Allan Kardec

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81. PREFACE - Obsession is the persistent action which an inferior or bad Spirit exercises over an individual. It may present many varied characteristics, from a simple moral influence with no perceptible exterior signs, to a complete organic and mental perturbation. It may obstruct all mediumship faculties. In automatic-writing this may be shown by the insistence of one Spirit in communicating, to the exclusion of all other Spirits.

Bad Spirits encircle the Earth, due to the moral inferiority of its inhabitants. Their malevolent action forms part of the afflictions which face humanity. Obsessions, just as much as infirmities and all life's tribulations, must be considered as tests and atonements and accepted as such.

In the same manner that sicknesses are the result of our physical imperfections, which make the body accessible to pernicious exterior influences, obsession is always the result of moral imperfections, which allow the access of a bad Spirit. Physical causes pit themselves against physical forces; a moral cause must be opposed by a moral force. In order to prevent infirmities we fortify our bodies; to exempt ourselves from obsession it is necessary to fortify the soul, which means that the obsessed person must work for their own betterment, which is frequently sufficient to relieve them of the obsession without resorting to help from others. When an obsession degenerates into subjugation and possession, then the help of other people becomes indispensable, because not infrequently the patient loses their will-power and their free-will.

Obsession almost always manifest the vengeance that a Spirit desires, which is frequently rooted in the relationship they had with this person in a previous life (See chapter 10, item 6 and chapter 12, items 5 & 6).

In the case of a grave obsession, the person being obsessed is enveloped and impregnated by pernicious substances, so neutralizing the action of healthy fluids and repelling them. It is very important to free the person from these negative vaporous fluids. However, a bad fluid cannot be eliminated by other bad fluids. By a similar action to that exercised by a healer in the case of illness, it is necessary to expel the bad substances with the help of better ones, which in a certain way produces the effect of a reaction. This may be called a mechanical action, but it is not sufficient alone. It is also necessary and most important, to act upon this intelligent being by speaking with authority, which can only be achieved through moral superiority. The greater this is, the greater will be the authority.

This is not all however. In order to guarantee liberation from the obsessor it is also necessary to induce the perverse Spirit to renounce their bad designs, to awaken repentance in them and a desire to do good. This can be done through the means of skillfully directed instruction, given during special private meetings for this purpose, with the objective of offering moral education to this Spirit. Then it may be possible to have the double satisfaction of liberating an incarnate Spirit and converting a discarnate one at the same time.

This task is made easier when the obsessed person, understanding their situation, joins in with the prayers and adds their cooperation in the form of a desire to recuperate. The same does not happen when, being seduced by the obsessing Spirit, the person remains deluded as to the qualities of the entity who dominates them, even taking pleasure in the errors this Spirit induces them to commit. In this case, instead of helping, he repels all assistance offered. This is what happens in cases of fascination, which are infinitely more rebellious to treatment than even the most violent case of subjugation (See THE MEDIUMS' BOOK, chapter 23). In all cases of obsession, prayer is the most powerful means of help in the action against an obsessing Spirit.

82. PRAYER (To be said by the person being obsessed):

Dear God, permit the good Spirits to liberate me from the malefic Spirit which has linked itself to me. If this Spirit is seeking vengeance as a consequence of wrongs I might have practised against him in other existences, then You have permitted this, Lord, and I suffer for my own faults. May my repentance make me worthy of Your pardon and of my liberation! But whatever the motive, I beseech Your mercy for he who persecutes me. Lord; help him to find the pathway to progress, which will turn him away from the practise of evil. May I, on my part, repay evil with goodness, so inducing him to better sentiments.

But dear God, I also know that it is my own imperfections which make me accessible to the influences of imperfect Spirits. Give me the necessary light so I may recognise these imperfections and above all, remove the pride in me which makes me blind to my own defects.

How great must be my unworthiness to allow a malefic being to dominate me!

Dear God, may this blow to my vanity be a lesson for the future. May it fortify the resolution I have made to cleanse myself by means of the practise of goodness, charity and humility, so that as from now I may put up a barrier against all bad influences.

