Does it exist? If it does what form does Hell take?  A devil with cloven hooves, pitch fork in uncomfortable spaces and hell fire? Or Dante‘s descending rings of horrors?

Stargate SG-1 Season 3 did a two parter exploring what one concept of Hell could be within their existence. The episodes were “Jellinars Memories” (episode 12) and “The Devil you Know” (episode 13), which literally saw our intrepid heroes journey to hell, that is the planet the Gaould used for eternal torment on a rescue mission for Samantha Carter‘s father, who had become a Tokra and just to add to the challenge, Satan (The Adversary) is revealed to be a resurrected, albeit slightly damaged, Apophos.

So what does this mean for the viewer on the outside?  One could say blasphemy, the idea that a spiritual being from the Holy Bible could be reduced to an alien, but it raises the existential question of what is reality? For the torture was done through the mind by having each member: Jack, Daniel and Sam, relive significant pieces of their past. For Jack O’Neill it was attempting to retell the story of his son, Sam, before Sam shot himself with Jack’s gun.

Horror, challenge,striving for power and identity, each of these is touched upon.  What arises for us to contemplate is this: Is hell a physical place, or is it an etheral/spiritual realm?  The concept of Islamic Jihad is that the angelic/demonic natures struggle within the individual.  Tibetan Buddhism speaks of these realms as well.  Jungian Analysts talk of bringing understanding and balance to the individual through the anima/animus.

So the journey into hell brings resolution, rescue, and escape back to Earth.  A pilgrimage into “The Dark Night” of the Soul if you are a fan of St. John of the Cross, so here is the question these episodes bring to mind for us dear reader, How do we go to hell? and how do we escape hell?

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