| What is Spiritism? |
In spite of what many people believe, Spiritism is not about a gathering of people with the purpose of calling the spirits. It has nothing to do with the tarot or with people who “call” themselves mediums or spiritists without having even a basic knowledge of what Spiritism really is about. Spiritism has nothing in common with those making profit or those who seek material gain with their mediumistic faculty. A true Spiritist never charges for his mediumistic faculty. [ Volver al inicio ]
Spiritism is a science which deals with the nature, origin and destiny of Spirits, as well as their relationship with the corporeal world. Spiritism proves this affirmative using material fact. The philosophy of Spiritism asks questions such as: “Where do we come from?”, “Who are we?”, “Where are we going to after death?” It is therefore a revelation that comes from no man, no prophet, and no religious group. It is a revelation given by the spirits themselves.
| Why is Spiritism a doctrine?|
According to the Oxford English Dictionary the word doctrine means “a set of beliefs or principles held and taught by a Church, political party, or other group”. Spiritist Doctrine is the spirits’ teachings. It is the contents of the spirits’ revelation coordinated by Allan Kardec, a prominent French pedagogue. When faced with the mediumistic phenomena, he foresaw in it something very profound, far greater than the mere proof of the spirits’ existence. From that moment on, he decided to gather the spirits’ communication received from innumerable mediums, coming from distinct locations, covering many issues. The Spiritist doctrine arises from the concordance of the spirits’ answers given by the spirits to Allan Kardec’s questions. It is comprised by five core books which are the compendium of those answers. [ Volver al inicio ]
| Is Spiritism a sect? |
If we restrict the term sect to its definition, Spiritism is not a sect whatsoever as it does not represent a specific religion in itself. There is nothing more distant from a sect than Spiritism if we go further in its connotation. Spiritism does not proselytise. The main interest of those who has good knowledge of Spiritism is to use this knowledge to spiritually and morally better themselves. The Spiritists Associations are mainly formed with the purpose of studying and spreading the word of Spiritism and have no lucrative means while running this work. They have the doors open to all those who freely want to study the Spiritist philosophy.[ Volver al inicio ]
| Is Spiritism a religion? |
Spiritism is a philosophical doctrine with moral consequences, as every other spiritualist philosophy; therefore, it necessarily touches the fundamental bases of all other religions: God, the spiritual being and the future life. It is not a religion, as it holds no cult, rituals or temple and amongst its followers there is no representative or title whatsoever. Spiritism does not possess dogma or cults, rituals or ceremony or hierarchy. Spiritism does not ask for or accept a blind faith. Spiritism is therefore based in principles not linked to any dogma. Spiritism is not a religion, as the general concept of religion is attached to the idea of a cult, which brings about an aspect which Spiritism does not have. The ambiguity arises because a single word is sometimes used to express two different ideas. As Spiritism does not have any of the aspects of a religion in its usual concept, it could not and must not be presented with a title that would have undermined its work. This is why Spiritism is a philosophical and moral doctrine. The moral consequences of Spiritism are implicit in Christian teachings, as they express in the teachings of the Spirits, in its higher expression, values of charity and love our neighbour as we love ourselves. (Taken from the book “What is Spiritism”, by Allan Kardec)[ Volver al inicio ]
| Is Spiritism a science? |
Spiritism uses the same experimental method of elaboration adopted by positive science. When a new set of events is presented, which can not be explained by conventional science, through Spiritism it can be observed, compared and analysed; to every effect there is a cause and to each cause there is a law that governs it. Spiritism is therefore elaborated in a scientific way. The facts studied in Spiritism can be found anywhere as they are part of the natural world. Scientists such as Sir William Crookes and Alfred Russell Wallace, just to mention a few names, had investigated the phenomena. Sir William did also prove the truthfulness of the mediumistic phenomena.[ Volver al inicio ]
| Is Spiritism a philosophy? |
Indubitably Spiritism is a philosophy. Spiritism has three main aspects, the scientific, the moral and the philosophical aspect and it is in the latter that Spiritism finds its major strength. In fact this aspect is even more important than the phenomena itself. Spiritist philosophy rationally explains numerous questions which are hardly explicable by any other means without shocking the common sense. [ Volver al inicio ]
| What is the Spiritist Codification? |
The Spiritist codification is the result of a compilation of the spirits’ messages coordinated by Allan Kardec. This work resulted in five core books. [ Volver al inicio ]
| Does the Spiritist movement have a director, a priest or a leader? |
Spiritism has no chiefs, leaders or clergy, and no hierarchy whatsoever. The Spiritist institutions democratically elect their own directive members amongst their memberships who follow the constitution and the internal regulations of each group. These associations promote the study, practice and dissemination of Spiritism. The members’ work is entirely voluntary. [ Volver al inicio ]
| Why Spiritism is called the third revelation as well as the promised consoler? |
Moses is thought to be the first revelation, according to his time. Jesus as the second revelation gave emphasis to the eternal and the divine, letting out what is transitory. Jesus brought us a new way of understanding God - being just and good. He also brought us the teachings of morality for the wellbeing of humanity such as “Love one another as we love ourselves”, as well as living his life according to his teachings. [ Volver al inicio ]
According to Spiritism, Jesus’ life, as it appears in The New Testament, was full of examples of the mediumistic phenomena. Those events are no longer seen as miracles by Spiritists, but as facts explicable by various laws of nature, still unknown to man.
