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Saturday December 9th 2017Tim Candler9

 

      It's a Shivering Naraka out there and some of us might be struggling a little with the purpose of seasons. Wise of the Buddhists to come up with the idea of hell as a cold place, a sure sign they have a much better handle on the fate of souls than those of us who take our idea of hell from the burning of chaff, which are the apparently useless and sinful bracts of cereal grasses that remain after threshing. Then there's the sultry temptation of Karma. The sum total of actions good and bad, like an effort grade attached to the soul that follows a being into rebirth as a Fruit Fly or perhaps child of a Potentate. There are some in the Hindu calling who don't believe in Karma at all. Instead they consider all Karma bad and in life the object is to avoid having to be reborn ever again.

 

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     Frankly it's pretty damn obvious where I stand on these weighty issues. And to give you a hint the average life span of a happy Fruit Fly is around forty days spent buzzing cheerfully around dodging the occasional inelegant swat in a warm and fragrant kitchen, a totally perfect existence in my view. On the other hand moping around the fate of souls is a long way from being conducive to mental health and correct posture through the darker months, and probably the error of a vindictive and not very nice personality to raise the issue even if the idea of being poked by sticks in a frigid hell through the course of eternity does sometimes seem like a heart warming solution on a snowy day to the endless and usually unnecessary problems presented by the more disagreeable in our number. But fair warning! Tomorrow, if we don't get some sunshine, I will compare and contrast Augustine of Hippo's fairly wimpy and Aquinas' more viscerally satisfying views on the subject of hell.

 

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