Allan Kardec

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459. Do spirits influence our thoughts and actions?
“They often direct both; their influence is greater than you think, for very frequently it is they who guide you.”

460. Do we have any of our own original thoughts, while others that are suggested to us?
“Your soul is a spirit that thinks. You surely have noticed that many thoughts, and frequently conflicting ones, come to your mind regarding the same subject, at the exact same time. In such cases, some of these ideas are your own, and some are ours. This leads you to feelings of uncertainty, because you have two conflicting ideas in your mind.”

461. How can we distinguish between our own thoughts and those the spirits suggest to us?
“When a thought is suggested, it is like a voice speaking to you. Your own thoughts usually occur to you first. This distinction is not of much practical importance to you, and it is often better not to be able to make it. Your action then has greater freedom. If you choose the right road, you do so more spontaneously, while if you take the wrong one, your responsibility will be greater.”

462. Do intelligent people and geniuses always get their ideas from their own minds?
“Their ideas sometimes come from their own spirit, however, they are often suggested to them by other spirits who deem them capable and worthy of understanding and disseminating them. When they do not find the required ideas in themselves, they unconsciously call for inspiration. They make an evocation without even being aware of it.”

If it were useful for us to be able to distinguish between our own thoughts and the ones suggested clearly, God would have given us the means of doing so, just as God has given us the means of distinguishing between day and night. When something is left vague, it is often in our best interest.

463. It is sometimes said that our first thought is always the best. Is this true?
“It may be good or bad, depending on the nature of the incarnate spirit. It is always good for the one who listens to good inspirations.”

464. How can we determine whether a suggested thought comes from a good or bad spirit?
“Thoroughly scrutinize its quality. Good spirits only give good guidance. It is your responsibility to make the distinction.”

465. Why do imperfect spirits tempt us to wrongdoing? “To make you suffer like they do.”

a) Does that lessen their personal suffering?
“No, but they are jealous of those who are happier than themselves.”

b) What kind of suffering do they want to make us endure?
“That reserved for beings that are of a lower rank and far removed from God.”

466. Why does God permit spirits to lure us to wrongdoing?
“God uses imperfect spirits as instruments for testing your faith and perseverance in doing good. As a spirit, you must advance in the knowledge of the infnite. To do this, you suffer trials to attain goodness. Our mission is to lead you to the right path. When you fall prey to bad infuences, it is because you attract lower spirits by your malicious desires. Wicked spirits always come to assist you in carrying out the malevolence you desire to commit. They only help you do wrong when you give in to vile desires. If you are inclined to commit murder, you will have a swarm of spirits around you encouraging you. Conversely, you will also have others who will try to infuence you to do good. This restores balance and allows you to make your own decision.”

This is how God allows us to choose our individual path, and gives us the freedom of yielding to one of the conficting infuences that act upon us.

467. Can we free ourselves from the infuence of spirits who lure us to iniquity?
“Yes, because they are only drawn to those who attract them by the immoral character of their thoughts and desires.”

468. When repelled by our will, do spirits relinquish their own temptations?
“What other option do they have? When they see that they cannot accomplish their goal, they give up. However, they continue to watch for the right opportunity, like a cat who keeps an eye out for a mouse.”

469. How can we neutralize the infuence of wicked spirits?
“By doing only what is right and putting all your faith in God, you repel lower spirits and prevent them from controlling you. Do not listen to spirits who inspire you with despicable thoughts, cause confict, and stimulate malicious passions. Particularly distrust those who fatter your pride because this is how a spirit attacks you at your weakest point. This is why Jesus makes you recite in the Lord’s Prayer, ‘Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.’”

470. Are spirits who try to lead us to wickedness and who test our resolve assigned a mission to do so? If so, are they responsible for the success of such a mission?
“No spirit ever receives a mission to do wrong. When they do this, it is of their own volition and they suffer the consequences of their wrongdoing. God may allow them to stay on their malevolent course to test you, but God does not order them to do so. It is up to you to resist.”

471. When we feel a vague sense of anxiety, indescribable uneasiness, or inner satisfaction, without any discernible cause, do these feelings simply result from our physical state?
“They are almost always an effect of the communications that you unconsciously receive from the spirits around you, or that you have received during sleep.”

472. When spirits want to tempt us to wrong do they take advantage of the circumstances in which we fnd ourselves, or can they cause such circumstances?
“They take advantage of any favorable circumstances, but often bring them about by pushing you toward the target of your unwholesome desires, while you remain completely unaware that this is happening. For instance, imagine individuals who fnd money on the side of the road during their travels. Spirits have not brought this money to this particular spot, but they may have suggested to those individuals the idea of going towards that direction. When someone fnds the money, these same spirits may suggest the idea of keeping it, while others suggest the idea of returning it to its rightful owner. This equally applies to all other temptations.”

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