Hell like heaven is mentioned in all the religions of God and like heaven hell is not a physical place.
114. Hell like heaven is mentioned in all the religions of God and hell like heaven is hinted at as not being a physical place but a spiritual place more like a state of mind or a spiritual state in which we find ourselves upon our death: Zoroastrianism: “From the same jug, Mazda (God) distributes the portion to all. But one gets honey and another gets poison as his share. The pot is the same, and so its content is the same. The mentality of the recipient makes the difference.” (ZOROASTER, Hymns of Atharvan p. 833) It’s all about the mentality of the believers whether they find themselves in heaven or hell. It’s a spiritual state of mind we shall find ourselves in when we die; for all eyes will be opened to all the things we have done, or in many cases left undone, and we will really see, for the first time, all the events we have caused to happen to those around us and the part we played in all the hardships and heart aches, or conversely all the joys and love we spread around us while we lived. In one case one is in heaven, while for another man he is in hell. The jug, or the abode, is the same. We all find ourselves in the same spiritual realm but some see their goodness, while others see only the consequences of the evil they have performed. This is, of course, an over simplification of things to come and does not take into account God’s interactions with us or in some cases the lack thereof, but the message is pretty much the same. You do good things and good will come out of it and if you perform works of darkness you can expect the same as your reward. This is one of the reasons why Solomon warned us: Judaism: Proverbs 27:20 “Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.” Hell is the lack of satisfaction on our part and the want of things we just can’t have due to our actions in this life:
BABI RELIGION: “Know thou of a certainty that by Paradise is meant recognition of and submission unto Him Whom God shall make manifest, and by the fire the company of such souls as would fail to submit unto Him or to be resigned to His good-pleasure. On that Day thou wouldst regard thyself as the inmate of Paradise and as a true believer in Him, whereas in reality thou wouldst suffer thyself to be wrapt in veils and thy habitation would be the nethermost fire, though thou thyself wouldst not be cognizant thereof.”
(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 81)
Babi Religion: “Should anyone possessed of insight behold, he will see how the people of paradise have preceded the rest into heaven, even though their food was no more than the leaf of a tree; whereas the people of hell have entered therein by their own consent, bringing with them those things (shu’un) in which they benefited from the word of negation, in which they pride themselves, and by which they are tormented in the fire, although they are unaware of that.”
(The Bab (unauthorized translation), The Persian Bayan)
Babi Religion: “THERE is no paradise, in the estimation of the believers in the Divine Unity, more exalted than to obey God‘s commandments, and there is no fire in the eyes of those who have known God and His signs, fiercer than to transgress His laws and to oppress another soul, even to the extent of a mustard seed. On the Day of Resurrection God will, in truth, judge all men, and we all verily plead for His grace.”
(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 78)
BAHA’I FAITH: “Heaven is the state of perfection, and Hell that of imperfection; Heaven is harmony with God‘s will and with our fellows, and Hell is the want of such harmony; Heaven is the condition of spiritual life, and Hell that of spiritual death. A man may be either in Heaven or in Hell while still in the body. The joys of Heaven are spiritual joys; and the pains of Hell consist in the deprivation of these joys.”
(Bahá’í Faith, Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Baha’u’llah and the New Era, p. 190)
Following this reasoning, of hell not really being a physical place God created for the torment of the physical body of man; after death we are a spirit created in God’s image. Judaism: Genesis 9:6 “for in the image of God made He man.” Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” Christianity: John 4:24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit.” We are a spirit when we die. John 3:6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” So I ask you, What would be the use of a physical place to take up our new spiritual existence, and what would be the use of a physical fire to harm a spiritual ethereal being? Baha’i Faith: “The soul of man is immortal; it survives physical death. The goal of the individual during his life should be to develop those spiritual qualities and attributes which will enhance the soul in its eternal journey. Heaven is thus interpreted as the state of possessing those qualities and Hell as being bereft of them.” (Moojan Momen, The Bábí and Baha’i Religions, p. xxiv)
As Bahá’ís we recognize that terms like hell and heaven are symbolic for man’s state of being in which we can experience small aspects of right here in this earthly life.
