525. Do spirits exercise an influence over the events of our lives?


“Assuredly they do; since they give you advice.”


– Do they exercise this influence in any other way. than by means of the thoughts they suggest to us; that is. to say, have they any direct action on the course of earthly events?


“Yes; but their action never oversteps the laws of nature.”


We erroneously imagine that the action of spirits can only be manifested by extraordinary phenomena we would have spirits come to our aid by means of miracles, and we imagine them to be always armed ‘with a sort of magic wand. Such is not the case; all that is done through their help being accomplished by natural means, their intervention usually takes place without our being aware of it. Thus, for instance, they bring about the meeting of two persons who seem to have been brought together by chance they suggest to the mind of some one the idea of going in a particular direction. They call your attention to some special point, if the action on your part thus led up to by their suggestion, unperceived by you, will bring about the result they seek to obtain. In this way, each man supposes himself to be obeying only his own impulse, and thus always preserves the freedom of his will.


526. As spirits possess the power of acting upon matter, can they bring about the incidents that will ensure tile accomplishment of a given event? For example, a man is destined to perish in a certain way, at a certain time. He mounts a ladder; the ladder breaks, and he is killed. Have spirits caused the ladder to break, in order to accomplish the destiny previously accepted by or imposed upon this man?


“It is very certain that spirits have the power of acting upon matter, but for the carrying out of the laws of nature, and not for derogating from them. by causing the production at a given moment of some unforeseen event, in Opposition to those laws. In such a case as the one you have just supposed, the ladder breaks because it is rotten, or is not strong enough to bear the man’s weight. But, as it was the destiny of this man to be killed in this way, the spirits about him will have put into his mind the idea of getting upon a ladder that will break down under his weight, and his death will thus have taken place naturally, and without any miracle having been required, to bring it ‘about.”


527. Let us take another example; one in which the ordinary conditions of matter would seem, to be insufficient to account for the occurrence of a given event. A man ‘is destined to be killed by lightning. He is overtaken by a storm, and seeks refuge under a tree; the lightning strikes the tree, and he is killed. Is it by spirits that the thunderbolt has been made to fall, and to fall upon this particular man?


“The explanation of this case is the same as that of the former one. The lightning has fallen on the tree at this particular moment, because it was in accordance with the laws of nature that it should do so. The lightning was not made to fall upon the tree because the man was under it, but the man was inspired with the idea of taking refuge under a tree upon which the lightning was about to fall; for the tree would have been struck all the same, whether the man had been under it or not.”


528. An ill-intentioned person hurls against some one a projectile which passes close by him, but does not touch him. Has the missile, in such a case, been turned aside by some friendly spirit?


“If the individual aimed at were not destined to be struck, a friendly spirit would have suggested to him the thought of turning aside from the path of the missile, or would have acted on his enemy’s sight in such a way as to make him take a bad aim; for a projectile, when once impelled on its way, necessarily follows the line of its projection.”


529. What is to be thought of the magic bullets which figure in certain legends, and which, by a mysterious fatality, infallibly reach their mark?


“They are purely imaginary. Man delights in the marvellous, and is not contented with the marvels of nature.”


– May the spirits who direct the events of our lives be thwarted by other spirits who desire to give to’ our lives a different direction?


“What God has willed must needs take place. If delay or hindrance occur, it can only be by His appointment.”



Excerpt from Allan Kardec‘s “The Spirit’s Book”, translated by Anna Blackwell, LAKE (Livraria Allan Kardec Editora), Printed in Brazil. Version found at Public Domain.




For more information, please check out these links:


– Our Spiritist Studies section – published on Tuesdays


– Questions & Answers section


– The version of “The Spirit’s Book” (that is in public domain) is available for free download here (.pdf format)


– Get to know the other basic books of Christian Spiritist Doctrine by clicking here


– Download the other basic books of Spiritism here (.pdf format). All of the books are on public domain.