THE SPIRITS’ BOOK

Allan Kardec

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344. When does the soul unite with the body?
“This union begins at conception but it is only completed at birth. From the moment of conception, the spirit assigned to inhabit a specifc body joins that body by a fuid link, which will increasingly tighten up to the moment of birth. The cry produced by the infant announces that it has entered the number of the living and the servants of God.”


345. Is the union between the spirit and the body conclusive from the moment of conception? Could the spirit, during the initial period of that union, abandon the body that has been assigned to it?
“The union is conclusive in the sense that no other spirit could replace the one to whom the body has been assigned. But, as the link that binds the body and soul is very weak at frst, it can be easily broken and severed by a spirit who abandons the trial it had chosen. When this happens, the child does not live.”


346. What happens to a spirit if the body it has chosen dies before birth?
“It chooses another.”


a) What is the purpose of premature deaths?
“Such deaths are most frequently caused by the imperfections of matter.”


347. Can a spirit derive any beneft from incarnating a body that dies a few days after birth?
“The new being’s cognizance of its life is so barely developed that its death is of little importance. As we have told you, such deaths are often intended as a trial for the parents.”


348. Does a spirit know beforehand that the body it chose has no chance of living?
“Sometimes, but if it chooses it on this account, it is because of fear of the trial it foresees.”


349. When a spirit has failed to enter a planned incarnation, is another existence available for it immediately?
“Not always immediately. The spirit needs time to make new choices, unless an instant reincarnation had been previously decided.”


350. Does a spirit ever regret its choice when it is being connected to the infant body and it is too late to back out?
“If you are asking whether it complains of the life it has to suffer, and whether it wishes it were otherwise like the way many human beings do, then yes. If you ask whether it regrets its choice, then no. Remember that the spirit does not recall the choice it made. Once incarnated, a spirit cannot regret a choice that it is not conscious of having made. It may fnd the burden it assumed too heavy and turn to suicide if it is too much for it to bear.”


351. In the period between conception and birth, does a spirit enjoy full use of its faculties?
“Yes, depending on the time because it is only attached to its body and not yet incarnated. From the moment of conception, confusion begins to set in as the spirit is made aware that time has come for it to enter a new existence. This confusion increases until the time of birth. Between these two periods, the spirit’s state of mind is like an incarnated spirit during slumber. As birth approaches, its ideas and memory of the past fade away and it no longer recalls them once it enters the physical body. This memory is gradually restored when it returns to the spiritual world.”


352. Does the spirit recover all of its faculties at birth?
“No, they are gradually developed with the growth of its organs. This physical life is a new existence and it must learn how to use its body and senses. The spirit gradually recovers its own ideas, like a person who wakes up only to fnd him or herself in a different situation than before falling asleep.”


353. Does a fetus have a soul, considering that the union of the spirit and the body is not fully consummated until birth?
“The spirit who is to animate it exists somehow outside the fetus. Strictly speaking, it has no soul since the incarnation process is in effect, but the soul is linked to the body that it is about to have.”


354. What is intra-uterine life?
“It is the life of a plant that vegetates. A child lives an animal life. Human beings possesses in them both animal and vegetable life, which is completed at birth by the spiritual life.”


355. Is there such a thing as an unviable child, as indicated by science? If so, for what purpose does this take place?
“This happens often. God allows these births as a trial, either for the parents or for the spirit intended to animate it.”


356. Are some still-born children never intended for the incarnation of a spirit?
“Yes, some never had a spirit assigned to them, nothing would have been accomplished in them. In such a case, the child’s arrival is simply a trial for the parents.”


a) Can a being of this nature come to term?
“Sometimes, but it does not survive.”


b) Does that mean that the child who survives birth has a spirit incarnated in it?
“What would it be if this were not the case? It would not be a human being.”


357. What are the consequences of abortion for a spirit?
“It is a void existence, and must be restarted.”


358. Is voluntary abortion a crime, regardless of the length of the pregnancy?
“Any transgression of God’s laws is a crime. Taking the life of an unborn child is a crime, whether committed by the mother or someone else, because the soul is prevented from experiencing the trials intended for the body that was destroyed.”


359. When the life of the mother is at risk by the birth of a child, is it a crime to sacrifce the child to save the mother?
“It is better to sacrifce a being that does not yet fully exist than a living being.”


360. Is it rational to treat a fetus with the same respect as the body of a child that has lived?
“You should acknowledge God’s will and work; do not treat lightly things that you must respect. Why should you not respect creations that are sometimes incomplete by the Creator’s will? They are part of God’s designs and no one may judge it.”

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