Signs of Time
THE TIME HAS ARRIVED
Signs of Time – The New Generation
1. The time appointed by God has arrived, is said to us on all sides, where great events
have been accomplished for the regeneration of humanity. In what sense is it necessary to
understand these prophetic words? To the incredulous they are of no importance; to their eyes, it
is only the expression of a puerile belief without foundation; for the greater number of the
believing, they have something mysterious and supernatural, which seems to be the harbinger of
the overturning of the laws of nature. These two interpretations are equally erroneous, – the
first, in that which implies a denial of Providence; the second, in that these words announce no
perturbation of the laws of nature, but their accomplishment.
2. All is harmony in creation. All reveals a foresight, the effects of which are wanting
neither in the smallest nor largest of God’s works. We must then, firstly, discard irreconcilable
caprice with the divine wisdom. Secondly, if our epoch is marked for the accomplishments of
certain things, it is because there is a reason for their accomplishment in the onward march of
Our globe, like all which exists, is submitted to the law of progress. It progresses
physically by the transformation of the elements which compose it, and morally by the
purification of the incarnated and discarnated spirits who people it. The progress of the two is a
parallel one; for the habitation becomes perfected according to the degree of perfection of its
inhabitant. Physically, the globe has been submitted to transformations, ascertained by science,
which have successively rendered it habitable for beings more and more perfected; morally,
humanity progresses by the development of intelligence of the moral sense and gentleness of
manners. At the same time, as the improvement of the globe has been accomplished under the
empire of material forces, men have concurred in it by the efforts of their intelligence. They
have learned how to make unwholesome localities healthy, rendering communications with one
another easier and the soil more productive.
This double progress is accomplished in two ways, one slow, gradual, and insensible; the
other by sudden changes, to each one of which has been operated a more rapid upper
movement, which mark, in distinct characters the progressive periods of humanity. These
movements, subordinate in details to the free will of man, are in a measure necessary or
inevitable in their relation to the whole, because they are submitted to laws like those operated
in the germination, growth, and maturity of plants. This is why the progressive movement is
sometimes partial – that is to say, limited to a race or one nation – at other times general.
The progress of humanity is effected then by virtue of a law. Now, as all laws of nature
are the eternal work of wisdom and divine prescience, all which is the effect of these laws is the
result of the will of God – not of an accidental, capricious will, but an immutable one. Then,
when humanity is ripe to take a higher degree in progression, one can say that the time
appointed by God has arrived, as one speaks of the harvest season as having arrived with the
maturity of its fruit.
3. While this progressive movement of humanity is inevitable, because it is natural, it
does not follow that God is indifferent to it, and that, after having established laws, he is now in
an inactive state, leaving things to take care of themselves. His laws are eternal and immutable
without doubt, but only because his will itself is eternal and constant, and that his thought
animates constantly all things. His thought which penetrates all things is the intelligent and
permanent force which keeps all in harmony. If this thought should one moment cease to act,
the universe would be like a clock without a pendulum. God watches, then, incessantly over the
execution of his laws; and the spirits who populate space are his ministers charged with the
details according to the unfoldment of their functions in their degree of advancement.
4. The universe is at the same time an incommensurable mechanism, conducted by a
number no less incommensurable of intelligences, an immense government, where every
intelligent being has his active part assigned him under the eye of the Sovereign Master, whose
unique will maintains unity everywhere. Under the empire of this vast regulating power, all
moves, all operates in perfect order. That which seems like perturbations to us are partial and
isolated movements, which appear irregular only because our sight is circumscribed. If our
vision could embrace the whole, we would see that these irregularities are only apparent, and
that they harmonize with all.
5. Humanity has already accomplished incontestable progress. Men by their intelligence
have attained to a knowledge of the sciences, arts, and material comforts never reached before.
An immense progress still remains for them to realize, which is to make charity, fraternity, and
union reign among them in order to assure to them their moral well-being. They could never
accomplish this progress with their present beliefs, their superannuated institutions, which are
remains of another age, good for a certain epoch, sufficient for a transitory state, but which,
having given all that it has to give, would only be a hindrance now. It is not only the
development of intelligence which is necessary to men, it is the elevation of sentiment; and for
that reason it is necessary to destroy all that which excites in them undue selfishness or pride.
