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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This isn't intended as a religious discussion (yay or nay), but what's your interpretation?

Basically, if asked you to write a story that included a character dying and going there, what would go through their heads? What determined whether they went there or not? What would the environment be like? What type of people go there? Feel free to throw in anything else. -- Note, I don't particularly care what scriptures say, but rather just -your- interpretation of the idea in general.

All thoughts appreciated. As always though, I recommend you try not to read other thoughts until you formulate your own view.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, but are curious:
Purgatory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Purgatory
 

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How did this question come up, out of curiosity?

Well, I probably can't give you a very satisfactory answer because I don't actually believe in either purgatory or the continuance of the soul life after physical death since I believe that spirit + body equals conscious soul.

I could still answer your questions and formulate some sort of story around it, but it would be according to my own non-purgatorial religious view, though still answering your questions. Would that be acceptable?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How did this question come up, out of curiosity?

Well, I probably can't give you a very satisfactory answer because I don't actually believe in either purgatory or the continuance of the soul life after physical death since I believe that spirit + body equals conscious soul.

I could still answer your questions and formulate some sort of story around it, but it would be according to my own non-purgatorial religious view, though still answering your questions. Would that be acceptable?
Ya, any thoughts are appreciated.

I don't particularly believe in it myself, although it's kind of hard to confirm or deny. Nonetheless, I used my basic interpretation of how I felt it was generally viewed and described myself as feeling like I was in that state of mind. Inevitably, we clashed on what that definition meant so I'm curious how others view it.
 

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I've several views on purgatory, but what comes to mind most immediately is sort of what had been explained to me when I was younger regarding the purpose of purgatory. It's a big ass waiting room where the sign has said "Out to lunch, be back at 1" forever.

People who aren't good, aren't bad, who haven't done enough good/Hail Mary's/confessions/whatever else to counter original sin or whatnot are sent there while waiting for Judgment Day. In my mind it is as much a punishment as hell because from what I understood, the conscious part of you is still aware of the fact that there's something, but there is NOTHING to give a concept of space, time, depth... there is nothing to stimulate your senses. You don't have anything except knowledge that you are waiting, and no reason to hope for anything good because your chances are just as likely for a bad outcome. It is a place without hope, fear, joy, sorrow, God or Devil, right or wrong, left or right, up or down. Supposedly the person has time to reflect upon their previous transgressions and can come back into grace through their internment there, but... yeah, I dunno.

I think the most amusing version of purgatory I've read though would have to be from Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series. The reader is introduced to purgatory as a place between heaven and earth/hell where all the Immortals and beings that assist them "live" and have their base of operations. It's quite comical, but still gives that sense of time being stopped and nothing else to really look forward to beyond repeating what happened yesterday and will happen again tomorrow. Not a great way to look at things either.

Personal views on purgatory are ever changing, but generally speaking have little to do with the After and everything to do with being stuck while living. There are only two places lower than purgatory, hell and anger. I guess I shouldn't say places, life states would be more accurate. Purgatory is the life state that someone is in when they have nothing to look forward to but more of the same and have no hope that it will ever change.

A friend of mine calls it his trudging time, and he's so kind as to announce it to the world via a very appropriate quote from A Knight's Tale, "To trudge: the slow, weary, depressing yet determined walk of a man who has nothing left in life except the impulse to simply soldier on." In my opinion, that is probably one of the best descriptions of purgatory here on earth. Luckily, the movie had a rather good ending, so my hope is that life will reflect fiction every once in a while.
 

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If you remove the existence of a judgment giver (God) from the equation then I find it difficult to determine an alternate mechanism that would send someone to "Purgatory" except the person themselves. If it were to exist, I wouldn't consider a place of fire or shadow but merely a form of oblivion (similar to a non-existent afterlife) but however the mind still exists in an ethereal, non-corporeal form. The mind has sentenced itself there due to a lifetime of doubts, regrets, attachments, desires, lusts, wants, demands amongst others. If it were to exist, then I think it would be a place that would allow for a path of complete self-reflection which would not be possible to the same extent in the physical world. A heaven or hell of the mind's making, the very weight of negativity and positive thinking and energy which keeps part of the self in existence, in limbo. When the mind finds a way to let itself go free, it can disappear (for me into a non-existent afterlife.) This could happen in the very last nanoseconds of a persons life, yet last an eternity for the person involved.
 

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The All is polarised in a positive giving pole and a negative taking pole. We are never purely positive or negative but very close to neutrally polarised.
In that final instant when our souls are purified they must be separated out in their positive and negative components. That is purgatory.

Jesus said correctly, I wish you were warm or cold but because you are neither flesh nor fish I shall spit you forth out of my mouth.
 

