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Published Bulletins

The Spiritist Messenger, 1999 {14 - 22}


Advanced Study Group of Spiritism
Founded on October 15th 1992
The Spiritist Messenger - Monthly Electronic Report of   the GEAE Group 
GEAE 7th year - Number 14 - distributed: January 1999
"Unshakable faith is only that which can face reason face to face in every Humankind epoch." 
                                                                                                                                      Allan Kardec
            Looking for pictures of A Kardec, St 
            James and St Lazarus.  
            Tearlach Mac a' Phearsoin (Canada) 

            Asking for information on physical 
            M Lewis (UK) and A L Xavier Jr 

            Carmine Mirabelli. 
            A de Carvalho Borges (Brazil) 

            Looking for friends 
            Mar (Brazil) 

            Corrected address 
            F P Dovalle (USA) 

            On the previous report 
            S Reyes (from 

            New web page in French. Le 
            Chemin du Bonheur 
            S Brulotte (Canada) 

            New web page in English. The
            "Spiritism to the World" web page. 
            A L Xavier Jr (Brazil) 


Tearlach Mac a' Phearsoin

Dear Mr. Xavier:

Thank you for continuing to send  The  Spiritist  Messenger.  I  enjoy reading it.

We are in the process of  establishing  Spiritist  Halfway  Houses  in Calgary for people released from prison. I would like to obtain color pictures (large pictures) of Allan Kardec  which  I  could  frame  and place in each halfway house. Would you be able  to  direct  me  to  an address or e-mail where I could purchase such pictures?

I am also looking for large color  pictures  of  St.  James  and  St. Lazarus.

Please advise if you know somewhere I can obtain these.

Yours for G-d, Christ & Charity,

Dr. Tearlach Mac  a'  Phearsoin,  The  National  Spiritist  Church  of Alberta, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. E-mail: Este endereço de email está sendo protegido de spambots. Você precisa do JavaScript ativado para vê-lo.

 M Lewis and A  L Xavier Jr

Dear Sir, Madam

I Should be MOST grateful  for  ANY  information  on  past  Brazilian PHYSICAL MEDIUMS ( ie Mirabelli etc ). I am in the process of a  study of this phenomena, and in setting up a physical  mediumship  database. The information, apart from some basic stuff  in  Playfairs  books  is patchy, and often not in English. Any suggestions ??. Please also  let me know of any costs incurred.

Malcolm Lewis, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, ENGLAND


Dear M. Lewis;

Thank you for your message. In  fact  there  is  much  information  on Brazilian  physical  mediums  written  in  Portuguese.  For   example, specifically on Mirabelli, there is a dedicated  book  "Mirabelli,  um medium  extraordinario"  -  Mirabeli,  an   extraordinary   medium   - unfortunately written in Portuguese.

I'm particularly interested in  physical mediumship and could help you depending on the level of interest of people on the subject. For  now, the thing we can do is to post a message in the  report  of  the  GEAE group and wait for some external help from the group participants.

Moreover, it would be interesting if you could give  more  information on your own project, it would make people  get  interested  in  it. I suggest you to write a small detailed text on your plans or propose  a new thing. Your article could even be translated into  Portuguese  and published in the GEAE report in this language  which  is considerably more populated.

With best regards,  yours,

Ademir L Xavier Jr
GEAE Editor


Dear A Xavier,

Thank you for your prompt reply and information. I would be  happy  to expand on my work on physical mediumship. Your members may be aware of the Noahs Ark Society in the UK, an organization of Spiritualists  and interested parties ( many scientists  )  whom  study  and  demonstrate physical mediumship. The society, and interested members are compiling an archive of material on  physical  mediumship.  We  have  extensive sources, and experiences of British physical mediums, but the  mediums of Brazil are less well known. The idea  of  the  organization  is  to promote the SAFE practice of physical mediumship, and  to  learn  from others, worldwide. We are today demonstrating  physical  mediumship  (and I know this is rare!! ) to  a  high  standard,  and  I  have  only recently had the privilege of sitting in such a  physical  circle.  I will be happy to write a detailed account  of  contemporary  phenomena for your GEAE report of which I have witnessed first hand if you would like.