Such is the period upon which they are entering, and which will mark one of the most
important phases of humanity. This phase, which is being elaborated at this moment, is the
necessary complement of the preceding state, as the manly age is that of youth. It could then be
foreseen and predicted in advance, and thus they say that the times appointed by God have
6. In these times a partial change is not being enacted, a renovation limited to one
country, to one people or nation, or one race. It is a universal movement which is operating in
moral progress. A new order of things is being established, and the men the most opposed to it
are in their ignorance working for it. The future generation, rid of the dross of the old world,
and formed of purer elements, will find itself animated with ideas and sentiments entirely
different from the present one, which is passing away with gigantic strides. The old world will
die, and live in history, as that of the Middle Ages, with its barbaric customs, is remembered in
Each one knows that we all desire something different from the present order of things.
After having exhausted in some respects the good which is the product of intelligence, one
comes to comprehend that the complement of this well-being can be only in moral
development. The more one advances, the more one feels that which is missing, without,
however, being able to define it clearly. It is the effect of the interior work which is being
effected for regeneration. We have desires and aspirations which are the prelude to a better
7. But change as radical as that which is being elaborated cannot be accomplished
without commotion. There will be an inevitable conflict in ideas. From this conflict will forcibly
arise temporary perturbations, until the rubbish be cleared away, and the equilibrium be re-
established. It is, then, from a battle of ideas that these grave events will arise, and not from
cataclysms, or purely material catastrophes. The general cataclysms were the consequence of
the state of formation of the Earth. Now it is no more the center of the globe which is agitated,
but that of the humanity.
8. If the Earth no longer has to fear general cataclysms, it is nevertheless still subject to
periodical revolutions; their causes, from a scientific point of view, are explained by the
following instructions given by two eminent spirits: *
“In addition to obeying the ordinary laws that preside over the division of days and
nights, seasons, and the like, each celestial body is subject to revolutions that require thousands
of centuries to reach full completion. Analogous to brief revolutions, these long-term upheavals
pass through all periods, from birth until those phases of utmost effect. After reaching such
potential a decrease to the lowest limit occurs; then the cycle starts all over again.
Humanity only apprehends the phases of relatively short duration whose periodicity can
be proved. Some of these revolutions, however, embrace lengthy creations of beings and even
successions of races; consequently, their effects have the appearance of novelty and spontaneity.
But if man could project his vision back some thousands of centuries he would see amidst these
causes and effects a correlation he could hardly anticipate. Nevertheless, these periods, which
confound the human imagination due to their relatively long duration, last only instants in the
everlasting duration of eternity.
In a planetary system each body that constitutes the system reacts with the others, and all
physical influences are mutually dependent of each other. In fact, there aren’t any effects that
you would consider as great disturbances that are not the consequence of the set of influences of
the system as a whole.
I go further and say that planetary systems also react with each other; this is because of
the proximity or distance resulted from their orbital movement through the myriads of systems
comprising our nebula. In addition, our nebula, which is like an archipelago in the immensity
of space, having also its own orbital movement through a large number of other nebula, is also
subject to the influences of those nebula it approaches.
Therefore, nebula react on nebula and systems react on systems; planets react on planets,
and the elements of each planet react with each other; and thus successively down to the atom.
Whence in each world we have local or general revolutions that do not appear to be
disturbances only because life’s brevity allows us to perceive only their partial effects.
Organic matter could not escape these influences; the disturbances it suffers can thus alter
the physical state of living beings and, in general, determine some of the diseases that attack
plants, animals and humanity. We remark that these diseases, like all plagues, act as stimulants
to propel the human intelligence, by need, to search for means to combat them and to discover
the laws of nature.
