THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SPIRITISM

Allan Kardec

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REINCARNATION STRENGTHENS FAMILY TIES WHEREAS A SINGLE LIFE WOULD DESTROY THEM

18. Family ties are not destroyed through reincarnation as some would believe. On the contrary, they become stronger and closer. The opposite principle would, on the other hand, certainly destroy them.

In space, Spirit entities form groups or families bound together by affection, sympathy towards each other, and by similar inclinations. Happy at being together, these Spirits seek each other. Incarnate life separates them only for a while, so on returning to the spiritual world they again reunite as friends who have just returned from a journey. Frequently they will even follow each other into the incarnate form, coming here to be united in the same family or the same circle of friends and acquaintances, in order to work together for their mutual progress. When some members of the same spiritual family become incarnate and others not, they then continue their contact by means of thought. Those who are free watch over those who are captive. Those who are more advanced do everything they can for the less advanced, so helping them to progress. After each physical existence all have made some advancement, even if it is only a step along the path to progress. As they become less bound by matter, their affections become more real and more spiritually refined, due to the fact that they are not perturbed by selfish or violent passions. This then allows them to live many lives in the flesh without suffering any loss of mutual esteem.

It is understood, of course, that we refer to real affection, soul to soul, being the only love which survives after the destruction of the body. So it follows that those of this world who join together because of physical attraction, will have no motive to look for each other in the spirit world. The only lasting relationships are those linked by spiritual affection, all carnal affections being extinguished together with the cause that brought them about, in other words, the physical body. Understand by this that the physical cause no longer exists in the world of Spirits, but the soul exists eternally.

With regard to those who join together exclusively out of interest, they clearly mean nothing to each other. Death separates them both on Earth and in Heaven.

19. The union and affection which can exist between relatives is an indication of former sympathies which have brought them together. This is why, when referring to someone whose character, tastes, and inclinations hold no similarity to other members of the same family, it is customary to say that they do not belong to that family. When saying this, the truth is expressed far more profoundly than suspected. God permits that in certain families these Spirits, who are uncongenial or strangers to each other, reincarnate with the dual purpose of serving as a test for some members of that family, and as a means of progress for others. In this manner, due to contact with good Spirits and the general care dispensed to them, the bad or wicked Spirits get better, little by little Their characters grow milder, their habits become more refined and their aversions dissipated. This is how the various fusions of different categories of Spirits are accomplished, as is done with different races and peoples on the planet.

20. The fear that some people may have with regard to the indefinite increase in relationships due to reincarnation is basically selfish; proving a lack of love sufficiently ample as to be able to embrace a large number of people. Does a father who has many children love them any less than he would if there was only one? The selfish people may be tranquil because there is no reason for such a fear. The fact that a person may have had ten incarnations does not mean that in the spirit world he will find ten fathers, ten mothers, ten wives and a prodigious number of children and relatives. There he will always encounter only those who had been the object of his affections, some of whom he would have been linked to here on Earth in various relationships, or perhaps even the same ones.

21. Let us now look at the consequences of an anti-reincarnationist doctrine, It by necessity annuls all previous existences of the soul, seeing that under these ideas the soul would be created together with the body, no previous links would exist and all would be complete strangers one to another, The father would be a stranger to his child. The relationships between families would then be reduced to mere physical relations without any spiritual links whatsoever, Therefore, there would be no motive at all for anyone to claim the honour of having had such-and-such a person for their ancestor. Whereas, with reincarnation ancestors and descendants may have known each other, lived together, loved one another and can reunite later on in order to further the links of sympathy even more.

22. All that refers to the past. So now let us look at the future, According to one of the fundamental dogmas that comes from the idea of non-reincarnation, the destiny of all souls is irrevocably determined after only one existence, This fixed and definite idea of fate implies the ending of all progress, because when there is still some form of progress, then there is no definite fate. Depending on whether we have lived a good or bad life, we should go immediately to either the home of the blessed or to eternal hell, We should then be immediately and forever separated, without hope of ever being united again. In this way fathers, mothers and children, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, and even friends would never be sure of seeing each other again; this then means the absolute rupture of all family ties.

However, with the acceptance of reincarnation and consequential progress, all those who love one another will meet again on Earth and also in space, gravitating together in the direction of God. If some weaken along the path they will delay their progress and their happiness, but there will never be a total loss of hope. Helped, encouraged and sustained by those who love them, they will one day be able to extricate themselves from the quagmire into which they have allowed themselves to fall, With reincarnation there is perpetual solidarity between incarnates and discarnates constantly consolidating the links of affection.

23. In conclusion, four alternatives present themselves to Man for his future beyond the tomb. Firstly - nothingness, according to the materialist doctrine; secondly - absorption into the universe, according to the pantheistic idea; thirdly - individuality with a fixed and definite destiny, according to the Church; fourthly - individuality with constant progress according to the Spiritist doctrine.

In the first two of these alternatives, family ties are interrupted at the time of death, and no hope is left for these souls of ever meeting again in the future. With the third alternative, there is a possibility of meeting again, if each has gone to the same region, which might be either Heaven or Hell. But with the plurality of existences, which is inseparable from gradual progression, there is certainty of the continuity of relationships between those who love, and this is what constitutes the true family.

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