Advanced Study Group of Spiritism
Founded on October 15th 1992
The Spiritist Messenger - Monthly Electronic Report of the GEAE Group
GEAE 8th year - Number 36 - distributed: May 2002
In the dualism of death and life there is a harmony. We know that the life of a soul, which is finite in its expression and infinite in its principle, must go through the portals of death in its journey to realise the infinite. It is death which is monistic, it has no life in it. But life is dualistic; it has an appearance as well as truth; and death is that appearance, that maya, which is an inseparable companion to life.
The pedagogical structure of " The Spirit´s Book "
Cosme D B Massi
Translation and figures by A L Xavier Jr
(Text originally written in Portuguese and published in "Reformador", July 1997, pp. 208 - 211)
"This book is the repository of their teachings.[of the spirits] Only the order, the methodical distribution of matters, a few explanatory comments and the form of some of its parts are the work of he who was held responsible for its publication."
A. Kardec 
The highlighted words "order" and "methodical distribution" in the passage above are very suggestive. The codifier of the spiritist doctrine, appropriately called "the good sense incarnate" , had the care to present the fundamental work of the spirist codification within a systematic framework that was philosophically, logically and pedagogically well structured.
The main aim of this work is to provide resources for a correct analysis of the "Tableaux de Mattiers" or the index of "The Spirits Book" (SB), unveiling the logic hidden in the order and methodical distribution of subjects of Kardec book.
We will present our analysis of the SB in two steps. In the first step we will give a general view of the work structure, taking into account its four parts (or books). We will present an argumentation that justifies its division into four parts. In fact, such division gives rise to the Spiritist five books. The four remaining works resulted as developments of each of the four separate parts of the SB.
In a second step, we will discuss each of the four parts, showing a way to visualize the structure implicit in each of them. Starting from this structure one can justify the order imposed by Kardec for the remaining chapters of the SB. Take, for instance, the second part "The spirit world or the world of spirits". How can we understand the order of its eleven chapters ?
We do not aim to convey the idea - in fact, we can not aim it at all - that the structure of the SB was the one originally thought by Kardec. We only intend to unfold a few concepts formulated in the spiritist codification in the hope of contributing to the study of the logic structure tacit in this monumental work.
It is worth to remember Kardec´s statement:
"If a man judges his reasoning infallible, he is well close to error. " 
Ist Step: The General Structure of the SB.
"In its route of elaboration, spiritism uses the same methods of the positive sciences, applying empirical methods. New facts are presented, which can not be explained by known laws; it watches, compares and analyzes them and, going from effects to causes, it comes to their governing laws to deduce their consequences and looks for useful applications."
We do not want to discuss here the scientific method used by Allan Kardec. "A excelência metodológica do Espiritismo" - the thesis on the perfect adjustment of spiritism to modern criteria characterizing a scientific undertaking was carefully explored by S Chibeni in several articles published in "Reformador".
The four phases highlighted in the quoted passage and used along the way of spiritism elaboration can be applied to extract the pedagogical form of presentation of a scientific doctrine.
From now on, it should be clear that we are not proposing a scientific method of elaboration for spiritism. We are only suggesting a frame, pedagogically fitted to the presentation (or exposition) of the spiritist doctrine.
In fact the first phase, new facts, suggests that one must initially choose or define an object of study. We find the universe or domain subjected to examination. The science field of actuation is traced.
In the second phase, observation,comparison and analysis, a detail analysis of the domain or universe is proposed starting from the previous choice. In this examination, every fundamental concept is explicited for the sake of formulating the laws.
The third phase, formulation of laws, suggests that the regulating laws of the universe should be formulated by taking into account the analysis of the second phase. It is worth to emphasize that all the concepts required to a better understanding of the laws were already presented in the second phase.
The fourth phase, deduction of consequences and search for applications, indicates what can be obtained from the application of the laws ruling the domain elements.
Now we can make up the following
image of the pedagogical structure of the SB:
1st phase (choice of objects of study) corresponds to the
first part "On the primary causes".
God and the two general elements of the Universe, matter and spirit, forming the universal trinity.
We remark about God:
"God exists, that is essential point and you should not doubt it. Believe in me, do not go beyond it. Do not loose yourselves in a maze from which you could not escape. In the end of this exploration you would not be better persons, but you would just feed your pride, because you would be lead to believe that you know something when in fact you would know nothing." (SB, question 14).
