27 votes

Heaven and Hell

Retold by Michael Nystrom | August 1, 2005
Originally published at Bull! Not bull

We stood in an empty white room, facing two doors. The Master explained to me that while the initial conditions behind the two doors were the same, it was the thinking, attitudes and actions of the people inside that made all the difference. The doors were labeled "Heaven" and "Hell."

The Master pushed open the door marked "Hell" and invited me to look. My first sight was one of abundance: There were tables piled high with fruits, vegetables and the finest meats. It was a feast of the finest delicacies of the world.

But then I saw the multitudes of miserable people, huddled in darkness. They were starving, gaunt, with permanent frowns of misery affixed to their ashen faces. In spite of the bounty that surrounded them, they were frustrated, angry and malnourished. I asked the Master why. He only pointed, instructing me silently to observe carefully. I saw that in spite of the abundance, the people had only seven-foot long chopsticks with which to eat their food. It was like a cruel joke. Try as they might, they could not manage to get the food from the plates into their own mouths. I saw them clumsily trying to guide morsels of food into their mouths, only to be frustrated by the impossible task, then lash out in anger at their fellow companions who pointed and snickered at their failures. In spite of the overflow wealth in the room, it was filled with shouting, anger, violence and tears.

When I had seen enough, the Master closed the door. I shuddered at the tragedy of it. Before I could ask a single question, The Master put his finger to his lips and directed me to look behind the second door.

My first sight behind the door marked "Heaven" was the same as before: There were tables piled high with fruits, vegetables and the finest meats. It was a feast of the finest delicacies of the world.

But the population of people in this world were happy, filled with mirth and laughter. Young children ran and played among the tables, and adults were healthy with ruddy skin and strong, robust figures. The master had told me that the initial conditions behind each of the doors were the same. Sure enough, I saw the seven-foot long chopsticks that the people behind the first door had so clumsily tried to use to feed themselves.

When I spotted the difference between this world and the other, I immediately burst out laughing. The Master, satisfied with my insight, silently closed the door.

The Difference
Can you imagine what it is I saw? Instead of trying to manage everything on their own without thinking of others, the people behind the second door marked "Heaven" used the long chopsticks to feed one another.

They had learned perfectly the art of selflessness and cooperation, and came to see that the generosity they gave all came back to them in the end. It was then that I realized that Heaven is a place where people help one another, while Hell is a place where people think only of themselves - and get nothing from it in the end.

When I relayed this story to a friend, my friend brushed it aside impatiently saying, "Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know that story. I've heard it before."

The Master was most impressed, for it was very rare to meet a person so knowledgeable in the art of selflessness and cooperation. "Yes," my friend reiterated. "I know it quite well."

"Do you practice the art of selflessness and cooperation in your own life?" the Master asked.

"Er. . . well, no. . .not always. . . "

"Then you do not know it," said the Master.

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Any Words Expressed As Thoughts Should Be Watched Objectively

Be objective to those thoughts..Stay calm and do not allow yourself to get 'CAUGHT UP' with your subconscious mind. (Monkey brain)

All of us without exception get involved with thought and that leads to feelings which leads to reactions.

Normally, these reactions are either positive or negative emotion.

Both of these emotional types are destructive.

Learn to be objective.

It is the wordless word (Consciousness) that comes to you from the ether from a higher power.

If you can come to realize this principle you will become the master of your soul...

Heaven and Hell begin in the mind. Even living in a hell on earth, your soul could be in heavenly peace.

Somewhere in scripture it says, "BE in the world, but not OF the world."

You got it all wrong. They have long spoons.

And hell has all the pandas, obviously.

Otherwise I try to 'know' this story a little each day. Karma is a mother.

I saw the best minds of my generation, destroyed by pandas starving hysterical naked

-Allen Ginsberg

Black Sabbath (Dio Years)

Heaven and Hell

Sing me a song, you're a singer
Do me a wrong, you're a bringer of evil
The Devil is never a maker
The less that you give, you're a taker
So it's on and on and on, it's Heaven and Hell, oh well
The lover of life's not a sinner
The ending is just a beginner
The closer you get to the meaning
the sooner you'll know that you're dreaming
So it's on and on and on, oh it's on and on and on
It goes on and on and on, Heaven and Hell
I can tell, fool, fool!
Well if it seems to be real, it's illusion
For every moment of truth, there's confusion in life
Love can be seen as the answer, but nobody bleeds for the dancer
And it's on and on, on and on and on....
They say that life's a carousel
Spinning fast, you've got to ride it well
The world is full of Kings and Queens
Who blind your eyes and steal your dreams
It's Heaven and Hell, oh well
And they'll tell you black is really white
The moon is just the sun at night
And when you walk in golden halls
You get to keep the gold that falls
It's Heaven and Hell, oh no!
Fool, fool!
You've got to bleed for the dancer!
Fool, fool!
Look for the answer!
Fool, fool, fool!

Read more: Dio - Heaven And Hell Lyrics | MetroLyrics

I'd rather have a bottle in front o' me than a frontal lobotomy

cooperation does NOT require generosity

They had learned perfectly the art of selflessness and cooperation, and came to see that the generosity they gave all came back to them in the end.

In a free market the only way to get what you want is to serve others. When operating in your own self interest, the incentive is to cooperate with people who you may not like, resulting in voluntary exchange which is win-win - both parties are better off -- and this was not achieved because of generosity or benevolence -- but because of greed.

So how do you achieve cooperation? By hoping and praying that everyone cares about each other? Nope.

So what is hell? Hell is believing that greed needs to be punished. Hell is what you get when you destroy the incentive structure that results in people serving their fellow man.

Walter Williams - I Love Greed:

What human motivation gets the most wonderful things done? It turns out that it's human greed that gets the most wonderful things done. When I say greed, I am not talking about fraud, theft, dishonesty, lobbying for special privileges from government or other forms of despicable behavior. I'm talking about people trying to get as much as they can for themselves. Let's look at it.

This winter, Texas ranchers may have to fight the cold of night, perhaps blizzards, to run down, feed and care for stray cattle. They make the personal sacrifice of caring for their animals to ensure that New Yorkers can enjoy beef. Last summer, Idaho potato farmers toiled in blazing sun, in dust and dirt, and maybe being bitten by insects to ensure that New Yorkers had potatoes to go with their beef.

Here's my question: Do you think that Texas ranchers and Idaho potato farmers make these personal sacrifices because they love or care about the well-being of New Yorkers? The fact is whether they like New Yorkers or not, they make sure that New Yorkers are supplied with beef and potatoes every day of the week. Why?

Wow, I liked that.

I just watched a show last night that studied birds like crows and how smart they were and the study concluded that animals that live in groups are smarter because they watch and help each other with problem solving.

Prepare & Share the Message of Freedom through Positive-Peaceful-Activism.

Excellent Reminder

Yes, we should always strive to do better. Thanks.

So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell, blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

Did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
Did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?

(from Pink Floyd -Wish You Were Here)

thanks for the reminder

Wow...that's a

great visualization of that deeper truth. Self vs Servant.

Seems like good parables like this have such a way of appealing directly to the soul in a way mere intellectual rationalizations can't quite reach. Thanks :)

Joη's picture

you mean...they're not places?

where the magical soul leaves the body to go to once the body is literally of no use? They're metaphors?

That requires too much thought. Better enshrine these ideas in religions to have them propagate.

"You underestimate the character of man." | "So be off now, and set about it." | Up for a game?