20 September, 2018

Blog

Wrong Side Of Heaven – Righteous Side Of Hell

By Kasun Kamaladasa

Kasun Kamaladasa

I have never really been able to understand the concept of heaven and hell. If heaven granted all my wishes would a person who wishes the complete opposite of what I want, be living in a different heaven? If lying was a reason to go to hell would my friends who tell me I’m handsome go to hell? If I somehow wound up in heaven would all the honest people tell me, I’m ugly when I meet them? Who are the keepers of the gate to heaven that have to process 8,000 humans alone each hour? Who is supposed to count and assess our sins and good deeds? Would we be able to learn how bureaucracy in heaven is so efficient?

Modern followers of religion would accuse me of not understanding metaphors and state that heaven is just a peaceful land with abundance of resources or an advance civilization of aliens living beyond in the cosmos. Yet instead of creating this heaven here on earth many acolytes of faith are hell bound not only to seek it after death but to force others to follow them to their grave, in their search.

No matter what religion we follow (or not) we all believe in salvation in our own “twisted” ways. Mary Wollstonecraft wrote on her publication “A Vindication of the Rights of Men” that: 

“No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks”.

If you really think about it, a thief might be having the good intention of feeding his family or himself, a drug or alcoholic addict just trying to escape the cruel reality and a murderer trying to defend his beliefs or express his scared childhood, a monk preaching superiority of a race in the intention of boosting ego of people, who would otherwise feel useless and unwanted, too has good intentions.  

It makes us wonder if we could all really be having good (righteous) intentions. My righteous intentions of this article is not to be a judge or jury, but to discuss how good intentions (seeking heaven) might end up in not so good outcomes.

Battling Lernaean Hydra with an ordinary sword.

Lernaean Hydra is a mythical serpentine creature that believed to have lived in a lake and had multiple heads that could not be killed by ordinary swords, according to Greek mythology. In modern day version of the story, whenever you cut one of its heads it regenerates two heads, making this beast impossible to kill. So instead of using a simple sword, Hercules finally had to use a sword made of flame to defeat it.

Of course, in reality, we do not have a Hydra nor do we have gods to grant us swords made by flame. But when battling modern forms of Hydra (drug epidemics, depression, suicide, poaching, extremism and terrorism) we do face similar problems and require weapons (solutions) that we do not currently possess.

Let me take for example animal poaching. In Africa rhinos have been poached for ages due to the value of their horns. It is illegal to poach them and in most countries you could get severe punishment for even dealing in rhino horns, even if you have not killed it. In Africa both wild life officials and animal activist keep hunting for poaches, there are new initiatives that have placed cameras in the jungle, drone surveillance and some countries even have tried adding toxins in to living rhinos to make people who kill and consume the horns to fall sick. 

Even after all these efforts, poaches still manage to kill rhinos and steal their horns sell and profit and do it all over again. Recently a startup company Rhinoceros Horn LLC has started to manufacture rhino horns, using 3D printers and selling them. Market research conducted in Vietnam has shown that 50% people who buy rhino horns would prefer to buy this blood free version. It would reduce the price of rhino horns significantly making poaching no longer profitable to risk life and limb for.

So the flaming sword we need to defeat our hydras might even be a simpler and economically viable solution than an ordinary sword.

Curse of the Cat goddess Bastet.

In Egyptian mythology, Bastet is the goddess of war, protection, motherhood and fertility. Thanks to her, cats of ancient Egypt were treated like the modern day cows in India (that is if you Ignore the fact that India is the largest beef exporter in the world). Cats were gods preferred creatures, worshiped by millions of people, given a special place in society and even mummified along with the pharos. Punishment for harming cats was severe, one could get death penalty for killing a cat.

Today we share much more modest attitude towards our feline friends. We still love them, give them the coziest places to sleep, have lovely snacks made just for them, give them full body massages when they demand it, but we do have animal control programs and if you were for some reason harm a cat, you might not really find yourself facing the wrath of Bastet (Then again who am I to say, she doesn’t exist).

Recent social movements (with good intent) have made animal control a little problematic. Pet cats sometimes run away or get lost and become feral. Normally (in most parts of the world) cats have been bred to live with us, eating food that we provide. However, when they start living in the wild, either they would not become part of the ecosystem nor would they be controlled naturally by being hunted as prey.

