23. To that which theology fails to explain, Spiritism gives without difficulty a clear explanation in a rational manner by the anteriority of soul, and the plurality of existences, without which all is mystery and anomaly in the life of men. The admission that Adam and Eve had lived before, makes all things plain. God does not speak to them as children, but as to beings in a condition to comprehend, and who do comprehend him — an evident proof that this knowledge has been acquired in an anterior life. Let us admit also that they have lived in a more advanced world, which was less material than ours, where the work of the spirit took the place of manual labor; that by their rebellion against the law of God, figured by disobedience, they have been exiled as a punishment to this Earth, where man, in consequence of the nature of the globe, is compelled to labor, God was right in saying to them, “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food;” and to the woman, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children.” (Chap. XI, from item n° 31 on).
The terrestrial paradise for which they have so vainly sought the traces was then a description of the happy world, where Adam had once lived, or rather the race of spirits of whom he is the personification. The expulsion from paradise marks the moment when these spirits have come to incarnate themselves among the inhabitants of this world, and the change of situation which has succeeded to it. The angel armed with a flaming sword, who defends the gate of paradise, symbolizes the impossibility for spirits of lower worlds to penetrate into superiors ones, before having merited them by purification. (See chap. XIV, from item n° 8 on).