He smiled. Of course he’s been there.
“What’s it like in hell?”
“Same like heaven,” he said.
He saw my confusion and tried to explain. “Universe is a circle, Liss.”
I still wasn’t sure I understood.
He said, “To up, to down- all same, at end.”
I remembered an old Christian mystic notion: as above, so below. I asked, “Then how can you tell the difference between heaven and hell?”
“Because of how you go. Heaven, you go up, through seven happy places. Hell, you go down, through seven sad places. This is why it is better you go up, Liss.” He laughed.
I asked, “You mean, you might as well spend your life going upward, through the happy places, since heaven and hell- the destinations- are the same thing anyway?”
“Same-same,” he said. “Same in end, so better to be happy on journey.”
I said, “So, if heaven is love, then hell is…”
“Love, too,” he said.
I sat with that one for a while, trying to make the math work.
Ketut laughed again, slapped my knee affectionately with his hand.
“Always so difficult for young person to understand this!”"