Allan Kardec

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11. PREFACE - From the moment of birth everyone has a good Spirit linked to them who constantly protects. At our side this Spirit carries out the mission of a father to his children which is that of conducting us along the path to goodness and progress, throughout the various tests of life. He feels happy when we respond to his solicitude and suffers when he sees us succumbing.

His name is not important because it is quite possible that it is not known an Earth. So then, we call him by the name of Guardian Angel or our good Spirit. We could also call him under the name of one of the superior Spirits with whom we feel a special sympathy.

Apart form this Guardian Angel, who is always a superior Spirit, we have other Spirit protectors, who although slightly less elevated, are just as good and generous. These are the Spirits of friends and relations, or even people we have not known in the present life. They help us with their advice and quite often intervene in the happenings of our life.

Sympathetic Spirits are those who are linked to us through certain similarities of taste and tendency. They may be either good or bad, according to the nature of those of our inclinations which have attracted them to us.

The seductive Spirits endeavour to turn us aside from the paths of goodness by suggesting bad thoughts to us. They take advantage of all our weaknesses, as if these were so many open doors which give them access to our soul. Some of them hold on to us as if we were their prey, but they withdraw when they recognise themselves impotent to fight against our will.

In the form of our Guardian Angel, God has given us a principal and superior guide and in the form of protecting and family Spirits secondary guides, but it is a mistake to believe that inevitably we have a bad element at our side to counter-balance the good influences we receive from them. The evil Spirits seek us voluntarily as long as they can dominate us by reason of our weakness or our negligence in following the inspirations of the good Spirits, so it is ourselves who attract them. The result is we are never without the assistance of good Spirits, and the withdrawal of the bad Spirits depends entirely on ourselves. Due to his imperfections, Man is the primary cause of all the miseries which afflict him and is, in most cases, his own bad genius (See chapter 5, item 4).

A prayer to Guardian Angels and protecting Spirits should have as its objective the solicitation of their intercession with God, to ask for strength to resist evil suggestions and to ask for help in all of life's contingencies.


Wise and benevolent Spirits, messengers of God, whose mission is to help Man and conduct him towards goodness, uphold me in life's tests; give me the strength to suffer without complaining; turn away from me all evil thoughts, and do not allow me to give access to any bad Spirits who may try to induce me to evil. Clarify my conscience with respect to my defects, and take away the veil of pride from my eyes which can prevent my seeing them and admitting them to myself.

Particularly to X. . ., my Guardian Angel, who watches over me specially; and all the rest of you protecting Spirits who take an interest in me, I beg you to help me to become worthy of your protection. You know my needs; may they be attended to according to the Will of God.


Dear God, allow the good Spirits who accompany me to help me when I am in difficulty and uphold me when I falter. Lord, may they inspire me with faith, hope and charity; may they be a point of support, an inspiration and a testimony of Your mercy. In short, may I always encounter in them the strength that I lack for the tests of life, the strength to resist all evil suggestions, the faith that saves and the love that consoles.


Beloved Spirits and Guardian Angels, who God in His infinite mercy has permitted to assist mankind, be our protectors during all life's tests! Give us the necessary strength, courage and resignation; inspire us towards all that is good, and restrain us from the downward incline to evil; may your sweet influences fill our souls; make us feel that a devoted friend is by our side, who can see our suffering and who participates in all our joys.

And you, my Good Angel, never abandon me because I need all of your protection to be able to support with faith and love the tests that God has sent me.


15. Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (Matthew, 23: 25-28).

16. PREFACE - Bad Spirits are only found where they can satisfy their perversity. In order to turn them away it is not enough to ask them to go, nor even to order them to go. It is imperative that Man eliminates from within himself that which is attracting them. Bad Spirits discover the ulcers of the soul, the same way that flies discover those of the body. In this manner then, as you cleanse the wound in order to avoid maggots, cleanse also your soul of all its impurities so as to avoid bad Spirits. We live in a world which teems with these Spirits, so the good qualities in the heart do not always make them abandon their attempts on us. But nevertheless, these qualities give us strength to resist them.