The Apostle Paul tells us: Christianity: 1 Corinthians 15:49 “As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” 1 Corinthians 15:50 “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” If flesh and blood, or the physical body of man, cannot inherit the Kingdom of God (heaven) why do we think that the physical body of man can go to a physical hell? If the physical body of man cannot go to heaven, then it only stands to reason that the physical body of man cannot go to hell either.
BAHA’I FAITH: “O ye lovers of God! Be kind to all peoples; care for every person; do all ye can to purify the hearts and minds of men; strive ye to gladden every soul. To every meadow be a shower of grace, to every tree the water of life; be as sweet musk to the sense of humankind, and to the ailing be a fresh, restoring breeze. Be pleasing waters to all those who thirst, a careful guide to all who have lost their way; be father and mother to the orphan, be loving sons and daughters to the old, be an abundant treasure to the poor. Think ye of love and good fellowship as the delights of heaven, think ye of hostility and hatred as the torments of hell.”
(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 244)
In the Bahá’í Faith we accept that God is, in truth, a good loving God, not some maniacal being that purposely goes out of His way to make us suffer and who has arranged a terrible suffering everlasting ending for us that even some of the worst humans on this earth would consider as completely unjust. If we, as humans would consider this ending as unjust, how can we attribute this kind of behavior to a God who is Justice and Love incarnate. It would be grave injustice of a creator, who knows everything, to create even one soul that He is going to condemn to agonizing suffering for all eternity. It would be best to have never created that soul in the first place, and where would God’s all merciful essence play into all of this? God Who, the religious writings of God tell us is mercy incarnate Baha’i Faith: “The station of God is mercy, kindness, forgiveness, sacrifice, favor, grace and giving life to the spirits and lighting the fire of His love in the hearts and arteries.” “God is mercy, God is justice, God is life, etc., etc.” A God who is all mercy Himself would not create a soul who is to suffer such a fate without making an eventual way out for that soul, it goes beyond justice. (See reprieved from hell for more information)
(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha v1, p. 65 and Foundations of World Unity, p. 102)
And what does the word hell really means, it seems to take on many different meanings at different times as one can see from the numerous statements found in the writings about hell. Judaism: 2 Samuel 22:6 “The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me;” Job 10:21 “Before I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death;” Job 10:22 “A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness.” Here death is described as darkness and hell is inferred as a chaotic place of darkness. Psalms 9:16 “The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands.” Psalms 9:17 “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” Psalms 9:18 “For the needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish forever.” Here it states that the wicked and all the nations that forget God shall be turned into hell, not sent to hell, but turned into hell. One has to ask him or herself how can a whole nation be in hell on this physical earth let alone turned into hell? It can be deduced from this statement that these words are symbolic of the individual soul’s state of being, hence the statement “turned into hell.” As for the ignorance of the nations on the earth at that time being turned into hell or the wicked terrible nations on the earth being cast into a physical hell to burn for all eternity; it doesn’t make any physical sense. It’s symbolic in meaning of course: Psalms 9:20 “Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men.” Here we see that the nations are made up of men, or the nations of men, in which case the men of the nations can be judged by their actions like Sodom and Gomorrah was judged by The Lord for all their iniquity: Isaiah 3:9 “The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.” Isaiah 3:10 “Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.” Isaiah 3:11 “Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.” So, we see God does judge whole nations, just one individual at a time. Psalms 16:8 “I have set The LORD always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” Psalms 16:9 “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.” Psalms 16:10 “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” Here, though David is still living on the earth, he states that his soul is in hell, which he states God will remove this sorrow from him. Also, we find corruption being associated with hell. Psalms 18:4 “The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.” Psalms 18:5 “The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.” David uses the terms hell and death almost interchangeably in Psalms 18:4-5. This almost leads a person to believe that David considers death and hell to be symbolically the same thing. Psalms 86:12 “I will praise Thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify Thy name for evermore.” Psalms 86:13 “For great is Thy mercy toward me: and Thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.” David, again, infers that spiritual hell is right here, with him, on this earth, not just some dark place we go to after death, but a spiritual place or spiritual state of mind we find ourselves in, like being filled with mental torment and anguish. Psalms 116:3 “The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.” Here David puts a name on it and refers to sorrow and pain as being part of hell. Pain is something that can be physical in nature, but sorrow is a state of the mind and soul, not a state of the physical body. Psalms 139:8 “If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there.” God is to be found everywhere; where ever David finds himself heaven or hell. This again argues the point that hell like heaven is not a physical place, because God is found there whether in heaven or hell. Christianity: Colossians 1:16 “All things were created by Him, and for Him:” 1:17 “And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.” 