The archive consists of both written and audio material, and  I  speak for many of my colleagues when I say we are interested in sharing  and learning from each other. Importantly we feel that the archive  is  an important historical database for future researchers

Hope to hear from you soon

With kindest regards,

Malcolm Lewis

A de Carvalho Borges

Concerning  the  GEAE  bulletin  329,  in  "Comments  -  on   Carmine Mirabelli", I would like to  inform  the  existence  of  an  exclusive web page on this medium created  by  Philippe  van  Putten,  from  ABP (Brazilian Parascience Academy):


Alexandre de Carvalho Borges




I'm a brazilian lady who lived in the US back in the mid 80's  when  I was doing my graduate studies in Chicago.    I'm  also  spiritist  (at least I try to be - what a hard task!) and would like to meet/write to people who share my faith. I attend  meetings  regularly  at  CEACE (Centro Espirita Amor, Caridade e Esperanca), and take part  in  their monthly assistance to 22 families. My first language  is,  of  course, Portuguese and my "near" second is English.   I  teach  English  at  a language institute /university in  Brazil. My  e-mail  is: Este endereço de email está sendo protegido de spambots. Você precisa do JavaScript ativado para vê-lo.

Thank you.

F P Dovalle

Hi, this [is] a very helpful  site,  on  the  Boston  "Grupo  Espirita Caminho, Verdade e Vida" the correct address is:

52 Broadway, Sommerville, MA (USA).

and we meet wednesday and  saturday  06:45pm  to  08:00pm  (these  are portuguese spoken) but on saturday from 05:00pm to  06:30pm  they  are english spoken, thanks for your time and best wishes.

Fabio P. Dovalle

S Reyes

I am extremely impressed with the material that I have  read  regarding your recent newsletter.  While I am still  trying  to  assimilate  and decipher some of the material on genetics and astrology, the  materials very well-written and illuminating.  Thank you.

S. Reyes



S  Brulotte

I  would  like  to  introduce  to  you  my  new  site  on   spiritism. (Unfortunately, it is only in  french  for  now.)  It  presents  in  a modernized and updated way the fundamentals principles  and  teachings of spiritism.  Developed  as  an  introduction  to  spiritism,  it  is designed mostly for those who haven't yet discovered spiritism and its benefits. Spread the word to your french acquaintances! (See the  URL address below).


Spirites francophones, je vous invite à decouvrir et à faire connaître ce  nouveau  site.  Il  présente  et   explique   les   principes et enseignements fondamentaux du spiritisme d'une manière plus moderne et actualisée. Excellente initiation à la  doctrine,  ce  site  s'adresse principalement  aux  personnes  qui  n'ont  pas  encore  découvert  le spiritisme et ses bienfaits.

L'URL en est

Pourriez-vous l'inclure dans votre liste de liens de langue française?

Merci d'avance.

Stephane Brulotte

"Derrière   chaque   nuage,    rayonne    le    soleil!"

A L Xavier Jr

We gladly announce the re-edition of an old web page  (as  far  as  it  previous launching date  is  concerned,  August  1995!)  on  Spiritism  totally written in English.

Please, go to the main page:

Those who knew the previous version  will  recognize  in  the  present  format directories already displayed in  the  past.  However,  we  are  presently remodeling the page  which  will  bring  several  some  new  directories (not available yet):

1) A special mediumship directory. In this area, we plan to present  a  detailed study on mediumship emphasizing the most important aspects of  this barely known  human  faculty,  its  definition,  nature,  way  of  operation  etc.  Several  cases  will   be   discussed   as   examples  (xenoglossy, spirit poetry, music  and  painting;  physical  phenomena  like teleplasty etc)

2) A special directory containing Spiritist articles in English.  This  section will be called "Spiritist Essays".

Moreover, constant updates of spirit messages are being planned. A new  page on "The Spirits' Book" is also going to appear. Read  other  news  in the future issues of "The Spiritist Messenger".

The page has also its address:

Este endereço de email está sendo protegido de spambots. Você precisa do JavaScript ativado para vê-lo.

A L Xavier Jr


Electronic weekly report - Boletim do GEAE
Monthly English report: "The Spiritist Messenger"
Home page - "The Spiritism Web" - contains Spiritist information in general: electronic books, newspapers  reports, info on the Spiritist movement worldwide, institutions, events and Spiritist links.
General Information
 Editorial Board
Unsubscription or change of address
 Collection in Portuguese (Boletim do GEAE)
 Collection in English (The Spiritist Messenger) 
Collection in Spanish (El Mensajero Espírita) 
GEAE search
(Free) subscriptions 
Send your comments to Este endereço de email está sendo protegido de spambots. Você precisa do JavaScript ativado para vê-lo.