For this reason God can not be the object of study of spiritism .
On the other hand, matter is the subject of ordinary science. Therefore, the second element, the spirit, becomes the aim of study of spiritism, from the moral point of view: "Just like science studies the material principle, the special object of spiritism is the knowledge of the laws regulating the spiritual element." ("The Genesis", chapter I, item 16).
Being defined the object, it rests to analyze it in detail. This is done in the second part.
The 2nd phase (detailed domain analysis) corresponds to the second part "The spirit world".
The fundamental concepts on regard to the intelligent principle - the spirit - are scrutinized: the origin and nature of spirits, their form and ubiquity, the perispirit, different orders of spirits, evolution of spirits, incarnation and reincarnation of spirits, the spirit life, emancipation of the soul, intervention of spirits in the material world etc.
The 3rd phase (formulation of laws) corresponds to the third part "Moral laws".
"What is the scope of divine laws ? Do they concern everything or just moral procedures ? " Every law of Nature is divine, because God is the sole author of them. The wise studies the laws of matter while the good person studies and practices the laws of the soul." (SB, question 617)
Moral laws regulate the behavior of spirits. Physical laws regulate the material world. Through mediumship, one can observe the action of moral laws in the life of a spirit. In a physics laboratory we can test the laws of physics. In both cases, experiments (with a medium or in a laboratory) enable us to state that the proposed laws are not mere philosophical speculations.
The consequences for the spirit of the total or partial fulfillment of the moral laws are analyzed in the 4th part.
The 4th part (deduction of consequences) corresponds to the fourth part "hopes and solaces".
From the partial or complete fulfillment of the laws there follows the earthly joys or sorrows.
"Every action of us is subjected to God´s laws. No matter how meaningless they may seem, none of them can be violated. If we suffer the consequences of their violation, we should blame ourselves only who have become the perpetrators of our future or present unhappiness" (SB, question 964)
Each part of the SB gave rise to the other fundamental works:
1st part: "Primary causes" - The genesis, the miracles and predictions according to spiritism. (1868);
2nd part: "The spirit world" - The book on mediums (1861);
3rd part: "Moral laws" - The gospel according to spiritism (1865);
4th part: "Hopes and solaces" - Heaven and Hell or the divine justice according to spiritism (1865)
2 STEP The pedagogical structure of each part of the SB.
2.1 The structure of the first part ,"Primary Causes".
God, "the primary cause of all things", gave birth to the two universal elements: spirit ("the intelligent principle of universe") and matter ("intermediary agent, upon which the spirit acts"). Creation is the result of the spirit action upon matter, according to the divine law. The creation of living beings is the result of "the action of an agent (the vital principle) upon matter". "Such agent, without matter, is not life in the same way as matter can not live without the agent." (SB questions, 1, 22, 23 and 63). See Fig. 1.
2.2 The structure of the second part, "The Spirit World".
The spirits compose the "spirit world or the world of the incorporeal intelligence". The corporeal world and the spirit world are "independent from each other, however, their relation is continuous because one acts upon the other continuously" (SB, question 86). As the spirit is the intelligent element common to both worlds, material and spiritual, it can be found in 6 different states:
1 - In transit from the spirit world
to the material one, that is, in process of incarnation;
2- In transit from the material to the spirit world, that is, in process of discarnation;
3 - Living in the material world as an incarnate spirit (or soul);
4 - Being in the spirit world and interfering in the material world;
5 - Being in the material world and, at the same time, acting on the spirit world.
(see Fig. 2)
The spirit is the intelligent element that acts on the two sides of life (corporeal and spiritual), therefore, it should be studied first. The first chapter is entitled "Spirits".
The 1st state described above is studied in the second chapter "The incarnation of spirits".
The 2nd state is analyzed in the third chapter "Return of the spirit to the spiritual life upon the ending of the corporeal life".
These two processes, incarnation and discarnation give rise to the several lives of spirits. Next these lives are analyzed in the fourth chapter "The plurality of existences". Since the plurality of lives is one of the most basic principles of the spiritist codification, it is important to find a safe ground for its fundamentals, which is done in chapter 5 "Remarks on the plurality of lives".
The 3rd state, the spirit life in the spirit world, is studied in chapter 6, "The spirit life".
The 4th state, the spirit life in the corporeal world, is studied in chapter 7 "Return of the spirit to the corporeal life".
