Thursday, February 23, 2012
When the body is in the grave, dead and buried, or when there is a death of ego and its perspectives during one's lifetime, then a deeper spirit or soul can come to be. A deepening of historical being occurs by way of an under-the-worldly point of view. The descent into the underworld of souls (psychai, animae) is a descent into a soul-perspective or depth-perspective concerning history. One might say that the descent into hell is actually the ascent of soul. It brings a sense of soul into ascendancy in life, and it gives the human ego a perspective from a soulful point of view. The descent is itself a resurrection.
In-fero means "to carry inward," "to gather in." Therefore... the descensus may be read as referring, not to some actual physical place, but rather to a "journey to the interior." The descensus is ad inferos. It is a "carrying inward." Hell is a descensus, and encountering it is a "deepening."
Tradition imagines the descent into hell as a descent into "darkness," or into a "hole," or into a "pit," or into "invisibility" (Hades' name means "invisible"), then no matter how a person may feel about such experiences of being in the "dark," in a "hole," in the "pits," or "invisible" to others, that person is encouraged to search such deep moments for their disclosures and expressions of profound "soul."
~ David Leroy Miller
from Hells and Holy Ghosts:
A Theopoetics of Christian Belief