448. I have conversed with many who had been known to me in this life (and this I have done for a long time-for months and years), in as clear a voice, although an inward one, as with friends in this world. The subject of our conversation has sometimes been the state of man after death, and they have wondered exceedingly that during the bodily life no one knows or believes that he is so to live when the bodily life is over, when yet there is then a continuation of life, and such a continuation that the man passes from an obscure life into a clear one, and those who are in faith in the Lord into a life that is more and more clear. They have desired me to tell their friends that they are alive, and to write and tell them what their condition is, even as I had related to themselves many things about that of their friends here. But I replied that were I to tell their friends such things, or to write to them about them, they would not believe, but would call them delusions, would scoff at them, and would ask for signs or miracles before they would believe; and I should merely expose myself to their derision. And that these things are true, perchance but few will believe. For at heart men deny the existence of spirits, and even those who do not deny it are unwilling to hear that anyone can speak with spirits. In ancient times there was no such state of belief in regard to spirits, but so it is now when by crazy ratiocination men try to find out what spirits are, and by their definitions and suppositions deprive them of all the senses, and do this the more, the more learned they desire to be.