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Saturday, November 7, 2015

Where Is Hell, Exactly?

I can imagine having this discussion with a young person. She comes to me one day and asks where Hell is. We sit down with some cookies and milk or a big bowl of buttery popcorn to discuss this deep subject.

Part A, the more philosophical part:

There are many differing views or opinions about the existence or location of this place known as Hell. Is there such a place? If so, where would it be?

For people of faith, those who believe in a Supreme Being or a God or a Higher Power, or whatever the name is in their language or belief system, there is typically an opposite to this being of goodness. For whatever positive force exists, there is an equally negative force as a counterbalance. There is no sweetness without the possibility of bitterness, no good without the possibility of bad. This is something that is actually seen in nature and humanity on a scale both grand and small. For all of the fuzzy little critters out there, there are hunters who are eager to catch them. And humans are certainly well represented in both positive and negative behaviors.

For people who believe in the concept of a Heaven, there is the chance of a reward after life ends, a possibility to be in the presence of their Supreme Being. Following the theory of opposites, people often believe in the concept of a Hell, a place out of the presence of this Supreme Being. Now, this is where things can get really interesting. Many people believe that since we are living in this imperfect world, apparently removed from the presence of a Benevolent Creator, that we are already in Hell. Watching the news on any given day will certainly reinforce this opinion. 

Then, of course, there are the people who believe that both good and bad exist everywhere, regardless of one's location. That would mean that Heaven and Hell exist side by side throughout the world and throughout our lives. This is something many people might find easy to believe because of the nature of this crazy planet on which we live, and the wonders and horrors it can present to us every day.

I guess it all comes down to this: nobody can tell for certain, can they? Every person's concepts of Heaven and Hell, if they have them, are very personal. What is Heaven for one person might be Hell for another. And as the night follows the day, the opposite is also true. What is Hell for you may be Heaven for a person from another part of the world where the things we take for granted, like clean water, for example, are often unattainable. If you look at things that way, it sure changes things, doesn't it?

Part B, the not-philosophical part:

Having had some experience with such things, I'd have to say that Hell is probably located somewhere near Orlando, Florida, USA. This is a place where you step out the door to the feeling that you have been wrapped in a very large, steaming-hot wet blanket. You spend any and all time outdoors bathed in a combination of sweat and damp air. Any place that regularly has temperatures around ninety degrees along with humidity that runs around seventy percent was certainly designed as a punishment for humans. So, Hell is either in a place we never can locate or define, or most definitely in Orlando. Just lately, I'm leaning toward it being in Orlando.


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