Somewhere down the line, due to a mix of animal rights and poor funding, we have millions of feral cats hunting and killing other wildlife. Unlike with humans, you can’t teach cats not to kill nor do we have resources to build a cat police and cat judicial system and even if we do, can we afford to cage them all? Cats have in the recent years been responsible for the extinction of 33 species of animals. I wonder what Bastet would do with such a conundrum being goddess of fertility and motherhood. Maybe it is her good intention, making a cat heaven on earth by killing off all other animals.

Opening the gates of hell

In the 17th century (a period of time where people believed poor women who did not abide by norms of society were witches). In a small town, called Salem, there lived two women who suffered from epilepsy. Cotton Mather, a well-educated and a very revered man arrived in Salem to investigate. He was convinced that these women were witches, sent to create hell on earth. He, with the help of few others, tortured a woman for 10 days, until she confessed that she was a witch indeed. She further confessed there were many more amongst them in Salem. Now with proof to back up his claim and other poor women showing signs of seizures (Later found out to be due to a fungus) the town started to burn the “witches” to save our world from hell. A total of 20 women burned in just one year.   

Recent years the Philippines had a rising concern on rapid spread of HIV due to Drug use. So in 2016 the president in Philippines Rodrigo Duterte started a war on drugs that killed more than 12,000 suspected drug users and dealers. It didn’t take much time for many of my trigger happy acquaintance to praise his actions, his braveness in taking action to stop this demonic plague.

Classical inaccurate education and art (movies) on drugs have left many people believing in a drug user stereotype “A poor, useless, selfish, manic person who is ready to steal, rape and murder to get his next high” and a Drug dealer stereotype “rich, deviant, sneaky person who is in a gang, responsible for half of the crime in the world”. In other words, it lead us to treat them as people who are nothing like us “normal” humans.

As violence progressed journalists, human right activists, family members of drug users and political enemies were also killed “with the intention of stopping drugs”. Now my law abiding friends would argue that any war has collateral damage, so, as long as it is not them dying, there is nothing one needs to do.

The biggest problem I see in this solution of fighting drugs is there is no evaluation. There is no evidence that this has stopped drug use. It has not stopped the spread of HIV which is mostly due to contaminated needles used by poor drug addicts. So now more than 20,000 people might have died simply for “good intentions” of some delusional people. Is there a difference between the witch hunt of 17th century and this hunt in the 21st?

Turning Hell in to Heaven

In 2001, Portugal was facing the same problem. Instead of killing the people who were suffering from drug abuse, authorities took a bold step of decriminalizing drugs. They initiated a needle exchange program, where addicts could receive free/cheap needles and condoms. They opened rehabilitation centers for those who needed help. They opened support centers where drug users could find jobs and be a part of the community. Fines for Drug possession (large quantities) among people who were poor was reduced, while for the rich it was increased. Now a drug user is considered a patient, who requires help instead of a criminal, who needs to be punished.

Within a few years newly diagnosed HIV dropped 17%, death due to drug overdose was reduced significantly, teenage drug addiction was reduced by 50%, drug related police work and court work was reduced, saving money for the government. 

Myth of Fear, Eternal damnation and Flames of hell.

Both religious myths and scientific misunderstanding have led to a false belief that fear controls humans.

Preachers of modern religions claim that fear of doing “bad” deeds will stop people from engaging in them. They define what is good and bad. Yet most religious people engage in “bad” deeds.

If you actually read any of the religious books it says a total different story. Karma in Thripitaka for example does not say that all good deeds will be rewarded and all bad deeds will be punished, but that is what monks preach everywhere. If you take the Bible you’d see sin can be whatever you do according to the circumstance, but modern day preachers teach, as if there are absolute sins and absolute good deeds. The Quran too seems to contradict itself, yet it is also seeing good and bad, in context, which is conveniently removed from preaching to misguide its followers. Aesop’s Fables or Spiderman comics too can be used to learn about morals and ethics. Perhaps are even be better suited to modern times.

If we are to analyze the example of nuclear stalemate; lot of people believe that the threat (Fear) of nuclear fallout has stopped us from conflict and violence (and there are those who believe that the world is becoming more violent and full of sin, which is factually wrong. You can read “The Better Angels of Our Nature” for more detailed explanation if you doubt me). Even at the end of world war one, the world had powerful weapons never seen before, like Zeppelins, Artillery and poisonous gasses. Sure they weren’t as devastating as a nuke, but it still killed millions of people from far and was difficult to defend against, with technology of those times.

