I went to a Catholic School from first grade through eighth grade. I was baptised and confirmed. In third grade I heard a story about Hell and it frightened and confused me. It was then that I knew I was no longer a Catholic.

I developed a deep fascination with alternative spirituality. I got my first book on shamanism when I was in the third grade. Through high school I spent a good deal of time in the Occult/New Age section of the book store searching for books on chakras, Anton LaVey, and the mysteries of the Holy Kabbalah.

Now, onto the dream.

I have died. So have you. The world is quite dead and I stand in this fairly cartoonish hall. There is a woman present that I know to be St. Peter. It's not so much a knowledge as a simple awareness, "She's St. Peter, duh."
Behind her is a gate leading to Heaven. It's a simple gate made of the branches of some great, solid tree. Down a little path to my right is the gate to Hell.

So St. Peter tells me, she says, "You haven't been great, Benjamin Flex. You did not have faith. However, you weren't actively bad. So, how about this. You accept Christ as your savior, here and now, and one other tiny thing, and you can spend eternity in bliss."

I have many emotions going through me, the foremost is my extraordinary relief that life has finally ended. I agree and I ask, "So, what's the other thing?"
St. Peter looks aside and says quickly, "Go through the nine circles of Hell, like Dante." I sigh heavily.
"Who will be my guide?"
"St. C.S. Lewis."
Now, I really like C.S Lewis so I get halfway excited. It'll be nice to finally meet him.

As I begin walking toward the gate to Hell I notice that there is lots of junk there, candy wrappers and the like. I bend down and start trying to clean them up and St. Peter seems shocked.
"Oh, don't do that! That's my mess to clean up. People tend not to notice these little bits on their way down there. They're usually to busy in their own heads." She was embarrassed.

Then I begin to awaken and I become aware of the choices I made in the dream. I ask myself, "Will my convictions change? Did I decide this faith simply because of the circumstances or is this something that will stay with me? Is this a miracle or convoluted symbolism?" And then I jump, startled into waking by my alarm clock, confused.

...still confused.

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