2 Corinthians 2:14 “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph….. and maketh manifest the savour of His knowledge….. in every place.” Heaven or hell. Ephesians 4:4 “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 4:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” There is no place where God is not to be found. Judaism: Proverbs 5:5 “Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.” Proverbs 7:27 “Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.” Here again, death and hell are used almost interchangeably, which again, argues of the symbolic nature of hell being a state of the soul, because death can also be considered spiritual in nature with death being the lack of spiritual life in the soul of man (see Death, Life and Resurrection for more information). Isaiah 57:9 “And thou wentest to the king with ointment, and didst increase thy perfumes, and didst send thy messengers far off, and didst debase thyself even unto hell.” We can see from this statement, from Isaiah, that hell is a place we can put ourselves; again, right here on this physical earth and not necessarily a place God has to put us. Amos 9:2 “Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down:” Again, we perceive from this statement that hell and heaven are places we can put ourselves right here by our very own actions. Jonah 2:1 “Then Jonah prayed unto The LORD his God out of the fish’s belly,” Jonah 2:2 “And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto The LORD, and He heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and Thou heardest my voice.” Hell as we can again see can be found right here on this earth while we are yet alive, though we must understand that hell can only intensify when we discard our physical body and see the true results of all of our actions displayed before us. Habakkuk 2:5 “Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people:” Hell here is referred to as being like death and being something that can never be satisfied. Which again, leads us right back to mankind: Proverbs 27:20 “Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.” “as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied.” Christianity: Acts 2:26 “Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:” Acts 2:27 “Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” Acts 2:28 “Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.” Here again we find that now Paul needs God to deliver his soul from the spiritual form of hell found right here on this earth and again we see hell being associated with corruption. Acts 2:31 “He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.”
Now we find that Jesus Christ himself was in hell when he died on the cross, and we need to ask ourselves, just what Christ had done to deserve even one day in hell let alone three days in hell. Why would God allow His son to suffer even one minute in a fiery hell for doing just what God wanted him to do? It makes no sense. Also, for a third time we find hell being associated with corruption. Christianity: 2 Peter 2:4 “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” This is a new slant on hell. Hell here is not referred to as a lake of fire, but chains in darkness. Jude 1:6 “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” Revelations 1:18 “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” Revelations 6:8 “And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” Revelations 20:13 “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.” Revelations 20:14 “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” Here hell is repeatedly referred to as death which can, as I stated earlier, symbolically mean spiritual death; so spiritual death can be a form of hell that is a form of mental anguish. How else could death and hell be cast into the lake of fire? This statement is definitely not meant to be taken literally.
Finally, Paul describes hell and punishment as being denied the presence of the Lord and being shut out from His glory and power. Christianity: 2 Thessalonians 1:8 “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:” 1:9 “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of The Lord.” What greater hell can there be then to want to be in the presents of God and to be shut out from His presents, as by a veil, because of the works of our hands in this life. What fiercer, greater torment can there be then to desire; to long for the love of the Creator and to be denied that love everlastingly because we wouldn’t take the time out of our lives to get to know Him and trust Him. This is what the Bahá’ís consider hell to be, remoteness from God and His chosen ones everlasting. We don’t get fire we don’t get brimstone we get to exist in solitude and be alone. Judaism: Daniel 12:2 “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Again we are told that we will not only suffer from remoteness from God, but Daniel also tells us we will be held in shame and contempt for our acts while we were alive.
Lastly for anyone who still finds it hard to believe in a non-literal hell. Christianity: Revelations 20:15 “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Here we have the people whose names are not written in the book of life being cast into hell. After this we have the new heaven and the new earth for the former are passed away and are no more. And with the coming of the new heaven and new earth we see the holy city New Jerusalem coming down from God and all is good. Revelations 21:1 “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away.” Revelations 21:2 “And I John saw the holy city new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” So again, I say, all is apparently good. The bad people are gone. We have a new earth to call our home. So why are there still bad people on the earth?
