On Reincarnation - Justice of Reincarnation - Incarnation on Different Worlds - Progressive Transmigration - Fate of Children After Death - Gender of Spirits - Family Relationships - Physical and Moral Likeness - Innate Ideas
166. How can a soul that has not reached perfection during corporeal life
“By experiencing the trial of a new existence.”
a) How does the soul carry out this new existence? Is it through its transformation
as a spirit?
“The soul undergoes a transformation when it purifes itself. For
this transformation to happen, it needs to experience the trial of corporeal
b) Does the soul have multiple corporeal lives?
“Yes, we all have many lives. Those who say any different want you
to stay ignorant like them.”
c) This statement implies that the soul, after leaving one body, inhabits
another. In other words, it reincarnates itself. Is this correct?
167. What is the purpose of reincarnation?
“Atonement and the progressive betterment of humankind. Without
this, where would its justice lie?”
168. Is there a limited number of corporeal lives, or does a spirit continue to
reincarnate itself forever?
“With each new existence, a spirit takes a step forward in the path
of progress. When it sheds all its impurities, the spirit no longer needs
the trials of corporeal life.”
169. Is the number of incarnations the same for all spirits?
“No, a person who advances quickly is spared many trials. However,
these successive incarnations are always numerous because progress
is almost infnite.”
170. What does the spirit become after its fnal incarnation?
“A perfectly happy spirit; a pure spirit.”
Justice of Reincarnation
171. What is the basis of reincarnation?
“Reincarnation is based on God’s justice and revelation. An affectionate
father, as we have already explained, always grants his children
the opportunity to redeem themselves, no matter how rebellious they
may be. Reason alone dictates that it would be unfair to infict eternal
misery on those who have not had the opportunity to improve themselves.
Aren’t we all God’s children? Injustice, merciless hatred, and unrelenting
punishments are only found in the worlds of selfsh people.”
All spirits strive for perfection and God provides them this
opportunity through the trials of corporeal life. Divine justice
compels them to use their new existence to do what they were
not able to do or complete in a prior trial.
It would not be consistent with God’s justice or goodness to
condemn to eternal suffering those who have encountered obstacles
to their improvement, obstacles that may have resulted
from circumstances beyond their control, and, thus, are independent
of their will. If the fate of humankind were conclusively
determined after death, God would not have weighed the
actions of all objectively and according to the same criteria.
Reincarnation, which asserts that people have many successive
lives, is the only theory that satisfes the idea that we form of
God’s justice with regard to those who are placed in morally inferior
conditions. It is the only one that can explain the future
and give us hope because it offers us a way to make amends
for our errors through new trials. This concept is indicated by
reason, and taught by the spirits.
People who are aware of their own inferiority obtain reassuring
hope from the concept of reincarnation. If they believe in
God’s justice, they cannot reasonably hope to be immediately
placed on the same level as those who have made a better use of
life. However, the knowledge that they will not be barred from
supreme happiness forever based on this inferiority, and the
fact that they will be able to reach this happiness through new
efforts resuscitates their courage and replenishes their energy.
Who does not, at the end of their career, laments that an experience
was acquired too late to be of actual use? This is not a
loss, for they proft from it in a new corporeal life.
Incarnation on Different Worlds
172. Are all our different corporeal existences lived on Earth?
“No, not all of them. There are many different worlds on which we
may live our lives. This world is neither the frst nor the last, but it is defnitely
one of the most material and furthest removed from perfection.”
173. Does the soul pass from one world to another for each new life or can
multiple lives be in the same world?
“A soul may live in the same world many times, if it is not ready to
move onto a higher one.”
a) So, we can live on Earth several times?
b) Can we come back after living on other worlds?
“Of course, you may have already lived elsewhere and on Earth.”
174. Must we live on Earth again?
“No, but if you do not advance, you could end up on a world that
not only is not better than this one, it could be worse.”
