The Spiritist Review - Journal of Psychological Studies - 1860

Allan Kardec

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Comments about the spontaneous essay published in the October 1860 issue of The Review, with the title Awakening of the Spirit.

The lovely communications of the spirit that uses the name Georges are generally admired. However, and due to the very superiority demonstrated by that spirit, several persons were surprised about what he said in his message Awakening of the Spirit, regarding the relationships beyond the tomb. It reads as follows:

“We get rid of every earthly prejudice. Truth shines with full intensity. Nothing mitigates our faults. Nothing hides the virtues. We see our own souls as clearly as if before a mirror. We seek the familiar spirits because isolation is frightening, but they go by and don’t bother to stop. There is no affectionate relationship among errant spirits; even those who loved one another don’t exchange expressions of love; those misty forms slide and move on. The affectionate communications are reserved to the superior spirits in their interactions.”

The thought of homecoming after death and the communication with our loved ones is one of the greatest consolations of Spiritism and the idea that souls would not have a friendly relationship would be tough, if absolute; hence we are not surprised by the painful feeling that it has caused. If Georges were one of those common or systematic spirits, who expose their own ideas without any concern with accuracy, we would not have given any importance to the issue. Given his customary wisdom and depth it was natural to expect something true in that theory but that his thought was not expressed correctly. In fact, that is what came out of the explanations that we requested. This is then another proof that we must not accept anything without the control of reason; and here reason and facts tell us that such theory could not be absolute.

If isolation were a characteristic inherent to erraticity, such a state would be a real punishment, the more painful the more it can be prolonged for many centuries. We know from experience that the absence of loved ones is a punishment to certain spirits; but we also know that many of them are happy for meeting again; that when we leave this life our friends in the spiritual world come to welcome us, helping us to disengage from the earthly attire, and that there isn’t anything worse than not finding a benevolent soul at that solemn moment. Would such a consoling doctrine be an illusion? No, it is not possible because it is not simply the result of a teaching. It is the souls themselves, happy or unfortunate, that come to us and describing their situation. We know that the spirits gather together, understanding one another and acting in agreement, with more strength on certain occasions, both in good and evil; that the spirits who don’t have the knowledge necessary to answer the questions addressed to them, may be helped by others who are more enlightened; that these are assigned with the mission of helping with their advice and the progress of others that fall behind; that the inferior spirits act under the influence of others, being their instrument; that they receive orders, prohibitions or permissions, circumstances that would not happen if the spirits were abandoned to their own fates. Thus, simple common sense tell us that the situation commented above cannot be absolute but relative; that may happen to some in given circumstances but that could not be general since if true it could become the greatest obstacle to the progress of the spirit and, for that very reason, it would not be according to God’s justice and benevolence. Georges, the spirit, has evidently mentioned one phase of erraticity, in which he limited the word errant to a certain category of spirits, instead of applying the term to all disincarnated spirits, as we do ourselves.

It can very well happen then that two loving creatures don’t exchange signs of affection; that may not see or speak to one another, if that is a punishment to one of them. On another hand and since the spirits gather according to their hierarchical order, two spirits who loved one another on Earth may well belong to different orders and therefore remain split until the day when the least advanced one reaches the level of the other one. Thus, such deprivation may be a consequence of the earthly trials and atonements. It is up to us to behave in such a way that it does not happen to us.

The spirits’ happiness is relative to their elevation. It is only complete to the pure spirits, whose happiness is mainly in the love that unites them. This is conceivable and all justice, for true affections can only exist since they have left behind every trace of selfishness and material influence, and because it can only be pure in their state, without second intentions, perturbed by nothing.

Hence and for that very reason, their interactions must be more affectionate and extensive than those of spirits still under the empire of the earthly passions. It is then necessary to conclude that the errant spirits are not forced to be but can be deprived of such exchanges, if that is a punishment imposed on them. As Georges says in another passage: “That transient deprivation makes them more eager to reach the point when the successful trials will bring back their loved ones.” Hence, that deprivation is not the normal state of the errant spirits but expiation to those who deserved it, another one among thousands of vicissitudes that follow in the other life our demerits of this one.

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