Advanced Study Group of Spiritism
Founded on October 15th 1992
The Spiritist Messenger - Monthly Electronic Report of   the GEAE Group 
GEAE 7th year - Number 15 - distributed: February 1999
"Unshakable faith is only that which can face reason face to face in every Humankind epoch." 
                                                                                                                                      Allan Kardec
           Materiality in the Conception of the Spirits 
           A Melnikov (Iceland) 
            After All  


Andrei Melnikov

1) One of the most significant peculiarities of the Spiritist Doctrine, exposed in the Spirits's Book [1], Mediums' Book and  other  works  by Allan  Kardec,  is  a  special  comprehension  of  the  notions "matter","materiality" that differ from  those  proper to the human thought. As illustration we can point out the following dialogues between Allan Kardec and the Spirits:

23. What is spirit?

Answer: "The intelligent principle of the universe."

What is the essential nature of spirit?

"It is not possible to explain the nature of spirit in your  language. For you it is not a thing because it is not palpable; but for us it is a thing. You must know however: there will never be a thing  equal  to nothing and the nothing does not exist.

28. Since spirit itself is something, would it not be more correct and clearer to designate these two general elements  by  the  terms  inert matter and intelligent matter?

Answer: "Questions of words are unimportant for us. It is for  you  to formulate your definitions in such a  manner  as  to  make  yourselves intelligible to one another. Your disputes almost  always  arise  from the want of a common agreement in the use of  the  words  you  employ, owing to the incompleteness of your language in  regard  to  all  that does not strike your senses."

(The Spirits' Book,  First  Part:  On  the  Primary  Causes,  Chap.II: General Elements of the Universe, 2. Spirit and Matter)

Thus we may re-interpret  the opposition "matter":"spirit" or "flesh":"spirit" as  "inert   matter": "intelligent  matter".This operation obeys us to nothing unless the notion  "matter" extends to immense dimension.  However it is in accordance to the development of this notion in  the contemporaneous natural  history. We inherit the comprehension of the difference between "flesh" and "spirit" from  our ancestors who lived many centuries ago  and  did  not  know  that  our bodies and air  consist  of  identical  elements.  But  now it  is a well-established fact that  air, light  and even   vacuum are manifestations of the substance our bodies consist of. It allows us to suppose that whatever peculiar  qualities  spirit  has it  can be a material phenomenon  too.

2) The Bible bears another witnesses to this point of view:

"There are celestial bodies and there are terrestrial bodies; but  the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory  of  the  terrestrial  is another. ...It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there  is  also  a  spiritual  body."  (1 Corinthians 15:40, 44).

The expression "spiritual body" must  be  synonymous  with  the  sense 'spirit' as one opposed to "flesh":

"Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea,  though  we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we  him  no more." (2 Corinthians 5:16);

"And without controversy great is the mystery of  godliness:  God  was manifest in the flesh,  justified  in  the  Spirit,  seen  of  angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." (1Timothy 3:16).

3) The new interpretation of the  notion  "matter",  proposed  by  the Spirits, makes religion and science closer  to  each  other:  religion becomes an objective system (to the extent our knowledge   allow  it); science can start  to  regard  the  religious  and  occult  experience without being afraid  of the subjective idealism. The statement  of  a spirit mentioned in paragraph  1) was said in the  middle  of  the  19 century; however the notion "matter" in this passage is in  accordance with the sense it has got in the 20 century rather than  at  the  time when Allan Kardec lived. According to the idea of physicists  of  that time,

(1) matter is the "stuff" that things of our  world  consist  of;  (2) matter itself consist of molecules and/or atoms.

Definition (2) does not allow one to assume other kinds of matter that do not consist of  molecules/atoms  and  consequently  have  different properties. Thus, light was considered as non-matter,  namely  energy. However, in the 20 century after the discovery of Albert Einstein  who proved the interrelation of matter and energy in  his  famous  formula (E=mc*c), the notion of matter changed and such  phenomena  as  light, electro-magnetic  and  gravitation  fields  and   even   vacuum   were attributed to matter in spite of their non-atomic structure.

