THE SPIRITS’ BOOK

Allan Kardec

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394. On worlds that are more advanced than ours, where beings are not subject to all our physical needs and infrmities do they understand that they are happier than we are? Happiness is usually relative and it is felt in comparison with a state that is less happy. As some of those worlds have not reached perfection, despite being better than ours, their inhabitants must have their own troubles. While wealthy people here might not endure the physical poverty that tortures the poor, they are still victims to other kinds of troubles that embitter their lives. Thence, I would ask if the inhabitants of those other worlds consider themselves to be just as unhappy, according to their standard of happiness, as we consider ourselves to be according to ours? Do they complain of their fate, since they do not recall their inferior lives to serve as a standard of comparison?
“There are two different answers to this question. In some worlds, the inhabitants have a very clear memory of their past lives, and therefore can and do appreciate the happiness that God permits them to enjoy. However, there are others where the inhabitants, despite living in better conditions than you, are still subject to great troubles and much unhappiness. They do not appreciate their lives because they have no recollection of a worse existence. Although they do not appreciate those conditions as men and women, they appreciate them as spirits.”


The unconsciousness of our past lives, especially when painful, is somewhat providential and reveals the divine wisdom. The recollection of our painful past lives is nothing more than the vague memory of a bad dream when they are fnally permitted to reenter our memory in superior worlds. The painfulness of present suffering, in lower worlds, would be greatly aggravated by the memory of all the misery we may have experienced in the past. This allows us to conclude that everything that God has made is well-made, and it is not up to us to fnd fault with God’s works, or decide how God should regulate the universe.


The memory of our past lives would present many serious disadvantages. In some cases, it would cause cruel humiliation, while in others it might prompt pride that would hamper our free will. God has given us just what is necessary and suffcient for us to improve ourselves: the voice of our conscience and our instinctive predispositions. God keeps anything that would be a source of injury away from us. Let us add that if we preserved the memory of our former personalities and actions, we would also remember those of other people. This knowledge would have a disastrous effect on our social relations. We do not always have a reason to be proud of our past, it is better that it is hidden. This concept is in perfect harmony with the statements of spirits about the worlds that are more evolved than ours. In those worlds, where moral excellence reigns, there is nothing painful in recalling the past, and the inhabitants of those happier worlds remember their past lives as we remember what we did yesterday. The visits that they may have made to lower worlds are nothing more than a vague nightmare.

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