The notion of an afterlife based on how one lives their live is a mainstay of the religious traditions of the Peoples of the Book (Jewish People, Christians and Muslims). According to whether one lived or virtuous or vice filled life one is assigned to Heaven or Hell. Heaven is likened to a virtual paradise. It is compared to the most lush garden or beautiful oasis that you can imagine on the planet. Hell at the other end of the spectrum is a place of eternal torment. It often is given atmospheric extremes such as being a place of fire or ice. It’s like Santa and Christmas. If you’re good you get presents. If you’re bad you get coal. In fact some will say that traditions such as Christmas are just religious primers.
The problem is that such a view often generates a “layaway” philosophy. We end up working for the “big payoff.” We labor toward some “pie in the sky” reward. We set up jobs where we work the majority of our lives to funnel currency into a “retirement fund” which isn’t even guaranteed nowadays to have us live a high quality of life let alone the dream vacation retirement that they advertise all of the time. We think that money is currency when the real currency is time and freedom of movement. Looking towards the “end” all of the time removes us from fully evaluating where we are at presently. In Buddhism they refer to as “mindfulness.” Among Allah’s Five Percent within our curriculum we have one tool that is referred to as the Supreme Alphabet. One of the principles in that set is “Now.” Both traditions urge the importance of being rooted in recognizing and appreciating the present moment.
When I was young in gaining the Knowledge of myself an older God dropped the phrase on me that “Hell is what you go through Heaven is where you are at.” In traditional fashion he didn’t try to give me an understanding of the phrase. He gave it to me as a gift or course study letting me go on my way to make sense of it. In actuality you can’t give a person understanding of something. That is something that is drawn up internally. For many understanding comes with time so in actuality if you want them to understand the greatest gift that you can give them is time. So when I walked with this phrase for a while the experience gave me an insight that I didn’t have before.
The relationship that one has with their environment is heavily based on perception. That is why some of the richest people end up depressed and some who live in poverty end up at peace with what they have. This is not to remove the toxic effects of racism, colorism, colonialism, slavery, poverty, etc. It is also not advocacy of the bogus new age-ish “law of attraction” (which by the way blames people for their conditions without critically analyzing the entire systems placed against them). It is though a reminder that we are not simply a product of our environments as Original People. We are to be the producers of our environments.
My Old Earth (mother) use to say to me “this shall also pass.” The trials, the tribulations and the adversity is something that one should take note of. One should also take stock in one’s ability to summon the resources (externally and internally) to push through any challenge. Even though I utilize the word push victory doesn’t always come through physical exertion. Often it is through looking at a problem from a different able so that you can get the answer. That is being a solutionary. This is the process of going through Hell. It is important to frame situations within a time frame so that you don’t get bogged down. Everything will pass. It will end. What role are you going to play in ending your own suffering? Winston Churchill said “If you’re going through Hell keep going.”
The other part of the phrase is Heaven is where you are at. It is important to be grateful for everything that you have presently. Happiness is often relative. You can often think of someone who is worse off than you. The mindset that you adopt is going to get you through whatever you place in front of you. If you think heaven is the accumulation of more things you need to talk to some of those millionaires jumping out of windows. There is a saying out there which goes “don’t collect things, collect moments.” This is life and you need to be a full time and fully present participant. Recognize the greatest gift that you have now is your ability to transform your life for the better. Take moments to appreciate each breath, bite and event. Clear up that mental so that you can truly experience heaven on earth. You deserve it.
C’BS ALife Allah is the co-author of the ground breaking Science of Self: Man, God and the Mathematical Language of Nature and the co-editor of the seminal Hood Health Handbook: A Guide to Health and Wellness in the Urban Community. He also is a contributing writer to the Hood Health 101 column at the Source blog. He is a community solutionary who concentrates on Hood Health, Science of Self, the Black Presence and youth empowerment. You can find more about him at www.alifeallah.com official webpage.
You can also follow him on twitter at www.twitter.com/alifeallah or on Instagram at www.instagram.com/alifeallah . Currently he is working on a major project creating a mobile HoodHealth community center housed within a school bus. Check out that project at www.OldSkoolie1863.wordpress.com
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