Heaven, Hell and My Bodhisattva Vow

by Astreja

My name is Astreja Kaéren Odinsdóttir, and I am a Heaven refusenik. I have made a conscious decision to deliberately choose Hell over Heaven, in the unlikely event that these places actually exist.

Somewhere between age five and seven I read the Bible for the first time. My parents' library included an illustrated volume with some rather striking lithographs, and one of those illustrations still haunts me forty-five years later. I remember a mass of humanity standing in a pit, hands aloft, pleading for mercy.

Fortunately for my sanity, neither of my parents are overtly religious. Although I was baptized without my consent at the age of three months, I somehow managed to avoid the standard indoctrination into Christian mythology. Imagine a seven-year-old girl commenting to the boy next door that threats of eternal punishment are useful for controlling the masses, and you'll get a good picture of my skeptical fascination with religion.

I've tried to approach philosophy, mysticism and theology with an open mind, but everything ultimately gets filtered through that religion-as-societal-tool epiphany that I had on the neighbours' front steps. At age 11, I could "see" time as a finite line, and grasped the inherent meaninglessness of all time-dependent events. A year later I had recovered from my brush with nihilism and had adopted Athena as my patron. I wrote a novella about a saviour-ish mystic with stigmata on his hands; researched Hinduism for a history project on India; and hung out with science geeks who made "velocity vectors" away from annoying evangelists. By the end of high school I self-described as an atheist, but only because I had yet to hear the word "agnostic".

Somewhere between high school and the working world I did have a rather close call. A born-again Christian in the laundromat across the street did try to convert me. However, when he asked me to recite the Sinner's Prayer, I balked. I do not believe in sin, let alone the involuntary and indelible Original Sin. I find the very idea disgusting. I believe in Original Neutrality, with value found only in conscious action.

On top of that, I did not care much for the god of the Bible. The concept of one and only one god is illogical to me, and I kept seeing that pit full of scared, suffering people. Jesus was a bit more interesting, and I did like what he had to say about feeding the hungry and clothing the naked, but to me he was just another victim in the same sad story.

Then (after several decks of Tarot cards, some do-it-yourself magick, and visits to a synagogue and a Christian Science church), I discovered Buddhism. More specifically, I discovered the concept of the bodhisattva: Someone who wins the struggle for personal enlightenment, but stays behind to help everyone else climb out of the pit. That, to me, sounded honourable and worth pursuing.

Finally, I rediscovered my Scandinavian roots and became an Ásatrúar. The mythology, where even the gods can die, agreed with my love of polytheism and with my Life, the Universe and Everything vision from age eleven. The Norse heiðinn ethics (the Nine Noble Virtues of courage, truth, honour, fidelity, discipline, hospitality, industry, self-reliance, and perseverance) are reasonably compatible with Buddhist ethics. With the possible exception of the admonition against intoxicating substances, that is.


...If there is an afterlife (Which I rather doubt)...

...With a place of reward (Anything is possible, I suppose)...

...And a place of eternal punishment (Oh, please; stop insulting the gods with such a barbaric idea)...

...I vow to go there and stay there until every other sentient being is released from torment.

In the meantime, I'm going to hang out with the Æsir and Vanir, brew me some mead, and perhaps translate the Prajñāpāramitā Hridaya Sūtra into Old Norse. Just call me the Zen Valkyrie.


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Anonymous said...

Royalty, I'm God. I love you so much. I love everybody on this web site...in fact I love you all to death...I really, really do!! You don't believe me...well, if you don't believe me I'll torture you forever and ever in the beautiful lake of fire. But I love you all so much. I really, really do!!!!

My name is God, but here are some other names you can call me. You see, I'm a blood thirsty bastard and I love you so much!

1. I'm a Jealous God. Yes, that's right, I'm jealous of other gods, because my name is Jealous. And I love you all so much (Ex 34:14)!!!!

2. I'm a genocidal mass murderer and maniac. Even though I'm omniscient and I made man in my image, and I knew many people would die a horrible death, because I know the future, I still managed to kill entire groups of people. I'm a genocidal maniac, but I love you all so much!!! For I am the God, and I change not (mal 3:6)!!!

3. I am judgmental prick. Even though any SANE parent would never torture their kids in an eternal fiery furnace for any wrong they have committed, I am your heavenly Father and I will easily torture anybody for not believing in me...there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (luke 13:28, Mathew 13:42). But, I love you all so much. I really, really do love you!!!

That's me all the way. I love you all so much, I love you to death!!!! I love you so much that death isn't justified for not believing in me, but I'd rather torture you for eternity...yep, that's me all the way.

God (better watch out, better not...)

boomSLANG said...

Royalty, now that you finally uploaded your photo correctly, I can see that you're the cute teen I suspected you were.....'regardless, please stop spamming the site with your ridiculous teen-aged religio-drivel, because that isn't cute. Pretty please, your Royal Highness? Gracias.

Royalty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Royalty wrote:
The bible is much more than a book with words, I know you're filled with questions...

Yes, I do have a question, in fact.

Which chapter of this flammable book, would you suggest is best for starting a small campfire?

Firestarter (in need of kindling)

Anonymous said...

