448. I have spoken to many people whom I had known during their lifetime, and have done so for considerable lengths of time, for months or a year. I have spoken in as clear a voice, though an internal one, as when speaking to friends in the world. Conversation with them has included the subject of man's condition after death. They have been utterly amazed that nobody in the life of the body knows or believes that when his bodily life ends he will be alive even as they are now. Yet there is a continuation of life such as involves passing from an obscure life into a clear life, and with people who have had faith in the Lord, passing into life that is more and more clear. They wished me to tell their friends that they were alive, and to write to them telling of their condition, just as I had reported to them also many things about the state of their friends. I said however that if I did speak or write to their friends these would not believe me. They would call it sheer imagination, they would laugh me to scorn, they would ask for signs or miracles before believing, and so I would expose myself to their derision. Few would probably have would expose believed that what I said was true, for in their hearts they deny that spirits exist; and those who do not deny their existence nevertheless refuse to hear of anybody being able to talk to spirits. In ancient times such disbelief concerning spirits never existed, but nowadays they wish to discover what spirits may be by a crack-brained reasoning involving definitions and presuppositions that deprives spirits of every one of the senses. And the more learned that people wish to be, the more they continue in this way.