I heard this great story while listening to an audio course one time and it always stuck with me.
Note: This post is not meant to stir up any religious debate. I perceive the concept of heaven and hell to be easily understood cross-culturally and serve as an effective metaphor for the story. So, I will not entertain any philosophical arguments.
Anyway, here is my version of it.
Imagine that you wake up one night in a hotel room only to find $100,000 laying in a black duffle bag. You are immediately stoked, but have no idea where it came from or where you are. So you open the curtains and look down at all the bright lights below. You suddenly realize that you are in Vegas.
Feeling lucky, you bring down $25,000 down and go to the roulette table in the hotel casino and throw $200 on black. The dealer gets the ball rolling and 15 seconds later, the ball makes its way into a black slot. You just doubled your earnings and stick with black again. With $400 on black, the ball goes around and around and boom…black again. Now up to $800. It feels amazing. This never happened before. A couple hours later, you go up undefeated and accumulate $800,000 in profits and people are all congratulating and rooting for you to continue, women or men (depending on your sex) congregate around you and you sense their attraction to you. You feel invincible, like you can get anything you want.
The next day, you try to spice it up and go to a poker table and end up stacking $500,000 within 2 hours, pick someone as your lucky one-nighter and spend the rest of the time wooing her as you milk every game you take part in and call it a night after a lustful festivity with aroma oils and the most lavish champagne.
Days go as such, and you realize that you can’t seem to lose in any game you play. And that you can basically get anything you want without putting in much effort.
What would this world be to you?
Appreciating the contrast of life
I sometimes wish for things to come to me easily, almost effortlessly, and wish for goals to manifest as quickly as possible. But then, I would be missing out on the process, the man that I would have to become in order to achieve the great things I envision. This story is a great lesson in appreciating the contrast that life has to offer. I have lived in a fantasy where I want everything to go my way and feel as if that would be the ‘good life.’ But some of the ‘hardest’ times of my life have ended up shaping my character to where I can’t imagine being the man I am without those experiences.
Heaven or hell seems to me to be a perspective game.