"The god deserving of Cathar worship was a god of light, who ruled the invisible, the ethereal, the spiritual domain; this god, unconcerned with the material, simply didn't care if you got into bed before getting married, had a Jew or Muslim for a friend, treated men and women as equals, or did anything else contrary to the teachings of the medieval Church. It was up to the individual (man or woman) to decide whether he or she was willing to renounce the material life for a life of self-denial. If not, one would keep returning to this world--that is, be reincarnated--until ready to embrace a life sufficiently spotless to allow accession, at death, to the same blissful state one had experienced as an angel prior to having been tempted out of heaven at the beginning of time. To be saved, then, meant becoming a saint. To be damned was to live, again and again, on this corrupt Earth. Hell was here, not in some horrific afterlife dreamed up by Rome to scare people out of their wits."
The Perfect Heresy--The Revolutionary Life and Death of the Medieval Cathars by Stephen O'Shea