Posted on

The Fall: Dante’s Inferno

The third circle of hell, illustrated by StradanusDante Alighieri is widely considered one of the greatest poets in history, and his epic poem, La Divina Comedia, is one of our greatest works of literature. The Inferno, a description of the Christian representation of Hell, is the first of the three components of the Divine Comedy, the others being Purgatorio and Paradiso.

More than a religious work, Dante’s Inferno is a representation of the alienated individual. It is a beautiful allegory of that point in our life’s journey where, having achieved everything we are told we should want in life, we are left asking, “Is This It?”

Dante captures alienation and despair in mid life perfectly, and his harrowing description of his descent into the nine (9) Levels of Hell is a searing evocation of the pain and trials that accompany the point where we too lose our way in our journey.

To find our way back – back to our souls, as represented in Paradiso – we, like Dante, must go through Hell. We must experience the death of our “Ego” selves, of hubris, to reunite with the divine.

Posted on

The Opening to Dante’s Inferno

Gustave_Dore_Inferno1The Dark Night of the Soul


Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward pathway had been lost.

Ah Me! how hard a thing it is to say
What was this forest savage,
rough, and stern,
Which in the very though renews
the fear.

So bitter is it, death is little more;
But of the good to treat, which there I found,
Speak will I of the other things I saw there.

Posted on

The Words of the Poet Rumi

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about language, ideas, even the phrase each other doesn’t make any sense.

– Rumi