Welcome To Your New Place In Hell

We have all committed sins that we’re not proud of, and some of us have the daunting task of preparing for hell after we die [for those of us who believe in a hell at all]. I’m not here to pass down a sermon from on high. Everyone will decide their religious views for themselves and will stay or steer from that path as they experience the challenges of life. What I am here to do it draw you out a picture of how hell “operates” according to Dante’s Inferno. It’s a sort of “guidebook to Hell” if you will. I know a lot of people who have wanted to read this story but don’t like ancient prose so I’m here to ease you into the story and perhaps you’ll find it much more enjoyable after you browse my post. So as we dive deep into the depths of the abyss “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”

Hell is divided into three layers: The upper layer of hell will consist of the first five circles and is the home of the sins of “self-indulgence”, The second layer is for “violent sins” and contained the sixth and seventh circles, and the core of hell is the dwelling spot of “malicious sinners” in the central two circles. I will now be your Dante and guide you to Satan at the core; the darkness of Hades.

We begin the journey in the first circle of hell titled “Limbo“. This is probably where most of you will spend the rest of your days. Limbo is for non-sinners who never accepted Jesus Christ. The unbaptized but virtuous will no be punished in the traditional sense but will merely spend the rest of their days grieving their separation from God. All souls beyond this point are actively condemned for their sins and will be punished accordingly. A lot of you probably won’t mind this mild form of despair. There will be green fields and a castle and everything will be a second-tier version of heaven. If you’ve lived a life of mediocrity and are prepared for more of it in the afterlife then sign your lease now and be excited for average.

From this point on we meet the “deliberate sinners” and the souls of those who could not control their urges and desires. The second circle of hell is lust. This becomes the final resting spot for every person who let their sexual desires compromise solid reasoning and were overcome by sensual love during their lifetime. They are the first to be truly punished in hell. Their souls are forever tossed about in a violent storm without the opportunity or hope of rest. Modern icons that will most likely find their journey ending here include: Ron Jeremy, Hugh Hefner, David Duchovney, Gene Simmons, and former president Bill Clinton. Sounds like good company but I’m not sure how much of their presence you can enjoy when violent winds are constantly tossing you aside.

After we pass by the lustful we reach the third layer of hell, “Gluttony“. The people who live here are those who made a disaster out of their lives by rooting their interests too deeply in food and sealed their fate by making it too much of a priority in their lives. Their punishment is to forever waddle through a slush made of freezing rain, black snow and hail. This represents the garbage they made of their lives, and like Lust,  gave into the sins of the flash instead of practicing self-control. Some familiar faces in this sphere of hell would include: Anthony Bourdain, Ruben Studdard, A good majority of Jerry Springer guests and anyone else who cannot control their desire to consume calories.

We press forward to the fourth circle of hell and another stomping ground for those who committed sins of self-indulgence. This in the home of the “Avarice“[also known as greed].  There are two types of greed in the world and they both fall in this pit. The first are those who were miserly and hoarded their possessions. The other were the prodigal who squandered the possessions they obtained. Their punishment is to forever joust with each other using great, heavily weighted weapons with their chests. They are forced to use their bodies and endure great torment and pain as retribution for neglecting their opportunity they had to help the less fortunate in their former life. The Founders of Wal-Mart who do nothing with their vast fortune will most certainly spend the afterlife in this dwelling.

The last circle of the self-indulgent in Hell is for those guilty of “Wrath & Sloth“. Here we find the river of “Styx” [I have no idea if this is the origin of the 80’s band or not, but it seems likely]. This swamp hold the slothful and sullen underneath its depths drowning forever without the hope of comfort. They are forever removed from God and joy. On the surface of the river is the wrathful. They are forever fighting with each other on the surface and have become consumed by the sins of their earthly life. Don’t even begin to count the people who you know belong here, it’s not possible. Instead just try to remove these from your life. They are the two most useless sins of desire. We can easily stop wasting our time and be more productive and we can just as easily stop being hotheads and take our revenge out on others nevermore.

