THE SPIRITS’ BOOK

Allan Kardec

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489. Are there spirits who attach themselves to a specifc individual to protect and help that person?
“Yes, spiritual brothers and sisters, you also call them your protective spirit or good spirit.”


490. What should we understand by the expression guardian angel?
“A high order protective spirit.”


491. What is the mission of a protective spirit?
“Similar to that of parents to their children – to lead their wards down the right path, give them advice, console them when they are sick or suffering, and support their courage in the trials of human life.”


492. Are protective spirits attached to individuals from birth?
“From birth to death. They often follow them after death into the spirit life, and even through several successive physical lives as these existences are very short phases of their existence as spirits.”


493. Is the mission of a protective spirit voluntary or obligatory?
“Your protective spirit is duty-bound to watch over you, having accepted that task. Spirits can choose their wards from a selection of like-minded beings. In some cases, this position is a pleasure, while in others it is a job or duty.”


a) By attaching to a person, does a spirit cease to protect other individuals?
“No, but the spirit does so less exclusively.”


494. Are protective spirits inextricably tied to the ward assigned to them?
“Spirits often leave their position to fulfll various missions, but an exchange is carried out in that case.”


495. Do protective spirits ever abandon their charges when the latter continuously ignore their guidance?
“The spirits withdraw from their charges when they see that their guidance is fruitless and their charges are stubbornly determined to yield to the infuence of inferior spirits. However, they are never entirely abandoned and the spirits continue to make themselves heard. Their wards are the ones who shut their ears. As soon as incarnates call them back, the spirits return.”


“If there is any theory that could win over the biggest skeptics by its charm and beauty, it is that of guardian angels. To think that you always have a superior being by your side, ready to guide you, support you and help boost you in climbing the mountain of self-betterment, whose friendship is more devoted than the most intimate union that you can make on Earth is a source of great solace. These beings are there at God’s orders. It was God who has placed them at your side. They are there out of their love for God, and they fulfll an honorable but painstaking mission. Wherever you go, prison, solitude, the lepers’ house, or even the lowest haunts and taverns, they are by your side. Nothing ever separates you from your invisible friend, whose presence you cannot see but from whom your soul receives the gentlest impulsions and hears the wisest counsels.”


“If only you fully grasped this truth! It would help you in your moments of need and save you from the traps of malicious spirits! But how many times, on the great day, this angel of goodness will have to say to you, ‘Did I not warn you, yet you would not follow my lead? Did I not show you the abyss, and you insisted on throwing yourself into it? Did I not speak the truth to your conscience, and you followed devious suggestions?’ Communicate with your guardian angels and establish the affectionate intimacy that exists between loyal friends. Do not try to hide anything from them, Do not think of hiding anything from them because they are God’s eyes. Think of the future and try to advance upward. This will shorten your trials and make your lives happier. Come; take heart! Cast away all preconceived notions and reservations, and boldly travel the new road that opens before you! Go forth, you have guides; all you have to do is follow them. Your goal cannot fail you, for your goal is God.”


“To those who fnd it impossible to believe that high spirits would commit to such a grueling task requiring infnite patience, we respond that these spirits infuence your souls from afar. Space is nothing to us and our spirits can be connected to yours from worlds away. We possess qualities that you cannot fathom, and rest assured that God has not given us a task that is beyond our strength. God has not abandoned you on Earth without friends and support. All guardian angels have their wards, over whom they watch like parents watch over their children. They are elated when they see them following the right road and saddened when their guidance is ignored.”


“Do not be afraid to ask us questions. Always remain connected with us, as it will make you stronger and happier. This communication between human beings and their familiar spirits will eventually make everyone mediums, mediums ignored today, but who will show themselves later, spreading out like an ocean without shores to sweep away disbelief and ignorance. Those who have received instruction must in turn educate others. Those who are talented must raise their brothers and sisters. You cannot even comprehend what good you accomplish by doing so. The work imposed on you by God is the work of Christ. Why has God given you intelligence and knowledge, if you were not meant to share it with your brothers and sisters to help them on the road leading to eternal happiness?”
Saint Louis, Saint Augustine


The concept of guardian angels watching over us, despite the distance between worlds, is as natural as it is grand and sublime. Do parents not watch over their children through the wise suggestions in letters when distance separates them? Why should you be surprised that spirits guide their charges from one world to another? Don’t they have the universal fuid that binds all the worlds together, and unite them in solidarity - an immense vehicle for transmitting thought, just as air is the vehicle for sound?


496. If spirits abandon their charges and no longer help them, can they harm them?
“Good spirits never cause harm to anyone. They leave that to inferior spirits. You then accuse fate of the bad luck or troubles that plague you, but they are the result of your own bad behavior.”


