"But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Genesis 2:17
I was struck by some of the similarities that Twilight has to the Buffy series--not just the obvious--human girl falls for the tall, dark and brooding Vamp--but also, the tortured nature of those beings [Angel & Edward] that believes no matter how much good they do they will still go to hell because of the nature of their current circumstance.
Again, with the similarities to humans...Don't we all feel that no matter what we do it'll never be enough or make any difference?
I do. Yes, I am religious and believe in God and the existence of evil. So, I always fight the internal battle of will I be good enough to go to heaven? It is so easy to take the road of least resistance--to give into the "human" side of myself and act out instead of rising above and acting the way God would want me to. I'm not going to lie--I am hardly ever able to rise above my gut reactions and choose the better part but hey, at least I have a sense of humor as I do it. Alright, so that is no excuse. I should chose the better part and rise above.
So, what motivates us to do this? Some of my friends would say that for me it is a form of conditioning brought on by years of religious teachings. I might agree with that were it not for one small little problem...the years where I openly rejected those teachings and went on a self destructive rampage. I chose to go against all that my parents had taught me as a kind of experiment. I wanted to see if there was anything to be gained by this behavior. If acting in a manner less than what I was taught to do or be would somehow benefit or enlighten me in such a way that would make me happier.
It did not make me happier. However, I was enlightened. I found that I had different choices that I could make. Ones that I never dreamed of and ones that I never want to think of again. I lost my sense of innocence and that can never be replaced...but my eyes were opened to my vast possibilities. Discoveries were made but mostly I was given proof that the happiness that I searched for was hidden in those core principles of truth that my parents had always taught me. So now there are days where I ask myself, "Why did I choose to veer off a perfect path? Can I ever be forgiven? Is my soul lost?" And then I wake up. Of course I am not lost. I believe that as long as I continue to try--doing all that I can do--then I have a chance at God's grace in my life.
"The vampire who wanted to be good — who ran around saving people’s lives so he wouldn’t be a monster…"
Bella Swan, Twilight, Chapter 10, p.204
Again this statement from Bella draws a parallel to our own lives. If we run around trying to save ourselves and those we love and care about then we won't be monstrous to ourselves...we will be seen as caring, noble and wonderful in their eyes. It is the stuff that the proverbial "warm fuzzies" are made from, people! Losing yourself to find yourself. It gives us a feeling of being whole--we help complete peoples lives. As humans on this earth we travel in circles. Imagine that these circles we travel are similar to dropping a stone in a still pond--this represents your life. Then another stone is dropped in the pond a short distance from where your stone has been dropped. The ripples will eventually touch one another just like we touch others and blend into their lives. The ripples blend together becoming one indistinguishable from the other.
"If I was in hell, you wouldn’t be with me."
Bella Swan, New Moon, Chapter 23, p.503
Here is hope. A gift from Bella to Edward. This quote reminds me of someone who asked me if I believed in "hell". I told him that I didn't believe in the kind of hell that we see in paintings that depict demons, fire and brimstone. I believe in a hell where the hell is a mental regret of sorts. Personal hell. For example, knowing and having a perfect recollection of every moment in your life--good and bad--and being frustrated and regretful of those things that you didn't do and now can not change. Tortured by the positive change we could have made but chose not to. Everyone has regrets don't let them fool you--they choose to not acknowledge them. The only way to truly live without any regrets is to live the very best life you can--leaving a positive mark everywhere you go.
Edward? He doesn't really believe that he is going to hell either. He holds out a hope that he will find a heaven. His hope is revealed under the clock tower of Volturra when Bella slams into him, saving him from the Volturri wrath.
"You smell just exactly the same as always. So maybe this is hell. I don’t care. I’ll take it." Edward Cullen, New Moon, Chapter 20, p.452
Carlisle always tries to reassure his son that he will not go to hell. That his existence here is a different plane. That he still has choices and the ability to honor human life. Edward lives on the hope that Carlisle is right and chooses a better path. This hope allows him to love Bella unconditionally and in return she has given him another hope--that she will love him unconditionally as well.
So, we choose. We choose the path that we will follow and those choices will bring us closer to happiness or remove us from it. The choice is ours but we must choose. We can not be fence sitters because even if we are on the right path we will still be run over if we don't continue to move forward.