Organic matter in turn has an effect on the spirit; through its contact and inner connection
with the material elements, the spirit also suffers influences that modify its dispositions. This
fact, however, does not deprive it of its free will, but rather accelerates or attenuates its
activities, thus contributing to its development. The effervescence manifested from time to time
in a population, among people of the same race, is neither a fortuitous occurrence nor the result
of a whim, but has its origin in the laws of nature. This effervescence, which is unconscious at
first and only a vague desire, a non-definite aspiration towards something better or a need for
change, is characterized by a silent agitation; later on, however, it brings about acts that lead to
social revolutions. As everything is interconnected in the universe, be certain that these
revolutions, like physical revolutions, also have their periodicity. If your spiritual vision were
not restricted by the veil of matter, you would see the fluidic currents that, like thousands of
conductive wires, links together things of the spiritual world to those of the material world.
When you are told that humanity has arrived at a period of transformation, and that the
Earth must rise within the hierarchy of worlds, do not find anything mystical in these words but,
on the contrary, see it as the fulfillment of one of the greatest fatal laws of the universe, against
which all ill-disposition of humanity collapses.” Arago
* Extracted from two communications given at the Société de Paris and published in the “Revue
Spirite,” October 1868, pg. 313. They are consequence of Galileo’s message, reproduced in Chapter VI
and complementary of Chapter IX about the Globe’s revolutions.
9. Yes, certainly, humanity changes, as it has changed at other times; and each
transformation is marked by a crisis which is, for mankind, similar to the crises of the growth of
individuals. These transformations are frequently sorrowful and painful, and take along with
them generations of people and institutions; nevertheless, they are always followed by a phase
of material and moral progress.
“Because earthly Humanity has reached one of these periods of growth, it has been
working vigorously at its transformation for nearly a century. Whence we see it stirring from
side to side, as if captured by some kind of fever and propelled by an invisible force. In such a
state it will remain until it has again stabilized itself on its new foundation. Whoever shall see it
then will find it greatly changed in its habits and character, in its laws and beliefs; in short, in all
its social state.
One thing that will seem strange to you, although it is the absolute truth, is that the world
of the spirits, a world that surrounds you, experiences the aftershocks of all commotions that
agitate the world of incarnate beings. I even say that the former takes an active role in these
commotions. This fact should bring no surprise to those who know that the Spirits comprise of
one body with humanity; that they may leave it, but must eventually return to it. It is thus
natural that they should take an interest in the movements that occur among mankind. Be certain
that when a social revolution takes place on Earth, it agitates the invisible world alike, wherein
all passions, good and bad, are intensified. Just as it happens among yourselves, inexpressible
effervescence starts to reign among the community of spirits that still belong to your world and
that await the moment to return to it.
As everything is linked together in Nature, to the agitation of incarnate and discarnate
beings, quite often, it is added the disturbances of the physical elements as well. Whence, for a
while there exists a true general confusion, which passes through like a hurricane.
Henceforward heaven reacquires its usual serenity and Humanity, reconstituted on its new basis
and imbued with new ideas, proceeds with its new phase of progress.
It is within this period that is now in progress that Spiritism will flourish and bear its
fruits. Thus, you are working more for the future than for the present. Still, it was necessary to
prepare the work in advance, as it prepares the way for regeneration, through unification and
rationality of beliefs. Blessed are those who profit from it today. So much will be gained and so
many sorrows avoided.” Dr. Barry
10. From what precedes above we conclude that in consequence of their orbital
movement through space, the celestial bodies exert upon each other a greater or lesser influence,
according to their mutual proximity and respective positions; and that this influence can cause
momentary disturbances to their constituent elements and modify the conditions of vitality for
their inhabitants. Additionally, the regularity of these movements determines the periodical
return of the same causes and effects; that while some periods are too short to be perceived by
men, other periods go through generations and races who do not perceive them and consider
them to be the normal state of things. In contrast, generations contemporary to these transitions
suffer their effect and feel that everything is beyond the ordinary laws; they believe them to
have a supernatural, marvelous, and miraculous cause, albeit they are simply the fulfillment of
the laws of Nature.