What really pressed the world for change is the unity we found towards stopping such suffering, the economic gains we found in peace, the power that was lost to single governments and kings and distributed amongst more people and groups, the organizations like UN, WHO, UNICEF which addressed basic human rights and needs for citizens of the world (and not single countries), which has been paramount to peace and happiness.

The WHO for example does not threaten countries with war, death and eternal damnation, to give vaccines to eradicate diseases. It does not even try, embarrassingly, to take credit for all that it prevents and cures. Yet it does more than any organized religion does to make the world a better place (a heaven) for all humans.

If we take fear campaigns by science like fear of global warming for instance, not many really cared or changed when scientist said we will all drown soon, but when scientists and economists took an approach of education and found that we could save our environment and still reap benefits from it, people’s attitudes changed (Instead of saying coal and nuclear power will engulf the world in flames and could end humanity or send you to burn in hell, they found cheaper methods of solar power production, profitable methods of recycling, alternate food instead of beef that was both tasty and nutritional, maybe soon become affordable as well)

Seduction of God, Fear of Satan(Or the other way around).

Lot of people talk about fear and temptation, as if they were experts of psychology. They are dead sure that if you put enough fear in to a man’s heart, they will withstand the mightiest of temptation and the seduction of Satan can be avoided. The same people believe that their temptation to seek pleasure in heaven could overtake the fear of standing against Satan.

My clinical rotation in Dermatology and Venereology during med school was in one of the first ever STD (sexually transmitted diseases) clinics in Russia. So I got to learn lot about the history and evolution of management thanks to my enthusiastic teacher. He also mentioned about a research that they conducted recently on STD distribution amongst different professions and what surprised me the most is that prostitutes were ranked 14th most infected while taxi drivers were ranked 1st and doctors 7th . So theoretically, I was at more risk of getting a STD than a prostitute. This really changed my closed view towards this controversial profession. This allowed me to listen without prejudice to a lecture done by a prostitute in a gathering. No, she didn’t strip or dance naked. She was there to discuss what kind of problems she and her colleges faced, how in her country where prostitution was legal and regulated, she felt safe like any other human being. But in other countries that she visited for her research, prostitutes were tortured, abused and treated like stray animals. I can’t really remember the whole speech but one thing she said that day I will never ever forget.

-Lot of fathers worry about their girls someday growing up and selling their bodies to earn a living but what they do not understand is that somethings are out of your control. In reality despite your best efforts and care there is a chance that your daughter might choose or be forced into this line of work, the question you should ask is not “do you want your child to work as a prostitute” but “if for some reason she does, will she be safe?”-

Instead of trying to rid the world of prostitution, which is morally wrong according to modern religions, she was creating heaven for those who have been condemned to hell, by corrupt governments and bigots. Was she showing gods compassion towards her sisters or turning sadistic desires of Satan possible, I leave for your intelligence to decide.

Righteous reapers of death.

Today all over the world we are seeing people seeking death penalty to terrorist, drug dealers, rapists and others, who they see unworthy to live in this world amongst us, the “worthy” people. It was with great sadness that I witnessed our whole country cheering for death penalty, recently. 

You probably have heard consequences of death penalty to culprits, but it’s also important to understand the pathetic consequences that will be fallen on powerless victims. Both drug addicts and rape victims have very complex and individually unique problems that some of us might be unaware of and there are people who dedicate their whole life to learn and treat them. So what I mention here is just a glimpse of how problematic these situations really are. Some rape victims form bonds with their assailants and might unknowingly be yearning to be close to them, for some who are abused for months and years, it takes more months and years to realize that they have actually been abused, some would get pregnant and not be able to get abortions and have to live with a child that constantly reminds them of the trauma they faced and a child who would not have a father, some would end up never being able to have normal sex or some showing manic attitude towards it. Sometimes therapy of these people might involve meeting the assailant and forgiving them or understanding that the assailant might not be of normal mental state (If the assailant is dead this would be quite hard).

When questioned, none of the blood hungry self-proclaimed judges and jurors, who possess infinite wisdom of the world, seem to be aware of the consequences of death. I guess when their entire belief system is based on infinite life after death, it’s easy to not think twice, before taking another’s life. Enraged with emotions of anger, it is easy to seek revenge that does not fix the problem nor give a cure to those harmed. I too, understand having friends and acquaintances, who have been victims of drugs and rape, it is frustrating not being able to stop and help. But there is no simple solution. We just cannot sit at home and office, and ask to kill some randomly caught person and wish these complex problems to go away.

