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kWhat's the difference between heaven and hell? One definition is: Heaven is where the Germans make the cars, the English are the police and the French are the cooks. Hell is where the Germans are the police, the English are the cooks and the Franch make the cars. Ok, maybe not the most up-to-date definition, but it still makes me laugh.
Here I am referring to the quite literally heaven/hell, filled with endless, divine light, loving saints, peace and harmony/demons, fire and brimstone, wailing and gnashing of teeth, and all that stuff.
In fact, hell, heaven, and many other archetypes that we traditionally think of, as opposed to the countless metaphorical heavens and hells, are more like stops along one of many astral highways.
In a number of my out of body experiences (OOBE), I have found myself in beautiful and bizarre places. An endless variety of other worlds were out there, even though it was unclear how or why they came into being.
This was a question my astral mind was as curious about as my physical mind, and in this experience, I was shown the answer, or at least one answer, to my question, and some answers to questions I had not yet even thought to ask.
Like in many of my OOBEs I was alone but felt the presence of a benevolent guiding force, not unlike what I did for my own children when they played in the woods. I would keep a keen eye on them but remain at a distance until I saw they were about to do something stupid, like throw rocks at a wasps’ nest. That’s when I would quickly intervene.
So there I was, floating in astral reality. I could see many, many zones, or neighborhoods, or 'areas' as if they were clouds of light floating in space. Some were near and some were far. It looks a bit like a starry night, each dot of light a different area. It seemed there was an infinite amount of space to create new areas, and each area was fairly distant from another.
When I approached one of these realms of reality, I saw it was full of activity and I could feel the energy, the vibe, get stronger as I neared. There was a darkness that can only be described as a lack of hope, desperation, loveless, a pall of fear that intensified as I approached, but there was also an attraction to get closer and see more, similar to the way we are fascinated by a gruesome car crash on the highway - like astral rubbernecking.
As I got closer I could see it was primarily dark red and black. There were flames and I could see the souls of beings, tied up, tormented, burning, and I could hear the screaming and wailing of countless voices. I began to get a little concerned that such a place could even exist, anywhere. I was a bit anxious that the classical hell, as described in the Bible, actually existed, as I never thought of it as anything more than a scare tactic of the church. Now I was wondering if he fire and brimstone evangelists were right!
Nevertheless, my fascination and curiosity outweighed my trepidation, and I moved closer and closer until I actually entered hell itself. It was pretty much everything I’d heard it was, although I was not prepared for the intense sexual energy that permeated the place.
I spent some time looking around and was surprised that I was left totally unmolested by the demon-like workers that seemed to be running the place. They passed me as if I wasn’t even there. Then something quite unexpected happened. One of these hideous creatures approached and informed me that my presence was requested by the proprietor of this fine establishment. It felt like an offer I couldn't refuse, and the idea of running away at that moment seemed both foolish and dangerous, but more so, I was genuinely interested, even if frightened, in meeting Mr. Mephistopheles.
I was escorted to a sparse, efficient, but well designed office-like room that had large glass windows looking down over the entire operation. In that room were a few associates and the boss man himself. I have to admit, I was as impressed as I was intimidated, and I certainly was not expecting him to be so affable.
He spoke to me like I was a tourist, which I was, and he asked me what I thought of his operation. He was quite proud and seemed to care for it in the same way a man might care for a large corporation he’d built from scratch with his own hands. All in all, our meeting was pleasant, even if we were looking over a pit of despair. Then one of his assistants showed me around a few other realms in Hell, and when I wanted to leave, I was escorted to the door.
I had a “Wow, that was…awesome/weird/scary!" feeling but was glad I had the experience.
I then moved on to another area. It was as boring as one could imagine. A perfect suburban paradise. Perfect little houses with little fences around perfect lawns with cute gardens. I did not stay there long.
The next area was amazing! I found myself on a small grassy hill with a few other souls. It was an absolutely beautiful sunny day. Standing with us was a man whose presence was indescribable. He was talking, slowly, quietly, but his words were of little interest to me. Just being near him was like basking in the sun. He looked like the image of the WASP-ish Jesus I was raised with. I am not religious, but I do not doubt that Jesus existed and that he was a true teacher. I can’t say if this was Jesus or not, but I can say with absolute certainty that this man was glowing with a divine love that I hadn’t ever felt before, or since.
I was then informed, as if a knowledge downloaded into my awareness, that what I was experiencing was the particular dimension where thoughts and beliefs were manifested, cultivated and formed. These areas I had visited were the by-products of the beliefs people held. It was explained to me that our beliefs become “real” in this area, and their “reality” was charged with the emotions of love, fear, anger, compassion, etc., held by the believers.
The belief in heaven or hell, or any kind of reality often associated with the afterlife, would create such a place on this plane. In addition, as these places become more and more powerful, their “signature” become more identifiable, and therefore it was easier for incarnate beings (humans) to tap into that vibration emotionally. (See related post Temptation vs. Salvation)
What I was seeing was the traditional concept of hell and heaven. I’m not sure if the white-picket-fenced suburbia was heaven or hell! Certainly, it would be hell for me, but probably heaven for someone else.
This was an incredibly eye-opening experience for me. To know that our thoughts created a reality on some place of existence was a powerful realization. There was also an “Oops!” moment when I reviewed my own beliefs and thoughts that I’d once bought into so strongly. Was I helping to create a reality based on those beliefs? Yikes! I hoped not—some of them were messed up. This fear subsided after realizing that I no longer invest in such beliefs, that I was investing the currency of my awareness in more 'sustainable' beliefs.