Lord, give me strength to support this test with patience and resignation. I understand that, just as with all other tests, it will aid my progress if I do not spoil the fruits with my complaining, because it offers me an opportunity to demonstrate my submission and to practise charity towards an unhappy brother by forgiving him the evil he has done me (See chapter 12, items 5 & 6; chapter 28, item 15 and subsequent, also items 46 & 47).

83. PRAYER (For the one who is obsessed):

Almighty God, may it please You to give me the power to liberate ... . from the influence of the Spirit that is obsessing him. If it be in Your designs to put an end to this test, concede me the grace of speaking to this Spirit with the necessary authority.

I ask all good Spirits who help me, and you, his Guardian Angel, to give me your assistance; help me to free this sufferer from the impure fluids which envelop him.

In the name of Almighty God, I urge the malefic Spirit which torments this person to retire!

84. PRAYER (For the obsessing Spirit):

Lord of infinite goodness, I implore Your mercy for the Spirit who is obsessing X... Help him to see the Divine Light so that he may recognise the falsity of the path he follows. Good Spirits, help me make him understand that he has everything to lose by the practise of evil, and everything to gain by the practise of good.

To the spirit who is tormenting X..., I beg you to listen to me since I speak to you in the name of God!

If you would but reflect, you would understand that evil can never outdo goodness and that it is not possible to be stronger than God and the good Spirits.

It is possible for them to protect .... from your attacks; if this has not been done already it is because he had to go through this test. But when this test reaches its end, then all action against him will be blocked. The evil that you have done, instead of causing harm, will have contributed towards his progress and happiness. In this manner, your wickedness will be a total loss for you and will only rebound upon yourself.

God, Who is all powerful, and the Superior Spirits who are His delegates, being more powerful than you, are capable of putting an end to this obsession whenever they wish, and your tenacity will fall before this supreme authority. But because He is good, God wants to leave you the merit for having ceased of your own will. It is a respite that is being offered to you, and if you do not take advantage of it you will suffer deplorable consequences. Great punishment and cruel suffering will await You will be forced to plead for mercy and for the prayers of your victim, who has already forgiven you and prays for you, which constitutes a great merit in the eyes of God and hastens their liberation.

So reflect while there is still time, seeing that God's justice will fall upon you as it does on all rebellious Spirits. Consider that the evil you do now necessarily has a limit, whereas, if you persist in being obstinate, you will only increase the extension of your own sufferings.

When you were upon Earth, did you never consider it stupid to sacrifice a great goodness for a small momentary satisfaction? It is the same now you are a Spirit. What will you gain by what you are doing? The misguided pleasure of tormenting someone, which does not stop you being wretched even if you do not admit it, only leaves you even more unhappy.

On the other hand, see what you are missing! Look at the good Spirits around you and tell me if their lot is not preferable to yours. The happiness they enjoy can also be yours whenever you like. What do you have to do for this? Beseech God, and instead of doing evil, do good. I know that you cannot transform yourself immediately, but God does not demand the impossible; He only asks for good-will. Try, and we will help you. Make an effort so that very soon we may offer up in your name the prayer for those who are repentant (No. 73), and no longer rank you amongst the bad Spirits, while we await the moment when we can count you among the good Spirits.

(See also No. 75 - Prayers for Hardened Spirits).

REMARKS: The cure of grave obsessions requires much patience, perseverance and devotion. It also demands tact and ability in order to direct those who are frequently perverse, hardened and astute, towards being good Spirits, since there are those who are extremely rebellious. In the vast majority of cases we must be guided by the circumstances. Nevertheless, whatever the characteristics of the Spirit, it is an incontestable fact that nothing is obtained by either constraint or threats; all influence resides in moral superiority. Another truth, equally well proven by experience as well as logic, is of the complete ineffectiveness of exorcism, formulas, sacramental words, amulets, talismans, exterior practises or any kind of material symbols.

Prolonged obsessions may cause pathological disorders, which frequently demand simultaneous or consecutive treatment, be it magnetic or medical, so as to be able to restore organic health. When the cause has been destroyed, it remains for the effects to be remedied (See THE MEDIUMS' BOOK, 2nd part, chapter 23 - "Obsession" - also REVUE SPIRITE, February and March, 1864 & April, 1865 - examples of cures for obsession).

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