what is spiritism?
Spiritism is, at once, a science, a philosophy, and a religion
The science of Spiritism studies the existence and nature of spirits, which are nothing more than the immortal souls of men, created by God. All souls are created pure and ignorant and evolve over time during its various incarnations.
There are 5 basic principles that govern and serve as the pillars of the Spiritist Doctrine:
The Existence of God;
Immortality of the Soul;
A plurality of the Existences (Reincarnation);
A plurality of the Inhabited Planets;
Communicability with the Spiritual Realm;
The philosophy of Spiritism, which was derived from the information received in communications with discarnate (not currently incarnated) spirits, deals with the details of spirit life and the journey of evolution through the process reincarnation.
A natural consequence of that that philosophy is the understanding of the role we play in our own spiritual evolution, which is ultimately achieved through the efforts we make to grow, both morally and intellectually.
Spiritism helps us to understand the natural laws that govern that process of evolution. From a moral perspective, we follow the teachings and examples of Jesus Christ, as our model and guide.
The religious aspect stems from the moral ties between ourselves, and others, and the direction that Spiritism leads us, toward God, our creator, by helping us to understand life and by teaching us, ultimately, how to develop the ability to love, in the greatest sense of the word. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Mother Teresa Christian Spiritist Center.
The history of what now we call the Spiritist Doctrine began in 1848, in the small town of Hydesville, New York. This is where two young sisters, Maggie Fox - 14 and Kate Fox - 11, invited their neighbor over to share an odd phenomenon they had been experiencing. Every night at bedtime, they'd hear a series of raps or knocks on the walls and furniture. These knocks appeared to have a kind of intelligence to them and soon they discovered that they were able to ask questions such as "can you count to five?" and get answers in the form of 5 knocks; "How old is the neighbor?" and 33 hard knocks followed.
These questions expanded to the movement of objects, such as tables, with no apparent cause. They would happen spontaneously, several times, with a characteristic intensity and frequency. However, it soon became clear that these phenomena could also occur through the presence of certain people who were known as ”mediums”. These people could provoke the phenomena at will, making experiments possible. Such experiments were made using tables, not because these objects are more favorable than others, but because they were more convenient, movable, and because it was easier to sit around them than any other furniture. These phenomena were originally called ‘table dancing’ or ‘table turning’. These events triggered the first study groups around the cause of these phenomena, which eventually led to the birth of the Spiritist Doctrine.
The Spiritist Practice
• All Spiritist practice is gratuitous, following the orientation of the moral principle found in the Gospel: “Give for free what you receive for free.”
• Spiritism is practiced with simplicity, without any external forms of worship, within the principle that God should be worshipped in spirit and in truth.
• Spiritism has no clergy, nor does it adopt or use at any of its meetings or during its practices the following: altars, images, candles, processions, sacraments, concession of indulgences, religious vestments, alcoholic or hallucinogenic beverages, incense, tobacco, talismans, amulets, horoscopes, cartomancy, pyramids, crystals, or any other objects, rituals or external forms of worship.
• Spiritism does not impose its principles. It invites those interested in knowing it to submit its teachings to the test of reason before accepting them.
• Mediumship, which allows the Spirits to communicate with Human Beings, is a faculty which many individuals bring with them at birth, independently of the religion or belief that they may come to adopt.
• Spiritist mediumship practice is solely that which is practiced based on the principles of the Spiritist Thought and within Jesus’ examples.
• Spiritism respects all religions and doctrines; values all efforts towards the practice of goodness; works towards peace and fellowship between all nations and all peoples, regardless of race, color, nationality, creed, cultural or social standing. It also recognizes that “the truly good person is one who complies with the laws of justice, love, and charity in their highest degree of purity.” (The Gospel According to Spiritism – chapter 17 – item 3)
Spiritism is the new science which has come to reveal to mankind, by means of irrefutable proofs, the existence and nature of the spiritual world and its relationship with the physical world. It appears not as something supernatural, but on the contrary, as one of the living and active forces of Nature, source of an immense number of phenomena which still today are not fully understood, and because of this they are relegated to the world of fantasy and miracles. Christ alluded to this situation on several occasions and it is the reason why much of what He said remained unintelligible or has been wrongly interpreted. Spiritism offers the key by which all can easily be explained.
The law of the Old Testament was personified in Moses: that of the New Testament in Christ. Spiritism is then the third revelation of God's Law. But it is personified by no one because it represents leaching given, not by Man but by the Spirits who are the voices of Heaven, to all parts of the world through the co-operation of innumerable intermediaries. In a manner of speaking, it is the collective work formed by all the Spirits who bring enlightenment to all mankind by offering the means of understanding their world and the destiny that awaits each individual on their return to the spiritual world.
