2 Answers

  1. To begin with, you just need to keep in mind that the very idea that souls remain on earth because of unfinished business or because of revenge is not canonical from the point of view of any branch of Christianity. This is a widespread folklore representation and it is widely represented in art, but neither the Orthodox Church, nor Protestants, nor Catholics at the level of churches and at the level of church authorities do not consider it so.

    The closest idea to this is the Catholic teaching about purgatory, according to which, if a person at the time of death did not definitely deserve either going to heaven or going to hell (and we have 90% of people), he must stay in purgatory for some time, thus getting the opportunity to additionally atone for his sins in order to go to heaven. Well, or he may not have time to do it and go to hell. But purgatory does not involve any interaction with the world of the living. All these stories about casts, which the author of the question obviously refers to, in this case have nothing to do with this. This is if we talk about the Christian high canon.

    If we talk about what people believed, then we need to understand that these ideas do not go back to folklore. They were not reflections of any theory or any established view of life. For people, the first place was the very fact that a certain ghost appears. They had a terrible story to tell, whether they believed it or not. What mattered most to them was that something strange was going on in the house, that they were meeting some mysterious person. And this information was primary, and the explanation of why this person appeared was already after the fact. If a ghost appeared, then it probably had some unfinished business or something. People usually did not refract such things on themselves, they did not see themselves as someone with whom it could happen, because such information was not a reflection of any theory or teaching at all. They were scary stories, fairy tales. Therefore, people did not think of such a possibility.

    But if you try to get to the bottom of the truth, then, as a rule, and in many works of art this is reflected, the fate of a person in the state of a ghost is sad: he suffers, suffers, and he is definitely not the one who decides whether to stay here or go to heaven or hell. He always just finds himself in this state with the need to solve his problem and move on.

  2. The soul cannot remain on earth to deal with unfinished business, as the Bible says: “And the dust shall return to the earth, as it was; but the spirit is returned to God who gave it” (Eccl. 12: 7), “It is appointed for men to die once, and then judgment” (Heb.9:27), “blessed are the dead who die in the Lord; for, says the Spirit, they will rest from their labors, and their works will follow them” (Rev 14:13).

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