Allan Kardec

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(Bordeaux, 1862)

A spirit who announced himself spontaneously to the medium and asked to be prayed for

1. What has induced you to ask for prayers?

A. I am weary of wandering without an aim.

Q. Have you been long in this situation?

A. About one hundred and eighty years.

Q. What did you do upon the earth?

A. Nothing good.

2. What is your position among spirits?

A. I am among those who are the victims of boredom.

Q. But that does not constitute a category?

A. Everything, among us, constitutes a category. Every sensation meets with its similar, and this sympathy brings us together.

3. Why have you remained so long without advancing, if you were not condemned to your present state as a punishment?

A. I was condemned to suffer boredom; it is a mode of suffering for us; whatever is not an enjoyment is, for us, a suffering.

Q. Have you, then, been obliged to remain errant against your will?

A. This question could only be answered by a reference to causes too subtle for your flesh- bound intelligence.

Q. Try to make me understand them; the effort will be a useful beginning for you.

A. I could not do so, having no terms of comparison. An earthly life leaves, to the spirit who has made no good use of it, what fire leaves of the paper it has consumed; — sparks, reminding the still-untied but ashy tissue of what it was and of the cause of their own production, or, if you will, of the destruction of the paper. These sparks are the remembrance of terrestrial ties that run through the spirit until he has dispersed the ashes of his body. It is only then that he recovers possession of himself, as an ethereal essence, and desires to go forward.

4. What could have caused you the boredom of which you complain?

A. The consequences of an anterior existence. Boredom is the child of idleness. I knew not how to employ the long succession of years I had formerly passed upon the Earth; and the consequences of my inactivity still follow me in the spirit-world.

5. Cannot the spirits who, like you, are wandering a prey to boredom, put an end to that state when they will?

A. Not always, because their will is paralyzed by their state of boredom. They undergo the consequences of their previous existence; they have been useless, devoid of initiative, and they find no help from one another. They are abandoned to themselves until the weariness of this neutral state suggests to them the desire to change it. As soon as this desire begins to awaken in them, they find help and wise counsels that assist them to persevere in their effort to change their position.

6. Can you tell me anything of your earthly life?

A. Alas! There is little to tell of it, as you may easily understand. Boredom, inutility, idleness, come of laziness; laziness is the mother if ignorance.

7. Have you made no progress in your former lives?

A. I advanced a little in all of them, but very little; for all our lives are reflexes of one another. A spirit always makes some progress in an existence; but it is sometimes so slight as to be inappreciable by us.

8. While you are waiting to begin a new existence, would you like to come to me occasionally?

A. Call me, to compel me to come; you would be doing me a service.

9. Can you tell me why it is that your handwriting changes so often?

A. Because you ask me so many questions. It tires me and obliges me to get help.

The Medium’s Guide – It is the exercise of his thought that tires him and obliges us to give him our help, that he may be enabled to reply to your questions. He is one of the lazybones of the spirit- world, as he was of the world of men. We have brought him to you, that you may try to draw him out of the apathy that is really a state of suffering, and one that is often still more painful than a sharper pain, for it may be prolonged indefinitely. Can you imagine a worse torture than the prospect of lassitude prolonged forever? The spirits who seek a terrestrial existence only as an amusement and to break the wearisome monotony of their spirit-life are, for the most part, of this category; they go back into the earthly life without any fixed determination to cultivate goodness, and they have therefore to begin that life over and over again, until, at length, they feel a sincere desire to advance.

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