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Does New Thought believe in heaven and hell?

Because New Thought views life as part of the Omnipresence of God, there can be no hell. Neither Heaven nor Hell can be located on a map, because they are in fact symbols representing states of consciousness.

Although there are different shades to the concept, or understanding concerning Heaven and Hell in New Thought, the dominant view is that through understanding the Universal Laws of the Universe, beginning with the Universal Mystical Law of Cause and Effect, and by living in harmony with those laws, we will manifest higher consciousness and thereby can live in a happier life.

We find heaven when we live from our hearts, know our oneness with God, and are true to ourselves. This deep inner peace, which has been written about through the ages, is heaven. Hell, on the other hand, is the inner pain we feel when our lives and experiences seem to be against us. In reality, nothing is against us when we understand the basic unity of all life. We always have the power to change our thinking, and this alone lifts us from any hell-like experiences into heaven on earth.

In Lotus Sutra New Thought, Hell and Heaven are both part of the four lowest dimensions, leading directly to suffering.

This is part of part of the teaching of the ten realms, or dimensions. There are ten dimensions, which consist of six lower dimensions and four higher dimensions.

These dimensions, or realms are: Hell, Materialism (Hunger), Instinct (Animality), Hubris (Arrogance), Tranquility (Humanity), Heaven (Rapture), Learning, Epiphany (Realization), Boddhisattva, Buddha

The Ten Dimensions:

The Six Lower Dimensions:

  • Hell - (Naraka) - Hell is the perceptual dimension in which one feels helpless and unable to change the circumstance.
  • Materialism (Hunger) - When a being oscillates within the dimension of Hunger or Materialism, perception is dominated by intense cravings that cannot be satiated. Even if one obtains a new object, it is never good enough. "The grass is always greener on the other side."
  • Instinct (Animality) - Beings within the dimension of Instinct are governed by their instinctual or biological desires. Addiction to drugs, sex, emotional drama is characteristic of oscillating within this dimension. Advertising is designed to push beings into this dimension.
  • Hubris (Arrogance, Asuras) - Beings oscillating within the dimension of Hubris are dominated by the ego, fearful of others, and delusional. Beings within the dimension of Hubris usually having a fragile core, that leads to a need to dominate in order to compensate.
  • Tranquility (Humanity) - Beings oscillating within this dimension are dwelling within the moment but not generally moving in any conscious direction. Such being will often have abstract ideals and "mentors" they do not interact with. They are usually pleasant and unoffensive expressing no particular point of view. They get along and go along." Alone on a hill, the man with the foolish grin, is keeping perfectly still ".
  • Heaven (Rapture) - Beings oscillating within the dimension of Rapture are usually experiencing the fulfillment of some desire. Unlike the dimension of Buddha, the dimension of Heaven is temporary and when the moment of delight has passed, it too will pass.

The Four Higher Dimensions:

  • Learning (Arhat) - Beings oscillating within this dimension are in the process of learning from external sources. This could be directly from another being or through media.
  • Epiphany (Realization) - Beings oscillating within the dimension of Epiphany, are experiencing an awakening to higher consciousness through the process of internal exploration. Described by Joseph Conrad as a "rare moment of awakening," Epiphany is characterized by a sudden breakthrough into a more empowering awareness.

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  • Boddhisattva - Beings oscillating within the dimension of Bodhisattva are living within a state of altruistic endeavors that do not exclude themselves. This perceptual dimension is characterized by joy through compassionate action informed and guided by wisdom teachings.
  • Buddha - Beings within the dimension of Buddha are not dependent upon external conditions or circumstances for their inner bliss. Buddhas are free of delusion and suffering and are living consciously and aware. This state is characterized by unlimited insight, courage and compassion. Buddhahood is generally accompanied by the awakening of the Paramitas. Entry into this dimension is manifested through the dimension of Bodhisattva. Buddhas can enter and exit any dimension without being dominated by the oscillation of that dimension or trapped within it.


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