If I believed that a spiritual entity called Satan truly exists, I would lay the blame for the senseless killings by terrorists on him, or it. Because there is no doubt that terrorists who believe rewards await them in the spiritual sky if they kill unarmed innocent men, women and children are truly being deceived — and Satan is known as the Great Deceiver, yes?

In fact, if there is any truth to the existence of Satan and of the heavenly host, then terrorists would surely suffer greatly in the afterlife — because no god would reward them for the evil they have done.

But I don’t believe in the Biblical story as interpreted by fundamentalists. I do, however, see the symbolism in it all, and the underlying principles found in all great spiritual philosophies, including the Tibetan Book of the Dead and the great Bhagavad’Gita.

The initial experience of dying — the white light at the end of the tunnel, the first encounter with a loving presence — is the same for everyone, apparently. But then comes a time of purging, or purgatory, as some call it. And some have called it hell, because it is there that one sees and understands and experiences the sorrow he or she caused in life — and feels the pain as if it was being done to them. Of course, as the Book of the Dead explains, it is illusion — but very powerful, frightening illusion.

All of this happens while the astral and mental bodies that once occupied a physical body slowly disintegrate, essentially completing the dying process before the spirit is fully liberated and can slumber before its next incarnation.

It is said that good spiritual souls, like Jesus, for example, pass through the astral and mental realms quickly after death, because they have little to hold them there. But people who were particularly evil may languish in a state of purgatory for hundreds if not thousands of years, feeling the pain and sorrow they have inflicted on others over and over again. It may seem like an eternity to them, so thick and dense are the astral and mental bodies they have built up.

Eventually, though, they are liberated, slumber . . . and are then reborn in the physical world, basically picking up from where they left off in terms of their mental condition.

But karma is not done with them yet. If they killed a thousand people in a former life, they must die a thousand similar deaths. Because the law of the universe is rooted in cause and effect, in reaping what you sow, in karma.

It cannot be escaped. And it may explain why some people are born into a life of suffering, while others are born into a life of plenty.

Consider what awaits Adolph Hitler in his future lives. Consider what awaits the leader of ISIS. Suffering. So much suffering.

Of course, an atheist with no belief in the afterlife might simply shrug, and say nothing has any meaning. Whether we die today in a terrorist attack or in so many years of old age, we pass into oblivion, and it will be as if we never lived at all.

To be or not to be, that is the question . . .

But either way, terrorists are deluded. They are wasting their lives, and perhaps many of their lives to come. And they will suffer, now, and possibly for thousands and thousands of years to come.

Blame it on Satan, if you will.

— Jillian