You would think that all the bad people are gone and only the good people are left. All the people whose names were not mentioned in the book of life were cast into hell. Only the good people are left, those people whose names are written in the book of life. So why does the last chapter of the book of Revelations tell us the bad people are not gone? Christianity: Revelations 22:11 “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” Revelations 22:14 “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” 22:15 “For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” John tells us clearly, that sorcerers, whoremongers, murderers etc…. are still outside the walls of the city New Jerusalem. These people haven’t been cast into a physical, literal hell after all, or of those people whose names were written in the book of life; these people have now turned against God and are now new idol worshipers, even after witnessing all that happened in the book of Revelations. It makes no sense! If we take everything that is written in the book of Revelations literally the book contradicts itself. If, however, we look at the book symbolically then all the people weren’t cast into a physical hell and the last chapter of the book of Revelations is telling the truth, evil people are still in existence on the earth and Revelations was fulfilled symbolically.
Finally, in conclusion, again I state: we must remember. If the physical body of man can’t go to heaven Christianity: 1 Corinthians 15:50 “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;” and heaven is not a physical place for us to take up habitation: Luke 17:20 “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:” Luke 17:21 “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” If heaven is not a physical place we can physically abide in why do we think hell is any different? It is clear that our spirit goes to a spiritual heaven not a physical heaven when we are good and conversely when we are bad our spirit goes to a spiritual hell and not a physical hell, hence there are still some bad people on the earth because being cast into the lake of fire was a symbolic event denoting a spiritual cleansing and purifying of the earth from corruption and not a literal event. Babi Religion: “They that truly believe in God and in His signs, and who in every Dispensation faithfully obey that which hath been revealed in the Book — such are indeed the ones whom God hath created from the fruits of the Paradise of His good-pleasure, and who are of the blissful. But they who turn away from God and His signs in each Dispensation, those are the ones who sail upon the sea of negation.”
(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 147)
(The Bab (unauthorized translation), Journey Towards God – Lawson)
ISLAM: 35. “Allah (God) is the Light of the heavens and the earth.” “The parable of the Garden (heaven for Muslims) which the righteous are promised! — beneath it flow rivers: perpetual is the enjoyment thereof and the shade therein: such is the End of the Righteous; and the End of Unbelievers is the Fire.” Muhammad calls the garden (heaven for the Muslims) a parable which is something not to be taken literally. So if heaven is not a literal place well why would hell be a literal place. Hell for Muslims is a place of shame according to Muhammad: Islam: 192. “Our Lord! any whom thou dost admit to the fire (hell), truly thou coverest with shame.”
(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surahs 3, 13 and 24)
Islam: 174. “Those who conceal Allah’s revelations in the Book, and purchase for them a miserable profit, they swallow into themselves naught but fire; Allah will not address them on the Day of Resurrection, nor purify them; grievous will be their penalty.” 175. “They are the ones who buy error in place of guidance and torment in place of forgiveness. Ah! what boldness (they show) for the Fire!
(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 2)
Islam: 18. “The parable of those who reject their Lord is that their works are as ashes, on which the wind blows furiously on a tempestuous day: No power have they over aught that they have earned: That is the straying far, far from the goal.” 72. “Those who were blind in this world will be blind in the Hereafter, and most astray from the Path.” Those who were blind to God in this world will also be blind to God in the next world.” They are those: 1:9 “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of The Lord.” These people will be blind to the presents of The Lord in the next world and know not where to turn for relief and salvation from their predicament for they cannot find the path of God, and will be punished with destruction FROM THE PRESENTS OF THE LORD!!!
(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surahs 14 and 17:2 Thessalonians)
Islam: 60. “And your Lord says: ‘Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer): But those who are too arrogant to serve Me will surely find themselves in Hell — in humiliation!”’ Again these people will be blind to the spiritual and exist in humiliation for their actions performed in this life.
(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 40)
Islam: 49. “Among them is (many) a man who says: ‘Grant me exemption and draw me not into trial.’ Have they not fallen into trial already? And indeed hell surrounds the unbelievers on all sides.” 63. “Know they not that for those who oppose Allah and His Messenger, is the fire of Hell? — wherein they shall dwell. That is the supreme disgrace.” We see again hell described as humiliation and now disgrace. These, again, are mental afflictions and torments not the physical torments of a physical hell.
