Excerpt About Hell

Older Formulations of Work Systems

Work systems and schools have existed throughout history and around the world, each deploying certain methods according to their particular ways of understanding the human situation. All of these methods are ways of dealing with the personality or going around it, or a combination of the two . . . . . . . . . Older approaches can still be used to a certain extent, especially if modified to fit modern times and present communities. However, they are not expected to be as effective as they once were in their original homes at the times they were formulated. For instance, the old teachings of the Jewish cabbalists and the esoteric Christians were cast in the form of heaven and hell, populated by hierarchies of angels and devils. These formulations might still be useful in gaining certain insights and attitudes but will hardly be effective tools for a twentieth-century person to understand his life, let alone to use effectively for liberation. This understanding becomes even clearer when we consider, say, an American Midwesterner who is trying to understand and liberate himself using the Hindu images of Krishna and Shiva. Really to understand what these names stand for in the Indian mind he would have to understand the language and be steeped in and saturated by the Indian unconscious, which is full of the images of gods and goddesses. The images of Krishna and Shiva are accurately effective only in a mind whose unconscious developed in India, where these images formed part of the reality of childhood. Many people are still drawn to such ancient formulations, but that is mostly because of romantic and aesthetic considerations, not their effectiveness or efficiency.

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