“Birth, life, rebirth and progress always,
this is the law” (Kardec)
If in ancient times human sacrifices were offered to the gods, why do we not do the same nowadays?
History of humankind proves that everything is in permanent evolution.
In those times, human sacrifices were offered to the gods. This was the mentality that prevailed then. It has been changing according to the progress of humankind, giving place to more developed ideas.
Christianity has also brought new light, while teaching love, forgiveness, serenity, in a time when violence, hate and revenge were a full part of human's life and nature.
In present times, an era of science and technology, should religious thought remain the same as that of two thousand years ago?
On the text about the Hydesville phenomena, we learnt how the western world became aware of the existence of a spiritual dimension.
It is important to keep in mind that these were not the first mediumnship cases in history. These have always been present, being as old as humankind. History is full of these phenomena. The life of Jesus, for example, was a continuous contact with the spiritual world, from obsessing spirits (then named demons), to enlightened spirits, as happened at the Mount Tabor, explained in another text on this webpage.
In the 19th Century, men were on the path of significant scientific and technologic advancements. It was thus necessary to open up to transcendental wisdom, which was transmitted by various mediums, in various parts of the globe, and codified by Allan Kardec.
Kardec was born in Lyon, France, on October 3rd 1804, having been baptized with the name Hippolyte Leon Denizard Rivail.
He received solid education and concluded his studies at the famous Institute Pestalozzi, at Yverdon, Switzerland.
In Paris, after receiving his bachelor in Sciences and French, he became a Master, taught chemistry, physics, maths and astronomy, wrote didactic books, and joined various academic circles, including the famous Royal Academy D’Arras.
During the first half of the 19th Century, the spiritualist phenomenon was seen like a "game" of entertainment in Europe,. Rivail decided to investigate it, and believed it to be a fraud. However, he obtained so strong an evidence of the presence of spirits responsible for those occurrences that he had to accept the facts.
With the help of mediums, in their most part adolescents, he elaborated questions to the spirits and took note of the answers given by them. Such questions addressed various complex issues which clarified subjects related to the human soul, its past, present and future; to life, the universe and the laws that control all of it.
Around this time, Rivail also started to get letters containing messages of the spirits, psycographed in the various parts of globe and containing similar explanations to those he received in Paris.
This contributed to his understanding that such information had come indeed from the higher spiritual circles, as it was coming from different and quite distant places on Earth, and people did not necessarily have any knowledge about each other's work and messages received.
With this material in hands, Rivail organized the questions by subject: The Primary Causes, Spiritual or Spirits' World, Moral Laws, and Hopes and Consolations. He also added his own comments and observations to the answers given by the spirits, in an outstanding work of codification. This was all reunited in the Spirits' Book, published in Paris in the 18th April 1857.
Given that Rivail was well-known and respected, not only by his character but also as an emeritus professor and author of various text books, he preferred to publish the Spirits' Book under a pseudonym: Allan Kardec. It was revealed to him that he had had such name in another life, when he had been a Druid priest.
Other books followed: the Medium's Book, the Gospel According to Spiritism, Hell and Heaven, and the Genesis. The five books form the codification of the Spiritism Doctrine.
Spiritism, thus codified, represents a true universe of information and fresh knowledge, which presents life and evolution through a broader angle, and whose mechanisms are truly fair, wise and coherent with all that we experience in our daily lives. It gives us peace, serenity, hope and consolation; it makes us see that everything has a coherent and just explanation.
The Spiritism Doctrine preaches a healthier conduct for our mind and body, and a ethical behaviour which can be more compatible with our evolution's needs.
Why has Spiritism been so rejected and even prosecuted in various countries?
During all times, new ideas have been summarily rejected, especially when they contradict well established dogmas. With Spiritism, it would not be different.
Furthermore, the Spiritism Doctrine ends with the religious power, and thus affects huge interests. It does so by affirming that salvation does not come by religion, but only by the conduct of each and every individual. The Doctrine also informs that there is no salvation, given that no one is lost; there is reincarnation and the law of cause and effect, whose functioning leads beings into progressing. Finally, it shows that each person is the sole responsible for his or her present and future.
