hell?

The Dhammapada, 137-140, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu says
Whoever, with a rod,
harasses an innocent man, unarmed,
quickly falls into any of ten things:
harsh pains, devastation, a broken body, grave illness, mental derangement, trouble with the government, violent slander, relatives lost, property dissolved, houses burned down.
At the break-up of the body
this one with no disconcernment,
reappears in
hell.

I thought to myself, I wonder if this was me.  I wonder if earlier in this life or in a previous life or maybe even later in this one if this was me: a person who mercilessly harassed the innocent.  That would explain my suffering.  Perhaps all I’ve suffered is a kind of purgatory, a natural consequence to giving out negative energy and taking positive energy from the defenseless. That would bring meaning to the senseless injustice and would help me define what is more readily explained as abuse.  Irregardless, the fact is that hell is right here among us.  and maybe that is the worst kind.  hell in the midst of heaven. 

people think poor people are automatically in hell, that poverty is a kind of punishment for not doing right.  really, it’s just a consequence of not being born right.  if you look more closely at the poor you will see that they are not unlike the rich.  for one thing, they were both born that way.  for another, there are variations among them. some are in hell and some are in heaven and they live right next door to each other, even inside the same home.  it’s easy to see the difference.  hell is a state of mind.  in hell, people eat each other.  in heaven, people feed each other.  when someone pointed out the poor to Jesus he responded “the poor you will always have with you, take up your cross and follow me.”  how come he knew so much about crosses?  and please tell me this was a metaphor.  i’d hate to see a cult of drones staggering around, going about life carrying hundred pound planks of wood nailed to their back.  oh, yes, we do see that.  Puritans.  in America. Today.  If that’s you then do what Barnabas, the thief on the cross next do Jesus did.  Look Jesus in the eye and say “I’m not carrying this cross around anymore.”  wait for Jesus to look you in the eyes and hear him say “I forgive you” then after you accept that deep into your soul, ponder whether the people whom you’ve harmed would forgive you.  Come to terms with that then look deep inside yourself and say to yourself “I forgive you”.  Then transition.  Take the deepest part of you and come on down off that cross and leave it behind you for good.  Become someone you’ve never been before.  You.

this is the middle world.  so here on earth we have heaven in the midst of hell, and hell in the midst of heaven.  in each of us the two battle it out. having heaven all around us gives us something to strive for.

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~ by loriangray on June 13, 2009.

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