(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 9)
Islam: 45. “The righteous (will be) amid Gardens and fountains (of clear-flowing water). (Their greeting will be): ‘Enter ye here in Peace and Security.’ And We shall remove from their hearts any lurking sense of injury. There no sense of fatigue shall touch them.” This serene vision, of the peace and tranquility of heaven, seems to describe a somewhat spiritual state of being with our hearts, or pure essence of being, being freed up from all the anguish and painful memories we acquired during our earthy life. It is to our spiritual state of being, our spirit, that finds peace from bad memories, not the physical clay of the body of man or woman. And, to verify that this interpretation, of this understanding, of there being a spiritual state of heaven in Islamic teachings is correct; we have, unquestionable validation from Muhammad’s very own words; right out of the Quran: “(Here is the knowledge) of the Parable of the Garden (Heaven), which the righteous are promised: in it are rivers of (celestial) water incorruptible: rivers of milk of which the taste never changes; rivers of wine, a joy to those who drink; and rivers of honey pure and clear. In it there are for them all kinds of fruits, and Grace from their Lord.” “(Can those in such ultimate, unimaginable Bliss, coming from an all Loving, kind Creator)” “For Allah is to all people most surely full of (all) kindness, (and is) Most Merciful.” “to all people!!!” “really be compared to such as shall dwell forever in the Fire, and be given, to drink, boiling water, so that it cuts up their bowels (to pieces)?” This is a very stark contrast to how Muhammad describes Allah in the Quran: “For Allah is to all people most surely full of (all) kindness, (and is) Most Merciful.” Which, in reality, tells us that hell is also non-literal just like heaven, for how could a truly All Loving God possibly create even one soul that is going to suffer thus throughout eternity like that, its unimaginable to the intelligent mind; “Some Sabi (Sabian war prisoners: children and woman) were brought before the Prophet and behold, a woman amongst them was milking her breasts to feed and whenever she found a child amongst the captives, she took it over her chest and nursed it (she had lost her child but later she found him) the Prophet said to us, ‘Do you think that this lady can throw her son in the fire?’ (The fires of hell)? We replied, ‘No, if she has the power not to throw it (in the fire).’ The Prophet then said, ‘Allah (God) is more merciful to His slaves (His children) than this lady to her son.’” The very act of a God, who is Omniscient, All Knowing, knowingly, creating even one soul who is going to suffer in a fiery, burning, abysmal of hell throughout all eternity is unthinkable, unimaginable. How could a Loving, Mercy filled God, who believes is justice knowingly create even one soul who is going to suffer such a fate? The very idea is monstrous, and it would take a real monster to do such a thing, and I do not believe God is a true monster. So a real fiery hell is absolutely out of the question for a true loving God; for a True God of Love and mercy could not bear to even witness such a terrible thing, let alone cause it to happen, and Muhammad, in this verse, definitely tells us that Allah is more merciful than that. Indeed the very idea of doing such a terrible thing to a living creature is injustice incarnate. This is not the act of a Just, Merciful Creator, but the act of a deranged, maniacal, human madman. But, in saying all of this, please don’t misunderstand me. Just because I am emphatically stating that there is no physical hell, don’t get me wrong. There is, in reality, very much a hell of the spirit; we just can’t imagine it yet! So, don’t be one of those foolish people who think they can just skate on by without incurring any real consequences for their actions here in this life. Just because the hell God has set aside for the evil acting human beings in this life, is not a physical hell, there is just too much being said about it, in all of the writings, from all of God’s holy manifestations and prophets, not to have an extreme caution about hell. Whatever hell may be, I can unequivocally promise you, it’s not a place or state of being you want to find yourself in. God’s messengers and chosen ones have chosen to use the most painful, worst images we can imagine in this world, here in this life, to describe hell to us; and since the earthly language of mankind cannot even begin to come close to describing the true nature of what God has been trying for thousands of years to get across to us: you do the math. Whatever hell is, it’s thousands of times worse than whatever the words are trying to convey to us, and it is thousands of times worse than anything you can imagine here in this life. I promise you, you don’t want to go there, no matter how arrogant and self-absorbed you may be. The very thought of what hell might be scares the hell right out of me; which is, in fact, the whole point behind this warning given to us by all the prophets of God. My guess is that, by the very act of God creating this heaven, for us, that is so wonderful; hell was just a byproduct that would