4) Not all the manifestations of matter are  investigated  completely, but we say even now that very different physical laws can act on them. Some of such manifestations have not be found yet but are supposed  to exist. Thus, a Soviet scholar N.I.Kobozev discovered that our thinking is impossible on molecular level  ("A  Research  into  the  Sphere  of
Thermodynamics of Mind  Processes.",  1971,  in  Russian).  The  author counted the characteristics of the particles that are supposed to make matter. According to N.I.Kobozev, this substance is  a  non-entropical one, unlike all the investigated  sorts  of  matter.  Entropy  can  be interpreted as a measure of the disorder  in  irreversible spontaneous process. This means that  the  certainty  to  find  a  molecule  of  a concrete system in a certain state diminish as the system approach the equilibrium state. According to Kobozev, this  virtually  undiscovered substance providing our thinking is  independent  of  entropy.  If  we regard Kobozev's propositions, we can assert  that  our  mind  can  be treated as a material structure without infringing laws of the natural history. Indeed, modern scholars  investigating    paranormal phenomena  and  simply  energetic  capacities  of   humans   postulate so-called "bio-fields" proper to the inner structure of our body.  The discovery of Kobozev allows to treat mind as such a bio-field as well. Another important consequence of his  work  is  that  it  changes  the scientific comprehension of death. It  is  evident  that  death  of  a system is an entropical process  that  leads  it  to  the  equilibrium state. But if our mind is supposed not to undergo such  a  process  it can mean at least that the traditional scientific notion of the  total death of mind with the death of the body become doubtful. It means that scholars denying life after death must find  a  special  evidence  for their point of view, otherwise one should admit  that  science  has  a good deal of facts to prove scientifically that mind does survive  the physical death.

5) In spite of the fact that these considerations  do  not  prove  the materiality of spirit it allows us to assert that its  very  important property - mind - is a material structure and can  be  explored  using the scientific method. All the above-mentioned  shows well that  Allan Kardec predicted in his books what has started becoming the scientific explanation only nowadays, i.e. a whole century  after  the  death  of this outstanding figure. The genius of Allan Kardec consisted  not  in the fact that he discovered every principle by himself but rather that he served as  a  perfect  compilator  and  interpreter  of  the  ideas descending from above. The main advantage  of  the  classic Spiritist conception invented by Allan Kardec was a highly-developped techniques of  the  analysis  of medium messages. No wonder that many  statements from  this conception  are getting their scientific interpretation nowadays  what  also was predicted by the great French scholar. So our task is to study the ideas expressed in his books more substantially and try to find illustrations demonstrating their importance for the development of  the  contemporaneous  scientific and philosophical thought.



In the text above Melnikov discusses an extremely  hard  question  not only for the Spiritist Doctrine but also to  the  whole  community  of philosophers. Reading the Spirits' Book (SB) in its  original  version we see that Kardec (after the analysis of the answers provided by  the spirits) used the word "spirit" in two different senses. In  order  to emphasize this difference the word "spirit" was typed differently:

1) The form "[s]pirit" with initial  non-capital  letter,  meaning the spiritual element.

2) The form "[S]pirit" with initial capital letter, meaning the spirit entity itself, the being.

This difference in spelling is far from being a matter of style  or  a subtlety. It is in fact vital to understand the passages of  questions 23 and 28 cited by Melnikov. Accordingly, the following sentences have undoubted meanings:

I) We are incarnated Spirits.

II) The spirit principle in us is responsible for our state  of  being incarnated Spirits.

III) Matter and spirit are two different principles of the Universe.

Some modern translations of the SB (not only in English [*]  but  also in other languages,  including  Portuguese)  simply  wiped  out   this difference in spelling, once they have not paid  sufficient  attention to the difference in meaning implied by it. It is true that  the  word "spirit" in English is typed with initial non-capital  letter  in  the general usage. However, in  specific  passages  (scientific  articles, texts etc) we are fully authorized to change its representation mainly if there are good reasons to do it. In this case,  the  reader  should pay attention to the meaning implied by the word.

The controversy treated by  Melnikov  represented  by  the  opposition between <matter> X <spirit> should be understood in the context of the meaning (1), spirit with initial "s". Also, in English, one  can  take the word "spirit" in the same sense of the  word  "mind".  One  infers (mainly by reading the initial parts of the  SB)  that  the  Spiritist Doctrine has adopted the so-called "ontological idealism", the  thesis that admit the existence of two fundamental elements in the  Universe, matter and spirit (and above them God, the creator, see question 27 of the SB). From the material "stuff", material manifestations arise (the sense of colors, sounds, forms etc) while from the spiritual  "stuff", spirit manifestations are born (feelings, thoughts, passions etc). The perception of the existence of such different manifestations led us to proposed two different principles as their cause (two different things can not have the same cause, since cause and effect are linked). There is here no novelty added to the debate, and the Spiritist Doctrine has not  pronounce itself about any possible definitive answer to the  old puzzle. After the answer of question 28, Allan Kardec makes clear  the current point-of-view:

"One fact, evident to everyone, dominates all our hypotheses.  We  see matter that is not intelligent; we see the action  of  an  intelligent principle that is independent of matter. The origin of and  connection between these two things are unknown to us. We don't  know  if  matter and the intelligent principle have a common,  preordained  source  and thus points in contact. We don't  know  whether  intelligence  has  an independent existence of its own or if it is only an effect. We  don't even know if intelligence is, as some believe,  an  emanation  of  the Divine. Matter and intelligence appear to us to be  distinct,  and  we therefore speak of them as  being  two  constituent  elements  of  the Universe. We do see, above these, a higher intelligence  that  governs all things, and that is distinguished from them by essential qualities peculiar to itself. We call this Supreme Intelligence God."