In the Name of God the All Powerful, may the bad Spirits turn away from me and the good Spirits defend me from them!

Wicked Spirits, who inspire bad thoughts in men; deceiving and lying Spirits, who delude men; mocking Spirits, who amuse yourselves with mankind's incredulity, I repel you with all the strength within my soul and close my ears to your suggestions; but l also implore that God's mercy be upon you.

Good Spirits, who undertook to accompany me, give me the necessary strength to resist the influence of bad Spirits and the necessary enlightenment so as not to become a victim of their intrigue. Safeguard me from pride and presumption. We beg that you turn aside all thoughts of jealousy, hate, badness, and all sentiments contrary to charity from my heart, which are all as open doors to the bad Spirits.


18. PREFACE - Our bad instincts result from the imperfections of our own Spirit, and not from our physical body. If this were not so then Man would be exempt from all responsibility. Our betterment depends on ourselves, because every person who has all their faculties has in everything the liberty to do or not to do. In order to do good the only thing lacking is will-power (See chapter 15, item 10 and chapter 19, item 12).


Dear Lord, You gave me the necessary intelligence so as to distinguish right from wrong. Thus, on recognising something to be wrong, I am guilty in not struggling to resist the temptation.

Preserve me from pride which can prevent me from perceiving my defects, and also from the bad Spirits, who can incite me to continue in the wrong.

Amongst my 'imperfections I recognise that I am especially inclined to..., and if I am unable to resist, it is because I have already acquired the habit of giving in to it.

Because You are just, You did not create us guilty but with equal aptitude for good and for bad. If I have preferred the bad road it was because of my free-will. But for the same reason that I had the liberty to do wrong, I also have the liberty to do good and therefore to change my pathway.

My actual defects are the remains of the imperfections I brought from my past existences; this is my original sin, from which I may liberate myself through the action of my will and with help from the good Spirits.

Accordingly, protect me kindly Spirits, and above all my Guardian Angel, by giving me the strength to resist evil suggestions and so be victorious in this battle.

These defects are the barrier which separate us from God, and each defect surmounted is a step further along the pathway of progress which will draw us nearer to Him.

O Lord, in Your infinite mercy, You thought fit to concede me this present life so that it would serve for my advancement. Good Spirits, help me to take advantage of this opportunity so that I may not lose it. When it pleases God to remove me from it, help me to leave it in a better condition than on entering (See chapter 5, item 5 & chapter 17, item 3).


20. PREFACE - Every bad thought can have two origins: our own spiritual imperfection or the action of a harmful influence. In the last case we have the indication of a weakness which exposes us to these influences, and it is for this reason that our soul is imperfect. So that the one who foils cannot offer as an excuse the influence of a strange Spirit, seeing that this Spirit would not hove led them to wrongdoing if they were inaccessible to seduction.

When we have a bad thought, we can suppose that it was an evil Spirit which suggested the evil, leaving us complete liberty to accede or resist, just as if we were facing a living person. At the same time, we should make a mental picture of our Guardian Angel or protecting Spirit who from his side combats within us the bad influences and anxiously awaits the decision we are going to make. Our hesitation in acting upon the evil suggestions is due to the voice of our good Spirit, who makes himself heard through our conscience.

One recognises a thought is bad when it draws away from charity which is the base of all true morality; or when it comes laden with pride, vanity and selfishness; or when its realization may cause harm to another person: in short, when we are induced by our thoughts to do to others what we would not like someone to do to us (See chapter 28, item 15 & chapter 15 item 10).


All Powerful Lord, do not let me succumb to the temptation to fall into error! Benevolent Spirits who protect me, turn this bad thought away from me and give me the strength to resist this evil. If I succumb, then I will deserve the expiation of my failing in this same life and in the next, because I have free will to make my choice.


22. PREFACE - Those who resist temptation owe this fact to the assistance given by the good Spirits, whose voice they listened to. So, you should thank God and your Guardian Angel for their help.


My God, I thank You for having permitted me to be victorious in the battle which I sustained against evil. Allow this victory to give me strength to resist new temptations. And you, my Guardian Angel, receive my thanks for the assistance you gave. Allow that my submission to your counsel makes me worthy to receive your protection once again.