Just as Christ said: 'I am not come to destroy the Law but to fulfill it,' so Spiritism says: We have not come to destroy the Christian Law but to carry it out. It leaches nothing contrary to what was taught by Christ. Rather it develops it, explains it in a manner that can be understood by all and completes that which had previously been known only in its allegoric form. Spiritism has come at the predicted time to fulfill what Christ announced and to prepare for the achievement of future things. It is then, the work of Christ Who, as He also announced, presides over the regeneration which is now taking place and which will prepare the reign of the Kingdom of God here on Earth.
Read more: The Gospel According to Spiritism
The 5 main books that comprise Allan Kardec's codification are:
The Spirits’ Book (1857)
Organized in questions & answers, it is the first book of Spiritism – considered the backbone of Spiritism. Containing The Principles of Spiritist Philosophy on the Immortality of the Soul; The Nature of Spirits and their Relations with the corporeal world; The Moral Laws; The Present Life, the Future life and The Destiny of the Human Races. Its Introduction explains the new ideas and how Kardec organized the 1019 questions and answers contained in the book. e-Book PDF (English).
A discussion of the means of communicating with the invisible world, the development of mediumship and the difficulties encountered in the practice of spiritism. Also, the experimental and investigative features of the Spiritist practice are presented, explained and taught. e-Book PDF (English).
The Gospel (Explained under the light of Spiritism) contains the essence of the moral teachings of Christ, thus providing a foundation under which followers of all religions – even those who profess no religion at all – can gather, for it offers a sure guide for our inner transformation, which, according to Christ, is indispensable for us to find future happiness and inner peace, a state that is possible for the spirit on its evolutionary journey to God only by complying fully with the divine laws. e-Book PDF (English).
The book is divided into two parts: The first contains a comparative examination of the various doctrines concerning the passage from the earthly life to spirit-life, future rewards and punishments, angels and devils and etc. The second part, which is the result of practical work, is a collection of examples concerning the situation of the soul during and after discarnation. These are testimonies given by repentant criminals, hardened spirits, happy, average and suffering spirits, suicides and spirits undergoing earthly atonements. e-Book PDF (English).
This is the most scientific book of the codification, it discusses Miracles and Predictions according to Spiritism. It reconciles science and religion and develops a series of important scientific and philosophical topics, relating them to Spiritism. e-Book PDF (English).
THE ALLIANCE BETWEEN SCIENCE AND RELIGION
Science and religion are the two levers of human intelligence, one revealing the laws of the material world, the other revealing those of the moral world. But seeing that these laws have the same principle, which is God, they cannot contradict themselves.
If they contradict one another it would stand to reason that one was right and the other wrong. However, God could not have intended the destruction of His own work. Therefore the incompatibility that apparently exists between these ideas proves that they have been incorrectly interpreted, due to excessive exclusiveness an both sides.
For this reason we have a conflict which has given rise to incredulity and intolerance. We have now reached a phase upon this planet when the teachings of Christ most be completed and the intentional veil cast aver some parts of these teachings lifted.
A time when science must desist in its exclusive materialism, so taking into consideration the spiritual element; when religion must cease to ignore the organic and immutable law of matter, so that bath may became two forces, each leaning an the other and advancing together in mutual concourse.
Then religion, no longer discredited by science and no longer being able to oppose the overwhelming logic of the facts, will acquire an unshakable power because it will be in agreement with reason. Science and Religion could not come together till this time as they could only see matters according to their exclusive points of view, which in turn caused them to be reciprocally repelled.
Something more was needed to enable them to close the gap that separated them, something which could unite them. This missing link is contained in the knowledge of the laws which govern the spiritual universe and its relationship with the world of matter.
These laws are as immutable as those which govern the movement of the planet and the existence of all the beings. Once this relationship could be proved by experiments, a new light would begin to shine as faith began to be directed towards reason, and reason, finding nothing illogical in faith, could finally defeat materialism.
But, as in many other matters, there are always those who remain behind until the general wave of movement towards progress drags them along. If they choose to resist instead of accompanying this movement they will eventually be crushed.
So, after an elaboration which has lasted more than eighteen centuries, a moral revolution is now in progress, operated and directed by Spirit, as humanity reaches the climax of its present potentialities and marches towards a new era.
It is easy to forecast the consequences which will cause inevitable changes in social relations and be impossible to withstand, because they are determined by God and derived from the Law of Progress which is God’s law.
Read more: The Gospel According to Spiritism