THE SPIRITS’ BOOK

Allan Kardec

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CHAPTER I
EARTHLY JOYS AND SORROWS
Relative Happiness and Unhappiness - Loss of Loved Ones - Disappointment – Shattered Affections - Antipathetic Relationships -Fear of Death - Distaste for Life – Suicide

Relative Happiness and Unhappiness

920. Can human beings enjoy perfect happiness on Earth?
“No, because corporeal life has been appointed to them either as a trial or as an atonement. People must reduce their misfortunes themselves, and make their lives as happy as possible while on Earth.”

921. We understand that human beings will be happy on Earth when the human race has been transformed. Meanwhile, can people ensure a moderate amount of happiness for themselves?
“Human beings are often the architects of their own unhappiness. If they obey God’s laws, they spare themselves much sorrow and also secure all the happiness corresponding with the human condition.”

People who are positive about their future destinies view their physical life as a temporary station. It is for them a momentary stopover at a awful hotel. They easily find solace for the fleeting frustrations of their journey in the fact that it is bringing them to a new, and happier position, which will be all the more favorable in proportion to the preparations they have made. In this life, we are punished for violating the laws of corporeal existence via the suffering that is a consequence of these violations and by the suffering that results from our own excesses. When we trace human troubles back to their origin, we find that the overwhelming majority are the result of an initial deviation from the right path. This deviation forces us to enter a wrong path, and each subsequent step brings us more deeply into misfortune.

922. Earthly happiness is relative to each person’s position, so that what suffices for the happiness of one can be the cause of misfortune for another. Is there a common standard of happiness for everyone?
“With regard to material life, it is the possession of what is necessary for survival. With regard to moral life, it is the possession of a good conscience and the belief in a future life.”

923. Is it true that a luxury for one becomes a necessity for another and vice versa, depending on circumstantial differences?
“Yes, according to your material ideas, prejudices, ambition and all the absurd notions that you gradually shed as you come to understand the truth of things. Obviously, people who once earned an income of 50,000 consider themselves very unfortunate when that income is reduced to 10,000. In this case, they perceive themselves to be less impressive to others since they can no longer maintain their status, keeping good horses, employees, and gratify all their tastes and passions. For them, these deprivations represent a lack of the very necessities of life. However, should we pity them while so many others are dying of cold and starvation, and do not even have a warm place to sleep at night? Those who are wise compare themselves to what is below them, never to what is above, unless it is to raise their soul to the Infinite.” (See no. 715)

924. Misfortune can strike anyone regardless of behavior, even for the most upright. Is there a way of protecting ourselves from misfortune?
“Such misfortune must be borne with resignation and without defiance in order to progress. However, you may always find solace in the hope of a happier future, provided you do what is needed to reach it.”

925. Why does God so often bestow the gifts of fortune on people who do not appear to deserve it?
“Wealth appears to be a favor to people who only see the present, but you must remember that fortune is often a more dangerous trial than poverty.” (See no. 814 et seq.)

926. Does civilization, by creating new wants, become the source of new afflictions?
“The problems of your world are proportional to the artificial wants that you create for yourselves. People who are able to set limits on their desires and see what is above them without feeling envy, spare themselves many disappointments. The richest person is the one with the fewest needs.”
“You envy the pleasures of those who appear to be favored by fortune, but do you know what is in store for many of them? If they use their wealth only for themselves, they are selfish and a terrible misfortune awaits them. Instead of feeling envy, you should feel pity for them. God sometimes allows the wicked to prosper, but you should not envy their prosperity because they will pay for it with bitter tears. When a righteous person experiences the trials of misfortune, they reap rich rewards if they bear them with courage. Remember Jesus’ words, ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.’”

927. The superfluous is certainly not indispensable to happiness, but this is not true with regard to the necessities of life. So isn’t the misfortune of those who are deprived of them real?
“A person is truly unfortunate only when deprived of what is necessary for survival and physical health. If this deprivation is the result of their own behavior, they have only themselves to blame. If it is the fault of others, serious accountability lies with those who have caused it.”

928. By our natural aptitudes, God shows each of us our special vocation in this world. Are many of the problems of life attributable to a failure to follow that vocation?
“That is true. Parents, through pride or greed, often force their children to deviate from the path set for them by nature, but they will be held responsible for the results of this misdirection.”

a) Do you approve of the son of a well-regarded individual becoming a shoemaker for instance, if he was endowed with a natural talent for it?
“You must not waste time on absurd suggestions and exaggerations. Civilization has its necessities. Why would the son of a man holding a high position become a shoemaker, if he were able to do something more important? Such an individual must always make himself useful, according to his faculties, without contradicting common sense. For instance, if he does not have the aptitude to be a good lawyer, he might be a good engineer, mechanic, or any other profession.”