The 5th state, living in a body and acting on the spirit world, is the theme of study of chapter 8, "Emancipation of the soul".
The 6th state, living in the spirit world and acting on the material world, constitutes the subject of chapter 9 "Intervention of spirits in the material world".
These six possible states - incarnate, discarnate, to live in the material world, to live in the spiritual world, to have a body and, at the same time, actuates on the spirit world, to live in the spirit world and, at the same time, actuates in the material world, give rise to the missions and occupation of spirits presented in chapter 10 "Occupations and missions of spirits".
The continuos action of the intelligent principle on both sides of life, earthly and spiritual, demonstrates that "everything in Nature is connected by links that we cannot understand yet". "If one observes the plurality of beings, we conclude that they form an endless chain, from brute matter to the most intelligent man".(SB, questions 604 and "Introduction" item 17, respectively)
In order to show that this chain - as a result of a reciprocal action of both worlds, (or of the two principles, spirit and matter), goes beyond the limits of human beings in matter, Kardec presents the 11th and last chapter of the second part: "The three reigns".
"Have we already said that everything in Nature is connected and evolves to unity? In these beings, whose totality you are far from understand, the intelligent being is elaborated, becomes an individuality through little steps and prepares itself to life, as we have just exposed. It is a kind of a preliminary work, a germination, through which the intelligent principle transforms itself and becomes a spirit". (SB, question 607)
2.3 The structure of the third part, "Moral Laws"
In this part, the following questions are addressed:
a) What are moral laws?
b) What are the moral laws?
c) How does one fulfill the moral laws?
In chapter 1, "The divine or natural law", the first question above is answered: "Among the divine laws, some regulate the movement and relation of brute matter: the physical laws whose scope is studied by science. Others concern man as a being in himself and as his relation with God and his fellow beings." They are the rules of life´s body as well as the soul´s life: these are the moral laws. (SB, question 617).
The answer to the second question "What are the moral laws ?" is found from chapter 2 to 11. The pedagogical form in which the moral laws were proposed is found in the highlighted passage above: moral laws are responsible for the people´s duties toward God, themselves and their neighbors. See Fig. 3 for a sketch of this relationship.
The duties of man in his relation to God are contained in the first two laws: Adoration (chapter 2) and Work (chapter 3). Through adoration, "the elevation of thought to God", and work ("every useful occupation") man approaches God. In a certain sense, work originates from adoration, since "God, model of love and compassion, is active ever." (SB, questions 649, 675 and 21, respectively).
The duties of man toward himself are described in the following three laws: Reproduction, Conservation and Destruction (Chapter 4, 5, and 6, respectively).
Reproduction is responsible for the origin of life on Earth. This should be the first duty of man toward himself (or his species): to guarantee the existence of the body´s life. Then, he should keep his life through conservation. Conservation is followed by destruction "since the nourishment of the living beings depends on the destruction of others (...)". (SB, question 728 a)
The duties of man toward his fellow beings are described in the laws: Society (chapter 7), Progress (chapter 8), Equality (chapter 9) and Liberty (chapter 10).
From social life (only where fraternity is possible) there comes progress whose aim is equality and liberty. "From the point of view of its importance to social happiness, fraternity comes first: it is the base. Without it, there would be no equality, nor serious freedom. Equality comes from fraternity and liberty is the result of both".
The nine moral laws enumerated by Kardec - Adoration, Work, Reproduction, Conservation, Destruction, Society, Progress, Equality and Liberty - sum up all the duties of man toward God, himself and his neighbors. The tenth and last moral law "The law of justice, love and compassion (charity)", chapter 11, contains all the other ones. God (Justice), for the sake of love, created man to live in good relation with his neighbors by the practice of charity (or compassion).
"The division of God´s laws in ten parts corresponds to that of Moses and essentially encompasses every little fact of life. The division is not absolute as any other classification system and one can adopt it surely. All these systems depend on the considered view point. The last law is the most important one, since it enables man to evolve faster in the spirit life, summarizing all the others." (SB, question 648).
The answer to the third question "How does one fulfill the moral laws ?" is given in the last chapter (12): "Moral perfection". In this chapter, we find one of the most beautiful studies about human personality. After a careful scrutiny of man (his virtues, vices, passions, selfishness and the character of a good person), the chapter presents the knowledge of oneself as a "key to individual improvement". "Examine your acts contrary to God, contrary to your fellow beings and against yourselves. The answers will set your consciousness free or indicate the existence of evil ready to be eliminated."(SB, questions 919 and 919a).
