Our capacity for pain seems far greater than that for pleasure and engaging in any activity that alleviates the pain or affords us any pleasure is usually a punishable offense
by law or consequence. Our bodies were clearly designed for the purpose of experiencing pain. In fact, much of what we regard as physical pleasure is in all actuality merely a temporary reduction of or a distraction from pain.
It usually takes far more effort to create a pleasurable experience than to cause a painful one. Whenever we finally do succeed in creating a pleasurable experience, our
tolerance typically grows so quickly that it becomes even more difficult to subsequently recapture that experience. On the other hand, while it may be possible to grow more
tolerant of painful experiences, they never really cease to be painful.
We seem perpetually caught somewhere between the desperate hope that things will get better and the looming fear they will get worse. This is the real angst of our existence.
In the classic version of hell, there is no hope that things will get better or fear that they will get worse. This almost seems a relief by comparison. And since we can never
die in the classic version, after a time, we would inevitably come to the realization that all our suffering is merely in our minds and that nothing could truly harm us. That
would almost be liberating compared to this uncertain existence.
We normally feel totally alone, separated from God, ourselves and all other human beings. We can live our entire lives without ever truly knowing ourselves or another human
being. In fact, the more we interact with others, the more commonly we are surprised by their behaviours and by our own reactions. If we truly knew ourselves and others, we
would certainly be much more predictable.
God seems conspicuously uninvolved in this reality. All proof of His presence is anecdotal and unscientific at best. Events which we call ‘miracles’ are so exceedingly rare, of
such questionable origin, and so remarkably arbitrary or insignificant that they go much further to prove that God does not regularly interact in our daily lives.
Heaven, I expect, resembles this reality but little. [John 12:31 ]