Extract from the Spirits’ Book, by Allan Kardec. The most important researcher about Spiritual Word.
128. Do the beings whom we call angels, archangels, seraphim, form a special category of a nature different from that of other spirits?
"No; the spirits who have purified themselves from all imperfection, have reached the highest degree of the scale of progress, and united in themselves all species of perfection."
The word angel is generally supposed to imply the idea of moral perfection but it is often applied, nevertheless, to all beings, good or bad, beyond the pale of humanity. we say, "a good angel" "a bad angel," "an angel of light," "the angel of darkness," etc. In those cases, it is synonymous with spirit or genius. It is employed here in its highest sense.
129. Have the angels passed up through all the degrees of progress?
"They have passed up through all those degrees, but with the difference which we have already mentioned. Some of them, accepting their mission without murmuring, have reached the goal more quickly; others have been longer in reaching the same goal.”
130. If the opinion which admits that some beings have been created perfect and superior to all others be erroneous, how is it that this opinion is to be found in the tradition of almost every people?
“Your world has not existed from all eternity. Long before it was called into being hosts of spirits had already attained to the supreme degree. and, therefore, the people of your earth naturally supposed those perfected spirits to have always been at the same degree of elevation."
131. Are there any demons in the usual acceptation of that term?
"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," It is only in its modern acceptation that the word demon implies the idea of evil spirits, for the Greek work daimôn from which it is derived, signifies genius, intelligence, and is applied indiscriminately to all incorporeal beings, whether good or bad.
Demons or devils,1 according to the common acceptation of these words are supposed to be a class of beings essentially bad. If they exist, they must necessarily be, like everything else, a creation of God but God, who is sovereignly just and good, cannot have created beings predestined to evil by their very nature, and condemned beforehand to eternal misery. If, on the contrary, they are not a creation of God, they must either have existed. like Him, from all eternity, or there must be several creators.
The first requisite of every theory is to be consistent with itself but that which asserts the existence of demons, in the popular acceptation of the term, lacks this essential condition of theoretic soundness. It was natural that the religious belief of peoples Who, knowing nothing of the attributes of God, were backward enough to admit the existence of maleficent deities, should also admit the existence of demons but, on the of those who acknowledge the goodness of God to be His distinguishing quality, it is illogical and contradictory to suppose that He can have created beings doomed to evil. and destined to do evil for ever, for such a supposition is the negation of His goodness. The partisans of the belief in devils appeal to the words of Christ in support of their doctrine and it is certainly not we who would contest the authority of His teachings, which we would faint see established, not merely on the lips of men, but also in their hearts. But are those partisans quite sure of the meaning attached be Him
to the word "devil"? Is it not fully admitted that the allegorical form is one of the distinctive characteristics of His utterances, and that the Gospels contain many things which are not to be taken literally? To prove that such is the case, we need only quote the following passage: -
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven. and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven... Verily I say unto you. This generation shall not pass till all these things are fulfilled" (Matt. xxiv. 29, 30, 34.) Have we not seen that the form of the biblical text, in reference to the creation and movement of the earth, is contradicted by the discoveries of science?
May it not be the same in regard to certain figurative expressions employed by Christ in order to adapt His teachings to the time and the scene of His mission? Christ could not have made a statement knowing it to be false. If, therefore, His sayings contain statements which appear to be contrary to reason, it is evident either that we do not understand their meaning or that we have interpreted them erroneously.
Men have done in regard to devils what they have done in regard to angels. Just as they have imagined that there are beings who were created perfect from all eternity. so they have imagined that spirits of the lower degrees Were beings essentially and eternally bad. The words demon, devil, ought, therefore, to be understood as indicating impure spirits who are often no better that the imaginary beings designated by those names, but with this difference. viz., that their state of impurity and inferiority is only transitory.
They are the Imperfect spirits who rebel against the discipline of trial to which they are subjected, and who, therefore, have to undergo that discipline for a longer period, but who will, nevertheless, reach the goal in time, When they shall have made up their minds to do so. The words demon, devil, might accordingly be employed in this sense but as they have come to be understood exclusively as conveying the meaning now shown to be false. their employment might lead into error by seeming to recognise the existence of beings specially created for evil.
As regards the term "Satan," it is evidently a personification of the principle of evil under an allegorical form for it is impossible to admit the existence of a being who fights against God as an independent and rival power, and whose sole business in life is to contravene His designs. As images and figures are necessary in order to strike the human imagination, men have pictured to themselves the beings of the incorporeal world under a material form. with attributes indicative of their good or bad qualities. It is thus that the ancients, wishing to personify the idea of time, represented it under the figure of an old man with a scythe and an hour-glass. To have personified it under the figure of a youth would have been contrary to common sense. The same may be said of the allegories of Fortune, Truth, etc. The moderns have represented the angels or pure spirits under the form of radiant beings with white Wings-emblem of purity Satan, with horns, claws, and the attributes of bestiality-emblems of the lowest Passions; and the vulgar, prone to understand such representations literally, have taken these allegorical embodiments of abstract ideas for real personalities, as they formerly did in regard to the allegorical personifications of the old mythology.
Dear reader. You can read more about this subject in the Spirits’ Book, written by Allan Kardec, dictated by the Spirits 150 years ago, and still lots of things to be learn in this precious book.
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