What is Spiritism?
Spiritism is at the same time a Science, a Philosophy and Religion.

Spiritism is a science because it studies the origin, nature and the destiny of the Spirits as well as its relationship with the corporeal world. Just as the telescope discovered the world of the infinitely large and the microscope discovered the world of the infinitely small, the Mediums were the means by which the spiritual world was discovered.
Although the fundamental principles of Spiritism has been taught throughout the ages it was formally born in April 18 1857 with the publication of the Spirits' Book resulting from meticulous studies of Allan Kardec on the spiritual phenomenon that was occurring throughout Europe and the US in the 1850s.

Allan Kardec used the scientific method to investigate the communications received from more than a thousand mediums. The conclusions of his observations as well as the answers he received from the Spirits on fundamental questions of life were compiled together in the Spirits' Book. Because Allan Kardec used the scientific method to prove the existence of life after death, which is a fundamental principle of any religion, Spiritism was able to marry Science and Religion.

Spiritism is also a philosophy because it answers the main questions we all have in life: Who are we? Where we came from? And where are we going? Most importantly it gives us a profound logical answer to what is the meaning and aim of our lives. By helping individuals understand their position and objective in the latter of evolution Spiritism provides the means not only to cope with great suffering but as well as it gives an insightful explanation of our purpose on Earth.

Finally, is Spiritism a Religion? Spiritism is also a Religion but not a Religion in the general understanding of what Religion stands for. Religion is usually associated with rituals of all sorts such as, worshipping with singing, prayers in a specific physical position, lighting of candles and incense, hierarchy of commands based on a central figure, devotions to spiritual entities represented in statues, money collection and so on... In that sense Spiritism is not a Religion because it doesn't have any rituals. Nonetheless Spiritism is a religion according to the original definition of the word religion, which is to connect the creature with the creator. Spiritism is a Religion because it has the foundation of all Religions; the existence of God, the immortality of the soul, the consequences of our actions. Spiritism is a Religion because it brings back the Moral Teachings of Jesus Christ free from allegory and dubious interpretations. Finally Spiritism is a Religion mainly because it leads individuals to better themselves thus connecting them with the Creator which is the pursuit of all Religions.
Is Spiritism a Religion?
Spiritism is a religion but not in the traditional sense of what Religion stands for. Religion is usually associated with rituals of all sorts such as: worshipping with singing, prayers in a specific physical position, lighting of candles and incense, hierarchy of commands based on a central figure, devotions to spiritual entities represented in statues, money collection and so on...In that sense Spiritism is not a Religion because it doesn't have any rituals. If you were to attend a Spiritist Center you wouldn't find any of the rituals associated with traditional Religions.

Another important point is that, at first, a person new to Spiritism may have the impression that Spiritists worship Allan Kardec as a prophet of some sort. And that is not true at all. For the Spiritists, Allan Kardec was basically an instrument of the Enlightened Spirits as well as all the Mediums and the Spirits who were involved in the compilation of Spiritism. Allan Kardec is the codifier of Spiritism, in other words the organizer or the editor in chief of Spiritism and Jesus Christ is the highest moral model and guide to be followed.

Nonetheless Spiritism is a Religion according to the original definition of the word religion, which is to connect the creature with the creator. Spiritism is a Religion because it has the foundation of all Religions; the existence of God, the immortality of the soul, the consequences of our actions. Spiritism is a Religion because it brings back the Moral teachings of Jesus Christ free from allegory and dubious interpretations. Finally Spiritism is a Religion mainly because it leads individuals to better themselves thus connecting them with the Creator which is the pursuit of all Religions.
Are there any postulates in Spiritism?
Spiritism has 5 postulates which are...

