Persons who have only a superficial understanding of
Spiritism will, of course, be led to ask certain questions about
it, and a thorough study would certainly provide the answers.
However, these individuals often lack the time and frequently
the willpower to undertake an ongoing study. Before doing so,
they will at least want to know what they are dealing with and
if it is worthwhile to concern themselves with it. Therefore, it
seemed to us that it would be useful to provide in a concise form
the answers to some of the fundamental questions that are asked
of us every day. For the reader, this will comprise a preliminary
initiation, and for us, it will save us from constantly having to
repeat the same things.
The first chapter uses dialogue form to answer the most
common objections of those who are unaware of the Doctrine's
primary fundamentals, as well as to refute the main arguments of
its opponents. This format seemed the most suitable because it
does not involve the dryness of the dogmatic form.
The second chapter is devoted to a succinct exposition of
the sciences practical and experimental aspects, to which, in the
absence of a complete study, novice observers should direct their
attention with full knowledge of the facts. In a way, this chapter
forms a summary of The Mediums' Book. Most often, objections
arise from preconceived, wrong ideas concerning something one
does not understand. To rectify such ideas means to anticipate the
objections: such is the goal of this little section.
The third chapter may be regarded as a summary of The
Spirits' Book, which contains the Spiritist Doctrine's solution
to a number of problems of great psychological, moral and
philosophical interest, problems posed daily and for which no
philosophy has yet provided any satisfactory solution. If we try
to solve them using some other theory and without the key that
Spiritism furnishes, we will realize that Spiritism's answers are still
the most logical and those that better satisfy reason.
This summary is useful not only for beginners who will be
able to draw the essential notions of Spiritism from it in a short
amount of time and without much effort, but also for its adherents
because it will furnish them the means to respond to the main
objections that will never cease to be raised, and because they will
find here at a glance and under a concise form the principles that
they must never lose sight of.
In order to respond summarily here and now to the question
formulated in the title of this short work, we will state that:
Spiritism is simultaneously a science of observation and a
philosophical doctrine. As a practical science, it consists in the relations that can be established with spirits. As a philosophy, it entails all the
moral consequences that result from such relations.
Hence, it may be defined as follows:
Spiritism is a science that deals with the nature, origin and
destiny of spirits, and their relation with the corporeal world