THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SPIRITISM

Allan Kardec

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HAPPINESS IS NOT OF THIS WORLD

20. Mankind in general, from all walks of society, is constantly complaining either that he is not happy, or that happiness was not made for him. This, dear brothers and sisters, proves better than any possible form of reasoning the truth of the maxim from the book of Ecclesiastics: 'Happiness is not of this world.' Indeed, not riches, power or even the blossom of youth are essential conditions for happiness. Furthermore, not even by uniting these three elements, so desired by many, can happiness be assured because we are constantly hearing of people of all ages, even those from the most privileged classes, bitterly complaining of the situation in which they find themselves.

Before this fact it is inconceivable that the militant and working classes envy, with great anxiety, the positions of those who are apparently favoured by fortune. In this world, despite what anyone can do, each must face his own part of work and misery, his quota of suffering and deceptions, from which it is easy to reach the conclusion that the Earth is a planet of trials and atonement.

So then, those who preach that the Earth is Man's only home, and that it is here during only one existence he must reach the highest level of happiness possible to his nature, are merely deluding themselves and those who listen to them, seeing that it has been demonstrated through multi-secular experiences that only in exceptional cases can this globe offer the necessary conditions for complete happiness for any one individual. In general terms, it is possible to affirm that happiness is a Utopia, whose conquest has been striven after by successive generations without their ever having been able to reach their objective. If the sensible man or woman is a rarity in the world, then the absolutely happy person has never been found.

Happiness on Earth consists of something so fleeting for those who are not guided by wisdom, that but for a year, a month or a week of complete satisfaction the rest of their existence is a series of bitter deceptions. And note, dear children, that I refer to those who are considered the lucky ones of the Earth, those who are the envy of the masses.

Consequently, if the earthly dwelling-place is specifically for trials and atonement, then we are forced to admit that somewhere there are more favourable dwelling places where the Spirit, although still a prisoner in a material body, may possess the delights of human life in all its fullness. This is the reason why God has planted those beautiful superior planets in your vortex, towards which your efforts and tendencies will one day cause you to gravitate, when you have become sufficiently purified and perfected.

However, do not deduce from my words that the Earth is perpetually destined to remain a penitentiary. No, certainly not! From the progress that has already been achieved we may readily infer further progression, and from the various social betterments obtained, new and more fertile improvements. This is the immense task allotted to this new doctrine which the Spirits have revealed.

So then, dear children, may you be animated by a saintly emulation so that you may energetically change your ways. Everyone should dedicate themselves to the propagation of Spiritism, which has already begun your own regeneration. It is your duty to help your brothers and sisters to participate in the rays of this sacred light. Accordingly set to work, dear children! Let us hope that within this solemn reunion all hearts may aspire to this great objective, which is to prepare a world for future generations where the word happiness is no longer meaningless. - FRANÇOIS-NICOLAS-MADELEINE, Cardinal MORLOT (Paris, 1863).

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