Allan Kardec

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Madame B——, a lady of Bordeaux, in easy circumstances, was a martyr, from one end of her life to the other, to the physical sufferings resulting from a constant succession of serious illnesses by which she was attacked, from the age of five months, through a period of seventy years, and which kept her always on the verge of the grave. Three times was she poisoned by the experiments tried upon her by medical science, still so uncertain; and her constitution, ruined by drugs as much as by disease, left her, at length, a prey to intolerable sufferings that nothing could alleviate. Her daughter, a spiritist and a medium, besought of God, in her prayers, to lessen her mother’s distressing trials; but her spirit- guide, having advised her to pray only that she might be strengthened to bear them with patience and resignation, dictated the following explanation of the state to which she was reduced:

“In every human existence is an effect; there is no suffering in your present life that is not the echo of sufferings which you have caused to others in the past; every privation you endure is the counterpoise of an excess of which you have been guilty in a former life; every tear you shed is needed to wash away some fault or some crime. Each must therefore bear, with patience and resignation, his sufferings of body or of mind, however severe they may seem to him; remembering the husbandman, who continues his labors, notwithstanding fatigue, sustained by the thought of the ripened grain that will be the reward of his perseverance. Let it be thus with all who suffer in your Earth, and the aspiration after the happiness which is the harvest of patience will give them strength to bear the passing sorrows of human life.

“It is thus with your mother; every pain accepted by her as an expiation effaces a blemish in her past; and the sooner those blemishes are effaced, the sooner will she be happy. The lack of resignation renders suffering sterile, because, in such a case, your trials have to be undergone anew. What she most needs, therefore, is resolution and submission; and what you should ask for her is, that God and her spirit friends may aid her to be brave and patient.

“Your mother was formerly a distinguished physician, who had a large practice among the class which spares no outlay for its comfort or convenience, and he was laden with wealth and honors. Ambitious of renown and of riches, bent on acquiring all that was known to science of his day – not from a desire to alleviate the sufferings of his brethren, for he was no philanthropist, but as a means of increasing his reputation and, consequently, his practice, – he stuck at nothing that could advance his knowledge of disease. The mother was martyred on her couch of suffering, that he might study the convulsions he determined; the infant was subjected to experiments intended to furnish him with the key to certain phenomena; the death of the aged was pitilessly hastened; the strong man was sacrificed that he might ascertain the action of some given drug; and all these experiments were tried on unfortunate patients who submitted to his treatment confiding in his skill. The gratification of greed and pride, the thirst of gold and of fame, such were the mainsprings of his action. It has taken a succession of ages and of terrible trials to conquer this proud and ambitious spirit; but, at last, repentance has begun to exercise its curative influence, and the work of reparation is making progress, for the trials of his present life are nothing in comparison with those he had previously endured. Take comfort, therefore, in the thought that, although the punishment of the spirit, now incarnated as your mother, has been long and severe, the reward of her present patience, resignation, and humility will be great.

“Take courage, all you who suffer! Think how short is the duration of even the longest human life; think of the eternity of happiness to which the brief sorrows of time are leading you; call to your aid Hope, that devoted friend of suffering hearts, and Faith, her sister, who points to the Heavens to which Hope introduces you beforehand! Call also to your aid the noble spirit-helpers given to you by Providence, who are always around you, who love you, who sustain you, and whose constant solicitude is directed to the task of bringing you back to Him from whom you have estranged yourselves by transgressing His laws.”

After her death, Mme. B—— gave, through her daughter, and through other mediums, various communications reflecting high excellence of mind and heart, and fully confirming all that had been stated to her daughter respecting her previous existences.

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