Where are heaven and hell

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Where are heaven and hell

Postby Stephen K » Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:34 am

Just out of curiousity, where in the universe are heaven and hell? In the sky, under the earth, in outer speace, in other dimensions, parallel universes, where?
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Re: Where are heaven and hell

Postby Ben » Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:59 am

Its the quality of your consciousness.
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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Re: Where are heaven and hell

Postby Fede » Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:22 am

I answered Stefan's post on another forum, in much the same way.....
But you said it so much better than what I did, Ben..... ;)

:namaste:
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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Re: Where are heaven and hell

Postby bodom » Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:03 pm

Anytime greed, hatred and ignorance are present in your mind you are in hell. Anytime there opposites of generosity, loving friendliness and wisdom are present you are in heaven.

:namaste:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Where are heaven and hell

Postby Jechbi » Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:35 pm

Just out of curiousity, where in the universe are my car keys? In the sky, under the earth, in outer speace, in other dimensions, parallel universes, where?
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: Where are heaven and hell

Postby Individual » Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:21 am

Not sure it would be accurate either to strictly call them metaphors for mental states, or to call them literal places, because they seem to involve a "location" for rebirth, but not a temporal-spatial location within this universe. On the former view, they seem rather convoluted as metaphors. The five realms, six realms, and ten realms models could all be seen as metaphors for mental states, but what exactly do the 40 planes of existence symbolically represent? Any metaphorical interpretation would have to be very convoluted. The second view, though, is also rather absurd, because it begs the question, "If they're physical, where are they?" which is what Stefan is asking here.

From Accesstoinsight:
It is pointless to debate whether these realms are real or simply fanciful metaphors that describe the various mind-states we might experience in this lifetime. The real message of this cosmology is this: unless we take steps to break free of the iron grip of kamma, we are doomed to wander aimlessly from one state to another, with true peace and satisfaction forever out of reach.


From Wikipedia:
The picture of the world presented in Buddhist cosmological descriptions cannot be taken as a literal description of the shape of the universe. It is inconsistent, and cannot be made consistent, with astronomical data that were already known in ancient India. However, it is not intended to be a description of how ordinary humans perceive their world; rather, it is the universe as seen through the divyacakṣus (Pāli: dibbacakkhu), the "divine eye" by which a Buddha or an arhat who has cultivated this faculty can perceive all of the other worlds and the beings arising (being born) and passing away (dying) within them, and can tell from what state they have been reborn and into what state they will be reborn.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
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Re: Where are heaven and hell

Postby BlackBird » Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:59 pm

Jechbi wrote:Just out of curiousity, where in the universe are my car keys? In the sky, under the earth, in outer speace, in other dimensions, parallel universes, where?


And where are all the 'partner' socks to match my lonely one-somes :shrug:
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Where are heaven and hell

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:11 pm

Hi Stefan,

Not a Buddhist source, but it's what your question brings to mind:
Pink Floyd wrote: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?

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

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have you found? The same old fears.
Wish you were here.

Metta
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Re: Where are heaven and hell

Postby Ben » Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:25 pm

Its a beautiful song (Wish you were here) and a very nice and appropriate quote, Mike!
You old hippy!
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

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Re: Where are heaven and hell

Postby bodom » Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:40 pm

Pink Floyd!!!! One of the best bands ever.

:namaste:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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