24. PREFACE - When we are unsure about something we have to do, before anything else, we should ask ourselves the following questions:

1st) Will what I am hesitating about cause harm to anyone? 2nd) Will it be useful to anyone?

3rd) If someone did this to me would I be pleased?

If what we think of doing is of interest only to ourself, it is permissible to weigh the personal advantages or disadvantages which may arise.

If it concerns others and if, in doing good for one person, it redounds in badness for another, it is also equally necessary to weigh the advantages and disadvantages before deciding whether to act or abstain.

Finally, even when dealing with the best of things it is necessary to consider the opportunity and the circumstances being offered, in as much as something that is good in itself con give bad results when put into the wrong hands, or if it is not directed with prudence and circumspection. Before putting it into effect it is best to consult our strength and the means of execution.

In any case, we can always solicit the assistance of our Protecting Spirits, remembering this wise maxim: When in doubt, do nothing (See chapter 28, item 38).


In the name of God, the All Powerful One, in my uncertainty, I call upon the good Spirits who protect me to inspire me to make the best decisions. Lead my thoughts always towards goodness and protect me from the influences of those who tempt me to stray.


26. PREFACE - We can ask God for earthly favours and He will concede them to us when they have a serious purpose. But seeing that we judge their utility from our own point of view and as immediate necessities, we do not always recognise the bad side of what we ask. God, Who can see things in a better perspective than we can and only desires the best for us, may refuse what we ask for, just as a father would refuse his child what he knew would be prejudicial for him. If what we request is refused we should not be disappointed; on the contrary, we should think that to be deprived of our wish is a test or an expiation, and that our recompense will be in proportion to the degree of resignation shown towards what we have to put up with (See chapter 27, item 6 & chapter 2, items 5-7).


God Omnipotent, who sees all our miseries, please deign to hear the supplication we direct to You at this moment. If my request is inconsiderate, forgive me. If it is just and convenient, according to the way You see things, may the good Spirits who execute Your wishes, come to my aid and help me to realise my request.

However it may be, Lord, let Your will be done! If my request is not answered, it will be because it is Your wish that I be tested, and I submit without complaint. Help me not to become disanimated and that neither my faith nor my resignation be shaken.

(Then formulate your request).


28. PREFACE - We must not consider as blessed successes only those things which are of great importance. Frequently things that are apparently insignificant are those which most influence our destiny. Man easily forgets the goodness received, preferring to remember only afflictions. If we were to register day by day the many benefits we receive, without even having asked for them, we would be greatly surprised to perceive there are so very many that we have swept from our minds and would feel ashamed of our ingratitude.

On lifting up our soul to God each night, we should remember in our innermost self the many favours that He has granted us during the day and offer thanks for them. But most especially, at the moment we receive the effects of His goodness and protection, we should spontaneously bear witness to our gratitude. For this, it is enough that we direct a thought attributing the benefit to Him, without even interrupting our work.

Benefits from God are not limited to material things. We should also thank Him for the ideas and happy inspirations we receive. Whereas the selfish person attributes all of these things to his own personal merits, and the incredulous person to mere chance, the one who has faith renders thanks to God and the good Spirits. Long sentences are not necessary for this purpose. "Thank you, dear God, for the inspiration of that good thought", says more than a long prayer. The spontaneous impulse which makes us attribute to God what has happened to us, bears witness of an act of thanksgiving and of humility, which will earn us the sympathy of the good Spirits (See chapter 27, items 7 & 8).


Beloved Lord of inifinite goodness, may Your name be blessed for the benefits conceded to me! I would be unworthy if I were to attribute these happenings to mere chance or to my own merit.

Good Spirits, you who execute God's wishes, I thank you and most especially my Guardian Angel. Turn away from me all idea of being proud of what I have received and help me to make use of it exclusively for good. Most of all, I thank ...


