What is Spiritism?

Allan Kardec

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Visitor -.This diversity of belief in what you call a science seems to me to be its undoing. If this science were actually based on provable facts, wouldn't it be identical in both America and Europe?

A.K. - I will first respond that such divergence exists more in form than in essence. In reality, it exists only in the way certain points of the Doctrine are considered, but it does not constitute any radical antagonism concerning the principles, as our adversaries love to say without even having studied the issue.

But tell me: what science is there that, at its start, did not give rise to dissenting opinions until its principles became clearly established? Isn't this dissent still present today in the sciences that have been around much longer? Are all scholars in agreement about the same principle? Don't they all have their particular theories? Do sessions at the Institute always display the picture of perfect and cordial understanding? In medicine, aren't there the Paris School and the Montpellier School? Isn't each discovery in anv science cause for schisms between those who want to progress and those who want to remain behind?

Concerning Spiritism, then, wouldn't it be natural that, at the appearance of the first phenomena, when the laws governing them were unknown, everyone would have their own theory and would consider them in a certain way? But what has become of those early isolated theories? They have fallen before a more complete observation of the facts. A few years were enough to establish the magnificent unity that prevails today in the Doctrine, and which brings the great majority of its adherents together, except for a few individuals, who, in this as in all things, cling to primitive ideas and die with them. What science, what philosophical or religious doctrine can offer a similar example? Has Spiritism ever displayed even a hundredth of the schisms that have afflicted the Church over so many centuries, and which still divide it today?

It is truly curious to see the puerilities that Spiritism's adversaries hold on to; doesn't that indicate a lack of good arguments? If they had them, they wouldn't hesitate to use them. So, what do they use to oppose it? Ridicule, denial and slander; but peremptory arguments — none whatsoever. And the proof that they still haven't found a vulnerable angle is that nothing has hindered Spiritism's forward progress, and that after just ten years, it includes more adherents than any sect has ever had after a century in existence. This is a fact taken from experience and recognized even by its adversaries. In order to destroy it, it is not enough to say "this cannot be; this is absurd." It is necessary to prove categorically that the phenomena do not and cannot exist.

That is precisely what no one has done.

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