Assuming a position outside one’s intellectual scope is one of the most frequent causes of failure and disappointment. Lack of aptitude for the career one has set out to follow is a never-ending source of disappointment. Often pride prevents people, who fail in one career, to seek a humbler vocation. They are frequently tempted to commit suicide in order to escape what they view as humiliation. If a sound moral education elevates them above the stupid prejudices of pride, they are never at a loss to earn a living.

929. There are individuals destitute of all resources who, despite the abundance all around them do not see any other option for their problem except death. What course should they take under such circumstances? Should they allow themselves to die of hunger?
“No one should ever seriously contemplate the idea of dying of hunger. A person can always find the means of obtaining food if pride does not insert itself between want and work. It has often been said that ‘No work is dishonorable if honestly done,’ but this is one of those sayings that people are quick to preach their neighbors rather than applying to themselves.”

930. It is clear that, were it not for the social prejudices that we allow to sway us, a person is always able to find some sort of work to earn a living, even if in a humbler life and position. Among people who have no such prejudices and those who can set them aside, there are some who are truly unable to provide for their needs, due to illness or other circumstances beyond their control.
“In a society organized according to Christ’s laws, no one would ever die of hunger.”

In a wise and considerate society, no one lacks the necessities of life unless it is by their own fault. A person’s faults are often the result of the circumstances in which they find themselves. When people advance enough to exercise God’s laws, they are not only better intrinsically as individuals, but they also organize their social relations based on justice and charity. (See no. 793.)

931. Why is it that there are many more people who suffer rather than prosper in our society?
“None of you are perfectly happy, and what the world considers prosperity often hides the most agonizing sorrows. Suffering is everywhere. However, to answer the thought that prompted your question, the classes you call suffering are more numerous because Earth is a place of atonement. When human beings make Earth a sanctuary for goodness and good spirits, unhappiness will no longer exist. It will then be a paradise for all its inhabitants.”

932. Why do the wicked in this world so often have power over the good?
“This is a direct consequence of the weakness of the good. The wicked are captivating and bold, while the good are often timid. Whenever the good are determined to take over, they will prevail.”

933. People are often the architects of their own physical suffering. Are they the architects of their moral suffering as well? “Even more so, because material suffering is sometimes independent of their will. However, wounded pride, disappointed ambition, the anxieties of greed, envy, jealousy, and all the passions are the torments of the soul.”

“Envy and jealousy! Blessed are those who do not know these two gnawing worms! Where envy and jealousy exist, there can be no calm or tranquility. These passions torment anyone who is a slave to them, even in their sleep. The envious and jealous are always agitated. Is such a state desirable? Do you not understand that you create the most terrible tortures with such passions, and that Earth then truly becomes a hell for you?”

Many expressions paint vivid pictures of the effects of different passions. We say, “Bursting with pride,” “dying of envy,” “consumed by jealousy,” and so on; expressions that are very true. Sometimes even jealousy has no fixed object. There are individuals who are naturally jealous of anyone who rises, everything that is out of the ordinary, even when their own interests are in no way concerned, simply because they are not able to achieve a similar success. Everything that seems to be above the common horizon offends them, and if they formed the majority of society if possible they would want to bring everyone down to their level. It is jealousy attached to mediocrity.

Much of the unhappiness people feel is the result of the undue importance they attach to the things of this world. Vanity, ambition and greed make up a huge part of their misfortunes. If people place their goals beyond the narrow circle of physical life, raising their thoughts towards an infinite that is their destiny, then the difficulties of human life seem petty and foolish, like a broken toy over which a child weeps inconsolably.

Those who find their happiness only in the satisfaction of pride and gross material passions are unhappy when they cannot satisfy them. However, those who ask for no luxuries are happy under circumstances other people perceive as dire.

We are talking about civilized people, because savages do not have the same inclinations to envy and anxiety since they have fewer wants. Their way of looking at things is altogether different. In the civilized state, people analyze unhappiness, and are affected by them even more painfully. However, they may also analyze the means of consolation within their grasp. Christianity provides solace by giving them hope of a better future, and by Spiritism, that provides the certainty of that future.

