1. THE OBJECTIVE OF THIS WORK
The Gospel can be divided into five parts: the events in the life of Christ; the miracles; the
prophecies; the words taken by the Church on which they based their dogmas; the moral teachings.
The first four have been the object of controversies. But the last, however, has remained constantly
inviolate. Before this divine code even incredulity bows down. This is the common ground where
all cults may be united, the flag under which all may gather, whatever their creeds may be, because
it has never been a matter of religious dispute, which always and in all places has originated from
dogmatism. Moreover, if it had been discussed, then all cults would have found their own
condemnation within it, seeing that, in the majority, they have held on to the more mystical rather
than the moral part, which demands an intimate reform from each one. Specially prepared for
mankind, it constitutes a code of rules on how to behave in every circumstance of private and
public life and offers the basic principles for all social relations, founded on rigid justice. It is,
finally and above all, the infallible route to lasting happiness and the uplifting of a comer of the veil
that hides the future life. This is what forms the exclusive objective of this work.
Everyone admires the moral behind the Gospel; everyone proclaims its sublimeness and the
need we have of it. However, of the many who proclaim their faith, believing what others have said
or relying on maxims which have become proverbs, few know the basis and even fewer understand
it or are able to deduce the consequences of it. In many cases the reason for this is in the difficulty
of understanding the Gospel, which for many is quite unintelligible. The allegorical form used and
the intentional mysticism of the language make it something we read because we feel we ought to,
because our conscience tells us to or because we are obliged to, as one would read prayers, without
understanding them and consequently without taking any benefit from them. In this way the moral
precepts go unnoticed, scattered here and there between a mass of narrative. This makes it
impossible to get the general idea of the whole or to take these ideas as specific subjects for reading
It is true that various works have already been written concerning the evangelic moral. But
after being put into modem prose they have lost their primitive simplicity, which at the same time
constitutes their charm and authenticity. Many others also deal with the best known maxims
reduced to the simplest form of proverb. These then are no more than aphorisms, deprived of part of their
value and interest due to the lack of accompanying accessories and the circumstances of the
In order to avoid these undesirabilities, we have collected together in this work all the
subjects, so to say, that go to form a universal moral code without distinction as to creed. In these
citations we have kept all that is useful to the development of these ideas, putting aside only that
which does not pertain directly to the matter. Apart from this we have kept scrupulously to the
translations by Sacy and to the division of the verses. But instead of following a chronological
order, which would have been impossible and have made no sense, we have methodically grouped
and classified the various maxims according to their respective natures so that they fallow on, one
from the other, as much as possible. Indication of chapters and verses permit reference to the
original texts whenever desired.
These details refer only to the material side of our work, which an its own would be of
secondary importance. The main objective was to put these teachings within easy reach of
everybody by means of clear explanations, especially those passages which have, until now,
remained obscure and so unfold the full consequences of these teachings and the manner in which
they may be applied Tu. all walks of life. This is what we have attempted to do together with the
help of the Good Spirits who assist us.
Many paints in the Gospel, the Bible and in the writings of the sacred authors, are in general
unintelligible, some even appearing nonsensical for lack of key which would help in understanding
their true meaning. This key is to be found in its mast complete form within Spiritism, as those who
have already made a serious study of it can verify, and as many more in the future will also come to
recognise. Spiritism is to be found throughout ancient times and repeatedly during the different
epochs of humanity. We find vestiges in many places in the form of writings, in beliefs and in
monuments. This is the reason why at the same time it is opening new horizons for the future, it is
also projecting a no less brilliant light upon the mysteries of the past.
As a compliment to each precept we have added some well chosen instructions from
amongst those dictated, in various countries and to different mediums, by the Spirits. If they bad
been taken from only one origin they would probably have suffered the influence either of the
person or the ambient, whereas the diversification of origins proves that the Spirits give teachings
without distinction and that no one person is specially privileged. *
This work is for the use of everyone. From it we may all discover the means by which we
may apply Christ's morals to our daily lives and how best to go about it. This applies very specially
to Spiritists. Thanks to the relationship between man and the invisible world, which has henceforth
been established on a permanent basis, the law of the Gospel which the Spirits have taught to all
nations, will no longer be a matter of dead words because each one will be able to understand them
and will see themselves incessantly compelled to put them into practice, according to the
counselling of the Spiritual guides. These instructions coming from Spirit are really the voices from
Heaven who have come to enlighten mankind and invite him to put the Gospel into practice.
* It would have been possible, without doubt, to have presented many more communications from Spirit on each
subject, all of wich were received in cities and centres other than those cited. We wished, however, to avoid
monotony and useless repetition and so have limited our choice to those which, from their base and form, apply more adequately within the plan of this work, reserving for future
publication those we have not been able to use here.
With respect to the mediums, we have refrained from naming them. In most cases they themselves asked not to he
mentioned and so we have made no exceptions. It is also a fact that the names of these mediums would not add more
value to the work of the Spirits. The mentioning of them by name would only be an incentive to personal pride, to
which serious mediums give no importance. They understand fully that their part in the work being merely passive,
the value of the communication in no way exalts their personal merit. It would be foolish to allow oneself to become
vain about an intelligent work to which one had only lent mechanical assistance.
