What is hell and how does earth reflect hell?

Thursday, Nov 09, 2023 1669 words 7 mins 25 secs
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2023 Paul West

Let's start with a simple fact, "an opposite to God does not exist." God is everything, and the opposite of everything is nothing. Nothingness DOES NOT exist. You cannot go there, experience it, live in it, or have it. There is no nothing.

However, in the separation, the tiny mad idea asserted that THERE IS an opposite to God. It was an attempt to believe that you CAN go into a nothingness, experience it as if it exists, and live in it. This produced a fictional world, or "lack of God", which the mind believes really exists. Believing this is obviously a mistake.

So we've now "made a world", whose nature is opposite to God's nature in every way, and which does NOT really exist because it's impossible, but the mind BELIEVES that it does. And whatever you believe in your mind will accept as "reality".

"For this world IS the opposite of Heaven, having been made to BE its opposite. And EVERYTHING here takes a direction EXACTLY opposite to what is true."

This world also comprises planet Earth.

"Heaven remains your one alternative to this strange world you made " .... "and earth the other's sorry outcome which is Heaven's opposite in every way"

Every single attribute of God is opposed. Whatever God is NOT, this second world seems to BE. God is possible, the world is impossible. God is permanent, the world is temporary. God is changeless, the world can only change. God is immortal, the world dies. God includes, the world excludes. God loves, the world lacks love. God shares in oneness, the world separates and fragments.

So this sort of "fiction of a world", an assertion that an opposite to God exists, seems to have properties which are totally opposite to God's nature. A world of limitations, suffering, sickness and death. A world of opposition and conflict, of war and attack. This is the physical world, including the Earth and the galaxies etc. It is space and time.

By believing that an opposite to God does exist, we have thus made a world which "depicts" what it might be like IF that opposite really existed. As if nothingness, in all its ways, were something to be experienced. But it is still NOT really total nothingness itself, because that totally does not exist.

"Actual nothingness" WOULD be the total extermination of God and his creations. It would be a complete lack of existence, a total negation of life, an absolute permanent end to creation, and oblivion. We could say that the proper name for that is the idea of "hell." A true opposite to heaven.

One of the things that happens when you oppose God, is you oppose what is true. You make out that what is true is false. You also make out that what is false is true. You take what does not exist and believe it exists. You take what does exist and try to kill it off. As such the true and the false become SWAPPED, which results in total confusion and insanity.

"You HAVE carried the ego's reasoning to its logical conclusion, which is TOTAL CONFUSION ABOUT EVERYTHING."

This total confusion is part of the state of mind of believing in being separate, ie opposite to God. It is a total lack of recognition of what anything actually IS, and so is out of touch with reality, and is therefore insane. This is what comes from the "mad" idea. A mad world in which everything is nonsense.

The mind that believes that separation is possible, is insane. It forms what we call "the ego", which is really just the belief in nothing. A belief in total opposition to God. When mind rejects all truth and asserts everything that's false, it becomes very "twisted". This twistedness is what we might call evil. This belief in God's opposite becomes something along the lines of "satanic" or "devil worship" or "death worship."

"The denial of God is the ego's religion."

Evil is the state of mind in which the truth is completely denied and opposed. A mind that does not want God and sees God as evil. Such a mind is very very confused. It sees death as life, separation as joining, hell as heaven, heaven as hell, conflict as resolution, attack as healing, guilt as forgiveness, and punishment as atonement.

Such a mind is "sick", in every sense of the word. This is extended into what we would call depraved, disgusting, murderous, torturous, manipulative, hateful, vengeful, deceitful, etc. All these characteristics arise from opposing God's nature, leading to a seemingly "evil" sense of identity (lack of) and a completely backwards and distorted attitude. "The evil self I made."

"The devil is a frightening concept ONLY because he is thought of as extremely powerful and extremely active. He is perceived as a force in combat with God, battling Him for possession of Souls. He deceives by lies, and builds kingdoms of his own, in which everything is in direct opposition to God."

"The mind can make the belief in Separation VERY real and VERY fearful. And this belief IS the devil. It is powerful, active, destructive, and clearly in opposition to God, because it literally denies His Fatherhood. Never underestimate the power of this denial. Look at your lives and see what the devil has made."

This ego projects itself ONTO the "believed in" world, the world that was made in an attempt to oppose God. The world is a void and an emptiness and a lack, so it has no inherent meaning. Our mind has to give it meaning. Earth can thus reflect back to us, like a mirror, whatever meaning we GIVE to it, regardless of whether that meaning is unholy or holy.

"Earth can reflect heaven or hell, and always as you wish."

When ego, whose nature is THE SAME as the nature of nothingness, and THE SAME as the nature of physical world, projects onto the physical world, it EMPHASIZES and AMPLIFIES its nature. It hones in on separations, differences, appearances, inequalities, conflicts and attacks. It takes sides, pitting one part against another. It reduces identity to physical form ie bodies, and completely shuts out and kind of abstract level of mind.

The ego thus "projects hell" onto the Earth, and then perceives it IN the Earth. Earth itself isn't hell, but it is an illusion of or FORM of hell. It symbolizes hell in its form and function, but isn't inherently anything - good or bad. Ego MAKES it bad or evil, turning it into an experience of hell, psychological hell, by USING it to BELIEVE IN hell.

So the belief in the mind that believes that an opposite to God IS REAL, and does exist, and can be experienced, MAKES an otherwise neutral nothing illusion of a world into what SEEMS to be an actual existing happening world. As such in its view of this world, of Earth, the ego sees the world as actual fact, as true, as a creation, as God, as heaven, as existing, and as really being experienced.

It is this engagement with, investment in, belief in, choosing of, siding with, and USE OF the nothing world, to try to MAKE IT BE something, that converts what would BE nothing into seemingly something. It then takes on "a life of its own", the world is thought to be causal, it is now doing things to you, you are now under attack as part of it, and your whole sense of its reality blots out the mind and God.

Earth is now experienced AS hell. At first merely an empty symbolic image depicting what hell (nothingness, opposite to God) might be like, but then made vivid and meaning what it appears to be, turning it into an actual happening hell, to your mind. Now you are having a nightmare, in which an opposite to God seems to really exist, really happen to you, and really threaten your existence, robbing your peace of mind and disturbing you.

So first we make an illusory empty world which is not really anything but appears to have a form which symbolizes laws opposite to God's, then our mind turns to ego and invests it with reality, making it appear to be a living hell. Identifying AS a body puts you on the battleground, in the midst of war and chaos and conflict of forms. And everything that happens threatens your life, stresses you it, frightens you and seems unfair.

Our mind can in turn transform into thoughts of heaven, wholeness, healing and God's love. It can project this onto the neutral Earth just as the ego did. It can use the neutral Earth for a higher purpose. That higher purpose is to use it to remind you of how an opposite to God cannot exist. This projects God's actual truth onto the "opposite of God", producing a reflection of God seen "in" the world.

This also entails revealing and RECOGNIZING the nature of this world. In this recognition the world is seen only for "what it is", which is an illusion of nothing pretending to be something. It is not seen AS hell, but as a strange hell-like world that you made by mistake in your attempt to bring about God's opposite. It is seen with love, which reflects love in it, but also reveals that such a world cannot exist.

This recognition, which is enlightenment, finally perceives that this world - opposite to God - is not a real hell, real hell does not exist, only heaven exists, only heaven is reflected in it, and no longer do we need it. The world then slips away and fades into nothingness, into the idea of nothing which it came from. The idea of an opposite to God vanishes and the whole world along with it. We wake up in God, knowing as we always have that an opposite to God does not exist, and "heaven is all that remains."

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