2.4 The structure of the fourth part "Hopes and Solaces"
Since the spirits act on both sides of life, the material and spiritual worlds, the consequences of the effective or defective fulfillment of the moral laws takes place in these two worlds. In chapter 1, "Earthly trials and joys", the consequences for the spirit in the material world are presented.
In the second chapter, "Future trials and joys", the consequences for the spirit in the spirit world are presented. See Fig. 4 for an image.
 Allan Kardec, Prologue "The
Spirit´s Book" . Original title: "Le Livre des Esprits".
 According to the address by Camille Flammarion at Kardec´s grave. In A Kardec, "Posthumous Works". Original title: "Oeuvres Posthumes".
 Allan Kardec, Introduction to the study of the spiritist doctrine. "The Spirit´s Book."
 Allan Kardec, Character of the spiritist revelation. "The Genesis, the miracles and predictions according to spiritism". Original title: "La Genèse, les Miracles et les Prédictions selon le Spiritisme".
 Silvio S Chibeni, A Excelência Metodológica do Espiritismo, Reformador , November 1988, p. 328 and December 1988, pg. 373.
 "Can man understand the essential nature of God? No, human beings lacks a sense for that. (SB, question 10). "Man cannot search the essential nature of God. To understand him, a special sense lacks, which is only given after complete spirit purification.(Genesis, chap. II, 11th item)".
 Allan Kardec, Liberty, equality and fraternity, 3rd paragraph, "The Posthumous Works".
New books on line
A new electronic book in English was added to the GEAE site:
THE MYSTERY OF JOAN OF ARC by Leon Denis. This is the first electronic edition.
"Heare and Hereafter" also by Leon Denis is under way.
Editors of GEAE
The Spiritist Group of Baltimore
We are sending you information on the Spiritist Group of Baltimore. Please, publish this info, if possible.
The Spiritist Group of Baltimore was founded in October 15th 1998 in Baltimore, MD. Nowadays, we have two meetings:
1. Tuesdays from 8 PM to 9:30 PM
at the University of Maryland
Estudo Sistematizado da Doutrina Espírita.(In Portuguese)
621 W Lombard St - Alumni Lounge room
Baltimore, MD 21201
2. Saturdays from 7 PM to 9 PM at
the Ruscombe Mansion Community Health Center
Workshops on the Spiritist Doctrine and Integral Healing (In English)
4801 Yellowwood Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland 21209
Please, check on our attached program.
Any information, please contact Vanessa Anseloni at (410) 837-0991 or email@example.com.
Vanessa C. Z. Anseloni, Ph.D.
Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology
University of Maryland School of Medicine
685 West Baltimore St - HSF
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: (410) 706-8910
Fax: (410) 706-2512
(…) Sorrow can be compared to the pernicious rust that destroys the metal as it sets in. It usually settles in the recesses of a wounded self-respect. Gradually it develops into a sick process victimizing its host.
Easy to combat in the beginning, it can be obliterated by simple and noble praying. Nonetheless, it has the ability to invade the delicate fabrics of human feelings. It can reveal itself in diverse manners; it insinuates itself and overruns every subdivision of human emotion, creating irreversible moral cancers. Almost always, aversion and hurt appear in side by side, and stimulate hate, which is the next serious stage in the destructive of process.
Besides ravaging the person who nourishes it; hat launches truly morbid darts that reach their targets, the incautious victims; those who have unknowingly become the cause if its inception. Hate is a sordid tarnish that numbs the channels in which hope travels, obstructing its comforting ministry. It is skilled in disguising itself; it uses well-thought arguments to disallow forgiveness and escape the duty of forgetfulness.
Many organic disorders result from the venom of sorrow. It generates high toxic charges in the mental machinery, creates unbalance in the psychic mechanism, and grievous consequences to the circulatory, digestive, and nervous systems.
Sorrow is capable of robbing ideals and spreading groundless suspicions. It can isolate the person suffering from resentment, undermining any cooperation with the help offered by others. You must pursue the extermination of these inferior qualities relentlessly, for they conspire against your peace of mind. The person who offends you deserves your compassion never retaliation. That person who pursues you suffers unbalances that you ignore. It is not right that you also lose yourself in a cesspool of animosity. Whatever the difficulty that predisposes you to sorrow, they must be resolved by reacting with the renewal of your goals, not giving into offenses and offenders.
