Allan Kardec

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2. Let us suppose a man placed upon a high mountain, and considering the vast extent of the plain. In this situation the distance of a league, or three miles, will be a very short distance seemingly and he will easily embrace with a glance of the eye all the undulations of the Earth from commencement to the end of the route. The traveler who follows this route for the first time knows that by marching he will arrive at the end. There is a simple foreknowledge of the consequence of his march; but the unevenness of the route, the ascents and descents, the rivers to cross, the woods to traverse, the precipices from which he may fall, the places where thieves may be stationed to waylay him, the inns where he will be able to repose – all this is independent of his personal knowledge. It is for him the unknown, the future, because his sight extends not beyond the little circle which surrounds him. As to the continuance of it, he measures it by the time that it takes him to go from one point to another of the route. Take away from him the knowledge of the data of the route, and his knowledge of its continuance is effaced. For the man who is on the mountain, and who follows with the eye of the traveler, all this is the present. Let us suppose that he comes down, and says to the traveler, β€œAt such a moment you will encounter such a thing; you will be attacked and delivered.” He will predict the future to him; for it is the future to the pedestrian, but the present to the man of the mountain.

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