THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SPIRITISM

Allan Kardec

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INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE SPIRITS. INFERIOR AND SUPERIOR WORLDS


8. In qualifying inferior and superior worlds there is nothing absolute. A world is relatively inferior or superior only in relation to those other worlds which may be above or below it on the scale of progression.

In taking the Earth as a comparison, we may get an idea of what an inferior world is like by supposing us inhabitants to be similar to the primitive races or members of the barbaric nations, examples of which are still to be found amongst us today, these being the remnants of the primitive state of this planet. In the most backward worlds the inhabitants are, to a certain extent, rudimentary creatures, having human form but devoid of all beauty. Their instincts have not yet softened to any sentiment of delicacy or benevolence, nor have they acquired any notions of justice or injustice. Brute force is the only known law. Without either industry or inventions, they pass their time in conquest of food. However, God does not abandon even one of His creatures; at the bottom of the darkest intelligence lurkes a seed, sometimes more, sometimes less developed, of a vague intuition of a supreme Being. This instinct is enough to make them superior one from the other and to prepare their ascension to a more complete life, for they are not degraded beings, but children who are growing. In between the inferior and elevated levels are innumerable others. From the pure Spirits, dematerialised and brilliant with glory, it is impossible to recognise the primitive beings they once were, just as from the adult it is difficult to recognise the embryo.

9. In worlds which have reached a superior level, the moral and material stale is very different from that which exists on Earth. As everywhere, the form is always human, but it is more beautiful, more perfected and above all else, purified. The body possesses nothing of the earthly materiality and consequently is not subject to the same necessities, sicknesses or deteriorations which the predominance of matter provokes. Due to the higher refinements, the senses are able to capture perceptions which the gross matter of this world obstructs. The specific lightness of body permits rapid and easy locomotion; instead of dragging painfully aver the ground the body floats, as it were, above the surface or glides through the air with no effort apart from that of desire, just as the angels are depicted as doing, or as the manes an the Elysian fields. According to his wishes Man keeps the features of his past migrations and shows himself to his friends as they knew him, except for the fact that he now radiates divine light, and is transfigured by interior impressions which are always of an elevated nature. In the place of countenances discoloured and dejected by suffering and passions, life and intelligence sparkle with splendour which painters have shown through the halo or aureole of the saints.

Very advanced Spirits suffer only slight resistance to matter, thus allowing body development to be extremely rapid, making infancy short and almost non-existent. With the absence of worry and anguish, life is proportionally longer than an Earth. In principle, longevity is in proportion the degree of advancement of each world. Death in no way conveys any horror of decomposition; far from causing terror, it is considered a happy transformation because there is no doubt as to the future. During life the soul, being no longer constricted by compact matter, expands itself and delights in a lucidity which places it in an almost constant state of emancipation and allows completely free thought transmission.

10. In these se blissful worlds relationships between peoples and individuals are always friendly, never perturbed by ambition to enslave their neighbour or make war. There are no masters nor slaves, none privileged by birth, only moral and intellectual superiority which establishes all conditions and which ulitmately gives supremacy. Autbority receives and deserves the respect of everyone, as it is only given to those who merit it and is therefore always exercised with justice. Man does not try to elevate himself above another but only above himself, by striving for perfection. His objective is to ascend to the category of pure Spirit, although this desire is never a torment but rather a noble ambition which induces him to study ardently in order to became an equal. In these worlds, all the delicate and elevated sentiments of human nature find themselves exalted and purified. Hate is unknown, as are petty jealousies and the covetous of envy. The ties of love and brotherhood hind all humanity each to the other so that the strong help the weak. Through a greater or lesser degree of intelligence, Man acquires possessions of a smaller or larger quantity. However, nobody suffers from want as no one needs to make atonement. In short, evil does not exist in these worlds.

11. Evil is still needed in your world in order to make known goodness; night in order to be able to admire light; sickness so as to be able to appreciate health. In those other worlds there is no need of these contrasts; eternal light, eternal beauty and eternal serenity of the soul offer proportional eternal happiness, free from the perturbations caused by the anguish of material life and the contact with evil creatures, who find no access to these realms. These are the things which cause the human Spirit most difficulty in understanding. Mankind has been sufficiently ingenious as to paint the torments of hell, but could never imagine the glories of Heaven. Why not? Because, being inferior, only pain and misery have been known and as yet the celestial brightness has never been seen, so one cannot speak of that which is unknown. However, while humanity is raising itself up and cleansing its soul, horizons are expanding and mankind begins to compare the goodness which is in front of him, as well as the badness which is behind him.

12. Meanwhile, the happy worlds are not specifically privileged orbs, as God is not partial to any one of His children. To each one He gives the same rights and the same opportunities wherein to reach these worlds. He makes each one start at the same point and gives no one more than another. Even the highest categories are accessible to all. It only depends upon the individual to conquer their place by means of work, so reaching it more quickly or remaining inactive for centuries and centuries in the quagmire of humanity. (This is a summary of the teachings from all the Superior Spirits.)

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