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Obverse & Reverse Chapter 7 Page 28

Obverse & Reverse Chapter 7 Page 28 published on 18 Comments on Obverse & Reverse Chapter 7 Page 28

This will be the last page for a couple of weeks! I will be at Anthrocon from June 30th-July 4th, and I’ll be gone the week before that too! But don’t worry, I’ll be posting READER QUESTIONS every weekday starting June 27th!

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18 Comments

Doesn’t mean we can’t have less suffering. We can have nice things. Nice people. Like Greg.

How exactly are you supposed to reduce suffering in freaking hell? And to who? The souls? The demons? Both? Not every place can just be “fixed”. Sometimes being miserable and “broken” is the place’s netural state and there is not much you can do about it, escpecially a place that in almost every mythology and religion is conciderd a place of pain and misery.

These realms of hell supposedly have a specific purpose, or theme. Some of them may match rumors in our world, that they were created. Michelle has a point. Gecko is using a bit of whataboutism. None of what she is saying makes Michelle’s point any less valid. It only means there are more questions, and also that she’s deflecting.

There are also places where it is super windy and always raining here too. London and the moors. And there is no point to those places either.

Dis is just…Dis. It’s not Hell. Hell is an idea from the humans and non-humans who got a whiff of this place. I’m working with a similar idea. ‘Hell’ is just another dimension. It’s not meant to punish the souls of the living they don’t actually have anything to do with souls.
It’s a place.

This is an interesting take, I think.

For one thing, despite Kory’s use of demons and angels and everything between, Dis isn’t Hell. Hell in Christianity is a place specifically for sinners to be punished for eternity. There’s only one way in and no way out.

Dis is just another dimension where demons live (for a given definition of “live”, considering the quality of life here, but I digress). Earth doesn’t have a point, and neither would Dis. Why does every level of Dis have a theme? Who knows, maybe something very, very old designed it that way for variety’s sake.

Still, poor Michelle’s having way too many existential crises for one day.

This has me thinking that it’s likely the “theming” might really just be some arbitrary labelling of phenomena that were always there in Dis. It just happened so long ago nobody remembers anymore.

This place has just always been super windy, and this other place has just always been super rainy and mucky. Just somebody somewhere at some point decided that it stands for Gluttony or something and nobody ever questioned it.

Early Christian theology about Hell was the same as the common belief among the Jews, and the common belief there was that there was a place of reward for the righteous, at the side of G-d, and that the majority of the dead were in Sheol, which was variously a kind of limbo, or a state of existence where not much happened, or a kind of unchanging rest. It might’ve been influenced a bit by the Egyptian and Babylonian views of the afterlife, which were a bit at odds with each other.
Roman and Greek influences changed things. They had Tartarus, punishment for severe sinners, and the Elysian Fields, where people would go after drinking from a river that erased all their memories.
In the gospels, the Gehenna (the burning hell) is used as a metaphor. Gehenna was an actual GIANT GARBAGE DUMP in Jerusalem that was constantly on fire and stank and was dangerous and hot and nothing useful was ever found there because nobody threw away anything that MIGHT be useful. The metaphorical lake of fire was for the fallen and rebellious angels, the Enemy and the demons who worked against G-d.
Dis was a thing that Dante wrote about but probably didn’t really invent. His layer-cake Hell was pretty graphic but also has no parallels in the actual traditions of Pagans nor of the Jews, nor was it officially part of the Christian doctrine.

Michelle has a point though, her world is a miserable place because to all appearances it’s existence is a cosmic accident, filled with flaws through the neglect of an uncaring universe not a malicious intelligence. But Dis’s Second Circle is explicitly about punishment through high winds never allowing you to rest and the Third Circle is about punishing the gluttonous and overindulgent. There’s no way something that conceptually coherent could have arisen through chance, either the wind and rain arose naturally and Dis’s settlers assigned meaning to them after the fact, in which case Vera should mention that, or one or more designers deliberately created Dis with the express purpose of making it a miserable place to be.

Ask any architect what the point is of what they’ve designed, and they will tell you at length, whether the point is mundane or sublime. And when Earth’s suffering is created by design, there’s always a point to that too. Which the creators of that suffering are usually likewise happy to expound upon, usually in the form of one or more books or campaign speeches.

Dis is a designed dimension. The architect(s) likely had a point when they designed it that way. Could be that’s simply forgotten knowledge, or most demons just don’t care enough to find out.

Honestly…this is a pretty smart response. She’s asking the wrong person. It’s like asking a resident of san fancisco why Bay windows are so prominent. The hell are they supposed to know? They just live there. That the question happens to be about the presence of suffering in that region doesn’t change the person they’re asking.
If there’s an actual architect to ask is still a matter up for question, because Dis existing and being the actual bonified Hell is its own matter up for debate. For all any present knows it’s just some cosmic horror esque cenobite realm that “exists” simply because it does.

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