If by the sequence and reciprocity of causes and effects these periods of moral renovation
of Humanity shall also coincide with the physical revolutions of the globe, as everything leads
us to think, then such periods can be accompanied or preceded by natural phenomena, which
appear strange to those who are not accustomed to them, by the appearance of strange meteors
and by the recrudescence and unusual intensification of deadly plagues. Still, these occurrences
are neither a cause nor a supernatural omen; instead, they are the result of the general movement
that takes place on the physical and moral world.
When predicting the era of restoration that would open to Humanity and mark the end
of the old world, Jesus affirmed that it would be announced by extraordinary phenomena and by
earthquakes, by a variety of plagues and by signs from the skies – these being simply meteors,
without any abrogation of the natural laws. Nevertheless, ordinary and unaware people saw in
these words a prediction of miraculous facts. *
* An extraordinary and abundant rain of shooting stars occurred in 1866 which terrified the inhabitants
of Maurice Island. This occurrence preceded the terrible epidemic that from 1866 to 1868 decimated the
population of the Island. The illness that was spreading in a benign way for a few months developed into
a devastating plague. This was a real sign from the skies; it is perhaps in this meaning that we must
understand the phrase “stars falling from the sky,” which is said in the Gospel as being one of the signs of
the times. (Details of the epidemic of Maurice Island: Revue Spirite of July of 1867, pg. 208, and
November of 1868, pg. 321).
11. The prediction of Humanity’s progressive movements offers no surprise for
dematerialized beings who foresee the purpose and tendency of all things; considering, still, that
some of them have direct knowledge of God’s thoughts. Through partial movements these
beings are able to predict the time that such generalized movements could occur; like a man can
calculate beforehand the time a tree will take to bear fruits; and an astronomer can predict the
time of an astronomical phenomenon by the time a celestial body takes to achieve its revolution.
12. Humanity is a collective being, in whom is operated at the same moral revolutions as
in each individual being, with this difference: one is accomplished from year to year, the other
from century to century. Let one follow it in its evolutions through time, and one will see the
life of the diverse races marked by periods which give to each epoch a particular physiognomy.
13. The progressive march of humanity is operated in two ways – the gradual, slow, and
insensible, if one considers well the epochs which have drawn to a close, which is expressed by
successive ameliorations in manners, laws, and customs, which do not fully unfold themselves
until after a long space of time, like the changes which currents of water bring to the face of the
globe; the other, by movements relatively sudden and rapid, similar to a torrent breaking its
barriers, which enables it to jump over in a few years the time which it otherwise would have
taken centuries to go over. It is, then, a moral cataclysm which engulfs in a few instants the
institutions of the past, and to which succeed a new order of things which little by little become
fixed by measure as tranquility reestablishes itself, and becomes positive.
To him who lives long enough to embrace the two sides of the new phase, it seems that a
new world is sprung from the ruins of the ancient one. The character, manners, customs, all are
changed. It is true that new men, or better still, regenerate ones, have sprung up. The ideas
swept away by the generation which is extinct have made place for new ideas in the generation
which is being educated.
14. Humanity is becoming adult. With new needs, more elevated and larger aspirations, it
comprehends the emptiness of the ideas with which it has been fed and the insufficiency of its
institutions for its well-being. It finds no more, in the existing state of things, the legitimate
satisfactions to which it has been called. For this reason it shakes off its swaddling-clothes, and
bounds, aided by an irresistible force, towards unknown shores to the discovery of new horizons
It is one of those periods of transformation, or of moral growth, which has reached
humanity. From adolescence it passes to the manly or virile age. Past ideas cannot suffice for its
new aspirations, for its new needs. It can no more be led by the same means. It pays no more for
illusions and magical unrealities. For its ripe reason something more substantial is necessary.
The present is too ephemeral. It feels that its destiny is more vast, and that corporeal life is too
restrained to enclose it entirely. For this reason it looks deeply into the past, and into the future
also, to discover the mystery of its existence, and draw from it a consoling security.
