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400. Does the incarnated spirit reside willingly in his corporeal envelope?

 

“You might as well ask whether a prisoner willingly remains locked up in prison. The incarnated spirit aspires incessantly after his deliverance; and the grosser his envelope, the more desirous is be to be rid of it.”

 

401. Does the soul take rest, like tile body, during sleep?

 

“No; a spirit is never inactive. The bonds which unite him to the body are relaxed during sleep; and as the body does not then need his presence, he travels through space, and enters into more direct relation with other spirits.”

 

402. How can we ascertain the fact of a spirit’s liberty during sleep?

 

“By dreams. Be very sure that, when his body is asleep, a spirit enjoys the use of faculties of which he is unconscious while his body is awake. He remembers the past, and sometimes foresees the future: he acquires more power, and is able to enter into communication with other spirits, either in this world or in some other.

 

 

“You often say, ‘I have had a strange dream, a frightful dream, without any likeness to reality’.

 

 

You are mistaken in thinking it to be so; for it is often a reminiscence of places and things which you have seen in the past, or a foresight of those which you will see in another existence, or in this one at some future time. The body being torpid, the spirit tries to break his chain, and seeks, in the past or in the future, for the means of doing so.

 

 

“Poor human beings! how little do you know of the commonest phenomena of your life! You fancy yourselves to be very learned, and you are puzzled by the most ordinary things. To questions that any child might ask, ‘What do we do when we are asleep?’ ‘What are dreams?’ you are incapable of replying.

 

 

“Sleep effects a partial freeing of the soul from the body. When you sleep, your spirit is, for the time being, in the state in which you will be after your death. The spirits who at death are promptly freed from matter are those who, during their life, have had what may be called intelligent sleep. Such persons, when they sleep, regain the society of other spirits superior to themselves. They go about with them, conversing with them, and gaining instruction from them; they even work, in the spirit-world, at undertakings which, on dying, they find already begun or completed. From this you see how little death should be dreaded, since, according to the saying of St. Paul, you ‘die daily.’

 

 

“What we have just stated refers to spirits of an elevated degree of advancement. As for those of the common mass of men, who, after their death, remain for long hours in the state of confusion and uncertainty of which you have been told by such, they go, during sleep, into worlds of lower rank than the earth, to which they are drawn back by old affections, or by the attraction of pleasures still baser than those to which they are addicted in your world; visits in which they gather ideas still viler, more ignoble, and more mischievous than those which they had professed during their waking hours. And that which engenders sympathy in the earthly life is nothing else than the fact that you feel yourselves, on waking, affectionately attracted towards those with whom you have passed eight or nine hours of happiness or pleasure.

 

On the other hand, the explanation of the invincible antipathies you sometimes feel for certain persons is also to be found in the intuitive knowledge you have thus acquired of the fact that those persons have another conscience than yours, because you know them without having previously seen them with your bodily eyes. It is this same fact, moreover, that explains the indifference of some people for others; they do not care to make new friends, because they know that they have others by whom they are loved and cherished. In a word, sleep has more influence than you think upon your life.

 

 

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.

 

 

(Please click here for Physical and Moral Likeness, part I)

 

 

212. In children whose bodies are joined together, and who have some of their organs in common, are there two spirits, that is to say, two souls?

 

“Yes; but their resemblance to one another often makes them seem to you as though there were but one.”

 

213. Since spirits incarnate themselves in twins from sympathy whence comes the aversion that is sometimes felt by twins for one another?

 

“It is not a rule that only sympathetic spirits are incarnated as twins. Bad spirits may have been brought into this relation by their desire to struggle against each other on the stage of corporeal life.”

 

214. In what way should we interpret the stories of children fighting in their mother’s womb?

 

“As a figurative representation of their hatred to one another, which, to indicate its inveteracy, is made to date from before their birth. You rarely make sufficient allowance for the figurative and poetic element in certain statements.”

 

215. What is the cause of the distinctive character which we observe in each people?

 

“Spirits constitute different families, formed by the similarity of their tendencies, which are more or less purified according to their elevation. Each people is a great family formed by the assembling together of sympathetic spirits. The tendency of the members of these families to unite together is the source of the resemblance which constitutes the distinctive character of each people. Do you suppose that good and benevolent spirits would seek to incarnate themselves among a rude and brutal people ? No; spirits sympathise with masses of men as they sympathise with individuals. They go to the region of the earth with which they are most in harmony.”