Loss of Loved Ones

934. Is the loss of those who are dear to us a legitimate source of sorrow, as this loss is both irreparable and independent of our will?
“This cause of sorrow, from which neither the rich nor the poor are safe, is either a trial or atonement. However, you have the consolation of communicating with them through the means you already possess, while awaiting other means that will be more direct, and more open to your senses.”

935. What should we think of the opinion that communication with those beyond the grave is sacrilegious?
“There can be no desecration where there is respectful thought and sympathy, and when the communication is made with due respect. The proof of this is in the fact that the spirits who love you take pleasure in coming to you; they rejoice that you remember them, and in being able to converse with you. There would be a desecration in this communication if it were carried out in a thoughtless or trivial manner.”

The possibility of communicating with spirits is extremely comforting, since it gives us the means of conversing with our relatives and friends who have left this life before us. By our contact, we draw them nearer to us, and they come to hear us and reply to us. There is no longer any separation between them and us. They aid us with their guidance, and assure us of how pleased they are that we remember them. We are happy to learn that they are happy, discover the details of their new existence from them, and obtain the certainty of reuniting with them one day.

936. What effect does the inconsolable sorrow of survivors have upon spirits who are the object of that sorrow?
“A spirit is touched by the memory and regrets of those it has loved. However, persistent and unreasonable sorrow is painful because, in excessive grief it sees a lack of faith in the future and confidence in God. Consequently, this ends up being an obstacle to advancement and perhaps even to their reunion.”

For a spirit who is happier than it was on Earth, regretting the change in life is to regret being happy. Let us take the example of two friends who are prisoners locked up in the same prison. Both of them will be free one day, but one is released before the other. Would it be kind on the part of the one who remains to regret that the other leaves sooner? Would there not be more selfishness than affection when one wants another to remain captive and suffering in the same circumstance as oneself? The same is true with two individuals who love one another on Earth. If one leaves first, the other should rejoice while patiently awaiting for his or her own freedom.

We may illustrate this subject by means of another comparison. You have a friend whose circumstances result in a painful existence although he or she remains physically close to you. Thus, your friend’s health or interests require a change to another country, where he or she will be better off in every respect. However, your friend will no longer be near you at every moment, but will still keep contact with you. The separation between you will only be in your daily life. Should you grieve for the loss of physical contact considering it is for your friend’s own good? Spiritism gives us clear proof of a future life and its presence around us as well as the continued affection of people we loved, and the relationships we are able to keep.

Spiritism offers us the greatest consolation for the most painful of human sorrows. Spiritism eliminates loneliness and abandonment because friends, with whom one can hold affectionate conversation, always surround the most isolated of human beings.

We are often impatient with the trials and tribulations of life. They seem so intolerable that we sometimes believe that we cannot endure them. Yet, if we face them with courage, and if we are able to silence our complaints, we will rejoice in the remembrance of the experience when we have finished our human existence. The same way that patient rejoices when they recover after completing a painful course of treatment that has cured the disease.

Disappointment – Shattered Affections

937. Is the disappointment that leads to ingratitude and the fragility of friendship another source of bitterness for the human heart?
“Yes, but we teach you to feel pity for the ungrateful and faithless friends as they are more unhappy than you. Ingratitude comes from selfishness and people who are selfish, eventually, meet hearts as callous as their own. Think of all those who have done more good than you, who are more worthy than you are, and whose kindnesses were paid with ingratitude. Remember that, in his life, Jesus was ridiculed, despised and treated as both a criminal and a fraud; you should not be shocked if you are treated in the same way. The knowledge that you have done good should be your reward in your present life, and do not worry about what people who have benefited from it say. Ingratitude tests your persistence in doing good. It counts in your favor, in the future, and those who have ignored your kindness will be punished. The greater their ingratitude, the more severe the atonement.”

938. Are the disappointments that ingratitude causes meant to harden the heart and turn it callous and insensitive?
“That is wrong, because virtuous people are always happy to do good for others. They know that, if those they have helped do not recognize their kindness in this life, they will in a future one, and they will then feel shame and remorse for their ingratitude.”

a) However, this knowledge does not prevent them from being hurt by ingratitude in this life. Could this pain lead them to think that they would be happier if they were less sensitive?
“Yes, if they prefer selfish happiness. Still, this sort of happiness is very pitiful. People must try to understand that the ungrateful friends who desert them are unworthy of their friendship, and that they are mistaken in their thoughts of them. They should no longer regret the loss of these friends. Other friends, who are better able to understand the motivation behind their acts of good will, will take their place. You should pity those from whom you have received poor treatment, which you did not deserve, because they will receive severe retribution. You should not allow yourselves to be upset by their bad behavior. Your ability to remain unaffected by their ill-treatment places you above them.”

