No Heaven, No Hell, No Karma

I’ve never been able to get behind the concepts of Heaven, Hell and Karma. They all presume that there is a “person or persons” that is/are separate from us and keeping score. It also presumes that there is a fixed set of rules by which they keep the score. (And of course, the rules vary, depending on your religious system.)

Heaven, Hell and Karma are reward and punishment systems. If you do what is on the “approved” or “recommended” list, you get a ticket to Heaven or Good Karma. If you do what is on the “no-no” or “sin” list, you go straight to Hell or have Bad Karma.

I do not accept the notion of “God” as a person, so I don’t resonate to the concept of a being who is sitting “out there” observing, judging and tracking everything we do, say, think and feel in order to determine our eternal future. I believe this is a “God” and a religious system created by man (in his own image). I also reject the notion that fear of God is the only thing that makes people moral. I believe that it is possible to have a strong moral compass without being religious.

I believe Heaven, Hell and Karma are creations by humans to help control and soothe people. The fear of one helps provide control and the promise of another provides soothing. They also help to support various religions’ explanation of where we come from, why we are here and what happens after we die. All of these require us to believe we are physical beings who happen to have souls. These Souls are either coming back after death in better or worse lives as reward and punishment or they will be consigned to eternal bliss or eternal suffering upon death.

I sat in a waiting room a few months ago, while an elderly man sitting near me was going on about how he is glad he is not going to live much longer because he will be freed from all of the awful jerks in the world. He was very descriptive when talking about the kinds of people he would be escaping upon death. He further explained that most of the people in the world who think they are going to Heaven are sadly mistaken. He was sure most of them would be surprised to find themselves in Hell.

I was struck by his extreme unhappiness, which seemed to be caused by his world view. His filters determined that most people were bad and they were out to cause him grief by cheating him, making him wait, stand in his way, being incompetent, using his taxes, etc. He looked upon the world and he saw horrible things he said he wanted to escape from.

He seemed to already be in “Hell.” He was so unhappy and miserable. I thought his “Hell” was self-created by the fact that he only looks for pain and evil in the world. If you expect everyone to be mean, stupid or incompetent, you are going to attract mean, stupid and incompetent people into your experience. And his religious viewpoint was being used to judge others and find most of them wanting. If I believed all of the people who tell me how “God” decides if you get to Heaven and Hell, I could assume that 95% of all people are going to Hell. Not very good odds. No wonder so many people are afraid of death.

No, before you presume, I am NOT an Atheist. Atheism takes a purely mechanistic view of the world and does not take consciousness into account. It is an empty approach to life.

I believe we are Spirit or Source, which is partially condensed down into physical bodies. My belief system is based on the idea of Source (some call it God) being the divine energy and Consciousness that is the Source of all that is. We are all part of Source. We are all divine. We are all connected through our Source-ness. There is no separation. My spiritual beliefs are not dissimilar to certain conclusions reached by Quantum Physics.

Many people believe that we are all born sinners. Because of something called “original sin,” they say it is our essential nature to be sinners and our job in this life (in order to please that external “God”) is to struggle against our essential nature. Struggling against who you really are seems to be a formula for self-loathing and failure.

I believe we are all born perfect and divine (we are part of God) and it is our job in this life to remember that and behave according to our divine nature. Instead of struggling against our essential nature, I believe we should embrace our essential nature — that of God (Source) itself! Knowing that we are wonderful, divine energy and behaving accordingly is a prescription for growth and happiness.

The real judging that goes on is not by an external invisible being, but by us humans. We are constantly judging and finding fault with others. We are always judging ourselves and feeling guilty or insufficient. As we spend so much time looking for failure or sin, we attract more of it to look at.

Instead of judging ourselves and others and worrying about after-death futures, we should bring our attention to now. What we are doing right now is all that is in any given moment. How does our body feel? Can we notice something beautiful in our environment? Are we being kind to ourselves and others? Are we being compassionate? Are we doing the best we can at that moment?

Practice kindness and compassion, do your best at any task and relax. You are divine and you have all of eternity to experience it.

Copyright © 2009 by Victoria Young

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