175. Is there any sort of advantage in coming back to Earth?
“There is no special advantage, unless it is to fulfll a mission. In
that case, the spirit advances, wherever it may be.”
a) Wouldn’t we be happier to remain a spirit?
“No, no! Because we would remain stationary and we want to get
closer to God.”
176. Can spirits come to this world for the frst time after they incarnate in
“Yes, just as you may go to others. All the worlds are in solidarity.
What is not accomplished in one is completed in another.”
a) So, there are people who are on Earth for the frst time?
“Many, and at various degrees.”
b) Is there any sign marking spirits who are here for the frst time?
“This would not be of any use to you.”
177. To arrive at perfection and supreme happiness, the ultimate goal of
humankind, does a spirit need to pass through all the worlds that exist in
“No, there are many worlds of the same degree where a spirit
would learn nothing new.”
a) Then how can we explain multiple lives in the same world?
“A person may fnd him or herself in very different situations each
time, which provide the opportunity for growth and experience.”
178. Can spirits live in a world that is inferior to the one in which they have
“Yes, when fulflling a mission to advance progress. In this case,
they gladly accept the trials of such an existence, because these provide
them with a means to advance.”
a) Can this also occur as a means of atonement? Can God send defant
spirits to lower worlds?
“Spirits may remain stationary, but they never regress. Their atonement
is not advancing, and by having to restart their squandered lives
under the conditions best suited to their nature.”
b) Who is forced to restart the same existence?
“Anyone who fails to fulfll a mission or endure a trial.”
179. Have all the beings that inhabit a given world arrived at the same degree
“No, just as on Earth, some are more advanced, while others are
180. Do spirits retain the intelligence that they possessed in one world, when
moving on to another?
“Of course, intelligence is never lost. They may not have the same
means of manifesting it, which depends both on their superiority and
on the quality of the body they will assume.” (See, Infuence of Body.)
181. Do the beings that inhabit other worlds have bodies like ours?
“Of course they have bodies; a spirit must be clothed in matter to
act upon matter. This envelope is more or less material according to the purity of each spirit, and these levels of purity determine the different
worlds through which they will be able to pass. There are many
dwelling places in our Father’s house, and therefore many degrees
among those dwellings. Some know this and are cognizant of this fact
while on Earth, others are not.”
182. Can we know precisely the physical and moral state of different worlds?
“As spirits, we can only make revelations according to your degree,
meaning that we cannot reveal these things to everyone because some
are not equipped to comprehend such revelations, and would be confused
As a spirit is purifed, the body that clothes it also approaches
the spiritual nature. Being less dense, it no longer crawls on
the ground. Its physical needs more refned and it is no longer
forced to destroy other beings to feed itself. At this stage
of spiritual development, the spirit enjoys more freedom and
possesses methods of perception that are unknown to us. It can
see with its eyes what we see only in thought.
A spirit’s level of purifcation determines the moral excellence
of the corporeal beings in which they are incarnated. The animal
passions become weaker, and selfshness gives way to the
sense of brotherhood.
In higher worlds, wars do not exist. There is no hatred or confict
because they are pointless, no one would even dream of
doing harm to their fellow beings. Their intuitive foresight and
the security resulting from a conscience free of remorse allow
them to face death without apprehension. They look upon it
without fear and as a simple transformation.
The length of a lifetime in different worlds appears to be proportionate
to the moral and physical superiority of each world
and this is perfectly rational. The less material the body, the less
subject it is to the torments that disturb corporeal life. The purer
the spirit, the less subject it is to the passions that undermine it.
This correspondence between moral and physical circumstances
is proof of God’s compassion, Who aims to reduce suffering.
183. Does the spirit go through a new infancy when passing from one world
“Infancy is a necessary transition everywhere. However, it is not as
underdeveloped in all worlds as in yours.”