This implies that the debate continues in the after-life as far as our current spirit stage is concerned. Curiously, this  seems  to  be  the point of view of Paul, as the passage  quoted  by  Melnikov  shows  (I Corinthians, 15 40:44). Paul  explicitly  admitted  the  existence  of celestial (spirit) and terrestrial (matter) bodies and  said  that the glory of one is different from the other.

During the compilation of several following questions of the  SB,  the Spirits, however, have clearly indicated the existence of  a  material component in the structure  of  the  spirit-being,  the  Spirit.  Such opinion put forward by the Spirits are mostly found in the Second Part of the SB. In this part, question are  addressed  to  unveil  specific properties of the Spirit world as well as  the  state  of  the  Spirit before and after the incarnation.

This material component allows the spirit  to  act  upon  matter.  One could imagine that, since both the spirit and material principles  are different things, there would be a continuous gradation of density  of such intermediary state, from spirit down to matter, but this  remains a mystery. All the  considerations  made  by  Melnikov  are  valid  if applied to this special kind of intermediary  spirit-like  matter. In particular, the thermodynamics of non-spontaneous  processes,  also called irreversible processes, (such as those happening inside  living tissues) is still under  development  and  one  can  only  hope  for interesting findings in the future.  The  concept  of  entropy  is  of difficult generalization to  non-spontaneous  processes,  but  several studies have been already done in order to apply generalization of the second law (the change in entropy is always greater than zero in every spontaneous physical  processes)  to  the  domain  of  non-spontaneous phenomena.

An important physicist who has  firstly  discussed  this  question  is Erwin Schrodinger (one of the fathers of  Quantum  Mechanics). In  his famous book "What is Life ?" [2], first published in 1944, Schrodinger treats the physical fundamentals of the living  organizations  and  in his Tarner Lectures "Mind and Matter", he  specifically  presents  his view on the old  philosophical  debate.  Particularly  interesting  is Chapter 6, "Order, disorder and Entropy". This chapter starts  with  a quotation by Spinoza (emphasizing dualism and  the  need  of  a  third uniting element, the perispirit?):

"Nec corpus mentem ad cogitandum, nec mens corpus ad motum,  neque  ad quietem, nec ad aliquid (si quid est) aliud determinare potest"

or, in English:

'Neither can the body determine  the  mind  to  think,  nor  the  mind determine the body to motion or rest or anything else (if  such  there be).'

In the following sections of Chapter 6, we see Schrodinger to  propose that "living matter evades the decay to equilibrium".  We  transcribed below some interesting passages of  his  little  book.  After defining entropy by the relation

Entropy = k log (D),

with k the so called Boltzmann's constant and D the "the  quantitative measure  of  the  atomistic  disorder  of  the  body   in   question", Schrodinger proceeds to explain "how we would express in term  of  the statistical theory the marvelous faculty of  a  living  organism,  by which it delays the decay into thermodynamically equilibrium (death)":

"We said before: 'It feeds upon negative entropy', attracting,  as  it were, a stream of negative entropy  upon  itself,  to  compensate  the entropy increase it produces by living and thus to maintain itself  on a stationary and fairly low entropy level.

If D is a measure of disorder, its reciprocal, 1/D, can be regarded as a direct measure of order. Since the logarithm of 1/D  is  just  minus the logarithm of D, we can write Boltzmann's equation thus:

-Entropy = k log (1/D).