Nature has given human beings the need to love and be loved. One of the greatest joys given to them on Earth is meeting like-minded hearts. This sympathy gives them a taste of the happiness that awaits them in the world of perfect spirits, where love and kindness reign. This type of happiness is denied to the selfish.

Antipathetic Relationships

939. Since sympathetic spirits are spontaneously attracted to each other, how is it that this love is often one sided, that the most sincere affection can be met with indifference or even repulsion, and that the deepest affection of two individuals for one another may change into dislike, or even hatred?
“It is an atonement, but only a short-lived one. Moreover, how many individuals believe that they are desperately in love because they judge one another based on appearances only, but when forced to live together, they soon discover that their affection was nothing more than a passing whim? It is not enough to be taken by someone whom you imagine to be endowed with all sorts of qualities. You can only determine the worth of the appearances that have captivated you by actually living together. On the other hand, how many of these relationships that at first seem as though they never could become sympathetic grow over time into a tender and lasting affection, based on the respect that grows between the parties through the development of a more complete familiarity with each other’s qualities? You must not forget that it is the spirit that loves and not the body, and when the illusion of physical attraction dissipates, the spirit sees reality.”

“There are two kinds of affection – that of the body and that of the soul, and they are often mistaken for one another. The affection of the soul, when pure and sympathetic, is lasting, while that of the body is ephemeral. This is why people who think that they are in love eternally often despise one another when the illusion fades away.”

940. Is a lack of sympathy between individuals who are destined to live together a source of sorrow, and one that is most bitter because it poisons an entire life?
“It is very bitter, but it is usually a misfortune of your own doing. First, your laws are at fault, because how can you imagine that God intends that people who dislike each other should live together? Second, you yourselves are to blame, because you often seek the satisfaction of your pride and ambition in those relationships rather than the happiness of mutual affection. In such cases, you undergo the natural consequences of your folly.”

a) But, in such cases, is there generally an innocent victim?
“Yes, one for whom it is a heavy atonement, but the accountability for such unhappiness falls upon the individual who caused it. If the light of truth reaches the victim’s soul, faith in the future provides consolation. The causes of these private troubles disappear as your prejudgments are dispelled.”

Fear of Death

941. The fear of death perplexes many. Where does this fear come from in people if they have before them the whole future?
“This fear is misplaced, but what do you expect? People have been thoroughly brainwashed since childhood to believe in heaven and hell, and who have retained this belief, along with the notion that most likely they will go to the latter, because whatever belongs to human life is a mortal sin for the soul, are understandably fearful. However, most people who are indoctrinated at an early age manage to throw it aside when they grow up, i.e. if they are capable of forming a little judgment. They become atheists or materialists because they are unable to accept it. Thus, the natural effect, though unintentional, of such teaching is to make people believe that there is nothing beyond this present life. People who persist in their mistaken childhood beliefs fear eternal fire that burns without destroying.”

“Death should not instill fear in virtuous persons because, with faith, they have the certainty of a future life. Hope leads them to expect a better life than the present one, and charity, which has guided their actions, gives them the assurance that they will not encounter anyone that they may have reason to dread in the spirit world.” (See no. 730)

Carnally minded people, more attracted by physical life than by the spiritual one, only know material pains and pleasures. The only happiness they feel is in fleeting satisfaction of desires. Their minds, constantly occupied with the difficulties of the present life and painfully affected by them, are tortured with perpetual anxiety. For such individuals, the thought of death is terrifying because of doubts about the future, and because they have to leave all their feelings and hopes behind when they leave Earth.

Spiritually minded people, who have raised themselves above the artificial wants created by the passions, experiences a joy that is unknown to the carnally minded, even in this lower life. The moderation of their desires calms their spirits and gives them serenity. Happy in the good they do, life has no disappointments for them, and its upsets glide over their consciousness lightly, without leaving any painful impression.

942. Some persons may find this advice somewhat mundane. Won’t they see them as being commonplace, and hackneyed truths? Won’t they say that the true secret to happiness is being able to endure one’s misfortunes?
“Many people adopt this view, but some are similar to individuals who fall ill and demand to be cured without changing their habits. Although their physicians prescribe corrective diets they continue the indulgences that aggravated their conditions in the first place.”