If you truly want long lasting solutions and not fake justice and a spectacle by a cheap politician, volunteer your time to care for drug addicts, give them hope and opportunity again and again, to get back in shape, educate yourself and others from well researched and peer reviewed journals (sadly some professionals too, resort to superstitions and outdated treatments), work to make our country a more equal and fair place, try to read and understand about depression, lean more about sex, fight for sexual education for all children and adults. Everything I mentioned has proven to reduce rape and addiction far better than death penalty (actually there is no scientific evidence that shows any benefit of death penalty).
 
I think it is time; Instead of serving as reapers of death and escorting people to a nonexistent heaven and hell, to make heaven on earth that all people may go to, if they so please.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 2
    2

    “I have never really been able to understand the concept of heaven and hell”. Unless you are given that capability as a gift, you cannot, until the day, in the future, when you will experience it yourself, either in the hell or in the heaven. For the moment, do not believe in them as you cannot, but just think that they are two real places.

    • 3
      0

      “L’enfer, c’est les autres” …………… or ………….. “Hell is other people”


      the perpetual ontological struggle being caused to see oneself as an object from the view of another consciousness.

      In short ………….. been born a Lankan! :))

      • 0
        2

        I was wondering what the phycologists call Nimal F’s condition – constant feeling that you are trapped in an inescapable shithole. Unless he is cured in this life, when the good fellow goes heaven he still will take it as a shit hole.
        Soma

        • 5
          0

          Oh! Soma,

          Now I feel genuinely sorry for you ………

          “Shithole” talk was started by the good ol’ Great Donald ……….. so according to your logic he should live in a s-hole? ……… But he doesn’t; lives in the lap of luxury ……… so he can recognize a s-hole when he sees one ……… and doesn’t want to live in one :))

          While you, living in it ………. will not be able to see it ………… would a pig know he/she is wallowing in shit? ……. in fact the pig – like you – just loves it! And thinks it’s his motherland!

          Please, I’m not call you a pig ……….. just using an example ……….. I do not insult people ……. cause I don’t have to :)) …….. They do a swell job doing it to themselves!

          Soma ……. now how’s that for logic? Stand, cap in hand, and admire! :)))

          • 0
            0

            Aristotle must be squirming in his grave.
            Soma

            • 0
              0

              Thank ye most kindly ………. good ol’ Ari was small fry. :))

              Stuck for logic, eh? …… C’mon ……… don’t give up so easily ………. it’s a slow day ………. I want some entertainment ………. wisdom from great Lankan minds ………..

          • 2
            0

            Dear nimal fernando,
            .
            Your two comments; what a fall from the decent and thought provoking to the nauseatingly scatological. But I don’t blame you.
            .
            It is Soma who wrecks sensible discussion every time she intervenes.

  • 1
    4

    Dear Little Atheist Kasun. K…..
    I have some questions for you..
    Do you know the subject of Hell and Heaven are unseen supernatural issues.. Like that of your life in your soul.. Have you seen or felt what is your soul look like..
    what is your life on your body look like? you can not put your soul into experimental laboratory to examine the nature of soul in the body .. Likewise we say angel, devils and bad and good do you see them and do you feel them… Likewise. as soon as our spirit departs our body,, our soul will enter into new world. It is not like this physical world. if you believe in three religious faith. namely Islam, christian and jewish faith .. you will know what is it look like to believe in Hell and Heaven..
    do not make mockery of Hell & Heaven ….
    Do you think that your dad and your mum, your sisters and bothers will never see you after all of you passed away from this world? Do not you have any feeling to see them once again in life.. Do you think all human beings die like animals and plants and become just.. if so, what is the difference between animals and you.. both are same you have creative thinking faculty.. nothing else..if you think so, that you are same in ranking with animals, birds and plants.. then you could argue that there is no need for Hell and heavens ?/ because they do not have any faculty but you are blessed with intellect… then comes responsibility and then come accountability .. so, whatever you do good you should be rewarded and whatever you do bad you must be punished.. so, logically you need Hell and heaven? does it make sense for you..

