HEAVEN AND HELL OR THE DIVINE JUSTICE ACCORDING TO SPIRITISM

Allan Kardec

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(The spirit is addressing the medium who knew him during his earthly life)

“I am going to tell you what I went through with in dying. My spirit, held to my body by the bonds of materiality, had great difficulty in getting free; this was a first and very severe distress. The physical life, which I had quitted at the age of twenty-four, was still so strong in me that I had no idea I had been withdrawn from it. I searched about for my body, and was both astonished and alarmed at finding myself lost in the midst of a crowd of shadows. At length, I was suddenly struck with the consciousness of my state and remembrance of the misdeeds done by me in all my incarnations; a pitiless light illuminated the most secret recesses of my soul, which, feeling itself naked, was seized with overwhelming shame. I sought to escape from this misery by directing my attention to the objects – new and yet known to me – with which I was surrounded. Radiant spirits, floating through the ether, showed me happiness to which I could not aspire; dark and frightful forms – some of them plunged in gloomy despair, others mocking or furious – were gliding about me, and upon the Earth to which I remained attached. I saw the movements of the people in the world, and I envied their ignorance of the other life with which they are in unconscious relationship; a whole order of sensations, unknown, or rather, recovered, suddenly invaded my being. Involved by an irresistible force, trying to flee from the tortures that beset me, I rushed madly forward, regardless of the elements, regardless of the physical obstacles; and neither the beauties of nature nor the splendors of the celestial regions could calm, for a single instant, the torments of my conscience and the terror caused me by the revelation of eternity. A mortal may form some idea of physical tortures from the shuddering of the flesh; but your fragile sorrows – softened by hope, tempered by the incidents of your earthly life, put an end to by forgetfulness – cannot give you the faintest notion of the anguish of a soul that suffers without cessation, without hope, without repentance! I remained, for a length of time that I am unable to measure, envying the happy spirits of whose splendors I sometimes obtained glimpses, detesting the evil spirits who pursued me with their mocking, despising the human beings whose turpitudes I witnessed, passing from the deepest prostration to insensate revolt.

At last, you called me; and, for the first time, a feeling of gentleness and tenderness appeased my suffering. I listened to the teachings given you by your guides; my eyes were opened to the truth; I prayed, and God heard me! He has now revealed Himself to me by His mercy, as He had previously revealed Himself to me by His justice.

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