2. THE AUTHORITY BEHIND THE SPIRITIST DOCTRINE
The Universal Control of the Spirit Teachings
If the Spiritist Doctrine were of a purely human conception it would offer no more
guarantee than the enlightenment of those who actually conceived it. But no one on Earth could
seriously contemplate the pretention of possessing the exclusive and absolute truth. If the Spirits
who made these revelations had manifested to only one man we would have no guarantee of their
origin since we would need to believe, on his word alone, what he said he had received as teachings
from them. If we accepted perfect sincerity on his part, the most he could do would be to convince
his circle of acquaintances. He would be able to form a sect, but never be able to form a world
God wished the new revelations to reach mankind by the quickest and most authentic path,
so He entrusted the Spirits to deliver them from pole to pole, manifesting everywhere without
conferring the exclusive privilege of hearing these words to any one individual. One person might
be deceived, could even deceive themself, but this could not happen when millions of people see
and hear the same thing. This constitutes a guarantee for each one and for all. For the rest, it is
possible to make one man disappear, but it is not possible to make everyone disappear. It is possible
to burn books, but you cannot burn Spirits, and even if all the books were burnt, the base of the
doctrine would still be inexhaustible because it is not to be found on Earth and would reappear in
every place so that all might partake of it. If there is a shortage of men to diffuse it, there will
always be Spirits whose action reaches everyone and even those whom no person can reach.
So then, it is the Spirits themselves who do the propagating with the help of innumerable
mediums, disseminating all over the world. If there had been but one interpreter, however favoured
he might have been, Spiritism would barely be known. To whatever class be belonged, that
interpreter would have been the object of caution to many people and not every nation would have
accepted him, whereas the Spirits communicate to the four corners of the Earth, to all peoples, to
all sects, to all parties and everyone accepts teem. Spiritism has no nationality and does not stem
from any known cult that might exist; nor is it imposed by any social class seeing that any person
may receive instructions from parents, relatives and friends from the beyond. This is how it had to
be accomplished if it was to lead all mankind towards brotherhood. If it did not maintain itself in
neutral territory it would nurture dissensions instead of pacifying them.
The force of Spiritism, as well as the cause of its rapid spread, resides in this universal
teaching. Where the word of one solitary person, even with the help of the press, would take
centuries to become known by all, millions of voices are making themselves beard simultaneously
in every corner of this planet. All are proclaiming the same principles and transmitting them on all
levels, from the scholarly down to the most ignorant, in order that no one be disinherited. So far,
this is an advantage that no other doctrine has to offer. If Spiritism then be the truth, it is not afraid
of being unwanted by man, nor of modern revolutions, nor of the physical subversions of this
globe, because nothing can touch the Spirits.
This is not however the only advantage which comes from this exceptional situation. It also
offers an unattackable guarantee against all misgivings which might arise, be it from someone’s
ambition or be it through the contradictions of some Spirits. We cannot deny that these
contradictions are obstacles, but they bring their own remedy with them alongside the ill.
We know that Spirits, due to differences in their various individual capacities, do not
possess all the truth and do not claim to. It is not given to all to be able to penetrate certain
mysteries. The knowledge of each one is proportional to their evolution. Ordinary Spirits know
nothing more than does Man himself, but amongst them, as amongst men and women, are those
who are presumptuous and falsely wise, who think they know everything, boot who in fact are
ignorant; these are the systematical ones who take their own ideas to be the truth. In short, it is only
the highly evolved Spirits, those who are almost completely dematerialised, who find themselves
free from earthly ideas and prejudices. It is also known that less scrupulous Spirits do not hesitate
to deceive by taking names which do not belong to them in order to impose their utopian ideas. As
a result of all this and in relation to all that is outside the exclusive field of moral education, the
revelations that any one medium may receive will have an individual character, without any stamp
of authenticity and should be considered as personal opinions, from this or that Spirit, and it would
be imprudent to accept them or thoughtlessly propagate them as absolute truths.
The first corroborative test to be undertaken is without doubt that of reason, to which it is
wise to submit, without exception, all that comes from Spirit. Any theory in evident contradiction
to good sense, or against rigorous logic, or positive facts that have been previously acquired should
be rejected, however apparently respectable be the name by which it is signed. This test will no
doubt be left incomplete due to the lack of illumination of some people and the tendency of many
to take their own opinions as judgements of truth. That being the case, what are those who deposit
absolutely no faith in themselves to do? They should seek what seems to be the majority and take
this as a guide. This then, is the manner in which you should proceed when judging what is said by
the Spirits, who are the first to offer the means of so doing.
Complete concordance of Spirit teaching is the best proof of authenticity. However, it is
important that this be received only under determined conditions. The weakest type of concordance
is obtained when the medium, of his own accord, interrogates many different Spirits about a
doubtful point. It is evident that, if the medium is under an obsessing influence or dealing with a
mystifying Spirit, then that Spirit may say the same thing under different names. Neither is it any
adequate guarantee to conformity when communications are received by different mediums at the
same centre because they may be under the same influences.
Only one sure guarantee exists for spirit teachings: This is the concordance that exists between
revelations which have been received spontaneously by a large number of mediums not known to
each other and located in different places.
It is understood that we are not referring to those communications which deal with
secondary interests, but those referring to the basic principles of the doctrine. Experience has taught
us that when a new principle is to be presented, it always happens spontaneously in different places
at the same time and in the same way, if not in actual form at least in general content.
On the other hand, if by any chance a Spirit formulates eccentric doctrine based exclusively
on its own ideas and excluding the truth, you may be sure that this idea will remain confined and
undoubtedly will collapse when confronted with instructions received from many other places,
similar to many examples which are already known. It was this exclusiveness which destroyed all
the biased doctrine which sprang up at the time of the initiation of Spiritism, when each one
explained the phenomena according to their own beliefs, before the Laws that govern the
relationship between the visible and invisible worlds became known.