It is at this moment, when its material sphere is too narrow for it, when the intellectual
life outruns it, when the sentiment of spirituality expands itself, that men calling themselves
philosophers hope to fill up the void left by belief in nothing beyond this life and in materialism,
strange aberration! These same men, who pretend to be pushing on in advance, are striving to
circumscribe the limits of the narrow circle of matter from whence humanity aspires to extricate
itself. They shut off the view of the infinite life, and say to it, as they point to the tomb: “There
is nothing beyond.”
15. Whoever has meditated upon Spiritism and its consequences, and circumscribes it not
to the production of a few phenomena, comprehends that it opens to humanity a new way, and
unrolls to it infinite horizons. By initiating it into the mysteries of the invisible world, it shows
to it its true role in creation, a perpetually active one, as well to the spiritual state as to the
corporeal one. Man marches blindly no more. He knows from whence he came, where he is
going, and why he is on Earth. The future show its reality to him, rid of the prejudice of
ignorance and superstition. It is no more a vague hope; it is a palpable truth, as certain to him as
the succession of day and night. He knows that his being is not limited to a few instants of an
ephemeral existence; that the spiritual life is not interrupted by death; that he has already lived,
that he will live again, and that of all he has acquired in perfection by labor nothing has been
lost. He finds in his anterior existences the reason for that which now he is; and, by that which
man is doing now, he can conclude that which he will be someday.
16. The idea that individual cooperation and activity in the general work of civilization
have been limited to the present life, that one has been nothing and will be nothing, gives to
man no incentive for the present or future. What matters it to him that in the future man will be
better governed, happier, more enlightened, kinder to one another, since it bears no fruit for
him? Is not this progress lost upon him? What good will it do him to work for posterity if he
will never be acquainted with it, if it is composed of strangers who will, after a little, enter
themselves into nothingness? Under the empire of a denial of a future for the individual, all
forcibly shrinks to the narrow proportions of the moment and of personality.
But, on the contrary, what amplitude is given to the thought of man by a certainty of the
perpetuity of his spiritual being? What can be more rational, grander, more worthy of the
Creator, according to which the spiritual and corporeal life are only two modes of existence
which alternate themselves for the accomplishment of progress? What can be more just, more
consoling, than the idea of the same beings progressing without ceasing, at first through
generations on the same Earth, afterwards, from world to world onward and upward to
perfection, without solution of continuity? All actions have, then, an object; for, by working for
all, one works for himself, and reciprocally. As long as individual or general progress is never
sterile in its results, it is profitable to future generations and individuals, who are none other
than the past generations and individualities arrived at a higher degree of advancement.
17. Fraternity must be the cornerstone of the new social order. But there is no real, solid,
and effective fraternity if it has not been supported upon an unchangeable base. This base is
faith, – not the faith in such and such particular dogmas, which change with time and people,
and at which the stone is cast, and in anathematizing it they sustain the antagonism to it, but the
faith in fundamental principles which all the world can accept, – God, the soul, the future,
individual progress as well as indefinite, the perpetuity of connection between individuals.
When all men shall be convinced that God is the same to all; that this God, sovereignly just and
good, can will no injustice; that evil comes from men, and not from him – they will regard
themselves as children of the same Father, and will extend to him the hand.
It is this faith which is given to Spiritism, and which will henceforth be the pivot upon
which human beings will move, whatever be their mode of adoration and their particular beliefs.
18. The vast proportion of intellectual progress which has been accomplished is a great
step, and marks the first phase of humanity; but alone, it is impotent to regenerate it. So long as
man will be governed by pride and selfishness he will use his intelligence and his knowledge for
the profit of his passions and personal interests. For this reason he applies them to the perfection of means for injuring others and of destroying them.
19. Moral progress alone can assure the happiness of men upon the Earth by putting a rein upon their bad passions. It alone can make harmony, peace, and fraternity reign between
It is this which will break down the barriers between them, which will destroy the
prejudices of caste, silence the antagonisms of sects, by teaching men to regard themselves as
brothers called to aid one another, and not to live at the expense of one another.
It is moral progress, seconded by the progress of intelligence, which will lead men to one
belief established upon the eternal truths, not subject to discussion; and for this accepted by all.
