Allan Kardec

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“The Three Circles”

XII – There are three circles of existence: the circle of the empty region (ceugant) where, with the exception of God, there is nothing alive nor dead and no being that God cannot penetrate; the circle of migration (abred) where every animated being proceeds from death, where man has lived; and the circle of happiness (gwynfyd), where every animated being proceeds from life and that man will live in heaven.

XIII – Three successive states of the animated beings: the state of humiliation in the abyss (annoufn); the state of freedom in humanity and the state of happiness in heaven.

XIV – Three necessary phases of every existence regarding life: the beginning in annoufn; the transmigration in abred and the plenitude in gwynfyd. Without these three things nothing else can exist but God.”

Thus, as a summary, about the capital point of the theology that God, as their Creator, takes the souls from the “emptiness”, the triads do not precisely enunciate. After showing God in an inaccessible and eternal sphere, they simply show the souls originating in the last layers of the Universe, in the abyss (annoufn); from there these souls pass to the migration circle (abred), where their destiny is determined through a series of existences, according to the good or bad use of their freedom; finally, they elevate to the supreme circle (gwynfyd) where the migrations stop, where there is no more death, where life takes place in happiness, preserving a perpetual activity and total consciousness of their individuality.

Truthfully, Druidism does not follow the same mistakes as Eastern theologies, which lead man to be finally absorbed into the centre of an immutable Divinity since, on the contrary, it distinguishes a special circle, a circle of the emptiness or infinite (ceugant), which forms the incommunicable privilege of the supreme Being and in which no creature, whatever the degree of holiness, will ever penetrate. It is the highest point of the religion because it establishes the milestone for everyone’s progress.

The most significant hallmark of that theology, given that it is a purely negative mark, consists in the absence of a particular circle, such as the Tartar of the pagan antiquity, destined to the endless punishment of the criminal souls. To the Druids there isn’t properly a hell. The distribution of penalties, to their eyes, occurs in the circle of the migrations, in more or less happy condition where always owner of their own freedom they expiate their faults through the suffering and prepare for a better future, by the reformulation of their vices. In certain cases it is even possible that the souls degenerate to the annoufn region where they are born and to which no other meaning can be given but the animality. By this dangerous side of the degeneration, which nothing justifies, as the diversity of conditions in the circle of humanity is perfectly sufficient to the penalties of all degrees, Druidism would have then slipped to the metempsychosis. But such an unpleasant extreme, to which no requirement of the development of the soul through the migrations leads, as it will be seen by the series of triads relatively to the regimen of the abred circle, it seems to have occupied a secondary place in the religious system.

Apart from some obscurities due perhaps to the difficulties of a language whose profound metaphysical origin has not yet been well understood, the declaration of the triads with respect to the circle of abred spread the most vivid lights over the body of the Druidic religion. One feels a slight breath of superior originality. The mystery which offers the spectacle of our current existence to the intelligence, acquires there a singular feature not found anywhere else. One would say that a great veil, tearing off before and beyond life, allows the soul to suddenly swim with an unexpected power, through an undefined extension, never suspected before in their prison, among the thick walls of birth and death.

Whatever the judgment we pass on the truthfulness of that doctrine, it should be profound. Thinking of the effect that these principles about the origin and destine of the soul should have on simple creatures, it is easy to understand the huge influence the Druids had over the spirit of our ancestors. Amidst the darkness of antiquity, those sacred ministers could not appear to be, to the eyes of the people, anything but revealers of Heaven and Earth.

Here the remarkable text under scrutiny:

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