    • 5
      1

      Why worry about ‘Supernaturals’ when natural beings in the world are killed daily.If the supernaturals are capable of doing taking you to heaven or hell so be it. Religious faiths are not created by supernaturals, they are created by humans to to live in imaginary world of their own. If humans, after death go to hell even animals should go to either of these two places. THIRUVSAGAM a popular hindu religious book revered by all hindus says, we all take turn to be born as” pullahi, poodahi puluvahi, poondahi maramahi, palmiruhamhi paravayai, pampahi , kallahi, manitharai, peyai, kanagkalai, valasurarahi,munivarai thevarai etc. This loosely translated means we are born as various animals ,birds , stones worms, devils ,angels etc,
      What have you got to say for this please,.

    • 2
      0

      We are fully animals, but we have also evolved so as to have intelligence – and what we may call intellect. WE have developed systems of ethics, which includes caring for all of nature – which the rest of Nature will not even understand.
      .
      “The Logic of Heaven and Hell”. There are five traditional proofs of the truth of God. Please google for them. Not one can be “disproved”; nor can they be proved beyond doubt. I’m not going back to studying all that again. I’m satisfied with my agnostic stand on God, but on balance, I have no faith in your concept of the Abrahamic God. I’m not going to get bogged down in this argument. Please listen to Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. If nothing else, they are interesting to listen to – on Youtube.
      .
      It may be flattering and comforting to believe in rewards and punishment being divinely ordained. My faith is rather more bleak.
      ,
      One last request, Lankan-patriot. Let us please co-exist without hostility.

  • 1
    1

    Dear Kusan. Take for instance. Hitler.. How many people he had killed? is it fair that he spared any punishment? take a good man? he spent all his wealth for a good course? Is it not fair to reward him?
    you and your atheists think from your background? people who do not have any religious background you could only think on material level and not from any other ways.. ..
    do you think that you just eat, drink and enjoy and die..and just become dust.. what a shame to think like that.. you and animals are at same ranking? where did you come from ? where do you go from here after your death? think about this question? do you think this universe is created by accident? no designer? what a joke it would be .. are you born without any parent? can you believe it? likewise? why do not you think that this universe has got a creator who created this universe with a mission and man is created by that God for a purpose.. find out more about this before you write any more.

  • 1
    3

    Mr. Kamaladasa: YOu look very young. How do you sy even you may completed University degree, you understand the whole world ? HAve you read Quantum Dynamics. DO you understand those ?. Einstein Says that the rate of time flowing changes as we fly faster. DO you believe that or not ? IT is proven even inside a JEt, the chronometers work different. When you get old start meditating, you may here different. TRUST ME. Start talking Gos KAtaragama, Drutha Rashta, Dedimunda, Sunian Davathava, goddes PAttini or Kali. YOu get messages. Try and see.

  • 1
    2

    Another point is if you do not have any laearning in buddhism your theining is weird, you will understand oneday once you start practicing buddhist meditation. Even if you behave you may get some messages from gods and goddess if you start beliving or at least talking to them. Try and prove it wrong.

  • 0
    0

    Mr Kamaladasa: How do you explain that there are no drug problems in PAkisthan even though they export. Malaysia, Singapore, and many arab countries do not have drug problems. Singapore says DADA is death, Today, DRUGS is avery organized problem. Did you here IRAN-CONTRA Affair and US GENERAL was involved. IRan is not taken by USA as a Friend. On the otherhand, NICARAGUA had drugs and a gun problem. Why Small Singapore which is nmost capitaliost country in ASIA doe snot have the drug problem. did you ask them why they don’t ahve that drug problem. what happens if we arrest an individual from the west brining drugs. Embassy would say, it is our man and send him home. So, that is how our death penulty is. IT will be limited. Simplu, you can write in English. but the content is BS.

  • 5
    0

    When humans chose tribal living instead of hunter-gatherer life, there was more time to think. This probably led to the development of ‘intelligence’ as we know it. Superstition was a logical thought. Then came those who rebelled against superstition. Buddha and Jesus were some of them. Some enterprisers (calling themselves priests), inserted superstition into the teachings. Bingo! There were religions. Heaven and hell were additions.
    .
    To cut a long story short, Kasun only wants us to take a rational look at all these religious bigotry.
    PS: He is NOT crude as I was in the earlier paragraph!