That is what we have based ourself on when formulating a principle for the doctrine. We do
not insist on it being true just because it might be in accordance with our own ideas. Neither do we
have the least desire to uphold ourself as being the sole possessor of the whole truth and we have
never said to anyone: "Believe in this because it is I who tell you". We consider that our own opinion is nothing more than personal, which might be true or false, as we are no more infallible
than anyone else. It is not because we were taught a principle that we believe it to be true; it is due to the fact that it has received the sanction of concordance.
The position in which we find ourself is that of receiving communications from almost a
thousand serious Spiritual Centres, scattered over highly diversified areas of this planet This gives
us the possibility of observing on which principles concordance is established. It is this
concordance which has guided us till today, and it is the one which will go on guiding us in new
fields still to be explored. We have noticed while studying these communications, coming from
France and outside, that from the very special nature of the information a new path is being sought
and that the moment has arrived to take a step forward. These revelations, many times given
through veiled words, have frequently passed unperceived by many who receive them. Others have
thought themselves to be the sole receivers. Taken in isolation, we would have given them no
importance and it is only the coincidence which proves their seriousness. Later, when these new
teachings reach the public, there will be many who will remember having received the same
orientation. This general movement which we are studying and observing, together with the
assistance of our Spiritual Guides, is what helps us to judge whether it is the correct moment to do
something or not.
This universal verification constitutes the guarantee of the future unity of Spiritism and will
annul all contradictory theories. It is here that in the future we shall find our criteria for the truth.
The cause of the success of the doctrine as put forth in THE SPIRITS' BOOK and THE
MEDIUMS' BOOK was due to the fact that everybody bad received confirmation, direct from
Spirit, of what these books contain. Whereas if all the Spirits bad come to contradict them they
would have received the same fate suffered by others who expounded imaginary concepts. Not
even the support of the press would have saved them from shipwreck. But on the contrary, deprived
as they were of this support, they nevertheless opened new paths and have made rapid
advancement. This is because the Spirits offered their support and goodwill which not only
compensated but surpassed the lack of goodwill in the part of Man. This is what will happen to all
ideas, whether emanated from Man or Spirit, which prevail even in the face of this confrontation
and this is the final test whose strength no one can deny.
Suppose it pleased some Spirits to dictate a book, under whatever title you choose, offering
contrary teachings; let us suppose their intention was hostile, with the object of discrediting the
doctrine and maliciously provoking apocryphal communications. What influence could these
writings exercise if they were refuted by all other Spirits? Anyone wishing to launch a doctrine in
their own name should first seek assurance in combined concordance from the Spirits. There is no
comparison between a system devised by only one person to that of another devised by everyone
What can the arguments of slanderers, wishing only to belittle, achieve against the opinion of the masses, if millions of friendly voices
from space make themselves heard in opposition in every comer of the Universe, as well as in
What happens to the innumerable publications which have the pretention of destroying
Spiritism? Which of them has as much as caused a hesitation in its march? Till now no one has
considered the matter from this point of view without forgetting the most important fact: each one
has been depending on themselves, without counting on the Spirits.
The principle of concordance is also a guarantee against any alterations to which Spiritism
might be subjected by other sects wishing to take possession of it for their own ends, and so change
it to suit their own ideas. Whosoever tries to deviate Spiritism from its providential objective will
never succeed, for the simple reason that the Spirits, as a universal body, will cause any ideas
contrary to the truth to fall.
From all this stands out the main truth, which is that he who wishes to oppose the
established and sanctioned ideas could, to be sure, cause a localised perturbation lasting but a short
while, but could never dominate the whole, not even for a moment and certainly not over a period
of time. We should also like to point out that instructions given by Spirits on points not yet
elucidated by the doctrine should not be considered as law, until these instructions have been duly
isolated and proven. Neither should they be accepted except with all due reserve and under the
heading of 'awaiting confirmation'. From this we understand the need for greater prudence before
making any such communication public. But if they are deemed fit to be publicised they should be
presented as mere individual opinions, possibly true, but awaiting confirmation. It will be necessary
to wait for this confirmation before proclaiming it as a complete truth, unless you wish to be
accused of levity or of irreflected cruelty.
The Superior Spirits proceed with extreme wisdom in their revelations. They never touch on
the most important questions, except gradually, until our intelligence shows itself to accept a more
advanced truth and when circumstances show themselves to be favourable to a new idea. This is
why they did not reveal everything from the outset, and still have not told everything. They never
give themselves to impatience, like those who want to eat the fruit before it is ripe. It is useless to
try to hurry things forward beyond the time designated by Providence for its revealing, and if you
do try, the serious Spirits will always deny their assistance. Those Spirits who are frivolous are not
the least preoccupied with the truth and consequently will give answers to anything and everything.
So it is in this manner that whenever a question is premature, contradictory answers will always be
The principles mentioned above have not been formed as the result of a personal theory;
they are consequences which have been forced upon us from the varying conditions within which
Spirit communication is manifest. It is quite evident that if one Spirit says one thing and thousands
of other Spirits say something different, we presume the truth does not lie with the solitary communicant. For
someone to imagine they possess the troth against all the rest would be quite illogical, be it man or
Spirit. The really ponderous Spirits, if they do not feel completely or sufficiently clarified about
any subject never give a definite answer, but declare that they are merely giving their own point of
view and suggest that we await the necessary confirmation.
