Allan Kardec

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We add that studying any belief system such as Spiritism, which introduces us to radically different and awe-inspiring ideas, can only be successful when done by serious-minded and tenacious individuals, free of prejudices, and motivated by an unyielding desire to fnd the truth. Those who tend to reach a conclusion easily, without thorough examination, and without employing the proper methodology, order or attention to detail that is necessary to be successful are not capable of properly studying Spiritist beliefs. Neither are those who, in order to maintain a reputation for being witty, seek to ridicule matters of grave importance, which have been judged to be such by individuals whose knowledge, character, and convictions command respect. Individuals who deem the facts in question to be unworthy of their attention should refrain from studying them. No one would attempt to interfere with their beliefs, and they should respect the beliefs of those who have a differing opinion.

The characteristics of serious-minded and thoughtful study are the method and perseverance with which it is carried out. Is it any surprise that practical answers are not always obtained from spirits in reply to questions that, no matter how serious in content, are randomly asked, among a slew of others that are unrelated or irrational?

What is more, a question that is highly complex needs to be preceded by various considerations in order to guarantee clarity. Whoever truly wants to research or learn a new science must do so through methodical study, starting at the beginning and following the proper sequence and development of ideas. If a student who is unfamiliar with the most elementary basics of a science asks an ill-conceived question of the most respected professor in the feld could that professor, no matter how kind or compassionate, give a satisfactory answer? This isolated response would be incomplete, and as is so often the case, unintelligible, absurd, or contradictory. The same holds true for the relationships that we establish with the spirits. If we are to learn Spiritism, a full course must be completed with them. However, we must select our teachers carefully, and work meticulously and persistently.

We have said that superior spirits are only attracted to serious-minded encounters where a perfect union of thought and desire for the pursuit of moral excellence must exist. Good spirits are repelled by frivolity and idle curiosity, in much the same way that these characteristics repel reasonable individuals. The road is consequently left open to the hordes of reckless and lying spirits who are always waiting for opportunities to mock us at our own expense. What happens when a serious question is asked under such circumstances? It is answered, but by whom? It is as if you were at a lively dinner party and you suddenly ask questions such as, “What is the soul? What is death?” or any others that are equally out of harmony with the tone of such a social gathering. If we want earnest, thoughtful answers, we must be serious and place ourselves in the appropriate situation. Doing so is the only way that we can obtain fulflling communications. Nevertheless, we must be resolute in our investigations otherwise the superior spirits will abandon us, just like a professor abandons hopelessly idle students in his class.

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