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386. Could two beings, who have already known and loved each other, meet again and recognise one another, in another corporeal existence?

“They could not recognise one another; but they might be attracted to each other. The attraction resulting from the ties of a former existence is often the cause of the most intimate affectional unions of a subsequent existence. It often happens in your world that two persons are drawn together by circumstances which appear to be merely fortuitous, but which are really due to the attraction exercised upon one another by two spirits who are unconsciously seeking each other amidst the crowds by whom they are surrounded.”

-Would it not be more agreeable for them to recognise each other?

“Not always; the remembrance of past existences would be attended with greater disadvantages than you suppose. After death they would recognise one another, and would then remember the periods they had passed together.” (392.)

387. Is sympathy always the result of anterior acquaintanceship?

“No; two spirits who are in harmony naturally seek one another, without their having been previously acquainted with each other as men.”

388. May it not be that the meetings which sometimes take place between two persons, and which are attributed to chance, are really due to the action of some sort of sympathetic relationship?

“There are, among thinking beings, orders of relationship with ‘which you are not yet acquainted. Magnetism is the pilot of the science that will enable you to understand them at a future period.”

389. What is the cause of the instinctive repulsion sometimes excited in us by persons whom we see for the first time?

“The latent antipathy of two spirits who divine each other’s nature, and recognise one another, without the need of speaking together.”

390. Is instinctive antipathy allays the sign of an evil nature on the part of one or both of the parties who feel it?

“Two spirits are not necessarily evil because the)’ are not sympathetic; for antipathy may spring from a want of similarity in their way of thinking. But in proportion as they ascend, these shades of difference are effaced, and their antipathy disappears.”

391. Does the antipathy of two persons take its first beginning on the part of the better or the worse one of the two?

“It may begin simultaneously on the part of both; but, in such a case, its causes and effects are different. A bad spirit feels antipathy against whoever is able to judge and to unmask him. On seeing such a person for the first time, he knows that he will be disapproved by him; his repulsion changes into hatred or jealousy, and inspires him with the desire of doing harm to the object of his antipathy. A good spirit feels repulsion for a had one, because he knows that he will not be understood by him, and that they do not share the same sentiments; but, strong in his own superiority, he feels neither hatred nor jealousy towards him, and contents himself with avoiding and pitying him.”

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.

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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.

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367. Does a spirit, in uniting itself with a body, identify itself with matter?

 

“Matter is only the envelope of the spirit, as clothing is the envelope of the body. A spirit, in uniting himself with a body, retains the attributes of his spiritual nature.”

 

368. Does a spirit exercise his faculties in full freedom after his union with a body?

 

“The exercise of faculties depends on the organs which serve them for instruments. Their exercise is weakened by the grossness of matter.”

 

– It would appear, then, that the material envelope is an obstacle to the free manifestation of a spirit’s faculties, as the opacity of ground glass is an obstacle to the free emission of light?

 

“Yes, an obstacle which is exceedingly opaque.”

 

The action exercised upon a spirit by the gross matter of his body may also be compared to that of muddy water, impeding the movements of the objects plunged into it.

 

369. Is the free exercise of a spirit’s faculties subordinated, during his incarnation, to the development of his corporeal organs?

 

“Those organs are the soul’s instruments for the manifestation of its faculties; that manifestation is, therefore, necessarily subordinated to the degree of development and perfection of those organs, as the perfection of a piece of manual work depends on the goodness of the tool employed.”

 

370. May we, from the influence of the corporeal organs, infer a connection between the development of the cerebral organs and that of the moral and intellectual faculties?

 

“Do not confound effect and cause. A spirit always possesses the faculties that belong to him; but you must remember that it is not the organs that give the faculties, but the faculties that incite to the development of the organs.”

 

– According to this view of the subject the diversity of aptitudes in each man depends solely on the state of his spirit?

 

“To say that it does so ‘solely,’ would not be altogether correct. The qualities of the incarnated spirit are, undoubtedly, the determining principle of those aptitudes; but allowance must be made for the influence of matter, which hinders every man, more or less, in the exercise of the faculties inherent in his soul.”

