Allan Kardec

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When skepticism about Spiritism is not the result of consistent opposition, stemming from selfsh motives, it is mostly rooted in an imperfect understanding of the facts. Nevertheless, this does not stop many persons from attempting to answer questions as if they were experts.

One can be very clever and educated, yet lack judgment. Believing that one is infallible or perfect is the clearest sign of impaired judgment. Many people regard spirit manifestations as merely a matter of curiosity. We hope that the reading of this book will show them that this remarkable experience is more than just a mere pastime.

Spiritism has two parts: the experimental, which deals with general manifestations, and the philosophic, which deals with intelligent manifestations. Whoever has observed only the former is like someone whose knowledge of physics is limited to recreational experiments and does not extend to fundamental principles. Spiritist philosophy is composed of teachings communicated by spirits. The knowledge they convey is of a nature that is far too signifcant to be learned effectively without critical and resolute attention.

This is the only way that critical facts and nuances can be absorbed. If this book does nothing more than demonstrate the serious nature of the subject, and encourage interested minds to approach it in this vein, it will be considered a success. We would delight in having been chosen to assist in a work for which we can take no credit, as its principles and whatever honors it may obtain are entirely due to the spirits by whom it has been dictated. We also hope that it will serve as a guide for those seeking enlightenment by showing them the inspiring purpose of individual and social progress and pointing out the path by which that end can be reached.

We will conclude this introduction with one fnal observation. In searching the depths of space, astronomers discovered seemingly vacant spaces that appeared to trump the general laws governing the distribution of the planets and stars. This fact led them to speculate that those spaces were occupied by bodies that escaped observation. Conversely, they observed certain effects, the cause of which was unknown to them, and said to themselves, “There must be a world here, otherwise there would be a void that should not exist, and the effects we have observed imply the presence of a world in that void.” Based on this reasoning, they calculated the features of the globe whose presence they had deduced, and the facts subsequently supported their assumption. Let us now apply the same method of reasoning to a different order of ideas.

If we observe all beings, we fnd that they form a continuous chain from raw matter to the most intelligent humans. However, there is a huge gap between humanity and God, who is the alpha and omega of all things. Is it rational to believe that the links of the chain stop with human beings? Can humans simply scale the distance that separates them from the infnite without any transition whatsoever? Reason dictates that there must be other links between the human race and God, just as it showed astronomers that there must be other worlds, unknown to them, between the then known worlds. What philosophy has flled this void? Spiritism shows us that it is flled with the beings from every rank of the invisible world, and that these beings are the spirits of humans who have reached the successive degrees leading to perfection. Consequently, all things are linked together from one end of the chain to the other, from alpha to omega. Those who deny the existence of spirits must explain what dwells in this immense space that the spirits claim to dwell in, and those who ridicule this philosophy are in fact mocking God’s works and awe-inspiring omnipotence.

Allan Kardec

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