  • 3
    0

    Sorry JD..
    Budhsism is not a religion but it is mysticism…a monk way of life …
    Do you believe in one God .
    You have gods in millions so you do not worship one God …but gods ..
    You have polytheism..
    You could say you have a sufi way of life

  • 0
    5

    KAsun: Did you here what is called NARCOLEPSY. This is a psychological or mental disease in the west. They use opiod (legal narcotic) to treat it. they sysmptom of this condition is full100% comptabiel with those People who gain Dhayanas in Buddhist metditation. they start talking to gods. among muslims, particularly sufis, the narcolepsy is very common. Paksithan si also one such country which has drug use very high. But, check among buddhism narcolepsy is not known.they experience it completely in a different way. then ask this narcopletpic people. they here people talking in their mind and past life experience like things. but buddhist can can conect those things their past life, present life behaviours and samsara related things. The west Islamic world can not identify those things.

    • 2
      0

      Jimmy again with his pseudo science and stupidity

      Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that affects the control of sleep and wakefulness. The etiology is unknown yet but somehow Jimmy knows everything.
      It is also there in Sri Lanka as well.
      I would imagine that people who do Dhayanas in Buddhist meditation have a neurological disorder as well to be so gullible to BS in their sleepy state.

      Opioids are a a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl… these drugs act on opioid receptors, hence are called opioids.

      Talking to gods are called hallucinations if you come to Angoda we can provide a cure.

      • 0
        0

        Truth Seeker: You are an idiot who is just talking and di dnot answer properly. Just a description is just BS. Just say you do not know the world.

  • 10
    3

    What strikes me most about this writer is that he’s not being disingenuous; he appears to be truly shocked and outraged that there’s so much hypocrisy and injustice in society. His youthful idealism is still intact, not yet corrupted by the cynical world of adults. His open mind and the non-judgmental attitude should be great assets to him as he’s in a healing profession. But the do-gooder should be aware that life is full of ambiguities; and that the human condition is something that is contingent. Otherwise he will soon face a burnout when he runs into these challenges and realizes there are no easy answers to life’s many problems. He’ll find the profusion of theories and information overload that he has allowed to invade his mind bring only more confusion and suffering to him and his patients. But, if he turns to silence and humility in times of crisis, he may find the necessary wisdom and insight to bring true healing and relief to the suffering. So my appeal to the young man is: “Don’t overburden yourself with theories and concepts, and please follow the 3 rules of good writing: edit, edit, edit.”

    • 2
      0

      According to man, without god nothing may happen? If so, drugs are the creation of
      God made man, perhaps with the approval of God. Reason unknown. Similar to why wars are created? killing millions.

  • 3
    0

    My dearest son Kasun

    Welcome back!

  • 2
    0

    Dear Kasun

    I know you are a hardworking student at Lumumba university. I have seen you riding a pushbike to uni. It’s hard in Moscow during winter.

    You may not know me, but I work at St Petersburg university as an English lecturer. You need to grow and become bigger to know and understand such big things like heaven and earth. Even we adults are still grappling with the ideas.

  • 2
    0

    Good article ,well written ,but somehow like all of us humans ,when we either have limited knowledge ,or a mind programmed with a certain concept of analysing beliefs ,it becomes exactly like the bulging balloon. You see when we squeeze one side of the balloon another side bulges out, so are our thoughts on everything.
    For one thing I gathered reading between the lines of your article is,,I am more than confident and am saying this with responsibility ,as an atheist ,which I take it you are , other than the mythical Greek stories in which your whole concept of article is drawn from ,you either have very little out of context read or hear say kbowledge about the Religious books such as Thripiteke, The Bible ,The Quran , ,
    However ,I do agree the organizations you mentioned have contributed a lot to humanity and life in general.

    What is required for religious organizations is to start working g more closely with such organizations and not to concentrate solely on rituals and further for religious men as well as atheist and agnostics not to take all religious scriptures literally.
    Peace be to you

  • 0
    0

    What now? The author seems to be pretty confused. For a Buddhist (not just Theravada), “Heaven and hell” can mean different things. It is both physical and importantly psychological. You getting angry (or even frustrated) is a form of “hell” while choosing not to get angry and walking away from a potentially confrontational situation or being smart and not getting angry in the first place is a form of “heaven”. Similarly, you being born into a certain situation as a human or non-human physically can also be “Heaven or hell”. Imagine a being (non-human, since a human won’t survive) born inside the core of the earth or core of a star feeling all the painful effects of the surrounding environment continuously, such as being burnt, crushed and torn to pieces is an extreme form of “hell”. “Heaven and hell” are physical and psychological existences (or realms) and you somewhat avoid going to “Hell” by being mindful, positive, virtuous, etc right now, in this very moment. “Heaven and hell” are NOT permanent existences to Buddhists. You go to Heaven and Hell an infinite number of times either physically and/or psychologically either in this very moment or many, many eons away. Going to a physical, pleasurable, luxurious heaven is definitely NOT the goal of a Buddhist. That is a wasteful venture.

