Allan Kardec

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GreedMoral Dissertation

Dictated by the spirit of St. Louis to Ms. Ermance Dufaux, on January 6th, 1858


Listen to me you. One day two children of the same father received a bushel8 of wheat each. The older brother locked his wheat in a remote place. The younger found a poor man in his way, begging for money; he swiftly gave him half of the wheat he received, pouring it on the man’s mantle. Then he moved on, sowing the remaining seeds about his father’s field.

Over that time there was a terrible hunger and the birds from the sky were found dead on the pathways. The older brother rushed to his hiding place only to find dust. The younger one was sadly contemplating his dry wheat when he noticed the poor man who he had once helped. Brother, said the beggar, I was dying and you helped me; now that hope has dried in your heart, follow me. Your half-bushel has yielded five times more in my hands. I will give you food and you will live in abundance.


Listen to me, you stingy! Do you know happiness? Yes, don’t you? Your eyes shine with dark reflections in the orbits deeply carved by greed; your lips clasp, your nostrils dilate and your ears are attentive. Yes, I hear: it is the jingle of gold that your hand caresses, by pouring in your box. You say: what a supreme ecstasy! Silence, someone is coming! Quickly shut it up! Oh! How pale you are! Your whole body shakes. Control yourself! The footsteps move away. Open it! Look once more, it is your gold. Open it! Do not be afraid. You are quite alone. Do you hear? It's nothing. It's the wind moaning through the cracks. Look! How much gold! Plunge your hands, sound the metal. You are happy.

Happy you! But you cannot rest at night and ghosts invade your sleep.

You are cold! Get closer to the fireplace. The fire that crackles so happily warms you up. Snow falls. The cold traveler involves himself in his coat; the poor is shivering under the rags. The flame of the fire diminishes; throw on more wood. No, stop! It's your gold blazing with that wood; it is your gold that you burn!

You are hungry! Look, take it, satisfy yourself. All this is yours. You paid with your gold. With your gold! This abundance disgusts you; will this superfluous be needed to maintain life? No, this piece of bread will be enough; too much, still. Your clothes fall in tatters; your house cracks and threatens to ruin; you will suffer cold and hunger, but who cares! You have gold!

Miserable! Death will separate you from this gold. You will leave it by the edge of your grave, as the dust shaken by the traveler at the door, where the loving family awaits to celebrate the expected return.

Your weakened blood, aged by your voluntary misery, has frozen in your veins. Eager heirs throw your body into a corner of the cemetery; behold you are now face to face with eternity. Miserable! What have you done to the gold that has been entrusted to you to relieve the poor? You hear these blasphemies? You see these tears? You see this blood? These are the blasphemies of the sufferings that you could have alleviated; these are the tears you caused, the blood you shed. You horrify yourself; you wish you could escape but you cannot. You suffer, desperately! Your suffering contorts you. Suffer! There will be no mercy for you! You had no compassion on your unhappy brother. Who would have for you? Suffer! Suffer always! Your punishment will never end. To punish you, God wants you to believe so.

OBSERVATION: Listening to the end of these eloquent and poetic words, we were surprised to hear St. Louis talking about the eternity of suffering, when all the superior spirits are in agreement to combat this belief, when the last words: “to punish you, God so wants you to believe so” explains it all. We reproduced them in the general characteristics of the spirits of the third order. Indeed, the more imperfect the spirits the more restricted and circumscribed their ideas. For them the future is vague, and they do not understand it. They suffer, their suffering is long, and for those who suffer for a long time, it is like suffering forever. This thought, alone, is a punishment.

In a next article we will cite facts of manifestations that might enlighten us regarding the nature of suffering beyond the grave.

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