True Property

9. The only true property that Man can own is that which may be taken with him on leaving this world. What is found on arrival on Earth and that which is left behind on parting, is enjoyed only while living here. Therefore, as humanity is forced to abandon all worldly possessions, it can be inferred that it has no real ownership of riches, only their temporary usage. What then constitutes true property? Nothing which is for the use of the body, but everything which is for the use of the soul, such as intelligence, knowledge and moral qualities. This is what man brings and takes with him, which no one can take away and which will be far more use in the next world than in the present one. It is up to him to be richer on departure than he was on arrival in this world, seeing that his future position will depend solely on what qualities have been gained in the present life.

Image Courtesy of Witthaya Phonsawat at Freedigitalphotos.net

Image Courtesy of Witthaya Phonsawat at Freedigitalphotos.net

When someone travels to a distant country they take as part of their luggage only those things which will be useful to them in that place; they do not worry about those things which will be of no use. Proceed in a like manner in relation to your future life and provide yourselves with all that can be of use to you there. The traveller who arrives at a hostel is only given a good room if he is able to pay for it. Those who have sparse resources are forced to make do with something less agreeable. When they have nothing which belongs to them, they must sleep on a pallet bed. The same applies to Man on his arrival in the world of the spirits, for it will depend entirely on what he owns as to where he will go. Nor will payment be made in terms of gold. No one will be asked what it was they had had on Earth, or what position they had occupied, nor even if they were a pauper or a prince.

Instead, they will be asked what they have brought with them. Neither worldly goods nor titles will be valuated, only the total sum of virtues acquired. Well now, looked at from this aspect, it is possible that the simple worker be far richer than the prince. In vain may the latter allege that before leaving the Earth his entrance into the next world was paid for in gold. The only reply he would receive is that no one may buy a place here; it must be conquered by each person by means of doing good to others. Earthly money may buy land, houses or palaces, but in our world everything is paid for by means of the qualities of the soul. Are you rich in these qualities? Then you are welcome and may go to one of the high places where all kinds of happinesses await you. But if you are poor in these qualities then you must go to the low places, where you will be treated according to that which you possess. – PASCAL (Geneva, 1860).

 

10. Earthly goods belong to God, Who distributes them in accordance with His wishes. Man is nothing more than the usufructuary, a relatively honest and intelligent administrator of these goods or properties. They belong so little to him that frequently God annuls all such provisions and these riches escape from even those who considered themselves to hold the best entitlement. You would say perhaps that this is understandable when related to inherited property, but not to that acquired by work. Undoubtedly if there were such a thing as legitimate riches, then it would apply to the latter, when honestly gained. However, a property is only legitimately acquired when during its acquisition there has been no harm done to anyone.

An account will have to be given of all ill-gotten gains, that is to say gains which may have injured someone. But from the fact that a person may owe the acquiring of riches to themself, does it follow that, upon dying, any advantage may be gained from this circumstance? Are not precautions that may have been taken to transfer these riches to descendants frequently inutile? This is correct, for if God does not desire them to receive certain riches, then nothing can prevail against His wishes. Can someone use and abuse what he owns during his lifetime without needing to give an account of these acts? No, because in permitting the acquisition of this property it is to be supposed that God had in mind to recompense the person, during the actual existence for their effort, courage and perseverance. If however, the property be used exclusively for the satisfaction of pride and the senses, or if they become the cause of failure, then it would have been better not to have received them seeing that what is gained on the one hand is lost on the other, so annulling all merit for the work. In this case, upon leaving the Earth, God will say that the recompense has already been received. – M. a Protecting Spirit (Brussels, 1861).

From the book Gospel according to Spiritism chapter XVI

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