I’m not scared of hell. I lived a decent life, and I don’t think there is such a place, anyway. I’m scared there’s nothing. There was nothing before, we all know that, so doesn’t it stand to reason that there’s nothing after?
Here are my terms: Goest thou to hell, and swiftly please, and there may Azmodaeus himself suckle from your diseased teat!
When I die, I don’t want to go to heaven or hell. I want to stay on earth and haunt people. Turn the lights on in the kitchen when you thought you’ve turned them off. Hide under the bed and grab your leg when it dangles off while you’re sleeping. Sit in the backseat and show up in your rear-view mirror when you’re driving alone at night. Being a ghost sounds like a lot of fun!
It’s not true that your life flashes before your eyes when you die. At least, not all of it. Some of your life might flash. Other portions of your life it might take you years and years to recall. That, I think, is the function of Hell: It’s a place of remembering. Beyond that, the purpose of Hell is not so much to forget the details of our lives as it is to forgive them.
“Death is a long process,” Archer says. “Your body is just the first part of you that croaks.” Meaning: beyond that, your dreams have to die. Then your expectations. And your anger about investing a lifetime learning shit and loving people and earning money, only to have all that crap come to basically nothing. Really, your physical body dying is the easy part. Beyond that, your memories must die. And your ego. Your pride and shame and ambition and hope, all that Personal Identity Crap can take centuries to expire.
For most of human history, Leonard says, people have perceived of Hell as a sort of inpatient clinic where we go to kick our addiction to life.
What makes earth feel like Hell is our expectation that it should feel like Heaven. Earth is earth. Dead is dead.