Allan Kardec

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6. In examining the passage from the earthly life to the spirit-life, another point, and one of the greatest importance, has to be noted, viz., the mental confusion which accompanies the separation of the soul from the body. At the moment when this separation is taking place, the soul is seized with a sort of torpor that paralyzes its faculties, and at least to a certain extent, neutralizes its sensations; it is in a state resembling catalepsy, so that it is rarely conscious of the termination of the process of dying. We say very rarely, because there is a case in which the soul may preserve its self-consciousness to the very last, as we will presently see. The state of confusion may therefore be considered as the normal condition of the soul at the moment of death; its duration differs in different cases and may vary from a few hours to many years. When this confusion dissipates, the soul finds itself in a position of one who is waking out of a deep sleep; its ideas are muddled, vague, and clouded; it sees, so to say, through a fog; but, little by little, its sight becomes clearer, its memory comes back, and it regains the consciousness of itself. But this awakening is very different, according to the character of the individual; with some, it is calm and accompanied with delightful sensations; with others, it is full of terror and anxiety, and is like a hideous nightmare.

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