IX. LAW OF FREEDOM
Natural Freedom - Slavery - Freedom of Thought - Freedom of Conscience - Free Will - Fatalism - Foreknowledge of the Future - Theoretical Explanation of the Motive
Behind Human Action
825. Are there any positions in the world where an individual enjoys absolute
“No, because all of you need one another, from the most powerful
to the impoverished.”
826. What would be the condition in which a person could enjoy absolute
“As a hermit in a desert. As soon as two people find each other,
they have reciprocal rights and duties to respect, and are no longer
827. Does the duty to respect the rights of others deprive individuals of their
right to be themselves?
“Not at all, because human beings hold that right by nature.”
828. How can we reconcile the liberal opinions of some individuals
with the oppression they sometimes exercise in their own homes over
“They are familiar with the law of nature, but it is counterbalanced
by their pride and selfishness. They know what should be done when
they truly embrace these liberal principles, but they do not do it.”
a) Will the principles that they have professed during this life be taken
into account in the next?
“The more intelligence that people have to understand a principle,
the more inexcusable their neglect to put it into practice. I may truly tell you that those who are sincere but simple are further advanced on
the Divine road than those who try to appear to be what they are not.”
829. Is there any portion of the human race intended by nature to be the property
of other human beings?
“The absolute oppression of any individual by another violates
God’s law. Slavery is an abuse of strength and gradually disappears with
progress, as all other abuses will eventually disappear.”
The societal law that sanctions slavery is a crime against nature,
because it reduces human beings to the level of animals, and
degrades them both physically and morally.
830. When slavery is established in the standards and customs of a nation,
are those who profit from it to blame for conforming to a system that appears
to be natural to them?
“What is wrong is always wrong, and no amount of sophistry can
change a bad deed into a good one. However, the accountability for
wrongdoing is always proportional to the ability of the offenders to understand
their actions. Those who profit from slavery are always guilty
of violating natural law, but this guilt is relative. As slavery became rooted
in the civilizations of certain nations, human beings may have taken
advantage of it without seeing it as being wrong, and as something that
appeared to be natural to them. But once their reason became more
developed and enlightened by the teachings of Christianity, and they
were shown that slaves are their equal in God’s eyes, their actions were
no longer excusable.”
831. Does the natural inequality of aptitudes place some members of the human
race under the control of more intelligent members?
“Yes, so that they may rise to a higher level, but not to further
degrade them by slavery. People have too long viewed certain ethnic
groups as working animals with arms and hands, and believed they
have the right to use them and sell them like beasts. They think that
they are of purer blood, when they are really fools! Only the spirit is
the marker of purity, not blood.” (See nos. 361-803)
832. There are people who treat their slaves humanely. They think that
freedom would expose them to greater poverty or deprivation. What do you
think of this?
“They have a better understanding of their own interests. They
take the same care of their cows and horses to get a better price for
them at the market. They are not as guilty as those who treat them badly, but they still treat them as merchandise by depriving them of
Freedom of Thought
833. Is there anything in human beings that escape all limitations, and of
which they enjoy absolute freedom?
“They enjoy unbounded freedom in their thoughts, as there is
no obstacle to thought. While it may be hindered, thought cannot be
834. Are human beings responsible for their thoughts?
“They are accountable for them before God. God alone can know
our thoughts, and condemns or absolves them according to justice.”
Freedom of Conscience
835. Is freedom of conscience the natural consequence of freedom of thought?
“The conscience is an inner thought that belongs to the individual,
like all the other thoughts entertained by that person.”
836. Do human beings have the right to restrain the freedom of conscience?
“No more so than the freedom of thought, because God alone has
the right to judge the conscience. Human society governs the relations
between human beings through the use of laws created by human beings,
while God governs the relations between people and God by the
law of nature.”
837. What is the effect of the restraints imposed on the freedom of conscience?
“It forces people to act in a manner that conflicts with their
thoughts, and therefore makes them hypocrites. Freedom of conscience
is one of the characteristics of true civilization and progress.”
838. Should every belief be respected, even when it is completely false?
“Every belief is worthy of respect when it is sincere, and when it
leads to practicing good actions. Reprehensible beliefs are those that
lead to the practice of evil.”
839. Is it wrong to offend those whose beliefs are different than ours?
“This demonstrates a lack of charity, and infringes on the freedom
840. Is placing obstructions on beliefs that cause social disturbances an infringement
on the freedom of conscience?
“You can only repress action, belief is inaccessible.”
