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Balzac, Honoré de - Seraphita - 08 The Power of Prayer to release the soul from the body



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

SERAPHITA  By Honore De Balzac  Translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley

Prayer bestows external conviction by making us penetrate the Material World through the cohesion of all our faculties with the elementary substances; it bestows internal conviction by developing our essence and mingling it with that of the Spiritual Worlds.

To be able to pray thus, you must attain to an utter abandonment of flesh; you must acquire through the fires of the furnace the purity of the diamond; for this complete communion with the Divine is obtained only in absolute repose, where storms and conflicts are at rest.

Yes, Prayer—the aspiration of the soul freed absolutely from the body—bears all forces within it, and applies them to the constant and perseverant union of the Visible and the Invisible. When you possess the faculty of praying without weariness, with love, with force, with certainty, with intelligence, your spiritualized nature will presently be invested with power.

Like a rushing wind, like a thunderbolt, it cuts its way through all things and shares the power of God.

The quickness of the Spirit becomes yours; in an instant you may pass from region to region; like the Word itself, you are transported from the ends of the world to other worlds.

Harmony exists, and you are part of it!

Light is there and your eyes possess it!

Melody is heard and you echo it!

Under such conditions, you feel your perceptions developing, widening; the eyes of your mind reach to vast distances. There is, in truth, neither time nor place to the Spirit; space and duration are proportions created for Matter; spirit and matter have naught in common.

Though these things take place in stillness, in silence, without agitation, without external movement, yet Prayer is all action; but it is spiritual action, stripped of substantiality, and reduced, like the motion of the worlds, to an invisible pure force. It penetrates everywhere like light; it gives vitality to souls that come beneath its rays, as Nature beneath the sun. It resuscitates virtue, purifies and sanctifies all actions, peoples solitude, and gives a foretaste of eternal joys.

The source of the experience

Balzac, Honoré de

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Contemplation and detachment