Author Topic: I've Seen Hell  (Read 465 times)

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on: 12:14 AM, 11/13/18
My high-school years where a slushy of standard fare and more eccentric courses. From the mundane mathematics or science, to my photography and other media classes. Because my preferred classes where at the Tucker Center; a place where the career skill and practical arts courses are held. I signed up for the college level world government and religions courses there.
These became my favorites, a purely neutral look at each topic respectively. The two driving forces of social economics, since the dawn of civil mankind. It still niggles at me that they where taught by the same professor. Who ran the oriental cultural studies at the local university. None the less this two courses gave me a new perception on topics not commonly taught in nationalistic public schools. Religions and governments  generally seen as enemies or historical failures of there times. Giving me, the ability to form opinions of my own to better educate and identify myself.
My professor did the best she could to give thorough overview of all the topics. I remember that day in government class we just finished discussion on the political cylinder. How there truly wasn't a left or right on a slide spectrum; it was indeed a cylinder. Where the ideal government, something resembling a reformed Roman Republic with Democratic influences. Sat opposite of total anarchy, where both sides of the normally perceived spectrum's met. Where ideal implementation of Communism and Totalitarian Fascism teetered the line of complete chaos. Either from lack of law, or the out-lash from to much.
That day in religion; my course in the same room, same teacher would be a special presentation.  Items she had collected from nearly three decades of exploring and helping others. Things from the European cathedrals to oriental temples, ones of cultural or spiritual significance. The main topic of today was a painting she acquired in India.
Traditionally done in the 12th century style of the region. Painted by a Buddhist that had been imprisoned for begging, by a Hindi Sheikh. The English translation for the title was something along the lines of "Representation of Hell". Thought the painting more resembles Siddhartha's dispelling of ten-thousand demons.
The painting was done on the thin cloth he was given for a blanket. Paints made from bugs and feces, as well as anything else he could get his hands on. At some point the cloth had been stretched across a wooden slab. Then was placed in a frame like display case able to house it and the wooden slab.
The actually depiction was of Yama, the Hindu god of death re-purposed as the devil. He lounged in the center, an engorged blackish-blue three-eyes, multi-armed boar. Grasping in one had a representation of the artist and in the other three symbols of Buddhism. The implication of crushing the practitioners waiving the instruments in mockery.
Yama sat upon a throne of fire, kindled by charred human remains. Onlooking a man being disemboweled by Raksasha clawing fist-fulls of entrails into their gaping maws. Other men where being broken by the wheel. Gawked at by ogre-ious creatures with fires and decapitated body parts littering the spaces between. Behind an image of the Sheikhs palace with men rapping and murdering renditions of other Buddhist.
A commentary to his captors, a voice silenced but still very much alive. The artist had finished the painting, and was able to send it off before his execution. The grim gift waiting for the Sheikh upon his return from overseeing the executions. Having been sent by a courier by a prison guard. Who must have taken pity on the artist or harbored hatred to the Sheikh. The lord sent out for the guard and courier to met the same fate as the artist in his fury.
In the months to come the lord would see his dominion  crumble. It has been invade by Islamic forces who placed there own lord in power. The last thing he saw was his palace ablaze and his people tortured. A mirror of the painting he had received, the omen he ignored.
The story of this painting goes untold till it was brought into my professors ownership. From there it was used for study, showed to classes and lent to a local museum of classical art. A commentary on the delicate line between religions and politics in early societies.
A year ago I nearly died of drowning, my heart even stopping for a consecutive forty seconds at one points. During this I had a dreamlike experience of what I believe to be hell, that I recall in sleepless nights. What I saw on that day, was a much different representation. I have no confirmation on what I saw being real or just a state of heighten DMT the brain experiences as it shuts down. My vision was also more Judea-Christian, possibly a subconscious view influenced by western society.
I awoke in an icy tundra, shrouded in fog and flurry surrounding me. Cold air cracking my skin in sharp searing slashes.  I began to wonder the barren waste, to warm myself and search of shelter. Coming across something silhouetted in the distances, the only thing in visible to me. As I came close enough to make out the details of the shape, I was greeted by the visage of a man.
Waist deep in the snow frozen solid except for the neck, a perfect statue clawing to be unearthed. It breathed short shallow breaths, the only viable sign was the steam coming of it's breath. The man seemed to be sleeping, and from the parts of him viable he was adorn Roman garb. I slunk past the statuesque figure and continued into the storm. Where more and more they littered the valley beneath the first.
