Hell, Paradise, and Self-discovery


I suppose I should have better things to do than hunt and peck a post when I am sitting on in the lobby of a beach resort in Baler, Aurora Province, Philippines. I am here with seminary faculty for a post-graduation retreat. A few meetings and a lot of fun.

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I don’t really do fun. It is not that I am against fun. I appreciate fun as an abstract concept, more than something for me personally. I brought along  book my sister sent to me that supports an annihilationist view of Hell. It has been interesting so far but one can only appreciate so much Hell when in Paradise (or paradise, without a capital “P”).

I was asked to do a bit on personality types as it pertains to education. I decided to keep it simple (not sure I could go beyond simple anyway). We did a test for Kolb’s Learning Styles as well as for Enneagram. Their relevance ties to the fact that we have a temptation to teach the same way we like to learn. But with so many personality traits and types we need to adjust ourselves to the students… yet still challenging them — balancing elements of paradise and hell (or at least heck) to draw and push them to greater things.

Tonight I will lead the group in Johari window and an exercise in revealing oneself to others. Such revealing of one’s feelings can be paradise to some and hell to others. In the end, it tends to be cathartic and promotes community, as long as a place of mutual trust can be established. Broken trust quickly moves a group from paradise to hell too.

My enneagram is group 5 that suggests I like to withdraw from the world to study it. Kolb sees me as an Assimilator, combining reflective observation with active conceptualization. I guess that sounds about right. But I need to still get out, walk around and see the beauty of paradise, before I begin reading more on hell.

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