Consciousness and because of Ignorance, is being unconscious of the path needed to be on, in order to discover God. Thus, one must be born again into Physical realms (Reincarnation). The fire burning in the Duat rekindles the light of the world each day anew, purifying, and consuming—the Sun being symbolized by the mythological god Ra. [Bailey, Stopping The Violence]. jabaileymd.com

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