Heaven, Hell, and the Bible as an Intricate and Intriguing Metaphor

Jeslyn (@jeslyntweedie) 10 years, 2 months ago

There’s an interesting analysis of the bible. Of heaven and hell, and looking at them metaphorically.

Specifically referring to the the book of Peter and of Jesus descending into hell, to preach to the lost spirits, and then to Abraham’s bosom, kind of a place that was neither heaven, nor hell, to bring the just souls of the Old Testament out of Abraham’s Bosom and into Heaven.

This is a metaphorical analysis that these were all places, or states of being that existed on Earth.

Hell- Descending in to a suffering pit of despair and sin: The mindset of depression, negativity, and being lost in it, prone to sinful choices, unhappiness, and subjected to general emotions of a negative/bad/painful nature.

Abraham’s Bosom: This kind of middle road where people who are capable of heavenly acceptance, are not in the pit of despair, but are lost souls, needing further guidance to help them see and reach the light. The people here are the ones that Jesus was said to have saved and taken to heaven.

Heaven: Where people of good nature ‘go’. A place that embodies joy, purity, giving, love, everything of a positive and altruistic nature.

If these were metaphors for states of mind, states of being while still alive, the whole teachings and examples of the bible (leaving out all that has been misconstrued by the additions of power hungry kings and men), makes a lot of sense.

Especially with God, being all-powerful, and everywhere, in everything. Love, consciousness, interconnectedness. How the power of thought has affect on the physical world (prayer).

A prophet Jesus, much like the Buddha, or Muhammad, who was leading people to heaven. Or the state of mind, state of being where human beings flourish, perform optimally, and are happy.

It’s a very interesting way of looking at the Bible.

HEthens, your thoughts?

July 23, 2012 at 5:45 pm
Space Cowboy (31) (@nickyhn) 10 years, 2 months ago ago

@jeslyntweedie, I really love this analogy! I felt like ever since I shroomed for the first time, I’ve gained a deeper understanding of religion, not because of what it directly says, but because of what it could imply.

Jeslyn (594) (@jeslyntweedie) 10 years, 2 months ago ago


Ah yes, it’s great how shrooms can do that! I have no problem with religion in the moral sense. In the moral sense, most religions have great values and generally good rules to follow. It’s just how some of it has been twisted over time, where the misunderstanding of it’s purpose grows into purely man-made and unnecessary conflicts.

But there is learning to be done and can be done via all history, especially religious history.

Hannah (18) (@born2tap) 10 years, 2 months ago ago

I live by this theory ever since I heard it a few years ago. It makes so much more sense! And I agree with you about how people can twist religion for power and whatnot. I used to hate religious people because of that, but then I actually began going to church with some religious friends, and although it did not make me believe any of the stuff they were saying, I still feel like I learned a lot from it. I was shocked to realize that the core of Christianity (and most other religions for that matter), when looked at metaphorically, are all pretty much like buddhism.

Nick (195) (@nickc2007) 10 years, 2 months ago ago

I’m tempted to go out onto the street and preach this.

Ben (148) (@cognizantelephant) 10 years, 2 months ago ago

It’s funny you posted this because I was actually thinking over the same thing yesterday. I think that the states of mind being applicable to heaven/god and hell/devil make more sense than the stories. Perhaps they were created in the form of a story in order for more people to grasp the ideas and hold them instead of having a bible that simply discussed the mind and whatnot.

Great post

WJ (44) (@chuang11) 10 years, 2 months ago ago

Wow, your idea is exquisite.

If you have time please go and watch this movie:

The Man From Earth (2007)

It really helps me to understand, I even wish this is not only a fiction.

Jeslyn (594) (@jeslyntweedie) 10 years, 2 months ago ago

@cognizantelephant, definitely. A story explaining and discussing things science, psychology, quantum physics- are only beginning to really dive into, explore, research, and explain.

This is another reason why I think science and religion can not only co-exist, but can actually merge at some point in the future. Whether that future is near or far off, I do not know. But it is hopeful.

Science is recently, and currently paving the way to actually prove things like miracles from prayer, the power of positive and altruistic thought power. That, and this heaven and hell analysis are only the tip of the iceberg.

And if we could use science to give logical and factual explanations and reasoning to the basic moral values inherent to humanity, and why humans should take morality very seriously- it is our truest and most powerful nature unique to us alone in the animal kingdom- that is an even brighter thought.


Tteotdead (27) (@tteotdead) 10 years, 2 months ago ago

I’ve had a theory like this of my own for a while now.
When you die your pineal gland, theoretically, releases N,N-Dimethyltryptamine, though not “proven”, which cause you to “trip”. I believe that Heaven is represented as a good trip, and Hell a bad trip. And it’s all about your mind-set whether you have a good or bad trip. If you’re at peace and accepting of the reality of death then you will go to “Heaven”. Though, if you are resistant and not ready to die, you will fear death and enter “Hell”.
I think a lot of today’s popular religions take their books almost too literally, when they were only intended to be a reference to look at to see how to live a better life.