Hence the awkward expression 'negative entropy' can be replaced  by  a better one: entropy, taken with the negative sign, is itself a measure of order. Thus  the  device  by  which  an  organism  maintain  itself stationary at a fairly high level of orderliness (= fairly  low  level of entropy) really consists in continually  sucking  orderliness  from its environment. This conclusion is less paradoxical than  it  appears at first sight. Rather could it be blamed for triviality.  Indeed,  in the case of higher animals we know the kind of orderliness  they  feed upon well enough, viz., the extremely well-ordered state of matter  in more or less  complicated  organic  compounds,  which  serve  them  as foodstuffs. After utilizing it, they return it in a very much degraded form - not entirely degraded, however, for plants can still  make  use of it. (These, of course, have their most powerful supply of 'negative energy' in the sunlight)"

Therefore, one concludes that "death" occurs  when  the  mechanism  of continual feeding of orderliness is broken by some external influence. The very fact of living  organisms  not  obeying  the  second  law  of thermodynamics is considered by Schrodinger as evidence that the  kind of matter they are formed by is  subjected to possibly  new  types  of physical laws (Chapter 7, "Is Life based on  the  laws of  Physics?"). Then  Schrodinger  proposes  that  Quantum  Mechanics  might  play  an important role in the understanding of such new laws.

As the reader can see, the subject is very new  and  still  opened  to refined analysis.


[1] A Kardec, "The Spirits' Book".
[2] E Schrodinger,  "What  is  Life  with Mind and Matter & Autobiographical Sketches", Cambridge University Press 1967.



"If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am,  there  shall
also my servant be; if any man serve me, him will my Father honour"
Jesus (John, 12:26)

The conflicts of our times show failing in our hearts.

Evolution has actually become a tragedy today. It looks as if  mankind were crossing a tunnel of darkness.  Everywhere  we  are  involved  in anguish and confusion.

What is the trouble?, inquires a neighbor.

What do I care?, answers another.

What should we do? Let us get on with our work because Christ's  wordshave not changed. In spite of all difficulties,  the  Gospel  has  the answer to every spiritual problem.

We do not serve for our sake, but for Him.

Jesus is the heart of the Gospel. The best of everything in the way to God revolves around Him. In fact, what we  can  realize  is  always  a small thing. However, we should not forget that a  great  city  starts with a small stone. We are in the Christian life  in  the  Kingdom  of God. We can stop, to walk slowly or go a little faster.

In spite of our failings, it is important to our interest now that, as Christians, we do not hesitate to take our  stand  with  Jesus.  After all, the question is grave and this is the most important  problem  of the Christian  life.  Christ  measures  our  lives  not  in  terms  of intelligence or fortune, but through service to all people.

Xenoglossic writting by Francisco C Xavier. In "Entre irmãos de outras terras". Published by FEB, 7th edition (1994).


Electronic weekly report - Boletim do GEAE
Monthly English report: "The Spiritist Messenger"
Home page - "The Spiritism Web" - contains Spiritist information in general: electronic books, newspapers  reports, info on the Spiritist movement worldwide, institutions, events and Spiritist links.
General Information
 Editorial Board
Unsubscription or change of address
 Collection in Portuguese (Boletim do GEAE)
 Collection in English (The Spiritist Messenger) 
Collection in Spanish (El Mensajero Espírita) 
GEAE search
(Free) subscriptions 
Send your comments to Este endereço de email está sendo protegido de spambots. Você precisa do JavaScript ativado para vê-lo.


Advanced Study Group of Spiritism
Founded on October 15th 1992
The Spiritist Messenger - Monthly Electronic Report of   the GEAE Group 
GEAE 7th year - Number 16 - distributed: March 1999
"Unshakable faith is only that which can face reason face to face in every Humankind epoch." 
                                                                                                                                      Allan Kardec
           "...But the greatest of these is love" 
           A Melnikov (Iceland) 
           Questions about Wars  
           In "The Spirits' Book" 
           Looking for a book 
           Pierre Halotier (Canada) 

           Literature in English  
           Lolita (Australia) 

          Questions about meetings 
          Gina (CA-USA) 

           The "Joana de Angelis" Spiritist group 
            Paulo Medeiro de Lima (Canada) 

           A "Place of Love" 
           R Tagore 


Andrei Melnikov

1) The large difference between the human knowledge and that of the high developed spirits that descended to us from other plans in order to bring the truth naturally prevents us from the  complete understanding of the spirit values. Our knowledge defines the width of the channel through which the heavenly wisdom reaches us:  "The spirits who have dictated the book which bears their name have proved their wisdom by restricting their teachings, as regards to the principle of the things, within limits that God had established; leaving to presumptuous spirits, with their theorizings, the responsibility of premature and erroneous statements, specious, but hollow, which will one day disappear in the light of reason, similarly so many products of the  human brain. The spirits have only given us such information as is necessary to enable us to comprehend the future which awaits us, and thus to encourage us to the well-doing."  (Paragraph 51, The Medium's Book, Part First, Chapter IV).

