Where is Heaven, and where is Hell? Those who have faith in such things generally regard Heaven as being somewhere in the sky, and Hell as being in the bowels of the Earth. This is, however, a recent development and, I suspect, has its roots in the observation that upwards means moving towards light—the sun—while underground is dark and gloomy.
The ancient peoples had one thing in common, despite widely differing beliefs. The ancient Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Celts, Picts, the Maori, all believed (many still believe) that the paths souls travelled after death were underground.
Consider: in all the studied cases of reincarnation or past-life regression, nobody has ever reported a previous incarnation on another world. Always this one. There are no reincarnated Martians or Alpha Centaurians among us.
Air travellers, astronauts, cameras and other sensors sent to the moon, Venus, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and other floating rocks report no paranormal activity at all. I’m not one to study UFO’s but if they are real then I don’t think they have any spirit connection.
Mines have long had reports of kobolds (Germany) tommyknockers (America) coblynau (Wales). Knocking spirits infest mines all over the world. Goblins and demons are generally regarded to come from underground. Fairies—originally souls of the dead from Celtic lore—live in hills, in underground caverns. Haunted caves abound, while every tale from folklore describing things like vampires and ghouls describe them rising from the soil, not falling from the sky.
It seems we are tied to this particular ball of soil for the long haul.
Why? Is there some gravitational effect on spirits, just as on the living? Is it because this is where we were born, and where we choose to stay after death, or do spirits have no ability to leave this world? I’ll be disappointed if that turns out to be the case since I was hoping to travel extensively.
There is only one way to test this, and that’s to die on another planet. It’s not something I’d wish on anyone (well, not on many people) but it’s certain to happen one day. Especially if plans to set up permanent colonies on the moon or Mars ever come to fruition. One day, through accident or old age, someone will die on another world.
Will they travel subterranean passageways on their new home planet, or will they return to this one? Will the mines of Mars one day have kobolds of their own, directing miners away from the highways of the dead? Or will they all come home to the crowded underworld of Earth?
I doubt I’ll see the answer to that. Not with living eyes, anyway.