The Marriage of Heaven and Hell is one book by William Blake that has even the most wise of scholars confused and befuddled. I myself can shed little light. What I share here has probably been discussed by scholars on numerous occasions without seeing a true solution to the paradox. What is Good? What is Bad? Is it true what churches tell us; that Heaven is good and Hell is bad?
What is Good? I believe that the word good can be very subjective. It depends on a persons perspective. This perspective is swayed or biased to how one is raised, in what cultural context, traditions within the home or taste in food. While my partner may enjoy extremely spicy food, I do not. So what is good for him is not so good for me. In Europe, nudity is accepted much more readily whereas in our culture which has its heritage in the prim and proper British way, says that nudity is not so good. Most certainly nudity in middle eastern cultures and certain religions is not accepted at all.
What is Bad? I think most of us would agree that a rotten apple is bad in most cultures, religions and countries, but to a gardener, a rotten apple is full of opportunity. You are able to harvest the seeds to grow another apple tree or you are able to use the apple in your compost bin, to assist in putting nutrients in the soil. Some say that the best Apple sauce is made with apples that are bruised or over ripe. The black sheep is colloquial language of a person that doesn’t match up to the standards of his peers or family. But a black sheep is often just different. A black sheep means you don’t have to dye the wool if you want a black jumper (pullover).
Good people go to heaven, bad people to hell?
Jesus asked a man why he called him good when only God is good. We often called morally upright, heroic, or people with a warm open heart good people. Well again that is subjective. If we compare a person whom we consider good to say, Mother Teresa, they would probably fall short. If we compare a person to Hitler, we would look favourably upon that same person.
Do we have the right to judge whether one is better than another? Is a person defined by his actions, or does he deserve the dignity that comes from being a fellow member of the human race? My thoughts are that a persons actions do not define who he is as a person. A person is able to act in a very poor way in a moment of madness, or in a very grand way in a single moment of heroism. One should not be judged on actions, but be given the dignity deserved by all members of the human race.
So, if we do not have the right to judge who is good and who is bad, how do we know who goes to heaven, and who goes to hell?
It comes down to faith. As a Christian, I believe that Jesus was God manifest as man, who sacrificed himself taking upon himself the punishment of men who accept his gift of righteousness. We are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. Only God is good. so only those who believe that Jesus sacrificed himself for them, took upon himself their badness so they are made good, can go into heaven.
My explanation of Heaven and Hell is simple. Heaven is where God is. Hell is where God isn’t. God is love. So wherever love is, God is.
I know that when I die, Heaven will be home