Ben (148) (@cognizantelephant) 10 years, 2 months ago ago

@jeslyntweedie, We can go even further to say that science should have no implication on how we interpret these phenomena. Like understanding the power of thoughts or theories of how life should be lived. I think we’d be better off spreading the word that we have to accept one another and have an intense respect for morality in our society. (science might not be a bad start really)

Personally, with these ideas being so easy to understand and to make connections from whence realized, I feel like there has to be a perpetuating force that doesn’t want most to come to those understandings. Like media, tv, radio, politicians. If you watch closely in superficial’family’ movies or kid’s television shows, they always script and play ideas that are very neglecting of a true understanding of reality and how things work. Just like our traditions, Christmas, the tooth fairy, etc., all alluding to us at a early age to believe in the supernatural, or things that don’t have an answer.

It’s a society that has been constructed to just believe instead of actually finding things out for ourselves. I can only speak for america, though. lol

Jeslyn (594) (@jeslyntweedie) 10 years, 2 months ago ago


I would have to respectfully disagree. I feel like perhaps the powers that be have had some degree of control, but a lot of it is social conditioning we’ve subjected ourselves to, in this age of capitalism. Advertisements to sell, everything made to turn a profit.

When the Why of the creation of anything- movies, television, a product, or invention- when the why doesn’t line up with a basic moral justice, but is more in line with making money- everything gets skewed.

The why of anything should benefit others in a positive way, and our society is dealing with the implications of some psychological/social/physical conditioning that has occurred purely as a product from the money-hungry of the past and present.

It is sad, but the growing movement away from that, and the realizations that what we’ve been taught and sold may be seriously inhuman at it’s moral core, is promising.

One of my favorite quotes:
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those that cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” -Alvin Toffer

Because we really must unlearn some of the things society has unknowingly instilled in us, in order to relearn and start new progress in the areas we need progress.

These ideas are easy to understand, sure, but they’re not widely accepted because of what I’ve mentioned above. And this heaven/hell analysis is just a working theory, but a helpful one that may or may not prove to be truthful. It’s all a step in the right direction, we just need to keep walking.

And maybe reach that point where we’re running, or sprinting. I am hoping this sprinting happens in my lifetime.

Manimal (2,998) (@manimal) 10 years, 2 months ago ago

@jeslyntweedie It’s more than that. It’s about spirit AND body AND the universe. It’s not just this mental/spiritual teaching about how to feel good and be good, it’s also about understanding the world and how to be healthy.

The origin of the bible is a compilation of information from a wide range of people from a wide geoloical range too. The places we today call Egypt, India, Iran, Palestine and so on. They called it the holy book, meaning the whole book, because they considered it “all you ever need to know.” The wisdom of the teachings in the original christian scripture is vast, and very useful. It’s not just philosophy, it’s full of practical stuff that can improve your life tremendously.

Check out this thread: https://www.highexistence.com/topic/wisdom-of-the-holy/

sweetLou (6) (@sweettlou) 10 years, 1 month ago ago

@jeslyntweedie @manimal @cognizantelephant @tteotdeadalright @nickc2007 @nickyhn @born2tap i know im a little late on this thread, but i was about to start a thread on pretty much the same thought, and i was wondering if i could get some feedback.

If there is a way to reach heaven (no matter what your religion) why has western thought been based around the idea that we need to sell hell to make their followers want to ascertain heaven? why did they promote the fear of hell to invoke followers instead of the impeccability of heaven for so long?

i think that there is a truth among eastern philosophies and indigenous peoples. A truth that lets them know how to reach self righteousness without the bureaucracies that have been built around the roots of western thought and we have been cheated out of a clear path that leads us to heaven, maybe this awakening or time of change we’ve been talking about is our chance to take back this knowledge.

Jeslyn (594) (@jeslyntweedie) 10 years, 1 month ago ago


I think there is a lot of truth in what you say here.

I’m going to ponder the ‘why’ question you’ve asked here.

Perhaps it is because western society is relatively very new compared to society in the east. Eastern culture has had many centuries to establish moral differences, and to breed into the fact that ‘heaven’ is the best state to live life in.

Perhaps reaching that realization comes with many evolutions in the majority mass society of a population. Civilization.

Perhaps now, western society has been able to catch up quicker, due in large part to technology and science.

