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Hell for Beginners

In another thread someone says about the Buddhas description of hell realms:
When it comes to descriptions of hell realms other than the ones we find here I personally think he was talking metaphorically and meant realms as mental states, not actual places.
People engaged in very extreme or intense practice do end up having extreme and intense experiences and visions. No surprise there. Some of us through life circumstances, illness, addiction, abuse from others etc have been to hell and back.

One of the reasons we draw ourself into the refuge or shelter of the three jewels is to experience a little bit of 'heaven'. A little equanimity, peace, a sense of well being. Some of our kinder and more compassionate members are resonating with the Purelands and spreading that cheer, goodwill and compassion to us wayward semi-demons (I am half demon on my Fathers side).

In my estimation all the Boddhisattvahs go to hell, where they are most needed. It seems like a heaven realm to them . . .
. . . however us 'almost in the human realm', have to develop faith and resonance with the pure, the empowered, the friends of the Buddha etc.

Heaven first.


  • That link is an interesting read for sure.
  • Experiences enable and empower or stagnate us. We have to in a sense recognise we are in the human realm with its opportunity but can be drawn into instinctual animal behaviour, hell realmed behaviour, god like bliss outs and so on. It is also worth considering that different parts of us at different times exist in different realms.
    Part of the purpose of our Buddhist attunement is to incorporate a vehicle that will rescue us from negativity and provide an 'island of refuge', from which we can journey with greater ease.

    "You've been down there, Neo. You already know that road. You know exactly where it ends. And I know that's not where you want to be."
    Trinity, The Matrix

  • ToshTosh Veteran
    edited December 2013
    lobster said:

    Some of us through life circumstances, illness, addiction, abuse from others etc have been to hell and back.

    Nice thread, Lobster. Our negative experiences can be very powerful when it comes to practising compassion. I know when I'm speaking to a new alcoholic that if I share my experience (rather than tell them what I think they ought to do), I can make a connection.

    Sometimes I can see the moment it happens; they look at me with interest. I think they're thinking, "This guy isn't an alcoholic, he doesn't look like one, he doesn't know what he's talking about" and then when I share about the cravings I used to experience, how I used to think about drinking when I wasn't drinking, the wet beds, suicidal thoughts, bewildered wives, abandoned children, waking up (regaining consciousness) and wishing I hadn't, drinking till blackout and waking up full of anxiety wondering if I'd behaved the previous day (etc); they know I know.

    I'm taught that we shouldn't regret our pasts, we should use them as a tool to help others. I find there's something very 'Buddhist' about that; it's transforming something negative (our past) into something positive; a tool that helps others.

    They say nothing is wasted in recovery (including negative stuff like relapses); it's all experience to help another alkie with. Maybe this translates into the same for you 'normal' people eh?

  • Maybe this translates into the same for you 'normal' people eh?

    I have heard rumours of normal people . . .
    . . . . maybe they are related to the 'lotus born' indigo children or the Midwich cuckoos . . .
    or maybe Buddha bodied [you cannot hear the cructacean scream in cyber soace]

    Normality is about personal integration, sense of wholeness etc. Much better than the turmoil, craving and dissatisfaction of lower samsara and hell.

    In many ways we have to leave our hellish obsessions behind, I think the Buddha suggested this.

    I would find that most of us have known the hell of the first Noble Truth to a lesser or greater degree. As @Tosh says it gives us empathy.

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