HEAVEN AND HELL OR THE DIVINE JUSTICE ACCORDING TO SPIRITISM

Allan Kardec

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18. In the boundless immensity around us, where, then, is “Heaven”? “Heaven” is everywhere; it has no fixed site, nor place, nor circumscribing limits; the globes of high degree are the last stations on the road which leads to it; virtue opens the gates of that supreme abode; vice bars its entrance.

In contrast with this grand and magnificent view of the universe, which shows us its remotest regions peopled with intelligent inhabitants, which assigns to all the objects of creation a meaning, a purpose, and an aim, how mean, how petty, is the doctrine that limits the human race to an imperceptible point of space, which represents humankind as beginning at a given time, within the world which it inhabits, the career of the race embracing but a moment in eternity! How sad, dark, and chilling is the doctrine that represents the rest of the universe, before, during, and after, the brief episode of the career of the human race, as devoid of life and movement, an incommensurable desert plunged in eternal silence! How prolific of despair is such a doctrine, presenting to the mind a picture of the small group of the elect, absorbed in perpetual contemplation, while the great majority of God’s created beings, in all the immensity of the universe, are condemned to endless torments! How cruel, for all loving hearts, is such a doctrine, interposing an impassable barrier between the living and the dead! The souls of the elect, in their selfish happiness, think only of their own beatitude; the souls of the damned, in their hopeless eternity of misery, think only of their own despair. Is it strange that selfishness should be rife upon the Earth, when it is presented to mankind as reigning supreme in “Heaven”? And how narrow, how degrading is the idea given by such a doctrine, of the power, the wisdom, and the goodness of God!

How grand, how sublime, on the contrary, is the idea that is given to us by Spiritism! What vast horizons does its doctrine open out to the mind! But what proves it to be true? It is authenticated by reason, in the first place, revelation, in the second place, and, lastly, its accordance with the scientific progress of the day. Between two doctrines, one which debases, while the other exalts our idea of the attributes of God; — one of which is in contradiction, and the other in harmony with the law of progress that is visible in every department of existence; — one of which remains stationary while the other leads us unceasingly forwards, — common sense suffices to show us which is nearest to the truth. In the presence of two doctrines thus diametrically opposed to each other, let all inquirers interrogate their own consciousness, their own aspirations, and an inner voice will reply to their inquiry as to which is the true one. The aspirations of humankind are the voice of God and cannot deceive us.

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