This topic is central to human happiness. A couple of “givens” obvious to you, but which I have to insist upon when speaking to my glitterati café society friends, is that when people die they don’t just go poof. They still exist in some form. Their conscious spirit lives on somewhere else. Some take their earthly baggage, and the worry lines on their faces with them, while others are able to put the past behind and start over.
The image of people sitting around on clouds, playing harps, is as clichéd as cops in donut shops, and I don’t expect to see that there. I think people have assignments and real work to do in the spirit world. They roll up their ectoplasmic sleeves and start taking names.
One of the most interesting dead people I know is Adolf Hitler, the poster child for evil, a man so wicked that today it’s against the law in Germany and Austria to have Hitler as a family name. They retired his jersey, so to speak.
I had read an article written by a man, Dr. Lee, who had died and was apparently communicating via an earthly medium with some recognized ability. He had been a scholar in his earthly life and had a general reputation of being truthful and trustworthy. In his messages from beyond, he said he had been assigned to visit all kinds of people and talk with them about their lives, what they did right and wrong, etc., and then report back to us, the so-called “living.”
I acknowledge that some people (but surely not you, gentle reader) don’t believe in the existence of a spirit world, and therefore don’t buy into the notion that spiritual communication is anything but bogus. Others believe everything.
Just as we surely know “if it’s on the internet it must be true,” so also do some think every utterance from the spirit world is gospel. However, a lying SOB here is still a lying SOB after he dies. Dying doesn’t suddenly make you a good person, or smart.
But neither is everyone over there full of beans. Honest people do exist. All this is just to say that interaction with the spirit world is an inexact science, and although I have experienced messages from spirits, even from God, I believe, I am completely sympathetic with anyone who thinks the whole idea of spiritual communication is a crock.
Back to Dr. Lee. Our intrepid, and currently dead, reporter described an arduous search for Hitler before finally finding him hanging out in a desolate, gray and featureless place. Literally hanging out. He found the former Führer suspended a few feet off the ground, against the side of a tree. Tied by his arms and feet, he hung spread-eagle and naked.
Dr. Lee reported seeing an enormous throng of people that stretched down the street and off into the distance. A nearly limitless parade of enraged souls filed past Hitler, and as they did, they screamed at him or scratched him, struck him with a club or smashed his testicles with a chunk of jagged brick. If I were Hitler, this treatment would get old really fast.
Reading that, it seemed an unimaginable hell for everyone involved. I envisioned a pile of bricks and rocks stacked alongside the path near the tree. Each person picks out a nice chunk, hefts it, approaches the tree and gives Hitler a solid whack to the privates. They hand the brick to the one behind them or keep it and walk all the way back down the hill, around the corner and over the horizon to get in line again. Their anger, self-fueling as the sun, has never been quenched or even abated by a single degree since Hitler took his life in the Führerbunker in April 1945.
Again, with the caveat that any discussion of what goes on in spirit world is tinged with a certain “woo-woo factor” and requires flexibility in one’s conventional knowledge, I have no trouble envisioning this horrific scene of resentment that cannot be resolved. It’s an unending circle of evildoer and victims locked together forever in a macabre dance that eventually acquires its own self-contained feeling of “normal.”
Now for the part that’s hard to think about. Dr. Lee spoke through his earth-side medium about meeting a young Jewish woman there, innocent and a virgin we assume, who was part of the mob crowding around Hitler. She had been killed under horrific conditions, possibly in a concentration camp gas chamber. I wondered what a relatively blameless woman would be doing in this cold, gray hell with Hitler for 70 years. There is no reason for her to be there unless she was unable to move on, “bound” to Hitler by her inconsolable sorrow or hatred, or whatever strong emotion kept her there.
All we were told about the woman is that she had been there since the war and was miserable. Her circumstance begs an enormous “why?” that has important implications regarding the nature of the spirit world. This young woman should have been, if not in heaven, a much higher and brighter place than where she was currently. A Jew in Nazi Germany, her only crime was the bad luck of wrong time and place.
It seems Hitler, by his extreme evil, not only consigned his own soul to hell, but keeps millions of others stuck there in that awful griminess, unable to get past the blockage of their pain and resentment at having been murdered by the Nazis.
Sometime after Dr. Lee’s article came out, I read something else that mentioned Hitler somehow being “liberated,” in that he was allowed to get down from the tree. Maybe that’s all it was, but many who happened to read about this reacted with derisive contempt. Another big “why?” emerges. Where is the justice in liberating Hitler? Does Hitler have a “Get Out of Hell Free card?” I don’t think so. I am accountable for my sins and imagine I always will be.
All I can come up with is that Hitler being allowed to come down from his pointless, although well-deserved, torture had as much to do with the innocent souls trapped there with him as it did with Hitler himself. If he could be allowed to be out working on his penance, then maybe the people in that long, bitter queue could get on with their own destinies as well. Maybe all those victims could finally step into the light and go to much brighter, warmer, happier places.
And what of Hitler? Between 60 and 70 million people were killed in World War II and Hitler must still be held accountable for many millions of deaths. When I use the word “liberation” for him it’s in a relative sense. I think his existence could have become one of a different kind of suffering, an anguished atonement, for a long time to come.
Perhaps liberation means he is allowed to at last begin the long and painful course of his own restoration. If Hitler, now a wanderer in the spiritual realms, is required to have his ticket punched by everyone he killed or put into sorrow, I can’t imagine how long this would take. His road to forgiveness could take a few millennia to complete. We don’t know his state of mind or to what degree he realizes the extent of the evil he committed.
Dr. Lee’s report also helped me understand that God really is all about healing and patience and love. If I were as merciful and far-sighted as God, I think I would have altered Hitler’s circumstances too, for the sake of the Jews. My sympathy would be with that young woman, somebody’s daughter, potentially a loving wife and mother – whose precious life was cruelly squandered by the most brutal arrogance. For her to be able to finally get on with pursuing her destiny, to be set free to experience the joy that is a human being’s birthright, instead of circling endlessly around Hitler’s tree, consumed by loathing in that grease-water swamp – for her to be unshackled from her resentment – would be worth any price.
I would think it worth even peeling Hitler off that tree and sending him out on his long march of expiation, over endless mountains through unnumbered towns and villages in the spirit lands, looking people in the eye, begging the forgiveness of millions one person at a time, praying for all this to someday be over.
Larry Moffitt is Vice President of The Washington Times Foundation. Mile markers along his life’s path include: husband and father, farmer and beekeeper, fiction writer, editor, blogadero, amateur chef, stand-up comedian, and so-so poet. He is currently working on a new book, Searching for SanViejo: Observations of an Obscure, Early Twenty-First Century Essayist.