Capitalism/free markets+industry+relatively new huge population-very young in established societal terms=fear heavy reasoning

It is easy to get stuck there, and takes much time, practice, and wisdom to break free once in that hole. A whole society practicing trial and error, over and over again until we get to this ‘awakening’ people keep talking about–but really it’s more just an exhaustion of all other possibilities currently available and naturally for survival’s sake going with the best Darwinian choice.

All of this borderline hypothetical, but it makes sense from my perspective.

Second opinions?

sweetLou (6) (@sweettlou) 10 years, 1 month ago ago

The darwinian hypothesis you have suggested is perfectly logical reasoning and very possible outcome of the near future of modern civilization and i totally agree we need to evolve consciously. I think this very idea is becoming a wide spread realization very quickly and mass consciousness is beginning to shift around the globe. We’ve become so out of sync with how the world naturally works for so long we are about to run ourselves out of existence! This is a total separate discussion in and of itself though.

It’s funny that you mention they “fear heaving reasoning” in response to the why question that i asked previously. That’s exactly what i was trying to get at by asking this question! “They” (those in power and want to retain this power) want to make us believe we need the bureaucracy that they have built to protect us and lead us into “prosperity” “righteousness” or whatever trying to sell us on. This is the very belief system with which western culture was based upon, even before Christianity dating back to Pythagoras (the father of Greece). In the school of Pythagoras the idea and the study of the spirit was so sacred that even the slightest utterance of it outside the school would get you killed!

Anyway, going back to your original post on this thread looking at what you have said about Jesus and Peter

sweetLou (6) (@sweettlou) 10 years, 1 month ago ago

*jesus in the book of peter descending into hell to save those lost souls gives perspective and meaning to the way that western philosophies have gained influence and power. Through fear. They found a loop hole in sacred texts and centuries later and forced it onto people, the only way to reach the divine was through the church and those in power imposing their will on the masses.

Maybe those of eastern philosophies have known since the beginning of our time on the planet that god lives through everything natural thing on this earth, and through this they can simply “tap in” to his love and energy with unnecessary dogma.

I think i might be just rambling cause I have no one to talk to about this kinda stuff haha idk. If your still reading this and you haven’t checked out the series Spirit Science on youtube i highly suggest you do, this is what has been my inspiration the past couple weeks to start to think in this manner. lemme leave you with a quote that I found from this series.
“The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology” – Albert Einstien

Ray Butler (1,423)M (@trek79) 10 years, 1 month ago ago

The original idea of repentance involved turning away from your sin, the churches of Catholicism in a sense would charge a toll that permitted you to sin, you would go out and defy what is righteous then come back a week later, pay your fee which is under the guise of a charity, then confess your sins and be absolved, then you go out and do it all over.
But I have learned a few things studying the Bible. The idea for Hell is based on a few things.
1) There is Hades, which is an Ancient Greek under-world, a place of rivers of fire, a type of Hell for the dead, but the only reason Hades was used is because there was no Greek word for the word they were replacing in the Greek translation, that word being Sheol.
Sheol is best described as the common grave of man, a place where good and evil go, but as it says “There is no devising in Sheol…” and “The living are aware that they will die but the dead are aware of nothing at all” of course the latter could be a metaphor for people who have no faith and do not wish to do the will of God, but the first one is a dirrect description of Sheol.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave(some translations actually use Sheol including the original Torah of the Jews), where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.”
So this tells us that the grave is a place where you are not aware of anything and incapable of actions.
2) The other name that Hell is derived from is Gehenna, or the Valley of Hinnom http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gehenna This is where the citizens of Jerusalem would bring their trash and it would be covered in sulfur and set alight, this also gave the place the name “the lake of sulfur and fire” which may sound familiar as a way religious people describe Hell. But also vile criminals were brought here to be burned up also.
But originally, some including myself believe, that this process of covering with sulfur and burning was a way to destroy things forever, you could even see fire as a purifyer, and that is what I think the metaphor that Jesus was offering was meant to be when he spoke of Gehenna, everlasting destruction, that you would cease to exist, not be tortured for eternity.
As for Heaven, it says in the Bible John 3:13 “No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven” meaning Jesus. Heaven has been confused with the paradise Earth on many occasions. Ressurection means to come back to life on Earth, this is a fact because to come to life in Heaven is call transfiguration or accending and ressurection can not be confused with those otherwise they would use the same words to describe it.
Instead the Bible hints that 144,000 people will go to heaven, but not as a reward but to rule up-high with the Lamb of God, it is all over Revelations, but with that book you can never take anything as literal, that is one big metaphor cluster-fuck.

KevinSG (105) (@flyingrhino) 10 years, 1 month ago ago

To me, hell is whenever you eliminate God from your heart. All other times, you are in heaven, you just need to realize it.

Viewing 16 reply threads
load more