120. There were many reasons why, but for redemption by the Lord, injustice and wickedness would have spread throughout the Christian peoples in either world, spiritual as well as natural. One of these is that everyone after death comes into the world of spirits, and is then exactly like what he was before. No one on arrival can be prevented from talking with his dead parents, brothers, relations and friends. Every husband then first seeks out his wife, every wife her husband. By these contacts of both kinds they are brought into the company of people who look outwardly like sheep, but inwardly resemble wolves. They are able to corrupt even those who led religious lives. Thus, as a result of unspeakable tricks unknown in the natural world, that world is filled with wickedness, like a pool covered with a green slime of frogs' spawn.
 The effect of keeping bad company there can be rendered plain to view by considering these parallels. If a person spends his time with thieves or pirates, he ends up by becoming like them; if he lives with adulterers and whores, he ends up by thinking adultery of no consequence. Again if he mixes with terrorists, he ends up by thinking nothing of using violence on anyone. All evils are contagious, and can be likened to a plague which infects people simply by their being exposed to the victims' breath; or to a cancer or gangrene which spreads, and makes first the surrounding parts, and then those further and further away, rot, until the whole body is destroyed. It is the pleasures of evil, to which everyone is prone from birth, that cause this.
 Now these facts will establish that but for the redemption effected by the Lord no one could be saved, nor could the angels remain unharmed The sole refuge to avoid destruction is to betake oneself to the Lord, for He says:
Remain in me, and I in you. Just as the branch can bear no fruit by itself, but only if it remains part of the vine, so neither can you, unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who remains in me and I in him bears much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. Unless a person abides in me, he is cast out and withers, and is thrown into the fire and burnt. John 15:4-6.