Not all of these slept, many  wailed in agony crying out to me for help. Others in the densely populated areas whispering. Attempting to tell secrets into my ear as I squeezed between them. Yelling out to me when I began to move away. After what felt like hours I came to the base of a mountain.
A single passage lie in-front of me, the only hope to escape the blizzard and find warmth. Looming over the pass, a large ebony figure contrasting the marble throne it slumbered on. Grotesquely obese, he resembled the demonized Yama from the painting I'd seen years ago. Then reminding me grimly of the fate I could suffer if I stayed, succumbing to frostbite. So I took advantage of the giants rest and entered the mountain.
Worry began to flood my mind as I sat in the entryway, what would happen if he awoke? Was he and his legions of frozen men the only creatures I'd come across? The pass was warm, like a summers night a pleasant change from the tundra. The walls of the pass an amalgamation of jagged stone faces twisted in silent moans. The very foundation of the mountain seemed to be screaming in anguish beneath it's weight.
The deeper I trekked into the mountainous mausoleum the heat increased, till the oils and fats in my body began to boil. Creating lesions and blisters upon my flesh, that burst and spewed pus as I ventured forth. The heat bellowing like a drunkards sour breath. A strong stench of burning flesh and rotted eggs permeated the air, strengthening with each step towards to end of the passage.
Volcanic pools swirled and crept along a rocky pathway. Another mountain range spewing ash and lava off into the distance. A strong back-draft hit me as I emerged from the passage, bringing the small amount of fluids to a sizzle. Spires protruded from the lakes of fire, more amalgamations of tormented faces in agony. Chard remains upon a gravel shore reaching towards the safety of the path, to no avail.
I continued down the only path I could till I came across the high-back of a throne. A large stone slab upon it, with writing in a language that must have been Spanish or Italian, perhaps Latin. I ran my fingers over the embossed statements, spaced visibly into phrases. Perhaps grim proclamations of some dreaded fiend. I circled the throne admiring its craftsmanship, solid stone etched and embossed with scenes of biblical and ancient tragedies.
Upon the third or forth passing a man appeared in the seat, lounging back propped in the corner legs draped across the opposite arm. A Pale lean specimen loosely cloaked in sheer linen, once a brilliant white now stained with soot and rusted crimson. He slunk out of the throne and sashayed towards me, and that is when I took notice of his beauty.
Sun bleached hair, stained with more soot and crimson. Clumping into thick mangy strands of once flowing locks.  The cloak only being allowed to conform in ways to highlight his slim muscular tone. Broken membranous vestigial wings hung lifelessly from his shoulders; reminiscent of an avian wings yet stripped of feathers, thin and insecttile . With each step he took closer to me my heart throbbed a deep and sudden thunder. Creating a rhythmic ringing echoing in my eardrums, that the man seemed to respond to.
He reached out and caressed my cheek with a gentle care, and our gaze met. His silvery eyes a distraction from the hell-scape surrounding us, an unforeseen comfort in such a place. Blocking out all from my view, except for him. He brought me into his embrace, our bodies connected with little or no space between us. The blood rushing through me, into my now erect member as he leaned in for a kiss.
His lips brought a serge of emotions, ranging from ecstasy to dread. Bile churning in my stomach as I withered and melted. Like a gourd left to rot as late autumn turns to early winter. I was nearly spent when a tug came from behind, bringing me back into consciousness. Yet still stuck in my nightmare, the other figure was pulling me away from the first. Attempting to spirit me away from this place.
The second figure was a gaunt and skeletal visage, with tears and lesions soring his body. Hovering above on leathery bat wings, carrying me in it's arms. Soaring above the other, as he attempted to reach out and follow, mocked by a creature who hadn't been robbed of flight. As we arose the features began to become more human like. As if a corpse rotting in reverse.
Slowly obtaining the form of a man, with long dark hair and thick shortly cut beard. His eyes a dark hazel green, warm and inviting. His wings took shape into that of a magpie, dark feathers coating them in the same shade as his hair. It was around this time that I returned to my physical being, yet still watching this man go above the ambulance and into the skies above. He made his way heading to the cloud lines, growing more rotund and wised as he vanished above. The only being able to traverse throughout the embodiment of death.
I think about these two separate images of a places matching depictions of hell, different and yet the same. Niggling at my mind, leaving me in a stupor. Was my vision of hell, was hell even real or was my mind only showing me what I would expect to see. Or just like the unnamed Buddhist prisoner and his captors. Was hell the constructs of man struggling against our own flaws, and pushing ideologies unto others. A self fulfilling prophecy of the human condition, that is life.