184. Does a spirit choose the new world it will inhabit?
“Not always, but requests can be made that may be granted if the
spirit has earned it. Worlds can only be accessed by spirits according to
the degree of their elevation.”
a) If a spirit makes no request, what determines the world in which it will
“The degree of its elevation.”
185. Is the physical and moral state of living beings on every globe always
“No, worlds are also subject to the law of progress. Like yours, all
have started out by being inferior, and the Earth will undergo a transformation
similar to what has occurred on countless other worlds. It
will become an earthly paradise when the people who inhabit it have
The human beings that currently populate the Earth will gradually
disappear, and will be succeeded by increasingly perfect races.
These transformed races will replace the current human race,
as the latter succeeded others that were even more rudimentary.
186. Are there worlds where the spirit, having ceased to inhabit a material
body, only has the perispirit as an envelope?
“Yes and this envelope becomes so ethereal that, for you, it is as if
it did not exist. This is the state of pure spirits.”
a) It seems as though that statement implies that there is no clear line
between the state of the fnal incarnations and that of a pure spirit.
“No, this differentiation does not exist. However, as the difference
between them continues to diminish, they blur into one another just
as the darkness of night fades into dawn.”
187. Is the perispirit the same in every world?
“No, it is more or less ethereal. In passing from one world to another,
a spirit dons the matter of each, changing its envelope at the
speed of lightning.”
188. Do pure spirits inhabit special worlds, or are they in universal space
without being attached to any specifc planet?
“Pure spirits inhabit specifc worlds, but they are not confned to
them as people are on Earth. They possess the highest power of instantaneous
(1) According to the spirits, Earth and its inhabitants, both physically and morally,
is one of the least advanced of all the planets of our solar system. Mars
is even lower, and Jupiter is greatly superior to Earth in every respect. The
Sun is not inhabited by corporeal beings, but constitutes a meeting place for
higher spirits to irradiate their thoughts to the other worlds that they govern
through lower spirits, to whom they transmit their action through the universal
fuid. In terms of physical makeup, the sun is a center of electricity, and all other stars seem to be identical to ours in nature and function. The
size of the planets and their distance from the sun have no bearing on their
individual degree of advancement. For example, Venus is said to be more
advanced than Earth, and Saturn less advanced than Jupiter.
Spirits that have been embodied as many well-known individuals on Earth
are said to be reincarnated on Jupiter, a world that is one of the closest to
perfection. Learning that individuals who did not merit such placement
have been welcomed to such, an advanced planet garnered quite a bit of
shock. We do not fnd anything surprising here. First, we must consider
that some spirits who have roamed this planet may have been sent here
on a mission, despite seeming to hold a low or inferior rank in our eyes.
Second, these individuals may have had intermediary existences between
their lives on Earth and on Jupiter, during which they made great strides
in self-improvement. Lastly, there are infnite degrees of development on
Jupiter, just as here on Earth, and there may be as much distance between
said degrees as between a savage and a civilized person on Earth. Living
on Jupiter does not necessarily imply they have become equal to the most
advanced beings, just as an illiterate fool is not considered equal to a philosopher
simply because they both live in Paris.
The conditions of longevity are different and no comparison can be made
between ages. A person, who died several years ago, was contacted and
stated that he had been incarnated in a world for six months, a world that
is unknown to us. When asked his age in that world, he replied, “I’m not
sure because we do not count time the same way you do. Second, our mode
of existence is not the same. Our development is much more rapid in this
world. Despite only being here for six months, according to your measurement
of time, I am about what one usually is at the age of thirty on Earth
in terms of intelligence.”
Other spirits have given many similar replies, and nothing implausible has
been observed. On Earth, many animals acquire full development in only a
few months. Is there any reason why the same cannot apply to people in other
worlds? We should point out, however, that the degree of development
acquired by a 30-year-old man on Earth is only infancy when compared to
his destiny. Those who consider humanity, in its current form, as the standard
of creation are quite shortsighted. To assume that ours is the only type
of existence in the universe is to undervalue God’s Divine power. A.K.
