Allan Kardec

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This new work is one step more in the advancement in the effects and applications of Spiritism. As its title indicates, its object is the study of three points diversely commented upon and interpreted even to this day, - “Genesis, Miracles, and Predictions” in their relations with the recently known laws which are revealed through the observation of spiritual phenomena.

Two elements, or we may say two forces, govern the universe, - the spiritual element and the material one. By the simultaneous action of these two principles are developed some special phenomena, which are naturally rendered inexplicable if one should take away one of its two constituent elements, oxygen and hydrogen.

Spiritism, in demonstrating the existence of the spiritual world and its relations with the material world, furnishes the key to a multitude of unknown phenomena, which are considered as inadmissible by a certain class of thinkers. The record of such facts abounds in the Scriptures; and it is in default of knowledge concerning the laws that govern them that commentators of the two opposing parties moving always in the same circle of ideas, - some abstracting positive gifts from science, others from the spiritual principle, - have not been able to arrive at any rational solution.

The solution is found only in the reciprocal action between spirit and matter. It takes away, it is true, the great part of the supernatural character of these facts. But which is the more valuable method: to admit them have sprung from the laws of nature, or to reject them entirely? Their absolute rejection removes the base from the edifice; while their admission as facts, suppressing only accessories, leaves the base intact. This is why Spiritism leads so many people to a belief in truth, which they formerly considered utopian ideas.

This work is then, as we have said before, a complement of the applications of Spiritism to this special point of a view. The materials were ready, or at least elaborated a long time since; but the moment for their publication had not arrived. It was necessary at first that the ideas which were to form the base should arrive at maturity; and moreover, it was necessary to take advantage of circumstances. Spiritism has neither mysteries nor secret theories. It can bear the full light of day so that everyone can judge of it by a knowledge of its laws; but everything has to come in its own time in order to win its way. A solution given lightly, prior to the complete elucidation of the question, would be a retarding force, rather than a means of advancement. In the matter in question the importance of the subject makes it a duty to avoid all precipitation.

Before entering into the subject, it has appeared necessary to us to define distinctly the respective roles of spirits and men according to the new doctrine. These preliminary considerations, which discard all ideas of mysticism, form the subject of the first chapter, entitled “Character of the Spiritist Revelation.” We call serious attention to this point, because it is in a measure the knot of the question.

Notwithstanding the work incumbent upon human activity in the elaboration of this doctrine, the initiative belongs to the spirits; but conclusions are not drawn from the personal opinion of none of them. The truth can only be the resultant of their collective and concordant teachings. Without this united testimony, a doctrine could not lawfully be called the doctrine of the spirits; it would be merely that of one spirit, and would possess only the value of a personal opinion.

General concordance in teaching is the doctrine’s essential character, the condition even of its existence. It is evident that all principles which have not received the consecration of general agreement can only be considered as a fractional part of this same doctrine, merely as a simple, isolated opinion for which Spiritism cannot assume the responsibility.
It is the concordant, collective teaching of the spirits who have passed beyond which constitutes the logical criterion, giving strength to the spiritual doctrine and assuring to it perpetuity. In order to change it, it would be necessary that the universal experience and teachings of spirits should change, and that one day they would contradict what they have previously declared. Considering that it has its source in the teachings of the spirits, in order for it to fail would be necessary the cessation of the existence of the spirits. This established, it must prevail over every personal system which has not, like it, roots extending in all directions.

The Spirits’ Book has seen its credit consolidate, because it is the expression of a collective thought. In the month of April, 1867, it accomplished its first decennial period. In this interval, the fundamental principles which form its base have been successively completed and developed by following progressive teachings of the spirits; but not one of its declarations has received contradiction through the trial. All without exception have remained firm, stronger than ever; while, among all the contradictory ideas with which persons have tried to oppose them, not one has prevailed, because on all sides the spiritual teaching was confirmatory. This characteristic result we can proclaim without vanity, as its merit is not attributable to us.

Similar circumstances have presided at the editing of our other works. Thus we have been able in all truth to tell the public that they are in accordance with Spiritism itself, owing to their conformity with the general teachings of the spirits. In this volume we can present under similar conditions the complement of the precedents, with the exception, however, of some theories yet hypothetical, which we have taken care to indicate as such, and which ought not to be considered as other than individual opinions until they have been confirmed. If they be contradicted, the responsibility of them does not rest upon the general doctrine.

Yet the constant readers of the “Revue Spirite1” will have observed that most of the ideas only outlined in preceding articles are enlarged upon and developed in this last work. The “Revue” is often for us a trial-ground, destined to sound the opinions of men and spirits upon certain principles, before admitting them as constituent parts of the doctrine.

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