Seven Hells: An Incomplete Survey of the Afterlife

Psychological Hell
Detail of The Gates of Hell by Auguste Rodin (©Corbis)

Instead of being physically tormented at the behest (or at least permission) of a sadistic God, this view takes a far more metaphorical approach to fire and brimstone. Roughly, the idea is that as creatures of God, we are naturally drawn to be a part of God. Hell is a state of permanent separation from out creator and so it's pure torment and longing. We realize how much we screwed up by not staying in better touch.

In other words, expect eternal withdrawals from a drug you didn't even realize you were hopelessly addicted to.

About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.