1. If you are going through hell, keep going.
2. What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.
3. Give her hell from us, Peeves.
4. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia.
5. No sight so sad as that of a naughty child,” he began, “especially a naughty little girl. Do you know where the wicked go after death?”
“They go to hell,” was my ready and orthodox answer.
“And what is hell? Can you tell me that?”
“A pit full of fire.”
“And should you like to fall into that pit, and to be burning there for ever?”
“What must you do to avoid it?
6. I deliberated a moment: my answer, when it did come was objectionable: “I must keep in good health and not die.
7. I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.
8. We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.
9. Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.
10. Hell is—other people!
11. The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.
12. There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.
13. To terrify children with the image of hell, to consider women an inferior creation—is that good for the world?
14. The path to paradise begins in hell.
15. Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one–the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts,…Your affectionate uncle, Screwtape.
16. I wish I could tell you how lonely I am. How cold and harsh it is here. Everywhere there is conflict and unkindness. I think God has forsaken this place. I believe I have seen hell and it’s white, it’s snow-white.
17. What is hell? Hell is oneself.
Hell is alone, the other figures in it
Merely projections. There is nothing to escape from
And nothing to escape to. One is always alone.
18. I imagine hell like this: Italian punctuality, German humour and English wine.
14. I hold it to be the inalienable right of anybody to go to hell in his own way.
15. All hope abandon, ye who enter here.
17. I told him I believed in hell, and that certain people, like me, had to live in hell before they died, to make up for missing out on it after death, since they didn’t believe in life after death, and what each person believed happened to him when he died.
18. Telling an introvert to go to a party is like telling a saint to go to Hell.
19. All right, then, I’ll go to hell.
20. I believe I am in Hell, therefore I am.
21. An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise.
22. Hell isn’t other people. Hell is yourself.
23. Piece of Heaven?”
“No, that other place I’m going to go to for thinking what I’m thinking.
24. What makes earth feel like hell is our expectation that it should feel like heaven.
25. Heaven and hell seem out of proportion to me: the actions of men do not deserve so much.
26. The whole image is that eternal suffering awaits anyone who questions God’s infinite love. That’s the message we’re brought up with, isn’t it? Believe or die! Thank you, forgiving Lord, for all those options.
27. I think hell is something you carry around with you. Not somewhere you go.
28. I am not one of those weak-spirited, sappy Americans who want to be liked by all the people around them. I don’t care if people hate my guts; I assume most of them do. The important question is whether they are in a position to do anything about it. My affections, being concentrated over a few people, are not spread all over Hell in a vile attempt to placate sulky, worthless shits.
29. So this is hell. I’d never have believed it. You remember all we were told about the torture-chambers, the fire and brimstone, the “burning marl.” Old wives’ tales! There’s no need for red-hot pokers. Hell is—other people!
30. I would prefer an intelligent hell to a stupid paradise.
31. But unlike you,” said Jace, “there is nothing of hell in us.”
“You are mortal; you age; you die,” the Queen said dismissively. “If that is not hell, pray tell me, what is?
32. What is next to ecstasy?
What is next to pain?
What is next to nothingness?
33. animals never worry about Heaven or Hell. neither do I. maybe that’s why we get along.
34. Hell is just a frame of mind.
35. I was walking among the fires of Hell, delighted with the enjoyments of Genius; which to Angels look like torment and insanity.
36. So, have a little fun. Soon enough you’ll be dead and burning in Hell with the rest of your family.
37. Hell is truth seen too late.
38. There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.
39. [T]he infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists. That is why they invented Hell.
40. Though I obviously have no proof of this, the one aspect of life that seems clear to me is that good people do whatever they believe is the right thing to do. Being virtuous is hard, not easy. The idea of doing good things simply because you’re good seems like a zero-sum game; I’m not even sure those actions would still qualify as ‘good,’ since they’d merely be a function of normal behavior. Regardless of what kind of god you believe in–a loving god, a vengeful god, a capricious god, a snooty beret-wearing French god, or whatever–one has to assume that you can’t be penalized for doing the things you believe to be truly righteous and just. Certainly, this creates some pretty glaring problems: Hitler may have thought he was serving God. Stalin may have thought he was serving God (or something vaguely similar). I’m certain Osama bin Laden was positive he was serving God. It’s not hard to fathom that all of those maniacs were certain that what they were doing was right. Meanwhile, I constantly do things that I know are wrong; they’re not on the same scale as incinerating Jews or blowing up skyscrapers, but my motivations might be worse. I have looked directly into the eyes of a woman I loved and told her lies for no reason, except that those lies would allow me to continue having sex with another woman I cared about less. This act did not kill 20 million Russian peasants, but it might be more ‘diabolical’ in a literal sense. If I died and found out I was going to hell and Stalin was in heaven, I would note the irony, but I couldn’t complain. I don’t make the fucking rules.
