Allan Kardec

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The light under a bushel. Why Jesus spoke in parables. -Do not keep company with the Gentiles.
The healthy do not need a doctor. The courage of faith. - Carry your cross. He who will save his life, shall lose it.


1. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house (Matthew, 5: 15).

2. No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick that they which enter in may see the light For nothing is secret that shall not be made manifest; neither anything hid, that shall not be known and come abroad (Luke, 8: 16 & 17).

3. And the disciples came and said unto Him, Why speaketh thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand,' and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: for this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them (Matthew, 13: 10-15).

4. It appears strange to hear Jesus say that the light should not be covered up when He constantly hid the meaning of His words under the veil of allegories, which are not understood by everyone. However, He explains this when He says to His disciples: "I speak to them in parables because they are not ready to understand certain things. They see, they listen, but do not understand. So it would have been useless to have told them everything at this time. Nevertheless, I have told you, because it has been given to you to understand these mysteries." So He treated the people as you would children whose ideas had not yet developed. In this manner we come to comprehend the real meaning of the words: "Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light unto all that are in the house." This sentence does not mean that we should reveal all things, without due consideration as to the convenience of this revelation. All teaching should be proportional according to the intelligence of those to be taught, because there are certain people for whom a too brilliant light would only blind, without enlightening them in any way.

The same thing happens to mankind in general, as can happen to an individual. The generations have their infancy, their youth and their maturity. Each thing must come at the right moment; the seed when sown out of season will not germinate. But what prudence holds back momentarily, soon or later will be discovered because when the correct degree of development has been reached Man seeks for himself the living light as he feels obscurity weighing upon him. God having given him intelligence to understand and be guided amongst the things of the Earth and of Heaven, Man then seeks to rationalize his faith. It is at this point that he must not put the candle under the bushel, seeing that without the light of reason faith becomes weak (See chapter 19, item 7).

5. If providence then in its wise precaution only reveals the truth gradually, it is obvious that these truths are disclosed in proportion as humanity shows itself sufficiently mature to receive them. Providence holds them in reserve and not under a bushel. However as Man enters into possession of them he almost always hides them from the masses, with the intention of dominating the people. These are the ones who truly place the light under a bushel. This is why every religion has its mysteries whose examination is prohibited. But as these religions begin to become outdated, so science and intelligence have advanced and broken through the veil of mystery. Having become adult, the masses could then penetrate to the bottom of these matters and so remove from their faith that which was contrary to their observations.

Absolute mysteries cannot exist and Jesus was right when He said that there was no secret that would not come to be known. Everything which is hidden will be discovered one day, and what man still does not comprehend will be revealed in succession, in more advanced worlds, when he reaches purification. Here on Earth Man still finds himself as in a thick fog.

6. We ask ourselves what advantage can be gained from the multitude of parables whose meaning remains impenetrable? It must be noted that Jesus only expressed Himself in parables in areas which were rather abstract in the doctrine. But having declared charity to one's neighbour and humility as the basic conditions for salvation, everything He said in this respect is completely clear, explicit and without any ambiguities. This is as it should be, this being a rule of conduct, a rule that everyone had to comprehend in order to be able to observe it. This was the essential point for the ignorant masses to whom He said only: "This is what you need to do in order to reach Heaven." On other matters He only disclosed His thoughts to His disciples. This was because they were more advanced, both morally and intellectually, so that Jesus could initiate them in the knowledge of more abstract truths. This is also why He said: to those who already have, even more shall be given (See chapter 18, item 15).

Nevertheless, even with the apostles He was not precise on many points, the complete understanding in these areas being reserved for later times. It was these parts which caused so many diverse interpretations until science on the one hand and Spiritism on the other hand revealed the new laws of Nature, so making the real meaning perceptible.

