One of the larger disconnects separating TekArk from existing religous beliefs comes in dealing with the age old question of an afterlife. Although a point is continually made here to see existing systems of belief as having largely been handed down from a real, literal higher power and so not to casually discard their core concepts…? We also accept the analogy of mankind being like any maturing entity, and those religions intended for a civilization yet in their childhood.
Much as is needed by any child to keep them in line, so too do we find the notion of a proverbial boogeyman here… one promising an eternity of torment -such as a Christian Hell lorded over by the Devil. So then, working off of an acceptance that it is our unique, individual consciousness that is the purpose of our being – the one truly special aspect found in this universe that literally cannot be obtained in any other way, and is surely something of an exceptionally treasured prize even outside of it: Intelligent, self-aware, creative beings who are each and every last one singularly unique in a multitude of different ways.
Furthermore, that the purpose of death is simply marking that identity reaching its “finishing point” much the same as a loaf of bread rising in the oven? We then find our individual beings “freed” from this form and reality, emerging to be joined in something we very much would find to be an eternal paradise (like the idea of Heaven) alongside all others that have ever drawn breath. While we cannot know such a place while we yet live, let alone describe it, if that promised Utopia of Heaven conceivably exists, what then of Hell? Where do those “bad eggs” go, whose conciousness is surely rotten to its core and would only taint any who might come in contact with them?
Well, as much as we all instinctively flee from pain, suffering or generalized anguish, you know what frightens any rational soul even more than that? Simple nonexistence. The sheer thought of not being… it’s almost incomprehensible to us. And it only makes sense, if a higher power seeks to cultivate a host of different individualized intelligent beings, that those wholly bad eggs would be summarily removed from the equation. Here one second, then *poof!* they’ve gone right into the great metaphysical Recycle Bin.
For consider it thusly: There’s, in point of fact, only just so much suffering a mind can take. At a certain point, it’ll simply break one way or the other: It’ll either become used to and adjust to the agony, or more likely still, it will snap into a million pieces – losing all sense, reason, and conceivability. While sure, one supposes such a Higher Power could easily forestall or even outright prevent such a thing… what’s really the point of doing so?
To “punish” them eternally for whatever their transgressions might’ve been on this mortal coil? Kind of a case of too little, too late, it would rather seem, no…? Far easier and more sensible to declare it what it is: An abject failure. There would be no rehabilitation at this point, so why bother? It would never be allowed to rejoin its brethren humanity (nor should it), not if it truly were the worst of the worst.
So what we instead find are the warnings of eternal damnation thousands of years ago as given to a more childlike humankind. This was done to keep us in line, exactly like the proverbial Boogeyman or coal in one’s XMas stocking. It sought to ensure that we had reason to strive for goodness, perhaps more than simple nonexistence possibly could at the time.
Even so, to imagine that one might face total and complete erasure forevermore, compared with an eternity in paradise alongside all others who have lived similarly? One can only think that a good many of us would find that proposition even worse than a forever Hell – where they at least still in some way are.