Repressing someone from outwardly expressing a belief when
those acts are harmful to others is not an infringement of their
freedom of conscience, as this repression leaves the belief itself
841. Out of respect for the freedom of conscience, should we allow the spread
of malevolent theories or doctrines? Should we, instead, try to bring those who
are led astray by false principles back to the right path without violating the
freedom of conscience?
“Of course, not only is it possible to bring them back to the right
path but you should attempt do it so. This should be done by following
Jesus’ example, using gentleness and persuasion, and not by
resorting to force, which would be worse than the false belief of
those whom you are trying to convert. If there is something that
ought to be imposed, it is goodness and fraternity, but we do not
believe that the means for doing so is violence: beliefs cannot be
imposed by violence.”
842. All doctrines claim to be the sole expression of the truth. How can we
recognize the one that is most deserving of this title?
“The truest doctrine is the one that has the fewest hypocrites and
the greatest number of truly virtuous individuals. In other words, people
practicing the law of charity in its greatest purity and in its widest
application. This is how you may recognize a true doctrine, because
any doctrine that causes rifts between God’s children is nothing but
false and evil.”
843. Do human beings have free will in their actions?
“Since they have freedom of thought, they also have freedom of
action. Without free will, they would be nothing more than machines.”
844. Do human beings have free will from birth?
“They possess free will from the moment when they possess the will
to act. In the earliest phase of human life, free will is almost nonexistent.
It is developed and changed with the development of the faculties.
Children, having thoughts that match the wants of their age, apply their
free will to the things that are necessary corresponding to that age.”
845. Are the instinctive tendencies that human beings have at birth an obstacle
to the exercise of their free will?
“The instinctive tendencies of every individual belonged to
their spirits before incarnation. If they are not very advanced, these tendencies may motivate such individuals to do wrong and spirits who
sympathize with the wrong they do support them. However, no temptation
is irresistible when there is a determination to resist; remember
that ‘where there is a will, there is a way’.” (See no. 361)
846. Does our body influence the acts of our life? If so, does this influence
constitute a violation of our free will?
“Spirits are definitely influenced by matter, which may hold them
back in their manifestations. This is why, in worlds where the body is
less material than on Earth, the faculties are exercised more freely.
However, it is important to remember that the instrument does not
confer the faculty. You must also distinguish between moral and intellectual
faculties. If some individuals have the instinct to commit murder,
their spirits possess it, not their bodies. Those who obliterate their
thoughts solely to care about matter become like animals and, even
worse, they no longer try to protect themselves from iniquity. This constitutes
culpability, because they act of their own free will.” (See no.
367 et. seq. Influence of the Body)
847. Do anomalies of the faculties deprive individuals of their free will?
“If the intelligence of human beings is altered by any cause whatsoever,
then they are no longer the masters of their thoughts and are
no longer free. Such anomaly is often an atonement for spirits who,
in another life, have been vain or arrogant, or have made bad use of
their faculties. They may be reborn in the body of a mentally impaired
person, as a tyrant may be reborn in the body of a slave, and a callous
wealthy man in that of a beggar. Such spirits suffer from this constraint,
of which they are fully aware, and this is the action of matter.”
(See no. 371 et seq.)
848. Is the impairment of the intellectual faculties produced by drunkenness
an excuse for reprehensible behavior?
“No, because alcoholics have voluntarily deprived themselves
of their reason to satisfy their unrefined passions. They commit two
crimes, instead of just one.”
849. What is the dominant faculty of savages? Is it instinct or free will?
“Instinct, which does not prevent them from acting with absolute
freedom in certain things. However, like children, they use their
freedom for the satisfaction of their wants, and only evolve through
the development of their intelligence. Consequently, as you are more
enlightened than a savage, you are more responsible than a savage if
you do wrong.”
850. Is social standing sometimes an obstacle to complete freedom of action?
“The world definitely has its demands. God is fair and takes everything
into account, but will hold you responsible for any lack of effort
on your part to overcome such obstacles.”
851. Does fatalism control the events of life in the sense commonly attached
to this word? Is every event in our lives predestined, and, if so, what becomes
of free will?
“Fatalism only exists based on the choice each spirit makes to undergo
a trial. By choosing that trial, you create a sort of destiny for
yourself. It is the natural consequence of the situation in which you
have chosen to place yourself. This is only with respect to physical trials,
because in moral trials and temptations, a spirit always maintains
a freedom of choice between good and iniquity and is always able to
yield or resist. Good spirits may come to your aid when they see you
falter, but cannot influence you to the extent of controlling your will.