However large, beautiful or just an idea appears, it is impossible to unite opinions right from
the first moment. The conflicts which arise in this case are the inevitable consequences which such
a movement would cause, and they are necessary so that the truth may be emphasized and the
sooner this happens the better, so that any false ideas may be discarded. Any Spiritists who feels
worried by this situation may be tranquil, as all these isolated claims will fall before the enormous
and discerning force of universal concordance.
It is not the opinion of any man which will produce unity, but the unanimous voices of the
Spirits; it will not be any man, least of all myself, who will destroy the Spiritist orthodoxy, neither
will it be a Spirit wishing to impose whatever it may be. This unity will be accomplished by the
universal gathering of Spirits who communicate throughout the world, by order of God. This is the
essential character of the Spiritist Doctrine; this is its force and its authority. God desired that His
Law be set upon an immovable base and so did not trust these fundamentals to only one fragile
Before such a powerful tribunal, where neither conspiracy, rivalries, sects or nations are
known, all opposition, ambition and those who seek individual supremacy will fall. We ourselves
will fall if we try to substitute our own ideas for those of God. He alone will decide all lawful
questions, impose silence on disagreement and give reason to those who have it. Before this
imposing accord, from the voices of Heaven, what value has an opinion of a mere man or that of
one Spirit? It makes no more impression than a drop of water in the ocean and even less than a
child’s voice in a tempest.
Universal opinion, like that of a supreme judge, is the one which is pronounced last, being
formed from all the individual opinions. If one of these contains the truth it merely shows its own
relative weight in the balance and if it is false it cannot prevail against the rest. In this immense
concourse all individuality disappears and this constitutes yet another disappointment for man's
This harmonious assemblage is already being formed and before the turn of this century we
shall see its full brightness shining forth in such a manner as to dissipate all doubt. The field is
prepared and from now on patent voices will receive the mission of making themselves heard in
order to congregate Man under one banner. But until this actually happens, all those who fluctuate
between two opposing points of view can observe in which way general opinion forms. This will be
the correct indication as to the declaration of the majority of the Spirits an the varying subjects
about which they offer orientation, and is an even more accurate sign as to which of the two
systems will prevail.
3. HISTORIC FACTS
In order to better understand the Gospel, it is necessary to know the true meaning of many
of the words used which bear relation to the customs and the Jewish society of the time. Some of
these words no longer have the same meaning and have frequently been misinterpreted, which in
tom has led to uncertainty. When the full meanings are explained, it shows the real sense behind
certain maxims which, at first sight, appear rather strange.
SAMARITANS - After the division of the ten tribes, Samaria became the capital of the
dissident kingdom of Israel. Destroyed and rebuilt various times, under Roman rule it became the
administrative head of Samaria, one of the four divisions of Palestine. Herod the Great beautified
Samaria with sumptuous monuments and to gratify Augusto, gave it the name of Augusta, in Greek
The Samaritans were almost constantly at war with the kings of Judah. Profound aversion,
dating from the time of the separation, perpetuated between the two tribes causing them to avoid
any kind of reciprocal relations. In order to widen the schism, and to avoid going to Jerusalem for
religious festivities, they built themselves a private temple and adopted some reforms. They only
admitted the Pentateuch, which contained the laws of Moses, rejecting all other books to which
these were annexed, and their sacred books were all written in ancient Hebrew characters.
According to orthodox Jews, they were heretics and consequently despised, excommunicated and
persecuted. The antagonism between the two nations was founded exclusively upon their religious
divergencies, despite the fact that the origin of their belief was the same. They were the Protestants
of their time.
Some Samaritans are still to be found in certain regions of the Lavent, especially near
Nablus and in Jaffa. They observe the laws of Moses more strictly than other Jews and only marry
NAZARITES - The name given in olden times to Jews who took the vow, either temporary
or perpetual, to remain in perfect purity. They promised to observe chastity, abstain from alcoholic
drinks and not to cut their hair. Samson, Samuel and John the Baptist were Nazarites.
Later on, the Jews gave this name to the first Christians, alluding to Jesus from Nazareth.
This was also the name given to a heretical sect from the first phase of the Christian epoch and
who, like the Ebonites, from whom they adopted certain principles, mixed the practice of the
Mosaic Law with those of Christian dogmas. This sect disappeared during the fourth century AD.
PUBLICANS - In ancient Rome this was the name given to those who rented out the
collection of public taxes and all kinds of incomes, either in Rome itself or in other parts of the
Empire. They were like the general collectors and auctioneers of taxes in the ancient system in
France, which still exists in some regions. The risks they ran made most people close their eyes when it came to their frequently amounted riches which for some, were the fruits of levies and
scandalous gains. Later on the name 'Publican' was extended to all those who superintended public
monies and their underling agents. Today, the term is employed in a disparaging way, to denote
financiers and agents with very few scruples. It is said: "As greedy as a Publican" or "as rich as a
Publican", referring to their ill-gotten gains.
During Roman role the question of taxes was what the Jews found most difficult to accept,
causing great irritation amongst themselves. Many revolts resulted from this problem, so turning it
into a religious question, as it was considered to be against the Law. Indeed, a powerful party was
formed at whose front was put a certain citizen named Judah the Gaulite, whose objective was to
abolish all taxes. The Jews consequently abominated these taxes and all those entrusted with
collecting them. Thence sprang up the aversion shown to Publicans of all categories, amongst
whom could be found many people of esteem, but who due to their functions, were despised
together with whomsoever kept company with them. Prominent Jews considered it a compromise to
have any personal relationship with these people.