30. PREFACE - When we are suffering an affliction, if we look for the cause, we will always find it in our own imprudence, thoughtlessness or in some past action. As con be seen, in these cases we have to attribute the suffering to ourselves. If the cause of an affliction cannot be found to stem in any way from our own actions, then we are dealing with a test in this life, or an atonement for an error committed in a previous one. In this case, by the nature of the expiation we can know the nature of the error, as we are always punished in the same manner as our sin (See chapter 5, items 4, 6 & subsequent items).

In general, we can only see the evil that is present in our afflictions. We do not see the favourable consequences they may have later on. Goodness is frequently the outcome of a past evil, just as the cure far an illness results from the painful methods used to obtain it. In any case, we must submit to the will of God and courageously support the tribulations of life if we want them to count in our favour. These words of Christ could then be applied to us; "Blessed are those who suffer" (See chapter 5, item 18).


Dear Lord, Your justice is supreme. Therefore all suffering in this world must have a just cause and be of use. I accept the affliction which I am undergoing, or which I have just suffered, as an atonement for my past errors and as a test for the future. Good Spirits who protect me, give me the necessary strength to support this without complaining. Help me to look at it as a providential warning; may it enrich my experience, reduce my pride, diminish my ambition, stupid vanity and selfishness. In short, may it contribute to my progress.


Dear God, I feel the need to ask You for the necessary strength so as to support the test that You have sent me. Allow my Spirit to be enlightened, with the necessary understanding, so that I can appreciate the full extent of a love that afflicts because it desires to save. I submit myself with resignation, dear Lord, but I am so weak I fear I will succumb if You do not uphold me. Do not abandon me, Lord, because without You I am nothing.


I lift up my eyes to You, Eternal Father, and feel fortified. You are my strength, dear Lord, do not abandon me! I am crushed under the weight of my iniquities! Help me! I recognise the weakness of my flesh! Please, do not take Your eyes from me!

I am being devoured by an ardent thirst! Make the spring of living water burst forth to quench this thirst. May my lips open only to sing Your praises and not to complain about my afflictions! I am weak, Lord, but Your love will sustain me.

Eternal Father, only You are great, only You are the reason and the finality of my life! Blessed be Your Name even if You make me suffer, because You are the Lord and I am an unfaithful servant I bow down before You without complaint because only You are great, only You are the aim of all our lives!


34. PREFACE - Through the dangers we run God reminds us of the frailty of our existence. He shows us that our lives are in His hands, and that being held by only a thread, it may break when we least expect it to happen. From this point of view privilege does not exist for anyone because the same alternatives are to be found for both great and small alike.

If we look at the nature and the consequences of danger we will see in most cases that these consequences, if they are verified, will have been a punishment for a misdeed or for an unfulfilled duty.


Almighty God, and you who are my Guardian Angel, help me! If I must succumb, may God's Will be done. If I am to be saved, may the rest of my life be given to repay the evil I have done, for which I am truly repentant.


36. PREFACE - By the danger we have been through, God shows us that from one moment to another we may be called to give account for the way in which we have utilized our life. This is to alert us to the fact that we should examine ourselves and mend our ways.


Dear God! Dear Guardian Angel! I thank you for the help I received during the danger that threatened me. May this danger be a warning to me and enlighten me with respect to my errors that have brought me this peril. I understand, Lord, that my life is in Your hands and that You may take it away when You see fit. Inspire me then, through the good Spirits who protect me, with the idea of how best to take advantage of the time You grant to me in this world! Guardian Angel! Uphold me in my decision to correct my faults and to do all the good that is within my power to do, so that I may arrive in the spiritual world with fewer imperfections, whenever it pleases God to call me!


38. PREFACE - Sleep is for the purpose of resting the body; however, the Spirit needs no rest. While the physical senses are in a torpid state the soul partly frees itself from the body and enters into the enjoyment of its spiritual faculties. Sleep has been given to Man to enable him to repair both his organic and moral strengths. While the body recuperates the spent energies which have been used during the waking state, the Spirit fortifies itself amongst other Spirits. From all he sees, all he perceives and from the advice he is given, he takes the ideas which occur to him afterwards, in the form of intuitions. This is the temporary return of the exile to his true world, a momentary liberty that is conceded to the prisoner.