I'm not pretending to be God, I am God. I will not prove it to you either, for you shall not tempt the Lord and you shall not test me (1 Cor 10:9, Matthew 4:7)!!!

Royalty, I think you are starting to have doubts about me and the Bible. You must believe EVERY SINGLE WORD in the bible---for it is God breathed and it is inerrant.

2 Timothy 3:16, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness"

Proverbs 30:5, "Every word of God is pure"

Now, a question for you, Royalty, because I know you're smart. What happens to people who do not believe in me (i.e. the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost as depicted in the Bible) after I've given these people every opportunity to believe in me?


BTW, To get the attention of the heretics on this web site, you must offer threats of damnation and FEAR:

Leviticus 25:17, "Thou shalt fear thy God: for I am the LORD your God."

Deuteronomy 6:13, 10:20, "Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God."

1 Samuel 12:24, "Fear the Lord."

Matthew 10:28, Luke 12:5, "Fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

Hebrews 10:31, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."

1 Peter 2:17, "Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God."

Revelation 14:7, "Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come."

Matthew 13:41-42, "The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."

Matthew 18:8-9, "If thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire."

Matthew 25:41, "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."

I Love you all!


Anonymous said...

Since I'm omniscient, I know the people on this web site, and they don't hate you.

What they hate is me, because they can't see me with their human eyes, or test me with their human-made equipment. However, I'm counting on you to set them straight. With your help I know we can convert these sinful heretics into loving me and praying to me!

Royalty, I'm certain you will make it to heaven if you can convert the evil, wicked ways of these sinful heretics.


boomSLANG said...

Boomslang, why do you define my post with the word spamming(?)

Simple---because your posts are the equivalent of unsolicited junk-email. Yes, like all of the religious, your belief dead-ends at "I believe"....yet, you are evidentally intent to keep pimping your subjective, emotive, circular, religious rhetoric here....i.e., use this site as your "soapbox".

Only a man or woman of God will be capable of understanding the bible..

Oh golly, look.....more completely circular apologetics.

Let's see... so, "Only a man or woman of God", is it? So then, only people who understand God can understand the bible.....yet, one cannot understand the bible until they understand God." Um, duh?

TheJaytheist said...

Lets not forget that because of the multitude of different christian denominations, who disagree on each others understanding of the bible, it makes it impossible to know who really is understanding it correctly. Thus making impossible to know for sure who is a real man or woman of god.

Royalty said...

Stronger Now, believe it or not, we have a lot in common. =)

Royalty said...

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

I'm working on a new project for you all, so give me some time on that. First, I want to tell Webmaster how good he is. You sir, have the great potential to be a lawyer, oh, how I wish so much that you were Christian, God would be so proud of you, turning people towards him, instead of against him.

But you're not off the hook that easy, please visit the website www.escapeallthesethings.com and share with me your insight.

Thank you, I love you, Royalty

Merry Christmas

Anonymous said...

Royalty wrote:
I'm working on a new project for you all, so give me some time on that

Oh but Royalty, do we really have to give you more time. It's been sooo long already [g]

>First, I want to tell Webmaster how good he is.

I would OF COURSE agree, but I bet for different reasons.

>You sir, have the great potential to be a lawyer, oh, how I wish so much that you were Christian, God would be so proud of you, turning people towards him, instead of against him.

Hey Stronger Now, better cook up yet another batch of that delicious popcorn you love to make. How about some cheese popcorn, to go with this 'cheesy prediction'.
If Dave does answer her, I have a feeling she's-in-for-it.

>please visit the website www.escapeallthesethings.com and share with me your insight.

Well I admit it, my curiosity got the better of me (dang it), so I went there. Silly me huh.

Anyway, talk about your deja vu.

This site is all about a "end of the world" prophesy. The same kind that was running rampant, way back, when I was a believer in such end-of-the-world predictions.
In this particular case, that OLD idea of a Planet X has once again come back to haunt the gullible.

This site is run by Tim McHyde and naturally, he's not giving away his god-given inspiration about the end times.
Oh no, he's charging $34 for HIS BOOK.
Surely spending a meager 34 bucks to ensure you are saved from this Planet X disaster is worth it....NOT.

So what information exists about this Planet X, you ask.
Glad you asked, so here it is:

Planet X

Planet X is a large hypothetical planet beyond Neptune. The scientific basis of the Planet X hypothesis was broadly discounted in the early 1980s and today no significant portion of the scientific community believes it to exist

Tim McHyde is sure this Planet X is supported by the best science book one can find. That book being none other than the errrrr, BIBLE.

Mister McHyde (not to be confused with Jekel and Hyde) will gladly enlighten us with information about the following:

The day Wormwood/Planet X will arrive
The day the Abomination of Desolation happens
The day the Great Tribulation starts and ends
The day of the Rapture (as discussed above)
The day the Wrath or Judgment of God falls
The day Jesus' Millenial Reign Begins

In addition to Royalty's suggested website, we have the usual conspiracy nut-jobs out there, who ask:
"Why is NASA silent on Planet X and the Bible's explanation for the conspiracy"

Now Royalty, PLEASE tell me that you are NOT gullible enough to plunk down $34 for this scam book?

