Progress in the Immortality

Author: Léon Denis
Book: Progress
Conference held in Tours in Cirque room on February 29, 1880 and Orléans, in the Institute Room on April 4, 1880

Chapter VII – Part II

To read part I: Progress of Religion

Progress in the Immortality

(Spiritualist philosophical Complement, by Leon Denis published by the newspaper Le Devoir in 1880)
Although humanity advances little by little, in the the road of progress, can say that the vast majority of its members march through life as through a dark night, ignoring where he comes from, not knowing where he is going, not having ever dreaming about the real purpose of existence.
A thick darkness dominate human reason; the rays of these powerful spotlights, which are justice and truthonly arrive at her pale, weak and insufficient to clarify the winding paths where the countless legions follow in march, to shine in his eyes the purpose, ideal and distant.

Ignorant of his destinations, hesitating between prejudice and error, man curses sometimes life. Fainting to the weight of his burden, casts on his fellows because of proofs that he engenders and suffers, often for his imprudence.
Rebelled against God, which he accuses of unfair, in his madness and desperation he even sometimes deserting the salutary combat, the fight that can only strengthen his soul, clarify his judgment, to prepare for higher agenda.

Why is that ? Why man descends fragile and disarmed the great arena where it hangs, relentlessly and without rest, eternal and gigantic battle? It is because this earth is simply one of the lower rungs of the scale of the worlds and live in it only new spirits, that is, newly born souls, with reason.
Matter reigns supreme in our world and bend under its yoke even the best of us; limits our faculties, paralyzes our yearnings for good and our aspirations for the ideal.

Thus to discern the purpose of life, to know its reason for being, to glimpse the supreme law governing souls and the worlds one needs to know to release these heavy influences break free of the concerns of the material order, all these passing things and switchers that cover up our spirits, hindering our judgments.
Only by raising us sometimes by thought up own horizons of life, making abstraction of time and space and soaring, somewhat above the details of existence, is to realize
the truth.

With an effort of will, we abandon for a moment the earth and let us go up these lofty slopes. From the top of the intellectual summits, will unfold for us the immense panorama of endless time and space without limit. Just as the soldier lost in the fight only see confusion in its environment, while the general, whose gaze reaches all the vicissitudes of the battle, calculates and provides its results; just as the traveler, lost in the terrain folds up the mountain, you can see them merge in a great plain, so the human soul, the ridges where it flat, away from Earth noise, away from the dark corners, discovers universal harmony. What downstairs it seemed confusing, inexplicable and unjust, seen from above, it connects and becomes clear.

The meanderings of existence straighten. It all comes together, everything is linked together. To the dazzled spirit appears the majestic order that regulates the course of the existence and the march of the universes.
These enlightened times, life is no longer in our eyes as to the crowd, the vain pursuit of ephemeral satisfactions, but a means of intellectual training, moral elevation, a school where you learn the sweetness, patience and duty.

This life, to be effective, can not be isolated. Outside its boundaries, beyond birth and death, we see a kind of twilight, unfold a multitude of existences through which, at the expense of labor and suffering, conquer, piece by piece, bit by bit, the little knowledge and qualities we have and by which also conquer what we need: a perfect reason, a science without limits and an infinite love for every living thing.
The immortality, like an endless chain, takes place for each of us in the immensity of time. Each existence is a link that connects to backwards and forwards in a distinct chain, a different life, but integral with each other.
The future is the result of the past and, from step to step, being rises and grows. Architect of his own destiny, man, free and responsible, chooses his path and this route is difficult, the falls he will have the stones and thorns that will rend him will have the effect of developing their experience and strengthen his emerging reason .
The supreme law of the world is therefore the unceasing progress, the rise of beings to God, the source of the perfections. From the depths of the abyss of the most rudimentary forms of life, an endless route and with the help of transformations and again, we approach Him. At the bottom of each soul the Lord placed the germ of all the faculties and all the powers; up to us to make them hatch for our efforts and our struggles!
Faced by these new aspects, our progress, our approaching happiness is result of our work and the favor has no more reason to be, for justice shines after all over the world, because if we all struggle and suffer, we shall all be saved.
It is also revealed here in all its grandeur, the role of pain and its utility to the progress of beings. Each globe rolling in space is a vast workshop where the souls of the substance is incessantly worked.

