Allan Kardec

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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).

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