Is Purgatory required by God, the Holy Roman Catholic Church or the medical profession? Mariner is of an age where he no longer is a mainstay of society, economics or politics. Like millions of other citizens, he represents past accomplishments, past memories and lost faculties.
It causes mariner to ponder – Was the Roman Church right to declare that purgatory was after death? It seems that would make a situation similar to the American immigration policy at the Mexican border. Would God be that disorganized? True, the Church made a lot of money buying and selling souls – sort of like the smugglers bringing immigrants from Central America.
Another explanation is that, similar to the penances of the Church, the medical profession has declared that purgatory is before one dies, not after. The medical industry makes lots of money by extending the human lifespan but not extending the physical or mental capabilities that existed earlier and further makes it feel more like purgatory by prolonging half-cured illnesses and disabilities. Is purgatory a medical phenomenon?
What is God’s take on this? As best we can tell, God created humans as part of his Garden of Eden. Things were perfect until the snake came along. So because we consciously knew the procreation game, God had to modify some things. He changed humans and all creatures into beings that passed on. He said “Instead of living forever in the Garden of Eden, humans will exist as a three-generational creature then die.” So purgatory doesn’t seem to be in God’s plans.
It is true that Jesus offered a get-into-heaven-free deal in exchange for promoting God’s agenda but that quickly disappeared when the Church became the gardener.
All mariner knows is that he is not the human he was when he was forty. Purgatory, apparently, is a real thing; we just don’t know who to blame.