His name didn’t matter; he embraced death as mantle that covered the universe. When he died, he was happy with the idea of going to heaven; but, he realized he ended on the other side. Hell, was very different from what he imagined, he was in the Elysium. It was gorgeous, it was pretty, it looked as paradise and he was waiting the moment the illusion was going to be broken.
There were people around him, he was waiting to be greeted by someone he knew, but there was nobody he could see that was his family or friends. He walked among everyone that was near him and then he realized he was being followed by someone; when he turned back he saw a man with old robes, he thought he was Greek until the man spoke.
“You have to apologize my English, in more than two millennia I haven’t perfection it yet. My name is Virgil, nice to meet you” Said the old man, who was walking slowly. “Has you realized, you ended up in a place that not many people expect it”.
“Why, I am here?” Him, replied.
“Because you were a free-thinker my child, as many of the people who end up in here” The old poet replied in a calm voice. “Anyone who dares to go beyond the scripture will end up here”
“I haven’t commit any of the deadly sins. I haven’t killed anyone!”
“You dared to hesitate the benevolence of God and the composition of His Trinity”
“Poet, explain yourself”
“Oh you recognized me, good, good my child” “You see, criminals have a worse fate for the corrupted souls, they end in the purgatorio, where there is no knowledge and there is eternal pain”
“I thought that was hell”
“No. To explain we need to walk, you see in theory we are in space very like Earth, well mostly to Jupiter. We are placed on a continuum where souls can go back to the world of the living, where we can live again if there is a will to forgiveness of the sins committed on Earth. Even for the people who dare to defy God’s existence”
He then remembered, he hesitated about God’s merciful nature when he saw an innocent child dying in front of him, he used to work on an oncology ward at a children hospital. Saint Joseph, was the name, it wasn’t that far away from a football stadium, he was trying to remember but the memories where still somewhere far from him.
That was the moment as a nurse he cursed God’s name, he hesitated that such perfect being could let a child die of cancer… colon cancer, he remembered a little bit as they kept walking to another point of hell.
“My child, we are in the entrance of hell, you see there are Eight Circles but they aren’t as many people imagine”
“They are not full of torture?”
“No; there is no need for souls who had been tortured in life. We are almost near where I want to show you, we are going to meet Charon”
He was quiet as they kept walking, the forest and the fields, he noticed everything was so beautiful and it didn’t even decay. When they reach the point, Virgil was talking about, they reach a lake, a big lake and in the middle, there was a vortex, he was surprised as the vortex lose itself on the infinity of what it was the sky.
“What is this?” He asked.
“This is the basin of the Acheron, the river of the souls, where the mortals are transported to the different realms if they aren’t attached to them or in a lesser case the circles of Hell. You see that vortex?”
“It connects to Purgatorio, the last circle of Hell and lastly Heaven. That torrent is the channel between Lucifer and God themselves. Each extreme is the source of knowledge and divinity and in between the void of nothingness and the realm of the living. I want you to meet Charon, as he can answer your questions more properly than I”
As they approach to the shore of the basin, there was a single man in a canoe, he looked like a fisherman but he was just there looking at the sky, while sitting on his boat.
“Virgil, you got a guest. I am surprised, it has been a busy season and much of my minions are far away doing errands” Said Charon without even looking.
“How do you know we were here?”
“I can sense souls, everyone near me has a unique print that I can sense, that’s why I didn’t even looked behind to know who they were. You and my friend”
“Indeed it is”
“Go ahead and ask him the questions to Charon”
“I have two only, why hell looks so different? And how the people ascending to heaven through that portal see us?”
“Young man, this realm is based on perceptions but there is a set of rules, the way you see us and the way we see you, is a consensus on how we all saw life, that precious gift, as well how he free ourselves from the ideas of fear”
“May you show me please?”
Charon snapped his left-hand fingers and suddenly everything became decay, full of death; fire and gas sprouting from everywhere. He snapped again and everything came back as the way the young man was perceiving before.
“You didn’t fear hell, you didn’t fear death, that’s why damnation didn’t covered your soul, such as the residents of this realm. Opposite to the ones who will go to Heaven and Purgatorio, who fear that falling here will be an eternal punishment and that’s the way they will be treated”
“So is much as life, we create our own reality but also we have a communal consensus. Even if we defy divinity, we are just humans and that is it”
“Exactly” Exclaimed Charon.
“So now what?”
“You have your own personal guide at this moment, I rather say, if you want to explore the philosophical aspect of humanity, you are in the right place. Just be careful, do not get sucked inside the vortex that leads to Limbo, is a world of shadows in which every terrace is covered in suffering and you can lose yourself for eternity”