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Massa Damnata
Michael Collins Wonders about Our Institutional Embrace of Damnation
May 27, 2021 (1 day ago)
I have been reading your bible commentary posts. Good stuff. I also remember you talking about how a baptist preacher saying how children go to hell. I have heard the same thing from traditionalist catholic priests. Saint Don bosco wrote about his "mystical visions dreams" and he sees children in hell. He is suppossed to be the patron saint of school children I believe.
Its interesting and at times very depressing how you find in the Roman Catholic Church a long trend of thought that believes in the Massa Damnata of most of humanity including Roman Catholics. I find it a hard pill to swallow. One reason among many why I am moving to eastern orthodoxy, they allow for a wider hope of salvation. 
After learning more about white slavery and slavery in general, I just find it hard to believe that the Christian God would create most people into a situation of slavery and suffering and knowing most of these people will spend eternity suffering unbelievable torments. 
There seems to be passages in the Bible that say clearly most people go to hell. And then there are passages in the Bible that suggest most people are saved or maybe all are saved. There have also been Saints who believe in universal salvation. 
What are your thoughts?
-Michael Collins

Michael, this is certainly something I am unqualified to answer—so What the HELL—to borrow a synthesis of Hellenic Hades and Norse Hel co-opted as the stick of Christianity...
Unlike 66 ancients and tens of thousands of priests, ministers, pastors, preachers and gurus currently bending minds and capturing souls for their earthly money masters, I will not presume to speak for God.
If we take Christianity, for instance, at the Council of Nicea in A.D. 371 and/or 372 the many bishops who decided what books of a scared kind were included in the scripture and gospels, were the equivalent of Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Allan Greenspan, Henry Kissinger, Elon Musk, Joe Rogan and a few dozen other world thought-shapers and opinion-crafters and crowd-influencers, who were members of the top 1% of the top 1% of wealth holders in their world.
Do I trust those men?
If you trust them, then read the Bible literally and ask the man you give money to every Sunday to fill in the gaps provided by 2,000 years and five languages.
Hell, as we envision it is a fairly medieval notion, not an ancient one, though it is a conceptual amalgamation of some of these ancient notions of damnation. To be clear, the medieval view of damnation required the idea of constant burning to death, in order to scare the oppressed into terrified obedience in their enslaved state, because their 23-year-long life was so miserable that only burning alive was worse.
The traditional view of damnation as being a city of dust and shadows where souls remained mourning their lost life connections and awaiting a hopeful salvation by some divine alteration of spirit from people farming to actually carrying about humanity, would have seemed like a nice gig compared to Dark Age life.  Our traditional vision of Hell is a clown show to scare mental retards into back-breaking labor, ankle grabbing rape and starvation while the priests and popes and lords and ladies glutted themselves in cresset-lit halls.
Most of scripture is forgotten in favor of a few lines, in that we idiot herds of apes have been trained to read commercials, headlines and news blurbs, and always forget the meat of the story. Most traditional religions admit that earthly life is sorrowful and full of torment and express sacrifice, good behavior or disciplined living as a means of attaining something better, including oblivion [which I would embrace most gladly] or paradise.
Threat of afterlife punishment comes from a deconstruction of the esoteric gnostic forms in which each soul attempted to negotiate the afterlife harrows as if he were the Pharaoh, acting as intercessor for humanity in the often hostile realm of the divine. In a world where most people lack the discipline to practice combat even though combat is nigh, or keep their thoughts to themselves even when thought is the greatest crime against the predatory ruling class, then the idea of preparing your soul to survive an afterlife intact and manage some kind of ascent or cyclic journey or repose, is a none-starter. It is more economically viable to just offer either eternal bliss or eternal suffering in order to keep the temporal Suffering in their multitudes, from breaking their chains and rising against their rulers.
Damnation, as expressed under Christianity and Islam is merely an amplification of the slave-based brutality of the scriptures, which remind us that life is slavery on almost every page. Christianity essentially takes the fate of Job on earth and places it under ground after death and throws gasoline and a match on it and is as much based on the torments inflicted upon Christians of late Antiquity, where the beasts that rent them at the stake rose up from the cellars under the arena floor, at the hands of pagan Roman emperors, as it is on anything in scripture or gospel. Burning witches at the stake and the idea of a firey afterlife for the damned, were cases in which the Roman Catholic Church, and the many Protestant Churches that came out of the Roman Catholic Church before, during and after The Reformation, took the late pagan Roman penchant for burning Christians and other thought criminals in the Arena and applied these torments to disobedient Christians. [1]
I would, when regarding God, recall one of the first passages of the Bible in which he states that man is made in Our image after Our likeness, as male and female. The Adam and Eve story that comes later is very cool, but is less authentic, contradictory and more human and less godly in nature.
People take the idea of us being made in God's image and then immediately remake God in our image and place him on a stone throne, above the clouds, looking exactly like Olympian Zeus at Elis.
What arrogance!
We then imagine that—contrary to scripture and other extant ancient texts of heathen stripe—that God is our slave, and concerns His divine mind primarily with whether we get a promotion at work, how big our dick or tits are, how fortunate we are in love and whether or not we keep our petty bargains with one another, all the while assuming that the heart that beats at the center of the Cosmos has nothing better to do then to make sure the stupid apes he created on one of His billion planets are kept as well fed and comfortable as a French billionaire's poodle.
What hubris.
Damnation, fate weaving, craftsmanship-like world building and a god who is to us like I was to my Christmas garden on December 26 when I arranged the signal man just so that the toy train would not knock him down, and fluffed the green sponge trees just so so that the smoke from the Lionel train engine would cling to them under the basement might bulb, this all smells of man making God. It carries over in the atheist mind to the idea that the sun does not control weather on earth and that we are the cause of climate change.
As we go forward with an attempt to view scripture from the perspective of heathens who might first have encountered it, it would be useful to understand that the vision of divinity that comes down to us from Old Antiquity through philosophical explosion of Classical Antiquity, through the power politics of Late Antiquity, through the moral mire of the Middle Ages and ultimately through the soul-erasing and God-negating Modern Age, into this Information Age in which we rise as our own collective Titan to declare ourselves God in the flesh, that this entire 3,000 year process from the Bronze Age Collapse to the Collapse of Modernity is corrosive to our view of divinity. In this process I see God as like the man that created an intelligent mirror, then looking into it, and then we, the mirror, mere flat, metal-backed glass animated with computer chips, looking back and imagining that we are what he merely reflect.
When I think of Man and God in the context of damnation, I am inclined to think that we are merely the Mirror to God's Eye, and that even in that, that we have been dented, tarnished and cracked by Time—for we live within Time and God resides beyond Time—and I trust that at least one aspect of the Divine, one facet of the God who names himself Us, would take note of our worn and imperfect condition and have mercy on us.

