Popular Astrophysicist Unwittingly Defines “Hell”

Warning: This is a religious post. Also, these are only my personal thoughts, and are in NO WAY an attempt to make an official statement of any religion.

At the end of chapter six, “Dark Matter,” in Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson’s book “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry,” he says, “Behold my recurring nightmare: Are we, too, missing some basic pieces of the universe that once were? What part of the cosmic history book has been marked ‘access denied’? What remains absent from our theories and equations that ought to be there, leaving us groping for answers we may never find?”

To me, this quote describes the hell it would eventually be, to be sentenced to any post-mortal existence where knowledge is limited.

As I consider that Telestial beings (murderers, rapists, thieves, liars) are limited to the knowledge and power of a Telestial world, that this earth is in a Telestial state, and that all the pretty-well-understood forces operating on this earth tend towards disorganization, I surmise that post-mortal life in the Telestial kingdom is always a struggle against slipping backwards. You are Sisyphus and his rock, unable to get beyond the immediate problem of decline.

I suspect the Terrestrial kingdom (decent folk who’ve reached a plateau and refused to become more) is a place where things are fairly stagnant. They neither decay nor expand. People are separate and single– individuals have neither root nor branch (ancestors nor progeny) because they never made ties that could withstand trial by fire. How soon before the charm of sameness fades? This is a kingdom of glory, and things are somewhat pleasant, like a post-mortal Garden of Eden. But what you can learn and become has a limit– and, therefore, it’s still the nightmare Dr. Tyson describes.

I think Celestial beings (those who use time well, are kind, judge righteous judgement, make every organization they’re part of stronger and happier, make mistakes but always try again and trust God to make up the difference, improve their talents, those who could slap their worn-down, scarred bodies on the judgement bar as visible proof of their service to others) are ready to live where they can continue what they’ve been doing during this mortal section of their eternal lives. They never reach a place where “the cosmic history book has been marked ‘access denied’[,]” or they are left “groping for answers [they] may never find[.]” Quite the opposite– the universe’s knowledge flows to that person, “without compulsory means.”

I get the feeling that Dr. Tyson doesn’t have much use for religion. But I love the way he lets knowledge flow through him to people like me (a celestial quality in him, eh?). Perhaps he’d roll his eyes at my use of his sentiments, but he succinctly described a final result where we immortals are prohibited from learning more. My life is better for believing that’s an avoidable fate.

Some might say it’s blasphemous to believe that we, God’s children, could, in some far-off eternity, actually keep His commandment to become like Him. But I say, anything else is hell. I think the physics backs me up…