C 15: I. The Two Uses of Time, P 4

I. The Two Uses of Time, P 4

4 The belief in hell is inescapable to those who identify with the ego. Their nightmares and their fears are all associated with it. The ego teaches that hell is in the future, for this is what all its teaching is directed to. Hell is its goal. For although the ego aims at death and dissolution as an end, it does not believe it. The goal of death, which it craves for you, leaves it unsatisfied. No one who follows the ego’s teaching is without the fear of death. Yet if death were thought of merely as an end to pain, would it be feared? We have seen this strange paradox in the ego’s thought system before, but never so clearly as here. For the ego must seem to keep fear from you to hold your allegiance. Yet it must engender fear in order to maintain itself. Again the ego tries, and all too frequently succeeds, in doing both, by using dissociation for holding its contradictory aims together so that they seem to be reconciled. The ego teaches thus: Death is the end as far as hope of Heaven goes. Yet because you and the ego cannot be separated, and because it cannot conceive of its own death, it will pursue you still, because guilt is eternal. Such is the ego’s version of immortality. And it is this the ego’s version of time supports.

 

Journal

Back in the day when I was Catholic, what I liked about the Church was that the rules were clear. I knew what was a sin and which ones would send me to hell, and all I had to do was to steer clear of those. And yet, I didn’t. I really bought into the whole Catholic theology and still, I could not avoid those mortal sins. So, what is the chance that I would go to Heaven when I died? I could always hope that I would die right after confession just to be safe, but otherwise, I was doomed.

If I managed to avoid all mortal sin, I still had all those venial sins that would send me to purgatory for some undecided length of time where I could hopefully work off my sins. The weirdest thing about this theology is that I believed it. This is typical of what the ego offers us. We will die, but even in death, we will be punished.

What I think is most important for me to realize is that the ego teaches that guilt is eternal. How very strange, but what else could we expect from this upside down world? We, the eternal beings God created, will die and then in death continue to suffer. And guilt, which is of the ego will be eternal. I think my daily mantra will be this. There is no guilt. I will say this to myself frequently, and I will use it to answer all problems.

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