Man was made to mourn: A Dirge
Many and sharp the num’rous ills
Inwoven with our frame!
More pointed still we make ourselves
Regret, remorse, and shame!
And man, whose heav’n-erected face
The smiles of love adorn, –
Man’s inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn!
Robert Burns inadvertently touches upon one of the precepts of Spiritism, that we have in each of us a set of Divine Rules, which we measure our behavior against. It’s called our conscience. When we violate it, as written in the poem, we feel “Regret, remorse, and shame!”.
So why do we ignore our conscience in the first place? According to The Spiritist Book, it is the result of a lack of moral development. Meaning, that many have not yet learned to follow the dictates of their conscience, instead they rationalize away their internal governor, and place momentary gain ahead of all else.
Question 754 gets to the heart of the matter:
754. Is cruelty a result of the absence of the moral sense?
“Say that the moral sense is not developed, but do not say that it is absent; for its principle exists in every man, and is this sense which, in course of time, renders beings kind and humane. It exists, therefore, in the savage; but in him it is latent, as the principle of the perfume is in the bud, before it opens into the flowers.”
All faculties exist in man in a rudimentary or latent state; they are developed according as circumstances are more or less favorable to them. The excessive development of some of them arrests or neutralizes that of others. The undue excitement of the material instincts stifles, so to say, the moral sense; as the development of the moral sense gradually weakens the merely animal-faculties.
Hence, less mature souls, who have not learned the lessons of love, charity, and fraternity, are unable to overcome their baser instincts and withhold a temporary gain in favor of a greater reward in the long-term.
Allan Kardec could understand why uncivilized people could so easily commit wrongful acts, since he thought of them as less mature in the learning curve toward perfection. But he also saw atrocities committed by so-called civilized men and women. Therefore, he asked the question:
754 – How is it that, in the midst of the most advanced civilization, we sometimes find persons as cruel as the savages?
“Just as, on a tree laden with healthy fruit, you may find some that are withered. They may be said to be savages who have nothing of civilization about them but the coat; they are wolves who have strayed into the midst of the sheep. Spirits of low degree, and very backward, may incarnate themselves among men of greater advancement, in the hope of advancing themselves; but, if the trial be too arduous, their primitive nature gets the upper hand.”
Therefore, we are tasked with helping one another, and as a result of this duty, we have spirits who have not had as much training and trial by fire to harden their resolve to stick with their conscience as other, less mature souls. We live in a world not only populated with varying degrees of maturity in our fellow human being’s nature, but also in a sphere where bad spirits roam and enjoy pushing those who are in a physical state, incarnates, into troubled waters.
Living in a semi-chaotic state, amongst those who have the capacity to harm, egged on by errant spirits who relish the spectacle of cruelty is one of the conditions we must endure while living on a planet of atonement. Only when we improve ourselves and as many others as possible around us, will we be rewarded by the privilege of living in a civilized planet, a planet of regeneration. Where hatred and envy are for the most part absent and one is able to live and learn in a tranquil environment.
Allan Kardec in his next question wished to know when and how that time would come:
756. Will the society of the good be one day purged of evildoers?
“The human race is progressing. Those who are under the dominion of the instinct of evil, and who are out of place among good people, will gradually disappear, as the faulty grain is separated from the good when the wheat is threshed; but they will be born again under another corporeal envelope, and, as they acquire more experience, they will arrive at a clearer understanding of good and evil. You have an example of this in the plants and animals which man has discovered the art of improving, and in which he develops new qualities. It is only after several generations that the improvement becomes complete. This is a picture of the different existences of each human being.”
The answer implies a tipping point of good spirits who are able to positively influence spirits who are still learning the path to purity. I have read in other Spiritist literature that when our society is composed of a majority of souls who heed their inner voice and strive to assist their fellow beings, then and only then will we begin to detect a collective forward movement by society.
This will happen; it is only a matter of time and support from each and every one of us. Learn what is our individual destiny and the fate of the earth, by reading my book, Explore Your Destiny – Since Your Life’s Path is (mostly) Predetermined. Discover for yourself the grand design of the spirit world for every spirit and the earth.
Kardec, A. (2010). The Spirits Book. Guildford, UK: White Crow Books.