Christianity says that when you are thrown into hell, the hell is going to be eternal, never-ending. Bertrand Russell has written a book, Why I am not a Christian – he gives many reasons. One of them is this: “Whatsoever sins I have committed, it is impossible to think that eternal punishment can be just. I may have committed many sins. You throw me in hell for fifty years, a hundred years, fifty lives, a hundred lives, one thousand lives, but eternal punishment cannot be just.” Eternal punishment seems to be simply unjust, and Christianity believes in only one life. How can a man commit so many sins in one life, a life of just sixty or seventy years, so that he becomes worthy of being punished for eternity? It looks simply absurd! Russell says, “Whatsoever sins I have committed and whatsoever I have been thinking to commit but have not committed yet; if I confess all my sins, committed, uncommitted, imagined, dreamed, then too the hardest judge cannot send me to jail for more than five years.”
And he is right, but he misses the point. Christian theologians have not been able to answer. Hell is eternal not because it is eternal, but because it is the greatest misery – time moves not. It appears that it is eternal. If in bliss time disappears, then in the deepest misery, which is hell, time continues so slowly, as if not moving it all. A single moment of hell is eternal. It will appear to you that it is not ending, not ending, not ending.
The theory of eternal hell is beautiful, very psychological. It shows simply that time depends on the mind; time is a mind-oriented phenomenon. You are in misery, there is time; you are happy, there is no time. The lust for life is lust for more time. It shows that whatsoever you have gained is not enough, you are not satiated yet. “Give me more time so that I can be satiated. Give me more life, more future, more space to move, because all my desires are yet unfulfilled.” That’s what a man who is lusting for life goes on praying for, “Lord, give me more time, because all my desires are still there. Nothing has been a fulfillment, I am not contented, I am not satiated and time is flowing fast. Give me more time.” This is the meaning of lust for life: lust for more time.
What do you mean by life? – life means more time in the future. What do you mean by death? – death means no future. If death comes right now, future ends, time ends. That’s why you are afraid of death, because it will not give you space and all your desires are unfulfilled. Patanjali is not against life. In fact, because he is not against life he is against lust for life. If you live life to its totality, enjoy it to the deepest possibility, allow it to happen, then there will be no lust for life.
Be more sensitive, alive, aware, and then you will not hanker for more time. In fact, for a man who is satiated with life, death looks like rest, great relaxation, not the ending of life. He is not afraid of it, he welcomes it; a full rich life lived, then death comes in the night, as the night. The whole day you worked, now you prepare the bed and go to rest.
There are people who are afraid of night. I used to stay in Calcutta with a very rich man who was as afraid of night as people are afraid of death. He could not sleep, and he could not sleep because he was resting the whole day. Then how could he expect sleep? He was rich, he had everything, so he didn’t do anything. Only poor people walk on their legs, only poor people do things.
Somewhere, Camus writes that a time will come in future when, really, people will be so rich that they will not even love. They will send their servants to do it. In fact a rich man should not have to. Why bother about the whole effort? – you can send a servant. That’s what rich men are doing: servants have to be sent to live life, and they rest.