If you already possess the characteristic of rational faith and follow programs for self-improvement, elevate your aspirations and do not allow yourself to be tormented. When you come in contact with inferior surroundings, ascend toward the good. Hurt by incomprehension, excuse. When wounded in your pride, forgive. (…)
(Joanna de Ângelis - Evangelical Flowers)
Extracted from the book FRATERNAL MEETING KNOW THYSELF. Translated by: Elza D’Agosto, J. Korngold and M. Levinson. From the original Portuguese version of Professor Rodriguez Ferreira. Centro Espírita Vicente de Paulo- Mirassol- SP, Brazil.
A STORY OF A DOCTOR'S ODYSSEY IN THE SPIRIT WORLD
SPIRIT WORD THE ASTRAL CITY - "Nosso Lar"
A story of a doctor's odyssey in the Spirit World By Andre Luiz, through Francisco C. Xavier
(Translated from the 25th Portuguese edition entitled "Nosso Lar". First Portuguese edition published in 1944 by Federação Espírita Brasileira, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.)
Chapter 19 THE NEWCOMER
"Doesn't your grand daughter come for meals?" I asked Laura, leading the conversation to more intimate channels.
"For the present, she takes her meals alone," she answered, "the poor thing is still nervous and run-down, and no one in that condition is supposed to partake of collective meals. Neurasthenia and anxiety emit dense, poisonous fluids, which blend immediately with the food. My granddaughter spent a fortnight in the Lower Zones, in heavy slumber, closely assisted by us. She should have been lodged in a hospital pavilion when she came here, but it was decided that she would be placed under my direct care instead."
I told Laura that I would be glad to visit the newcomer, and she willingly agreed. She led me to a spacious and comfortable room where a pale girl was lying in an easy chair. She was extremely surprised to see me as she looked up.
"Heloisa," Laura said, introducing me, "here is a friend who arrived from Earth a short time ago."
The young lady gazed at me curiously, and her tired, deeply shadowed eyes reflected her effort to concentrate. She greeted me with a wan smile as I introduced myself.
I asked if she was tired, but before she could answer, her grandmother, anxious to spare her any strain, explained:
"Heloisa has been restless and worried, and her fear is justified to a certain degree. Tuberculosis, which put an end to her earthly days after long suffering, has left deep traces on her astral body. Still, we must always be optimistic and courageous."
At this, the young lady opened wide her deep, black eyes as if to hold back her tears, but unsuccessfully. Then she covered her face with her handkerchief and began to sob.
"Poor little thing!" said the kindly grandmother, putting her arms around the tearful girl, "you simply must control yourself. These impressions are due to a deficient religious education, that's all. You know that your mother won't be long in coming, and that you can't count on your fiancée's fidelity. He is by no means prepared to offer you sincere spiritual devotion on Earth, for he is still very far from possessing that sublime spirit of illuminated love. He is sure to marry someone else, and it is better that you become accustomed to this idea. It wouldn't be fair to insist on his coming here prematurely.
"Suppose he did come, forcing the law. Wouldn't your suffering be greater? Wouldn't you have to pay a heavy price for any share you might have had in bringing about his passing? You won't lack devoted friendship and brotherly cooperation to help you acquire your spiritual balance here, and if you really love the boy, you must try to adopt a harmonious attitude to be able to help him later. Besides, as I have already said, your mother will soon be here."
The girl's tears filled me with pity. I tried to draw her attention to a different topic, leading the conversation away from this painful subject:
"Where do you come from?" I asked.
Laura, now silent, also seemed anxious to see her join in the conversation. After a long pause, during which she dried her tears, she replied:
"From Rio de Janeiro."
"You shouldn't cry so." I advised, "You don't know how lucky you have been. You passed over only a few days ago, and are already with your family. You didn't have to face any storms on the great journey…"
The girl seemed a little better, and said:
"You can't imagine how much I've suffered. Eight months struggling with tuberculosis, in spite of all the treatments… The sorrow of having infected my devoted mother… All that my poor fiancé went through on my account, it's really indescribable."
"Now, dear, don't say that," Laura said, smiling, "On Earth we always seem to labor under the illusion that no suffering is greater than our own. It is mere blindness – there are millions of creatures facing situations much harsher and more cruel than our little experiences."
