The Only Difference Between Heaven and Hell? Your Mind.

The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven. ~ John Milton Click To Tweet

We could say that every individual human being lives in a world of their own, so to speak. Some people live in a world where a tree is just unprocessed timber, others where a tree is a tree, and yet others where a tree is just some mysterious thing that grows out of the ground and comes alive in the wind. Some people live in a battlefield, others in a field of flowers; some live in rain and thunder, others in the sun.

Most people you will meet are to some degree lost in their own version of social conditioning and form identity; they see the world from the perspective of an ego. Some of these world views are nicer than others, but all have in common that they are built on a foundation of fear.

One reason why human communication is such a challenge, especially on the spiritual path, is that you tend to get drawn into other people’s worlds when interacting with them. If you live with someone who is intensely fearful, for example, someone who inhabits the ego’s world of war and terror, that fear will resonate with whatever remains of that fear in you. It may be years since you left that world, but it hasn’t quite left you yet. And so whenever you interact with someone who is basically quivering in the trenches, while you are in relative peace and quiet, it pulls you in and amplifies your own fear.

If you ever have the feeling that you are somehow scattered, as opposed to centered, this may be because you are in other people’s worlds. Playing a character in other people’s worlds. Either because they pull you in, or because you have an investment of some kind, like wanting to control or influence them. If you want to impress somebody for example, want someone to think highly of you, you’ve already entered into his or her world. If you have an attachment to the opinion of five different people, you’ve scattered yourself across six different worlds; yours and theirs… when you want to control what somebody thinks, which is to say when you want to impress someone, you are in their business. Your thoughts are your business, and other people’s thoughts are their business.

In this sense, you only need to be concerned with your own world. Inhabit a world of peace, and simply refuse to join others on the battlefield. This seems selfish at first glance, but in reality there is no greater service you can provide to another human being than to stay firmly put in your own world. Joining others in suffering may seem charitable and compassionate, but offering them the opportunity to join you in heaven is by far preferable to joining them in hell.

And although it helps to think of it as your own personal world of peace, for the sake of it being an effective pointer, there is nothing at all personal about it. We could say that there are two worlds, let’s call them heaven and hell, and most people are still experiencing some version of the latter. It is your purpose to reside in heaven, simple as that. Inhabiting a world of peace and beauty is the purpose of life, or at least that’s one way of putting it. And to this end, using the pointer of multiple personal worlds can be helpful, especially when you are interacting with other people to avoid being pulled out of your own world, so to speak.

Ultimately though, everyone is in heaven already. Only some are under the illusion that it is hell, and behave accordingly.

Source: the now defunct Everyday Wonderland, a “weblog on the subject of spiritual awakening, creativity, enthusiasm, inspiration, and generally everything having to do with the higher levels of human consciousness”, as expressed there by an anonymous author. It has been preserved here for your pleasure. 😉