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An apparently serious objection to the doctrine of Rebirth is

constantly being made. It is unjust and useless, people say, to be

punished for misdeeds that are forgotten. As this objection has

reference to moral proofs, we must deal with it here.

Does forgetfulness efface faults or destroy their consequences? Could

the assassin, who has lost all memory of the crime committed the

previous evening, change h
s deed or its results in the slightest

degree? Rebirths are nothing more than the morrows of former lives,

and though the merciful waters of Lethe have effaced their memory, the

forces stored up in the soul, during the ages, perform their work all

the same in the future.

On the other hand, injustice would exist, and that under a very cruel

aspect, were memory to continue; for the painful vision of a past

always full of weaknesses, even when free from the stain of crime,

would be a continual one. And if, too--as our opponents would

prefer--man knew why he was punished, i.e., if he knew that each of

these past errors and faults, ever present before his eyes, would

carry with it a particular fruit, and that strict payment would be

exacted at every step in his new life, would not the punishment be far

greater than the sin? Would there not rise from every human heart an

outcry of blasphemy against a God who, by means of memory, transformed

life into an endless torment, destroying all activity or initiative

in the anxiety of expectancy, in a word, stifling the present beneath

the heavy nightmare of the past?

Men, though so unjust and little disposed to pity, have always refused

to inflict on a man condemned to death the torture of anticipation;

only at the last moment is he informed of the rejection of his appeal

for mercy. Could divine Law be less compassionate than human law?

Is it not rash for us, in our profound ignorance, to criticise the

workings of a boundless Wisdom? He who takes only a few steps along

the pathway of Knowledge, or enters, however slightly, into the secret

of the works of God, obtains the proof that Providence leaves no part

of the Cosmos, no being anywhere, deprived of its fatherly care and

protection. When, in our blindness, we imagine injustice, a void or an

imperfection of any kind, a radiant beam of light shows us the

omnipresent Life, bestowing love on all its children without

distinction, from the slumbering atom to the glorious planetary

Spirit, whose consciousness is so vast as to enfold the Universe.

It is more especially after death that the soul, set free from its

illusory sheaths, makes an impartial review of its recent incarnation,

attentively following its actions and their consequences, noting its

errors and failures, along with their motives and causes. In this

school it grows in knowledge and power; and when, in a future

incarnation, the same difficulties present themselves anew, it is

better equipped for the struggle; what has been learned, is retained

within the soul; it knows, where formerly it was ignorant, and by the

"voice of conscience," tells the personality[27] what its duty is.

This wisdom, sifted from the panorama of a thousand past images, is

the best of all memories, for on those numerous occasions when a

decision must be arrived at on the spur of the moment it would not be

possible to summon forth from the depths of the past such groups of

memories as refer to the decision to be reached, to see the events

over again, and deduce therefrom a line of conduct. The lesson must

have been learnt and thoroughly assimilated during the enlightened

peace and calm of the Hereafter; then only is the soul ready to

respond without delay, and its command is distinct; its judgment,

sure; do this, avoid that.

When a soul, in the course of evolution, has succeeded in impressing

its vibration--its thought--on a brain which it has refined and made

responsive by a training which purifies the entire nature of the man,

it is able to transmit to the incarnated consciousness the memory of

its past lives; but this memory then ceases to be painful or

dangerous, for the soul has not only exhausted the greater part of its

karma of suffering, it also possesses the strength necessary to

sustain its personality, whenever a foreboding of what we call

misfortune comes upon it.

In the divine work everything comes in its own time, and we recognise

the perfection of the Creator by the perfect concatenation of all


Reincarnation is so intimately bound up with the Law of Causality, and

receives from it such powerful support, that this chapter would be

left in a very incomplete form were we not to say a few words on