1. The existence of GOD
2. The immortality of the Soul
3. The plurality of existences or reincarnation
4. The plurality of the inhabited worlds, and
5. The communicability of the Spirits

Spiritism analyzes the first postulate, the existence of God, by using an axiom formed in mainstream science which states that there is no effect without a cause. Therefore, everything created by man is an effect caused by man, for example cars, computers, buildings, cities etc. But we are surrounded by things which were not created by man, rocks, plants, insects, animals, human beings, nature etc. The main example of this principle is the Universe and everything in it which includes billions of stars, galaxies, and the uncountable planets. We cannot assume that all creation simply popped up to existence out of nowhere. To think this way is the same as to believe that nothing is able to create something. Reason and logic tells us that the Universe cannot have created itself and must have a cause. Even if we accept that the big bang is the beginning of everything we can still ask what made the initial particles and what existed before that. Thus, Spiritism concludes that the Universe is an effect and the cause is God. This is the answer the Spirits provided to Allan Kardec when he asked question number one of the Spirits' Book; what is God? God is the supreme intelligence the first cause of everything.

The second postulate, the immortality of the soul, is derived from the principle that God being a perfect Creator could not have created something with the need to be destroyed later on. Thus the soul, like everything else, can't be destroyed only transformed, thus the soul is immortal and goes through many modification to achieve its destiny, perfection.

However, for the soul to achieve perfection it must acquire intellectual and moral qualities through many physical body experiences. This is the third postulate in Spiritism; the plurality of existences or simply put reincarnation. For the soul to unfold and develop all its inner potentials, several lifetimes are needed, even for those that follow the path of righteousness because is impossible to attain perfection in a brief period of a lifespan. With the law of reincarnation no one is left behind and all individuals will achieve perfection regardless of how evil they are today, but of course more negative actions means more reincarnations and more reincarnations means more trials and difficulties to overcome.

The forth postulate is the plurality of inhabited worlds. Spiritism supports this postulate by asserting that God would not have created trillions of planets to simply make our nights more beautiful. Instead in God's creation there is a purpose for everything and planets serve as different home-schools for the ascendancy of the soul in the latter of evolution just like here on Earth, as we evolve intellectually we must go through different school levels to continue our progress.

The fifth postulate of Spiritism is the communicability of the Spirits, which is the ability of the Spirits to send us messages about life and the afterlife. Spiritism teaches that the ability to communicate with the Spirits is a natural phenomenon which everyone is capable of but in different levels ranging from simple daily inspirations to full written communications. But one may ask, what's the need to communicate with the Spirits? Once again one may use the school analogy for comparison. Here on Earth we constantly see those individuals, who although moved ahead in their academic achievements, they come back to teach those who are behind. Thus the Spirits are individuals on a higher level of self-consciousness who teach us, through Mediums, the purpose of our existence and how we will achieve the main aim of our lives - perfection.
What is Reincarnation?
Reincarnation is the process by which a Spirit incarnates in a physical body as many times as needed in order to achieve perfection. Every time someone dies his or her spirit will take a new body to continue its progress. Simply put, reincarnation is the rebirth of the soul into a new human body. The principle of reincarnation should not be mistaken with beliefs of the human soul coming back into animal bodies. Such process doesn't happen because the human soul can only reincarnate in a human body since it is constantly progressing and cannot come back into an inferior bodily form.

Reincarnation is a natural law of life which has been taught for thousands of years. Reincarnation is one of the main principles of Spiritism and the perspective that Spiritism has on reincarnation is that it is the only answer that it is in harmony with God's justice which explains the differences amongst peoples' lives. Since God is supremely just it treats everyone equally therefore the differences amongst us were not created by God but rather is the consequence of our actions during our process of evolution through many reincarnation experiences.

Thus Spiritism explains why there are the poor and the rich; the intelligent and the ignorant; the healthy and the ill; the attractive and the unattractive; the strong and the weak. Also have you ever asked yourself why were you born in the family that you have; why there is so much hatred between family relatives; why some people despite their effort to change their lives apparently everything seems to go on the opposite way? Why identical twins despite having the same genetic information can be so different from one another; and so on .. All these questions are easily answered and understood through the lenses of reincarnation which clearly demonstrates that whatever is our current social position, professional status, our health, the family that we have, the culture in which we belong; these are all factors which were created by our own actions in past lives. If in our present there are negative factors which are a source of sadness they are the result of negative actions from past lives. If we have positive factors which contribute to our happiness they are the result of positive actions from past lives.