Distaste for Life – Suicide

943. What causes the distaste for life that sometimes takes hold of people without any discernible reason?
“Idleness, lack of conviction and often satiety. When people use their abilities in the pursuit of some useful aim that is in line with their natural aptitudes, their work is not dull. Life passes quickly, and they are able to bear the reversals of life patiently and with resignation. They look forward to a more solid and lasting happiness in the future.”

944. Do human beings have the right to dispose of their own life?
“No, only God has that right. Voluntary suicide is a violation of God’s law.”

a) Is suicide always voluntary?
“No. When a person undergoing a phase of insanity kills him or herself, they have no real knowledge of the act being committed.”

945. What should we think of people who commit suicide because they are sick of life?
“Imprudent people! Why did they not seek out useful work? Life would not have seemed so heavy to them.”

946. What should we think of people who resort to suicide to escape from the troubles and disappointments of this world?
“Poor spirits, who lack the courage to bear the unhappiness of life. God helps those who suffer valiantly, but not those who have neither strength nor courage. The struggles of life are trials or atonements, and those who bear them with resignation are happy because they receive a great reward! Those who believe that their well-being is a result of chance or luck are quite unfortunate! Chance or luck, to borrow their expressions, may favor them for a time, but afterwards the emptiness of those words becomes apparent.”

a) Are people who drive an unhappy person to commit this desperate act accountable for the consequences of their action?
“Yes, and it is severe because they have to answer for those actions as for a murder.”

947. If the struggle with adversity discourages a person and he or she allows himself or herself to die of despair, is it this considered suicide?
“This is suicide, but those who caused the crime or could have prevented it are more to blame than the victims, and the latter are judged compassionately. Nevertheless, they are not absolved completely, if they have shown a lack of resolve and perseverance, or have failed to make the best use of their intelligence to help themselves. It is even harder for them if pride paralyzes their intelligence, or they are embarrassed to earn a living by manual labor and prefer to die of starvation rather than deviate from their social standing. Is there not a hundredfold more honor and dignity in bearing adversity, braving the ill-natured remarks of the vain and selfish, whose goodwill is only for those who are in want of nothing, and who turn a cold shoulder to all who are in need of help? To throw away one’s life on account of such people is even more absurd, seeing that they are completely indifferent to the sacrifice.”

948. Is suicide as disgraceful when committed to escape the shame of having done wrong as when it is prompted by despair?
“Suicide does not erase a fault, and is actually a second fault in addition to the first. People who have the courage to do wrong should have the courage to bear the consequences of their actions. God is our judge, and sometimes the circumstances may be a factor in diminishing the atonement.”

949. Is suicide excusable when committed to avoid bringing disgrace to one’s children or family?
“People who act under this belief do no good, but they think they do, and God takes their intention into consideration. Intention lessens the fault, but it is a fault nevertheless. When you have eliminated your social prejudices and injustices, you will have no more suicides.” People who take their own lives to escape the shame of a bad action prove that they attach more value to the opinion of other people than to that of God. They return to the spirit world burdened by their wrongdoings. As a result, they deprive themselves of the atonement planned for the current life. God is not as inexorable as human beings are. God pardons those who sincerely repent and takes into account our efforts to remedy our wrongs, but suicide resolves nothing.

950. What should we think of people who kill themselves hoping to reach a happier state of existence sooner?
“What foolish logic! If a person does good works, he or she is much more certain of reaching that happiness. Suicide delays the entrance into a better world, those who have committed this act eventually ask to come back to Earth to complete the life that they mistakenly cut short. A fault, no matter what it may be, can never open the door to the sanctuary of the good.”

951. Is the sacrifice of one’s life admirable when it is made to save the lives of others or to be useful to them?
“When incurred for such an end, it is inspirational. However, such a voluntary sacrifice of life is not suicide. God disapproves of useless sacrifices, and when pride tarnishes the intention as well. A sacrifice is only admirable when disinterested. If accomplished with a selfish end in mind, its value decreases in God’s eyes.”

Every sacrifice at the cost of our own happiness made for the sake of others is extremely commendable in God’s eyes because it fulfills the law of charity. Life is a human being’s most valuable earthly possession. Those who renounce it for the good of fellow beings rather than committing a crime are making the ultimate sacrifice. However, before making this sacrifice they should consider whether their life could be more useful than their death.