"But grandmother, Arnold was so heart-broken and desperate…" she answered, "It's all so hard to understand."
"Do you really believe in your impressions?" Laura asked in a tender voice, "I observed your ex-fiancée several times during your infirmity. It was only natural that he should be so deeply affected at seeing the ruin of your physical body. But once more let me tell you, he can't understand pure sentiment, and will soon get over his sorrow. Remember, dear, that illuminated love is still above most creatures. Therefore, you must try to be of good cheer. No doubt you will be able to help him, but his being faithful to your memory is out of the question. When you are in a condition to visit the spheres of the planet, you will find him married to somebody else."
Wondering myself, I noted Heloisa's painful surprise. The poor girl did not know what attitude to adopt before her grandmother's serenity and common sense.
"Could that be possible?" she blurted out.
Lysias' mother, tenderly stroking the girl's hair, continued:
"Now, child, you mustn't be obstinate or try to contradict me."
Seeing that her granddaughter seemed to expect her to justify her words, she went on, speaking gently:
"Do you remember Maria da Luz, the college friend who brought you flowers every Sunday? Well, when the doctor declared confidentially that your physical cure could not be expected, Arnold, though deeply grieved, began to involve her in different mental vibrations. And now that you are here, they won't take long before coming to an agreement."
"Oh, grandmother! How Awful!"
"Why awful? You must become accustomed to considering other people's needs. Your ex-fiancée is an ordinary man, still unable to appreciate the sublime beauty of spiritual love. However great your love may be, you can't work miracles in him. Every creature holds the exclusive privilege of discovering his own self. Arnold will, one day, know the beauty of your idealism, but for the present he must be left to live through these necessary experiences."
"I simply can't get over it! Maria da Luz, whom I always considered a most faithful friend…"
Laura smiled and advised wisely:
"Won't it be better to entrust him to a friend? Maria da Luz will always be your spiritual friend, whereas another woman might, later, render the entrance to his heart difficult for your."
Heloisa started sobbing again. I felt greatly puzzled. The kind lady, sensing my perplexity, and eager to help me as well as her granddaughter, explained:
"I know the cause of your tears, little one, they are the result of centuries of selfishness and undying vanity. But remember that Grandma's words aren't meant to hurt you, but to open your eyes."
While Heloisa continued weeping, Laura invited me to go back to the living room, remarking that the patient needed her rest. We sat down to await the others' return, and Laura confided in a soft voice:
"My granddaughter arrived here extremely tired. She let her heart get entangled in the web of self-esteem. In fact, she should have been sent to one of our hospitals, but Assistant Couceiro thought that the home atmosphere and our loving care would be advisable in her case. I must say I was pleased at his decision, as my dear Thereza, her mother, will soon be here. A little patience and everything will come out right. It's just a question of time and serenity."
Chapter 20 NOTIONS ABOUT THE HOME
Eager to learn as much as possible from my well-informed hostess, I asked curiously:
"With so much to do at home, do you still go out to work?
"I certainly do. We live in a colony of transition, which has as its main purpose apprenticeship and work. Here feminine souls are assigned numerous tasks, in preparation for their return to the planet or their ascent to higher spheres."
"But is domestic organization in the Astral City similar to that on Earth?"
"It's the Earthly home which has, for so long, been trying to imitate our domestic institution. Married couples there, with rare exceptions, are still weeding the soil of their feelings, overrun with the bitter herbs of pride and infested with the parasites of jealousy and selfishness. The last time I returned from the planet I arrived here, as is natural, beset by deep illusions. But it happened that during my crisis of wounded pride, I was taken to a lecture given by a great instructor from the Ministry of Elucidation. Since that day, a new current of ideas has penetrated my mind."
"Could you tell me something of the lessons you received?"
The lecturer," she continued, "a great mathematician, made us realize that, on the plane of spiritual evolution, the home my be compared to a right angle. The vertical line is the feminine sentiment, always gravitating towards the creative inspirations of life. The horizontal line is the masculine mentality, always striving for achievements towards the common progress. The home is the sacred summit, the converging point where man and woman meet to bring about an essential understanding. It is the temple where creatures should reach for a spiritual communion, rather than bodily union.
