Allan Kardec

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(Bordeaux, April 19th, 1862)

July 30th – I am now less unhappy, for I no longer feel the chain that held me to my body. I am free, at last; but I have not completed my expiation; I must make up for lost time, if I would not prolong my sufferings. I trust that God will see the sincerity of my repentance and grant me His forgiveness. Pray for me still, I beg of you.

Men, my brothers! I lived only for myself; now I am expiating this wickedness, and I suffer! May God give you the grace to avoid the thorns by which I am torn! Walk in the broad road of holiness and pray for me; for I made a bad use of the possessions that God lends to His creatures!

He who sacrifices his intelligence and his higher sentiments to his animal instincts assimilates himself to the animals. Man should use with sobriety the property of which he is only the depository; he should accustom himself to live exclusively for the eternity that is awaiting him, and he should consequently detach himself from material enjoyments. His food should have no other aim than that of sustaining his vitality; his luxury should be strictly subordinated to the necessities of his position; his tastes, and even his natural tendencies, should be regulated by his reason; for, without this mastery of his animal nature, he debases instead of purifying himself. Human passions are a narrow bond that cuts into the flesh; be careful, therefore, not to tighten it. Live, but be not high livers. You know not what such abuses cost when we return to the native land of the soul! Terrestrial passions strip us of everything before they leave us, and we arrive in the presence of God naked, entirely naked. Rid yourselves, therefore, of those passions, and clothe yourselves with good deeds; they will aid you to cross the space that separates you from eternity. They will hide your human weaknesses with a shining mantle. Clothe yourselves with charity and love, divine garments of which nothing can deprive you!”


This spirit is on the right road, since, to his repentance, he adds the giving of good advice in regard to the dangers of the evil road he formerly followed. To acknowledge one’s faults is, in itself, meritorious, and is a first step on the road to reformation; and for this reason, his situation, though not one of happiness, is no longer that of a “suffering spirit.” He repents; and he is therefore becoming fitted to make the reparation that he will accomplish in another life of trial. Would you know what, before reaching that point, is the situation of the spirits of those whose earthly life, altogether sensual, has failed to excite their spirit to any other activity than that of incessantly inventing new pleasures of the sensual order? The influence of matter follows them beyond the grave; their appetites are left intact by death, but, their range of vision being as narrow as upon the Earth, they seek in vain for the means of satisfying them. Never having cultivated mental and moral pleasures, their soul wanders through space – which is a void for them – without aim, without hope, a prey to the anxiety of one who sees before him no other perspective than that of an illimitable desert. The nullity of their intellectual occupations during the life of the body has its natural result in the nullity of the working of their spirit after death. Unable any longer to satisfy their body, they are incapable of procuring any satisfaction for their soul; hence arises, for them, a crushing weariness of which they cannot foresee any termination, and to escape from which they would gladly accept annihilation. But there is no annihilation; they have been able to kill their body, but they cannot kill their soul: they are therefore obliged to live on, undergoing all this mental torture, until, vanquished by lassitude, they at length determine to turn towards God.

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