The Spirit´s Book Allan Kardec Year of publication: 1857
Part IV, page 403
1016. In what sense is the word heaven to be understood?“Do you suppose it to be a place like the Elysian Fields of the ancients, where all good spirits are crowded together pell-mell, with no other care than that of enjoying, throughout eternity, a passive felicity? No; it is universal space; it is the planets, the stars, and all the worlds of high degree, in which spirits are in the enjoyment of all their faculties, without having the tribulations of material life, or the sufferings inherent in the state of inferiority.”1017. Spirits have said that they inhabited the third, fourth, and fifth heaven, etc.; what did they mean in saying this?“You ask them which heaven they inhabit, because you have the idea of several heavens, placed one above the other, like the storeys of a house, and they therefore answer you according to your own ideas; but, for them, the words ‘third,’ ‘fourth,’ or ‘fifth’ heaven, express different degrees of purification, and consequently of happiness. It is the same when you ask a spirit whether he is in hell; if he is unhappy, he will say ‘yes,’ because, for him, hell is synonymous with suffering; but he knows very well that it is not a furnace. A Pagan would have replied that lie was in Tartarus.”
1019. “Will the reign of goodness ever be established upon the earth?
“Goodness will reign upon the earth when, among the spirits who come to dwell in it, the good shall be more numerous than the bad; for they will then bring in the reign of love and justice, which are the source of good and of happiness. It is through moral progress and practical conformity with the laws of God, that men will attract to the earth good spirits, who will keep bad ones away from it; but the latter will not definitively quit the earth until its people shall be completely purified from pride and selfishness.
The transformation of the human race has been predicted from the most ancient times, and you are now approaching the period when it is destined to take place. All those among you who are labouring to advance the progress of mankind are helping to hasten this transformation, which will be effected through the incarnation, in your earth, of spirits of higher degree, who will constitute a new population, of greater moral advancement than the human races they will gradually have replaced. The spirits of the wicked people who are mowed down each day by death, and of all who endeavour to arrest the onward movement, will be excluded from the earth, and compelled to incarnate themselves elsewhere; for they would be out of place among those nobler races of human beings, whose felicity would be impaired by their presence among them. They will be sent into never worlds, less advanced than the earth, and will therein fulfil hard and laborious missions, which will furnish them with the means of advancing, while contributing also to the advancement of their brethren of those younger worlds, less advanced than themselves, Do you not see, in this exclusion of backward spirits from the transformed and regenerated earth, the true significance of the sublime myth of the driving out of the first pair from the garden of Eden? And do you not also see, in the advent of the human race upon the earth, under the conditions of such an exile, and bringing within; itself the germs of its passions and the evidences of its primitive inferiority, the real meaning of that other myth, no less sublime, of the fall of those first parents, entailing the sinfulness of their descendants? ‘Original sin,’ considered from this point of view, is seen to consist in the imperfection of human nature; and each of the spirits subsequently incarnated in the human race is therefore responsible only for his own imperfection and his own wrong-doing, and not for those of his forefathers.
Part V, page 413
The progress of the human race results from the practical application of the law of justice,love, and charity.
This law is founded on the certainty of the future; take away that certainty,
and you take away its corner-stone. It is from this law that all other laws are derived, for it
comprises all the conditions of human happiness; it alone can cure the evils of society; and
the improvement that takes place in the conditions of social life, in proportion as this law is better understood and better carried out in action, becomes clearly apparent when we compare the various ages and peoples of the earth. And if the partial and incomplete application of this law have sufficed to produce an appreciable improvement in social conditions, what will it not effect when it shall have become the basis of all social institutions? Is such a result possible ? Yes; for as the human race has already accomplished ten steps, it is evident that it can accomplish twenty, and so on. We can infer the future from the past.
We see that the antipathies between different nations are beginning to melt away; that the barriers which separated them are being overthrown by the progress of civilisation, and that they are joining hands from one end of the world to the other. A larger measure of justice has been introduced into international law; wars occur less frequently, and do not exclude the exercise of humane sentiments; uniformity is being gradually established in the relations of life; the distinctions of races and castes are being effaced, and men of different religious beliefs are imposing silence on sectional prejudices, that they may unite in adoration of one and the same God. We speak of the nations who are at the head of civilization (789-793). In all these relations, men are still far from perfection, and there are still many old ruins to be pulled down before the last vestiges of barbarism will have been cleared away; but can those ruins withstand the irresistible action of progress, that living force which is itself a law of nature ? If the present generation is more advanced than the last, why should not the next be more advanced than the present one ? It will necessarily be so through the force of things; in the first place, because each generation, as it passes away, carries with it some of the champions of old abuses, and society is thus gradually reconstituted with new elements that have thrown aside antiquated prejudices; in the second place, because, when men have come to desire progress, they study the obstacles which impede it, and set themselves to get rid of them. The fact of the progressive movement of human society being incontestable, there can be no doubt that progress will continue to be made in the future.
Man desires to be happy; it is in his nature so to do. He only he has not obtained complete happiness, and that this happiness but for which result progress would have no object; for where would be the value of progress for him if it did not improve his position ? But when he shall have obtained all the enjoyments that can be afforded by intellectual progress, he will perceive that he has not obtained complete happiness, and that this happiness is impossible without security in the social relations; and as he can only obtain this security through the moral progress of society in general, he will be led, by the force of things, to labour for that end, to the attainment of which, Spiritism will furnish him with the most effectual means.
Photo: Nasa free picture