However, our knowledge usually grows wider and deeper in the course of time; what we did not understand and even rejected before can become a well-established fact nowadays. Spiritism is not an exception of this rule as it refers to the knowledge that humanity has got and does depend on its level. In the light of the above-mentionned passage, it would be very useful and even necessary to revise the basics of the Spirit Doctrine.

2) As a demonstration of this point we have chosen the following extract from The Medium's Book:

"The perpetual and incessant creation of worlds is, for God, a perpetual pleasure, because He incessantly sees His rays become each day more luminous in happiness. Number does not exist for God any more than time. This is why, for Him, hundreds or millions are neither more nor less, in His sight, one than the other. He is a father whose happiness is formed of the collective happiness of His children; and, at each second of the creation, He finds a new happiness coming and melting into the general happiness. There is neither stoppage nor suspension in this perpetual movement, this great, incessant happiness, which renders fertile the earth and the heavens. As regards the earth, you know only a very small fraction of it, and you have brothers who live under latitudes that man has not yet been able to penetrate. What signify the terrifying heat and the mortal cold which stay the efforts of the boldest? Do you believe, in your simplicity, that there is the limit of your world, when, with your small means, you can advance no further? You fancy you can measure your planet exactly, do you? Do not believe it. There are upon your planet more places that you are ignorant of than places that you know. But, since it is useless to propagate any further all your evil institutions, all your bad laws, actions, and lives, there is a limit which stops you here and there, and which will stop you until you are able to transport thither the good seed which your free will shall have made. No; you do not know this world which you call the earth. You will see, in your present existence, a great beginning of proofs of this communication. The hour is about to strike when there will be another discovery besides the last that has been already made, and that will enlarge the circle of your known earth; and when the press everywhere sings this Hosanna in all tongues, you, poor children who love God and seek His way, you will have known all about it, before the very people who will give their name to the new land."
"Vincent of Paul."

Kardec's Remark. - In point of style, this communication, with its inaccuracies, redundancies, and eccentric terms of expression, is evidently very faulty; but these faults alone would prove nothing against its authenticity, because such imperfections might arise from the incapacity of the medium, as we have already shown. What the communicating spirit gives, is the idea; and therefore, when the author of this message tells us that there exist on our planet more places that we are ignorant of than places that are known, and that a new continent is about to be discovered, he gives indisputable proof of his ignorance. Certain tracts of land, as yet undiscovered, may very probably exist beyond the ice-barriers around the poles; but to say that those tracts are inhabited, and that God has hidden them from us in order that we may not transport evil institutions thither, shows the folly of the spirit who could seek to palm off suds absurdities on mortal listeners. Contrast the foregoing with the following, obtained in the same group and signed with the same name, but presenting as evident marks of authenticity as the foregoing presents of substitution." ( The Medium's Book, Part Second, Chapter XXXI, Apocryphal Communications, XXIX.) However, the Russian spiritist-philosopher Pavel Geleva, who edited The Spirit's Book and The medium's Book in 1993 in Russia doubted Kardec's argumentation in his commentary to this extract: "Perhaps Kardec is wrong here accusing the spirit of ignorance. Most probably the spirit predicted the discovery of the Antarctic Continent that geographers knew nothing about at that time. Besides one can see here a hint to more serious things. It is not evident for us that this  message is false."

Agreeing to Geleva's argumentation we want to point out that the expression "Number does not exist for God any more than time" seems to contain a hint to such things that should be taken at most seriously.

3) What can the statement "Number does not exist for God any more than time." actually mean? We try to explain this by the following way. The notion of number is tied with that of counting based on the idea of the discreteness of the infinite number multitude; numbers symbolize here limited pieces of the whole reality (that actually is infinite, see The Spirit's Book, Book First,  Chapter II, "Universal Space", N 35). Infinity (N) itself cannot be identified with any number as it violates arithmetical laws: the true equality N+1=N leads to the false equality 1=0. On the other hand, if one (1) is beyond infinity ( N) it only means either N is not the real infinity or 1 is inside N. It can mean that infinity rejects discreteness; it is the whole, united one ( 1). This statement has much to do with God; He is infinite, what makes us admit two points concerning the innermost nature of God:

a) He does not count things as we do (see the next statement of the spirit:"for Him, hundreds or millions are neither more nor less, in Hissight, one than the other.");

b) He is the indiscrete whole - if we imagine one beyond God it will refute the notion of God's infinity ( see the following saying of the same spirit: "He is a father whose happiness is formed of the collective happiness of His children").

