Is Capital Punishment a Solution?
Is Capital Punishment a Solution?
"Capital punishment, the death sentence, is a frequent topic of discussion. Judges, psychiatrists and sociologists give us the statistics and talk about their observations and conclusions on radio and television programmes, and public opinion remains divided. Some think that the worst criminals should be executed so as to deter those who are tempted to imitate them; others retort that the fear of death has never deterred a criminal and, above all, that no human being has the right to decide the death of another. And so the debate goes on endlessly. Unfortunately, even the greatest authorities have no very clear ideas on the question, because their understanding of the structure of the universe and of human beings does not include the spiritual dimension.
Obviously, if you execute a criminal, society will be rid of him on the physical plane. Yes, but what people fail to realize is that he is still alive on the subtle planes, and on those planes his desire for destruction and revenge is as strong as ever. The desires of a criminal are not killed by the death of his physical body, because they don't belong to the physical plane. Once he is dead, therefore, a criminal becomes active on the astral and lower mental planes and the evil is amplified. His influence seeps into the minds and hearts of all those on earth whose criminal tendencies create an affinity with him, and through them he attempts to continue his evil work. In fact, he has even more scope after death for he is no longer limited by his physical body and can act through many different people. If people advocate capital punishment as a solution to the problem of crime, therefore, it is because they don't know that a criminal's spirit continues to be active after his death.
The same phenomenon occurs, of course, when a prophet or a great spiritual Master is assassinated: his ideas spread even more rapidly. In fact, this is why, when the criticism of an outspoken religious or political figure becomes an embarrassment to a government, and those in power are tempted to eliminate him, they know that they have to be very careful about how they do it. To make a martyr of a popular hero only serves to exacerbate the fury of his followers and make the position of his executioners even more precarious. They know that when you kill a man you don't kill his ideology, for others take it up and it becomes more vigorous than ever. You will say: "But that is only because his partisans or disciples are infuriated at the death of their leader and are fired with greater enthusiasm to carry on his work." There is some truth in that, of course, but it is an interpretation which remains on the surface of things.
The truth is that when the spirit of a prophet or an Initiate reaches the next world he continues to hold the same convictions and to nourish the same desire to enlighten human beings and help them to evolve. So he goes on with his work in conditions which give him a far better chance of propagating his ideas. This is why the death of certain Initiates did nothing to hinder their ideas from spreading. You only have to look at the extraordinary expansion of Christianity after the death of Jesus.
Criminals should not be punished by death, therefore, because of the consequences on the invisible plane. It is up to human beings to make sure that the conditions of life are such that there will be no more evil-doers. But as long as society is not built on true spiritual foundations it can only be a swamp, and swamps are always a breeding ground for mosquitoes... that is to say, criminals. In these conditions it is an illusion to think that justice can ever be done."
"Killing a person does not eradicate their ideology, because others will take it up and it will live on with even greater momentum. In the other world, the spirit of a prophet or a martyr continues to hold the same convictions, the same desire to enlighten human beings and to help them evolve. While he was on earth, it was not possible for him to meet everyone capable of taking in his ideas, because these people were too dispersed; but once on the astral plane, he is free to seek them out and influence them. This is why the death of certain Initiates can often enhance the propagation of their ideas.
By remaining on earth, of course, a Master can work, act, and serve as a model, but his influence is limited to a very small number of people: those who surround him, who approach him, who know him. But once disengaged from his physical body, he can rouse a far great number of spirits. This does not mean that he must have himself massacred in order to have more influence. No, but it is useful for you to know the laws governing the material and spiritual worlds. "
"When one kills a man, one destroys really only his prison: the physical body. If you think of being freed of somebody by killing him physically, you make a mistake. That is why the capital punishment is not a good solution; because it is as to break a bottle in which is contained a poison gas. If the bottle is broken, the poison spreads in the world and causes there the biggest damages. One guillotined for example a dangerous murderer; really one only killed his body, but his soul did not die. Now he turns out free in the invisible world, he is going to visit certain number of people, rather criminals as he. He tries to infiltrate in their head to suggest them the abominable projects which, because of his death, he had not yet been able to carry out, and so he produces more evil than when he was still in his body of flesh."
Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov
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