Jesus said: “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Consoler to be with you forever – the Spirit of Truth - He will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you”.
Jesus did not say everything because he considered it unnecessary to reveal to man things for which he was not yet prepared. But the question is: “Where would the Spirit of Truth come from?” Would He come from within the church? From which church would He be coming from? Would He come from a man or a prophet? This revelation would come without distinction for everyone. It would not be the voice of a man, but the voice of many spirits that would come to remind and teach us what Jesus left unsaid. From this revelation, man would obtain the material proof of his immortality.
Moses personified the first revelation, Christ personified the second revelation, and no individual would personify the third revelation. The third revelation was simultaneously spread over Earth to millions of people, from all ages and walks of life, from the lowest to the highest levels in society, according to the prophecy of the Acts of the Apostles’: “'And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophecy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams”
| What is the origin of Spiritism?|
Spiritism was conceived on 18 April 1857 with the publication of the Spirits’ Book which constitutes the basis of the Spirits’ revelation. However, mediumship has always existed in history, notably in the years right before 1857 when a great number of spiritists phenomena were happening everywhere in the world. One of the first events which caught the public’s attention occurred in Hydesville, a very small residential village in New York. In their small cottage, the Fox family started to hear unexplained raps that could be heard on the wall and on the ceiling, sometimes strong enough to disturb their sleep. The rapping sounds were so intense that on the night of the 31 March 1848 about three hundred people gathered outside the house to observe it. Judge Edmonds was present amongst the observers. The Fox family established a historical spiritual telegraphy when they started asking questions and receiving answers from the rapping sounds. A type of code was developed where raps would signify yes or no in response to a question, or be used to indicate a letter of the alphabet. Thanks to this type of communication, the invisible noise-maker identified himself as the spirit of a peddler who was murdered in the house, and whose body was buried in the cellar. The family decided to do an excavation in the cellar and eventually found some human bones. Fifty five years later, in 1904, when nobody remembered the episode of the Fox Family the rest of the peddler’s bones and some calcium were found when one of the cellar’ walls collapsed. It was concluded that the murderer buried the body, and then built a wall afterwards to make sure no one would find it. This news was written on The Boston Journal, a non Spiritist newspaper, which concluded that such discovery would only testify the veracity of the Hydesville phenomena. However, for the dissemination of Spiritism such discovery is considered to be redundant. From 31 March 1848 onwards, when many other spiritist phenomena were occurring, the news of this Hydesville episode was widely spread. On that same night of 31 of March, Andrew Jackson Davis, a powerful medium who was constantly showing evidence of the mediumistic phenomena received a communication that said: “Tonight a true invasion has started in order to show mankind the existence of the spirits.” And so the phenomena began. Some of them could even be seen on day light in front of many people, as the example of Daniel Douglas, a medium who demonstrated the reality of the spiritual world. In a time when there was no Internet, the news of the phenomena was everywhere in the media, which were seen as a fashionable game. It was down to a man to find out the meaning, the purpose of all the phenomena and the revelation the Superior Spirits was trying to convey to mankind. This was a task to Allan Kardec, whose work marked the beginning of Spiritism.[ Volver al inicio ]
| Why is it so important to disseminate Spiritism? |
Imagine what would have been lost if Christopher Columbus had not told anyone about the “New World”? [ Volver al inicio ]
So, how can we not tell everybody about the spiritual world – a world bigger and far more important than this world in which we live?
