What is Spiritism?

Allan Kardec

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50. The providential aim of spirit manifestations is to convince disbelievers that all does not end for human beings when their life on earth ends, and to give believers a more correct idea regarding the future. Good, spirits come to instruct us for our improvement and progress, but not to reveal to us what we must not yet know or what we must learn solely by our own efforts. If it were enough to simply ask spirits in order to get the solution to every scientific problem, or to make discoveries or profitable inventions, any ignoramus could become a genius at no cost, and any lazy person could get rich without having to work for it - which is not what God has willed. Spirits help persons of genius through inspiration, but in. order to leave the merit to them they do not exempt them from having to do work or research.

51. It would be completely wrong to see spirits as merely fortunetellers' helpers. Serious spirits refuse to concern themselves with useless matters. Frivolous, mocking spirits concern themselves with anything and everything, respond to anything and everything, and predict whatever people want them to predict with no concern at all for the truth; they feel a mischievous sense of pleasure in deceiving gullible persons. That is why it is essential to be perfectly certain about the nature of the questions that can be put to spirits.

52. Apart from what can be of help to moral progress, there is nothing but uncertainty contained in revelations that may be received from spirits. The first regrettable consequence for persons who divert their faculty from its providential aim is to be fooled by the deceitful spirits that swarm around people; the second is to fall under the control of these same spirits, who can, by way of false advice, lead them to real, material- misfortune; the third is to lose after death the benefit of having known Spiritism.

53. Thus, manifestations are not meant to serve material interests; their usefulness lies in their moral consequences. However, if they led to no further results than to make known a new law of nature and to physically demonstrate the existence of the soul and its survival after death, they would accomplish much, because it would open up a broad new way to philosophy.

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