Of course, there are many problems that we create in this same reincarnation. For example, if I have Cirrhosis of liver I can trace the cause of my suffering back to when I started drinking alcohol at an early age. Or if I have lung cancer I can trace back this disease when I started smoking when I was just 15 yrs old. But there are many problems that we face that we can't understand what we have done to deserve such amount of suffering. For example, a child that hasn't had the time to do anything evil but is born with a great physical impairment for the rest of his life, having Down Syndrome is a good example of this principle. Many people would argue that the parents of the child are being punished for their mistake. But is God being just when he makes an individual suffer because of his parent's mistakes? Not to mention that that are many cases when children with Down Syndrome are left to strangers to take care of them and never sees their parents again. So is very clear that the explanation of God punishing the parents by making the child suffer is completely against the notion of a just and loving God.

The child with Down Syndrome is a Spirit who is amending his mistakes from past reincarnations and has received the opportunity to rehabilitate himself by going through a hard trial. In general a child with Down Syndrome is someone who committed suicide with a gunshot destroying the part of their brain that controls reasoning. As many would argue a person who kill themselves would be sent to hell for eternity. On the other hand, by reincarnating the Spirit would go through the Down Syndrome experience to fix his spiritual body to continue its progress. So at the end God is indeed all love and justice and he gives us all opportunities to fix our mistakes and move on.

Therefore the way we have conducted ourselves in previous lives shapes who we are today and molds the major events of our present. Thus our present is the result of our past and our future is the result of our present.

Above all reincarnation explains that we are never a victim of any situation and regardless of how difficult our lives are we have shaped it to be this way with our actions. But is important to understand that we are not being punished but rather we are receiving an opportunity to repair our past which will makes us morally strong and will help us to avoid doing the same mistakes in future reincarnations. The law of reincarnation places squarely in our hands the responsibility of our lives and teaches us that the biggest obstacle that one may have is our own imperfections.

Finally we all have heard the saying �we reap what we sow� and there is a profound truth to that affirmation. Thus if you are not satisfied with your life Spiritism states change your actions and you will forever change the course of your destiny.
Who is Jesus for Spiritism?
In the Spirits' Book Allan Kardec asked the highly evolved Spirits, who is the most perfect being that God has offered to man to serve as a guide and model? And they answered with one word - Jesus. A model is a reference to be copied and a guide is someone who points out a direction. Therefore for Spiritism Jesus is the most important individual in history and in our lives. His existence transcends our understanding but what Spiritism knows about Jesus is that he is the one who sent many of the religious teachers throughout time to teach the law of love and truth. One can easily perceive that the scope of the majority of Religions is the practice of love as the ideal behavior which Jesus incorporated perfectly. This is why Spiritists don't claim that Spiritism has the sole truth because we understand that the truth is relative and that as long as a Religion teaches a person to better themselves that is a good religion. Nonetheless Spiritism through profound reasoning and logic brings the essence of Jesus Christ teachings which it is an unequal source of knowledge for self-transformation.

When Jesus spoke the majority of times he used allegories because he knew we were not ready to understand the full scope of the truth. Therefore he promised us another consoler in John C14 V3 which would help us to eradicate our problems and would reveal information that we were not ready for 2000 yrs ago. Also the promised consoler would restore his message to its original meaning. With the appearance of Spiritism in 1857 Jesus promises was fulfilled because not only Spiritism teaches the most effective way to eradicate our suffering and to promote our spiritual growth it also provides the most advanced knowledge about the spiritual world.

Finally in the Gospel According to Spiritism book the reader will learn Jesus' moral teachings as it was given by him to be applied for today's modern world. For Spiritists to incorporate Jesus moral teachings in our everyday lives is the ultimate goal.
What is a Medium?
According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language a Medium is that which lies in the middle, or between two things; from the Spiritist perspective a Medium is a person that is able to serve as a bridge between the physical and the spiritual world. Simply put, a Medium is a person in contact with the Spirits.

Allan Kardec studied more than one thousand Mediums and concluded in the Mediums' Book that the mediumistic faculty or the ability to communicate with the Spirits it is not a privilege possessed by a few but rather a natural faculty that all human beings have, but in different degrees. To make it easier to understand allow me to use the analogy of intelligence. We know that everyone has the intellectual ability, or simply said the ability to learn. But we generally call intellectuals those who surpass the common knowledge of the masses. The same principle is used when referring to Mediums, everyone is a medium but the term Medium is generally used to describe only those individuals who have the mediumship faculty in a more developed degree than the general population. Let us explain why we are all mediums.

