Whether fictional hell, if it were true and if he can come to an end – it meets Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh. Presumably, the text is translated from English recording of a radio broadcast of 1967 and was included in the book Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh “Life and eternity. 15 conversations about death and suffering”, published by the “Nike”.
Metropolitan Anthony Of Sourozh
- Death. To meet with joy?
- Teach the death?
- Death as the threshold of transformation
- To survive your death
— I think father Anthony, I like the elephant as a flower, after death, a complete destruction; do you think that you are somewhere you will live forever?
— Yes, I believe it and, in a way, I already know I’m mortal and will die, but not the whole; something in me will live on. And besides, I am convinced that I have a whole, whole, will come back to life. Words Orthodox confession of faith: waiting for the resurrection of the dead and the future life, as a body without a soul — a corpse, a soul without a body is not human.
— You mean, believe in heaven and hell. What the hell? Where is he?
Is hell not a place but a state of mind, apart from God, and every place where there is such a soul — hell. As, on the contrary, every place where with God — heaven.
— Why is there a hell? What is the purpose?
— Ad for anything not “right”, and he has no purpose in the sense that it is not invented and not arranged by God in order to punish sinners and evil-free will of man; it is not a dungeon, and spiritual system, which we can look forward to already on the ground, although only vaguely.
And hell is eternal?
— What do you mean by “eternal”?
Something that has no ending: endless dlenie, hence, the death of hope and endless suffering. And I think God’s calling to being a place much worse than Snape and any who it will be concluded.
— Eternity is not an infinite time series; it is based on different time — these concepts are incommensurable. Eternity coincides with the very existence of God, while the category of being creatures, it is called to being with the first creature that once was. Hell is not a sacrament of God’s eternity. Besides, as I said, it’s not the hand of God, and human: he is born of freedom and hatred of man. Can not be suffering in the discovery that God is Life, He Is Love, and I have nothing in common with Him that would allow Him and other creatures to live a single life, and in me there is nothing but death.
— I do not accept your concept of God! A God Who can prevent on earth the hell that we sometimes it can see, can’t count on my support, either mentally, morally!
— You are confusing two concepts: the fact that hell is suffering, does not mean that all suffering is hell in the strict sense of the word. Many of these courageous sufferers in misery upon the fact, which without him they could not comprehend. I know of a man dying of cancer who refuses medications until flour is unbearable, as only in its acceptance and in the experiences associated with it…
— What a hell of a flour?
In moral suffering. You may remember the argument about hell in “the Brothers Karamazov” by Dostoyevsky. Hell is suffering that it is impossible to love that now, too late.
But can you imagine the hell clearly? I’ll be in it yourself or dissolved in something that will absorb my personality — and this will be the torments of hell?
— We Christians believe that our personal existence will not stop; we believe in a personal God for Which each of us is a unique personal being…
Is your personal opinion or is the opinion of the Church?
— I think that every Christian will, with some nuances, all that I have said so far.
— A cursory acquaintance with the Bible, I found no definition of Paradise, but many references to Hellfire, burning… What does it all mean?
Holy Scripture, as we do when we want to pass anything difficult is passed, uses images, similes. Because you know what “searing pain” or what it means to “burn with shame”, and do not presume that we are talking about physical fire. So here: no description, as it is a transparent analogy.
But what’s the point of hell? What use are they, if they are eternal, will never end, when there is no hope?
— You somehow froze at those places of Scripture which speak of the eternity of hell, but as if he was lost sight of those places, where Christ says, that the debtor did not previously come from him than paying his debt to the last penny, etc. there is always Hope. Condemning himself the last court, a person must, against all the evidence and possibilities, hope for himself and for others.
— That is, as hell might come to an end?
I can’t answer you with complete confidence. However, it is clear from the words of Christ and teachings of the Church that after death the fate of man at once and forever defined by: the last judgment, which we expect in the end times, cannot be merely a repetition private the posthumous judgment of God over my soul, something, then, must happen within that time…
— Time! Really! How unfair infernal torment: one will suffer in just some year and another ten thousand years!
— Do you seriously think that mental suffering is measured over astronomical time? Psychological life goes on in subjective time, which in the twinkling of an eye can survive a whole world of events, whereas hours of objective time may remain empty. One hell or a heavenly moment in their saturation, comparable to the solar revolving for centuries.
— Not invented a hell? If he is the man just so he behaved well?
— Oh, no! Moral action, forced by fear, has no value. Virtue under coercion is simply immoral!
— But the Church for centuries is counting on the fear that inspires the hell, and uses it…
— Not a Church, and her irrational representatives. The Church, like Christ, knows only one legitimate motivation to do good: it is love.
— Back to the question of life; what is it? Only God’s experiment? And what is death?
— Life is not an experiment, and the path and experience, a growing experience of life. Life and death are inseparable from each other. You should not think that we only die once: we die not once but many times during our earthly life. And each such death is born life abounded. Should a baby die in order to become a servant; must die a boy to Mature into the husband; also have to die grown man, to unfold fruitful old age. A person does not grow and is not updated by a simple transformation, but a real death; and a new life is always born out of death.
If we were more attentive and more manly, then death would be a us native, close and familiar. We knew and loved as a desirable condition of a new life. What we call death, is nothing like the next, however radical and special, dying. But it, like other dying, and then allow the wholeness of our personality, of our identity to ourselves.
— Can you prove all this or to show in the concepts of pure reason?
— No! And not because it is all unreasonable, but because there mind is not dominated: there are, in addition to truths of faith, and the other phenomena which the mind can describe, to name, but which remain outside of its own sphere: love, for example, or beauty. They can only talk to people who have experienced knowledge, but wisely to enter into this same experience is impossible. The mind observes, identifies, describes, but remains a servant of experience, which is wider than him.
But if this is all so important, why do not shout about it, why is this not evident? Why is our purpose, what we expect, not obvious? Why don’t we warned we would live accordingly!
And don’t just imagine it! Who knows, that drinking is harmful to health, and little did the drunks in the world! And besides, you never know we are life itself suggests that man and the world is ugly; you said yourself that hell is here on earth is revealed: what you can not see it? The horror is upon you from all sides: the experience of disfigured life, Newspapers, radio, books. Someone in the audience today, your conversation will dare to say that it doesn’t warn? In our time no one can evade responsibility, and you five — less than anyone else, after our conversation.
But it’s so unreal, invisible; Satan himself could be visible…
— Are you a stealth force of destruction, force of ujedinenija person from – his trail?
— Your answer does not satisfy me.
— Such a debate can never be conclusive and can give answers to all questions and misunderstandings…
1967, English translation, translator unknown. Rather, it is a recording of the radio program with the participation of Metropolitan Anthony. Chapter from the book Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh “Life and eternity. 15 conversations about death and suffering”, published by the “Nike”.