The Spiritist Teachings or Spiritism
What it is
It is the set of laws and principles, as revealed by the Superior Spirits, contained in the works of Allan Kardec, which constitute the Spiritist Codification: The Spirits' Book, The Mediums' Book, The Gospel According to Spiritism, Heaven and Hell, and The Genesis.
"Spiritism is a science which deals with the nature, origin and destiny of Spirits, as well as their relationship with the corporeal world."
Allan Kardec. (Taken from Qu'est-ce que le Spiritisme? – Préambule - translated from the original French).
"Spiritism realizes what Jesus said of the promised Consoler, by bringing knowledge of those things which allow Man to know where he came from, where he is going and why he is on Earth; so attracting mankind towards the true principles of God's Laws and offering consolation through faith and hope." Allan Kardec. (Taken from “The Gospel According to Spiritism” - Chap. 6 - Item 4 - translated from the original French.)
What it reveals
It reveals new and more profound concepts with respect to God, the Universe, the Human Being, the Spirits and the Laws which govern life itself. Furthermore, it reveals what we are, where we have come from, where we are going, what is the objective of our existence and what is the reason for pain and suffering.
What it teaches
God is the Supreme Intelligence, First Cause of all things. God is eternal, immutable, immaterial, unique, omnipotent, supremely just and good. The Universe is God's creation. It encompasses all rational and non-rational beings, both animate and inanimate, material and immaterial. In addition to the corporeal world inhabited by incarnate Spirits, which are human beings, there exists the spiritual world, inhabited by discarnate Spirits. Within the Universe there are other inhabited worlds, with Beings at different degrees of evolution: some equal and others more or less evolved than earthly Man. All the Laws of Nature are Divine Laws because God is their author. They are superior to both the physical and moral laws created by Man.
A Human Being is a Spirit temporarily incarnated in a material body. The perispirit is the semi-material body which unites the Spirit to the physical body. Spirits are the intelligent beings of creation. They constitute the world of the Spirits, which pre-exists and outlives everything. Spirits are created simple and ignorant. They gradually evolve intellectually and morally, passing slowly from a lower order to a higher one, until they attain perfection, where they will enjoy unalterable bliss. Spirits preserve their individuality before, during and after each incarnation.
Each Spirit reincarnates as many times as is necessary for its spiritual advancement.
Spirits are always progressing. In their multiple material existences, they may sometimes become stationary, but they never regress. The speed of their intellectual and moral progress depends on the efforts they make to attain perfection. Spirits belong to different orders according to the degree of perfection they have attained: Pure Spirits, who have attained maximum perfection; Good Spirits, whose predominant desire is towards goodness; and Imperfect Spirits, characterized by their ignorance, their tendency towards evil, and by their inferior passions.
Spirits' (Spiritist/Spiritual) interactions with Human Beings are constant and have always existed. The Good Spirits attract us towards goodness, sustain us in life's trials and help us bear them with courage and resignation. The Imperfect Spirits induce us towards error. Jesus is the Guide and Model for all Humankind here on Earth. The Teachings He brought and exemplified are the purest expression of God's Law.
The morality of Christ, as contained in the Gospels, is guidance for the secure progress of all Human Beings. Its practice is the solution for all human problems and the objective to be attained by Humankind.
Human Beings are given free-will to act, but they must answer for the consequences of their actions. Future life reserves penalties and pleasures according to the respect that has been shown for God's laws.
Prayer is an act of adoration for God. It is found in Natural Law and is the result of an innate sentiment in every Human Being, just as the idea of the existence of the Creator is innate. Prayer helps to make Humans better. Whoever prays with fervor and confidence grows stronger against evil temptations and God sends the Good Spirits to assist them. This assistance will never be denied when requested with sincerity.
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 Christian principle that God should be worshiped 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. Rather it invites those interested in knowing it to submit its Teachings to the test of reason and logic before accepting them.
Mediumship, which allows Spirits to communicate with incarnate people, is a faculty which many individuals bring with them at birth, independent of whatever religion or beliefs they may hold or come to adopt. Spiritist mediumship practice is solely that which is exercised based on the principles of the Spiritist Teachings and within Christian moral concepts.
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, colour, 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).
"To be born, to die, to be reborn yet again, and constantly progress, that is the Law."
"Unshakable faith is only that which can meet reason face to face in every Human epoch."
The study of the works of Allan Kardec is fundamental for the correct knowledge of the Spiritist Teachings!