189. Does a spirit enjoy all of its faculties from its creation?
Fate of Children after Death
“No. As in the case of human beings, spirits experience infancy.
At birth, they only have an instinctive existence, and scarcely possess
any cognizance of themselves or their actions. Their intelligence develops
190. What is the state of the soul at its frst incarnation?
“Equivalent to human infancy. Its intelligence is only beginning to
bloom, it may be said to be testing out life.”
191. Are the souls of savages in a state of infancy?
“Relative infancy, but they have already experienced some development
because they have passions.”
a) Are passions a sign of development?
“Development yes, but not of perfection. They are a sign of activity
and an awareness of the Self. In the embryonic state of the soul, intelligence
and vitality exist only as seeds.”
A spirit goes through successive phases similar to those of the
corporeal life. It develops slowly from an embryo to infancy, and
reaches adulthood through a succession of periods, destined to
reach perfection. The main difference between these two lives
is that spirits are not subject to weakness or deterioration. The
life of a spirit, while having a beginning, has no end. It takes a
vast span of time, according to our perception of it, in passing
from infancy to mature development, and this progression is
completed by passing through various worlds. The spirit life is
a sequence of corporeal lives, each providing an opportunity
for progress. These lives are made up of days, each an opportunity
to acquire experience and knowledge. However, just as
a person may have unproductive days, a spirit may have a futile
corporeal existence because it has failed to properly leverage it.
192. By leading a perfect life now, could we skip all the degrees and become a
pure spirit without passing through the intermediate levels?
“No, because what human beings believe to be perfection is actually
quite far from it. Some qualities exist that are unknown to them,
and in the current state, they have no means of comprehending them.
They may be as perfect as is humanly possible on Earth, but still far
from absolute perfection. A child, no matter how bright or talented
it may be, must go through youth to reach adulthood, and a patient
must recuperate before making a complete recovery. Additionally, a
spirit must advance both intellectually and morally. If it has advanced
in only one of these directions, it must match this development in the
other to reach the top of the ladder. The more a person advances in
the present life, the shorter and less painful his or her future trials will
be in later existences.”
a) Can people assure themselves a future existence with less bitterness
than their present life?
“Yes, of course, they can shorten the length and diffculties of the
road. Only the person who neglects advancement remains stagnant.”
193. Can individuals fall to a lower point than the one they have already
reached in new lives?
“In terms of social position, yes. As a spirit, no.”
194. Can the soul of a good person inhabit the body of a scoundrel when
“No, because a spirit cannot regress.”
a) Can the soul of a wicked person become that of a good one?
“Yes, if he or she repents, it is a reward.”
Spirit advancement is always progressive and never regressive.
They gradually rise in the spirit hierarchy and never regress
from the point at which they have arrived. Throughout their
different corporeal lives, they may be downgraded as human
beings, but not as spirits. Therefore, the soul of a person who
has reached the peak of material power may, in a subsequent
life, be a modest artisan, and vice versa, because positions
among individuals are frequently the inverse of the elevation
of their morality. Herod was a king, and Jesus a carpenter.
195. Could the ability to improve in a future existence result in some people
leading immoral lives, when they know that they are always able to make
amends at some point in time?
“Such a premise indicates no real belief in anything and the idea of
eternal punishment could not affect such individuals anyway, because
their reason would reject it and lead to skepticism in everything. If only
reason guided people, there would not be so many skeptics. An imperfect
spirit might reason this way during physical life, but once freed
from the shackles of the material body, they have a dramatically different
way of thinking. They realize that they made a great error and this
causes them to adopt an opposite sense in their next existence. This is
how progress is accomplished and why some are more advanced than
others. Some people have already had the experiences that others
have yet to go through, acquiring them little by little, and each spirit is
responsible for their own progress or delaying it indefnitely.”
