“Can souls die?” asked Hermes.
“Yes,” replied the voice of Osiris, “many perish in the fatal descent. The soul is the daughter of heaven, and its journey is a test. If it loses the memory of its origin, in its unbridled love of matter, the divine spark which was in it and which might have become more brilliant than a star, returns to the ethereal region, a lifeless atom, and the soul disaggregates in the vortex of gross elements.”
Hermes shuddered at these words, for a raging tempest enveloped him in a black mist. The seven spheres disappeared beneath dense vapors. In them he saw human spectres uttering strange cries, carried off and torn by phantoms of monsters and animals, amidst nameless groans and blasphemies.
“Such is the destiny,” said Osiris, “of souls irremediably base and evil. Their torture finishes only with their destruction, which includes the loss of all…
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