HEAVEN AND HELL OR THE DIVINE JUSTICE ACCORDING TO SPIRITISM

Allan Kardec

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An excellent man, who was killed in an accident, and who had been known to the medium during his life – Bordeaux, February 11th, 1861

Q. Can you give me any details concerning your death?
A. After the drowning, yes.

Q. Why not before?
A. You know all those details already. (This was the case.)

Q. Have the kindness to describe to me what you felt after your death.
A. It was long before I recovered my consciousness; but, with the grace of God and the help of the friends about me, when at length the light became visible, I was inundated by it. Be hopeful! You are sure to find, on coming here, more than you had looked for! Nothing of matter; everything is perceived by senses that are hidden from you during the life of the flesh; what can neither be seen by the eye nor touched by the hand; do you understand what I mean? It is an admiration of the spirit- being that surpasses your power of understanding, for there are no words that can explain it; it is something that can only be felt by the soul.

My awakening was very happy. The life of the Earth is one of those dreams that, notwithstanding the grotesqueness that you attach to the word, I can only speak of as a nightmare. Suppose you dream that you are in a filthy dungeon; that your body – devoured by worms which gnaw into the very marrow of your bones – is suspended above a fiery furnace; that your mouth, parched with thirst, finds not even a breath of air for refreshment; that your spirit, horror-stricken, sees around you only monsters ready to devour you; figure to yourself, in short, all the most hideous, most horrible fancies that the most fantastic dream can bring together for your torment, and then imagine yourself transported, all at once, into an Eden of delight! Imagine yourself to awaken from your nightmare, and to find yourself surrounded by all those whom you have loved, whose loss you have lamented, and whose beloved faces you see about you, looking upon you with joyous smiles; that you inhale the most exquisite perfumes and cool your parched throat at a spring of living water; that you are borne upwards, into the infinity of space, as lightly as the flower that the breeze carries off from the tree; that you feel yourself to be enveloped in an Infinite Love as the baby is enveloped in the love of its mother; fancy all this, and you will still have formed to yourself only a dim and faint idea of the nature of this transition! I have tried, by these similarities, to explain to you the happiness of the life that awaits humankind after the death of the body; but it is something that cannot be explained. Can the infinity of the sky be explained to the blind cripple whose eyes are closed to the light, and whose limbs have never been able to overstep the circle of powerlessness in which they are imprisoned? To give you an idea of the happiness of eternity, I would say to you, “Love!” for only love can show you a fore glimpse of that happiness; and love implies absence of selfishness.

Q. Was your situation a happy one, at once, on your entrance into the spirit-world?

A. A. No, I had to pay the debt of my human life. Through my heart, I had divined the existence of a future life for the spirit, but I had no active faith in the future. I had therefore to expiate my indifference towards my Creator; but God’s mercy took account of the little good I had been able to do, the sorrows I had endured with resignation, notwithstanding the suffering they had caused me: and the Divine Justice, which holds the scales according to a rule that humankind cannot understand, weighed my merits with so much love and kindness, that my shortcomings were speedily effaced.

Q. Will you give me news of your daughter? (Deceased four or five years before her father)
A. She is fulfilling a mission upon your Earth.
Q. Is she happy in this reincarnation? I hope my question is not indiscreet?
A. I could not regard it as being such; do I not see your thought like a picture, before my eyes? No, her human life is not a happy one, but the opposite; she has to undergo all the troubles of your world, but she will illustrate, by her example, all the noble virtues about which men make so many fine phrases. I shall aid her; she will not have much difficulty in surmounting the obstacles in her path; her present life is not an expiation, but a mission. Be easy about her; and accept my thanks for your kind remembrance.

(At this moment, the medium found a difficulty in writing, and said: – “If it be a suffering spirit that is trying to take possession of my hand, I beg him to write his name.”)

A. One who is very unhappy.

Q. Be kind enough to tell me your name.
A. Valeria.

Q. Will you tell me what has brought your punishment upon you?
A. No.

Q. Do you repent of your wrongdoing?
A. You see that I do.

Q. Who brought you here?
A. Sixdeniers.

Q. For what purpose did he bring you here?
A. That you may help me?

Q. Was it you who hindered me from writing, just now?
A. He put me in his place.

Q. What connection is there between you?
A. He guides me.

Q. Ask him to join in the prayer we are going to offer up for you.
(After the prayer, Sixdeniers, taking possession of the medium’s hand, wrote: – Thanks for her;

you have understood what she needs; think of her.)

Q. (To Sixdeniers) Have you many suffering spirits to guide?

A. No, but, as soon as we have brought one back to the right road, we take in hand another; without, however, losing sight of those we formerly assisted.

Q. How can you suffice for exercising an oversight that must be multiplied to infinity in the course of time?

A. Those whom we bring back to virtue become purified and progress; they then give us less trouble; and besides, in raising them, we raise ourselves also, and, as we go up, our faculties progress, and our power radiates more widely in proportion to our purity.

Remark – Inferior spirits, then, are assisted by higher spirits, whose mission it is to help them to progress; this task is therefore not exclusively committed to incarnates, though they too should take part in it, because it is for them also a means of advancement. When a spirit of lower degree impedes a communication, as in the present case, it is not always from a good motive; but the higher spirits permit the interruption, either as a trial for the medium’s patience, or in order that he may labor for the amelioration of the interrupter. The persistence of the latter may sometimes, undoubtedly, degenerate into obsession; but the more tenacious the obsession, the greater, and the more evident, is the obsessor’s need of assistance. It is therefore a mistake to repel such a spirit; we ought, on the contrary, to regard this spirit as a mendicant who needs our charity. We should say to ourselves: – “Here is an unhappy spirit who has been sent to me by spirits of higher degree that I may carry on his or her education. If I succeed, I shall rejoice to have led back an erring soul to goodness, and to have shortened its sufferings. The task is often a painful one; it would, no doubt, be more agreeable to receive only high and beautiful communications, and to converse only with the spirits of our choice; but it is not by the exclusive seeking of our own satisfaction, and by turning away from the opportunities presented to us of doing good, that we shall merit the protection of spirits of high degree.

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