Richard Simonetti, a Spiritist scholar, writer, and speaker, summarizes how the three prisms of Spiritism intertwine in the following figure:
Allan Kardec, in turn, explains the approach we must use when studying these concepts, which is the same one he used:
"As a means of preparation, Spiritism proceeds exactly the same way that the fundamental sciences do, by applying the scientific method."
Marke an observation > Ask a question > Form a hypothesis > Conduct an experiment > Accept or Reject hypothesis based on results
As with any science, Spiritism also has its own fundamental principles.
1- The Existence of God
'The Spirits’ Book' — Kardec’s first Spiritist publication — is pretty much a Q & A book: Kardec asked the questions; highly evolved Spirits answered them through several mediums. We took the following excerpt from it:
1. What is God?
“God is the Supreme Intelligence, the First Cause of all things.” [. . .]
4. Where may we find proof for the existence of God?
“In an axiom you apply to all your sciences: ‘There is no effect without a cause.’ If you would search for the cause of whatever is not the work of human beings, then reason will answer your question."
From the said axiom, we can understand that everything man has not created must be God's creation.
According to American biologist and zoologist Edwin Conklin, "The probability of life originating from accident is comparable to the probability of an unabridged dictionary resulting from an explosion in a printing shop."
For Spiritists, God is all love, wisdom, and justice. On a closer look, however, God must also have the following attributes:
1 - Eternal 2 - Immaterial 3 - Immutable 4 - One 5 - All powerful 6 - Perfect 7 - Supremely Good
Reason leads us to conclude that God is infinite in all of those attributes, otherwise, God would not be God. With this, let's move on to the second foundation of Spiritism:
2- immortality of the soul and plurality of worlds
The universe is God's creation. It encompasses all rational and irrational beings, animate and inanimate, material and immaterial.
Spirits are the intelligent beings of creation. They constitute the spirit world, which preexists and outlives everything. “The soul is an incarnate spirit; the body is only its envelope." The perispirit is the semi-material body that unites the spirit to the material body.
In the universe, there are other worlds populated by beings at different stages of evolution: some equally evolved, others more evolved, and others still less evolved than those on Earth.
"The soul has its own particular individuality before incarnating, and it retains it after it separates from the body.”
3- reincarnation and Law of Progress
God creates all spirits as simple beings with no knowledge. They evolve intellectually and morally up to perfection, which is when they enjoy unalterable happiness.
The process of evolution takes more than one earthly lifetime, which is why reincarnation is an instrument of God’s justice and mercy, granting spirits as many opportunities as needed to correct their errors and perfect themselves.
Spirits can halt their progress but never regress; thus, evolution is sure to happen with time. How long it takes for a spirit to evolve depends solely on the efforts it makes to advance.
Spirits belong to different orders according to the degree of perfection they have attained: Pure Spirits, who have attained maximum perfection; Good Spirits, whose desires are predominantly good; Imperfect Spirits, characterized by ignorance, wrongdoing, and the desire to satisfy their lower passions.
4- mediumship, free will, and the law of cause and effect
“Interaction between spirits and humans is constant. Good spirits encourage us to follow the path of the good." Ignorant spirits, "on the other hand, encourage us to take the path of evil."
Both incarnate beings and spirits have the free will to decide to follow the path of good or evil, but they must face the results of their decisions. While good ones award them the merits of their achievements, bad ones demand reparation.
God's laws set the boundaries for what is physically and morally correct, determining the consequences for every action taken, like educational instruments that reflect God's Justice and Goodness. Thus, humans create a future for themselves that can be full of happiness or unhappiness according to whether they respect God's laws or not.
Those are the pillars upon which Spiritism stands. Initially, Kardec organized its fundamental principles in five books known as the Spiritist Codification: The Spirits' Book (1857), The Mediums' Book (1861), The Gospel according to Spiritism (1864), Heaven and Hell (1865), and Genesis (1868). Since then, we have been gifted with complementary works by highly evolved Spirits through selfless mediums. One such example is the book series Life in the Spirit World, authored by the spirit André Luiz through the medium Chico Xavier's automatic writing skills.
Spiritism's advocates are called Spiritists. They base their activities on the study of both the codification and the complementary works to provide material and spiritual assistance to those in need.
"The true Spiritist are recognized by their moral transformation and the efforts they make to overcome their evil inclinations"
(The Gospel According to Spiritism, CH. XVII, item 4, The Good Spiritist)
In the 19th century, Europe was shaken by the phenomenon of the turning tables. In elegant lounges everywhere, curious witnesses engaged in extensive discussions as they watched the tables move around the room, lift themselves off the floor, and answer questions through raps–typtology. The phenomenon caught the attention of a serious researcher, a disciple of the famous Swiss pedagogue Johann Pestalozzi named Hippolyte Léon Denizard Rivail.
Rivail was a French educator, fluent in several languages, who had published a few textbooks and advocated rigorous scientific method. He did not believe in the phenomenon right away. Instead, he studied the tables carefully, noticing that an intelligent cause seemed to drive them. During the investigation regarding its nature, that cause identified itself as the spirits of men who had died. Rivail then asked the spirits hundreds of questions through various mediums, analyzing and comparing the answers and discarding everything that could not stand the test of reason. Finally, he compiled the results into The Spirits' Book. To distinguish the Spiritist works from his previously-published ones, professor Rivail adopted the immortalized pen name of Allan Kardec.
To Spiritism, mediumship is not only an object of study but one of its very foundations. According to 'The Mediums' Book', everyone is a medium to some extent because everyone is in contact with the world of spirits, some more ostensively so, while others develop it in the form of intuition.
Spiritist Centers assist in the pursuit of health by offering care and support for your soul. It is worth noting that every physical disease has its reason for being and that there is always a spiritual connection to it, even if it is not very evident at first. However, that does not mean that we do not seek help from Western medicine, which is also a gift from God that brings relief to many illnesses. Let us take care of the body and the soul then, for a human incarnated on Earth is the union of these two very complex elements.
Besides the five books written by Allan Kardec that make up the Spiritist Codification, you can also find many additional books written through the Brazilian medium Francisco Cândido Xavier, aka Chico Xavier, translated to English. Chico was one of Spiritism's most prominent emissary, for he lived its teachings impeccably, without ever charging for any books written or services rendered. Please, contact us to purchase or borrow Spiritist books. We have a bookstore and a free-of-charge library.
It is common to see folks who know very little or nothing at all about Spiritism making assumptions about it. We want to pique your curiosity to encourage you to draw your conclusions. We do not claim to hold complete knowledge of the Truth or have exclusive rights to it. No group, religion, or sect can. We have put this FAQ together to explain Spiritism's main points and dissipate any suspicions or prejudices about it.
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