Furthermore, the knowledge of the spiritual world leads us to have a better understanding of our nature and gives us the reasons for our sufferings. It also prepares us for the foreseeable future by providing the right “tools” to help us to be better people and to be even more charitable in this world full of vanity and selfishness.
| What is a Spiritist Centre? |
A Spiritist Centre is a gathering of people who intend to study the Spiritist Doctrine, give moral counselling and also provide, free of charge, material help to those in need. [ Volver al inicio ]
| What do we do in a Spiritist Centre? |
As previously mentioned, we rationally and sensibly study and analyse the Spiritist Doctrine, because in Spiritism there is no such thing as “blind faith”. We do moral counselling and charitable work and we also have Spiritist mediumship practice in which, for example, we receive moral support from the good spirits. Spiritist mediumship practice also gives help to suffering spirits when they undergo the turbulent stage that comes with disincarnation. [ Volver al inicio ]
| Who was Allan Kardec and what is his relationship with Spiritism? |
Allan Kardec is the pen name of Hippolyte Leon Denizard Rivail. He was a famous French pedagogue, the author of innumerable books used by many French universities. He developed a learning methodology which gave emphasis to understanding new subjects rather than memorising them. In order to prevent his fame from overshadowing the work of the spirits, he decided to use the pen name of Allan Kardec. [ Volver al inicio ]
When Allan Kardec was faced by the mediumship phenomena he started to coordinate and compile the spirits’ communication received from innumerable spiritists’ mediumistic groups, in several cities across the world, with the intention to investigate them. The Spiritist Doctrine arises from the concordance of the spirits’ answers given by the spirits to Allan Kardec’s questions. It is comprised by five core books which are the compendium of those answers.
| Why is Spiritism popular in some countries and not in others? |
Spiritism nowadays is remarkably popular in c because Brazilians did not endure the difficulties Europe went through in a time when social conflicts and political prohibitions made it impossible for Spiritism to thrive. Furthermore, in a country where social instability and material need prevails, Brazilian spiritists carry out significant charitable work. This work demonstrates that Spiritism is a very positive practice and it allows Brazilian citizens to sense the true meaning of charity according to the Spiritist principles. There are currently Medical Spiritist Associations, Law Spiritist Associations, many state hospitals working in partnership with the Spiritist Federations and a vast number of Spiritists Centres spread across the country. Much more could be said about Spiritism in Brazil but let us focus on Spiritism in Europe, especially in Spain. [ Volver al inicio ]
In Spain, which has been a prominent country in regard to the dissemination of Spiritism for many years, two International Spiritist Congresses have been held, in 1888 and 1934 respectively. Spiritism at that time reached all social backgrounds. It had reached even the political scenario, when Spanish politicians got involved in Spiritism. In 1873 a new Education Reform Bill was presented to the Spanish Congress to amend an existing Project of Law for the Secondary School and for the Faculty of Philosophy and Literacy, which would introduce the Spiritist Teaching in its curriculum. But, the Civil War and the subsequent new political regime extinguished any possibility of survival for Spiritism. The Spanish Spiritist Federation, which was banished during the Civil War, was unable to be legalised again until the late eighties.
| What is the science’s opinion in regard of Spiritist Doctrine? |
Science until now has tried to study mediumistic phenomena in the same way it has dealt with chemistry or physics. However, such phenomena belong to a different set of laws. Science’s main flaw has been to start with preconception when studying the Spiritist phenomena. However, when the phenomena were studied by scientists who have taken a sceptical point of view; their research has resulted in a more positive view of Spiritism [ Volver al inicio ]
In a period of history when the phenomena were very fashionable in society, Sir William Crookes started a programme of study with the intention to prove the phenomena were false. Sir William conducted his work with his usual dedication, with support from his colleagues in his new research. Sir William Crookes is noted for his discovery of thallium, his research in cathode rays, in spectroscopy, in electroscopy, the invention of radiometre etc.
For several years Sir William investigated a medium of physical effects, who had the ability to materialise a spirit. During this period he devised instruments to preclude any claim of fraud.
Some of his colleagues witnessed and confirmed his investigations, but when he published his work, which proved the phenomena were not false, he was considered insane. The secretary of the Royal Society refused to witness the phenomena when invited by Sr. William, adopting a similar position of those Cardinals who refused to observe the satellites of Jupiter through Galileo’s telescope. When faced by a new order of events, unfortunately modern science reacted in the same way as medieval theology did.
| What is a medium? |
A medium is a person who serves as an intermediary to the manifestation of the spirits. Such manifestation would not be possible without the help of a medium. [ Volver al inicio ]
The main purpose of mediumship is to bring to Mankind the proof of immortality, the consolation and knowledge about our spiritual nature. Above all, mediumship is the opportunity to man to make good use of this faculty. It is said that the best mediums are those who serve as an intermediary for doing good and, in order to do good, it is not necessary to be in trance.