 

A spirit, in incarnating himself, brings with him certain characterial predispositions therefore, if we admit the existence, for each of these, of a special organ in the brain. The development of the cerebral organs is seen to be an effect, and not a cause. If his faculties were a result of his bodily organs, man would be a mere machine, without free-will, and would not be responsible for his actions. Moreover, if such were the case, we should be forced to admit that the greatest geniuses-men of science, poets, artists-are only such because a lucky chance has given them certain special organs whence it would follow, still further, that, but for the chance-acquisition of those organs, they would not have been geniuses, and that the stupidest of men might have been a Newton, a Virgil, or a Raphael, If he had been provided with certain organs a supposition still more flagrantly absurd, if we attempt to apply it to the explanation of the moral qualities.

 

For, according to this system, Saint Vincent de Paul, had he been gifted by nature with such and such an organ, might have been a scoundrel and the greatest scoundrel alive, had he only been gifted with an organ of an opposite nature, might have been a Saint Vincent de Paul. If, on the contrary, we admit that our special organs, supposing such to exist, are an effect and not a cause, that they are developed by the exercise of the faculties to which they correspond, as muscles are developed by movement, we arrive at a theory which is certainly not irrational. Let us employ an illustration equally conclusive and commonplace. By certain physiognomic signs we recognise a man who is addicted to drink. Is it those signs that make him a drunkard, or is it his drunkenness that produces those signs? It may be safely asserted that our organs are a consequence of our faculties.

 

 

 

Excerpt from Allan Kardec‘s “The Spirit’s Book”, translated by Anna Blackwell, LAKE (Livraria Allan Kardec Editora), page 190. Printed in Brazil. Version found at Public Domain.

 

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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.

 

880. Which is the first of all the natural rights of man?

 

“The right to live, and therefore no one has the right to take the life of his fellow-creature or to do anything that may compromise his personal existence.”

 

 

881. Does the right to live give to man the right to amass the means of living, in order that he may repose when no longer able to work?

 

“Yes but he should do this in concert with his family. Like the bee, by honest labour, and not by amassing in solitary selfishness. Certain animals, even, set man an example of this kind of fore-sight.”

 

 

882. Has man the right to defend what he has amassed by his labours?

 

“Has not God said, ‘Thou shalt not steal?’ and did not Jesus say: ‘Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s?'”

 

What a man has amassed by honest labour is a legitimate property that he has a right to defend for possession of the property which is the fruit of labour is a natural right as sacred as the right to labour or to live.

 

 

883. Is the desire to possess natural to man?

 

“Yes; but when it is simply for himself, and for his personal satisfaction, it is selfishness.”

 

– But is not the desire to possess a legitimate one, since he who has enough to live upon is not a burden to others?

 

“Some men are insatiable and accumulate without benefit to any one, merely to satisfy their passions. Do you suppose that this can be pleasing to God? He, on the contrary, who amasses through his labour, in order to have the means of assisting his fellow-creatures, practices the law of love and of charity, and his labour receives the blessing of God.”

 

 

884. What is the characteristic of legitimate property?

 

“No property is legitimate unless acquired without injury to others.” (808.)

 

The law of love and of justice, forbidding us to do to others what we would not that others should do to us, implicitly condemns every means of acquiring which would be contrary to that law.

 

 

 

Excerpt from Allan Kardec‘s “The Spirit’s Book”, translated by Anna Blackwell, LAKE (Livraria Allan Kardec Editora), page 180. 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.

 

 

Serious mediums: those who only use their faculties for good and really useful ends, and who would regard it as a profanation to use them for the satisfaction of the curious and indifferent, or for any futile purpose.

 

Modest mediums: those who make no merit of the communications they receive, however good they may be they look upon themselves as being only the instruments of others, and do not regard themselves as infallible. Far from shunning disinterested counsel, in regard to the exercise of their medianimity, they seek it.

 

Devoted mediums : those who understand that the true medium has a mission to fulfil, and that he must be ready, when necessary, to sacrifice his tastes, habits, pleasure, time, and even his worldly interests, to the good of others.

 

Safe mediums: those who, in addition to their power, are worthy of confidence on account of their personal excellence and the elevated nature of the spirits who assist them, and who are thus the least likely to be deceived. We shall see hereafter that this security does not depend in any way upon the honourability of the names assumed by the communicating spirits.