The unity of belief will be the most powerful bond of union, the most solid foundation for
universal fraternity, which has always been broken by religious antagonisms, which divides
people and families, which makes one see in a neighbor a person to avoid – one to combat,
exterminate – instead of a brother whom we should love.
20. Such a state of things supposes a radical change in the sentiment of the masses, a
general progress which could be accomplished only by departing from the circle of narrow
ideas, and quitting the ground which fosters pride. At different epochs superior men have sought
to lead men into this way; but humanity, yet too young, has remained deaf, and their teachings
have been like good seed fallen among stones.
Now humanity is capable of looking higher then it has done, in order to assimilate larger
ideas, and comprehend that which it had never before comprehended.
This generation which will disappear will carry with it its prejudices and errors; the
generation which is being educated has drunk at a purer spring, is imbued with healthier ideas,
will impress on the world the ascensional movement by way of moral progress, which must
mark the new phase of humanity.
21. This phase is already revealed by unmistakable signs, by attempts at useful reforms,
by grand and generous ideas which are brought to light, and which commence to find echoes.
Multitudes of protective, civilizing, and emancipating institutions are founded under the
management and by the introductory movement of men evidently predestined to the work of
regeneration; while each day the penal laws seem to be impregnated with a more humane
sentiment. The prejudices of race are weakened. Nations commence to regard themselves as
members of one great family. By the uniformity and facility of the means of transaction, they
abolish the barriers which divide them. In all parts of the world they unite in universal
assemblages for pacific interchange of sentiments.
But to those reforms a base is missing to complete, develop, and consolidate them – a
more general moral predisposition in order to bear fruit, and to be accepted by the masses. It is
no less a characteristic sign of the time, the prelude of that which will be accomplished upon a
larger ladder by measure, as the ground will become more propitious.
22. A sign no less characteristic of the period upon which we enter is the evident reaction
in spiritualistic ideas. An instructive repulsion is manifested against materialistic ideas. The
spirit of unbelief, which was carrying away the masses, ignorant or enlightened, and had made
them reject with the form even the true basis of all faith, seems to have been asleep, on the
awakening from which one experiences a need of breathing a more life giving air. Involuntarily,
where the void has been made, one seeks something, a support, a hope.
23. If one supposes the majority of men imbued with these sentiments, one can easily
figure the changes it would bring on social relations – charity, fraternity, kindness towards all,
and tolerance for all beliefs: such will be their motto. It is the end towards which humanity is
evidently tending without being very sure of the means of realizing them, it tries, it counts the
pulse, but is arrested by active resistance, or the force of the inertia of the prejudices of
stationary beliefs which are opposed to progress. These are resisting forces, which it must
vanquish; and it will be the work of the new generation. If one follows the present course of
things, one will recognize that all seems predestined to prepare the way for it. There will be the
double power of number and of ideas, and, moreover, the explosion of the past.
24. The new generation will march them to the realization of all compatible humanitarian
ideas with the degree of advancement to which it will have reached. Spiritism marching towards
the same end, and realizing its views, they will meet each other in the same ground. Men of
progress will find in the ideas of the spiritists a powerful lever, and Spiritism will find in men
new minds entirely disposed to welcome it. With this state of things, what will those do who
would desire to place an obstacle in its way?
25. It is not Spiritism which creates social renovation; it is the maturity of humanity
which makes this renovation a necessity. By its moralizing power, by its progressive tendencies,
by the liberality of its views, by the generality of the questions which it embraces, Spiritism is,
more than any other doctrine, qualified to second the regenerative movement; for that reason it
is contemporary with it. It has come at the moment when it could be useful; for it also is the
time arrived. Sooner, at an earlier date, it would have encountered insurmountable obstacles. It
would have inevitably succumbed, because men, satisfied with that which they had, had not
experienced a need for that which it brings. Now, born with the movement of fermenting ideas,
it finds the Earth prepared to receive it. Spirits, tired of doubt and of incertitude, frightened by
the gulf that opens before them, welcome it as an anchor of salvation and a supreme
26. The number of those who have not joined our ranks is still great without doubt; but
what can they do against the rising wave, except to throw a few stones at it? This wave is the
generation which is being educated by it, while those who do not believe will disappear with the
generation which is rapidly passing away. Until that they will defend every step of the ground.