7. Today Spiritism projects its light over an immense number of obscure points. But it does not do this without due consideration. When the Spirits give their teachings they conduct themselves with admirable prudence. They consider gradually, one by one, the various known parts of the Doctrine, leaving the other parts to be revealed only when it will be opportune to bring them forth from obscurity. If they had presented the complete Doctrine right from the first moment fewer people would have shown themselves disposed to accept it, and those who were not prepared would have become frightened by it, so that the dissemination would have suffered as a consequence. So then if the Spirits have still not told everything outright, it is not because there are mysteries within the doctrine which only the privileged few may penetrate, nor is it because they have hidden the candle under the bushel, but because each piece of knowledge must come at the most opportune moment. They give time for each idea to mature and spread before presenting another, and for events to prepare the way for the acceptance of new ideas.


8. These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them) saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of lsrael. And as ye go, preach, saying, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand (Matthew, 10: 5-7).

9. On many occasions Jesus shows us that His vision was not confined to the Jewish people alone, but rather embraced all humanity. Moreover, if He told His apostles not to go to the pagans, it was not that He disdained conversing with them, which would not have been at all charitable; rather it was that the Jews, who already believed in one God and were waiting for a Messiah, were already prepared through the Laws of Moses and the Prophets to accept His Word. With the pagans, where even the base was lacking, there would have been everything to do and the apostles were not yet sufficiently enlightened for so difficult a task. This is why He said to them: "Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel," that is to say, go and sow in lands that are already cleared. Jesus knew that the conversion of the Gentiles would happen at a later date. Indeed, later on the apostles did go to plant a cross in the very heart of paganism.

10. These words can also be applied to the adepts and disseminators of Spiritism. The systematically incredulous, the obstinate mockers and the profit-seeking adversaries are today what the Gentiles were to the apostles. So to follow their example, go first to make converts amongst those of goodwill, those who desire enlightenment, where a fertile seed may be found and where there are many, without wasting time with those who do not want to see or hear, where they resist all the more out of pride the greater the importance that is put upon their conversion. It is better to open the eyes of a hundred blind people who wish to see clearly, than of only one person who takes pleasure in darkness, because by proceeding in this manner it is possible to increase in greater numbers those who will uphold the cause. Leaving some people undisturbed is not a case of showing indifference, but simply good sense. The time will come when they will have been persuaded by public opinion and by hearing the same information being constantly repeated all around them. Then they will think they have accepted the ideas voluntarily, by their own impulse and not under pressure from others. In addition, there are ideas which are like seeds that cannot germinate out of season, nor in land that has not been previously prepared. So it is better to wait for the right time and cultivate those that are the first to germinate, in order that the later germinating ones do not abort by virtue of too intensive a cultivation.

At the time of Jesus and as a consequence of the narrow-minded and materialistic ideas in vogue, everything was localized and circumscribed. The house of Israel was but a small nation, the Gentiles being other small nations around them. Today the ideas have been universalized and spiritualized. The new light is the privilege of no one nation; no barriers exist for it; the focus point is in all places and all men are brothers. The Gentiles are no longer a nation; they are only an opinion which is accepted in all places and over which truth will triumph little by little, just as Christianity triumphed over Paganism. These opinions are no longer combated with weapons of war, but with the force of ideas.


11. As Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came down and sat with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it they said unto His disciples, Why eateth your master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, He said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick (Matthew, 9: 10-12).

12. Jesus addressed Himself most especially to those who were poor and deprived as they had the greatest need for consolation, together with the blind, the humble and those of good faith, because they asked Him to enlighten them. He did not address Himself to those who were proud or those who believed they had all the knowledge they needed and wished for no more (See the INTRODUCTION: items entitled PUBLICANS and THE TAX COLLECTORS).

These words, and many others, find their most fitting application within Spiritism. There are those who are sometimes surprised that mediumship is given to persons of little worth and capable of its misuse. They say that it seems that such a precious faculty should be given exclusively to those who are most deserving of it.

Before anything else, we must say that mediumship stems from a certain organic disposition and therefore anyone may be gifted with this ability, in the same way that we are gifted to see, hear and speak. Moreover, there is nothing that Man cannot abuse by means of his free-will. If God had only conceded speech, for example, to those capable of speaking ill, then there would be more dumb people than those able to speak. God has given Man various faculties together with the liberty of their use. But those who abuse them are also punished by Him.