Those who hold an inferior position want to change it as soon
as possible. In addition, those who know that the trials and
tribulations of the present life are the consequences of their
own imperfections seek any means possible to insure a new
existence that is less painful. This attitude will much more effectively
keep them away from a bad path than the threat of
eternal fre, which they do not believe in anyway.
196. Since spirits can only improve by experiencing the tribulations of physical
existence, does physical life equate to a type of sieve or flter, through
which the beings of the spirit world must pass to reach perfection?
“Precisely. They improve themselves through these trials by avoiding
wrongdoing and practicing the good. It is only through many successive
incarnations or purifcations and after a longer or shorter lapse
of time that they succeed in reaching their goal, in accordance with
a) Does the body infuence the spirit to improve or does the spirit infuence
“Your spirit is everything and your body is nothing but a decaying
envelope, that is all.”
There is a material comparison of the purifcation of the soul
in the juice of the vine. It contains the liquid called the spirit,
or alcohol, but it is weakened by numerous foreign elements
that change its nature. It requires several distillations to reach
absolute purity, each of which remove a fraction of its impurities.
The still is the body into which it must enter for purifcation,
and the foreign elements are the perispirit, which gradually
purifes itself as the spirit approaches perfection.
197. Are the spirit of children who die as infants as advanced as those of adults?
“Sometimes much more, for they may have previously lived longer
and acquired more experience, especially if they have made progress.”
a) Can the spirit of a child be more advanced than that of his or her father?
“This happens very frequently. Do you not often see it in your world?”
198. In the case of a child who has died very young without ever having the
opportunity to do wrong, is his or her spirit a higher spirit?
“If the child has not had the opportunity to do wrong, it has not
had the opportunity to do anything good either and God does not exempt
the child from the trials that he or she must undergo. If the child
is pure, it is not because it is a child, but because it is more advanced.”
199. Why is life often cut short in childhood?
“The short-lived life of a child may be a complement to a previous
existence interrupted before its intended end. In addition, the child’s
death is often a trial or atonement for their parents.”
a) What happens to the spirit of a child who dies young?
“It restarts a new existence.”
If a human being has only one existence and his or her future
is determined for all eternity after this one existence, how
could half the human race that dies in infancy, merit eternal happiness without putting forth any effort? What exempts
them from the often painful conditions of progress inficted
on others? This would not be consistent with God’s justice. Reincarnation
acts as the most supreme justice equally distributed
to all. The possibilities of the future are open to all without any
exception or preference being given to any. Those who are the
last to arrive have only themselves to blame. Each person must
merit happiness by his or her own actions, and bear the consequences
of their wrongdoing.
Viewing childhood as a normal state of innocence is completely
irrational. Do we not see children who display wicked instincts
at an age when even education could not have yet any infuence
on them? Many seem to be crafty, dishonest, devious, and even
display the instincts of theft and murder from birth, despite
the good examples surrounding them. Criminal law absolves
them from their wrongs, asserting that they have acted without
judgment, which is correct because their actions are instinctive
rather than the product of deliberate intent. However, from
where do these different instincts of children of the same age,
raised under the same conditions, and subjected to the same
infuences originate? If not from the inferiority of the spirit,
where does this mature perversity come from since education
has played no role? Those who are vicious have a spirit that has
made less progress and each suffers the consequences, not of
their actions as a child, but as the result of wrongful actions in
prior lives. The law is the same for everyone, and no one can
escape God’s justice.
Gender of Spirits
200. Do spirits have a gender?
“Not as you comprehend it, because gender depends on the physical
makeup. Love and sympathy exist among them, but founded on a
similarity of sentiments.”
201. Can a spirit that has animated the body of a man animate the body of a
woman in a new existence, and vice versa?
“Yes, the same spirit can animate both male and female bodies.”
202. Does a spirit, when in the spirit world, prefer to be incarnated as a man
or as a woman?
“Spirits are indifferent in this regard, which is always decided according
to the trials that they must undergo.”
