Life in the Middle

Heaven has been depicted many different ways both in religious texts and in popular entertainment. To a lesser extent so has Hell. Both of them have, at times, been depicted as just being life here on Earth, perhaps best illustrated by the famous Marlowe quotation, “Why this is Hell, nor are we out of it.” Whenever my conversations with God have gotten around to what Heaven or Hell are really like, she’s always steered the discussion somewhere else. She’s kind of like a politician that way, if she doesn’t want to answer a question she’ll usually just try to redirect things rather than flatly refuse.

She did tell me though, that both Heaven and Hell have been used much more by religions to keep us in our place than by her. She wants us to live good lives and be kind to each other because we want to and because we’re good people, not because we’re afraid of being punished or because we’re like dogs hoping to get a biscuit.

So the next time someone tells you that “the meek shall inherit the Earth,” maybe you should give a thought to who wants you to be meek and what’s in it for them. Maybe Heaven and Hell are really just the carrot and the stick, tools to keep people from demanding their fair share here on Earth.

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