About Hell

All I have ever said is that the N.T. plainly implies the possibility of some being finally left in 'the outer darkness.' Whether this means (horror of horror) being left to a purely mental existence, left with nothing at all but one's own envy, prurience, resentment, loneliness & self conceit, or whether there is still some sort of environment, something you cd. call a world or a reality, I wd. never pretend to know. But I wouldn't put the question in the form 'do I believe in an actual Hell'. One's own mind is actual enough. If it doesn't seem fully actual now that is because you can always escape from it a bit into the physical world — look out of the window, smoke a cigarette, go to sleep. But when there is nothing for you but your own mind (no body to go to sleep, no books or landscape, no sounds, no drugs) it will be as actual as — as — well, as a coffin is actual to a man buried alive.

C.S. Lewis
(Letter to Arthur Greeves – May 13th 1946)

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