Sunday, 5 April 2015

Resurrecting Hell

If resurrection precedes a descent into hell, then it was Job who prefigured a raising of the hell before his rejuvenation of life. Job in an almost conceding voice to his wife’s advice of “curse God, and die,” (Job 2:9) starts his laments his with series of curses (Job 3). He begins by cursing the day of his birth and praises the Hades where the dead are in peaceful repose and finally brings curse on his present moment, that is on his life itself.

Job’s language of curses are in some ways evokes “anti-creation”[1], wherein he invokes darkness instead of light and unleashing of “leviathan” (chaos) disrupting serenity. In some sense Job is raising hell or creating his own hell which would represent an inverted reality, which his language suggests. Therefore in some ways it is in and through his language of curses does Job descend or raise hell before God.

From psychoanalyst perspective[2], Carl Jung views Christ descent into hell as a process of individuation wherein it is in the descent into hell does Christ unite with his shadow. If Christ descent into hell retrieves the missing piece of his persona, this then could also be translated into theological language as well. Thus it could be said theologically, as Christ descended into hell (underworld) to preach to the lost souls, among them is the first fallen Adam. In this way, the second Adam redeems the shadow by uniting himself with the lost Adam, thus restoring his persona which culminates in Christian aspect of salvation.

In the same way, it is by raising hell does Job find his life in fullness. However if observed closely both Christ and Job embrace hell in a wholly euphoric way. Christ calls it “paradise” and for Job it is something to “rejoice exceedingly.” It is not the death, chaos and hell they are afraid of, because for them living itself has become hell. The present moment which we call life had become hell for them. It is in this moment both resort to hell for peace and paradise. Job invokes it, Christ descends into it. Each of them resurrects into a new persona, after descent Christ ascends into heaven, while Job integrates himself to a new knowledge saying, “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you” (Job 42:5).

Thus Job and Christ descend into hell when life itself has become like hell. In this way even the hell is not wholly an alienated place, rather a place to descend to find one’s own missing pieces of persona and become united with it. Therefore, it was Job who created his own hell and it was Christ who cleared a path to descend into hell before salvation, which every hellish life demands.

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