When someone feels the presence of people when there is no one physically present; or when you think about a friend and within seconds you receive their phone call; or for instance, when someone has a strong urge to make a particular choice and at the end their intuition was right; when you sleep and you have dreams with relatives who passed; these are evidence of the mediumistic ability that we all have. But then there are individuals who are able to see, hear and speak with the Spirits on a higher level of communication. In general only these individuals are called Mediums because their ability to communicate with the Spirits is on a higher level than the common person.

Let us be clear that Spiritism did not create Mediums or mediumship. It only formed these new terms to describe a natural law. In the past the history books gave names such as prophets, witches and sorcerers to those who were able to receive messages from the Spirits. With Allan Kardec's studies in the Mediums' Book one will learn that a Medium is a regular individual, just like everyone else, but who was born with this faculty.

Also it is very important to emphasize that since the person was born a Medium, the faculty was given freely as an innate faculty, thus mediumship should also be used freely. Additionally, mediumistic episodes can only happen with the collaboration and presence of Spirits, therefore the Medium cannot force Spirits to communicate. For these reasons, Spiritism teaches that Mediums should not use this ability for financial gain.

The Mediums' Book is an incomparable source of knowledge if one wants to learn about the safe, and most importantly, the moral and ethical practice of mediumship.
What is a Spiritual Obsession?
A spiritual obsession is the negative influence that a Spirit exerts over the other. Obsessions are carried out by disturbed Spirits who are on the spiritual plane either seeking revenge or looking for someone to prey on to fulfill their passions and addictions. When someone dies it doesn't mean that person will go through an instant transformation. On the contrary, individuals are after death what they were when they had a physical body. The only difference is that since they lack a physical body they will use someone else's body to spiritually attach themselves so they could continue their passions. For example, for those individuals that had an addiction before death when it dies that person continues to have the same craving but because it lacks the physical body these Spirits will attach themselves to someone who has the same kind of addiction and would stimulate them to continue to do drugs. Hence the obsession will take place where a Spirit will continually influence an individual to continue with its self-destructive behavior. This is why is so hard to stop because when we have an addiction or passion we are never alone.

Another strong motive that Spirits start an obsession process is due to hatred. For example, if someone was killed, that individual now as a Spirit will seek revenge and it will create any situation in which the murder will suffer. There are also obsessions that are the result of evildoing from previous life experiences where selfish and arrogant individuals caused many people pain and as a result those Spirits who did not forgive follow their enemies even in this life time to make them suffer for their wrongdoing. Spiritism explains that apart from all the genetic causes of mental and physical illness obsession is at first hand the primary cause of many illnesses. Those who are suffering today are those same individuals who made others suffer in past reincarnations and their illness is just the law of cause and effect taking place in their lives because those who are suffering are reaping what they have sown.

There are different degrees of obsession that range from simple influences which is the unpleasant thoughts that pops up in our mind to the complete control of the spirit over the individual where the victim loses its will. Obsession is without a doubt the main cause of human disturbances and self-destructive behaviors, it is also the cause of unspeakable crimes and even the creator of wars, yet obsession is unknown to most people. The knowledge of Spiritism is a incomparable factor to eradicate obsessions from our lives because it reveals an entire population of individuals that we ignored it existed. Religions in general have spoken of spirits referring to them as being demons or wicked angels eternally condemned to evildoing. On the other hand, Spiritism explains that Spirits are regular people with our same needs who are either waiting to come back to a new reincarnation or have evolved to a higher plane in the spiritual evolution.

At the Spiritist Center there are the mediumistic meetings where therapeutic sessions are held in the favor of people who are being hunted by Spirits or in Spiritist terms obsessed. When the Spirits are properly oriented and finally understands the uselessness of obsessing someone it leaves the obsessed individual to its own thus alleviating the person from their suffering. Also Spiritism teaches that we are the cause of obsession because as long as we make people suffer and they die we have potential enemies on the other side of life. One of Spiritism's mission is to unveil the spiritual world and equip us with the best moral virtues to not only eradicate obsession from our lives but also to prevent us from creating pain and misery for our future.
What are the Five Books of Spiritism?
The first book of Spiritism is the Spirits' Book. The Spirits' Book was first published in 1857 and it has this name because it is a book by the Spirits and from the Spirits. It was written by the Spirits through various Mediums and the information received was analyzed, organized by Allan Kardec who compiled all information from the Spirits into a single book.