Spirits incarnate themselves as men or women because they
have no gender and, as it is necessary for them to develop in
every direction, both sexes, as well as every variety of social position,
provide them with special trials and duties, and with the
opportunity of acquiring experience. A spirit who always incarnate
as a man would only possess the experiences and knowledge
203. Do parents transfer a part of their soul to their children? Or do they only give
them the organic life to which another soul then adds the moral life?
“Only the organic life is given by the parents because the soul is
indivisible. A daft father may have intelligent children, and vice versa.”
204. Do our relationships extend beyond our present existence since we have
had many lives?
“Of course. The succession of their physical lives establishes a variety
of relationships among spirits, which date back to their former
lives. These relationships are often the cause of the empathy or aversion
which you sometimes feel towards individuals whom you seem to
meet for the frst time.”
205. It would appear that, for some, reincarnation seems to destroy family ties
by carrying them back to periods prior to our present existence.
“It extends rather than destroys them. On the contrary, the idea
that present relationships are based on prior affections makes the
bonds between members of the same family less precarious. It makes
the duties of brotherhood even more crucial, because your neighbor
or your servant may be the incarnation of a spirit who has formerly
related to you by blood.”
a) Regardless, it diminishes the importance that many people give to their
ancestry, since we may have had a spirit that has belonged to a different race
than our father, or one that has held a different social standing.
“That is true, but this importance is usually based on pride because
most people honor their ancestors’ title, rank, and fortune. Many are
embarrassed to admit that they have an honest shoemaker for a grandfather,
but boast being the descendant of debauchee of noble birth.
No matter what people may say or do, they cannot prevent the actions
of Divine order. God has not established natural law to meet the demands
of human vanity.”
206. If there is no relationship between the spirits successive reincarnations
as the descendants of the same family, is it foolish to honor the memory of
“Of course not, people should celebrate belonging to a family that
counts elevated spirits among its members. Although spirits do not
proceed from one another, their affection for those who are related
to them by family ties is real. People are often led to incarnate in such
and such a family because of preexisting links, and by the infuence
of attractions due to relationships from previous lives. You can rest
assured that the spirits of your ancestors are in no way gratifed by the
honors you pay to their memory from a sentiment of pride. Their merits,
no matter how great, can only add to your incentives by stimulating
your efforts to follow the good examples they may have set for you.
Through emulation of their good qualities your memory can become
pleasant and valuable.”
Physical and Moral Likeness
207. Parents often transfer physical likeness to their children; do they also
transfer moral likeness?
“No, because they have different souls or spirits. The body may
yield a body, but the spirit does not yield any other spirit. The descendants
of the same race share nothing other than blood.”
a) What causes the moral likeness that sometimes exists between parents
“The infuence of moral sympathy, which brings together spirits
with similar thoughts and inclinations.”
208. Do the spirits of the parents have any infuence over the spirit of their
child after birth?
“They have a very large infuence on it. As we have already told you, spirits
are made to contribute to one another’s progress. The spirits of the parents are
entrusted with the mission of developing those of their children by the training
they give them. It is a task that is appointed to them, and which they cannot
fail to fulfll without feeling a sense of guilt.”
209. How is it that good and virtuous parents often give birth to children
who are perverse and malicious in nature? In other words, how is it that the
good qualities of the parents do not always attract a good spirit to embody
“A bad spirit may ask to have good, honest parents in the hope that
their counsel may help him or her mend their ways, and God often entrusts such a child to the care of virtuous individuals so that they
may beneft from their love and care.”
210. Can parents attract a good spirit into the body of their child by their
objectives and prayers?
“No, but they can improve the spirit of the child, who was entrusted
to them for that purpose. It is their duty to do this, but bad children
are often sent as a trial for the improvement of the parents as well.”
211. What causes the similarity of character that so often exists among siblings,
especially between twins?
