The 9 Circles of hell on earth(my view)

ImageThis post is based on my personal interpretation of Dante Alighieri’s poem the divine comedy more commonly known as Dante’s inferno. This is seen as one of the greatest works of world literature. It is an allegory telling of the journey of Dante through Hell, guided by the Roman poet Virgil. Hell is depicted as nine circles of suffering located within the Earth. Allegorically, the Divine Comedy represents the journey of the soul towards God, with the Inferno describing the recognition and rejection of sin

Lately in the world there are more damned than the blessed according to me, Charon boat has grown to encompass the increase of the damned souls (Charon  is the ferryman of Hades who carries souls of the newly deceased across the rivers that divided the world of the living from the world of the dead). There is not only suffering in hell but also pleasures that our human selves cannot fathom, otherwise how do you explain the hedonistic way of life we all so earnestly pursue? Whether we admit it or not, we all want a luxury filled life, we want to enjoy the best things that life has to offer and for that we are willing to do a lot. Atheists argue that if there is a God why does he let all the bad things in the world happen? Well, in my view He has also given us free will so what we do is up to us…but that’s neither here nor there.

Before entering Hell completely, Dante and his guide see the Uncommitted, souls of people who in life did nothing, neither for good nor evil. These souls are neither in Hell nor out of it, but reside on the shores, their punishment to eternally pursue Self-interest. A lot of people do this, they do not think of themselves as good or bad, but they do nothing to change the status quo, is life worth living if you do not do anything that makes life better for someone else other that yourself?

Personally, I do a lot of things that do not help others but try to assuage my conscience by saying that I do not have a lot of resources to make someone else’s life better. In the immortal words of Jay Z, ‘I cannot help the poor if I’m one of them so I’ll get rich and give back that’s a win win’

So here is my personal view of the nine concentric circles reflecting hell.

1 Limbo

Here reside those who have nothing to show for what they believe, you lack hope for something greater than the rational mind can come up with. You do not know what to do with your life and you are content with mediocrity, you do not have a life plan and you sway wherever the winds take you.

These people are what’s wrong with society, if it were up to me, id encourage you to wake up and in whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability.

Recently a friend of mine said some very inspirational words that I am going to shamelessly plagiarize “I chose to be celibate yesterday. I decided to stay without allowing any form of mediocrity in my life. I decided not to give failure a chance in my life. I decided not to look at my circumstances but to be thankful. I decided that should I meet that man again I shall be worthy of his attention. I decided to be a canvas and let He who has a plan for me be the artist.” That can be found on his blog post here.

This quote captures this perfectly

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven adn earth will pause to say, here a great street sweeper who did his job well lived.”

In the poem those who reside here are the unbaptized and the virtuous pagans, who, though not sinful, did not accept Christ. It includes poets Homer, Horace, Ovid, and Lucan; the Amazon queen Penthesilea; the mathematician Euclid; the scientist Pedanius, Dioscorides; the statesman Cicero; the first doctor Hippocrates; the philosophers Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Averroes; the historical figures Lucretia, Lucius , Junius Brutus, and Julius Caesar

 All of those condemned for active, deliberately willed sin are judged to one of the lower eight circles by the serpentine Minos


2 Lust

The devil introduced sin but man cultivated it and spread it like a disease. Man is good, but the earth is another form of hell and man its demons. This is because all the atrocities in the world are committed by men. However there is no rest for the wicked because. You cannot hide from memory or sin.

Who among us hasn’t been tempted and more often than not succumbed to the great need for carnal pleasure. I am no saint to this either I have fallen victim to this but I’ve tried to resist and promised to hold out and control my inner desires (this is me saying I’m very celibate for the foreseeable future.) this is because I can attribute the failure of all my relationships to sex as can many other people…this will be explained more in the next post.

Unfortunately this is one area where even the purest of souls can be corrupted .This is one of the greatest sins admonished even in the bible. 1 Corinthians 6; 12-20.The gist of it is that, flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body but he who sins sexually sins against himself.

The Qur’an claims that Allah rewards those who restrain themselves from carrying out their lusts:

But as for him who feared standing before his Lord, and restrained himself from impure evil desires, and lusts. Verily, Paradise will be his abode. S. 79:40-41 Hilali-Khan

The Muslim scripture further attests that Allah does not command indecency:

And when they commit a Fahisha (evil deed, going round the Ka’bah in naked state, every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.), they say: “We found our fathers doing it, and Allah has commanded us of it.” Say: “Nay, Allah never commands of Fahisha. Do you say of Allah what you know not? S. 7:28 Hilali-Khan

In the poem, These souls are blown back and forth by the terrible winds of a violent storm, without rest. This symbolizes the power of lust to blow one about needlessly and aimlessly

The English poet John Keats, in his sonnet “On a Dream,” imagines what Dante does not give us, the point of view of one of the souls here:

… But to that second circle of sad hell,
Where ‘mid the gust, the whirlwind, and the flaw
Of rain and hail-stones, lovers need not tell
Their sorrows. Pale were the sweet lips I saw,
Pale were the lips I kiss’d, and fair the form
I floated with, about that melancholy storm.

Part 2 coming up next


One Response to “The 9 Circles of hell on earth(my view)”

  1. NICE! Strange things happening?

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