Chapter 12: At Peace With The Afterlife
You Have Chosen to Remember: A Journey of Self-Awareness, Peace of Mind and Joy by James Blanchard Cisneros.
I personally do not believe that there is such a place. But let me tell you the story of someone who did believe that there was such a place called hell. There was a man in his mid-fifties who, according to him, had lived “a very bad life,” and had been “a very bad person.” He was someone who had lied, cheated, stolen and even murdered. This man “knew” that he was going to hell when he died. Although he did not know too much about his Catholic faith, he knew that the good go to heaven and the bad go to hell. He would tell everyone who would listen that he knew he was going to hell. This man was a self-described “bad ass,” “scumbag” and a “crook.” He knew he was going to hell and he was proud of it; he believed he was tough enough to take it.
So, as life would have it, he had a heart attack one day and he stopped breathing for a few minutes. He was clinically dead. While dead, he said that he found himself in a very dark place and as he looked around, he saw that there were fires all around, and around those fires were little deformed devils with pitchforks. It was an awful place and the only sounds heard were screams of pain. He could see people being tortured by these devils. It was just the way he had always imagined. As he became more aware of his situation, he began to see these devils coming closer to him. The pride of knowing he was going to hell now turned to fear. He was in a panic as these devils started to torture and burn him. Like a pack of wild dogs they tore at his flesh and chewed into his bones. After what felt like an eternity, he couldn’t take it anymore. The pain and torture he saw others and himself enduring became too much for him to handle.
After enduring all he could, he began to cry out to Jesus. He began asking Jesus to forgive him and to give him another chance. After crying out loud from deep in his soul for Jesus to forgive him and to come and save him, he saw in the distance a beam of light, and as he kept asking for Jesus to come and save him and forgive him, he saw that indeed it was Jesus who was coming. When Jesus appeared in front of him, Jesus smiled and simply said to the man, “Can’t you see, this is your illusion?” As Jesus said these words, the man himself began to see hell melting away. From top to bottom, hell slowly melted away and what this man saw was that he had been in heaven the whole time.
He realized that he had created the hell around him and that he had always been surrounded by heaven. The love of heaven had never left him. The love of heaven had always surrounded him. It was simply that he had chosen not to see it. Hell, very simply put, was and is an illusion that he had chosen to believe in, that and nothing else. It was hell he believed he was going to and it was his hell where he found himself after death. By choosing to believe in the illusion, he made it real.
You can choose heaven or hell; that is your choice in every moment and step of life. Nevertheless, the truth is there waiting for you to acknowledge it. It will wait for you as long as it takes, for it has everlasting patience. It is there for you in every situation, every moment, and in every person. In every situation, moment and person, you can choose to see and experience heaven or hell. You have been given free will, yet regardless of what you choose, God always loves you. Your path to heaven is lit with forgiveness, acceptance and love. You need only choose it and you will find heaven even here on Earth. Heaven is here, and heaven is now. It is your choice that allows you to feel and experience this. All souls go to “heaven” or the “spirit world” both good and bad, young souls and old souls. But after physical death, some may take longer than others to realize where they truly are.
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