naturally come into play for those individuals who are not welcome there, but who still have an existence, however diminished that existence may be. Or, in-other-words hell is not a terrible place God, who is all love and complete mercy, purposely created for us, but actually the result of there being such a wonderful existence for us that will be getting even better and more wonderful, for His loved ones, throughout all of eternity, as we spiritually grow and develop, and can appreciate more of what He has given us; while the wicked people, who, by their very own actions, here in this life, deprived themselves of this wonderful gift that only keeps getting better, while they keep doing without. And, as to what they may suffer and or possibly do to their own selves out of pure remorse, guilt and penance for their depraved situation, one can only guess at? But this is only a conjecture. Islam: 82. “We send down (to them) (stage by stage)… that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe (and) to the unjust it causes nothing but loss after loss.” Spiritual pain and anguish, after spiritual pain and anguish… 83. And, “yet when We bestow Our favors on man, he turns away and becomes remote (instead of coming to Us), and when Evil seizes him he gives himself over to the despair!” 84. “So every man acts according to his own disposition.” Accordingly, “We have made Hell a prison for those who reject (Our message and disobey Our commands).” “Every man’s fate We have fastened on his own neck and on the Day of Judgment We shall bring out for him a scroll, which he will see spread open.” “(It will be said to him ‘Read thine (own) record: sufficient is thy soul this day to make out an account against thee.” “Whoso receiveth guidance, receiveth it to his own benefit: and whoso goeth astray doth so to his own loss: no bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another, (in hell or otherwise).” Therefore hell will, most likely, be of a very personal nature, conforming to the individual personality and reality of each and every individual co-inhabitant. But this is again just conjecture created from observations taken right out of the writings of God.
(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr) Surahs 15, 17, 47 and Hadith Vol 8, Book 73 # 28)
ZOROASTRIANISM: 35. “He who would not kindly and piously give to one of the faithful who tills the earth, O Spitama Zarathushtra! Spenta Armaiti will throw him down into darkness, down into the world of woe, the world of hell, down into the deep abyss Conjectural translation…” (hypothetical hell)
(Zoroaster, The Zend-Avesta, Avesta – Vendidad 3)
Zoroastrianism: Denkard. Zoroaster, “The damnation (in hell, which they have merited); and having neglected the Deity during life, they remember Him the more at the moment of death. Because it is declared concerning those who fall into hell, that from the severity of their punishment in hell, their life which in this world they deemed to be proper (or free from blame), appears to them in hell so unfit or stained with sin [lit. so changed into unfitness], that they eagerly express the wish: ‘Would that we had never been born, or that we had not lived to follow the faith of the sinful.’ On account of which (penalty) they also exclaim that (it would have been) better if they had never been born.”
Zoroastrianism: Denkard. Zoroaster, “Those who are sinful in thought, word, and deed are not grateful unto God (Mazda); they render themselves liable to punishment by doing (evil) deeds of the body, and thus they are adjudged to be without their source (i. e. separated from their Creator).” (which is hell)
Zoroastrianism: Denkard. Zoroaster, “Those that are dwellers in Hell have been mentioned as (inmates) of Darkness, not of Light. Under their dominion is called (the thing) of darkness (infernal) and non-existent.” “Desire for pleasure should be discarded, but not desire for the good. Without the desire for self-realization or God realization, life becomes blank, mere darkness.” “Those who smother every resolution, live in an atmosphere of dense darkness. This is tantamount to killing the self” (ZOROASTER, Hymns of Atharvan p. 320 and 321)
Zoroastrianism: “Mind is its own place, and itself can make a heaven of hell and a hell of heaven. Nonchalance can turn hell into heaven, as the Mahabharata notes.” “It is strange that the man lives in the prison, though he has the keys in his hands all the while, that he lives in hell though he can live in heaven.” “It is a very true saying that what one considers to be happiness (gain) depends very much on his mentality.” (ZOROASTER, Hymns of Atharvan p. 271 and Hindu Mahabharata)
“From the same jug, Mazda (God) distributes the portion to all. But one gets honey and another gets poison as his share. The pot is the same, and so its content is the same. The mentality of the recipient makes the difference.” (ZOROASTER, Hymns of Atharvan p. 833)
HINDUISM: “Krishna speaketh in this wise! Yea, and whoso, full of faith, Heareth wisely what it saith, Heareth meekly, when he dies, Surely shall his spirit rise To those regions where the Blest, Free of flesh, in joyance rest.” Krishna tells us that heaven is free of flesh, so with this in mind, isn’t hell also free of flesh.
