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I have noticed that, as people grow older, they often develop a great appreciation for warmth - although not, I suppose, to the extent of appreciating the type of central heating available in the traditional Christian Hell.

In point of fact, there are many traditional Hells. The Nordic Hell was a frozen wasteland, as I suppose one would expect. Hell dimensions appear to abound and those often seem to tend toward extremes of climate, whether or not this is supposed to be part of the torment.

I have heard far fewer discussions of the climate of Heaven or the various heavenly realms. (I used to joke that saying, “What a beautiful day” for the billionth time in a month would devalue it as small talk.) The really strange thing is that, if the climate of Heaven is mentioned, people retort that it is a realm of the spirit, that bodily things are of no concern and the weather wouldn’t matter.

So, Hellfire would be a torment in an abode for souls, but the smell of the earth after rain would be an … irrelevance. I find that difficult to believe.

As for the company – I hope that my own family went to heaven (although I would prefer to spend my afterlife at a comfortable distance from some of them.) Possibly Jenny would be there, possibly John or Elizabeth… Buffy appears to have gone there, at one point...

If I do find myself in Hell I am quite sure I would know many of the inhabitants, some might be quite eager to see me again, although not necessarily for reasons that I would … appreciate.

On the other hand, one might speculate on the destination of the vampires. It is almost an article of faith that they are ambulant corpses. Their souls have therefore been released and their bodies are animated by vampiric demons. In that case their souls could have gone almost anywhere. (Precisely where might be moot, especially in the case of those few vampires who switch in and out of a souled state.)

The demons causing vampirism might be expected to go to Hell once dead? Dusted? de-corporated; however, they presumably evolved or were created to follow that peculiar life-style, would have no choice and would therefore as innocent – in a precise theological sense – as a mosquito. Humans have free-will, at least up to a point; as far as we can ascertain, some demons do not – religions vary on whether those would be damned in any case.

Even so, I think I would prefer the company in Heaven. However, despite the jocular tone the subject is considerably more complex than I expected when I began to write. I rather regret having chosen it.

Muse; Rupert Giles.
Fandom, BTVS
Words; 400


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January 2011


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