On the other hand, bad or inferior spirits may trouble or alarm you by
exaggerating your physical danger. However, the will of your incarnate
spirit maintains its full freedom of choice.”
852. Some individuals seem to be pursued by a fatalism that is completely
independent of their actions. Is it their destiny to be unfortunate?
“There may be trials that those individuals are forced to endure
because they have chosen them, but you often attribute to destiny what
is more often than not the consequence of your own faults. In the
midst of the adversities that afflict you try to keep a pure and clear
conscience, and you will be given solace for your suffering.”
The true or false ideas that we adopt of the things around us
cause us to succeed or fail in our undertakings depending
on our character and social standing. It seems easier and less
humiliating to our self-esteem to attribute our failures to fate
or destiny than to our own mistakes. While spirits may sometimes
influence our success, we can always free ourselves from
this influence by resisting the ideas they suggest if they are
misleading or bad.
853. Some people escape one danger only to fall prey to another, as if it were
impossible for them to escape death. Is this not fatalism?
“Nothing is predestined, in the truest sense of the word, except
the time of death. When that time has come, whether in one form or
another, you cannot escape it.”
a) Then, regardless of whatever danger threatens us, we will not die if
our time has not come?
“No, you will not die. There are thousands of examples of this, but
when your hour has come, nothing can save you. God knows how you
will leave your present life, and this is often also known by your spirit
because it is revealed when you choose an existence.”
854. Given the inevitability of our time of death, are the precautions we take
to avoid it useless?
“No, because those precautions are suggested to avoid any danger
that threatens you. They are one of the means used to prevent death.”
855. Why does Providence make us encounter dangers that have no result?
“When your life is in peril, it is a warning to turn you away from
wickedness and leave you better off. When you escape this danger, and
while still feeling the emotion stimulated by the danger you encountered,
you think according to the degree in which you are influenced
by good spirits to mend your ways. If a bad spirit dominates (In using
the word bad I am referring to the evil that is still within that spirit),
you think that you will escape other dangers in the same manner, and
once again you give free rein to your passions. Through the dangers
that you encounter, God reminds you of your weakness and the fragility
of your existence. If you examine the cause and nature of the peril
you have escaped, you will see that in many cases its consequences
would have been the atonement of some fault you have committed, or
some duty you have neglected. God warns you to reflect upon and correct
your faults.” (See nos. 526-532)
856. Do spirits know how they will die beforehand?
“Based on the life they have chosen, they know that they have exposed
themselves to die in some particular manner rather than in another,
but they also see the effort they will have to put forward in order
to avoid it. They know that, God willing, they will escape it.”
857. There are those who brave the perils of war fully convinced that their
time has not come. Are there any grounds for this confidence?
“Individuals often have a premonition of their end. On the other
hand, such individuals may also have a sense that their time of death
has not yet come. This intuition is due to the action of their protective
spirits, who warn them to be ready to go or boost their courage when
they particularly need it. It may also come to them from the intuition
they have of the life they have chosen, or of the mission they have accepted
that they know they must fulfill.” (See nos. 411-522)
858. How is it that those who have a premonition of their death generally
dread it less than others do?
“It is the human being and not the spirit who fears death. Individuals
who have a premonition of their death view it as a spirit rather than
as human beings. They understand that it will be a release to freedom
and await it.”
859. If death is inevitable at its appointed time, does this also apply to all the
accidents that may happen to us over the course of our lives?
“They are often small enough that we can warn you against them,
and sometimes help you avoid them by directing your thoughts because
we do not like physical suffering. All this is of little importance
to the life you have chosen. Fatalism, truly, is the hour at which you are
born into and exit the physical life.”
a) Are there incidents that must occur in a life and that spirits cannot
help you avert?
“Yes, but you saw those incidents when you chose your life as a
spirit. Nevertheless, it would be wrong to assume that everything that
happens to you was ‘written in the stars’ as people say. An event is often
the consequence of something you have done by an act of your own
volition. Had you not done that thing, the event would not have taken
place. If you burn your finger, it is a trivial inconvenience resulting
from your own carelessness and a consequence of matter, not destiny.
Only great sorrows, serious events that are capable of influencing your
moral state, are predestined by God because they will be useful to your
purification and education.”
860. Can individuals, by their will and effort, prevent events from taking
place, and vice versa?
“They can if this deviation is compatible with the life they have
chosen. They may prevent wrongdoing to do good, which should be
the sole purpose of life, especially if that wrong might contribute to an
even greater evil.”