41. Hell wasn’t a major reservoir of evil, any more then Heaven, in Crowley’s opinion, was a fountain of goodness; they were just sides in the great cosmic chess game. Where you found the real McCoy, the real grace and the real heart-stopping evil, was right inside the human mind.
42. In this world . . .
It’s Heaven when:
The French are chefs
The British are police
The Germans are engineers
The Swiss are bankers
And the Italians are lovers
It’s Hell when:
The English are chefs
The Germans are police
The French are engineers
The Swiss are lovers
And the Italians are bankers.
43. Why do they blame me for all their little failings? They use my name as if I spent my entire days sitting on their shoulders, forcing them to commit acts they would otherwise find repulsive. ‘The devil made me do it.’ I have never made one of them do anything. Never. They live their own tiny lives. I do not live their lives for them.
44. Oh Lestat, you deserved everything that’s ever happened to you. You better not die. You might actually go to hell.
45. Let this hell be our heaven.
46. A fool’s paradise is a wise man’s hell.
47. Dear Child,
Sometimes on your travel through hell, you meet people that think they are in heaven because of their cleverness and ability to get away with things. Travel past them because they don’t understand who they have become and never will. These type of people feel justified in revenge and will never learn mercy or forgiveness because they live by comparison. They are the people that don’t care about anyone, other than who is making them feel confident. They don’t understand that their deity is not rejoicing with them because of their actions, rather he is trying to free them from their insecurities, by softening their heart. They rather put out your light than find their own. They don’t have the ability to see beyond the false sense of happiness they get from destroying others. You know what happiness is and it isn’t this. Don’t see their success as their deliverance. It is a mask of vindication which has no audience, other than their own kind. They have joined countless others that call themselves “survivors”. They believe that they are entitled to win because life didn’t go as planned for them. You are not like them. You were not meant to stay in hell and follow their belief system. You were bound for greatness. You were born to help them by leading. Rise up and be the light home. You were given the gift to see the truth. They will have an army of people that are like them and you are going to feel alone. However, your family in heaven stands beside you now. They are your strength and as countless as the stars. It is time to let go!
Your Guardian Angel.
48. Hell was not a pit of fire and brimstone. Hell was waking up alone, the sheets wet with your tears and your seed, knowing the woman you had dreamed of would never come back to you.
49. God might work on mysterious ways, but hell worked on efficient ones.
50. Faustus: Stay, Mephistopheles, and tell me, what good will
my soul do thy lord?
Mephistopheles: Enlarge his kingdom.
Faustus: Is that the reason he tempts us thus?
Mephistopheles: Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris.
(It is a comfort to the wretched to have companions in misery.)
51. When I was little I bragged about my firefighting father: my father would go to heaven, because if he went to hell he would put out all the fires.
52. Hell is paved with good intentions.
53. When you’re in hell, only a devil can point the way out.
54. Mephistopheles: Why, this is hell, nor am I out of it.
Think’st thou that I, who saw the face of God
And tasted the eternal joys of heaven,
Am not tormented with ten thousand hells
In being deprived of everlasting bliss?
55. Oh threats of Hell and Hopes of Paradise!
One thing at least is certain – This Life flies;
One thing is certain and the rest is Lies –
The Flower that once has blown forever dies.
56. Lost in Hell,-Persephone,
Take her head upon your knee;
Say to her, “My dear, my dear,
It is not so dreadful here.
57. But there’s a Sufi story that challenges the notion that people believe only because they need an opiate. Rabe’a al-Adiwiyah, a great woman saint of Sufism, was seen running through the streets of her hometown, Basra, carrying a torch in one hand and a bucket of water in the other. When someone asked her what she was doing, she answered, ‘I am going to take this bucket of water and pour it on the flames of hell, and then I am going to use this torch to burn down the gates of paradise so that people will not love God for want of heaven or fear of hell, but because He is God.
58. You won’t burn in hell. But be nice anyway.
59. I have need of angels. Enough hell has swallowed me for too many years. But finally understand this–I have burned up one hundred thousand human lives already, from the strength of my pain.
60. And yet all loneliness, angers, hatreds, envies, and itchings that (Hell) contains, if rolled into one single experience and put into the scale against the least moment of the joy that is felt by the least in Heaven, would have no weight that could be registered at all. Bad cannot succeed even in being bad as truly as good is good.