TAX COLLECTORS - These were the lower class of collectors, entrusted principally with
the collection of tools an entering cities. Their function corresponded more or less with those of the
customs officials and the granting of passes. They shared the rejection suffered by Publicans in
general. This is the reason why, in the Bible, we frequently meet the ward Publican alongside the
expression - sinful people. This did not imply debauchery or vagrancy but was a term of scorn,
synonym for people who kept bad company persons unworthy to mix with decent people.
PHARISEES (From the Hebrew, meaning division or separation.) - Tradition is an
important part of Jewish theology. It consists of a compilation of the successive interpretations
given to the Scriptures which became articles for dogmas. Amongst scholars this was the subject
for interminable discussions, most of which were over simple questions as to the meaning of words
and their form, just like theological disputes and subtleties of scholastics in the Middle Ages. From
all this resulted different sects, each one wishing to have the monopoly of the Truth and
consequently detesting one another, as so often happens.
Among these sects the most influential were the Pharisees, whose chief, Hillel, a Jewish
doctor born in Babilonia some 180 or 200 years BC, was the founder of a famous school where it
was taught that faith should be put only in the scriptures. The Pharisees were persecuted at different
times, especially under Hyrcania (who was sovereign pontiff and king of the Jews), Aristoblus and
Alexander, who was a king of Syria. However, Alexander granted them honours and restored their
properties which made it possible for them to reacquire their old powerful status. This was
conserved until the ruin of Jerusalem in the year 70 AD, at which time the name disappeared in
consequence of the scattering of the Jews.
The Pharisees took an active part in religious controversy. They were faithful practitioners
of exterior cults and ceremonies, full of ardent zeal, proselytism, enemies of innovations,
maintaining great severity of principles. But behind the cover of punctilious devotion lay dissolute
habits, a great deal of pride and above all an excessive desire to dominate. Religion was actually a
means to an end, rather than an object of sincere faith. It possessed nothing of virtue beyond
outward appearances and ostentation. Nevertheless, they exercised a great influence over the
people, in whose eyes they were sacred. This is how they became powerful in Jerusalem. They
believed, or made out they believed, in Divine Providence, the immortality of the soul, eternal
punishment and the resurrection of the dead (See chapter 4, item 4). But Jesus, esteeming simplicity
and the qualities of the heart above all else, whose preference within the law was for the spirit
which vitalizes to the word which kills, applied Himself throughout His mission to the unmasking of
their hypocrisy, and because of this was considered by them to be their enemy. This then is the
reason why the Pharisees, together with the High Priests, incited the people to eliminate Him.
THE SCRIBES - This name was given in the main to the secretaries of the kings in Judea
and to certain people who understood matters relating to the Jewish army. Later it was applied to
those scholars who taught the Law of Moses and interpred it to the People. They joined in common
cause with the Pharisees, sharing their principles as well as their aversion to all innovations. This is
why Jesus included them when He launched criticism against the Pharisees.
SYNAGOGUE (From the Greek SUNAGOGUÊ meaning assembly, congregation.) There
was only one temple in Judah, that of Solomon in Jerusalem, where all the great ceremonies of
worship were held. Every year all the Jews would go there in pilgrimage for the principal festivals,
such as the Passover, the Dedication and the Feast of the Tabernacle. It was on the occasion of
these feasts that Jesus would also be present. The other cities did not have temples, only
synagogues, buildings where the Jewish people would collect for their Saturday meetings and
public prayers, under the leadership of their Eiders, the scribes, or scholars versed in the Law. It
was due to this fact that Jesus, although He was not a priest, was able to teach at the synagogues on
Ever since the ruin of Jerusalem and the dispersal of the Jews, the synagogues, in the cities
where hey went to live, became temples for the celebration of their cults.
SADDUCEES - Another Jewish sect founded about 24 BC whose name came from Sadoc,
us founder. They did not believe in immortality or resurrection, nor in good and bad angels.
However, they did believe in God. But as they expected nothing after death, they served Him
having in mind only temporary recompenses which, according to them, were limited by Divine
Providence. With these thoughts in mind, their main objective in life was the satisfaction of all physical senses. As to the scriptures, they followed the texts of the old laws. They
would not accept traditions or any form of interpretation. They put good works and the pure and
simple observance of this law before all outward practices of worship. They were, as you see, the
materialists, deists and sensualists of their time. The sect had few followers, but amongst them were
some important personages and it became a political party constantly in opposition to the Pharisees.
