history-lesson-religions-portrayal-of-hell-is-totally-misunderstood-rob-bell

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Interactive video lesson plan for: History Lesson: Religion's Portrayal of 'Hell' is Totally Misunderstood | Rob Bell

Activity overview:

A lot of us are banking on heaven for ourselves and hell for certain others, but spiritual teacher Rob Bell urges us to think about those concepts as states of consciousness, and rethink the nature of the afterlife. Bell's latest book is "How to Be Here: A Guide to Creating a Life Worth Living" (http://goo.gl/DW7wMQ).

Read more at BigThink.com: http://bigthink.com/videos/rob-bell-on-the-origins-of-hell

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Transcript - I begin with heaven and hell as states of consciousness and reflections of the kind of world that we’re creating right now. So when people say well where is hell they’re essentially saying it is a dimension or a human experience that is absent of anything good, peaceful, generous, redemptive. So the idea that has animated a lot of religion for a lot of people that there is some divine being somewhere who if you don’t say or do or pray or think the right or believe the right thing is going to send you to hell. Life is difficult enough without believing that the deepest, strongest forces of the universe are against you and are going to torture you forever. One of the things I found most interesting is that Jesus used the word hell but when he used the word hell he was referring to an actual place in the city of Jerusalem in the first century. The word he used was the word Gehenna. And Gehenna means a valley of Hinnom.

And the valley of Hinnom was the south valley on the south wall of the city of Jerusalem and it’s where people tossed their trash. So he’s pretty much the only person who used it and when he used this word he was referring to a real place where this trash was burning. So essentially he was saying you as a human being, you have this power to make choices about whether you will move towards others in grace and compassion and kindness or you will move towards people in violence and degradation. And when you do that, when you mistreat others, when you are indifferent to their suffering you are essentially creating like a Hinnom on earth. And so you’re creating a hell on earth. So I begin with these as very powerful words and pictures of what we as human beings can create right now. And when you talk about that apparently for a lot of religious people being right isn’t enough. It’s being right and other people being wrong. It’s being in and other people being out. It’s being part of the chosen and other people not being part of the chosen. For many people going back to why spirituality has been so sort of corrupted for so many people, for many people their fundamental understanding of the spiritual life was figuring out who’s got it, who doesn’t, who’s in, who’s out. And I begin with a much more inclusive love for everybody. But then we can right now choose to live particular ways in this world. That’s a really long answer about hell. It was all over the place. Read Full Transcript Here: http://goo.gl/gx0H7F.

Tagged under: Rob Bell,Heaven,Hell,Religion,consciousness,human,experience,divine ,God,pray,morality,moral,life,Jesus Christ,universe,torture,eternity,Jerusalem,Gehenna,valley Hinnom,choices,mistreat,suffering,spirituality,corruption,inclusive,love,Bible,Western world, testament,afterlife,death,Jewish,divine,eternal life,earth,environment,Big Think,BigThink,BigThink.,Education,Educational,Lifelong Learning,EDU

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