As the mineral coarse under the action of fire and water, is transformed, little by little, in a pure metal, also the human soul under the heavy hammer of pain, transforms and fortifies. It is in the midst of trials that forge the great characters. Pain is the ultimate purification is the furnace where undem all impure dross that corrupts the soul: pride, selfishness and indifference.
It is the only school where delicate sensations attune themselves, where one learn inalterable compassion and stoic resignation.
Sensual pleasures, connecting us to matter, they slow our elevation, while the sacrifice and self-denial disconnect us, in advance, this thick denim and prepare us for new steps and a higher rise. Thus the soul rises in the magnificent climbing worlds and runs through the field without limits of space and time.
Every conquest of the passions, every step forward, enlarged and purified she sees her horizons widen and realize more and more distinctly, the great harmony of laws and things and into it takes part in a very narrow and more effective  way .
Then for her the time turns off and the centuries drain as seconds. United with her sisters, erraticity of partners, she continues her eternal march within a growing light.
Of our searches and our meditations, enhances a great law: the plurality of existences of the soul. We live before birth and will live after death, and this law gives us the solution of problems that until now are insoluble, because only it can explain the inequality of conditions and the infinite variety of characters and skills. We know or will know successively all stages of earthly life and cycle through all means. In the past, we were like those savages that populate the backward continents; in the future, we can raise the greatness of those immortal geniuses, these giant spirits who, like bright lights, illuminate the march of humanity.
The time and labor are the two elements of our progress and the law of reincarnation shows in a brilliant way, the sovereign justice that reigns over all beings. Step by step, we forge and break ourselves our fetters. The terrible trials, that some of us suffer are the result of a conduct of the past.
The despot reborn as slave. The , proud  woman, vain for her beauty, take a sick and suffering body; the Lazy come back as a servant, bent under a thankless task, and the one who made suffer, in turn, will suffer. It is useless to look for hell in the unknown and distant regions. Hell is around us, and it is hidden in the ignored folds of the guilty soul, in which only the atonement may terminate the pain.
However, some will say, if other lives preceded the birth, why we lost the memory and how we can successfully rescue forgotten faults?
The memory! It would not be than a terrible fetter tied to our feet! Barely out of the fury ages, escaping yesterday of ferocious bestiality, what should be the past of each of us? By the overdue steps, how many tears have raced and the blood we have shed! We know the feeling of  hate and practice injustice. What moral burden that this long perspective of absences for a poor spirit already weak and wobbly! Then the memory of our own past is linked, in an intimate way, the memory of the past of others. That unpleasant situation for the culprit, marked with the red-hot iron for eternity!
And the hatreds, errors would perpetuate, by the same reason creating deep and eternal divisions among humanity that already suffers. Yes, God did well to clear our fragile minds the memory of a dangerous past. After having drunk the Lethe‘s waters, 3 reborn into a new life.
A different education, a broader civilization does scare away the ghosts that disturbed once our spirit.
Relieved of that heavy luggage, we advance with faster pace in the paths that are open.
However, this past is not so extinct, in which we can not perceive some traces of it. If free from outside influences, we move down to the depths of our being, if we analyze carefully our preferences and our aspirations, we find things that nothing in our present existence and received education could explain.
Proceeding from this, we can even reconstruct this past, if not its details, at least in its broad outlines.
In relation to faults resulting in this life, a consented atonement, although cleared momentarily before our eyes, its primary causedo not remains less visible forever, i.e. our passions, our ardent character that new incarnations will have as a goal to bend and tame . (carving, improving)
So therefore, if we leave in oblivion, the most dangerous memories, we carry at least with us the fruit and the consequences of the newly conquered work, that is, an awarenessa judgment and character carved for ourselves. What we call inequality is nothing but intellectual and moral heritage that the past lives bequeath us.
Each time it is open for us the gates of death, when, separate of the material yoke, our soul escapes her fleshprison to re-enter the empire of spiritsthen the past reappears entirely before her. One after another, the route that was traveled, she revises her stocks: falls, achievements and rapid marches. She considers to herself, measuring the path traveled, and the spectacle of her success or her shame, placed before her, finds her punishment or reward her.
Being the intellectual and moral improvement of the soul, the purpose of life, what condition and what means should be the best to achieve that goal? Man can work for this perfection in all conditions and in all walks of life, but more victoriously will work under certain conditions.
The wealth provides the powerful man study, means and allows his spirit to a more developed and more perfect culture; she puts in his hands more facilities to relieve his unfortunate brothers and participate in useful tasks to improve his luck. But rare are those who consider it as a duty to work to alleviate the misery or the education and improvement of their similar.