What really stunned me was the knowledge that those souls, in any one of those realities, were free to leave whenever they wanted. All they had to do was realize they were living in a creation of their own making. But they didn’t want to leave. Those being tortured and suffering felt this was their destiny. Those basking in the rays of love felt this was their destiny as well. From where I stood, it seems that each of these experiences was there for the taking whenever one wanted.
This had an unexpected side effect in my physical life. I assume by virtue of the fact that I had become aware of these alternate realities and having now visited them, that I had more access to them. In any case, I found myself instantaneously “going there” for short moments when experiencing something vibrationally harmonious with those realities.
For example, an experience of love, as a physical human, would now fill me with the same feeling I had had in that paradise of divine radiance, and a part of me would go there instantly, and it would express itself through me. Likewise, in moments of fiery passion, lust, anger, etc., I would find myself surrounded by flames and blood and demons, and this too would express itself through me. I enjoyed these moments, and other realities, to the fullest extent I was capable of while in this body. Sometimes the intensity of these energies was too much for this reality, and things inside me would shake and break.
This experience also made it clear that we have the ability to tap into these archetypal realities whenever we like or need, more often than not, unconsciously. This, I believe, is one of the purposes and powers of myths, be they ancient or modern. As these realities do not exist in our linear time, but rather in a dimension that transcends our reality, they are eternal, beyond what we call time. The myths and beliefs of the ancient past morph and evolve with the times and continue with the vitality they had ten thousand years ago as long as there are those 'occupying' the territory (and that includes disincarnates as well).
Much of our everyday culture is inextricably bound to these archetypes, thereby further empowering them, usually without our knowledge.
For example, the modern word “hell” comes from the ancient Norse goddess named Hel, whose job it was to not only judge the dead but help the apocalypse along by leading an army of the dead in a ship made of the fingernails of corpses! It also has its roots in the Germanic words that mean "punishment" and "cellar." It's pretty easy to see how the modern idea of hell has evolved out of that, and similar, culture's ancient ideas.
Hell is deeply ingrained into the worldview of billions of people with little knowledge of the roots of their beliefs. They bring into creation a lot of stuff that is attached to that belief, which they have no idea about. I suspect that the more people believe in hell, the more the vision of an apocalypse will manifest. The ironic part is that believing in heaven is also investing in hell, as they usually go together.
I like to think of these archetypes as a form of HyperMeme or Meme Archytype. As where a Meme is “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture” a HyperMeme is an “idea or belief formed within the Universal or collective Mind and spreads from consciousness to consciousness”.
This physical world, life on earth, is in line with these created realities (sort of a material projection of an archetype), as this is the material arena into which these HyperMemes manifest themselves through the beliefs and action of their ‘hosts’ or inhabitants. In this physical arena, we can create a paradise or prison, or whatever we want, by the beliefs we hold on to.
This idea, however, has a dark side to it because so many of our beliefs are manipulated and controlled by others whose agenda may be less than altruistic.
These are obvious if you to look for them. One of the many trivial examples might be the Tarot cards made in the image of Hollywood stars, which taps into (resonates with) the quite powerful HyperMeme of certain ancient esoteric beliefs, and from which the tarot was born.
A less trivial example is the most powerful laser ever built (at the time) and capable of creating the hottest point in the known universe, aptly named after the Hindu god of destruction, Shiva .
Some years ago, upon being escorted (by federal agents) into the Shiva Laser facility at Lawrence Livermore Labs, the first thing I saw was a twenty-foot high statue of Lord Shiva dancing on a mountain of human skulls! You won’t find an image of this statue at the facility on Google, but it was there, hidden to the public behind the blue cobalt glass and concrete walls.
Perhaps not so coincidentally, the CERN  facility on the Franco-Swiss border, where they have been building the Large Hadron Collider (that 13.5 billion dollar, 17 miles long ray gun that smashes subatomic particles into each other with the power of 13,000,000,000,000 (tera) volts and with such force that it creates a mini black hole, all in an attempt to find the “God Particle”) prominently displays a large statue of this same Lord Shiva in the middle of the facility, but this time without the mountain of human skulls, no doubt at the behest of their Public Relations department. CERN officials say this statue is there, right in front of the Hotel CERN, simply because it was a gift from India, but somehow I suspect that if the U.S. sent over a huge sculpture of Christ on the cross it would not be so prominently displayed, if at all. It's no wonder that the goings-on at CERN are fertile fodder for conspiracy theorists.
I think it is safe to assume that these multibillion-dollar laboratories, populated with the likes of “The Father of the hydrogen bomb”  did not go out of their way to find (or accept) a huge statue of the Lord of Destruction simply for decoration.
What does Shiva have to do with high energy ray guns and laser beams? I am not sure, but learning that The god Brahma had created the deadliest weapon in existence out of a demon, a sharp double-edged sword that glowed like flames, known as the Brahmastra, which could only be given to the greatest and most devoted warriors by Lord Shiva, it did not make me sleep better at night.
I am left with the somewhat frightening idea that these bleeding-edge scientists tinkering with quantum entanglement, parallel realities, the warping of space-time, and many other things we cannot even begin to imagine, may have discovered, and are tapping into a 'neighborhood' I didn't get a chance to visit (yet), and into powers that will never be reported on in the American Journal of Physics.