497. Can protective spirits leave their charges at the mercy of spirits wanting to do them harm?
“Wicked spirits band together to counteract the good, but if wards would so desire, they could restore all the power to the protective spirit. While waiting for the return of their charges, protective spirits may fnd other individuals whose kindness and openness make it easy to help them.”


498. When protective spirits allow their wards to go astray, is it because they are unable to manage the malicious spirits who mislead them?
“No, it is not because they can’t but because they choose not to. Their wards will become wiser and better through the trials they have chosen for themselves. Protective spirits assist their wards through the wise guidance they provide however, unfortunately, sometimes they are ignored. The weakness, carelessness, or pride of humans is what gives strength to bad spirits. Their power over you comes solely from your lack of willpower to provide enough resistance to their action.”


499. Do protective spirits always accompany their charges? Are there any circumstances under which they may lose sight of them, without completely abandoning them?
“There are circumstances under which the presence of the protective spirit is not necessary.”


500. Do spirits ever reach a point where they no longer need a guardian angel?
“Yes, when they are able to guide themselves, in the same manner that students reach a point where they no longer need a teacher. However, this does not take place on Earth.”


501. Why is the role that spirits have in our lives covert? Why do they not openly protect and guide us?
“If you counted on their support, you would not act of your own accord, which would cause your spirit to remain stationary. All human beings need to acquire experience, often at their own expense, in order to advance. They need to exercise their own power, otherwise they remain stunted, like a child who is not allowed to walk alone. The action of spirits is regulated so that your free will is maintained. Without responsibility, you would not advance on the road leading to God. Human beings put forth their own strength because they do not see their invisible support. Their guides continue to watch over them, and call out to them to warn them of danger when necessary.”


502. When guardian angels succeed in leading their charges down the right path, do they gain any beneft for themselves?
“It is an admirable task, which is credited to them for their advancement or happiness. They celebrate when they are successful, and feel a sense of triumph in the same way that teachers are elated at the success of their students.”


a) Are they responsible if their wards do not succeed?
“No, since they have done everything that they could.”


503. Do protective spirits get upset when their wards proceed down the wrong road? Does it upset their own happiness?
“They are saddened by the errors of their wards and feel pity for them, but they do not experience the anguish of human parents because they know that if the wrongs committed by their wards are not remedied today, they will be tomorrow.”


504. Can we know the name of our protective spirits or guardian angels?
“How can you know their names if they have no existence for you? Is it not possible that there are spirits whom you do not know of?”


a) But how can we call them if we do not know who they are?
“Give them any name you wish – that of any superior spirit with whom you identify and respect. Your guardian angel will answer this call because all good spirits are brothers and sisters who are always ready to assist one another.”


505. Are the guardian angels who assume well-known names always the individuals who had those names?
“No, but they are like-minded spirits, and are often sent by their command. You require names, so they assume a name that will inspire you with confdence. When you are unable to execute a command in person, you send someone on your behalf.”


506. Will we recognize our protective spirit when we enter the spirit world?
“Yes, because you often knew it before you reincarnated.”


507. Do all protective spirits belong to higher orders? Are they sometimes average? Can parents, for example, become spirit guardians to their own children?
“They may but this would presume a certain degree of elevation and a quality granted by God. Parents who watch over their children may themselves be assisted by a more elevated spirit.”


508. Can all spirits who have departed the Earth under favorable conditions become the guardians of their loved ones who have stayed behind?
“Their power is restricted by their position, which does not always grant them full freedom of action.”


509. Do savages and morally inferior human beings have protective spirits? If so, are these spirits of the same order as those of civilized humanity? “All human beings have a spirit who watches over them, but their missions depend on their charge. A child who is learning to read does not have a professor of philosophy for this task. The advancement of the familiar spirit is always relative to that of the spirit it protects. While you have a higher spirit who watches over you, you may in turn become the guardian of a spirit who is lower than you. The progress you help that person make contributes to your own advancement. God does not ask for more from a spirit than its nature and degree of evolution can provide.”


510. When parents who watch over their child reincarnate, do they continue to watch over them?
“This task becomes more diffcult, but while free, parents may ask a like-minded spirit to assist them in accomplishing it. However, spirits do not undertake missions that they cannot see through to the end.”


“An incarnate spirit, especially in heavily material worlds, is debilitated by its body and cannot devote itself entirely to another. For this reason, those who are not elevated enough to serve as guardian angels are assisted by higher spirits, so that if the help of one spirit should fail, its place is flled by another.”


511. With the exception of protective spirits, are there wicked spirits who attach themselves to individuals to tempt them and cause them to struggle between good and bad?
“‘Attached’ is not accurate. It is very true that bad spirits try to draw you from the path of righteousness when they fnd an opportunity to do so. However, when one of them attaches to an individual it does so simply because it hopes the person is going to listen to them. In such a case, there is a struggle between a good and a bad spirit, and whoever successfully infuences that individual prevails.”