The wealth sterilizes often the human heart; extinguishes the flame inside, this love of progress and social improvementsthat warms all generous people; puts a barrier between the powerful and the humble and isolates, in a sphere, the disinherited of this world, which, consequently, their needs and their ailments are ignored and unknown.
Poverty also has its horrific dangers: the degradation of the characters, despair and suicide, but as wealth makes us indifferent and selfish, poverty causes approaching the humble, makes us to share their pain. One must have suffered to evaluate the suffering of others. It is then that the powerful in the midst of honors, envy each other and seek rival in ostentation.
The little ones, are approximate by the need and which they live sometimes in a touching fraternization.
Look the birds of our country during the winter months, when the sky is dark, when the earth is covered with a white blanket of snow; attached to each other on the edge of a roof, they warm each other in silence. The necessity binds them. However, in beautiful day with the sun shining and the abundant supply, they peep as they can, chase each other, hit each other and hurt themselves. So is the man.
Docile, affectionate to his fellow men in the days of sorrow, however the possession of material goods often he becomes forgotten and insensitive.
A modest condition does more good to the willing spirit of progress, to acquire the virtues necessary for its moral progress. Away from the whirlwind of fleeting pleasures, he will judge better life, will give the matter that is necessary for the preservation of his bodies, but avoid falling into pernicious habits, becomes prey to the many factitious needs that are the scourges of mankind. He will be sober and laborious, be contented with little, clinging at the pleasures of the intelligence and joys of the heart.
Thus fortified against the assaults of the matter, the wise see shine his destiny in the pure light of reason. Informed about the purpose of life and the reason of things, will be firm in moral virtue, resigned human being, before the pain, which he will use for his purification and progress.
Will face a trial with courage, knowing that she is beneficial, she is the shock that tears our souls and only for this rip pours all things that gall and bitterness exists in us.
Thus fortified against the assaults of the matter, the wise see shine his destiny in the pure light of reason. Informed about the purpose of life and the reason of things, will be firm and resigned before the pain, which he will use for his purification and progress.
Will face a trial with courage, knowing that she is beneficial, she is the shock that tears our souls and only for this rip pours all things that gall and bitterness exists in us.
And if men would laugh at him if he is the victim of intrigue and injustice, learn to endure patiently, his evils, casting their gaze upon ye oh! our older brothers, Socrates drinking the hemlock, for the crucified Jesus and Joan at the stake. There will be consolation in remembering that the greatest, the most virtuous and the most worthy suffered and died for humanity.
After an existence be well filled, will arrive the solemn hour, it is with calmness and without troubles, which will come death. The death that the men surround with a sinister apparatus, death, scarecrow of the powerful and sensuous and to the austere thinker is the release time of transformation, the door that opens to the bright empire of spirits.
This portico of extraterrestrial regions will be permeated with serenity, if consciousness, separated from the shadow of matter, rise up as a judge, God’s representative, asking?What did you do in life? And he answers: I have fought, suffered, loved! I taught goodness, truth and justice; I gave my brothers
example of the correct and sweetness; I eased the pain of suffering and consoled those who weep. Now that the Eternal judge me, for I am in your hands!
Man, my brother, have faith in your destiny, because it is great. Relies on broad prospects because he puts in your mind the energy to face the winds and storms of the world. Walks, brave fighter, climbs the slope that leads to these peaks which are called virtue, duty and sacrifice. Do not stop on the way to collect the little flowers of the field, to play with the golden pebbles. Forward, always forward.
Look in the splendid heavens these bright stars, those countless suns carry in their bright prodigious developments parades of planets. How accumulated centuries were necessary in order to form them and how many centuries will be needed to dissolve them.
Well, there will come a day when all these suns are extinct, or these gigantic worlds disappear to make way for new globes and other families of stars emerging from the depths. Nothing you see today will exist. The wind of space, have swept away forever, the dust of these worlds, but you will live forever, pursuing your eternal march within a renewed creation, incessantly. Which will then be for your refined and enlarged soul, the shadows and the care of the present? Fleeting accidents of our walk, que only will leave, deep in our memory, sad and sweet memories.
Before the infinite horizons of immortality, the evils of the past and suffered evidence, what will be a fleeting cloud in the middle of a serene sky.
Therefore considers in the fair value, the things of the earth.
Do not disdain because undoubtedly they are necessary to your progress and your work is to contribute to its improvement, improving yourself, but your soul does not hold exclusively to them and that you seek, above all, the teachings contained therein.
Thanks to them you will understand that the goal of life is not joy, not happiness, but development through work, of study and fulfillment of duty, of that soul, that personality that you will find beyond the grave, like you’ve done, you yourself, in the course of this earthly existence.

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