But it sometimes happens, as it does in the case of perverse prisoners, that the Spirit does not always take advantage of these moments of liberty for the purpose of progress. If he has bad instincts, instead of seeking the company of the good Spirits, he seeks out those who are like himself and goes to those places where he may give vent to his tendencies.

So then, the person who is convinced of this fact will lift up their thoughts to God before they go to sleep. They will ask for advice from the good Spirits and all those whose memory is dear to them, so they may go to join them for the brief moments of liberty which are conceded to them. On awakening they will then feel fortified against evil and be mare courageous when facing adversities.


Lord, for a few short instants my soul will be together with other Spirits. So I beg the good Spirits to come and give me counsel. Guardian Angel, please help me to keep a lasting and beneficial impression of this encounter on awakening!


40.PREFACE During our lifetime to have faith in the future, together with the elevation of our thoughts towards our future destiny helps in the process of rapid liberation of the Spirit because this weakens the links which tie it to the material body. So much so that quite frequently, even before the physical body has expired, the soul being impatient to be free, has already launched itself into the great immensity. The contrary being the case of the person who, having concentrated on all that is material, finds these ties more difficult to break and the separation more painful and difficult, to be followed by an awakening full of anxiety and perturbation in the after-life.


Dear God, I believe in You and Your infinite kindness. Therefore, I cannot believe that You have given Man intelligence which allows him to gain knowledge of You and an aspiration for the future, so as to plunge him into nothingness.

I believe that my body is only a perishable covering for my soul and that when I cease to live, I will awaken in the world of the Spirits.

Almighty God, I feel that the ties which hold my soul to my body are breaking and that in a short while I will have to account for the use to which I have put the life that is now slipping away from me.

I know that I will experience the consequences of the good and the bad that I have practised. There will be no possibility of illusions, no subterfuge. My past will unfold before me and I will be judged according to my works.

I will take nothing with me of earthly possessions such as honours, riches, satisfactions of vanity or pride; in short, everything which belongs to the body will remain in this world. Not even the most minute particle of these things will accompany me, nor would they be of use to me in the spiritual world. I will take with me only what belongs to my soul, that is to say, the good and bad qualities I possess, which will be weighed on the balance of strict justice. I know that the judgement will be even more severe according to the number of times I refused the opportunities that were given to me to practise good due to the position I held on Earth (See chapter 1(3, item 9).

Merciful God, may the depth of the sincerity of my repentance enable it to reach out to You! May You see fit to cast over me Your cloak of indulgence!

If You see fit to prolong my present existence, may I utilize that time to make good, as far as I am able, all the evil that I have done. But if my hour has come, I take with me the consoling thought that I will be permitted to redeem myself by means of new tests, so that one day I may deserve the happiness of the elected ones.

If it is not given to me to enjoy such perfect happiness immediately, which is known only to those who are pre-eminently just, I know nevertheless that I am not denied hope for ever. Sooner or later I will reach my goal, according to the amount of effort I put into working towards that objective.

I know that good Spirits and my Guardian Angel are near to receive me and that soon I shall see them, just as they see me now. I know too, that if l deserve it, I will meet again all those I have loved here on Earth, and that those I leave behind will later come to meet me. One day we shall all be united for ever, and until that time arrives I will be able to come and visit them.

I know too, that I will re-encounter those I have offended; may they forgive me for whatever they have to reproach me for, such as my pride, my hardness and my injustices, so that their presence will not overwhelm me with shame!

I forgive all those who have either done or tried to do me harm; I hold no rancour against them and beg You, dear God, to forgive them.

Lord, give me strength to leave all the material pleasures of this world without regret, which are as nothing compared to the healthy and pure delights of the world into which I am about to enter, and where for those who are just, there are no more torments, or miseries, and where only the guilty are subject to suffering. But even they always have the consolation of hope.

Good Spirits and you who are my Guardian Angel, I implore you not to allow me to fail at this supreme moment. If my faith should waver, then cause the Divine Light to shine in my eyes, so that it may be reanimated.

NOTE - See further on, paragraph 5: "Prayers for the sick and obsessed."

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