861. Did those individuals who commit a murder know, in choosing their
life, that they would become murderers?
“No, they knew that they incurred the risk of killing one of their
fellow creatures by choosing a life of struggle. However they did not
know whether they would or would not because a murderer almost
always deliberates before committing the crime, and if people can deliberate
they are free to carry out the action or not. If spirits knew that
they would commit a murder beforehand, it would imply that they were predestined to commit that crime. No one is ever predestined to
commit a crime. Every crime, like every other action, is the result of
choice and free will.”
“You are confusing two things that are quite distinct – the events
of material life and those of moral life. If any sort of fatalism exists, it
is only in the events of your material life of which the cause is beyond
your control and independent of your will. As to the acts of the moral
life, they always emanate from human beings themselves, who always
have the freedom of choice. In those acts, there is never any destiny.”
862. There are individuals who never succeed and seem to be stalked by a bad
spirit in all their endeavors. Is this not what we call fatalism?
“It is definitely fatalism, if you want to call it that, but it results from
the type of life chosen by those individuals in the spirit state, because
they wanted to exercise their patience and resignation through a life
of disappointment. However, do not believe that destiny is absolute. It
is often a consequence for individuals who choose the wrong path, one
that does not correspond to their intelligence and abilities. If people
try to cross a river without knowing how to swim, they stand a very
good chance of drowning, and we can say the same about most events
in your life. If people only attempted things that are in harmony with
their abilities, they would usually succeed. The cause of their failure
is their conceit and ambition, which veer them off their proper path,
and make them mistake a desire to satisfy passions for vocation. They
fail by their own fault, but instead of blaming themselves, they prefer
to blame their ‘star’. For example, an individual who could have been
a good craftsperson and honorably earn a living in that capacity prefers
to write bad poetry, and ultimately dies of starvation. There would
be a place for everyone, if everyone assumed their proper place.”
863. Do social customs often force people to follow one road rather than another,
and is their choice of occupation often controlled by the opinion of those
around them? Is the feeling that leads us to attach a certain amount of importance
to the opinions of others an obstacle to exercising our free will?
“Social traditions and customs are established by human beings
and not by God. If people submit to them it is because they want to
and their submission is an act of their free will. If they wanted to free
themselves from those customs, they could do so. Then why do they
complain? They should blame their pride rather than social customs,
because pride makes them prefer to starve rather than stray from what
they consider to be their dignity. Nobody thanks them for this sacrifice,
though God would take note of the sacrifice of their vanity. We are
not saying that you should resist public opinion or customs, as in the case of some people who are more eccentric than philosophical. It is
just as absurd to allow others to point or stare at you like a curious animal,
as there is wisdom in voluntarily descending when you are unable
to stay at the top of the ladder.”
864. While there are individuals to whom fate is unkind, there are others who
seem to be favored because they succeed in everything they do. To what is this
to be attributed?
“In many cases, they know how to best manage their lives and actions,
but it may also be a type of trial. People are intoxicated by success.
They put their trust in their destiny, and in the end they pay for
these successes by severe setbacks, which greater forethought would
have enabled them to avoid.”
865. How can we account for the luck that sometimes favors people under circumstances
where neither will nor intelligence have a role, such as gambling,
“Some spirits have chosen specific types of pleasure beforehand,
and the luck that favors them is a temptation. Those who win as human
beings lose as spirits, since such luck is a trial for their pride and
866. Is the fate that seems to shape our material destinies a result of our
“You yourself have chosen your trial. The more severe it is and the
better you bear it, the higher you are elevated. Those who spend their
physical lives selfishly enjoying wealth and happiness are cowardly spirits
who remain stationary. The number of those who are unfortunate
is much greater in your world than those who are fortunate, because
spirits generally choose the trial that will be most useful to them. They
too clearly see the futility of your splendor and pleasures. Besides, the
most fortunate life is always more or less troubled, if only by the absence
of sorrow.” (See no. 525 et seq.)
867. Where does the expression “born under a lucky star” originate?
“From an old superstition that connected the stars with the destiny
of each human being – a metaphor that some people are foolish
enough to take literally.”
Foreknowledge of the Future
868. Can the future be revealed to human beings?
“As a rule, the future is hidden from them. It is only in rare and
exceptional cases that God permits it to be revealed.”