 

“You must understand that, by thus classifying mediums according to their good and bad qualities, you are exposing yourself to the animosity of some of them; this, however, is of no importance. The number of mediums is increasing daily, and any who should take offence at these remarks would prove one thing, viz., that they are not good mediums, in other words, that they are influenced by inferior spirits. But, as I have already said, all this is only for a short time; and mediums who misuse their faculties will undergo the painful consequences of their acts, as has already occurred to some of them; they will learn, to their sorrow, the cost of turning, to the satisfaction of their earthly passions, a gift of God, accorded to them only for their moral advancement. If you are unable to bring them back into the right road, pity them, for they will have to undergo a heavier expiation.

 

“‘ERASTES.”

 

“This table is of great importance, not only for the mediums who seek sincerely and honestly, by studying it, to preserve themselves from the stumbling-blocks to which they are exposed, but also for those who make use of mediums, because it will give them the measure of what may be reasonably expected from them. This table should be constantly before the eyes of every one who occupies himself with spirit manifestations; it embodies all the principles of the doctrine, and will contribute, more than you think, to keep Spiritism on its true road.

 

“SOCRATES.”

 

 

All these varieties of medianimity present innumerable degrees of intensity; many of them, strictly speaking, are but different shades of the same colour, but they are nevertheless the result of special aptitudes. Although the faculty of a medium is rarely circumscribed within a single specialty, and although the same medium may possess several aptitudes, he has always one predominant aptitude, and that is the one he should cultivate, provided it be a useful one. It is a serious mistake to endeavour to force a medium to acquire faculties he does not naturally possess. We should cultivate those of which the germ is seen to exist; but the attempt to develop faculties which we do not possess is, in the first place, a loss of time, and, in the second place, the surest way to weaken, and perhaps to lose, those which we do possess.

 

 

“When the germ of a faculty exists, it always shows itself by unequivocal signs. By keeping to his own specialty, a medium is more likely to obtain useful and satisfactory results; he who tries to do everything, does nothing well. The desire to enlarge indefinitely the circle of one’s medianimic faculties is a vainglorious pretension which will not be allowed to go unpunished; good spirits always abandon the presumptuous, who thus become the sport of liars. It is, unfortunately, no rare thing to see mediums discontented with the gifts they possess, and aspiring, from vanity or ambition, to the possession of exceptional faculties, which might bring them into prominence ; a pretension which robs them of their most precious quality, that, viz., of being safe mediums.

 

“SOCRATES.”

 

 

The study of the specialty of mediums is absolutely necessary, not only on their own account, but also for those who make use of them for evocations. According to the nature of the spirits we desire to evoke, and the questions we wish to put to them, should be our choice of the medium whom we employ for the particular requirement we have in view; to take for this purpose the first we meet with is to expose ourselves to get unsatisfactory and erroneous answers. Let us take a couple of illustrations of this point from every-day life. We should not trust the first person we came across to draw up a document, or even to copy one, merely because he knows how to write. A musician desires a song of his to be sung; lie has at his command several singers, all skilful; nevertheless he does not choose at random, but selects, as his interpreter, the one whose voice, expression, and general qualities, are most likely to do justice to his composition. Spirits do the same in regard to their mediums; we cannot do better than follow their example.

 

 

 

Excerpt from Allan Kardec‘s “The Medium’s Book”, translated by Anna Blackwell, LAKE (Livraria Allan Kardec Editora), page 211. 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 Medium’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.

 

Except a man be born again

 

The need for Incarnation

 

25. Is incarnation a punishment and are guilty spirits bound to suffer them?

 

The passing of Spirits through corporeal life is necessary in order that they may fulfill by means of a material action the purpose to which God assigned them. This is necessary for their own good, as the activity which they are obliged to perform will help the development of their intelligence. Being just, God must distribute everything in equal parts to all His children; so it is established that everyone starts from the same point, with the same aptitudes, the same obligations to fulfill and having the same liberty to proceed. Any type of privilege would be an injustice. But for all Spirits incarnation is a transitory state. It is a task imposed by God at the beginning of life, as a primary experiment in the use of free-will. Those who discharge this task with zeal pass over the first steps of their initiation quickly, less painfully, and so are able to reap the fruits of their labour at an earlier date. Those who, on the contrary, make bad use of the liberty that God has granted them, delay their progress and according to the degree of obstinacy demonstrated, may prolong the need for reincarnating indefinitely, in which case it becomes a punishment. – SAINT LOUIS (Paris, 1859).

