149. Does the kind of death influence the state of the soul?
The state of the soul varies considerably according to the kind of death, but especially according to the nature of its habits during its earthly life. In natural death, the disengagement occurs gradually and without shock, and frequently begins even before the body's life is extinguished. In violent death through suicide, capital punishment or accident, the ties are broken all of a sudden; surprised by this occurrence, it becomes greatly confused by the change that has taken place in itself and cannot comprehend its situation. One fairly constant phenomenon in such cases is that the spirit is not convinced that death has occurred, and this delusion can last several months or years. While in this state, it comes and goes, looking after its affairs as if it were still in this world, but it is very perplexed when no one responds when it speaks. This delusion does not apply exclusively to violent deaths, however; it may be found in many individuals whose life was absorbed by materialistic pleasures and interests.58