Is it a place of eternal damnation, suffering, anguish, torment as medieval art portrays it to be?
Or is a place where its inhabitants get exaclty everything they always wanted? Just like heaven.
Those in Hell have wanted to be free of God. They will get that. Those in Hell have always wanted to be self-directed. I suppose they will get that. But if that is really, really bad for us here, won't that be a really, really bad thing there? And getting that, won't that be what they really, really wanted all along? Yes!
I may tend to choose anger over forgiveness - and think I like it - but do I want to be angry for eternity? That would be hell's reality for the one whose anger causes them to reject God's forgiveness I may be a selfish, self-centered person, seeing things from my perspective alone, never able to empathize with another. This, then would be my hell. Thoughts of myself would consume me. Perhaps that is what the fires of Hell are - the self-consuming lusts one has - for eternity.
No! I don't really want what I think I want. The things I think I want ultimately don't satisfy me. In the end, I'll do it "for the hell of it".
So. No lake of fire? No pitch forks? No demons tearing at flesh?
I don't think so. I don't know for sure, but I don't think so. I'm just working through some ideas..........
Of course, I won't ever know, because I'm not going there. Hell is not my future.
Can you tell I'm reading C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce? This work is not a treatise on Hell's real properties; rather, he explores the ontological fitness of its residents through conversations between them and residents of heaven, whom they knew while living on earth. Quite a read.