"At present there are a great many people on Earth versed in social questions, who advocate various measures and call for a regeneration of domestic life. Some go so far as to state that the family institution is threatened. We must remember that the home is a sublime conquest which mankind is slowly achieving. But can one find, on Earth, the real family structure where all rights and duties are legitimately shared?
"Most earthly couples pass these sacred hours together in an environment of indifference and cruel selfishness. When the husband appears calm, the wife gives herself up to crises of despair; When the wife keeps humbly silent, her husband tyrannizes her. Neither does the wife attempt to encourage her husband along the horizontal line of his temporal fulfillment, nor does he try to follow his companion in her divine flights of tenderness and sentiment towards the higher planes o Creation. In their social contacts, both wear masks, but in the privacy of their home they strip them off, sadly exposing their lack of mutual understanding.
"As a rule, when one of them comments on his or her respective activities, the other's attention promptly strays far from the subject. When the wife discusses the children, the husband mentally turns his thoughts to his work. When the latter relates some business difficulty, the former's thoughts drift to the dressmaker's fitting room. In these circumstances, it's obvious that the divine angle is far from being properly traced. Two diverging lines are endeavoring in vain to form the sublime vertex, to ascend one more step up the glorious stairway leading to eternal life."
This new aspect of the responsibility of marriage ties struck deep into my spirit. Highly impressed, I exclaimed:
"What a multitude of thoughts this explanations is arousing in me! If we only knew all this while still on Earth!"
"A mere question of experience, my friend," she replied, "suffering and tribulations will slowly teach mankind these unavoidable lessons. At present, few realize that the home is a divine institution, within which one must live with all one's heart and soul. It's often said that all creatures are beautiful when truly in love. Indeed, this is true. During the enchanting period of betrothal, plain creatures display their most charming traits. Any subject seems enchanting even in the most frivolous conversation. Man and woman meet, radiating the full measure of their sublime forces. But when they enter wedlock, many rend the veil of desire and fall back under the influence of the old monsters that tyrannize weak hearts. Gone is all tolerance, and sometimes even brotherly cooperation. The luminous beauty of love gradually dies out, and the couple begins to drift apart, avoiding each other's company, losing the joy of friendly conversation. Henceforth, the well educated ones respect each other, while the ill-bred ones outwardly manifest their mutual animosity. They don't try to come to a conciliatory understanding; questions and answers are formulated in dry phrases. Physical intercourse may still be carried on, but the minds are already divorced and following opposite directions."
"How true your words are!" I cried out with feeling.
"But what can we do, my friend?" my kind hostess continued, "In the present phase of the planet's evolution, unions between twin souls are rare, and marriages of kindred or even sympathetic souls are tremendously outweighed by a remarkable percentage of 'probation ties'. Most human couples are made up, so to speak, of handcuffed prisoners." Endeavoring to follow the trend of ideas suggested by my initial question, Lysias' mother continued:
"Feminine souls do not remain inactive here. They are trained to become worthy mothers, wives, sisters, missionaries. The woman's task in the home cannot be confined to a few idle tears of pity and many years of servitude. Of course, today's rash feminist movement is a grievous offense to the true attributes of the feminine spirit. Women aren't meant to set themselves up as rivals to men in offices, an in the different professions and business departments, which are adequate fields for masculine activities. Nevertheless, we are taught here in our colony that there are many dignifying tasks outside the home which are compatible with the feminine sensibility, including nursing, teaching, textile manufacturing, communications, and all kinds of occupations which require patience. Man should learn to endow the domestic circle with the fruit of his experiences, while woman should lighten the burden of man's hard work giving the home her sweetness and an inspiring atmosphere. Within the family circle, inspiration, outside it, activity. You can't have one without the other. How could a river feed its flow if it were not for the source? On the other hand, how could the water of the source flow on without the river bed?"
I couldn't help smiling at that question. After a prolonged pause, Laura resumed the conversation:
"Whenever the Ministry of Assistance entrusts children to my care here in my house, my working hours are counted as doubled. That will give you an idea of the importance of the task of motherhood on Earth. However, when I am not thus occupied at home, I have my daily tasks in the Nursing Department. Apart from my granddaughter, who is still recovering, there are no members of our family at leisure; they are all engaged in worthy activities. Eight hours of work per day is an easy program for anyone. I should feel ashamed if I didn't do my part."
As she fell silent for a few moments, my thoughts ran on the same interesting topic....
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