Allan Kardec

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13. Man can soften or increase the bitterness of his trials according to the manner in which he regards earthly life. His suffering will be all the more depending on how long he imagines it to be. But those who can see life through a spiritual prism understand bodily existence at a glance. They see that life is but a point in eternity, comprehend the shortness of its duration, and recognise that this painful moment will soon pass. The certainty of a happier future sustains and animates them and far from complaining, they offer thanks to God for the pain which will permit them to advance. On the other hand, for all those who see only bodily life before them, the duration seems interminable and the pain oppresses with all its weight.

The result of looking at life in a spiritual way is a diminishing in importance of all worldly things, and Man feels himself compelled to moderate his desires, to content himself with his position without envying others. This in turn enables him to receive weakened impressions of reverses and deceptions that may be experienced. From these attitudes comes calmness and resignation, so useful to bodily health as well as to the soul; whereas from jealousy, envy, and ambition Man voluntarily condemns himself to tortures and increases the misery and anguish during his short existence.

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