9. The common belief, moreover, places souls in imaginary regions, scarcely accessible to human thought, where they become strangers to those they have left behind on Earth; the Church itself places an impassable barrier between them and the latter, for it declares that all connections between them have ended, and that all communication between them is impossible. If they are in Hell, all hope of seeing them again is lost forever, unless indeed, for those among the latter who incur the same doom. If they are among the elect, they are entirely absorbed in their own contemplative beatitude. All these suppositions make so wide a separation between the dead and the living that the severance between them seems to be complete and forever; and people would therefore prefer to keep those whom they love beside them on Earth, even though in a state of suffering, rather than see them go away, even though to “Heaven!” Besides, is it conceivable that the “elect” can be truly happy even in “Heaven,” if they have to see their own child, father, mother, or friend, burning forever in unquenchable fire?