At a carnival with Rev. Clovis Jones and his daughter Amy, Texas Buddha sat eating cotton candy with Amy while Rev. Jones rode the roller coaster. Seizing a moment when her father wasn’t there, Amy said, “Daddy is mad at me because I don’t believe in hell anymore.”

TB put his arm around her and said, “It can be scary for a parent when their children first start thinking for themselves. But I know he’s also proud of you for being so honest.”

“Do you believe in hell?” the teen asked. TB looked at her and said, “For me, heaven is any part of the life process we trust, hell is any part we don’t. I don’t believe in heaven or hell as places because there is no place that will magically make us happy or sad. If heaven were a place there would be some people that didn’t like harp music. Some would complain that streets of gold produce too much glare.

“But I still believe the symbols of religion contain a truth. Look there at the roller coaster. Look at those two people sitting side by side. One rider has her hands up over her head laughing. The other person is holding to the rail for dear life, clearly terrified. Those two people are almost in the exact the same place, but one is in heaven, the other in hell. What do you suppose is the difference?”

Amy smiled, “One of them trusts the roller coaster, the other doesn’t.”