 

 

26. NOTE – A common comparison would make this difference more easily understandable. The scholar cannot reach superior studies in science if he has not passed through the series of classes which lead to that level. These classes, whatever may be the work demanded, are the means by which the student will reach his objective and are not a punishment inflicted upon him. If he is diligent he can shorten the path and consequently will encounter less thorns. However, this does not happen to the one who is negligent and lazy, which will oblige him to repeat certain lessons. It is not the work of the class which is the punishment, but the necessity to recommence the same work over again.

 

 

This is what happens to mankind on Earth. For the primitive Spirit, who is only at the beginning of his spiritual life, incarnation is the means by which he can develop his intelligence. Nevertheless, it is a punishment for an enlightened man, in whom a moral sense has been greatly developed, to be obliged to live over again the various phases of a corporeal life full of anguishes, when he could have arrived at the end of his need to stay in inferior and unhappy worlds. On the other hand, if he works actively towards his moral progress, he not only shortens the period of his material incarnations, but also may jump over the intermediate steps which separate him from the superior worlds.

 

 

 

 

Excerpt from Allan Kardec‘s “The Gospel According to Spiritism”, The Headquarters Publishing Co Ltd (London), 1987, page 53. Version found at Public Domain.  

 

 

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For more information, please check out these links:

 

– Our Spiritist Studies section – published on Tuesdays

 

– The version of “The Gospel According to Spiritism” that is in public domain is available for free download here (.pdf format)

 

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

 

– Download the other basic books of Spiritism here (.pdf format)

 

“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them”

(Mark 11: 24)

 

 

From the maxim: “Whatever you ask for through prayer will be granted,” it would be illogical to conclude that one can receive just by asking, and unjust to accuse Providence if a request made is not conceded, because it is known what is best for our own good. This is what happens to a prudent father who refuses to give his son certain things which would be against his own interests. Generally, Man only sees the present moment. Meanwhile if the suffering is useful to our future happiness, then God will let us suffer, just as a surgeon allows the patient to suffer an operation which will cure him. What God will concede if we direct ourselves to Him with confidence is courage, patience and resignation. What He will also concede are the means of resolving situations with the help of ideas suggested to us by good Spirits at God’s instigation, whereby we retain the merit for the decisions taken. God helps all those who help themselves according to the maxim: “Help yourself and the Heavens will come to your aid.” But He does not help those who, without using their own faculties, wait for outside assistance. Nevertheless in most cases what Man desires is to be helped by miracles, without using any effort of his own (See chapter 25, No. 1 and following items).

 

Spiritism makes the act of prayer understandable by explaining how thought is transmitted, either when the Spirit to whom we are praying comes to our help, or when our thoughts raise themselves up to this being. In order to understand what happens in this circumstance, it is necessary to consider all incarnate and discarnate beings as immersed in the Universal Cosmic Fluid which occupies space, as we on Earth are immersed in the atmosphere. This fluid receives an impulse from will-power, which is the vehicle of thought just as air is the vehicle for sound, with the difference that the vibrations of air are circumscribed, whereas those of the Universal Cosmic Fluid extend infinitely. So when a thought is directed at someone either on Earth or in space, from an incarnate to a discarnate being, or vice-versa, a fluidic current is established between them which transmits the thought from one to the other, just as air transmits sound.

 

The energy contained in this current remains proportional to the force behind the thought and the desire. This is how the Spirits hear the prayers directed to them wherever they may be. It is also how Spirits communicate amongst themselves, how they transmit their inspirations to us and how contacts are established at a distance between incarnates.

 

It is through prayer that Man obtains the assistance of the good Spirits who come running to sustain him in his good resolutions and inspire wholesome ideas. In this manner he acquires the moral strength necessary to be able to surmount all difficulties, and come back to the straight and narrow path should he at any time stray from it. By these means he can also turn away from himself all the evil which he attracts through his faults. For example: a man loses his health due to his excesses and so leads a life of suffering till the termination of his days. Has he then the right to complain if he does not obtain the cure he so desires? No, because he could have found the strength to resist temptation through the act of prayer.

 

 

Excerpt from Allan Kardec‘s “The Gospel According to Spiritism”, The Headquarters Publishing Co Ltd (London), 1987, page 252. Version found at Public Domain.  

 

 

***

 

For more information, please check out these links:

 

– Our Spiritist Studies section – published on Tuesdays

 

– The version of “The Gospel According to Spiritism” that is in public domain is available for free download here (.pdf format)

 

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

 

– Download the other basic books of Spiritism here (.pdf format)

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