HEAVEN AND HELL OR THE DIVINE JUSTICE ACCORDING TO SPIRITISM

Allan Kardec

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12. That there are beings endowed with all the qualities commonly attributed to angels cannot be, for those who admit the existence and progress of the soul, a matter of doubt. The spiritist revelation confirms on this point the belief of all peoples; but it also shows us the nature and origin of those beings.

Souls, or spirits, are created simple and ignorant, that is to say, without knowledge and without the consciousness of good and evil, but with the aptitude of acquiring, in knowledge and in morality, all that they lack, and which they will acquire through effort and labor. The aim of their creation – which is the attainment of perfection – is the same for all; but they attain this aim more or less quickly, in virtue of their free will and in proportion to the amount of their personal effort. All souls have the same degrees to pass through, the same task to accomplish. God does not grant larger means or an easier task to some than to others, because all of them are God’s children, and because, being just, God has no preference for any of them. God says to them all: – “I have established a law that is to be your rule of action; it, alone, can lead you to the aim of your being. Whatever is in conformity with this law is good; whatever is contrary to this law is evil. You are free to obey this law or to violate it; and you will thus be the arbiters of your own fate.” It is not God who has created evil; all God’s laws tend to ensure the happiness of God’s creatures: it is human beings, themselves, who create evil by infringing the laws of God; if they scrupulously obeyed those laws, they would never deviate from the path of rectitude and of happiness.

13. But the soul, in the early phases of its existence, is like a child, lacking experience; it is, therefore, subject to error. God does not give the soul experience, but God gives it the means of acquiring experience; every false step taken by the soul on the road of evil, keeps it back; it undergoes the consequences of this delay, but it is by means of those consequences that it learns, at its own expense, what it must avoid. It is thus that, little by little, the soul acquires development, effects its own improvement, and advances in the spiritual hierarchy, until it has reached the state of fully purified Spirit or Angel. The angels, then, are the souls of human beings who have reached the highest degree of perfection attainable by created existences, and who have entered upon the full enjoyment of the felicity for which they were created. Before attaining to the supreme degree, they enjoy degrees of happiness proportioned to their degree of advancement, but their happiness is never that of idleness, as it consists in the functions to which they are called by the Almighty and which they rejoice to discharge, because the occupations of spirits are, for them, a means of progressing.

14. The human race is not restricted to the Earth; it occupies the innumerable globes that revolve in space. It has occupied those that have already disappeared in the eternity of the past; it will occupy those that will come into existence in the eternity of the future. God has always created, creates incessantly, and will always continue to create. Consequently, long before the Earth existed, however ancient we may suppose it to be, other spirits had already been incarnated on other globes, had accomplished the same stages of development that we, spirits of a later formation, are now accomplishing, and had thus reached the supreme degree before we had issued from the hands of the Creator. From all eternity, therefore, there have always been “angels” or fully purified spirits; but, as the human phase of their development is lost in the night of ages, it seems to us as though they had always been “angels.”

15. Thus the grand law of the unity of the Creation is maintained inviolate. As God has never been inactive, there have always been fully-purified spirits who had already reached the “angelic” degree through trial, effort, and enlightenment, and had thus become fitted to transmit the volitions of the Almighty for the administration of every department of the universe, from the government of worlds to the management of the minutest details of their economy. There was, consequently, no need to create a class of privileged beings, exempted from the vicissitudes, necessities, and occupations imposed upon all the others; all the beings of the universe have won their respective grades through struggle and as the reward of their own merits; finally, all of them, from the oldest to the youngest, are the artisans of their own destiny. Thus is achieved the sovereign justice of God.

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