Allan Kardec

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4. As, on the other hand, human beings perceived the fact of an incessant struggle between good and evil and saw that the latter frequently triumphed over the former, and as, on the other hand, they could not rationally admit that evil was the work of a beneficent power, they naturally concluded that there were two rival powers, sharing between them the government of the world. Thence arose the doctrine of the two principles, that of good and that of evil; a doctrine reasonable for the period in which it took its rise, for the human mind had not then acquired the capacity of conceiving of anything higher, and of divining the existence of the Supreme Being as beyond, and above, the strife of opposing principles. How could such primitive humans have possibly understood that evil is only a passing phase from which a greater good is to be developed, and that the evils which afflict the human race must necessarily lead it on to happiness, by compelling it to move forward on the path of progress? The narrowness of their mental horizons prevented them seeing anything beyond their present lives, either before or behind them; they could neither comprehend that they had already progressed nor that they would continue to progress; still less could they see that the vicissitudes of life are the result of the imperfections of the spiritual being which animates the body, which is pre- existent to and survives the external form, and that it is the destiny of this being to refine itself by passing through a series of successive existences until it has attained to the state of perfect purity. In order to comprehend that good can be brought out of evil, it is necessary to see more than a single existence and to contemplate the career of the soul in its totality; for it is only this broad view of the matter that can enable us to comprehend the causes and the effects of the vicissitudes of human existence.

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