Allan Kardec

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7. If the progress which human beings so laboriously accomplish in the earthly life has nothing to do with their future happiness, then the belief that they can easily secure that happiness by means of ceremonies and outward observances—and that they can even purchase their future happiness with money, without any thorough transformation of their character and habits—tends to attach them still more strongly to worldly pleasures. Many who believe in a future life under the guise we are now considering, say to themselves in their secret hearts that, because their future welfare can be secured by observing certain forms or by making bequests that entail no privation during their life time, it would be unnecessary to impose upon themselves any sacrifice for the sake of others, and that the true plan is for the individual, thus they should ensure their own salvation and secure for themselves at the same time, the largest possible share of the good things of the present life.

Assuredly such is not the thought of all people, for there are many grand and noble exceptions to the common rule. However it cannot be denied that such is the thought of the majority of humankind, especially among the unenlightened masses, and that the idea commonly entertained in regard to the conditions of happiness in the other world, tends to keep up the attachment to the things of the present one, and consequently acts as a powerful stimulus to selfishness.

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