    • 3
      0

      Imagine your a fish constantly drowning, or a worm buried alive in soil… That is hell…. I swear this idiot cannn’t even understand that.

  • 2
    0

    When anyone intends to study the books held as sacred and holy by the followers.

    There are some reasonable rules to be applied ,it can. be a book of any religion and it could mean being read or studied by even an atheist.

    No 1) is to be in a state of cleanliness ,this the Quran instructs in itself .

    But unfortunately again taken too literal & many assume anyone who is not a Muslim should not be allowed to even touch it ,I wonder how an Arab atheist or Arab Christian is going to study it without being allowed to touch it.

    Although I fully appreciate ablution in full (Head &body bath) similar to baptism ,beside it the wudu , refreshes the mind and body ,like washing of hands &feet before you touch the flowers for paying homage to the Buddha.

    But where the Scripture is concerned its the cleanliness of the heart from all prejudice, without doing so you will never grasp even an atom of the messages ,let it be Buddhism ,Hinduism ,Christianity or Islam .
    This is the first rule

    Cont.. .

  • 1
    0

    Study of the Scriptures cont..

    No 2_)
    Understand &accept the fact the book contains matters of past ,and future ,some may seem barbaric to us today ,bit st the period it was permitted it could have been the only solution .

    But I agree wholly ,that some of the laws of past which is not suitable for today ,must be archived or reformed .
    3) as someone who s not a theologian of the particular book may need advice from the experts .

    Finally As this whole subject has risen from the death penalty issue , One must understand that though a certain system might work in Portugal ,it may not work in Sri Lanka , that is why even a western constitution needs to be structured with home grown set of rules .

    Those Sri Lankans who take the lives of others or make money at the cost of the life of others really love theirs more than money ,

    So death penalty is the answer .

  • 1
    0

    Heaven and Hell are right here with us. Some are in ‘heaven’, others in ‘hell’.
    Any rational man with normal intelligence knows this.
    Some take delight in making others’ life hellish for various reasons – religious, racial, economic disparity, coveting another person’s status/wealth etc.
    This is human nature.
    “Be Good and Do Good” is a way of life all should follow.

    • 1
      0

      Justice!
      you have said it a ‘nutshell’ .Let the nut germinate and educate the masses of little things that goes a long way.

    • 1
      2

      I agree, Be Good, Do Good and Kill all who do BAD. Simple life.
      Author is so stupid…
      Stupid freaking police and courts lets just abolish them too and give guns to all…
      with simple instruction… Do Good, Be Good and Kill Bad…… why people can’t do such a simple thing!!!!

  • 0
    0

    Mr. Kasun Kamaladasa: You say: “I have never been able to understand the concept of heaven and hell”. Where are you? In Sri Lanka or some where out beyond our seas? If not in Sri Lanka, please do pay a visit and stay for a minimum of six months. I guarantee you, that you will definitely SEE and EXPERIENCE both the “HEAVEN” and “HELL”. Unfortunately, you will see and experience more of the “HELL” at the helm (in politics, religion, social, economic circles) than the “HEAVEN”, that too sparingly spread in those areas mentioned. This is a welcome in “Advance” to both the “HEAVEN” and “HELL”.

  • 6
    0

    Dear Kasun, I really appreciate your effort and being bold enough to writing this article. Most people are talking about supernatural things to escape the reality. Nobody knows where he come from or where he go to ? People talk about soul,spirit,rebirth and gods but no one knows what they really is. Truth is we are animals but we can think rationally better than other animals. As we are a kind of animals law of jungle “survival of the strongest” is also applicable to us. Therefore we can not expect perfect hell or heaven on the Earth. Everything is subject to change. As you know lord Buddha ,Jesus Christ, other religious leaders and scientists could not make the world a perfect place. Universe is unlimited and hard to define. Therefore as human being it is good to use our brain to treat everyone equal in our actions. Make The Earth comfortable place for every one as much as we can in practise.
    As long as we enjoy good things in the nature there are natural disasters which are beyond our control.Most of things are not permanent. For some accidents hard to find a reason.

