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Allan Kardec is the pen name of the French teacher and educator Hippolyte Léon Denizard Rivail (3 October 1804 – 31 March 1869). He is known today as the systematizer of Spiritism for which he laid the foundation with the five books of the Spiritist Codification.
The Spirits' Book
- If demons existed, they would be the work of God; but would it he just on the part of God to have created beings condemned eternally to evil and to misery? If demons exist, it is in your low world, and in other worlds of similar degree that they are to be found. They are the human hypocrites who represent a just God as being cruel and vindictive, and who imagine that they make themselves agreeable to Him by the abominations they commit in His name.
- p. 105.
- During life, a spirit is held to the body by his semi-material envelope, or perispirit. Death is the destruction of the body only, but not of this second envelope, which separates itself from the body when the play of organic life ceases in the latter. Observation shows us that the separation of the perispirit from the body is not suddenly completed at the moment of death, but is only effected gradually, and more or less slowly in different individuals. In some cases it is effected so quickly that the perispirit is entirely separated from the body within a few hours of the death of the latter but in other cases, and especially in the case of those whose life has been grossly material and sensual, this deliverance is much less rapid, and sometimes takes days, weeks, and even months, for its accomplishment. This delay does not imply the slightest persistence of vitality in the body, nor any possibility of its return to life, but is simply the result of a certain affinity between the body and the spirit which affinity is always more or less tenacious in proportion to the preponderance of materiality in the affections of the spirit during his earthly life.
- p. 116.
- The line of march of all spirits is always progressive, never retrograde. They raise themselves gradually In the hierarchy of existence they never descend from the rank at which they have once arrived. In the course of their different corporeal existences they may descend in rank as men, but not as spirits. Thus the soul of one who has been at the pinnacle of earthly power may, in a subsequent incarnation, animate the humblest day-labourer, and vice versa ; for the elevation of ranks among men is often In the inverse ratio of that of the moral sentiments. Herod was a king, and Jesus, a carpenter.
- p. 128.
- Spirits incarnate themselves as men or as women, because they are of no sex and, as it is necessary for them to develop themselves in every direction, both sexes, as well as every variety of social position. furnish them with special trials and duties, and with the opportunity of acquiring experience. A spirit who had always incarnated itself as a man would be only known by men, and vice versa.
- p. 131.
- As spirits transport themselves from point to point with the rapidity of thought, they may be said to see everywhere at the same time. A spirit's thought may radiate at the same moment on many different points; but this faculty depends on his purity. The more impure the spirit, the narrower is his range of sight. It is only the higher spirits who can take in a whole at a single glance.
- p. 155.
- A master who had been cruel to his slaves might become a slave in his turn, and undergo the torments he had inflicted on others. He who has wielded authority may, in a new existence, be obliged to obey those who formerly bent to his will. Such an existence may be imposed upon him as an expiation if he have abused his power. But a good spirit may also choose an influential existence among the people of some lower race, in order to hasten their advancement; in that case, such a reincarnation is a mission.
- p. 170.
- Affections are more solid and lasting among spirits than among men, because they are not subordinated to the caprices of material interests and self-love.
- p. 174.
- Intellectual superiority is not always accompanied by an equal degree of moral superiority, and the greatest geniuses may have much to expiate. For this reason, they often have to undergo an existence inferior to the one they have previously accomplished, which is a cause of suffering for them the hindrances to the manifestation of his faculties thus imposed upon a spirit being like chains that fetter the movements of a vigorous man. The idiot may be said to be lame in the brain, as the halt is lame in the legs, and the blind, in the eyes.
- p. 193.
- When a spirit has reached the end of the term assigned by Providence to his errant life, he chooses for himself the trials which he determines to undergo in order to hasten his progress - that is to say, the kind of existence which he believes will be most likely to furnish him with the means of advancing and the trials of this new existence always correspond to the faults which he has to expiate. If he triumphs in this new struggle, he rises in grade; if he succumbs, he has to try again.
- p. 202.
- You often say, 'I have had a strange dream, a frightful dream, without any likeness to reality' You are mistaken in thinking it to be so; for it is often a reminiscence of places and things which you have seen in the past, or a foresight of those which you will see in another existence, or in this one at some future time. The body being torpid, the spirit tries to break his chain, and seeks, in the past or in the future, for the means of doing so.
- p. 204.
- The spirit acquires an increase of knowledge and experience in each of his corporeal existences. He loses sight of part of these gains during his reincarnation in matter, which is too gross to allow of his remembering them in their entirety; but he remembers them as a spirit. It is thus that some somnambulists give evidence of possessing knowledge beyond their present degree of instruction, and even of their apparent intellectual capacity. The intellectual and scientific inferiority of a somnambulist in his waking state, therefore, proves nothing against his possession of the knowledge he may display in his lucid state. According to the circumstances of the moment and the aim proposed, he may draw this knowledge from the stores of his own experience, from his clairvoyant perception of things actually occurring, or from the counsels which he receives from other spirits; but, in proportion as his own spirit is more or less advanced, he will make his statements more or less correctly.
- p. 221.
- If there be a doctrine that should win over the most incredulous by its charm and its beauty, it is that of the existence of spirit-protectors, or guardian-angels. To think that you have always near you beings who are superior to you, and who are always beside you to counsel you, to sustain you, to aid you in climbing the steep ascent of self-improvement, whose friendship is truer and more devoted than the most intimate union that you can contract upon the earth-is not such an idea most consoling? Those beings are near you by the command of God. It is He who has placed them beside you. They are there for love of Him, and they fulfil towards you a noble but laborious mission. They are with you wherever you may be; in the dungeon, in solitude, in the lazar-house, even in the haunts of debauchery. Nothing ever separates you from the friend whom you cannot see, but whose gentle impulsions are felt, and whose wise monitions are heard, in the innermost recesses of your heart.
- p. 234.
- In the case of those who are killed in battle, as in all other cases of violent death, a spirit, during the first few moments, is in a state of bewilderment, and as though he were stunned. He does not know that he is dead and seems to be taking part in the action. It is only little by little that the reality of his situation becomes apparent to him.
- p. 249.
- Allan Kardec Biographic Information
- The Spirits' Book codified by Allan Kardec (PDF file) or as HTML
- The Spirits' Book by Allan Kardec (PDF file)
- The Book on Mediums by Allan Kardec (PDF file)
- The Gospel According to Spiritism by Allan Kardec (PDF file)
- Heaven and Hell by Allan Kardec (PDF file)
- Genesis by Allan Kardec (PDF file)
- Allan Kardec Educational Society
- ALLAN KARDEC: spiritisme, spiritism...
- The Spirits' Book by Allan Kardec