THE SPIRITS’ BOOK

Allan Kardec

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752. Is cruelty linked to the instinct of destruction?
“It is the instinct of destruction in its worst form, because while destruction is sometimes necessary, cruelty never is. It is always the result of a wicked nature.”


753. Why is cruelty the dominant characteristic of primitive humans?
“Among primitive peoples, as you call them, matter overpowers the spirit. They surrender to their animal instincts, and as they only care about their physical lives, they think only of self- preservation. This normally makes them cruel. In addition, people whose development is still imperfect are under the influence of imperfect spirits, with whom they attune, until more advanced people arrive and destroy or weaken that influence.”


754. Does cruelty indicate the absence of a moral sense?
“You can say that a moral sense may not be developed, but do not say that it is absent. Its principle exists in every human being, and over the course of time it makes beings kind and humane. It exists in the savage, just like a bud contains its scent before it blooms into a flower.”


Human beings contain within themselves every faculty or ability in a rudimentary or latent state. These faculties develop according to the circumstances in which humans find themselves. The excessive development of some halts or offsets that of others. The overstimulation of the material instincts extinguishes the moral sense, as the development of the moral sense gradually weakens animal faculties.


755. Why do we sometimes find individuals as cruel as savages in the most advanced societies?
“Just as you may find rotten fruit on a tree that is flourishing with healthy fruit. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing, wearing the cloak of civilization. Low spirits may incarnate among more advanced human beings in the hope of advancing themselves. However, if the trial is too difficult, their rudimentary nature prevails.”


756. Will a society of good people one day be purged of sinners and criminals?
“The human race is progressing. Those who are under the power of wrongdoing and who are out of place among good people will gradually disappear, just as defective grains are separated from the good when wheat is threshed. These spirits are reborn into another body and as they acquire more experience, they will arrive at a clearer understanding of good and evil. You have an example of this in the plants and animals that the human race has found a way to improve, and in which it develops new qualities. It is only after several generations that the improvement becomes complete. This is the perfect metaphor of the different lives of each human being.”


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