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Okay, first of all you would get to see all of your life over again, from a new perspective, and learn about why you're angry and insecure and all the rest. You would see the hurtful things you've done and also the good things you've done, and you'd see how it affected the world. You would be forced to live through some of the pain you've caused, so that you can learn why it was wrong in the first place. Then you would be given a chance to ask forgiveness, and to do something to make up for the wrongs you've committed (well asking forgiveness would probably be it). Then you would be able to see clearly what life was about, what God wanted for you or from you, and you would be given a choice; accept your life and it's outcome and give it up to party down in heaven, or reject the truth and rebel, being sent back to earth to live through another hell of selfish ego and suffering. I can't see how anyone, once all of the confusion is gone, would pick the former. First forgive God for everything, then ask forgiveness for yourself, and let it be. I have to imagine that it happens somewhat like that, because I know people who don't choose love simply think it doesn't exist or isn't possible without taking it. Once we get down to the bare bones of everyone, we all just want to love and be loved, otherwise what is the point of it all?

Oh yeah, and in my idealist version of the end times, God wins and Satan and his minions are left to hell on earth, and finally see that they never had a chance. Then Beelzebub is like, "Dang-O! I was wrong all along, God what have I done? I don't deserve to go to heaven, but please forgive those who followed me, they were confused and shouldn't be punished like me." And God's like, "Yay, it's all good, I just wanted you to apologize, now you can all go to heaven, everybody's making margaritas at the wave pool!" Man that's a good ending (-:
 

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A topic that's soooooo active no matter how fast I read or skim and pass pages I never reach the end and get to respond properly ( 'w')( \ nyoro~n
 

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As per your request, I haven't read any of the other responses yet.

I read the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull when I was like 17, and recently reread it just to make sure I wasn't just in a strange teenage haze when I read it, but I loved it then and I still love it now and it has kind of shaped the basic idea I have for the afterlife, IF one exists. A lot of people think the book is trash. There are parts I find... meh... but the overall idea, I love. It has something to do with your afterlife being based on what you did in this life, and your second afterlife being based on what you did in your first afterlife, and so on. This is what I took from it, and though I still haven't decided whether or not I believe in the afterlife, I think and hope that is what it'd be like if one does exist.

And it makes sense, too. I feel like, if I'm happy in this life and achieve good things, and am satisfied, and have done my best here despite all the faults and guilts of being human, then the afterlife can only be a step up. And if I'm good there, I can move up. If I suck there, I just won't progress. I'll stay in that stagnant stage until I find the inspiration to progress. Much like life, even.

A lot of times, also, I feel that this world, with all its aesthetic beauty, has a lot of inherent evil and sadness and other negative things, and sometimes it's hard for me to believe there's something worse. I've been lucky thus far, but living amongst pedophiles and murderers and deadly diseases and chronic diseases and terribly sad emotional and mental diseases... you know I could go on... how is this not hell itself? (Don't get me wrong, I think there are also lots of beautiful things too. But sometimes I can't get past babies being born with diseases and dads raping their daughters, that is, if their mothers didn't drown them during infancy.)

I don't believe in an eternal afterlife. I just don't see how that could be, because if there is an afterlife, it's only our souls that go there. And I don't believe souls ever stop evolving. They don't change from one thing to another, but they grow and adapt based on their experiences. If I don't know anything else in this world, I know that my mind and soul (if they are separate; I'm not sure that they are) continue to evolve with each new experience I encounter. And I can't fathom that would change if there is some new place for my soulmind (I'll just say that, haha) to go when I die.

So for me, I'd rename purgatory to stage 1 of the afterlife, or stage 2 (this being stage 1) of the existence of the "soulmind". How will it be? That depends on this life. If you're "bad", it will be stage 1 of an unpleasant afterlife, to which you can advance into a more pleasant afterlife if you try your best there. If you're "good" here, then, as I said, it will be a step up.
 

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i imagine it would be like the show that starts with the letter L and ends with OST
 

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Oh yeah, and in my idealist version of the end times, God wins and Satan and his minions are left to hell on earth, and finally see that they never had a chance. Then Beelzebub is like, "Dang-O! I was wrong all along, God what have I done? I don't deserve to go to heaven, but please forgive those who followed me, they were confused and shouldn't be punished like me." And God's like, "Yay, it's all good, I just wanted you to apologize, now you can all go to heaven, everybody's making margaritas at the wave pool!" Man that's a good ending (-:
Dear God,
If you exist,
Please let that be how it is.
 

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I don't think there's any such thing, save the hells we create for ourselves. Organized religion is just that: organized. By people with an agenda of control, power, and coercion.

I think the beauty in nature that shines through our thick heads once in awhile is what's real. When we die, I think we remember that the universe (of God, or the Goddess or whatever) loves us with such intensity our teeny little minds can't even understand it now. That nothing that happens to us here can really harm us.

As a really clever lady once put it: 'there is none of us here that is not descended from a god'

We are the universe discovering itself eternal.
 
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