The Spirits Book is divided into four parts.
1. The first part is titled Primary Causes which discusses the beginning of everything and studies about the existence and nature of GOD.
2. The Second part is titled the Spirit world or the world of the Spirits and describes with logic and reasoning the after life, reincarnation as a natural law, what happens when we dream, the relationship of the Spirits with the physical world, the influence of the Spirits in our everyday lives, family ties, how someone plans their reincarnation and so on.
3. The third part is called the Moral Laws and describes in great details the laws which govern our moral lives, and the obligations we all have towards one another.
4. The forth part refers to our current state of being and the consequences of our actions in the after life. It gives unparalleled reasons to avoid suicide, ways we can deal with ingratitude, our ideal attitude when a loved one dies, and the hope that we can all have in our future.

After the publication of the Spirits' Book, other four books were published in order to further develop the materials discussed in the four parts of the Spirit's Book.

In 1861 the Mediums' Book came to life and its main purpose was to develop the ideas brought in the second part of the Spirits' Book about the spiritual world. The Mediums' Book is an incomparable source of knowledge on the safe and moral practice of mediumship.

Then, in 1864, Allan Kardec published the Gospel According to Spiritism which demonstrates that Jesus is the perfect guide and model for humanity. This third book is mainly concerned about the Moral teachings of Jesus Christ and how we should apply it to achieve inner peace and free ourselves from suffering.

The forth book was published in 1865 and it is titled Heaven and Hell. This book brings the reader real accounts of those who died, or in Spiritist terms, disincarnated. These Spirits came back to relate the events of their afterlife, their state of mind, and where they are on the other side, to show us the concrete example of the consequences of our actions after the body dies. These communications are divided in 3 categories; Communications of inferior Spirits, which are from those who while in the physical body, did evil things; Communications from ordinary Spirits, which are from those who were not involved in evil things but at the same time never fully applied themselves to grow spiritually. The third category of communications is from highly evolved Spirits who were those individuals who solely dedicated themselves for the betterment of humankind. The book Heaven and Hell is the factual information of the consequences of our actions in the afterlife.

The last book, Genesis, was published in 1868 and broadens the information discussed in part 1 of the Spirits' Book in relation to creation, the nature of the universe and the prophecies about the future of humankind found in the gospels.

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of these 5 books. They are the instructional manuals which will guide us to fulfill the purpose of our existence - the achievement of perfection.
What is a Spiritist Center?
A Spiritist Center is a place where the Spiritist gathers to study, to pray and to work. Thus the Spiritist Center is a school where we learn the Science and the Philosophy of life according to Spiritist-Christian principles. There are different classes to study the various aspects of Spiritism and there is usually a day of the week where all participants gather to listen in lecture style the main topic of the week. While the adults are carefully listening to the lecture the children and the young adults are learning about moral laws as well as an adequate behavior for a healthy moral life.

Every meeting begins and ends with a prayer making the Spiritist Center a spiritual place where divine energies are harnessed for the improvement of those present. At the Spiritist Center there is a lot of work to do in order to maintain it and to keep it growing thus it becomes a working site giving those who are willing to work a chance to improve their lives by becoming a volunteer.

At the Spiritist Center there are also mediumistic meetings where therapeutic sessions are held in the favor of people who are being hunted by Spirits or in Spiritist terms obsessed. Obsessions leads to many physical and psychological illness and they are carried out by Spirits who hates those they hunt due to their negative actions from past lives. When the Spirits are properly oriented and finally understands the uselessness of obsessing someone it leaves the obsessed individual to its own thus freeing the person from the cause of their suffering. Also at the end of every lecture passes are giving, which basically consist of an exchange of energy where individuals are alleviated from their physical and emotional ill symptoms. For these reasons the Spiritist Center is also considered to be a hospital where medication and treatment for the soul is provided.