ESSENES - They were a Jewish sect founded about the year 150 BC in the time of the
Maccabeans, whose members, living in types of monastries, formed amongst themselves a kind of
moral and religious association. They distinguished themselves by their pacific ways and austere
virtues, taught the lave of God and neighbour, the immortality of the soul, and believed in
resurrection. They were celibate, condemned war and slavery, held all their worldly goods in
common, and devoted themselves to agriculture. Contrary to the Sadducees, who were very sensual
and denied immortality, and the Pharisees of rigid external practices and only apparent virtues, the
Essenes never took part in the disputes which caused antagonism between the other two sects. In
their way of life they were similar to the first Christians, and the moral principles they professed
caused many people to suppose that Jesus had belonged to their community before He began His
mission. It is certain that He knew them, but there is nothing to prove that He was related to them,
so all that has been written to this effect is simply hypothetical. *
THERAPEUTS (From the Greek THÉRAPEUTAY, formed from THÉRAPEUEYN to
serve, meaning: servants of God or Healers.) - These were Jewish sectarians and contemporaries of
Christ, being mostly established in Alexandria in Egypt. Like the Essenes, whose principles they
adopted, they also practiced all the virtues. They were extremely frugal in their eating habits, were
celibate, dedicated to meditation, lived solitary lives and constituted a truly religious order. Filon, a
platonic Jewish philosopher from Alexandria, was the first to speak of the Therapeuts, whom he
considered as a Jewish sect. Eusebius, Saint Jerome and other originators of the Church believed
them to be Christians. Whether they were, or whether they were Jewish, the fact remains that, like
the Essenes, they represent a link in the union between the Jewish and Christian faiths.
* THE DEATH OF JESUS, supposedly written by an Essene is an entirely apocryphal work, whose only objective
was to serve one opinion. It carries within it the proof of its modern origin.
4. SOCRATES AND PLATO, THE FORERUNNERS
OF THE CHRISTIAN IDEA AND SPIRITISM.
From the mere fact that Jesus knew the Essenes, it is erroneous to conclude that His doctrine
was derived from this sect, and that if He had lived in another environment He would have
professed other principles. Great ideas have never appeared suddenly. Those founded an truth have
always bad their predecessors, who partially prepared the path. Later, at the appointed time,
God sends a man who has the mission of resuming, ordinating, and completing those scattered
elements and uniting them into a doctrine. In this way, when the idea arrives it finds Spirits
disposed to accept it. This also happened to the Christian idea, which prognosticated many
centuries previously, before either Christ or the Essenes, having had Socrates and Plato as us
Socrates, like Christ, wrote nothing himself, or at least left nothing written. Like Christ, he
also suffered the death of a criminal, victim of fanaticism, because he had dared to attack existing
beliefs and for having put virtue above hypocrisy and the image of form, in other words, for having
combatted religious prejudice. In the same manner as Jesus, Whom the Pharisees accused of
corrupting the people by His teaching, Socrates was also accused by the Pharisees of his time,
seeing that they have always existed in all epochs, for proclaiming the dogma of the unity of God,
the immortality of the soul and the future life. Just as the doctrine of Jesus became known only
through the writings of His disciples, so the doctrine of Socrates became known through his
For these reasons we judge it appropriate to offer a brief summary of the most prominent
points of Socrates' teachings in order to show the concordance with the Christian principles. To
those who consider this parallel a profanity, claiming there can be no similarity between pagan
doctrine and that of Christ, we would say that the teachings of Socrates were not pagan, because he
objectively combatted paganism. As to the teachings of Jesus, which are more complete and pure,
they have nothing to lose by this comparison as it is impossible to diminish the greatness of Christ's
Divine mission, and that for the rest, we are dealing with historical fact which no one can
obliterate. Man has now reached a point when the light emerges from beneath the bushel of its own
accord, because he has reached sufficient maturity to be able to meet truth face to face, and it will
be the worse for those who do not wish to see this. The time has arrived to consider matters in a
more ample and evolved manner, not from the point of view of narrow and diffident interests of
sects and castes. Moreover, these citations will prove that if Socrates and Plato presented Christian
ideas, they also gave us the fundamental principles of Spiritism in their writings.
A SUMMARY OF THE TEACHINGS OF SOCRATES AND PLATO
1. Man is an incarnate soul. Before his incarnation he existed united to the primordial
models, to the ideas of truth, goodness and beauty; then separating from them, he incarnates,
and on remembering his past is more or less tormented by the desire to return.
The independence and distinction between the basic principle of intelligence and those of
matter could not be more clearly expressed. Apart from this, it is
also the doctrine of pre-existence, of man's vague intuition of another world to which be aspires; of
leaving the spirit world in order to incarnate and of his return to the spirit world after death.
Finally, it also expressed the doctrine of the fallen angels.
2. The soul becomes perturbed and confused when it uses the body in order to consider
any object; it becomes dizzy, as if intoxicated, because it holds on to things which, by their
very nature, are subject to change; whereas, when Man contemplates his very essence, he
directs himself to that which is pure, eternal and immortal and seeing that his soul is of this
nature, he remains joined to this state as long as he can. His perturbations then cease because
he is joined to that which is immutable, and this is the state of the soul called wisdom.
Thus, the man who considers things in a down-to-earth fashion is only deceiving himself.
To see things in their true perspective he must look upon them from high up, that is to say from the
spiritual point of view. Those who are in possession of true wisdom then, must isolate the soul from
the body in order to be able to see with the eyes of the Spirit. This is what Spiritism also teaches
(see chapter 2, item 5).
3. As long as our physical body and our souls are immersed in this corruption, we can
never possess the object of our desire, which is Truth. In fact, the body stirs op thousands of
obstacles due to the necessity we have of caring for it. Moreover, it fills us with desires,
appetites, doubts, a thousand fancies and foolish things, in such a way that we find it
impossible to be sensible, even for an instant. But, if it is not possible to know anything in its
entirety while the soul remains joined to the body, either we shall never know the truth, or we
shall only know it after death. Freed from the misleading ideas of the body, we hope it will be
permissible to talk with men and women who have also been liberated, and so understand for
ourselves the essence of things. This is the reason why true philosophers prepare themselves
for dying, as death represents nothing to them, and in no way is it to be feared.