If the possibility of communicating with the Spirits were to be given only to the most worthy, who would dare to make such a claim? Furthermore, where is the boundary between worthiness and unworthiness? Mediumship is conferred without distinction so that the Spirits can bring enlightenment to all walks of life, to all classes of people, to rich and poor alike, to those who are honest so they may be fortified in their goodness, and also to the corrupt so they may he corrected. Are these not the sick who need a doctor? Why then would God, Who does not wish for the death of sinners, deprive them of the help that can pull them out of the mire? The good Spirits come to their help and the personal advice which is received is of a nature which will impress them in a manner more striking than if it had been received indirectly. God, in His goodness, wishing to spare them the work of having to go out and get help from afar, puts the light straight into their hands. Are they not even more guilty for failing to notice this fact? Can they excuse themselves by claiming ignorance, when their own condemnation has been written, seen, heard and spoken by themselves? If they do not take advantage of this, then they will be punished by means of the loss or perversion of the faculty which was bestowed. In this case, evil Spirits will take hold, obsessing and deceiving them. But this will not lessen the receiving of real afflictions with which God punishes His unworthy servants and those whose hearts are hardened by pride and selfishness.

Mediumship does not necessarily imply habitual relations with Superior Spirits. It is merely an aptitude to serve as an instrument, which may be more or less useful to Spirits in general. So then a good medium is not one who communicates with ease, but one who is agreeable to the good Spirits and who is helped only by them. It is solely in this sense that the excellence of moral qualities becomes the all-powerful influence in mediumship.


13. Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess alsobefore My Father which is in Heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in Heaven (Matthew, 10: 32& 33).
14. For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and my words, of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when He shall come in His own glory, and in His Father's, and of the holy angels (Luke, 9.. 26).

15. To have the courage of one's beliefs has always been held in great esteem by mankind. This is because there is merit in facing dangers, persecutions, contradictions and even simple sarcasms, to which all those who openly proclaim their ideas are almost always exposed, especially when those ideas are not to the general liking. Here as in everything, the merit is in proportion to the circumstances and the importance of the result. There is always weakness in drawing back from the consequences entailed by opinions, and in denying them. But there are some cases in which this constitutes an act of cowardice as great as the one committed by fleeing from the moment of battle.

Jesus denounced this kind of cowardice from the particular point of view of His doctrine, by saying that if anyone was ashamed of His words then He too would be ashamed of them; that He would disown the person who repudiated Him and would only acknowledge before the Father, Who is in Heaven, those who publicly acknowledge Him. In other words those who are afraid to confess themselves as disciples of truth are not worthy to be admitted into the kingdom of truth. In this way they will lose the advantages of faith, because it is a selfish faith which they keep for themselves, hiding it for fear of the prejudice they may come to suffer in the world. Meanwhile those who put truth above all material interests and openly proclaim it, are working both for their own future and for that of others.

16. This is how it will be for the followers of Spiritism, because the Doctrine they profess is nothing more than the development and application of the Gospel teachings. Christ's words were also directed to them. They plant on Earth what will be harvested in the Spiritual world; and it is there that they will gather all the fruits of their courage and weaknesses.


17. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the Prophets (Luke, 6: 22 & 23).

18. And when He had called the people unto Him with His disciples also, He said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the Gospel's, the same shall save it For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? (Mark, 8: 34-36. Also Luke, 9: 23-25; Matthew, 10: 39; John 12: 24 & 25).

19. Jesus said: "Rejoice when men hate and persecute you for My sake, seeing that you will be recompensed in Heaven." These words should be understood in the following manner: Consider yourself blessed when there are fellow creatures who, by their ill-will towards you, give you the opportunity to prove the sincerity of your faith, seeing that the evil they do to you will only result in your benefit. Lament their blindness; however, do not curse them.

Then He added: "Take up your cross, all those who wish to follow Me," by which He meant that you must courageously support the trials and tribulations which your faith may bring about, since the one who wishes to save their life and their property by renouncing Christ will lose all the advantages of Heaven; while those who lose everything here in this world, even to their life, for the sake of truth, will receive a prize for courage, perseverance and abnegation in the future life. But to those who have sacrificed the heavenly benefits for earthly pleasures God will say: "You have already received your recompense."

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