(Hindu, Bhagavad Gita (Edwin Arnold tr) chapter 18)
Hinduism: 4. “To be an outcast means to be deprived of the right to follow the lawful occupations of twiceborn men,” “And to be deprived after death of the rewards of meritorious deeds.” “Some call (this condition) hell.” We will be outcasts denied the rewards of our accomplishments in this life, which is one of the conditions of hell.
(Hindu, The Dharma Sutras, Gutama 21)
(Hindu, Vedas, Atharva Veda)
BUDDHISM: “People take the evil way in deeds, the evil way in words, the evil way in thoughts; and by taking the evil way in deeds, words, and thoughts, at the dissolution of the body, after death, they fall into a downward state of existence, a state of suffering, into perdition, and the abyss of hell. But, this is the misery of sensuous craving, the heaping up of suffering in the future life, due to sensuous craving, conditioned through sensuous craving, caused by sensuous craving, entirely dependent on sensuous craving.”
((The Eightfold Path), Buddha, the Word (The Eightfold Path))
Buddhism: 10. “When he is doing evil, the fool does not realize it. The idiot is punished by his own deeds, like one is scorched by fire.” We are punished by our own deeds or rewarded by our own deeds in the next world.
(Buddhist, Dhammapada – Sayings of the Buddha 1 (tr. J. Richards))
Buddhism: “When we subject ourselves to the least differentiation or particularization, transformation takes place: otherwise all things would be as void as space, as they inherently are. By letting our minds dwell on evil things, hell arises. By letting our minds dwell upon good acts, paradise is manifested.” Hell and heaven are states of spiritual mind we find ourselves in due to our actions here in this life. (Buddha, Sixth Patriarch)
SABEANISM: “For Thou knowest hearts, understandest minds and searchest out the consciences (even) in the nethermost hells of darkness. Like a servant lying prostrate before Thee, our eyes are lifted to Thee, our lips give Thee praise.” (Sabeanism, Ginza Rba- chapter 35) Hells are darkness here also, but God is there with you searching out the consciences and the spiritual eyes are lifted up towards Him with praise on the spiritual lips of those He is comforting.
Sabeanism: “Those who seek of Him find, and to those who ask of Him it will be given. For to him that standeth at a closed door Thou wilt open the closed door. In the Place of Light Thou wilt wipe away and remove from us our sins, trespasses, follies, stumblings and mistakes and wilt cast them into the hells of the earth and the nethermost limbos (oblivion) of darkness. Thou wilt raise us up as sinless and not as guilty, as virtuous and not as vicious before Thee.” (Sabeanism, Ginza Rba- chapter 35)
Sabeanism: “The day on which the soul goeth forth, on the day that the perfected one ascendeth, on the day that the soul issueth from below the spheres of death, of contention, strife was thrown into the earth. Ruha’s slaves sit bewailing and the seven sit in consternation. the robe of the stars is lent and dust is cast on Ruha’s head. the hell-beasts weep and the demons of purgatories (a state of temporary suffering) are panic-stricken. the being who brought me hither, who brought me that which was beautiful, put on me a robe, clothed me in a robe of radiance, in a wrapping of light he covered me. he set on (my head) a wreath of ether and (gave me) of that which life bestoweth on the uthras. He set me up amongst uthras and stood me up amidst the perfected (souls). A wreath of ether he set on my head and gloriously he brought me forth from the world. Life supported life, life found its own, its own did life find, and my soul found that for which it had looked. Renowned is Life and victorious, and victorious the man who went thither.” (Sabeanism, Ginza Rba- chapter 98)
BAHA’I FAITH: “The immortality of the spirit is mentioned in the Holy Books; it is the fundamental basis of the divine religions. Now punishments and rewards are said to be of two kinds. Firstly, the rewards and punishments of this life; secondly, those of the other world. But the paradise and hell of existence are found in all the worlds of God, whether in this world or in the spiritual heavenly worlds. Gaining these rewards is the gaining of eternal life. That is why Christ said, ‘Act in such a way that you may find eternal life, and that you may be born of water and the spirit, so that you may enter into the Kingdom.”
