The Heaven & Hell Impulse Within Us

Last night I speed-watched Mission Impossible III. I speed-watched because parts of it were sort of a “blah.”m3

Anyway, in the movie, the bad guy is not just bad, but really really bad. You really get a rise from watching him torture and kill people in the cold-blood and cry out withing yourself for vengeance.  I couldn’t wait to see the guy really get it at the end. Not only did I want to see him get nailed at the end, I wanted to see him suffer... suffer really badly for what he had done.

This made me realize something.

In most movies that we watch, it is not enough for us to see the villain simply get shot in the end. No. We want the villain to suffer.  And the more evil, demonic, and diabolical the person, the more we want that person to pay in suffering. If a bad guy committed several hideous atrocities and then simply got shot in the end, it would be pretty anticlimactic . It would be as if we lost something. Something just wouldn’t be right. On the other hand to watch a wicked man get a really good payback – there is something deeply satisfying about that.

Imagine something. Suppose you were watching a movie and at the end, the hero is kicking the daylights out of the bad guy, and just imagine that the hero tops and turns to you and says “Is that enough?” You would probably say “No. Give him a few more. Keep going!  Salaay lagau

Our impulse is to want to see the villain suffer. We want him to really get roasted. And we want the suffering to be stretched out to the maximum possible extent. It is as if we have an impulse for Hell within us.

Then there is Heaven…

This made me think of something else also. While we want Hell to be stretched out a good distance, we also want Heaven to be stretched out to the maximal possible extent. We want “happily ever after” to be attached to every story we read, and we want that ever after to be forever.

If Shakespeare did not write Romeo & Juliet with a tragic ending then surely it would have to have been a “happily ever after” ending.


Well what would it be like to say “and they lived happily ever after for six more years”?

What if you could advance a little further past the happily-ever-after ending of so many stories and found instead that things actually did not go so well later on?

Perhaps Romeo and Juliet got divorced eventually and perhaps if you could ask Romeo why, maybe he would say “Oh. I don’t know. We just stopped having feelings for each other.” Or maybe Juliet would give you the “irreconcilable differences” line.  Of course this could be just one happily-ever-after-for-a-season ending that we would not want. There are several others we can think of.  Maybe it could be it could be that Romeo had a horse back riding accident one day and that was the end of him.

My point is that there is something within us that resonates with a lengthy Hell and a lengthy Heaven within us.

{Finish later}