Monday, April 11, 2011

" is objected that the ultimate loss of a single soul means the defeat of omnipotence. And so it does. In creating beings with free will, omnipotence from the outset submits to the possibility of such defeat. What you call defeat, I call miracle: for to make things which are not Itself, and thus to become, in a sense, capable of being resisted by its own handiwork, is the most astonishing and unimaginable of all the feats we attribute to the Deity. I willingly believe that the damned are, in one sense, successful, rebels to the end; that the doors of hell are locked on the inside. I do not mean that the ghosts may not wish to come out of Hell, in the vague fashion wherein an envious man 'wishes' to be happy; but they certainly do not will even the first preliminary stage of that self-abandonment through which alone the soul can reach any good. They enjoy forever the horrible freedom they have demanded, are are thefore self-enslaved: just as the blessed, forever submitting to obedience, become through all eternity more and more free...
All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock it is opened." C.S. Lewis, "The Problem of Pain"

...It begins with a grumbling mood, and you yourself distinct from it; perhaps criticize it. And in a dark hour, may will that mood, embrace it. You can repent and come out of it again. But there may come a day when you can do that no longer. Then there will be no you left to criticize the mood or even enjoy it, but just the grumble itself, going on forever like a machine...It is not a question of God sending us to Hell. In each of us there is something growing, which will be Hell unless it is nipped in the bud." "The Great Divorce"

There will be "no you left" because we are made up of more than just ourselves - we are comprised of portions of self completed and built up, sustained, stained or infected by those whom we let within us, in ways differing in degree and kind, for good and bad.

But for all the indulgence we partake with friends and lovers, Hell is seemingly Hell alone - not the "other people" of Sartre. So in the worst sense imaginable, Hell really doesn't exist, really isn't a place where an "everyone" could potentially go. It exists only for anyone who has worn down to the least possible self that could still be, existing alone.


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