A few days after the first message I found myself beginning to drift downwards again. The experience of that message brought me back from an abyss but still I was left rudderless and exhausted, unsure of what my purpose in life truly was. I had moved back to my parent’s home but was feeling alone, confused and scared. It was at my parent’s home where I experienced the first vision of my life.
It was late at night. My parents were both asleep. I was roaming the halls, thinking about all that had transpired, feeling exceptionally anxious to the point where it was keeping me awake. To relieve the anxiety I closed my eyes to take a deep breath and that is when it appeared.
Visually it was flames not unlike staring at a robust fire. Despite my eyes being tightly closed the vision was as vivid as reality but it was the feeling that I will never forget. That feeling was one of being completely and utterly alone. Never before and not ever since have I been so terrified. In that moment I was brought to tears. Tears of fear. I opened my eyes and the vision was gone and the feeling muted.
But what would happen if I shut my eyes again? Would the vision return?
I felt there was no person I could turn to. No one who could understand what was happening to me. And so I turned to the family dog lying on my bed. An affectionate black lab named Tasha. For when the entire human race feels lost to you, the love of an animal can be enough to ground you and maintain your sanity. Petting her quietly and with her gently licking the tears from my face I closed my eyes again.
The vision and feeling did not reappear. Nor has it ever since.
But the original feeling?
I believe that was Hell.
The traditional Hell. The Hell of the Christian Bible. Such a Hell is first and foremost a feeling. A feeling of being so completely alone in the Universe that not even your god stands by your side. It is utterly terrifying, not because of what you experience but because of what you don’t: one single soul, your own and no others.
The vision of Hell was brief and initially I felt it was The Greatest Love’s way of introducing me to the power of love especially as it manifests between two loving souls: a man and his dog. Love with its ability to alleviate our pain and turn us away from the darkest of places was enough to keep me from entering that Hell a second time. In so doing The Greatest Love had shown me that even the simplest forms of love can be powerful enough to defeat that most fearsome of fires.
But despite this initial understanding I continued to struggle with this experience for some time. Yes it provided me with a deeper understanding of love but there seemed like there must be a less traumatic way to instill such an understanding. After many years of contemplating the significance of this vision and the nature of The Greatest Love, I now believe a much more significant message was conveyed. Namely the vision cannot be. Hell, as traditionally understood, cannot be.
Consider what it would mean: a god of infinite love withdrawing that love and thereby sentencing a soul to an existence of eternal horror. Despite my very limited exposure to such a Hell, I know now that it is an injustice that no one deserves to experience for any length of time. No matter how wicked. No matter how evil. It would represent a limit to Their love. A limit which does not exist.
This is what I now believe was the primary lesson that The Greatest was trying to impress upon me. And only by experiencing that Hell could I come to understand its utter madness. Only by experiencing that Hell could I know that it is just too much to bear for any soul. It is an existence that would never be allowed to transpire by any god of infinite love.
The first vision has shown me this.