While Dante and Virgil end up getting past the Devil in Inferno and wash up on the shores of Mount Purgatory, I've always thought of this as a metaphor for the grieving process. In order to move through pain and make sense of it, sometimes we must be willing to undergo additional introspection.
Dante’s rendition of "Purgatorio" is incredibly intricate, and it introduces some truly unique elements. He visualizes Purgatory as being segmented into seven terraces, each associated with a specific vice, such as Pride, Envy, Wrath, Sloth, Avarice and Prodigality, Gluttony, and Lust. Each level imposes a unique form of anguish; for instance, the envious have their eyes stitched shut, while the prideful are burdened by hefty stones.
The diversity of these punishments is considerable. However, what truly sets Dante's Purgatory apart is the portrayal of the souls undergoing a process of moral transformation. Their suffering is not merely a retribution; they endure it willingly to cultivate virtue. As a result, they comprehend the rationale behind their pain and are gradually developing new thinking patterns that will pave their way to Paradiso.
Rather than simply focusing on the aftermath of tragedy and pain, we must recognize how it can propel us forward. In tough times, we must take time for introspection and allow ourselves to go through a process of transformation so that we may come out stronger and wiser than before. This is the only way to “climb” the mountain of life and pursue our ultimate goal: true inner peace. It won't be easy, but if we stay resilient and open-minded,
I'm sure that we can get there. The way forward is there when we're ready.