What of the souls, the remnant or essence of our being, which, for reasons of what is truly just, simply do not and cannot fit into the new creation that God has in store for us after death?
Sure, we joke about how all the people that are more fun will be in “the other place”. But seriously, is the image of an eternal backyard beer-and-BBQ something we truly wish as restitution for wrongs done to us and others? Are cutesy horns, tails and pitchforks a suitable alternative?
Obviously, I cannot give an objectively proven answer of what will happen, and to whom. But I’d like to explore a few ideas from my mind and from what I’ve read. This week I’d like to review the concept of judgement.
In Part 2 of that series [Part 2 of 3: Get a Grip on Control], I referred to C. S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce. Souls in hell visit the foyer of heaven, and give up the seeds of sinful actions, by ridding themselves of sinful, unhealthy, or bullshit thoughts and beliefs. The process is challenging, uncomfortable, and at times hurts like a bitch. Facing reality is rarely easy.
Terry Pratchett has a wonderful term for explaining facing reality as it is: “knurd”. Here is an excerpt explaining “knurd” from http://wiki.lspace.org/mediawiki/index.php/Knurd
Consider the following scale:
§ Being drunk is to be intoxicated by alcohol to such an extent as to be unable to perceive the world clearly through the senses.
§ Being sober is to be able to perceive the world clearly through the senses, yet humans are quite capable of giving themselves illusions and little stories to make life more bearable.
§ Being knurd is to be (un)intoxicated with Klatchian Coffee to such an extent that all such comfort stories are stripped away from the mind.
This makes you see the world in a way 'nobody ever should', in all its harsh reality.
People generally find being knurd excruciating, as their comfortable illusions are stripped away and all of life's terrors are exposed. [...] When accidentally knurd, people hurry to get alcohol into them to restore the balance. In fact, they generally go too far, getting very drunk in order to a) make certain they aren't knurd, and b) get so comfortably illusory that the mind can't recall those terrible realities.
We all walk around with our own “pink cloud” that shields us from the reality of our own shittiness. How often have you sat in a conversation, and had to keep your jaw from dropping, because the other person complained about a quality or behaviour that they are known for doing themselves? That’s the pink cloud.
Moments like that, I really want those clouds to lift so the other person finally “gets it”. And, as we go along our lives, at times some situation, inspiration or hardship will poke holes in one or two areas of pinkyness.
But stop for a moment, and realize—those are just holes. Imagine what it would be like to go entirely knurd. No comfy remnants of fuzziness to soothe you. Nowhere to go. Nowhere to hide. Each turn of thought exposes a new horror. And each horror is not a funny bogeyman who disappears when the lights turn on; in fact, the lights are already on, and you have to face the bogeyman in the mirror.
Last week’s post was a blink on what that could feel like. We have people who experience that kind of hell through recovered memories of abuse, through George’s eyes of past madness through his eyes of “sanity”, or through post-traumatic stress disorder (what used to be “shellshock”).
The point I am making is that when we consider judgement, and the cleansing of ourselves from the evil we have “innocently” or intentionally harboured, it is not necessarily a soft and cushy process. I think part of justice will be that for those of us who have chosen evil, there will be judgement, and the more ugliness we have nurtured, the more hellish that reality will be.