What is Spiritism?

Allan Kardec

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97. The contradictions that often appear in what spirits say should come as a surprise only to observers who merely possess an incomplete understanding of the Spiritist science. Contradictions result from the nature of the spirits themselves, who, as already stated, can only understand matters according to how evolved they are; many of them know even less than certain incarnates. Regarding a multitude of facts, they can provide only their personal opinion, which may be correct to some degree while still reflecting the earthly prejudices they have not yet abandoned. Others fabricate their own theories about what they do not yet understand, particularly regarding scientific matters and the origin of things. Consequently, it should come as no surprise that they are not always in agreement with one another.

98. W e may be surprised at finding contradictory communications signed by the same name. According to the circumstances, only low order spirits could differ in what they say, because high order spirits never contradict one another. Whoever is relatively inexperienced regarding the mysteries of the spirit world should understand the ease with which certain spirits adorn themselves with borrowed names in order to make what they say more believable. Thus, we may safely conclude that if two communications that are radically contradictory as to the depth of the thought carry the same respectable name, one of the two is necessarily apocryphal.

99. Two ways may serve to settle our thoughts concerning issues of doubtful identity: the first is to submit communications to the severe test of reason, common sense and logic. This is the recommendation given by all good spirits, but one that is discouraged by deceitful spirits, who know very well that they can only lose with a serious examination. That is why they avoid discussion and want to be blindly believed.

The second criterion of true identity lies in the agreement of the teaching. When the same principle is taught in several places by different spirits and mediums who do not know each other and who are not under the same influence, we can conclude that it entails more truth than one coming from only one source and which contradicts the majority.

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