| What is the difference between Spiritism and Spiritualism? |
Strictly speaking, Spiritualism is the opposite of Materialism; every one who believes that there is within him something more than matter is a Spiritualist, but it does not follow that he believes in the existence of spirits, or in their communication with the visible world. To avoid ambiguity Kardec coined the word Spiritism. [ Volver al inicio ]
| Does Spiritism have any sort of black magic? |
Spiritism has no kind of black magic, rituals, spells or any other type of mysticism whatsoever.[ Volver al inicio ]
| What is the difference between Spiritism, mysticism and occult practices? |
Unfortunately Spiritism is sometimes confused with mystic and occult practices. They do not have anything in common.[ Volver al inicio ]
| What is rationalized faith? |
Rationalised faith, when based on facts and logic, leaves no doubts. The person believes because he is certain; and no one can be certain unless he fully understands. This is why Spiritists have an unshakable faith, because “unshakable faith is that which can stand face to face with reason in all epochs of humanity”. This is the result to which Spiritism conducts us, to triumph against incredulity, so long as it does not encounter systematic and preconceived opposition. (The Gospel according to Spiritism)[ Volver al inicio ]
| Who is the Spirit of Truth? |
The Spirit of Truth was the spiritual coordinator of Allan Kardec’s work, in every single detail. The coming of the Spirit of Truth was announced by Jesus when He said: “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Consoler, that He may be with you for ever, The Spirit of Truth, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance.” [ Volver al inicio ]
| Is Spiritism against the laws of nature? Is it supernatural? |
Spiritism, on the contrary, reveals and explains laws of nature still unknown to man. There is nothing miraculous or supernatural in the work of Spiritism. It reveals natural phenomena within some laws of nature which we can understand, thanks to the Spirits’ Revelation. [ Volver al inicio ]
| What is the concept of God according to Spiritism? |
God is the supreme intelligence of the Universe, first cause of all things. [ Volver al inicio ]
The universe is God’s creation, although far beyond our capacity to understand Its nature, the existence of a supreme intelligence is proved by its creation. No rational man can attribute all of this to causality. Effectively if there is causality in this Universe and this cause must have been intelligent, supremely intelligent.
| Can someone be a medium as well as a Spiritist? What is the difference between a medium and a Spiritist? Can someone be a medium and a Spiritist at the same time? |
A person can be a Spiritist without being a medium, he can be a medium without being a Spiritist, and he can be a Spiritist and a medium at the same time. [ Volver al inicio ]
To be a Spiritist is to understand the Spirits’ revelation. Above all, to be a Spiritist is to live your life according to the Spirits’ teaching, to try each day to be better person than yesterday, and to be guided by Charity in every circumstance.
To be a medium, on the other hand, is to be an intermediary between the spiritual and the corporeal world. It is to see, to sense or to manifest in some way the reality of the spiritual world, hard to be noticed without the so called “sixth sense”.
Indubitably anyone can have the mediumistic faculty without being a Spiritist because Spiritism does not make anyone a medium. Spiritism only gives guidelines and the means to avoid some common mistakes people make regarding Spiritist mediumistic practice. It also shows us how to be under the guidance of the Good Spirits.