Notes
-1. Thomas Muntzer, writing between 1522-25 in Saxony signed his letters With the Sword of Gideon and described himself as and Destroyer of the Faithless. The modern reader should keep in mind that this was the language of an impoverished priest seeking to ease the suffering of the poor at the hands of the priesthood and the elites. If that is the language of salvation in Medieval Christendom, what must the language of damnation have been like? We should keep in mind that the life of the pious serf [90% of humanity] under Christian rule was worse than any hell we could imagine in a horror movie. So to threaten them with damnation meant you had to make up some really horrible stuff.
-2. Richard Francis Burton makes a great case for this in his Book of the Sword.
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DomJun 7, 2021

"When I think of Man and God in the context of damnation, I am inclined to think that we are merely the Mirror to God's Eye, and that even in that, that we have been dented, tarnished and cracked by Time—for we live within Time and God resides beyond Time—and I trust that at least one aspect of the Divine, one facet of the God who names himself Us, would take note of our worn and imperfect condition and have mercy on us."

We are given the freedom to either obey or reject God. The Natural Law

is written on everyone's conscience. Just because the majority of people

choose to reject the Truth does not make God unjust. It is the teaching the Catholic Church that

everyone is given the graces necessary for salvation, if they cooperate. The worn and imperfect condition you mention is what St. Paul refers to as the mystery of iniquity, which is our fallen natures' predisposition toward evil, which we must all overcome with the help of God's grace.
ManJun 9, 2021

A likely story, Dom.
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