869. Why is the future hidden from human beings?
“If they knew the future, they would ignore the present and would
not act with the same freedom. They would be swayed by the thought
that, if a specific event is to happen, there is no need to worry about
it, or they would seek to prevent it. God did not want it to be this way,
so that all people would contribute in the accomplishment of God’s
designs, even those designs they would want to prevent. Therefore, you
often prepare the way for the events that occur over the course of your
lifetime, without even being aware of it.”
870. Since there is a practical reason why the future is hidden, why does God
sometimes permit it to be revealed?
“Because in such cases this foreknowledge facilitates the accomplishment
of what is to be, rather than hinder it, by making the persons
to whom it is revealed act in a different manner than they would
otherwise act. In addition, it is often a trial. The prospect of an event
may awaken more or less honorable thoughts. For example, if individuals
learn that they will receive an inheritance that they had not
expected, they may be tempted by greed, by elation at the prospect
of increasing their worldly pleasures, or by a desire for the death of
their benefactor, so that they may obtain it sooner. On the other hand,
this prospect may awaken good and generous thoughts in them. If the
prediction is not fulfilled, it is a test of how they bear disappointment.
They acquire the merit or reproach of the good or bad thoughts they
have by their expectation of the event anticipated.”
871. God knows everything, including whether people will succeed or fail in a
given trial. What is the purpose of this trial, since it shows God nothing that
is not already known about those individuals?
“You might as well ask why God did not create humans perfect (see
no. 119), or why human beings have to experience childhood before
arriving at adulthood (see no. 379). The purpose of a trial is not to
enlighten God regarding the merit of humankind. God knows exactly
what they are worth, but to make human beings fully accountable
for their behavior since they have free will. People are free to choose
between good and bad, and trials serve to tempt them or prove their
resistance, leaving them all the merit for resisting it. Even though God
knows well in advance whether they will succeed or not, out of divine
justice God cannot reward or punish them other than according to the
actions they have committed.” (See no. 258)
The same principle exists in the world of human beings. Regardless
of the qualifications of a given group of candidates or
our confidence in their success, no grade can be granted until
the proper test has been passed. This is the same as with a judge
who can condemns only accused individuals for the crimes they have actually committed, and not on the presumption that they
could or would commit a crime.
The more we reflect on the consequences that would result from
our knowledge of the future, the more clearly we see God’s Divine
wisdom in hiding it from us. The certainty of good fortune
in the future would make us lazy, while future despair would
plunge us into depression or discouragement. In both cases,
our activities are paralyzed. This is why the future is shown to
human beings only as a goal that they must reach through their
own effort, without knowing the sequence of events that they
will experience in attaining it. The foreknowledge of all the
events of their respective journeys would deprive them of their
initiative and the use of their free will. They would submissively
allow themselves to be led by the circumstances, without any
exercise of their faculties. When the success of something is
certain, we no longer worry about it.
Theoretical Explanation of the Motive
Behind Human Action
872. We may summarize the question of free will as follows. Human
beings are not inevitably led into evil. Their acts are not predestined
and the crimes they commit are not the result of any sort of destiny.
They may have chosen, as a trial and form of repentance, a life in
which they will be tempted to do wrong, either because of the surroundings
in which they are placed, or through circumstances that
occur, but they always have their free will in determining their actions.
Spirits therefore exercise free will in the spirit life by choosing their
next life and trials to complete and human beings exercise free will
by leveraging their power of yielding to or resisting the temptations
to which they have voluntarily subjected themselves. The purpose of
education is to fght these wicked propensities – a duty that it will only
be able to fulfill thoroughly when it is based on a deeper and truer
knowledge of the moral nature of human beings. By knowing the laws
governing the moral nature of humankind, we can modify it, as we already
modify intelligence by education and physical health by hygiene.
Every spirit chooses its future physical life according to its degree
of purification at the time they are wandering and free from matter.
The spirit is free to make this choice, as we have previously pointed
out, based on its free will. This free will is not lost through incarnation.
If an incarnate spirit yields to the influence of matter, it succumbs in
the trials it has chosen for itself. However, the spirit can call out for God’s guidance and the support of good spirits for strength and assistance.
(See no. 337)
Without free will, there would be neither guilt in doing wrong,
nor merit in doing right. This concept is so well recognized that the
world always assigns blame or praise of any deed to the intention, that
is, the will of the person committing the act, with will simply being another
word for freedom. People could not blame their wrongs on their
bodies without abandoning their reason and condition as human beings,
which would place them on the same level as wild animals. If they
could do so with regard to what is wrong, they would have to do the
same for what is right. Whenever individuals do right, they claim this
merit and would never think of attributing it to their bodies, which
proves that they instinctively refuse to renounce the most remarkable
privilege of their species, the freedom of thought.
