203. Do parents transfer a part of their soul to their children? Or do they only give them the organic life to which another soul then adds the moral life?
“Only the organic life is given by the parents because the soul is indivisible. A daft father may have intelligent children, and vice versa.”
204. Do our relationships extend beyond our present existence since we have had many lives?
“Of course. The succession of their physical lives establishes a variety of relationships among spirits, which date back to their former lives. These relationships are often the cause of the empathy or aversion which you sometimes feel towards individuals whom you seem to meet for the frst time.”
205. It would appear that, for some, reincarnation seems to destroy family ties by carrying them back to periods prior to our present existence.
“It extends rather than destroys them. On the contrary, the idea that present relationships are based on prior affections makes the bonds between members of the same family less precarious. It makes the duties of brotherhood even more crucial, because your neighbor or your servant may be the incarnation of a spirit who has formerly related to you by blood.”
a) Regardless, it diminishes the importance that many people give to their ancestry, since we may have had a spirit that has belonged to a different race than our father, or one that has held a different social standing.
“That is true, but this importance is usually based on pride because most people honor their ancestors’ title, rank, and fortune. Many are embarrassed to admit that they have an honest shoemaker for a grandfather, but boast being the descendant of debauchee of noble birth. No matter what people may say or do, they cannot prevent the actions of Divine order. God has not established natural law to meet the demands of human vanity.”
206. If there is no relationship between the spirits successive reincarnations as the descendants of the same family, is it foolish to honor the memory of one’s ancestors?
“Of course not, people should celebrate belonging to a family that counts elevated spirits among its members. Although spirits do not proceed from one another, their affection for those who are related to them by family ties is real. People are often led to incarnate in such and such a family because of preexisting links, and by the infuence of attractions due to relationships from previous lives. You can rest assured that the spirits of your ancestors are in no way gratifed by the honors you pay to their memory from a sentiment of pride. Their merits, no matter how great, can only add to your incentives by stimulating your efforts to follow the good examples they may have set for you. Through emulation of their good qualities your memory can become pleasant and valuable.”