 

216. Does a spirit, in his new existence, retain any traces of the moral character of his former existences?

 

“Yes, he may do so; but, as he improves, he changes. His social position, also, may be greatly changed in his successive lives. If, having been a master in one existence, he becomes a slave in another, his tastes will be altogether different, and it would be difficult for you to recognise him. A spirit being the same in his various incarnations, there may be certain analogies between the manifestations of character in his successive lives; but these manifestations will, nevertheless, be modified by the change of conditions and habits incident to each of his new corporeal existences, until, through the ameliorations thus gradually effected, his character has been completely changed, he who was proud and cruel becoming humble and humane through repentance and effort.”

 

217. Does a man, in his different incarnations, retain any traces of the physical character of his preceding existences?

 

“The body is destroyed, and the new one has no connection with the old one. Nevertheless, the spirit is reflected in the body; and although the body is only matter, yet, being modelled on the capacities of the spirit, the latter impresses upon it a certain character that is more particularly visible in the face, and especially in the eyes, which have been truly declared to be the mirror of the soul-that is to say, that the face reflects the soul more especially than does the rest of the body. And this is so true that a very ugly face may please when it forms part of the envelope of a good, wise, and humane spirit; while, on the other hand, very handsome faces may cause you no pleasurable emotion, or may even excite a movement of repulsion. It might seem, at first sight, that only well-made bodies could be the envelopes of good spirits, and yet you see every day virtuous and superior men with deformed bodies. Without there being any very marked resemblance between them, the similarity of tastes and tendencies may, therefore, give what is commonly called a family-likeness to the corporeal bodies successively assumed by the same spirit.”

 

The body with which the soul is clothed in a new incarnation not having any necessary connection with the one which it has quitted (since it may belong to quite another race), it would be absurd to infer a succession of existences from a resemblance which may be only fortuitous but, nevertheless, the qualities of the spirit often modify the organs which serve for their manifestations, and impress upon the countenance, and even on the general manner, a distinctive stamp. It is thus that an expression of nobility and dignity may be found under the humblest exterior, while the fine clothes of the grandee are often unable to hide the baseness and ignominy of their wearer. Some persons, who have risen from the lowest position, adopt without effort the habits and manners of the higher ranks, and seem to have returned to their native element while others, notwithstanding their advantages of birth and education, always seem to be out of their proper place in refined society. How can these facts be explained unless as a reflex of what the spirit has been in his former existences?

 

 

 

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.

 

207. Parents often transmit physical resemblance to their children; do they also transmit to them moral resemblance?

 

“No; because they have different souls or spirits. The body proceeds from the body, but the spirit does not proceed from any other spirit. Between the descendants of the same race there is no other relationship than that of consanguinity.”

 

– What is the cause of the moral resemblance that sometimes exists between parents and children?

 

“The attractive influence of moral sympathy, which brings together spirits who are animated by similar sentiments and tendencies.”

 

208. Are the spirits of the parents without influence upon the spirit of their child after its birth?

 

“They exercise, on the contrary, a very great influence upon it. As we have already told you, spirits are made to conduce to one another’s progress. To the spirits of the parents is confided the mission of developing those of their children by the training they give to them; it is a task which is appointed to them, and which they cannot without guilt fail to fulfil.”

 

209. How is it that good and virtuous parents often give birth to children of perverse and evil nature? In other words, how is it that the good qualities of tile parents do not always attract to them, through sympathy, a good spirit to animate their child?

 

“A wicked spirit may ask to be allowed to have virtuous parents, in the hope that their counsels may help him to amend his ways; and God often confides such an one to the care of virtuous persons, in order that he may be benefited by their affection and care.”

 

210. Can parents, by their intentions and their prayers, attract a good spirit into the body of their child, instead of an inferior spirit?

 

“No; but they can improve the spirit of the child whom they have brought into the world, and is confided to them for that purpose. It is their duty to do this; but bad children are often sent as a trial for the improvement of the parents also.”

 

211. What is the cause of the similarity of character so often existing among brothers, especially between twins?

 

“The sympathy of two spirits who are attracted by the similarity of their sentiments, and who are happy to be together.”

 

 

(Please click here to read Physical and Moral Likeness, part II)

 

 

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.

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