Allan Kardec

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23. Man is incessantly searching for happiness which always escapes him, because pure happiness does not exist here on Earth. However, despite the vicissitudes which form an inevitable procession throughout earthly life, he may at least enjoy relative happiness, if he does not search for it within perishable things subject to the same vicissitudes, that is to say within material enjoyments, instead of seeking it within the delights of the soul. The only real happiness of this world is to be found in heartfelt peace. But Man shows himself avid for all things which agitate and perturb. It is really quite strange! It seems that, while it is possible to avoid problems, Man purposely creates torments for himself.

Are there any worse torments than those created by envy and jealousy? For those who are envious or jealous there is no rest; they suffer a state of perpetual fever. The possessions of others cause sleepless nights; the success of rivals provoke giddiness; emulation, in their eyes, is epitomized in eclipsing those around them; all their happiness consists in provoking a rage of jealousy in those as imprudent as themselves. Poor foolish beings they are indeed! Never imagining that tomorrow they will perhaps have to leave behind all these trifles, the covetousness of which has poisoned their lives. The words: 'Blessed are the afflicted for they shall be consoled' certainly do not apply to these, seeing that their preoccupations are not those which receive deserving recompense in Heaven.

On the other hand, many torments will be avoided by those who are content with what they have, who can see things they do not possess without envy, and who do not try to appear better than they are. These will be constantly rich since, by looking below oneself, it is always possible to see others with less than ourselves. These kind of people are calm because they do not create imaginary necessities for themselves. Is calmness then not a happiness in the midst of the turmoil of life? - FÉNELON (Leon, 1860).

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