Allan Kardec

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16. Among the many scintillating stars in the blue canopy of the sky, how many worlds there are like yours, destined by God to serve for atonement and probation! But although there are some that are more miserable, there are also others that are happier, like those of transition which can be called worlds of regeneration. Each planetary vortex, moving in space round a common centre, drags with it its own primitive worlds of exile, probation, regeneration and happiness. We have spoken to you of worlds where newly-born Spirits are placed, when they are still ignorant of both good and evil, but where they have the possibility of travelling towards God, being in possession of themselves through free-will. We have also revealed to you the fact that ample faculties are given to each soul to enable it to practise good. But alas, there are those who succumb! So God, Who does not desire their annihilation, permits that they go to these worlds where from one incarnation to another they are purified and regenerated, returning worthy of the glory for which they were destined.

17. Regenerating worlds serve as transition phases between those of probation and happiness. The penitent soul finds calm and rest on them and can continue the purifying process. Beyond doubt, Man still finds himself subject to the laws that rule matter: humanity still experiences your sensations and desires, but is liberated from the ungoverned passions to which you are slaves, freed from pride which silences the heart, envy which tortures and hate which suffocates. On all sides the word 'love' is written; perfect equity resides over all social relationships; everyone recognises God and tries to travel in His direction by fulfilling His laws.

However, perfect happiness still does not exist in these worlds, only the dawning of happiness. There Man is still of flesh and blood, and because of this subject to vicissitudes from which only the completely dematerialized beings are liberated. He still has to suffer tests, although without the pungent anguishes of atonement. Compared to the Earth, these worlds are very pleasant, and many of you would be happy to inhabit them because they represent the calm after the storm, convalescence after cruel sickness. Nevertheless, being less absorbed by material things, Man perceives the future better, comprehends the existence of other pleasures, promised by God to those who show themselves worthy when death has once again released them from their bodies in order to bestow upon them the true life. Free then, the soul hovers above all the horizons; no longer the feelings of gross matter, only the sensation of a pure and celestial perispirit absorbing emanations direct from God, in the fragrance of love and charity coming straight from His breast.

18. But alas! Man is still fallible even in these worlds and the spirit of evil has not completely lost its empire. Not to advance is to fall back, and if Man is not firmly placed along the pathway to righteousness he may return again to a world of atonement where new and more terrible tests await.

So at night, at the time of prayer and repose, contemplate the full canopy of the sky and the innumerable spheres which shine over your head, and ask yourself which ones lead to God and ask Him for one of these regenerating worlds to open to receive you after your atonement here on Earth. - SAINT AUGUSTIN (Paris, 1862).

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