THE SPIRITS’ BOOK

Allan Kardec

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The above observations lead us to address the discrepancies that exist in the statements made by spirits, which is another diffculty imposed on Spiritism.


Spirits differ widely with respect to their knowledge and integrity. Therefore, it is obvious that the same question may garner very different responses, depending on the rank that they hold. This is exactly the same case as if a question were asked of a scientist versus an imbecile or a fraud. What is important here, as we previously mentioned, is knowing who is the spirit to whom we are addressing our question.


How is it that spirits, recognized for their superiority do not always agree? First, other causes may have an infuence on the nature of the answers regardless of the quality of the spirits themselves. This is a point of the utmost importance that will be explained in detail through further study, provided that this study is carried out with unrelenting attention, extensive observation, and methodical perseverance. Years of study are needed just to become even a mediocre physician, while three-quarters of a lifetime is necessary to become a scholar. Meanwhile, people like to think that a few hours are enough to learn the science of the infnite! Let there be no mistake, Spiritism is a vast subject and involves both metaphysical and social matters. It is a new world opening up before us. Is it strange, then, that time, and a good deal of it at that is required to learn it?


The contradictions the opponents of Spiritism allude to are not always as fundamental as they may seem at frst. On a daily basis, individuals who work on the same feld of science provide various defnitions for the same thing. Sometimes this is because they use different terms, and sometimes it is because they study it from different perspectives, although the fundamental idea is the same in each case. We dare you to count the different defnitions that exist for the word grammar! We also add that the form of the answer often depends on the form in which the question is asked. It is foolish to regard what is often only a difference of words as a contradiction. Superior spirits completely disregard forms of expression, because thought is everything for them.


For example, let us focus on the defnition of the word soul. As this word has no fxed meaning, spirits may differ in the signifcance that they attribute to it, much like ourselves. One may say that it is the principle of life; another may call it the moral spark; a third may say that it is internal; a fourth, that it is external, and so on and so forth. Each may be right from his or her own specifc perspective. Some may even support materialistic theories, although such is not the case. It is the same with regard to the word God. According to some, God is the principle of all things. According to others, God is the Creator of the universe, the Supreme Intelligence, the Infnite, the Great Spirit, and so on. Regardless of the name, it is always God. Lastly, we cite the classifcation of spirits. They form an uninterrupted succession from the lowest to the highest. Therefore, all attempts at classifcation are arbitrary, and one may regard them as forming three, fve, ten, or twenty classes, without being wrong. All human sciences offer the same variations. Every investigator has his or her own system and these systems change, but science remains the same. Whether we study botany according to Linnaeus, Jussieu, or Tournefort, it is still botany. We must stop attributing more importance to merely conventional matters than they deserve, and devote ourselves to what is truly important. In doing so, refection often reveals a similarity that appears to be conficting at frst glance.

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