THE SPIRITS’ BOOK

Allan Kardec

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149. What happens to the soul at the time of death?
“It becomes a spirit again, meaning it returns to the spirit world that it had briefy left.”

150. Does the soul maintain its individuality after death?
“Yes, it never loses it. What would it be if it did not preserve it?”

a) How does the soul retain this consciousness, since it no longer has its material body?
“It still has a unique fuid, which it draws from the atmosphere of its planet and represents the outer shell of its last incarnation – its perispirit.”

b) Does the soul take anything of this life away with it?
“Only the memory of it and the desire to move on to a better world. This memory may be sweet or bitter, depending on the course of the life it has left. The more advanced its purifcation, the more clearly it recognizes the futility of what it has left behind on Earth.”

151. What should we think of the opinion that the soul returns to the universal whole after death?
“Do all the spirits not constitute a whole? Is this whole not a world? When you are part of a group you form an integral part thereof, yet your individuality is still preserved.”

152. What proof do we have of the individuality of the soul after death?
“Has spirit communication not provided the necessary proof? If you are not blind, you will see; if you are not deaf you will hear. A voice often speaks to you revealing the existence of a being outside yourself.”

People who think that the soul returns to the universal whole after death are wrong if they think that, it loses its individuality like a drop of water in the ocean. They are right if by universal whole they are referring to all incorporeal beings, of which each soul or spirit is a component.

If souls were mixed together into one large mass, they would only possess qualities common to the entire mass, and they would have no special intellectual or moral qualities of their own that would distinguish them from the others. In the communications that we have obtained, the spirits clearly demonstrate the possession of self-awareness, in addition to a distinct personal will. Their infnite diversity of characteristics is the result of and testament to their personal individuality. If there were nothing but the “Great Whole” swallowing all individualities after death, this whole would be uniform and all the communications received from the invisible world would be identical. The proofs of distinct personalities lie in the fact that we meet spirits who are good, bad, educated, ignorant, happy, melancholy, lighthearted and serious, and so on. This individuality is further substantiated when they are able to undeniably prove their identity by providing personal details relating to their human life, which may be verifed. When they reveal themselves in the form of apparitions, their identity obviously cannot be questioned. We learned about the individuality of the soul in theory as an article of faith. Spiritism simply makes it a material fact.

153. How should we interpret eternal life?
“The life of the spirit is eternal, while that of the body is ephemeral. When the body dies, the soul re-enters eternal life.” a) Would it be more accurate to use the term eternal life for that of purifed spirits, as they have reached relative perfection and no longer endure any trials and tribulations? “That would be eternal happiness, but this is a question of words. You may call things whatever you want, provided you reach a collective agreement among yourselves regarding the meaning.”

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