Here we have the principles of the faculties of the souls being obscured by the corporeal
organs and the expansion of purified souls. This does not happen to impure souls (see HEAVEN &
HELL 1st part, chapter 2; & 2nd part, chapter 1).
4. The soul in its impure state finds itself oppressed, and is once again attracted to the
visible world by the fear of that which is invisible and immaterial. It is a mistake then, to say
that the gloomy ghosts seen round tombs and monuments most be the soul of those who have
left their bodies without being absolutely pure, and so still conserve part of their material
form, which makes them visible to the human eye. In fact they are not good but bad souls,
dragging with them the penalties of their first life, who find themselves forced to wander in
such places, where they will continue to wander till their appetites, inherent to the material
form with which they are clad, recalls them to another body. Then, beyond doubt, they will
return to the some habits which were the object of their preferences during their first life.
Not only the principle of reincarnation is clearly shown here, but also the stale of those
souls who maintain themselves under the yoke of matter, as described to us in spiritual
communications. Furthermore, it is said that reincarnation in a material body is the consequence of
the impresses of the soul, whereas the purified soul finds itself exempt from further reincarnation.
This is exactly what Spiritism teaches, only adding that the soul which, having made good
resolutions while in the spiritual world and possessing some acquired knowledge, brings less
defects, more virtues and intuitive ideas on being reborn than it had in the preceding incarnation. In
this way each existence shows both intellectual and moray progress (see HEAVEN & HELL, 2nd
5. After our death the genie (Daimon, devil), who had been assigned to us during our
life, will take us to a place where all who most go to Hades, in order to be judged, are
gathered. The souls, after having been in Hades the necessary length of time are then
returned to this life, for long periods and multiple times.
This is the doctrine of the Guardian Angels or Protecting Spirits, and of successive
reincarnations after intervals of varying lengths in the spirit world.
6. Devils occupy the space which separates Heaven from Earth; this constitutes the
link which unites the Universe with itself. The Divinity never enters into direct contact with
Man, which is done through the mediation of the devils with whom the gods have dealings,
and who occupy themselves with him both during waking and sleeping.
In ancient times the word daimon, from which the term evil was derived, was not used in the
bad sense as it is today. Nor was it used exclusively for evil beings, but for Spirits in general within
which were included Superior Beings called gods, as well as the less elevated, the actual devils,
who communicated directly with Man. Spiritism also says that Spirits inhabit space, that God only
communicates with Man through the intermediary of pure Spirits who are entrusted to transmit His
wishes. Spirits also communicate with Man during sleep as well as while he is awake. If we put the
word Spirit in place of the word devil we have the Spiritist doctrine, and by putting the word Angel
we have the Christian doctrine.
7. The constant preoccupation of the philosophers (as understood by Socrates and
Plato) is to take great care of the soul, less with respect to the present life, which lasts but an
instant, but more with respect to eternity. As the soul is immortal, would it not be more
prudent to live our lives bearing this fact in mind?
Both Spiritism and the Christian faith teach the same thing.
8. If the soul is immaterial, then after this life it will have to go to a world which is
equally invisible and immaterial, the some way as the body decomposes and returns to
matter. It is very important, however, to clearly distinguish the pure soul which is truly
immaterial and which nourishes itself, as God does, from thoughts and the sciences, from that
of the soul which is more or less stained by impurities of a material nature, which impedes
elevation to all that is divine and which, in fact, causes it to be retained in its earthly
As we can see, both Socrates and Plato understood perfectly the different levels of the
dematerialized soul. They insisted on the varieties of situations resulting from its more or less
purified states. What they said though intuition, Spiritism proves by the numerous examples which
it places before us (see HEAVEN & HELL, 2nd part).
9. If death meant the complete dissolution of man the bad Spirits would have much to
gain from death as they would find themselves at one and the same time free from body, soul
and vices. Only those who adorn their soul not with strange ornaments, but with those which
are appropriate, may await the hour of their return to the other world with tranquillity.
This is equal to saying that materialism, when it proclaims there is nothing alter death,
annuls all previous moral responsibility, this being consequently an inductive to badness and that
badness has everything to gain from nothingness. Only the man who has divested himself of all
vice and enriched himself with virtue can await the arousing in the other life with tranquillity. By
means of examples, which are offered to us daily, Spiritism shows how painful it is for those who
are bad to pass over into this other life (see HEAVEN & HELL, 2nd part, chapter 1).
10. The body retains the well-impressed vestiges of the care it received, as well as the
marks of all accidents suffered. The same applies to the soul. When it disposes of the body it
maintains in evidence the features of its character, its affections, as well as the marks that
hove been left on it by all the various occurrences during its life. Thus, the worst thing that
can happen to a man or woman is to return to the other world with his or her soul laden with
crimes. You see Calicles, that neither you nor Polux, nor Gorgias, can prove that we should
lead a different life that coo be useful when we find ourselves on the other side. From so
many different opinions the only one which is Unshakable is that it is better to receive than to
commit an injustice, and that, above all else we must be careful not just to seem like, but to
actually be men and women of goodness. (Taken from a dialogue between Socrates and is
followers when be was in prison.)
Here we are faced with yet another point of capital importance which experience has proved
to us: that the soul which is not yet purified retains the ideas, tendencies, character and passions
which it bad while on Earth. Is not the maxim - It is better to receive than to commit an injustice -
entirely Christian? Jesus expressed the same thought when He said: "If someone strikes you on the
cheek, then offer him the other one too" (see chapter 12, items 7 & 8).