“The rewards of this life are the virtues and perfections which adorn the reality of man. For example, he was dark and becomes luminous, he was ignorant and becomes wise, he was neglectful and becomes vigilant, he was asleep and becomes awakened, he was dead and becomes living, he was blind and becomes a seer, he was deaf and becomes a hearer, he was earthly and becomes heavenly, he was material and becomes spiritual. Through these rewards he gains spiritual birth, and becomes a new creature. He becomes the manifestation of the verse in the Gospel where it is said of the disciples that they were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God; that is to say, they were delivered from the animal characteristics and qualities which are the characteristics of human nature, and they became qualified with the divine characteristics, which are the bounty of God; this is the meaning of the second birth. For such people there is no greater torture than being veiled from God, and no more severe punishment than sensual vices, dark qualities, lowness of nature, engrossment in carnal desires. When they are delivered through the light of faith from the darkness of these vices, and become illuminated with the radiance of the Sun of Reality, and ennobled with all the virtues, they esteem this the greatest reward, and they know it to be the true paradise. In the same way they consider that the spiritual punishment, that is to say the torture and punishment of existence, is to be subjected to the world of nature, to be veiled from God, to be brutal and ignorant, to fall into carnal lusts, to be absorbed in animal frailties; to be characterized with dark qualities, such as falsehood, tyranny, cruelty, attachment to the affairs of the world, and being immersed in satanic ideas; for them, these are the greatest punishments and tortures.”
“Likewise the rewards of the other world are the eternal life which is clearly mentioned in all the Holy Books, the divine perfections, the eternal bounties, and everlasting felicity. The rewards of the other world are the perfections and the peace obtained in the spiritual worlds after leaving this world; whilst the rewards of this life are the real luminous perfections which are realized in this world, and which are the cause of eternal life, for they are the very progress of existence. It is like the man who passes from the embryonic world to the state of maturity, and becomes the manifestation of these words: ‘Blessed be God, the best of creators.’ The rewards of the other world are peace, the spiritual graces, the various spiritual gifts in the Kingdom of God, the gaining of the desires of the heart and the soul, and the meeting of God in the world of eternity. In the same way the punishments of the other world, that is to say, the torments of the other world, consist in being deprived of the special divine blessings and the absolute bounties, and falling into the lowest degrees of existence. He who is deprived of these divine favors, although he continues after death, is considered as dead by the people of truth.”
(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section, p. 323)
(Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’í Faith, Baha’u’llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 132)
(Bahá’í Faith, Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Baha’u’llah and the New Era, p. 190)
(Bahá’í Faith, Baha’u’llah, Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 44)
BABI RELIGION: “The day will come when ye will earnestly desire to know that which would meet with the good-pleasure of God but, alas, ye shall find no path unto Him. Ye, even as camels that wander aimlessly, will not find a pasture wherein ye may gather and unite upon” “We shall therefore banish thee from Our presence as a token of justice on Our part. Verily we are equitable in Our judgement.”
(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, pp. 29 and 136)
Babi Religion: “If ye believe in Me, ye will provide good for your own souls, and if ye believe not in Me, nor in that which God hath revealed unto Me, ye will suffer yourselves to be shut out as by a veil. For verily I have been independent of you heretofore, and shall remain independent hereafter. Therefore it behooveth you, O creatures of God, to help your own selves and to believe in the Verses revealed by Me…”
(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 100)
BAHA’I FAITH: “Light must be spread afar, so that, in the school of humanity, all may acquire the heavenly characteristics of the spirit, and see for themselves beyond any doubt that there is no fiercer hell, no more fiery abyss, than to possess a character that is evil and unsound; no more darksome pit nor loathsome torment than to show forth qualities which deserve to be condemned.”
(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 136)
(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section, p. 356)
BABI RELIGION: “All believe in Him, and still they have imprisoned him on a mountain! All are made glad in Him and they have abandoned him! No fire is fiercer for those who have acted thus than their very works; likewise for the believers no heaven is higher than their own faith!”
The Bab: (Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers, p. 245)
(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section, p. 323)