    Every action has a reaction. As long as our actions are reasonably correct according to the nature there can be good results ( people enjoy peace). The actions make the hell or heaven in this world. Rewards or punishments for our actions are received in this world as an individual and as a community. There is no God or other supernatural being who judge our action. Best thing is try to be happy and make others happy.

    I wish all the best.

    • 0
      0

      Dear Nelesco,
      .
      I see that you have posted this about four days ago. I’ve just been starting from the top, and posted a comment very similar to yours in content.
      .
      Just want to say that I had arrived at something like your attitudes without being aware of them.

  • 5
    0

    Puthe Kasun

    Please write about Imran Khan

    (don’t worry too much about heaven and hell)

  • 2
    0

    Everyone has the right to his belief as long as he does not become a pain in the ass, and try to shove it down others throat ,this includes the atheists too

    None has the right to force anyone to disbelieve in his God .

    If an Atheist is happy being what he is,,, he is free to explain his experience ,but has no right to ridicule other faiths .

  • 0
    0

    What is the definition of Organized Crime ?

    Can anyone list it put by numbering please ,

    Really would be exited to see what peoples perceptive is all about it .

  • 0
    0

    @JD you are a PIA International.

    Please keep your God and Goddess to yourself and likes ,kasun’s throat need not be shoved with your beliefs

  • 2
    0

    The mind of every Human has the answer for all questions of the seen and unseen .

    We decide our heaven and hell on earth , Sleep ,dream and waking up daily may provide us a cosmos of experience of life after death ,heaven and hell.

    We all will reap what we sow on earth and after life .

    We will all have to pay and we all be rewarded to whatever we deserve ,not an atom will be denied in both cases.

    Keep formatting your mind and cleaning up as often as possible and don’t relish by creating sorrow to others ,for you never know what is in store for you tomorrow.
    .
    Basic and simple order , This is my way and let there be no compulsion in any religion or way of life .

  • 6
    0

    Dear Kasun Kamaladasa,
    .
    Seeing young guys like you writing seriously, yet responsibly, makes old fellows like me feel that there is some future for the world, and more specifically for Sri Lanka. I will study your arguments more carefully before attempting a more comprehensive response.
    .
    I’m impressed by what I’ve already seen here.

  • 3
    0

    “I have never really been able to understand the concept of heaven and hell.”

    I will write few cents of what I know. I propose that you should understand and not believe in god centered theories. It is by pure understanding that you will perceive what life is all about.

    Heaven is not a special place made for souls to reside after death. Heaven is the space occupied by all the matter and energy that you find in this universe. The matter and energy is the god that you are talking of. They are all well connected up for you to understand at a later date. Death is the release of organized state of life. It is not soul or any other form as preached by religions. Once dead, the body amalgamates with the energy and matter of the universe. You will never be born again. That is how the universe operate as far as I have understood. You will see it is the same sentiments expressed in the ‘lords prayer’.

  • 2
    0

    I still hold strongly everything is within ones mind . which I interpret the Arabic term .as Naffs .

    And Nafs is The mind and is the self as far as I conceive..

    That is why The Quran is so insistent on one’s intentions (niya)… .

    This is one single point where I believe Quran Naffs and Buddha’s Mind agree as the same thing

    Your mind will take you to where you prepare it to take you ,it does daily on earth and after death most probably to a permanent space .

  • 1
    0

    Welcome back & Greetings
    (Mr.) Sinhala Man.

    The man of Patience and provider of a well balance – readers comment .

    Good to have you on .
    Cheers
    Fahim

  • 1
    0

    Thank you, Fahim Knight.
    .
    It’s only today that I’ve spent some time looking at this article and the comments.
    .
    I see that you’ve made many comments here, all of them testifying to your being intelligent and nice. Does that sound lukewarm praise? I feel that you will not dismiss it as such. When we strive to being considered the greatest that ever lived, I think that we become pains to others.
    .
    The most sensible thing (but we’re not always sensible!) is to wait a relatively short time (in terms, for instance, of the ages of the religions that so many have felt impelled to talk about). We shall soon know whether there is eternal bliss (or horror for some has been forecast) after we depart this world.
    .
    Meanwhile my family and I have just watched what is probably the longest film on this story:
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ze9Lpa0o264
    .
    32 minutes. It’s a beautiful film, well presented. Got to admire Dr David Goodall – but we wouldn’t want much younger men emulating what this 104 year old did. This ought to set many people thinking – constructively – for or against.
    .
    One thing is certain: in our country, we have plumbed the depths!

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.