THE SPIRITS’ BOOK

Allan Kardec

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402. How can we prove a spirit’s freedom during sleep?
“By dreams. When the body is asleep, a spirit enjoys the use of faculties it does not possess when awake. It remembers the past and sometimes sees the future. It acquires more power, and is able to communicate with other spirits, either in this world or in another. You often say, ‘I had a strange dream, a terrible dream, nothing like reality.’ You are mistaken in thinking this because it is often a recollection of places and things that you have seen in the past, or a premonition of those that you will see in a future existence, or even in this life at some future time. As the body is slow, the spirit tries to break free of its shackles and seeks, in the past or in the future, any means of doing so.”


“Poor humans! How little you know regarding the most basic phenomena in your life! You fancy yourselves to be very educated and are puzzled by the most ordinary things. You are incapable of answering simple questions that a child might ask, such as, ‘What do we do when we are asleep?’ ‘What are dreams?’”


“Sleep frees the soul partially from the body. When you sleep, your spirit is in the state in which you will fnd yourself after death. The spirits who are promptly freed from matter upon death are those who, during their life, had intelligent sleep. Such individuals meet with other spirits superior to themselves when asleep. They spend time with them, conversing and learning from them. They even work on undertakings in the spirit world that they discover to already be initiated or completed upon death. Based on this you should see how death should not be feared, since you ‘die daily’20 according to the words of a saint.


“What we have just stated refers to elevated spirits. Those who remain in a state of confusion and uncertainty for hours after death venture into worlds lower than Earth when asleep. They are drawn back to these worlds by old penchants, or the attraction of desires or inclinations more despicable than those to which they are addicted in your world. During these visits, they accumulate more shameful and mischievous ideas than those that they had acknowledged when awake. What produces a sense of sympathy in the physical life is nothing more than the fact that they feel attracted to those with whom they have spent eight or nine hours of happiness or pleasure. On the other hand, the basis of the unyielding aversion they sometimes feel for certain individuals is also found in the intuitive knowledge they have acquired that those individuals have a conscience that is different than theirs. They know them without having physically seen them. This same fact explains the indifference some people feel for others. They do not care to make new friends, because they know that they have others who love and cherish them. Sleep has more infuence than you think on your life.”


“Incarnate spirits connect with the spirit world through sleep. This is why higher spirits agree to incarnate themselves among you. God has resolved that they may fortify themselves at the source of goodness during their contact with vice so that they may not fall into wrongdoing while trying to enlighten others. God opens the gate of slumber, through which they may pass to see their friends in the spirit world. It is their leisure time after work, while awaiting their fnal liberation, which restores them to their true place.”


“Dreams are the recollection of what your spirit has seen during sleep. However, you must realize that you do not always dream, because you do not always remember what you have seen, or everything that you have seen. Your dreams do not always refect the action of your soul in its full development. They often are merely the refection of the confusion accompanying your departure or return, sprinkled with the hazy recollection of what you have done, or what has occupied your thoughts in your waking state. How else can you explain the absurd dreams dreamt by the wisest and most foolish of human beings? Bad spirits also use dreams to torment weak and apprehensive souls.”


“You will soon see the development of another kind of dream, one that is primordial but of which you are unaware. This dream is that of Joan of Arc, Jacob, the Jewish prophets, and certain Hindu ascetics, a dream that is the memory of the soul’s experiences while entirely free from the body. This is the memory of the second life of which I just spoke.”


“You should try to carefully distinguish between these two kinds of dreams, at least out of those that you are able to recall, otherwise you run the risk of falling into contradictions and errors that would be prejudicial to your faith.”


Dreams are a consequence of the emancipation of the soul. Souls have more independence by the suspension of the active and social life, and enjoy indefnite clairvoyance extending to faraway places, or those we have never seen, or even to other worlds. This emancipation is what causes the reminiscence that retraces the events from our present or prior lives. The peculiarity of the images of what has taken place in worlds unknown to us, mixed with the present world, produces bizarre and whimsical patchworks that seem to be devoid of meaning. The incoherence of dreams is further explained by gaps resulting from the incomplete recollection of what has appeared to us in our dreams. This incompleteness is similar to a narrative that has whole sentences or sections omitted, and the remaining fragments are randomly thrown together, with a resulting loss of all logical meaning.

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