“Hell is other people” is a sentiment expressed by Jean Paul Sartre, an existential philosopher. In Being and Nothingness, he states, “If there is an Other, whatever, wherever, whatever its relationship with me . . . then I have an outside, a nature, my original sin is the existence of the other.”

As long as we view people as other or separate, we are identifying as an individual. It is this identification as an individual, as an I, that leads to suffering of experiences.

If, instead, we recognize “other” people as another apparent expression of the same nothingness we find when we investigate “Who or what am I?,” everything changes. Now “other” people are an expression of heaven. When all of life is an expression of this same Nothingness, there blossoms an appreciation of Christ’s statement, “Heaven is spread upon the earth, and men do not see it.”

As always, heaven and hell are an inside game. Until we appreciate the vast freedom that comes with the recognition of our Divine Essence, we are doomed to suffer our experiencing as an individual separate from the rest of life. Life is as life is. Heaven and hell are simply interpretations of life from differing perspectives.

Drop the egoic attachment to mind, body, thoughts, beliefs, etc. Drop your self-imposed hell. As Saint Francis of Assisi pointed out, “What you are looking for is what is looking.” Rest as boundless Awareness and be free. When we drop identification as an I, we are free to live as Life appreciating the unity of Life in all its apparent diversity.

Hell Is Other People

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