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Opinion

There is no hell

SENTINEL - Ramon T. Tulfo - The Philippine Star

The week that just passed, which the Christian world calls the Holy Week, was a chance for introspection for people who had plenty of time on their hands due to the long holiday.

Ana Marie Pamintuan, STAR’s editor-in-chief and my fellow columnist, in her column, Sketches (Holy Wednesday, April 13), pondered the whereabouts of souls of people who have gone ahead of us.

“Now that my generation is approaching the departure area, the question is, when life gives up on us, where do we go? Do we rest in peace, or burn in the fires of hell,” Amy asked.

She wondered where her partner, who died last year, has gone.

“I haven’t stopped wondering where he is; I tell myself it has to be in a better place,” Amy said.

*      *      *

Yes, Amy, your partner, who happened to be my close friend and whose first death anniversary we commemorated on Wednesday, is in an immensely better place.

There is no such place as hell, where souls supposedly suffer eternal damnation for their misdeeds on earth; there is only Paradise.

“Vicky Boy” – that’s how I fondly called Amy’s departed partner – was blissfully looking down from where he is while a Holy mass was being said in his honor and as we talked about him.

I miss him as much as you do, Amy. I’m looking forward to joining Vicky Boy in the spirit world – our true home – when my time comes.

There is no such place as hell, Amy. Hell is an invention of Western religions – Christianity and Islam – to instill fear among their followers, so they would blindly obey whatever these religions dictate.

The concept of hell as a place where souls burn for all eternity was probably adopted from Dante Alighieri, Italian writer, poet, writer and philosopher in the Middle Ages.

Dante’s Inferno (Hell) was a section of Alighieri’s larger work, The Divine Comedy.

Ironically, The Divine Comedy was in part a satire of the excesses of the leaders of the Catholic Church and the ignorant people who blindly followed their teachings during Alighieri’s time.

Satire is a literary work holding up vices and follies to ridicule or scorn.

In short, Catholic Church leaders were probably clueless about – irony of ironies – how Alighieri poked fun at them.

*      *      *

Lest this columnist would be mistaken for an atheist, I am a freethinker, a person defined in the dictionary as “one who forms opinions on the basis of reason independently of authority.”

Freethinkers reject – or are skeptical of – religious dogma.

I believe in God more than ever after my epiphany.

My epiphany came in the form of books by non-religious gurus such as Dr. Brian Weiss, Dr. Raymond Moody, Bruce Goldberg, Neale Donald Walsch, U.S. Andersen, Dolores Cannon and many others.

Dannion Brinkley, Dr. Eben Alexander and Dr. Mary C. Neal are among those who penetrated the Veil and came back to tell their stories of their experiences on the Other Side.

Brinkley, Alexander, Neal and Eadie described going through a tunnel, feeling indescribable peace, tranquility and total bliss. They arrived at a place where they were enveloped with energy that transmitted complete love, a love without conditions.

They were not judged for their trespasses and transgressions on earth; however, they were made to feel the hurts they inflicted on other human beings.

There was no hell or “oceans of fire,” contrary to the teachings of western religions.

The people mentioned above wrote their stories matter-of-factly, with no intention to proselytize.

Dr. Weiss, who once headed the psychiatric section of the reputable Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Florida, writes that he discovered the Life Beyond and reincarnation through his patient, a woman named Catherine, in his book “Many Lives, Many Masters.”

For his part, Dr. Moody in his book “Paranormal: My Life in Pursuit of the Afterlife,” says: “I had discovered that a large number of patients seemed truly to go back in time to past lives. Not only did they say they had, but many of them provided proof through their hypnotic regressions that they had indeed lived in an earlier era.”

Dr. Moody, a psychologist and forensic psychiatrist, also wrote the bestseller “Life After Life.”

“The main point (of this book) is to demonstrate that (death) is not an experience to fear. Perhaps it is something not to look forward to, but it is not to be feared,” says Bruce Goldberg, a clinical hypnotherapist who has regressed 11,000 individual patients.

Goldberg wrote the international bestseller “Past Lives – Future Lives.”

“Have no fear of hell – there is no such thing. There is only heaven, consciousness of the immortal Self which each of us shall eventually attain,” writes U.S. Andersen in “Three Magic Words.”

“When the time comes, the journey toward the brilliant white light that marks the barrier between this world and the next will not hold as much fear as it once would have been,” says Dolores Cannon, a hypnotherapist who specialized in past life regressions.

Dr. Alexander, a neurosurgeon, tells of his experience on the Other Side in his book “Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey Into the Afterlife.”

Says Alexander: “My experience showed me that the death of the body and the brain are not the end of consciousness, that human experience goes beyond the grave.”

“Why do bad things happen to good people,” says Dr. Neal, author of “To Heaven and Back: A Doctor’s Extraordinary Account of Her Death, Heaven, Angels and Life Again: A True Story.”

Neal, a spine surgeon, had a near death experience (NDE) in a boating accident in South America.

Brinkley, who used to be a US military sniper, claims in his work “Saved by the Light” to have gone to a “luminous crystal city” after he was struck by lightning. He met spirit beings while he was there.

HOLY WEEK

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