Allan Kardec

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8. Through spiritual progress instincts become sentiments which are more or less elevated. Love, being the finest sentiment that exists, summarizes the complete doctrine of Jesus. At the starting point Man only had instincts; after some advancement and the onset of corruption, he has sensations; but when he becomes instructed and more purified he has sentiments. The most delicate apex of sentiment is love, not the vulgar sense of the word, but that inner sun which condenses and reconciles all aspirations and superhuman revelations at its ardent focal point. The law of love substitutes the selfishness of man with the harmonizing of all beings in brotherly love, thereby extinguishing social miseries. Blessed is the one who, having surpassed the state of being human, loves with an ample love all suffering fellow beings. Blessed are those who love because they know not the miseries of either body or soul. Their step is light and they live as if transported outside of themselves. When Jesus pronounced that divine word: 'love', it made the people tremble and the martyrs, inebriated with hope, descended into the amphitheatres.

In its turn, Spiritism has come to pronounce the second word in the divine alphabet. Pay attention, because this word 'reincarnation', lifts up the tombstones from the empty graves, and triumphant over death, reveals to astonished people its intellectual patrimony. But it is not to this that Man is conducted, but rather to the conquest of his own being, already elevated and transfigured. Blood has redeemed the Spirit and today the Spirit has to liberate the Man from matter.

I have already said that in mankind's beginning he had nothing but instincts. Therefore those in whom instincts predominate are still nearer the starting point than their goal. In order to advance towards this goal, each one must conquer their instincts to the benefit of their sentiments; that is to say, these can be perfected by suffocating all material tendencies. Instincts are the germination and the embryos of sentiments; they bring progress with them, just as the acorn contains within itself the oak tree; the less advanced creatures are those who, after emerging little by little from their chrysalises, continue to maintain themselves slaves to their instincts. The Spirit needs to be cultivated as you would a pasture. All the riches of the future depend on the present labour employed, which will earn much more than earthly goods, for it will offer glorious elevation. So, having understood the law of love which joins all creatures, you will seek to find within it the most sweet delights of the soul which are the preludes to celestial happiness. - LAZARUS (Paris, 1862).

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