Allan Kardec

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12. In cases of violent death, the conditions that bring about the process of separation are not exactly the same. When even a partial desegregation of the elements of an individual’s personality has not been previously initiated to begin the process of separating the body and the perispirit, the organic life is suddenly arrested when in full force; in such a case, the disengagement of the perispirit only begins to be effected after death has occurred, and as in other cases, it cannot be effected immediately. The spirit, unexpectedly seized upon by death, is, as it were, stunned by the suddenness of the event; but, as it feels and thinks, it supposes itself to be still living the earthly life, and it retains this illusion until it has come to understand its real position. This intermediate state between the life of the flesh and the life of the spirit-world is one of the most interesting subjects of study that is offered to us, because it presents the curious spectacle of a spirit who mistakes its fluidic body for its fleshly body, and who experiences all the sensations of organic life. It offers an infinite variety of shades, according to the character, the knowledge, and the degree of moral advancement of each spirit. It is of short duration for those whose soul is purified, because in their case, there has already been a commencement of the liberating process, of which death even the most sudden has only hastened the completion; but for others, it may be prolonged for years. This state is very frequent, even in the cases of ordinary death, but for some it presents nothing painful, because of the qualities of the Spirit; but for others, this situation is a terrible one. It is especially painful in the case of those who have committed suicide. Because the body adheres to the perispirit by every fiber, all the convulsions of the former are repeated via repercussions in the soul, which thus undergoes the most horrible sufferings.

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