| What does Spiritism tell us about religion? |
Spiritism respect all creeds and religions, as it does not trespass on peoples’ consciousness, given that many other creeds are there to help them to become better people. Spiritism has come for those who are materialists and need to see in order to believe. It gives rational explanations and physical proofs through the unquestionable facts of the spiritual reality. This leads us to transform our concepts of life and to understand the true meaning of the word “brotherhood”. [ Volver al inicio ]
| Should a Spiritist develop a mediumistic faculty? |
A Spiritist who does not have mediumistic faculty can not start to develop it as he wishes. Mediumship appears by itself in a man’s life for reasons that have more to do with his spiritual evolution than with his creed, but only Spiritism can facilitate its correct development. [ Volver al inicio ]
| How many different types of mediumship are there? |
There are currently more than sixty known types of mediumship, classified in categories and classes. The most common type of mediums are the speaking mediums (when a Spirit acts upon their organs or speech) and the writing mediums or psychographs (when a Spirit expresses its thinking acting on the mediums’ hand). [ Volver al inicio ]
| What is Perispirit? |
Perispirit consists of a “matter” which is more subtle than the matter we know and it is invisible to our five senses. Nonetheless, it is still something. Perispirit is the body of the spirit. One day a scientific revolution will take place when scientists encounter this half material, half spiritual part of the man-spirit. [ Volver al inicio ]
| What is the Spirit? |
We are spirits currently incarnated. According to the definition given by the Spirits themselves, the spirits are the intelligent beings of creation; they inhabit the universe outside the material world. [ Volver al inicio ]
| What is the Soul? |
Soul is an incarnated spirit. [ Volver al inicio ]
| Is there a fixed number of order or degrees of purification among spirits? |
According to the Spirits’ evolution, there are several degrees of Spirits based on their moral and intellectual development. Inside these main degrees, there are an infinite number of classes and categories. Allan Kardec established a Spirits’ hierarchy in order to help us understand these differences. [ Volver al inicio ]
| What is obsession? |
Obsession is the pernicious and evil influence imperfect spirits have upon other spirits, generally upon incarnated spirits. An imperfect spirit can have a psychological influence on us which may lead us, for example, to suffer from depression. [ Volver al inicio ]
| What is the history of Spiritism in Spain? |
In order to answer this question properly a lecture would be needed. To summarise the topic we can say that Spiritism in Spain had its remarkable years at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. In this period two International Spiritist Congress meetings took place, a new Educational Reform Bill was presented in the Spanish Congress to introduce Spiritist Teaching in its curriculum and there were several Spiritists Centres founded across Spain with many important people amongst the membership. The Civil War and the subsequent dictatorship regime banished all Spiritist Centres and the Spanish Spiritist Federation. It took almost fifty years for Spiritism to be legalised again in Spain.[ Volver al inicio ]
| Who was Leon Denis? |
Leon Denis is considered to be the apostle of Spiritism. Under his wise pen many philosophical Spiritist concepts were developed. After the work of Allan Kardec, his books are considered to be the core of the Spiritism. They are compulsory for those who want to study Spiritism. Critics of his time, however, while regarding him as one of the best writers of France, said Leon Denis’ flaw was that he was a Spiritist. [ Volver al inicio ]
| What is the purpose of Spiritism? |
Spiritism has come to bring Humanity answers to fundamental questions about our very existence. It rationally tells us why we often see what is considered by many individuals, apparently unjustified suffering and pains in the lives of many people on this planet. Thanks to the acknowledgement of the immortality of the soul and of the consequences of our actions, Spiritism has come to enlightened Man’s path and guide Man towards moral perfection and true happiness – something that can be sensed from the very moment we start to love unconditionally. [ Volver al inicio ]
| On what grounds did Allan Kardec write the Spiritist Codification? |
Allan Kardec is not the author of the Spiritist Codification; he was the compiler of the Codification which comprises the five books upon which Spiritist Revelation is based. The Spiritist Revelation comes, therefore, from the concordance of the answers given by many different spirits, unknown to one another, received through several mediums. [ Volver al inicio ]
| Why did Allan Kardec use a pen name to write the Spiritist Codification instead of his family name? |
Allan Kardec real name was Hippolyte Leon Denizard Rivail. He was a famous French pedagogue, the author of innumerable books used by French universities. In order to prevent his fame from overshadowing his new area of work, he decided to use the pen name of Allan Kardec, which was his name in a previous existence as a druid priest. [ Volver al inicio ]
| What is the opinion of Spiritism regarding suicide? |
According to the Spiritist teachings, suicide is a error against the Divine laws with severe consequences in the spiritual world. All the after life suffering that follows suicide is not considered to be a punishment but a means of helping those who have committed suicide to learn the true value of life. So, those individuals usually spend many years righting their wrong doing. The study and acknowledgment of Spiritism is a preventative to suicide.[ Volver al inicio ]
| Do spiritists charge any fee for their work? |
The Spiritist’ work is entirely altruistic and voluntary. A medium or a Spiritist must not charge any fee whatsoever. Unfortunately, some spiritists who do not follow the teachings of the Spiritist Doctrine have done so and taken advantage of vulnerable individuals. In Spiritism we follow the teaching of Jesus that says: “to give for free what we have received for free.” [ Volver al inicio ]
| What is the role of Jesus in Spiritism? Why is He so important in the Spiritist teachings?|
The spirits say that Jesus is the most evolved Spirit that has ever appeared upon Earth. He is not God, regardless of what other religions say about him. He is a spirit just as we are spirits. The difference between Jesus and ourselves is that He has already accomplished his moral evolution while we are still working on ours. He represents in our world the type of moral perfection to which we may aspire.[ Volver al inicio ]