To enter the next part of Hell we must pass the city walls of “Dis”. Everyone from this point on has sinned consciously and is punished actively for their malfeasance. The first circle, sixth overall, is for those who have committed sins of “Heresy“. everyone who doubted that there is an afterlife at all will spend the remainder of eternity in a flaming coffin representing their doubts of life after death in a physical sense.

We venture forth to the seventh layer of hell for the crimes of the “Violent“. A minotaur guards the three rings of this layer and it’s another layer of active punishment for the souls of men who have consciously sinned. The first ring is for people who committed violence against people or property. They forever drift in a river of boiling blood to allow them no moment without reminder of the pain they caused others. The second ring is for both those who committed suicide and the reckless who ruined their lives by spending frivolously [violent spending]. Those who committed suicide will be transformed into thorny bushes and trees with their corpses hanging from their limbs. They neglected to appreciate their bodily lives on Earth and therefor will not regain their bodies after death. The profligates will be chased by chained dogs for eternity around the thorny bushed of their fellow damned. The inner ring is for those who have committed violence against nature, violence against order, and blasphemers. The blasphemers forever lie in sands of fire, the sinners against nature sit in the sand and the sodomites and other blasphemers against nature wonder aimlessly. Upon all of them fiery flakes fall from above. All three rings will forever be in torment and their only release from the suffering will be pain.

The eighth circle of hell is the most extensive and has the sinners of “Fraud“. The fraudulent are damned to this layer for they have consciously committed evil acts. This layer can only be reached by descending a large cliff down to the layer because the souls trapped below have been that far removed from God and all that is good. The layers of the eighth circle and divided into 10 “Bolgie” [or pockets]. The first of these Bolgie is for pimps and sorcerers. They are forced to march for eternity by demons for they misled others during their life. The next pocket is for flatterers and are forever buried in human excrement from the “bullshit” that came out of their mouths. The third Bolgie is for simony, or people who paid for positions in the church. They are buried in rock holes head first to represent the opposite of a baptism.  The fourth Bolgie is for false prophets. They now walk around with their heads turned backwards cursed to only see the past and never the future. They have also cried so much that they are now completely blind. The fifth Bolgie is for corrupt politicians and are submerged in a boiling pitch. This sticky compound is because of their “sticky fingers” and corrupt dealings on Earth. Next we find the hypocrites who must walk around wearing lead cloaks as a weight upon their shoulders for lying to others and themselves. The seventh pocket is for thieves. They are constantly pursued by snakes and go through transformations wherever they are bitten for they were the shape-shifters of their past lives.  The eighth Bolgie is for fraudulent advisors and are incarcerate in individual flames. They are also invisible to others as a punishment for causing despair to so many others. Next we reach the sowers of discord who have their bodies chopped up to represent how they divided others. Just as their bodies begin to heal, demons chop their limbs up again and they will endure that for all eternity. The final Bolgie is for falsifiers and counterfeits. They were the diseases of Earth and will be plagued with diseases forever.

As we reach the core of hell, divided into four rounds, we are overcome by ice instead of fire because we are so far removed from Christ that there is no warmth. This is the home of those committing acts of “Treason“. The first round is Caina, home to the traitors of their kindred. They are frozen up to their faces in ice for that is where they can show shame for their actions. The second round is Antenora, the resting place of political traitors. They are frozen up to their necks and cannot budge. The next round, Ptolomaea, is for traitors of their own guests. Their lie on the ice with their tears frozen to keep their eyes forced open. They are never allowed the release of crying. The very center round in Judecca, damnation of the betrayers of Christ is here. The are completely frozen in distorted positions for the rest of eternity except for Brutus, Cassius and Judas who lie inside the mouths of Satan himself, frozen in the very core of Hell.

If this story intrigues you half as much as it does me you can read about it in more detail at Wikipedia or buy the story at Amazon.com. I hope you enjoy this epic piece of the Divine Comedy and thank you for taking a minute to travel with me through the depths of Hell. Read on – the other two pieces are about “Paradise” and “Purgatory” Maybe we’ll touch on those together in the future.

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