Allan Kardec

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14. Yet, a last hypothesis, which, however, is perfectly allied to unity of principle springs from the essential provident character of instinct, and agrees with that which Spiritism teaches us concerning the connection between the spiritual and the corporeal world.

One knows now that discarnated spirits have the mission of watching over incarnated ones, of whom they are the guides and protectors; that they surround them with their fluidic effluvia; that man acts often in an unconscious manner under the influence of these effluvia.

One knows, besides, that instinct itself, which produces actions without the aid of reason, predominates in children and in general with those persons whose intellect is feeble. Now, according to this hypothesis, instinct can neither be an attribute of the soul nor of matter. It does not belong properly to any living being, but must be the effect of the direct action of invisible protectors who supply the deficiency to imperfect intelligence by inciting them to necessarily unconscious actions for the preservation of life. It is like the leading-string by which one supports the infant learning to walk; and, in the same manner, as one discontinues gradually the use of the string in order that he may learn to stand without help, the spirit-protectors leave their protégées to themselves when the latter can be guided by their own intelligence.

Thus, instinct, far from being the product of a rudimental and imperfect intelligence, is ever the result of an unknown power in the plenitude of its strength supplying knowledge to a feebler understanding, impressing the latter to act unconsciously for his own good in a way impossible to him were it not for this impression; or it may be that a being of riper information, becoming temporarily trammeled in the use of his powers, - the first takes place with man in his infancy, the second in cases of idiocy and mental affections.

It has passed into a proverb that there is a God for children, fools and drunkards; for children, fools, and drunkards are always kept from harm. This belief is truer than one would think. This God is none other than the spirit-protector who watches over the one incapable of protecting himself by his own reason.

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