Cultured for centuries about the concepts “hell” and “heaven” we are usually conditioned to think that hell is a place of fire and brimstone, while the sky is something colder, blue and with white clouds. This has been the case since ancient times and for civilizations of warm climates, for which extreme heat, fire, represents something extremely repulsive.On the other hand, for the Nordic cultures, hell is frozen, precisely because of the same thing. It would be funny to try to scare a Viking with a hot hell or a Jew or Arab with a fiery hell
Hell and heaven are real, as real as the plane where we move. These planes are called by the Buddha purple or seasons and, as we saw, are the possibilities that Samsara offers for its experimentation.
The question may seem obvious, but it is interesting:
What differentiates Hell from Heaven from the Devas?
Before answering, we will analyze the nature of the different dwellings of Samsara.
Hell is distinguished from the others in its highest level of ignorance, that is, entropy or chaos. The different devic planes are having lower levels of ignorance or chaos as we ascend. The human plane is situated in an intermediate place.
Higher level of chaos is nothing but greater unpredictability. Living in a very unpredictable world is much more painful than doing it in another very predictable if we consider the attachment factor constant. If we remember the mechanism of suffering is caused by the distortion between what has been planned and what actually happens and in this, the attachment (or aversion that is technically the same) is the other factor.
The beings like to stick because it gives them happiness, security, tranquility, but being their dwelling more or less unpredictable, that security is broken because foreseeing the future is not possible.Thus, to a more unpredictable future corresponds a higher level of stress, tension and suffering.
Even in the worst environments, one seeks to attach oneself to something, to the minimum, even to the continuity of suffering. But the lack of predictability affects higher rates of suffering without even reaching total saturation. Surrendering is useless, stress becomes continuous and keeps increasing as the level of chaos increases. Hell, being a set of levels to each more chaotic, stress is higher as we descend level.
However, as we ascend in the areas where the devas dwell, we saw that the Ignorance is getting smaller, so the unpredictability of entropy is very small and at a constant level of attachment, at a higher level, less suffering. In the highest spheres, only the death of the deva brings real stress.
The human plane is relatively unpredictable, so that suffering, at a given level of attachment, is intermediate.
Seeing this, the answer to the question is something that we could call “Rate of Change”, “Entropy Factor” or “Chaos Factor” or “Unpredictability Index”.
But, there is more.
Given a fixed Exchange Rate, the ultimate suffering will depend on the attachment tendency of each individual being. And here, too, ignorance plays a fundamental role: the higher the level of ignorance, the greater the tendency towards attachment. This is evident: only someone ignorant can stick to something changing despite the need for control, security, hope. Because hope is nothing more than a kind of attachment. In hell ignorance is very high, so the need for attachment is also high. So if we multiply the factors Rate of Change * Attachment gives us a factor of suffering multiplied. On the contrary, in the skies of the Devas, although the attachment is high because the Exchange Rate is very small, the result is a tiny suffering. Again, the human plane is intermediate.
The Nobles are those beings whose attachment tendency is very small, the Anagamis have it suppressed and the Arahants also ignorance. An Arahant devoid of ignorance is immune to Samsara, neither on the part of the Exchange Rate nor on the part of attachment.
Nibbāna, not movement, is by definition an environment where the Rate of Change is zero and also where ignorance does not exist. Therefore, it is the ultimate perfection.
Staying in Samsara is meaningless and not understanding the urgency to get out of it is pure Ignorance that effectively binds him.
I do not praise anything that leads to one more moment of existence …