Allan Kardec

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1. Ask, and it shall be given you, seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.. for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ash bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ash a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in Heaven give good things to them that ask Him? (Matthew, 7: 7-11).

2. From an earthly point of view the maxim: Seek and ye shall find is the same as that other one: Help yourself and the heavens will come to your aid. This is the base of the Law of Work and consequently the Law of Progress, since progress is the child of work, seeing that this puts into action the force of intelligence. During mankind's infancy he only used his intelligence in seeking food, as a means of protection against the climate, and defending himself from his enemies. However, God has given Man something more than He gave to animals, which is an incessant desire to better himself It is this desire which impells him to seek out the best ways of improving his position in life, which duly leads him to make discoveries, to invent things, and to perfect the sciences because it is science which gives him what he lacks. Through Man's research his intelligence heightens and his morals depurate. The needs of the body give way to those of the Spirit. After material nourishment Man needs spiritual nourishment. This is how he passes from savagery to civilization.

But the amount of progress achieved by each person during a single lifetime is very small indeed, in most cases even imperceptible. How then could humanity progress without pre-existence and the re-existence of the soul? If the souls who daily leave the Earth were never to return, then humanity would be constantly renewing itself with primitive elements, having everything still to do and learn. There would then be no reason why Man should be more advanced today than he was during the first epochs of the world, because at each birth all intellectual work would have to recommence. On the other hand, by returning with the degree of progress realised and acquiring something more each time, the soul then gradually passes from the barbaric state to that of materialistic civilization, and then on to one of moral civilization (See chapter 4, item 17).

3. If God had exempted Man from bodily work his limbs would have withered. If He had exempted him from intellectual work then his Spirit would have remained in a state of infancy, or mere animal instinct. This is why He made work a necessity by saying: Seek and ye shall find; work and ye shall produce. In this way you are the product of your work; you receive the merit of it and a recompense in accordance with what has been done.

4. It is by virtue of this principle that the Spirits do not help in sparing men the work of research by bringing them discoveries and inventions prepared and ready for use, in such a way that they would have nothing to do but accept what was put into their hands, without any inconvenience whatsoever, nor even to bend down and pick it up, nor yet to think about it. If things were like that then the laziest could enrich themselves and the most ignorant could become wise at the cost of no effort, and both would have merits attributed to them for things they had not done. No, the Spirits do not come to exempt Man from the Law of Work, but only to show him the goal to be reached and the pathway that leads there, by saying: walk and you will get there. You will find your path strewn with stones; look upon them and then move them. We will give you the necessary strength if you care to utilize it (See THE MEDIUMS' BOOK, chapter 26, item 291 onwards).

5. From the moral point of view, these words of Jesus signify that if we ask for the light which will show us the way, it will be given; if we ask for strength to resist evil, we shall receive it; if we ask for the assistance of the good Spirits, then they will come to accompany us and, as did the angel of Tobias, they will guide us; if we ask for good counsel it will not be refused; if we knock on His door it will be opened. But we must ask with sincerity, faith, confidence and fervour. We must present ourselves with humility and not with arrogance, or else we will be abandoned to our own strength and the falls taken will be punishment for our pride.

This then is what is meant by the words: Seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened.

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