2. The fear of death is at once a proof of the wisdom of Providence and a consequence of the instinct of self-preservation that is common to all living creatures. It is, moreover, essential to the well-being of the human race, so long as men and women are insufficiently enlightened in regard to the conditions of their future life. It serves as a counterpoise to the discouragement which, if not for this fear, would too often lead them to make a voluntary renunciation of their terrestrial existence, and to shirk the labors of this lower sphere, which are necessary to their advancement.
We accordingly see that, among primitive peoples the intuition of a future life is extremely vague, and that it is only in proportion as people advance that this intuition gradually becomes, at first, a mere hope and later, in the fullness of time, a certainty, but still counter balanced by an instinctive attachment to corporeal life.