Allan Kardec

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Theory of the causes of our actions

Mr. R..., corresponding member of the French Institute and one of the most eminent members of the Parisian Society of Spiritist Studies, in the session of September 14th, developed the following considerations, as a corollary of the theory just given with respect to fear, reported in the previous article.

“From all communications of the spirits that are provided to us, it is clear that they exert a direct influence over our actions, some inviting us to the good deeds, others to the evil ones. St. Louis has just told us the following:

“The malevolent spirits like to have fun. Be careful with them! The one who judges to say something pleasant to a group of people and that entertains a society with jokes and actions is sometimes wrong and even many times wrong by thinking that it all comes from him. The frivolous spirits that surround him identify with him so much that they gradually trick him with respect to his thoughts, tricking also those who listen to him.”

From the above it is evident that not everything that we say comes from us; that many times, like the speaking mediums, we are nothing but interpreters of the thoughts of a strange spirit that has identified with ours. The facts confirm this theory and demonstrate that very frequently our acts are also consequence of thoughts that are suggested to us. Thus, the man who does an evil deed gives in to a suggestion, whenever weak enough not to resist, ignoring the voice of the conscience that can be either his own or of a good spirit that combats the influence of a malevolent one, through his warnings.”

“According to the common sense, man finds all his instincts in his own physical organization for which he is not responsible or in his own nature where he can search for a cause, not been allegedly guilty for being created as such. The Spiritist Doctrine is evidently more moral. It admits man’s free will in all its plenitude. By telling him that when he does an evil deed he yields to an evil foreign suggestion, it attributes to man the full responsibility, since it acknowledges his power to resist that is evidently easier than if he had to fight against his own nature. Thus, according to the Spiritist Doctrine, there is no irresistible creeping: man can always close his ears to the occult voice that solicits him to evil acts, in his most inner being, as he can also ignore the material voice of someone that talks to him. He can do so by his own will, asking God for the necessary strength, for which he shall beg for the assistance of the good spirits. This is what Jesus teaches us in the sublime prayer of the Pater Noster, when he says: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

When we take the short story that we just reported as an excuse to one of our questions we would not think about the development that it would take. We feel twice as happy by the nice words it deserved from St. Louis and of those from our eminent colleague. Had we not been certain since long ago about the highest capacity of our colleague and with respect to his profound knowledge about the Spiritist Doctrine, we would be tempted to believe that such a theory came from him and that St. Louis used that to complete his teachings. We are led to add our own considerations as follows:

The theory of the exciting cause of our actions evidently sticks out from the whole teaching of the spirits. It shows not only a sublime morality but also reveals man to his own eyes; it shows him free to upset the obsessing oppression as he is free to close the door to the annoying ones: he is no longer like a machine, acting by impulse, irrespective of his will; he is a thoughtful being that hears, judges and freely chooses between two advices. Furthermore, despite all that, man is not absolutely deprived from taking the initiative; he does that on his own, since he is an incarnated spirit that preserves under his corporeal covering the qualities and defects which he had as spirit. Our faults thus have a primary source in the imperfection of our own spirit that has not yet achieved the moral superiority,which he will one day have and nevertheless he still has the free will. He is given the corporeal life in order to purge his imperfections through the endured trials, and those very imperfections are the ones that make him weaker and more accessible to the suggestions of other imperfect spirits, who take the opportunity to make him succumb in the struggles that he is going through. If he succeeds in those trials, he elevates himself. If he fails, stays the same, not better, not worse. It is a trial to restart, and this can drag on for a long time. The more one depurates, the lesser the weak points and less subjected one will be to the solicitation of evil; the moral strength shall grow in proportion to the elevation hence the bad spirits will stay away. Then, who would be those bad spirits? Would they be the ones we call demons? They are not the demons in the vulgar meaning of the word, since by demons one implies a class of beings created for evil and perpetually devoted to evil. Well, the spirits tell us that sooner or later everybody improves, according to one’s free will, but while imperfect one can do bad deeds, as the dirty water can spread putrid and morbid miasmas. As long as the spirits do what is needed, they depurate while incarnated; as spirits they suffer the consequences of what they did or did not do for their improvement, consequences that they also suffer on Earth, as the vicissitudes of life are at the same time expiation and trial. All these more or less depurated spirits constitute the human species when incarnated. Since our Earth is one of the less advanced worlds, there are more bad spirits than good ones here, what explain so much perversity around us. Let us then apply every effort to not come back after this experience, so that we deserve to inhabit a better world, in one of these privileged spheres where the good reigns absolute and where we shall remember our passage through Earth as a bad dream.

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