There is then an inevitable contest, but an unequal one; for it is that of a decrepit past, which
falls into fragments against the juvenile future; of stagnation against progress; of the creature
against the will of God – for the times appointed by him are come.
The New Generation
27. In order that man shall be happy upon the Earth, it is necessary that it be peopled with
good spirits, incarnate or discarnate, who desire only good. This time has arrived; a great
emigration is being accomplished at this moment among those who inhabit it. Those who return
evil for evil, and in whom the desire to do right is not felt, being unworthy of the transformed
state of the Earth, will be banished from it, because they will bring only trouble and confusion,
and would be an obstacle to progress. They will go to expiate their hardness of heart, some into
inferior worlds, and others with terrestrial races behind them in development, which will be the
equivalent of inferior worlds, where they will carry their acquired knowledge, and where it will
be their mission to teach undeveloped beings this knowledge. They will be replaced by better
spirits, who will make justice, peace, and fraternity rule among them.
The Earth, according to the intelligence gained from the spirits, must not be transformed
by a cataclysm which would suddenly annihilate a generation. The present generation will
gradually disappear, and the new one succeed in the same manner without anything having been
changed in the natural order of things.
All externally will pass along as is usual, with this difference alone, which is an important
one, that a part of the spirits which are incarnated here now will no more be incarnated here.
The children who will then be born, instead of being underdeveloped and inclined to evil, will
be more advanced spirits inclined towards righteousness.
It acts then much less upon a new corporeal generation than upon the new generation of
spirits. It is undoubtedly within this context that Jesus understood things when he said: “I tell
you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.”
Thus, those who will expect to see the transformation brought about by supernatural or
miraculous effects will be disappointed.
28. The present epoch is a transition one; the elements of the two generations are
mingling together. Placed at the intermediary point, we assist at the departure of one and at the
arrival of the other. Each one signalized itself by its own proper character.
The two generations which follow each other have views and ideas totally opposed to one
another. By the nature of the moral disposition, but more particularly by the intuitive and innate
disposition, it is easy to distinguish to which of the two each individual belongs.
The new generation, being the founder of the era of moral progress, is distinguished
generally by a precocious intelligence and reasoning powers, joined to the innate sentiment of
goodness and of spiritualist beliefs, which is the unmistakable sign of a certain degree of
anterior advancement. It will not be composed exclusively of eminently superior spirits, but of
those who, having progressed already, are predisposed to embrace all the progressive ideas, and
apt to second the regenerative movement.
That which distinguishes, on the contrary, undeveloped spirits is, firstly, the revolt
against God by refusing to recognize any power superior to humanity; then the instinctive
propensity to the degrading passions, to the anti-fraternal sentiments of selfishness, of pride, of
the attachment for all that which is material; sensuality, cupidity and avarice.
These are the vices of which the Earth must be purged by the removal of those who
refuse to amend, because they are incompatible with the reign of fraternity, and as good men
will suffer always by contact with them. When the Earth shall have been delivered from them,
men will march without hindrance towards that better future which has been reserved for them
here below as the recompense for their efforts and perseverance, looking forward to a
purification still more complete, which will open to them the entrance to superior worlds.
29. By this emigration of spirits it is not necessary to understand that all undeveloped spirits will be expelled from Earth, and condemned to live in inferior worlds. Many, on the
contrary, will return here – those who have yielded to temptation by the force of circumstances
and example; those who appeared to be much worse than they really were. Once delivered from
the influence of matter, and the prejudices of the corporeal world, the greater part of them will
see things in an entirely different light than when living, as we have numerous examples of it. In
this they are aided by benevolent spirits who are interested in them, and who try to enlighten
them by showing them the wrong in the way they have pursued. By our prayers and
exhortations we can ourselves contribute to their improvement, because there is a perpetual
connection, an unbroken chain, between the dead and living.
