spn: purgatory

space-flannel-deactivated201707  asked:

Does it make sense/ is it offensive to have my Jewish main character start to believe she could be in purgatory? I was raised in a totally secular Christian home, so I have no idea how Christian-exclusive the general concept of purgatory is.

Jewish character believing she’s in purgatory

Technically there’s the concept of gehenna but culturally in my experience and the experience of many other Jewish people this just isn’t how we emotionally process the idea of wrongdoing, suffering, and wickedness. I would actually like to commend you for catching yourself before assuming other religions process ideas the same was as Christianity, because as I’m fond of saying, Judaism is different from Christianity in ways some people don’t even seem to realize religions can be different. The focus is on making a better world while we’re in it, rather than preparing for an afterlife.

If you really want to have your Jewish character fret about this I can think of a great way to make it realistic, though – if she’s been around Christian art a little too much lately. For example, if this is YA contemporary and she’s been reading Dante's Inferno in school, and is surrounded by Christian peers – she may not quite have that strong sense of identity (depending on her specific upbringing) to remind her we don’t obsess over the same concepts. She could even just sidestep into the idea before reminding herself, or being reminded by a Jewish peer or adult, that such ideas aren’t really part of our current worldview. Such a reminder might comfort her.

By the way, the Catholic concept of purgatory as I understand it is that it’s after death – so for her to believe she’s in purgatory this would be a metaphor anyway, right? (Unless this is paranormal fiction.) It wouldn’t be uncommon for someone assimilated to accidentally borrow Christian ideas into their brain, but as a Jewish reader I’d feel more comfortable if it was corrected in-text so that I knew the author wasn’t trying to gentilewash us.

–Shira

As for how Christian-exclusive the concept of purgatory is, it’s not Christian exclusive, really, it’s Catholic exclusive. Most if not all Protestants, Anglicans, Orthodox Christians) don’t believe in Purgatory at all.

- Rodriguez

This kills me - every fucking time.

Because, Jesus, it’s practically canon that Dean must have made very clear how much he loved Cas during his prayers in Purgatory. You can’t talk inside your head to someone you think is dead, and you can’t do it for freaking months, without getting close up and personal with your own feelings for that person. So we know Purgatory must have been traumatizing for Dean - not only because of the obvious reasons - a place outside of time where everything wants to kill him and his only ally is another monster Dean is not even sure he can trust and he’s not sure he’s ever getting out, either, and he’s worried sick about Sam, and also fretting about everyone else he left topside - but also because it forced him to acknowledge how important Cas is in his life.

After all, the fact Cas is there at all (the fact Cas very possibly died there, as Dean must have told himself time and again during those long months) is Dean’s fault. Dean forced him to fight the Leviathans even when Cas was unable and unwilling to fight at all. And going further back (as Dean surely did, because he’s just wired that way and thinks everything is always his fault), Cas opened Purgatory in the first place because Dean refused to help him. Cas became a target for Raphael because he chose Dean over Heaven.

Cas was marked for death because Dean asked for his help, and Cas said yes.

So, well.

And we also know how painful and difficult it is for Dean to acknowledge any kind of feeling, and something like this - prayers which at some point surely included I’d do everything different if I could go back and I miss you so damn much and I can’t go on without you and even I don’t know if you ever loved me back, but Cas - well, the one good thing about getting them off his chest is that Cas heard them, and now Dean’s found Cas, and Cas is alive and he knows Dean loves him and maybe they can -

And Cas is not happy to see him. Cas stands there with his back straight and his hands by his sides as Dean hugs him. Cas allows Dean to touch his cheek, just barely, a look of complete rejection on his face.

And then Cas chooses to remain in Purgatory.

So, yeah, I know we’ve talked about what a seesaw their relationship is before, but every goddamn time I see one of these Purgatory gifs it just hits me all over again - how this was Dean’s You can’t stay moment. How he’d just dared to express something he’d so rarely expressed before and - in his view - got rejected, once again.

Honestly, it’s just -