Fatalism, as commonly understood, assumes a prior and binding
predestination of all the events of human life, regardless of their importance.
If this were true, people would be machines without a will
of their own. What would be the purpose of intelligence, if it were
always overruled in all its action by the power of destiny? This destroys
any sense of moral freedom. There would be no such thing as human
accountability, and consequently there would be no distinction between
good and evil, or virtue and crime. God, who is supremely just,
could not punish people for faults that they were forced to commit,
nor could they be rewarded for virtues that they do not merit. This
would contradict the law of progress because humans would not be
motivated to improve their position since their actions could make it
neither better nor worse.
Fatalism, however, is not a meaningless word. It really exists with
regard to the position held by all human beings on Earth and the roles
they fill. Fatalism is a consequence of the type of existence their spirits
chose as a trial, repentance, or mission. They are subjected to the digressions
of the life they have chosen, in addition to all the intrinsic
temptations, good or bad. This is where fatalism ends, because human
will determines if they yield to those temptations or not. The details of
events depend on the circumstances that human beings cause by their actions,
and they may be influenced by the good or bad thoughts suggested by
spirits. (See no. 459)
Therefore, fatalism exists in the events that occur, because they
are the consequence of the choice made by our spirit in what type of
existence to live. However, there can be no fatalism in the results of
those events, because human beings can often modify their results by using their own judgment. Therefore, there is no fatalism with regard to
the acts of our moral life.
People are victims of an absolute and inescapable destiny only at the
time of death. They can neither avoid the fate determining the length
of their lives, nor avoid the kind of death that is destined for them.
According to common belief, human beings derive all their instincts
from themselves. These instincts proceed from their physical
bodies, for which they are not responsible, or from their own nature,
which would provide them with an equally valid excuse for their imperfections.
If such were the case, they could rightly claim that it is
through no choice of their own that they are what they are. Spiritism is
more moral. It admits the free will for humans in all its fullness and, in
telling them that they yield to a vile suggestion made by another spirit
when they do wrong, it makes them fully accountable for their actions.
It recognizes their ability to resist contemptible suggestions, which is
easier than fighting their inherent nature. Accordingly, Spiritist theory
dictates that no temptation is irresistible. People can always ignore
the invisible voice addressing their inner consciousness, just as easily
as they can ignore a human voice. They can always withdraw from the
suggestions tempting them to do wrong by exerting their will against
the temptation. They can ask God to give them the necessary strength,
and call out to good spirits for help. This is what Jesus taught us in the
Lord’s Prayer when he told us to recite, “And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.”
This theory of the cause of human action is the natural conclusion
of all the teachings the spirits offer now. It is not only sublime in
terms of morality; it also greatly enhances the self-respect of human
beings. It shows them that they are as free to escape the shackles of an
obsessor, as they are to close the doors to their houses to unwelcome
intrusions. They are not machines, powered by an impulse that is independent
of their will, rather, they are beings capable of reasoning,
and possess the power to listen, to compare, and to choose freely between
two different suggestions or recommendations. We should add
that individuals are not deprived of their initiative when receiving advice.
What they do is of their own volition because they are still spirits,
although incarnated in a physical envelope, and as human beings,
they still maintain the good and bad qualities they possessed as spirits.
The faults that we commit are rooted in the imperfection of our spirit,
which has not yet developed the moral superiority it will acquire
over the course of time. Despite this fact, the spirit is still in full possession
of its free will. The purpose of corporeal life is to purge all the
imperfections of our spirit through the trials we endure. It is precisely
these imperfections that weaken us and make us vulnerable to the
influence of imperfect spirits. They take advantage of our weakness
when they try to make us fail in our tasks. If we are victorious in the
struggle, our spirit is elevated, if we fail, our spirit remains, as it was no
better and no worse. However, the unsuccessful attempt will give way
to a new attempt, which is a repetition of the same trial that may delay
our advancement for a very long period. As we improve, our weakness
diminishes and we give less and less power to those who would tempt
us to wrongdoing. As our moral strength increases constantly, low-order
spirits cease to act upon us.
All incarnate spirits, whether good or bad, make up the human
race. As our planet is one of the most backward worlds in the universe,
there are more bad spirits than good spirits, and perversity
is widespread. We must do our utmost not to have to return to this
world after our present sojourn and to deserve admission into a higher
world, one of those privileged worlds, where goodness reigns, and
where, once we get there, our time in this lower world will only be a
brief, vague memory.