798. Will Spiritism become a widespread belief, or will it continue to only be accepted by the minority?
“It will definitely become a widespread belief, and will mark a new era in the history of humankind because it belongs to nature and the time has come for it to be recognized and accepted by human knowledge. It will have to withstand fierce criticism prompted by selfish interests rather than by conviction, because there are individuals whose interests lie in tearing down this belief, some out of pride, others for material motives. Its opponents, however, will be forced to join the general consensus, or otherwise risk undermining their own efforts.”
Ideas are only transformed over the course of time, never suddenly. Flawed ideas are weakened over successive generations, and end up disappearing little by little along with those who professed them. They are replaced by other individuals with new ideas, as is the case in regard to political ideas and principles. Look at paganism: no one today professes the religious ideas of pagan times. Yet, they left traces that could only be erased by the complete rebirth of the human beings who supported these beliefs for several centuries after the dawn of Christianity. The same will happen with Spiritism. It has been making considerable progress, but healthy skepticism will persist for two or three generations that only time will be able to break down. Nevertheless, its progress will be faster than that of Christianity, because Christianity itself clears the way for it and serves as its basis and support. Christianity had to destroy prior beliefs; Spiritism only has to build up from there.
799. How can Spiritism contribute to progress?
“By destroying materialism, which is one of the plagues of society, and making people understand where their true interest lies. When human beings no longer doubt the future life; they will understand more clearly that they can guarantee their future by the present. By destroying the prejudices of divisions, castes and skin color, it teaches individuals about the great solidarity that will one day unite them as brothers and sisters.”
800. Should we be concerned that Spiritism may fail to triumph over the negligence of human beings and their attachment to material things?
“This question demonstrates a very superficial knowledge of human nature, if one could believe that any cause could transform them by mere charm or enchantment. Ideas change gradually, depending on the individual, and several generations are needed for the complete eradication of old habits. Therefore, the transformation of humankind can be carried out only over the course of time, slowly, and step by step. With each new generation, part of the veil evaporates, and Spiritism will dissolve it entirely. In the meantime, even if it only cures human beings of a single fault, this is a step forward. This would be a tremendous accomplishment because this first step would make the rest much easier.”
801. Why have the spirits not taught what they are teaching now since the beginning of time?
“You do not teach to children what you teach to adults, just as you do not give newborn babies food that they cannot digest. There is a time and place for everything. Spirits have taught many things that human beings have not understood or that they have distorted, but that they are now capable of understanding. Through their teachings, they have prepared the ground to sow the seed that is now about to take hold and grow despite being incomplete.”
802. Since Spiritism must mark the progress of humankind, could the spirits speed up this progress through general and clear manifestations to convince even the most skeptical individuals?
“You want miracles, but God grants you miracles every day and yet you still have people who deny their existence. Did Christ convince his contemporaries by the miracles he accomplished? Do you not see people, to this day, denying the most evident facts, despite occurring before their very eyes? Are there not some who say that they would not believe, even if they saw it? No, it is not through miracles that God will bring human beings back to their senses. God’s goodness allows them to convince themselves through reason.”