Politics Magazine

Almost Purgatory

Posted on the 15 April 2015 by Steveawiggins @stawiggins

Although it is difficult to tell from 32,000 feet, I think I might have flown over Purgatory on my way home from the UK. The two days I was in Oxford were uncharacteristically sunny and warm. Although it was cloudy around London when we lifted off, the skies cleared by the time we hit the Irish Sea and once Ireland came into view I kept a close watch for what I hoped might be Lough Derg, the site of what was once deemed to be Purgatory. Our flight path took us over the right region, but the maps in the back of the in-flight magazine are never detailed enough for navigation, and the lake itself is not large enough to appear on any but the most detailed charts. Still, I think I might have seen it. If this was Purgatory and I was overhead, I guess I must’ve been in Heaven for a while.

IMG_2129

Symbolism began to kick in, despite the lack of sleep. Our view of the earth today corresponds in a rough way to that of the ancients. For sure, we are more sophisticated, as we suppose, but there remains a lake of fire beneath our feet and the heavens above our heads. The area in between, according to medieval thought, was Purgatory. It’s the place where we live. Believing in the intensely mythological development of a rich afterlife that borrowed elements from the Greeks, Zoroastrians, and Egyptians is hardly something anyone could undertake seriously in the modern world, but the trials we undergo here and now somehow make Purgatory believable as a symbol. When I think of the troubles over the past few weeks alone I can take some solace in a symbolism designed to help us avoid Hell.

As on my trip from New York, I watched hundreds of miles of ice floes, icebergs from the air. I’m not sure if this is unusual—I don’t fly overseas very often, and sometimes it is dark and I can’t see the water below. Of climate change, however, I am absolutely certain. We have undertaken to bring about Hell on earth because of industrial greed. I can’t help but compare how companies continued to promote smoking heavily even after they knew it was killing people. Lucre can make monsters out of ordinary humans. Was that Purgatory I saw back there, over the Emerald Isle? I may never know, but down here on the ground the warming trend continues. Perhaps the ancients knew more than we think they did.


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • I Still Managed To Shop These In Mauritius!

    Still Managed Shop These Mauritius!

    Travelling to Mauritius? Thinking of what you should buy? Here is a list that SSU contributor Sakshi bought and she has some honest take on Mauritius markets.... Read more

    The 22 April 2018 by   Shoppingaholic
    HAIR & BEAUTY, LIFESTYLE, SHOPPING
  • Food Review: Katz’s Delicatessen, New York City

    Katz’s katzenjammer sandwich Katz’s deli in the lower East side of New York comes recommended by most guidebooks and travel websites, and someone we know said... Read more

    The 22 April 2018 by   Emma
    DESTINATIONS, DINING OUT, FOOD & DRINK
  • Healthy Lunch Salad!

    Healthy Lunch Salad!

    Yesterday, I invented this lovely healthy lunch or dinner. I even eat it like breakfast this morning! So good, So yummy! You can eat it just like this but I wil... Read more

    The 22 April 2018 by   Sophies Foodie
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES, VEGETARIAN & VEGAN
  • Skincare Empties #8

    Skincare Empties

    Hi All,According to the Instagram polls am posting an empties post first. I am so into powder cleansers that I ended up using two of them both are my favorites. Read more

    The 22 April 2018 by   Skincarevilla
    HAIR & BEAUTY
  • The Most Important Mission Of The Modern Mormon Church

    Most Important Mission Modern Mormon Church

    Previously: A Plea Unto Every Latter-day Saint On the shelf directly behind me is a hefty Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs, which I like to browse now and... Read more

    The 22 April 2018 by   Rockwaterman
    SOCIETY, SPIRITUALITY
  • 6 Ways To Be A Business Leader As Well As A Developer

    Ways Business Leader Well Developer

    Almost every entrepreneur starts their journey by developing a solution, based on their idea of a new technology or required service. These idea and developer... Read more

    The 22 April 2018 by   Martin Zwilling
    BUSINESS, CAREER
  • Salone 2018 & Milan - Impressions

    Salone 2018 Milan Impressions

    A glimpse to the atmosphere and my impressions. Central Station Milan Beautiful details Along with the centuries old architectural beauties it is also the... Read more

    The 22 April 2018 by   Trendoffice
    HOME, INTERIOR DESIGN

Paperblog Hot Topics