<Feb. 1/14.> If resistance is Hell
(& it is, it is
Just this morning I got that.
Right down in my guts)
Then what was all that old nonsense?
Fire & brimstone
& the devil
& burning burning burning
What was all that about???
p.s. OK, OK, so I do know what it was all about. Fear, & fear-mongering, & patriarchy, & hierarchy – all that “good old” stuff to “keep people in their place.” Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. Institutions gotta have their rules. I get that.
‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “Just imagine how good it would feel if we all got together once in a while in large public gatherings and admitted that we don’t know why we are alive, that nobody knows for sure if there is a higher being who created us, and that nobody really knows what the hell’s going on here.” – Wes Nisker, meditation teacher, Inquiring Mind (Spring 2005) – quoted in Utne Reader, summer 2005
A few others located when I did a ‘Find’ on the word hell in my Quotations document:
“The hottest place in hell is reserved for those who, in times of crisis, preferred to remain neutral.” – Dante, in The Inferno
Pema Chödrön on heaven & hell: “There’s another story that you may have read that has to do with what we call heaven and hell, life and death, good and bad. It’s a story about how those things don’t really exist except as a creation of our own minds. It goes like this: A big burly samurai comes to the wise man and says, “Tell me the nature of heaven and hell.” And the roshi looks him in the face and says: “Why should I tell a scruffy, disgusting, miserable slob like you?” The samurai starts to get purple in the face, his hair starts to stand up, but the roshi won’t stop, he keeps saying, “A miserable worm like you, do you think I should tell you anything?” Consumed by rage, the samurai draws his sword, and he’s just about to cut off the head of the roshi. Then the roshi says, “That’s hell.” The samurai, who is in fact a sensitive person, instantly gets it, that he just created his own hell; he was deep in hell. It was black and hot, filled with hatred, self-protection, anger, and resentment, so much so that he was going to kill this man. Tears fill his eyes and he starts to cry and he puts his palms together and the roshi says, “That’s heaven.”
There isn’t any hell or heaven except for how we relate to our world. Hell is just resistance to life. When you want to say no to the situation you’re in, it’s fine to say no, but when you build up a big case to the point where you’re so convinced that you would draw your sword and cut off someone’s head, that kind of resistance to life is hell.” -- page 31-32 Chapter 7 – “Taking a Bigger Perspective” – The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving-Kindness, Pema Chödrön, Shambhala, 1991
“The hellfire of life consumes only the select among us; the rest stand in front of it, warming their hands.” – Friedrich Hebbel
& this one, just ‘cos I feel like it, though the word hell is not mentioned:
Pema Chödrön on life’s work: “Life’s work is to wake up, to let the things that enter into the circle wake you up rather than put you to sleep. The only way to do this is to open, be curious, and develop some sense of sympathy for everything that comes along, to get to know its nature and let it teach you what it will. It’s going to stick around until you learn your lesson, at any rate. You can leave your marriage, you can quit your job, you can only go where people are going to praise you, you can manipulate your world until you’re blue in the face to try to make it always smooth, but the same old demons will always come up until finally you have learned your lesson, the lesson they came to teach you. Then those same demons will appear as friendly, warmhearted companions on the path.” ~ page 32, Chapter 7 – “Taking a Bigger Perspective” – The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving-Kindness, Pema Chödrön, Shambhala, 1991