952. Are people who fall victim to excessive indulgence in passions that they know will hasten their death, but to which they are uncontrollably addicted to, committing suicide?
“This is moral suicide. Do you not see that in this case such persons are even guiltier? They are guilty of lacking resolve, of the sin of depravity, and of neglecting God.”

a) Would this person be more or less guilty than the person who commits suicide out of despair?
“Such individuals are guiltier because they had time to reflect on the suicidal nature of the course they are pursuing. When a person commits suicide impulsively, sometimes a degree of confusion or disorientation is quite similar to madness. The former is punished much more severely than the latter as the penalties for a crime are always proportionate to the consciousness and intention of the wrong committed.”

953. When people face an unavoidable and terrifying death, are they guilty for abridging their sufferings by a voluntary death?
“It is always wrong not to wait for the end appointed by God. Besides, how can people tell whether the end of their life has really come, or whether some unexpected help may reach them at what they believe to be their last breath?”

a) We admit that in ordinary circumstances suicide is reprehensible, but what about the times when death is unavoidable, and life can be abbreviated for only a few moments?
“It always means a lack of resignation and submissiveness to the will of the Creator.”

b) In this case, what are the consequences of this action?
“Atonement proportioned to the gravity of the mistake, according to the circumstances under which it was committed, as always.”

954. Is there any guilt in an imprudent action that has unnecessarily caused loss of life?
“There is no guilt where there is no positive intention or consciousness of doing harm.”

955. In some countries, women voluntarily burn themselves with the body of their husbands. Are they guilty of suicide and punished for the crime?
“They obey the dictates of prejudice and are often the victims of force rather than their own free will. They believe that they are carrying out a duty, and such an act does not constitute suicide. Their excuse is in the moral bankruptcy and ignorance of the majority of them. All such barbaric and stupid customs will disappear with the development of civilization.”

956. Do those who are unable to bear the loss of loved ones and kill themselves in the hope of rejoining them in the afterlife attain their goal?
“In such cases, the result of suicide is the opposite of what they desire. Instead of a reunion with their loved one, those who make this sad mistake find themselves separated for a very long time from the precise being they hoped to rejoin. God cannot grant a favor and reward an act that is proof of moral cowardice. It is also an insult as it shows distrust in God’s plans. They pay for their foolishness with sorrows that are greater than those they fancied they were about to shorten, and for which they are not compensated by the satisfaction they hoped to obtain.” (See no. 934 et seq.)

957. Generally speaking, what are the effects of suicide on the state of the spirit?
“The consequences of suicide vary because the penalties it entails always correspond to the circumstances that have led to its occurrence. The one unavoidable consequence is disappointment; the rest depends on the circumstances. Some of those who kill themselves atone for their fault right away; others do so in a new human life that is even harder than the one whose course they have interrupted.”

Observation has confirmed that the consequences of suicide are not the same in all cases. Some of the consequences that result from a sudden interruption of life are the same in all cases of violent death. The major outcome is a greater tenacity and subsequent persistence of the link that unites the spirit and the body to break. In nearly all such cases, this connection is in its full strength at the time of rupture. When death is the result of natural causes, the link weakens gradually and may disconnect before the complete expiration of life. The consequences of this situation are, first, extension of the confusion following death, and second, the illusion that the spirit is still living on Earth. (See nos. 155, 165)

In some suicide cases, the affinity that continues to exist between the spirit and the body produces a sort of repercussion from the state of the body on the spirit. The spirit then, forcibly, perceives the effects of the body’s decomposition and experiences intense anguish and horror. This state may continue for the length of time the interrupted life would have lasted. This is not a fundamental result of suicide. However, people who voluntarily shorten their lives never escape the consequences of their lack of courage. In one way or another, eventually, they must make amends for their faults. In this manner, some spirits who were very unhappy on Earth reveal that they committed suicide in previous lives as well, and voluntarily submit to new trials to try to bear them with resignation. In some cases, the result of suicide is a sort of connection with matter, from which they vainly try to break free in order to ascend to happier worlds. Something blocks them from accessing these realms. In other cases, they regret the futile deed and from which they have gained nothing but disappointment.

Religion, morality and every philosophy condemn suicide as contradicting the law of nature. They all stress the principle that we have no right to shorten our lives voluntarily. Nonetheless, why do we not have that right? Why are we not free to put an end to our suffering? Spiritism focuses upon numerous examples of those who have yielded to this temptation in order to show that suicide is not only a fault and violation of moral law (something that is of little significance to some), but it is also foolish because a spirit gains nothing by it. Spiritism does not just preach this theoretically; it lays out the facts before our eyes.

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