THE SPIRITIST REVIEW - JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGICAL STUDIES - 1858

Allan Kardec

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The murder of five childrenA moral problem


We read in the Gazette de Silésie:

“On October 20th, 1857 we got a letter from Bolkenham about a terrible crime that had just been committed by a twelve year old boy. Last Sunday the 25th three children of Mr. Hubner, the blacksmith, and later on two of Mr. Fritche, the shoemaker, were playing in the yard of the latter one. The young H..., known for his bad character, joined them, convincing all kids to get into a strongbox, inside a barn, that the shoemaker used to take his merchandise to the market. The five children could hardly fit but got stacked up with laughs, one on top of the other. As soon as they got inside the box the monster locked the chest, sat on top of it and waited for about three quarters of an hour, first listening to their screams and then to their groaning.”

“When they finally went quiet so that the boy thought they were dead, he opened the box. The children were still breathing. He then closed the box again, locked it and went on to fly a kite. Once he left the garden, however, he was seen by a girl. We can only imagine the anxiety of the parents once they noticed the disappearance of the children, and their desperation when finding them inside the chest, after a long search. One of the children was still alive but did not resist and soon died as well. Denounced by the girl that saw him leaving the yard, the young H... confessed his cold-blooded crime, not manifesting the least remorse. The five victims, a boy and four girls, between four and nine years old, were buried today.”

OBSERVATION: The spirit that was questioned by us is the sister of the medium, who died twelve years ago, always showing superiority as a spirit.

1. Did you hear the text that we have just read, about the killing of the five children from Silésie, by another twelve year old child?
- Yes, my penalty still requires that I hear abominations from Earth.

2. Which motives would make a boy at that age to commit such a barbarian crime and with such a cold blood?
- Evilness has no age. It is natural in a child and it is thought trough in an adult.

3. The occurrence in a child, without reasoning, wouldn’t that indicate the incarnation of a very inferior spirit?
- It comes directly from the perversity of the heart: it is his own spirit that dominates him, leading him to the perversity.

4. What could have been the previous existence of such a spirit?
- Horrible.
5. In his previous existence, was he on Earth or has he come from an inferior world?
- I don’t know well but he should have come from a world well inferior to Earth. He dared to come to Earth. He shall be doubly punished.

6. In such an age would the boy have enough consciousness about the crime he committed? The spirit shall be responsible?
- His age was that of the consciousness. That is enough.
7. Since this spirit dared to come to Earth, too elevated for him, can he be forced to return to a world more related to his nature?
- His punishment is exactly to return; it is the very hell. Such was the punishment of Lucifer, the spiritual man that degraded to the material level; it is the veil that from now on hides God’s gifts and his Divine protection from him. You must all endeavor to re- conquer those lost gifts and you shall re-conquer the paradise that Christ came to open the doors to you. It is the presumption, the pride of man that wanted to conquer what only God could have.

OBSERVATION: An observation about the verb “dare”, employed by the spirit. There are examples of spirits that were in worlds too elevated for them and were obliged to return to another one in more harmony with their nature. Someone noted that the spirits have also said that there is no decay in progress. We shall answer that indeed the spirits cannot retrograde, in the sense that it is not possible to lose what has been acquired in knowledge and morality; they can, however, decay in position. A man that usurps a superior position given his fortune and capacity may be forced to leave it and return to his natural position. Well, this cannot be called decaying as he just returns to his sphere, which he left out of pride and ambition. The same happens with respect to the spirits that want to more rapidly rise to worlds where they shall be misplaced. Superior spirits can also reincarnate in inferior worlds where they accomplish missions of progress. One cannot call this retro-gradation, as it is only devotement.

8. How is Earth superior to the world from where that spirit is originated?
- There is a weak idea of justice. It is the beginning of progress.

9. It seems as a consequence that in worlds inferior to Earth there is no idea of justice?

- No. Men live only for themselves and have no cause of action other than the satisfaction of their passions and instincts.

10. What shall be the position of that spirit in a new existence?
- If his regret can partially or totally erase the enormity of his faults then he shall stay on Earth; if, on the contrary, he persists on what you call final impenitence then he shall go to a place where man is at the animal level.

11. Then he can find the means of expiating his faults on Earth, without been forced to return to an inferior world?
- Repentance is sacred to God’s eyes because it is like man judging himself, something rare in your planet.

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