The transformation is very simple, entirely a moral one, which is according to the laws of
30. Allowing that the spirits of the new generation are new ones, but better, more
advanced than the preceding ones, or ancient developed spirits, the result is the same. From the
instant that they become inspired by better desires, the renovation takes place. There are then
two categories of incarnated spirits, which are formed according to their natural dispositions –
on one side those tardy in progression who depart, and on the other the progressive ones who
arrive. The condition of society in a nation or in the entire world will be according to the
preponderance which one of these two categories has over the other.
31. A common comparison will make this better comprehended. Let us suppose a
regiment composed of a great majority of undisciplined and unruly men, those who in constant
disorder are brought to feel the severity of the penal laws. These men are the stronger, because
they are the more numerous; they are sustained, encouraged, and stimulated by example. The
few good ones among them are without influence; their counsels are despised, they are scoffed
at, badly treated by the others, and suffer from this contact. Is this not an emblem of society at
Let us suppose that these men are withdrawn from this regiment one by one, ten by ten,
hundred by hundred, and that they are replaced by an equal number of good soldiers, even by
those who have become seriously amended. At the end of some greater or less period of time,
there will be the same regiment, but a transformed one; good order will have succeeded to
disorder. Thus will it be with regenerated humanity.
32. The great collective departures have not alone for object the acceleration of the
different departures, but they also transform more rapidly the minds of the masses by removing
the bad influences from the way, and by giving a greater ascendancy to new ideas, because
many are ready for this transformation, notwithstanding their imperfections, while many depart
to strengthen themselves at a purer source.
Should they have remained in the same midst and under the same influences, they would
have persisted in their opinions, and in their manner of seeing things. A sojourn in the spirit-
world suffices to open their eyes to the truth, because they see there that which they could not
see on Earth. The incredulous, the fanatic, the absolutist, will then be enabled to return with
innate ideas of faith, of tolerance, and of liberty. On their return they will find things changed,
and will submit to the ascendancy of the new midst in which they will be born. Instead of
making opposition to new ideas, they will be helpers towards them.
33. The regeneration of humanity does not absolutely require the complete renewal of the
spirits. A modification in their moral dispositions suffices. This modification takes place with
all those who are predisposed to it when they shall have freed themselves from the pernicious
influence of the world. Those who return, then, are not always other spirits, but often the same
ones, thinking and feeling otherwise.
When this amelioration is isolated and individual, it passes unperceived, and is without
ostensible influences upon the world. Entirely different is the effect when it operates
simultaneously over great masses of people; for then, according to the proportions of it in one
generation, the ideas of a nation or a race can be profoundly modified by it.
This is observed after great accidents which decimate a population. The destructive
scourges do not destroy the spirit, but only the body; they accelerate the coming-and-going
movement between the corporeal and spiritual world, and consequently the progressive
movement of incarnate and discarnate spirits. It has been observed, at all historical epochs that
great social crises have been followed by an era of progress.
34. It is one of these general movements which is operating at this time, and which must
lead to the repairing of humanity. The multiplicity of the means of destruction is a characteristic
sign of the times; for they must hasten the expansion of the new germs. They are the leaves of
autumn which must fall, but to which will succeed new leaves full of life; for humanity has its
season, as individuals have their ages. The dead leaves of humanity fall, carried away by the
tempestuous blasts of life, only to be reborn with still greater strength, with the same breath of
life which is not annihilated, but purified.
35. To the materialist, destructive scourges are calamities without compensation, without
useful results, since, according to him, they annihilate the beings forever. But for him who
knows that death destroys only the envelope, they have not the same consequences, and cause
not the least bit of fear. He comprehends the object of it, and knows that men lose no more by
dying together than separately, since, in one way or another, it is necessary to arrive there.
Incredulous will laugh at these things, and treat them as chimerical dreams; but, whatever
they may say, they cannot escape the common law. They will fall in their turn like the others;
and then what will occur? They say: nothing! but they will live in spite of themselves, and be
forced some day to open their eyes to the truth.