Someone else’s Heaven, Your Own Hell

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7 minutes

“People try to avoid meeting their own souls
they’ll do anything, no matter how ridiculous.”

– Carl Gustav Jung, Dreams

In the existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre’s philosophical play No Exit (1944), which depicts the conflict, black spots and disharmony in human relationships, there is a line: Hell is other people. The interpretations and references to this phrase are obvious, and it has clearly inspired songs and even movies. Sartre must have sensed or later realized that this statement could be taken in many directions, for he stated the following: “It was thought that I meant that our relations with other people are always poisonous, always hellish. But what I really meant was something different. What I meant was that if our relationship with another person deteriorates, if it becomes frivolous, if it becomes corrupt, then the other person will be hell for us.”

Sartre’s explanation, of course, does not stop there. He also says that people who create addiction in their relationship with another person become a hell. From this point of view, he notes that there are many people who seem to live in hell, and that those who imprison themselves in the judgments and criticisms of others are also in this hell, and that as a result of all this, it is necessary to understand how valuable the relationship with others is.

To summarize, people who shape their love or care in the form of dominance over others are hell. People who imprison themselves in other people’s ideas and try to live the lives of others are also hell. For Sartre, it is not a utopia but a reality that man must suffer a deep existential pain in order to find and build his own paradise, in short, to become paradise. It must have been this truth that made him write the following in his first great literary work, Nausea, published in 1938: “I know. I know that I will never come across anything or anyone that will give me passion. To attempt to love someone is like undertaking an important work, you know. It takes energy, dedication, blindness. Even at the beginning, there’s a moment when you have to leap over a cliff. If one tries to think, one cannot jump. I know that from now on I will no longer be able to make that necessary leap.”

From the words of a Frenchman, we now come to a French movie: Le feu follet. Released in 1963, the movie tells the story of Alain Leroy, who falls into a deep depression. She leaves the clinic where she was treated and looks for reasons to move on with her life with stronger steps. These reasons include old friends and women. When he reconnects with his old friends, he does not find the closeness he is looking for. Although he is hopeful about women and love, he is often devastated. Alain Leroy is on the line between light and darkness, between silky and sharp as a sword. Let’s leave the rest to those who want to watch the movie, but I have to put the line I need for the rest of the article here. Leroy is abandoned by a woman he loves, and as she leaves she looks at him with eyes that have a little bit of compassion and a little bit of pity in them and says: “I’m leaving you with your worst enemy: yourself.”

It has been a year in which I have witnessed many sad and sometimes joyful events around me. My friends who left their spouses, my friends who left their jobs, my friends who left their cities. Some had to leave to find themselves, some to rebuild their frayed selves, some because they needed an unknown void. What’s gone is gone, what’s left is left. The universe absolutely does not accept emptiness. When a person fails to establish a fundamental relationship with the positive emotions he discovers in his search for himself, when he fails to study himself, in other words, when he fails to realize the value of his soul, his ego comes into play. He is once again left alone with his outdated thoughts, worn-out emotions and tired dreams. The universe does not accept emptiness and life does not accept stagnation. All of this gives, and should give, important insights into why we came to earth, which is to stay in touch with our soul. I liken those who are terrified of a new step, a new purpose and a new journey to the ramshackle structures we encounter in the nooks and crannies of the city. A ruined mansion, a run-down apartment building, a deserted mansion. Unfortunately, the paint won’t save it, it only shows well until a new dust cloud, a violent earthquake. Truth does not hurt, it hurts.

We are often terrified to meet the truth, to be human. We always want others to understand our situation, but how much we know about our own situation is unknown. That’s why we say “goodness, health” quietly on the phone, we say “I’m just rolling along” with a broken smile, and sometimes a “thank God” that doesn’t even suit our language comes out of our mouths, making our hearts smile. Maybe because we are exposed to others too much. But what other people? Others who are not good for us, whom we are not good for. It is also a divine warning that not everyone is good for everyone. Even birds can travel with their own kind. For two hearts to be good for each other, both hearts must be tuned in the same direction. Otherwise, even a broken clock is right twice a day. And so our relationship with others is limited to occasional feelings of this and that. In these relationships, love, mercy, compassion, friendship, loyalty, generosity, understanding, sharing, confidentiality are always incomplete. Yes, this is the world, many things are left unfinished here, but it is obvious how much of a life a life built on constant incompleteness can be.

We want to see tears and sweat when a person cries out, “I am burnt and tired.” Otherwise, everyone gets burnt and tired every day, over and over again in this life of suffering. Those who seek the truth are wasting their time, and increasingly themselves, in half-baked relationships. In short, let’s call a spade a spade and come to the end of this article.

“I leave you with your worst enemy. With yourself.”

Sometimes in life this is the recipe we need to apply to someone else. Leaving him alone with the fears he cannot overcome, the plastic victimizations he takes refuge in, the complaints he clings to, the idols he clings to even though he says he will give up every time, the comfort zone that is no different from a slippery slope, the mind he considers the sole guide.

Because some people prepare their hell while they are alive. Because some of them do not transform themselves in any way and are in stubbornness with the order of creation. Because some are ready to turn their faces to the wall they have built, even though they need a mirror.

Turning a thorn into a rose is a matter of skill. And those who succeed in this laugh at themselves and their surroundings. There are no roses in hell…

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