THE SPIRITS’ BOOK

Allan Kardec

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217. Does a person preserve any traces of his or her physical nature from previous lives?
“When the body is destroyed, the new one has no connection to the old one. However, the spirit is refected in the body and despite the body only being matter, it is modeled based on the capacities of the spirit. Therefore, the latter imprints a specifc character that is most visible in the face, especially in the eyes which have been called the true window to the soul. In short, the face refects the soul more than the rest of the body. An extremely ugly face can even be attractive when it is the outer shell of a good, wise, and humane spirit. On the other hand, a handsome or beautiful face may not trigger any agreeable feelings, or may even incite repulsion. At frst sight, it may seem that only strong, healthy bodies could serve as the envelopes for good spirits. Yet every day we see virtuous and superior people with deformed bodies. Without the existence of any distinctive likeness between them, the similarity of tastes and inclinations may bestow a family-likeness upon the physical bodies successively embodying the same spirit.”


As the body housing the soul in a new incarnation does not have any essential connection with the one it has left (it may even belong to another race), it would be illogical to assume a series of lives from a likeness that may only be coincidental. Nevertheless, a spirit’s qualities often modify the body used for its manifestations, and give a distinctive look to the face, even in a general manner. This is how hints of nobility and dignity may be found even under the humblest shell, the attempt to disguise the immorality of an individual with luxurious clothing often fails. Some individuals, who have climbed up from the lowest standing, manage to adopt the habits and manners of the higher ranks with little effort as if it were natural, while others, despite their advantages of birth and education, always seem to be out of place in refned society. How can this be explained other than as a refection of a spirit’s past lives?

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