Allan Kardec

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2. Being unable to conceive of anything that they do not see, the humans of the primitive period naturally formed their notion of the future based on the present; in order to comprehend the possibility of other modes of existence than those which they saw around them, they would have needed an intellectual development which they could only have acquired in the course of ages. The picture that they imagined to themselves of the chastisements of the future life was, therefore, only a reflex of the ills of human existence, but deepened and intensified. They brought together, into that picture, all the tortures, all the sufferings, all the afflictions that they saw upon the Earth; in hot climates, they imagined a hell of fire, and, in the cold ones, a hell of ice. The special sense which, at a later period, enabled them to comprehend the spiritual world, not being yet developed, they could only conceive of physical penalties; and for this reason, with the exception of some slight differences of form, the “hell” of all religions is the same.

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