THE SPIRITS’ BOOK

Allan Kardec

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CHAPTER IV
III. LAW OF REPRODUCTION
Population of the Globe - Succession and Development of the Human Race - Obstacles to Reproduction - Marriage and Celibacy - Polygamy

Population of the Globe

686. Is the reproduction of living beings a natural law?
“Of course. The physical world would die without reproduction.”

687. If the global population continues to grow as it has up until now, will it become too large over the course of time?
“No, God always maintains a balance and does not make allowances for anything useless. The human species sees only a small corner of the universe, and as such it is unable to recognize the harmony of the whole.”

Succession and Development of the Human Race

688. There are groups of humans today that are rapidly vanishing from the face of the earth. Will they eventually disappear?
“Yes, but this will only happen because others will have taken their place, just as you will also one day be replaced by others.”

689. Are the human beings currently living on Earth a new creation or the improved descendants of prehistoric human beings?
“They are the same spirits that have come back to improve themselves in new bodies, but who are still very far from reaching perfection. The current human race that is slowly invading the Earth, and replacing preexisting humans, will one day decline in number and disappear. It will be replaced by other, more perfect races that will be descendants of the present race, as civilized men and women today are derived from the wild savages of prehistoric times.”

690. From a purely physical standpoint, are the bodies of humans today a unique creation or are they advanced versions of the bodies of the prehistoric races?
“The origin of the various human races is lost in the night of time. However as they all belong to the human family, they have formed alliances with one another and produced new types, regardless of the prehistoric root of each.”

691. From a physical standpoint, what are the unique and dominant characteristics of prehistoric races?
“They are characterized by the development of physical power to the detriment of intellectual power. Right now the opposite occurs, human beings act through their intelligence rather than through their bodily strength and accomplish a hundredfold more than they did in the past because they have learned to leverage the forces of nature, which animals cannot do.”

692. Does using science to improve vegetables and animals contradict the law of nature? Would it be more compliant with that law to allow them to follow their natural course?
“All beings must contribute to help general progress move forward in every way possible. God employs the human race as instruments for the perfection that is the goal of everything in nature. The act of assisting in this process of improvement is the way in which humanity can participate in carrying out Divine plans.”

a) In their efforts to improve various species, humans are normally motivated by self-interest and have no goal other than increasing their own personal happiness. Does this not diminish the merit of their actions?
“What does it matter if their merit is insignificant, as long as progress is accomplished? It is up to them to make their labor admirable by their intention. Nevertheless, these improvements help human beings develop their intelligence and derive the greatest value from their efforts.”

Obstacles to Reproduction

693. Do the laws society create to hamper reproduction conflict with the laws of nature?
“Whatever thwarts nature conflicts with the general law.”

a) For many species of animals and vegetables, unrestricted reproduction would be harmful to other species and would be destructive to the human race. Is it wrong for humankind to stop their reproduction?
“God has given human beings, over all the other living beings on the planet, a power that should be used for the general good and not for abuse. They may regulate reproduction according to their needs, but they should not completely obstruct it without good reason. Human intelligence is a counterweight granted by God for restoring balance to the forces of nature. Once again, humans are set apart from animals because they are conscious of this process, while animals unconsciously contribute to maintaining the balance of nature through their instinct of destruction. This animal instinct, while maintaining their survival, also causes them to stop the excessive development of the animals and vegetables that they consume, which would otherwise become an imminent source of danger.”

694. What should we think of contraceptive methods created solely to satisfy sexual desires?
“They prove the power of the body over the soul, and show how deeply human beings have become immersed in their material existence.”

Marriage and Celibacy

695. Is marriage, the permanent union of two beings, contrary to the law of nature?
“It is progress that has been achieved by humankind.”

696. If marriages were abolished, what would be the effect on human society?
“Regressing to the level of wild animals and savages.” The free and unplanned union of the sexes is natural. Marriage is one of the first results of progress in human societies because it establishes fraternal unity, found in every nation and among every ethnic group though under different conditions. If marriage were abolished, humanity would regress to infancy, and would place humans below a few animals that demonstrate having lifelong fidelity to their mates.

697. Is the binding nature of marriage a law of nature, or is it only dictated by human law?
“It is human law that contradicts the law of nature. Human laws change, while natural law is constant.”

698. Is voluntary celibacy commendable in God’s eyes?
“No, those who are single for selfish reasons displease God and mislead others.”

699. For some people, can celibacy be a sacrifice they make to devote themselves to serving humanity completely?
“That is a very different matter, I said ‘for selfish reasons’. When carried out for a noble purpose, any sort of personal sacrifice is laudable. The greater the sacrifice, the greater the merit.”

God cannot be in contradiction with, or find fault in, creation. Therefore, God cannot commend any violation of Divine or Natural laws. While celibacy alone is not praiseworthy, it may become such when depriving oneself the joy of having a family is a sacrifice made in the interest of humanity. Every sacrifice of personal interest, when made for the good of others and no self-interest whatsoever, raises human beings above the level of their physical condition.

Polygamy

700. Is the almost exact numerical equality existing between the sexes an indication of the proportions according to which they should be united?
“Yes, because every plan in nature has a specific purpose.”

701. Is polygamy or monogamy more in compliance with the laws of nature?
“Polygamy is a human invention, the rejection of which marks an era of social progress. God intended that marriage should be based on the existence of true affection between the individuals who enter into it. In polygamy there is only sensuality, but no real affection.”

If polygamy were consistent with the laws of nature, it would be possible to institute it everywhere. However, it would be physically impossible to do so, due to the numerical equality of men and women.

Therefore, polygamy must be labeled a social custom, adapted to the circumstances of specific nations or populations. It will gradually disappear as these populations improve socially.


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