512. Could we have multiple protective spirits?
“Every one of you has a number of sympathetic spirits of varying degrees of elevation around you. They care about you out of love, and you have others who help you to do wrong, as well.”


513. Are sympathetic spirits forced to act as part of a mission?
“In some cases they may have a temporary mission, but they usually are drawn to an individual because they share similar good or bad sentiments.”


a) So it is correct to assume that sympathetic spirits can be either good or bad?
“Yes, human beings are always surrounded by spirits who are in sympathy with them, whatever their nature may be.”


514. Are “familiar spirits” the same as “sympathetic spirits” and “protective spirits”? “There are many levels of protection and sympathy, and you may call them whatever you like. A ‘familiar spirit’ is usually a friend of the home.”


Based on the above explanations and observing the nature of spirits connected to human beings, we can draw the following conclusions:
Protective spirits, familiar spirits or guardian angels have a mission to accompany the individuals they are protecting over the course of their lives and help them to advance. The degree of perfection in these protective spirits is always superior to that of their charges.
Familiar spirits connect with specifc people, for longer or short period of time, to be useful to them within the confnes of their possibilities, which can be quite narrow. They have the best intentions, but sometimes can be inappropriate and even fippant. They are concerned with the everyday details of human life and only act when permitted or ordered by a protective spirit.
Sympathetic spirits are drawn to us by personal affection, and similar good or bad inclinations. The length of their relationship with us is almost always dependent on circumstances.
A wicked spirit is an imperfect or perverse spirit who connects with someone in order to corrupt them. It acts of its own volition with no mission and its persistence is proportionate to the access granted to it. A person is always free to follow the suggestions of a bad spirit or to resist them.


515. What should we think of people who seem to attach themselves to certain individuals to lead them to their downfall, or guide them to the right path?
“Some individuals do in fact exercise a type of fascination over others that seems enticing. When used for malicious purposes it should be attributed to low order spirits who use contemptible people to more effectively overpower their victim. God may permit this as a means of enduring a trial.”


516. Could our good or bad guardian incarnate to more closely follow us in our human life?
“Sometimes, but they more frequently entrust this mission to incarnate spirits with whom they identify.”


517. Do spirits attach themselves to every member of a family to protect them?
“Some spirits attach themselves to family members who live together and are united by affection, but you must not think that guardian spirits are guilty of racial pride.”


518. As spirits are attracted to individuals based on their like-mindedness, are they attracted to groups of individuals for special purposes?
“Spirits go where they meet others like them, where they are more at ease and sure that someone will listen to them. Every one attracts spirits according to their predispositions, whether as an individual or as an element of a collective whole, such as a society, city or country. Societies, cities and countries are visited by various spirits, according to their predominant character and passions. Imperfect spirits withdraw from those who resist them. The moral excellence of collective wholes, like that of individuals, drives away bad spirits and attracts good ones, who maintain the sense of good among the masses, as others may spread the worst passions.”


519. Do agglomerations of individuals – such as societies, cities and countries – have their own special guardian spirits?
“Yes, because they constitute collective individualities pursuing a common goal, and that needs higher direction.”


520. Do the guardian spirits of groups of people have a higher ranking than those who connect to individuals?
“Their advancement is always proportionate to the degree of advancement of the humans involved, just as with individuals.”


521. Can certain spirits assist the progress of the arts by protecting those who foster and support them?
“There are special spirit protectors who assist those who call them, when they deem them to be worthy of their assistance. But what can they do for those who believe themselves to be something that they are not? They cannot make the blind see, nor make the deaf hear.”


The people of ancient times made these protective spirits special deities. The Muses were nothing more than the metaphoric personifcation of the guardians of arts and sciences, just like the family protective spirits were designated by the Roman names of lares and penates. Modern civilizations also have their patrons in the arts, in various industries, and in cities and countries, who are none other than higher guardian spirits, just under different names.

As each person has their own sympathetic spirit, most sympathetic spirits of a collective whole correspond to the majority of individuals that compose them, and that foreign spirits are attracted to such groups out of similarity of tastes and thoughts; in a word, that these groups, as well as individuals comprising them, are more or less surrounded, infuenced and supported according to the leading character of its members.

Among nations, spirits are attracted by the habits, manners and dominant characteristics of their people, and, particularly their legal system, because the character of a nation is refected in its laws. Those who uphold righteousness resist the infuence of wicked spirits. Wherever laws embody injustice and inhumanity, good spirits are in the minority and the bad ones who fock there keep the people trapped under their false ideas, and paralyze the good infuences that are lost in the crowd, like a single ear of corn in the midst of a sea of weeds. By studying the customs of nations or of any group of individuals, it is therefore easy to get an idea of the invisible population that meddles in their thoughts and actions.


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