Spiritism is not a religion, given that this word means dogmas, priests, rituals, sacraments, obligations, adoration, etc..
Christian religions preach the divinity of Jesus and his state of "sole Master and Saviour" whom, with his sacrifice, with the spilling of his blood, saved the men who were baptized on his name and believed in him.
In Spiritism, there are no dogmas, priests, cults, rituals, sacraments, obligations, adoration. Spiritism is formed by the tripod: Science, Philosophy and Moral, firmly founded on the religiousness and ethics taught by Jesus. It informs that Jesus is not God, as made clear by the Gospels, but a spirit of a very high spiritual rank, who came in the world to promote the spiritual progress of men, by teaching them love as the fundamental law.
What is the difference between religion and religiosity?
Religion is something that was created by men, with all their idiosyncrasies and according to its creators' understanding.
Religiousness is that feeling, that inner condition, which leads a person to believe in a superior being in whom he can trust and shall obey through his own consciousness; who gives him rest, hope, trust and joy. It is religiousness and not religion that takes somebody into spiritual bliss.
Religiousness is found in each one of us, according to our degree of evolution and our psychological characteristics, although it may be hidden by indifference, disbelief and other materialist concepts and concerns.
In a primitive being, it may be mixed up with fear and other superstitions and interests, due to the being's little understanding and evolution.
Religiousness is inner light and should not be confused with a desperate search of religion, as religiousness is never motivated by fear or some kind of personal interest.
What type of interests may lead somebody into looking for a religion?
The most varied interests may lead somebody into looking for a religion, starting with those which are material (the wish to find a job, a good, to be promoted, to achieve a better status, success and prosperity), covering also those of spiritual nature, which vary according to one's individual belief: wish to not go to Hell, to get a better place in Heaven or in the spiritual world; to become the favourite pupil of a certain Saint; to get purified from sins so as to be taken to Heaven by Jesus, when He comes again; to have the feeling of being protected and guided by a superior being, etc.
The number of reasons is so varied that a believer who is moved by such interests, when not heard in his claims, find it hard to keep the faith alive.
There are also those who follow tradition. They were born under a certain religion and remain under it.
In the Christian world, only a small part of people searches religion to nourish religiousness, or to be dedicated to what may be understood as a missionary task.
If we think about the religious issue with a higher degree of mental freedom, and without prejudices, we may conclude that the future of religions resides in religiousness and not in religious formats.
It will also be easy to understand that there is not only one correct, true or legitimate religion because all of them, despite their interests, carry some form of sincerity, truth and the presence of God, under different names.
Regarding Spiritism, there are no hierarchies nor ministers within it. Why should we have intermediaries between the creature and the Creator, if those are as imperfect as any other human being?
Jesus repeated that each person is the sole responsible for his or her own life, not because of any grace, but because of every attitude, omissions and actions taken on a daily basis.
Allan Kardec, while codifying the Doctrine of the Spirits did not intend to create another religion. He even avoided using this word, as he saw Spiritism as a science and a philosophy with moral consequences. On the Gospel According to Spiritism he addressed the moral aspects of Christianity, based on the fact that the Christian moral is admired even by non-Christians.
Kardec established three criteria for accepting the teachings of spirits: the universality of information, its utility and rationality.
The famous French astronomer, Camille Flammarion, when speaking at Kardec's memorial service, said Kardec had been (or was, given that he was not dead, but desincarnated) "the good sense in its incarnated form", such was his lucidity and balance while addressing topics of great deepness and complexity.
Spiritism is a philosophical doctrine, with a scientific
basis and moral consequences.
It aims, above all, at liberating the human creature from material,
ritualistic and theological mind conditioning, so that he or
she can grow and awaken his or her inner light.
Spirist' practices are absolutely free of charge
and always have the aim of doing good, with love
and balance, without any impositions.
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