Another interesting aspect of the Spiritist Center is the home ambience that it has. The Spiritists spend countless hours working at the Spiritist Center and basically with the same people as a result fraternity and family ties are created making the Spiritist Center a true home. We should highlight that one of the most important principles of Spiritism is the lesson of love through service. Thus the Spiritist Center provides community service on a weekly basis by visiting nursing homes, homes for the mentally ill, jails and even hospitals. Since Spiritism does not have any rituals, at the Spiritist Center there are no altars, statues, images, candles, incense, or any other ornament used for ritual purposes. The Spiritist Center itself is just a regular room with no special decorations. If there is enough space it should be divided into different rooms to accommodate different classes but beyond that it is basically a clean room to study. Those who work at the Spiritist Center does not wear any special ornaments neither are granted special titles.

All work done by Spiritists is free of charge. There is no one who receives any kind of monetary compensation for the work provided because in Spiritism there is the ethical rule which states that we should not use religious work for personal monetary gain. Finally, the Spiritist Center does not have a central figure where everything revolves around that particular individual. Instead there is a board of directors who has the sole responsibility of administration with no special anointments of any kind.
Who was Allan Kardec?
Allan Kardec's real name was Hippolyte Leon Denizard Rivail. He was born in October 3rd 1804 in Lyon France. Rivail as a child studied with the great teacher Pestalozzi in1816. By his mid 20s he became a prolific writer and amongst many of his works he wrote a book on mathematics and French language which revolutionized the educational field. Rivail was not only respected in the area of education in general but all different sciences as well including biology, chemistry and astronomy.

When he was 54 yrs old he was presented with the turning table phenomena, which was occurring throughout Europe and the US. It basically consist of people sitting around a table asking questions to it and the table would answer the questions by dropping one of its feet on the floor. If the table hit the floor just once that sound represented the word yes, and if dropped twice it represented the word no. Later on the whole alphabet was represented by a specific number of knocks on the floor thus making possible complete sentences to be written. Allan Kardec was a man of science and of course he rejected many invitations to participate in such frivolous meetings until a close friend of his who was known for his sound reasoning invited him to first witness the communications given by a table. At first he did not believed it but when he started to ask the table questions in a foreign language and it answered in the specific language given, which he was sure that no around the table knew it, he perceived that behind the turning table phenomenon there was much more than he expected.

His hypotheses was proved right when one day the table answered that it wasn't the table that was providing the answers but the Spirits of people who died who were using the table as a means of communication. Allan Kardec knew that the primitive means which the Spiritist phenomenon took place, through the turning tables and the use of Mediums, was just the beginning of something extraordinary as usually happens with sciences, as it happened with astronomy which was developed from the playful ways of astrology. As a result he decided to investigate it thoroughly and after a couple of years with the continuous use of his scientific and organizational skills he was able to compile the Spirits' Book which was published in the year 1857. Before publishing the Spirits' Book Hyppolite Leon Denizard Rival was already a very well known and respected man in the educational community and he knew that if his real name was to appear as the author of the book the readers would have a preconceived idea of the book based on his educational background. Therefore he chose the pseudo name Allan Kardec not only to conceal his identity but also because he knew the questions were answered by the Enlightened Spirits and not by him. His part on the compilation of such fundamental book was to elaborate the questions and organize the answers in a logical order.

Allan Kardec was fully convinced that the Enlightened Spirits were the ones who wrote the book thus he purposely gave it the title Spirits' Book in order to refer to the fact that the book came from the Spirits and not a particular individual. From the Spirits' Book follows the Mediums' Book, the Gospel According to Spiritism, Heaven and Hell and Genesis which were sold by the thousands in Allan Kardec's time. He never made any personal use from the money that these publications produced instead he used it to further promote Spiritism. Allan Kardec was married to Amelie Boudet for 37 yrs they had no children. He died March 1st in 1869 of a heart aneurysm while working.

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Study Group every tuesday
at 7:30m
(followed by passes)

spirits' book

The Spirits' Book

The first book of spiritism is the Spirits’ Book. The Spirits’ Book was first published in 1857 and it has this name because it is a book by the Spirits and from the Spirits..
   Yes, we all live many lives and those who say otherwise wish to keep you in the ignorance in which they themselves dwell. That is their desire.
(question 166)
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