11. One of two things - either death is the absolute destruction or it is the passing of
the soul into another place. If everything is extinguished, then death would be like one of
those infrequent nights when we do not dream nor have any consciousness of ourselves.
However, if death is but a change of habitation, the passageway to the place where the dead
must meet, what happiness to find there all those we have known! My greatest pleasure
would be to closely examine the inhabitants of this other home and to distinguish there, as we
do here, which of those who deem themselves worthy are actually so
considered. But it is time to part, me to my death and you to life (Socrates to his judges).
According to Socrates, those who live upon the Earth meet again after death and recognise
each other. Spiritism shows that relationships continue to the extent that death is not an interruption
nor the cessation of life, but rather an inevitable transformation without any discontinuity.
If Socrates and Plato had known what Christ was to teach five hundred years later, and
which Spiritism now spreads, they would have said exactly the same things. There is nothing
surprising in this fact, however, if we consider that all great truths are eternal and all advanced
Spirits had to know them before they came to Earth in order to be able to deliver them. We may
consider even further that Socrates and Plato, together with all the other great philosophers of those
great times, could have later been among those chosen to uphold Christ in His Divine Mission,
being chosen precisely because they were more apt to understand His sublime teachings. It also
appears highly probable that today they participate in the Host of Spirits charged with teaching
mankind these same truths.
12. Never return one injustice with another, nor harm anyone, whatever harm they
may hove caused to others. Few, however, will admit this principle and those who disagree
will, beyond doubt, do nothing but despise one another.
Is this not the principle of charity, which prescribes that we do not return evil for evil and
that we forgive our enemies?
13. We know the tree according to its fruit. Every action should be qualified by what it
produces: qualified as evil when it causes evil and as goodness when it produces goodness.
The maxim: "It is by the fruits that we know the tree," is repeated many times throughout
14. Riches ore a great danger. Every man who loves riches does not love himself, nor
those who belong to him (see chapter 16).
15. The most beautiful prayers and the most beautiful sacrifices mean less to God than
a virtuous soul who has struggled to be like Him. It has been a grave error to think that the
gods dispense more attention to their offerings than to our souls. If that were the case then
the greatest culprits would become favoured. But no, the truly just and upright are those
who, by their words and deeds, fulfill their duties to the gods and humanity (see chapter 10,
items 7 & 8).
16. We call he who loves his body more than his soul, depraved. Love is everywhere in
nature and it calls us to use our intelligence; we even find it in the movements of the planets.
It is love which covers nature with its richest carpet; it is o decoration and makes its home
where there are flowers and perfumes. It is also love which gives peace to mankind, calms the
seas, silences the storm and gives sleep to sufferers.
Love, which will unite Man through a fraternal link, is a consequence of Plato's theory on
universal love as a Law of Nature. Socrates said: "Love is neither a god nor a mortal, but a great
devil," that is, a great Spirit which presides over universal love. This proposition was held against
him like a crime.
l7. Virtue cannot be taught but comes as a gift from God to those who possess it.
This is almost be Christian doctrine of grace; but if virtue is a gift from God, then it is a
favour and we may ask why it is not conceded to all. On the other hand, if it is a gift then there is
no merit on the part of those who possess it. Spiritism is more explicit in saying that those who
possess a virtue have acquired it through their own efforts during successive lives, by ridding
themselves, little by little, of their imperfections. Grace is a force which God gives to a well
meaning man or woman so that he or she may expunge their badness and so be able to practise
18. The natural disposition shown by all, is to perceive our defects far less than we see
those of others.
The Gospel says: "You see the mote that is in the eye of your neighbour, but you do not see
the beam that is in your own eye" (see chapter 10, items 9 & 10).
19. If doctors are unsuccessful in treating the majority of ailments it is because they
treat the body without treating the soul If the whole is not good condition then it is impossible
that part of it should be well.
Spiritism offers the key to the relationship which exists between the soul and the body, so
proving that one of them is constantly reacting on the other. This idea opens up a new field for
science. With the possibility of showing the real cause of certain ailments, the way of curing them
becomes easier. When science takes into account the spiritual element in the organism, then failures
will be much less frequent.
20. All men, right from infancy, commit far more badness than goodness.
In this sentence, Socrates touches on the grave question of the predominance of badness on
Earth, a question which is insoluble without knowledge of the plurality of worlds and the destiny of
our planet Earth, inhabited as it is by only a fraction of humanity. Only Spiritism can resolve this
question which is more fully explained further an in chapters 3, 4 & 5.
21. It is more judicious not to suppose you know that of which you are in ignorance.
This is directed at those who offer criticism about matters unknown to them, even in basic
terms. Plato completes this thought of Socrates by saying: "In first place, if it is possible, we must
make them more honest in their words; if they are not, we shall not bother with them, and we shall
seek nothing but the truth. We shall do our best to instruct them, but shall not insult them."
This is how Spiritism should proceed in relation to those who contradict, whether in good or
bad faith. If Plato were to come alive today he would find things almost as they were in his time
and he would be able to use the same words. Socrates would also meet creatures who would jeer at
his belief in Spirits and would believe him to be mad, together with his disciple Plato. It was for
having professed these principles that Socrates saw himself ridiculed, accused of impiety and
condemned to drink hemlock. So, assuredly, by reason of its controversy stirring up many
prejudices and striking against many prejudices, these great new truths will not be accepted without
a fight, nor without making martyrs.