The following is kind of a “steam of consciousness” post…

Back to C.S. Lewis’s journey through heaven and hell (The Great Divorce). Here, some light is shed on his theory of hell:

“Then those people are right who say that Heaven and Hell are only states of mind?”
“Hush,” said he sternly. “Do not blaspheme. Hell is a state of mind-ye never said a truer word. And every state of mind, left to itself, every shutting up of the creature within the dungeon of its own mind-is, in the end, Hell. But Heaven is not a state of mind. Heaven is reality itself. All that is fully real is Heavenly. For all that can be shaken will be shaken and only the unshakable remains.”

So passage brings up so many thoughts and connections: The idea that hell is not so much a place of fire and physical torture, as it is a place of being alone. Very very alone forever. I am frequently tempted to retreat back into my own mind, to pull away from other people and from God. This is more than just a personality trait of introverts. It is the enemy coercing me to disengage from relationships. To take a little step into hell.

The mentally insane are classified into different groups depending on how much interaction with other human beings they are able to handle. Everything from those are are a little eccentric and need to live by themselves all the way to the dangerously violent. I think being crazy must be a little bit like hell too.

What piece of scripture is he referring to at the end?

Hebrews 22-29 (NIV):

But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. 25 See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken–that is, created things–so that what cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”

I see the whole creation as the Lord’s great project. The fallen earth and fallen man is being redeemed through death and resurrection. Our hearts and minds shaken, sanctified, our trust in fleeting things laid waste. All throughout history, from Abraham to David, the apostles and the church of today, he is always reforming us. Cutting off branches and grafting new ones in. It is a great work, spanning many lives of men, but just the beginning of his purpose for His creation. What remains will be solid. A solid new earth, solid people.

The thing that reminds me of this verse is the song Shake the Heavens by Kim Hill:

Not to a mountain
Not to a temple
Made of wood and stoneNot to the angels
To the saints assembled
To God on His righteous throne

Not just a trembling of my flesh
But in all consuming fire I rest

You will shake the heavens
As You shake the earth
When the fires fall by Your grace I’ll stand
I’ll join with the angels
As the elders fall
We all cry holy, we all cry holy
We all cry holy, we all cry holy

Not to a system
Not just religion
Empty words and rules

But to true salvation
Holy mediation
The sprinkled blood
Of the one who rules

Not just a trembling of my flesh
But in all consuming fire I rest

You will shake the heavens
As You shake the earth
When the fires fall by Your grace I’ll stand
I’ll join with the angels
As the elders fall
We all cry holy, we all cry holy
We all cry holy, we all cry holy

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