Many religious people believe that God judges them in the afterlife and assigns them either Heaven or Hell for the rest of their eternity. Many are of the opinion that it is not so correct action, but correct belief that gets one to Heaven and that incorrect belief, even accompanied by correct action, will get one to Hell.
You get infinite reward or punishment for finite deeds/beliefs.
I once believed that too, back in my days of religion (first Pentecostal Christian, then Shi-ite Muslim), but my eventual reaction to that was if God is really that way about it, then he’s petty, unjust, and not worth worshiping. Old Testament accounts of God’s behavior just enforced that impression and convinced me that if God was like that, then Christ had absolutely nothing to do with him since Christ is nearly always portrayed as loving, forgiving, just, and easy going.
That whole thought process emerged from religious roots. That said, it makes perfect sense to me that the highest incidence of the Satanic Church are in the so-called Bible Belt where non-conformists to religious majority or most likely to be sidelined and harassed. The Satanic Church is not a separate religion from the Christian Church; it’s a direct reaction thereto and therefore merely a sect of Christianity. Christians will probably hate my saying so, but I’m pretty sure Satanism wouldn’t exist at all if not for the need of some people badgered into religion to rebel.
Some people can live with the cognitive dissonance caused by inner beliefs contrasting with those imposed from without. Others can’t. I couldn’t. You cram religion down a free spirit’s throat and they will rebel. Rebellion is what forges sectism in some people while in others, like me, it eventually forges freedom from the box.
It was a long process for me, but living as a Muslimah for a while and seeing what life was really under religion-dominated laws left me with no taste for religion at all. I found I didn’t need or want anyone to tell me what to do, how to think, and what to believe. I realized I was slowly but surely forming my own beliefs and religion had nothing to do with it… except to get me started, of course. You know what I mean. Right?
My first step away from religion was when my Pentecostal Sunday School teacher kind of drove me away from the church by continually calling me “Tongue of Satan” whenever I questioned anything and finally topped it off by accusing me of witchcraft and preaching “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live!”
I asked him what constituted witchcraft and he told me it was the expression of any kind of “supernatural” abilities: telepathy, telekinesis, farseeing, that sort of thing. S’okay, as a teenager, I did actually fit that bill. In particular, I was very psychic back then. That’s when I realized he and others like him in the church, were judging me not on whatever I did on purpose, but simply what I was, with or without my trying. They had the same attitude towards gays and people of other religions, even other sects of their own religion.
I left the church and when I returned just once for a Christmas pageant after I’d begun college, the same Sunday school teacher confronted me again. This time, he acted friendly at first and asked what I’d been up to. I told him about going to college and the perfect 4. GPA I was getting. His response (scowling)? “So education is what corrupted you! I should have known.”
I gave up trying to talk to him after that. Apparently, to be educated was to be unholy in his book.
I converted to Islam not long after that, not because I thought it was a better religion, but simply because my teacher in it didn’t demonize me for asking questions. I didn’t mention to him that I was witch. He might have demonized me for that.
He badgered me constantly to convert for him so we could marry.
I was in no hurry to marry, but I was infatuated with him and this seemed so important to him that I figured, why not? One religion is the same as another, right?
I didn’t find out how much he’d lied about what he taught me or that Islam was NOT like any other religion until after he’d tricked me into going to Iran with him, thinking to entrap me there.
While trapped in Iran and desperate to escape with my baby son, I had my first fully conscious out-of-body experience. That made some things very clear to me that I would otherwise not have as fully realized:
1. I was a much, if not MORE, myself outside of my body than in it. The ramifications for death, meant that there really is no death. Just because you’re not in your body any longer doesn’t mean your dead or even gone. We really are eternal beings.
2. Our physical senses are a very limited portal for our impressions of the world. Beyond them, nothing is dark, colors are much more intense, and nothing focussed on in oblique from sight, scent, touch, or hearing. Distance makes no difference. Everything is readily perceivable.