“The understanding that exits between two spirits who are attracted
by similarities of thoughts and ideas, and who are happy to
212. In the case of conjoined twins who share some of their organs, are there
two spirits or two souls?
“Yes, but their likeness often makes them seem as though there
were only one.”
213. Since spirits incarnate as twins due to feelings of sympathy, from where
does the hostility that is sometimes felt by twins for one another originate?
“There is no set rule stating that only sympathetic spirits are incarnated
as twins. Unsympathetic spirits may have formed this link to try to
work out their differences during a new physical life.”
214. How should we interpret the stories of children fghting in their mother’s
“As a fgurative representation of their animosity towards one another,
which goes back to times before their birth. People rarely make
suffcient allowance for the fgurative element in certain statements.”
215. What is the cause of the distinctive character that we observe in each
population or ethnic group?
“Spirits make up different families, formed based on the similarity
of their tendencies, which are more or less purifed according to their
elevation. Each population is a large family made up of sympathetic
spirits. The tendency of the members of these families to unite is the
source of the similarity that forms the distinctive character of each
population. Do you think that good and compassionate spirits would
want to be a part of a hard and unrefned population? No, spirits sympathize
with the masses in the same manner that they sympathize with
individuals. They go to the region where they will fnd the most harmony
with the inhabitants.”
216. In its new existence, does a spirit preserve any traces of the moral character
exhibited in its former lives?
“Yes, but it changes as it improves. Its social standing may also change
greatly in successive lives. After being a master in one existence and becoming
a slave in another, their tastes are altogether different and it is
diffcult to recognize them. Since it is the same spirit, there may be certain
similarities between the manifestations of their character in successive
lives, but these manifestations refect the change in conditions and habits
particular to each new corporeal life, until the character has improved
and completely changed. People who were once arrogant and cruel can
become humble and humane through repentance and effort.”
217. Does a person preserve any traces of his or her physical nature from
“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?Innate Ideas
218. Does a spirit preserve any trace of the thoughts and ideas it had or the
knowledge it acquired in past lives?
“It retains a vague memory, which gives the spirit what you call
a) So the theory of innate ideas is not pure fantasy?
“No, the knowledge acquired in each life is not lost. When a spirit
is free from the material body, it always remembers what it has learned.
It may forget this knowledge partially or temporarily when it reincarnates.
However, the dormant intuition that it maintains helps it advance.
If this intuition did not exist, the spirit would always have to
begin its education from scratch. In a new life, a spirit picks up from
the point at which it had left at the end of its previous life.”
b) If that is the case, there must be a very close connection between two
“That connection is not always as close as you might think, since the
conditions of the two lives are often very different, and the spirit may
have made considerable progress in the interval between them.” (216)
219. What is the origin of the extraordinary faculties of individuals who
appear to intuitively possess certain felds of knowledge, such as languages,
mathematics, and so on, without any formal education?
“The vague recollection of their past, the result of progress previously
made by the soul, but of which it has no present consciousness.
From where else could that intuition originate? A spirit may change its
body or shell, but it remains the same.”
220. Can we lose certain intellectual faculties when we change our bodies,
such as an interest in the arts?
“Yes, if you have tarnished that faculty or made bad use of it. An
intellectual faculty may also lie dormant for an entire existence because
the spirit chooses to exercise another faculty that is completely
unrelated to the latent ability. However, it will come into play in a future
221. Are the instinctive knowledge of God’s existence and the intuition of a
future life due to retrospective memory, which appears to be natural to human
beings even savages?
“Yes, it is a memory that a person maintains of what they knew as a
spirit before reincarnation, but pride often stifes this feeling.”
a) Are beliefs that are similar to Spiritism found across all nations due
to this memory?
“The principles contained in Spiritism are as old as time itself and
are consequently found everywhere. Incarnate spirits maintain the intuition
of their time as a spirit and possess an instinctive consciousness
of the spirit world. Still, this intuition is often tainted by prejudices,
ignorance and superstition.”