It's just ONE MORE huckster that found an easy way to make a fast buck for himself.
The only thing difference with his theory and the other Planet X theories of the past, is that Tim McHyde found a **sneaky** way to show that your bible predicts this Planet X disaster to the earth.
That means, he's either an idiot or he found that Christians are an easy 'mark' to make himself rich off of.

I realize that we ex-xtians can't talk you out of believing in your god/jesus, but to fall for this new version of an old urban legend, will have you putting your future life on-hold, while waiting for this prediction to come true.

Don't believe rumors that NASA knows this Planet X exists and is hiding that information from the world !!
Even IF IF IF such a distant planet were to later be found, it would be so far away that it would have no effect on the earth at such a great distance.
Even if something were to knock it out of it's present orbit, the chances of it coming close to earth are close to non-existent.

If you are believing in this 'revelation' from Tim McHyde, just because he has made a case that SEEMS to say the bible supports his theory, then you are wasting your time and money, but worse, you'll regret later that you changed your life to accommodate this false prophecy.

Okay, if that's not enough to convince you, then think about this.

Even if your god was real and even if he decided he was going to give his special xtians a heads-up about such an oddball event like this Planet X theory, why would he use this particular human Tim McHyde, to spread his word through a PUBLIC book; that you have to actually BUY to obtain that crucial information?

This man is out to make a quick buck from folks like YOU Royalty.
He doesn't give a hoot about YOU, or your future or your hard earned cash.

Take his theory and place it carefully in the circular file (aka TRASH), because that is where such cockamamie ideas belong.

ATF (who is trying to stop innocent people from falling for this prophecy scheme, like he once fell for long ago)

p.s I did NOT spend all that much time reading Tim's website, so if I missed something, someone please add it in)

TheJaytheist said...

"Hey Stronger Now, better cook up yet another batch of that delicious popcorn you love to make."

Not this time ATF. I went to that site royalty asked us to and it made me laugh so hard I almost threw up. My stomach is still upset just thinkin' about it.

Royalty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Royalty said...

I deleted the comment above my last post because I made a typing error.


eel_shepherd said...

That's okay; nobody here's going to hold your typing errors against you.

webmdave said...


For the umpteenth time. Get lost.


boomSLANG said...

I'm a prophet. I predict that we will fight our enemies(sometime in the future).

Stand by, folks, and watch how I work my prophetic miracles!!!!

Anonymous said...

If I may have the honors, please go to www.comebackplease.blogspot.com so we may continue our discussion.

With Concern and Humbleness, ROYALTY

boomSLANG said...

Dear "Royalty",

Once again, there is nothing to discuss, simply because you are not interested in a "discussion". Discussions, m'dear, involve what's known as listening, and actually processing what your opponent is saying. You are evidently incapable of this, likely, because the religious conviction that your mommy, daddy, and youth group indoctrinated you with, has created a situation where you are 100 % committed to making your relgious belief "true", even if that means ignoring any, and all, evidence to the contrary. Yes, yes, the bible is "true" because it says it's "true". Yes, the bible has "fulfilled PROPHECY"!!! Whoopty-shit. Show me a biblical prophecy, and I'll show you:

a) the redactors of the New Testament rewriting history.

b) vague and ambiguous language that can be weasle-worded to look like a "prediction"..a la Cleopatra.

c) the shoe-horning of current events, to fit nicely into prior alleged "predictions".

Please, stick to dance squad, and BBQ buffets, m'kay?

Bye now.

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone....I'm baaack!!
Please visit www.comebackplease.blogspot.com, since we have WAY too many comments, I tried to delete some, but it didn't work.

Sprry for not being there for you guys, It's been very hectic theses past bfew months.

People can say whatever they perceive from you, but God ultimately sees what they overlook. So only care about what God thinks of you.


Royalty said...

"God loves us the way we are, but too much to leave us that way”

God loves you all dearly, just the way you are, but too much to leave you that way, so expect a change in you!!

Unknown said...

This is for astreja and the rest of you foolish people all I have to say to you is to go to the "heaven and hell testimonies" website under yahoo search and look for the ex buddhist monk who died saw hell and saw the Gautama [Buddha] himself along with a famous buddhist named U Zadila Kyar Ni Kan Sayadaw [the famous monk who had died in a car accident in 1983 burning in the lake of fire and see if this gives you some enlightenment

Astreja said...

Ariraq: "...the Gautama [Buddha] himself along with a famous buddhist named U Zadila Kyar Ni Kan Sayadaw burning in the lake of fire and see if this gives you some enlightenment..."

Thanks for reinforcing My vow yet again. Yes, it's very enlightening indeed.

In particular, it says volumes about the hideous immorality that you are prepared to excuse in the name of your particular religious delusion.

Not to mention yet another serving of argumentum ad baculum. You post on this site with the explicit goal of intimidating people into belief, and you think this makes you a good person? I'd seriously re-think that strategy, and your own motives, if I were you.

Once again... I do not think that any being worthy of the name 'god' would even consider torturing sentient beings for eternity.

But if such a sadistic bastard does exist, I choose hell.

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