3. I did not simply perceive the things I focussed on; I merged with them. I realized how very much a part of the world, both seen and unseen, I really was. The night winds, for instance, blew through me rather than against me. I felt hot and cold as feelings not as comforts or discomforts. I could take them exactly as they were and love them as they were. Meh. Too hard to explain.
4. And this is even harder to explain: I couldn’t hide from myself. Could delude myself about anything. Everything about me and my perceptions were wide open. I couldn’t lie to myself about anything.
5. A thought could take me anywhere. I started rushing toward my beloved full moon before suddenly realizing that I might be leaving my body and my baby son behind forever if I did so. And with that one frightening thought, I abruptly fell all the way back down into my body with thud, arms flying out on impact, accidentally clubbing my Iranian husband over the head and waking him. He snarled at me for that, took his bedding, and moved out into the hall for the rest of the night.
This interested me in later times to understand my own experience. To verify it. To think of it in terms other than religion, though, of course, I looked at religion to explain it as well. But religion only talked of Heaven or Hell or Nirvana and Nirvana made more sense than either of the former but not enough sense. As for Jihadis getting Paradise and 72 perpetual virgins in the afterlife after committing mass-murder suicide in the cause of religion, that was totally unbelievable, even insulting, to my mind. If the god of the Bible was petty, Allah was positively DEMONIC to reward such bad conduct.
Yes, those were still very religious judgements on my part. I know. Religion is full of judgement but not necessarily common sense there. Some things don’t make sense from a purely practical outer view. Anyway… I read loads about ancient aliens and their involvement with the human race and that felt a lot truer to me but it didn’t really explain the spiritual aspects of reality so much as those that are almost wholly physical. Yes, the Ellohim probably were ancient alien geneticists, our sub-creators. But they were created too and probably have a subspace reality of their own as surely as we do.
I found more that made sense to me in reading the communications of souls speaking from the other side as well as sidewise from Wiccan ideas of reality:
1. All things are manifestations/expression of an infinite Mind.
2. We are all part of our Creator.
3. Good and Evil as we know it are manifestation that only make sense in the physical where they specifically affect our well-being and survival here but are often used deceitfully here. People being told that doing harmful/hateful/destructive things to themselves or others is somehow a good thing or that helpful/nurturing/creative things is somehow bad. From the viewpoint of those on the other side, experience of any kind is still a learning experience and they won’t tag it as good or bad BUT…
4. There is a kind of judgement of our actions in the physical. We judge ourselves. We can’t help it. Everyone experiences something called “Life Review” after they cross back over the great divide. They experience everything they have done to others, will enjoy the good and feel sick at the bad. Good and bad as we perceive it here in terms of its effect on ourselves and others.
5. Love is unconditional on the other side but as long as we are tangled up still in what we have done on earth, we will shut ourselves off from that.
6. Those who have been very hurtful to others feel all that hurt as if it were being done to them. They can’t not feel it. We are all a part of each other. In the physical, we can hide from that fact. In the spiritual, there is no hiding. Those suffering the hurts they have done are in a very dark place. They don’t have to be. But they have wrongs to redress and hurts to heal from before they can join the greater body of ultimate reality.
I’m still exploring a body of information on this topic. Still a lot to learn about it. Details. I need to find the right questions to ask. But Heaven, Hell, or Nirvana? That won’t cut it. Not for me.
I know. I’m being fuddy duddy about this. I don’t want pat answers of platitudes. I want what makes sense to me. Answers that have pattern verification. I’m big on finding the patterns in things in order to pick out larger pictures.
I think we all need to do that. I think our minds, being a part of our Creator, are powerful enough to create unending realities for ourselves. Just some realities are more sustainable than others. Does that make sense?
Found this regarding terrorists in the Afterlife: http://afterlifedata.com/afterlife_topics.php?topicid=265&secid=5. It’s not much, but it does intrigue. There’s a book I’ve been meaning to read about that: http://books.google.com/books?id=iDjT3_T5mmoC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false