4) You can consider these ideas to sound like a revival of pantheism: "15. What is to be thought of the opinion according to which all natural bodies, all the beings, all the globes of the universe, are parts of the Divinity, and constitute in their totality the Divinity itself; in other words, the Pantheistic theory?  "Man, not being able to make himself God, would fain make himself out to be, at least, a part of God." (The Spirit's Book, Book First, Chapter I, "Pantheism").

However, our conclusions have few to do with pantheism according to which our soul is just an impersonal drop in the ocean of the Divinity. What makes us believe so is obviously nothing but the Bible:  "so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another." ( Romans 12:5); "If all were a single organ, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." ( Galatians 3:28).

But how can it be if it is not pantheism? What a thing does what our conscious cannot admit? According to Bible, this 'thing' is love that unites men into one unit: "and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder."" ( Matthew 19:5-6, see also Genesis 2:24)

And we will not to go too far if we say here that love is the main property of God: "Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.No man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. If any one says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen." ( 1 John 4:7-8, 10, 12, 20).

5) The idea of the divine universality an integral part of the world was also expressed by Leon Denis:

"We would not understand and realize mind without personifying it in certain being; however it is not just a being among and similar to others. It is the Father of all others, the very source of life. The personality in the highest meaning of the word is conscious, is conscience and namely in this sense God is a person or, better to say, an absolute personality but not a being that has its form and borders. God is infinite and cannot be individualized, i.e. separated from the whole world or exist independently... Without doubt the existence of God cannot be proved by direct and tangible way because God cannot  be percepted by our sensitive organs. " (A quotation from "Après la mort").

Thus we may conclude that God is not seen by us because we cannot percept infinity in its whole; the human mind can just imagine God as a being living somewhere on the heaven over the stars. However the only way to learn to see God is to learn to see infinity with no discrete delimitation, or, in the terms closer to our mind, to learn to love, where 'love' should be treated in its Christian, religious meaning rather than in its primary, sexual one. Thus if we love we broaden our perceptive capacity and it is the road to our purification:

"The kingdom of God is in the midst of you." ( Luke 17:21).

Whatever we believe, whatever we tend to learn we must to know that neither way leads us directly by itself:

"So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." ( 1 Corinthians 13:13)



In the "Spirits' Book"

742. What causes human beings to wage wars?

Ans.: "The dominance of the animal over the spiritual nature. In the primitive state humans are only capable of respecting the rights of the strong; consequently, war is the normal condition. But as you progress, you will realize how to avoid the causes of war, and  wars will become less frequent. And when a war does become unavoidable, you will at least wage it with a greater element of compassion than before. "

743. Will war ever disappear from Earth?

Ans.: "Yes. A time will come when all people will know the real meaning of justice and live with true fraternity. Then, in truth, they will all be brothers and sisters."

744. Why does Providence allow wars to take place?

Ans.: "It allows you to attain freedom and to progress."

745. If war results in freedom, how can you explain the fact that it usually leads to the oppression of conquered people?

Ans.: "Oppression is merely a temporary condition that forces a people to evolve faster."

745. What about those people who stir up war for their own benefit?

Ans.: "They bear an immense guilt and will require many lifetimes to redeem
themselves. They must answer for every person who died as the
result of their ambition."

See also questions 541-548, 584, 671. "The Spirits' Book" by A Kardec. Published by Allan Kardec Educational Society. Philadelphia.USA.



My name is Pierre Halotier and I'm searching for the French book:

Au Coeur de L'humain
ISBN: 2-89074-840-5

Someone from France told me about this book and your Web page. Hopefully you have the book. Thank you for your time.

Pierre (Este endereço de email está sendo protegido de spambots. Você precisa do JavaScript ativado para vê-lo.)


A very good friend of mine in Sao Paulo, Brazil introduced me to spiritism approx. 3 years ago. Prior to that,  I had never heard of Allan Kardec, nor his teachings. I guess the closest thing in my culture to spiritism was seances and the like. I am aware of many books and articles written in Portuguese, but not many in English. When I traveled to the USA recently, I searched for books written in English by Kardec, or in fact, anything to do with spiritism. My search was in vain. I count myself a bit luckier than other Australians though, since I am conversant of Portuguese, and am therefore able to inform myself of various topics and  discussions. In Australia there is very little to do with spiritism, and the only spiritist centre is found in Sydney. The centre began a publication last year, but unfortunately, due to lack of support, the spiritist mailing list is now defunct. I hope that with a strong campaign, more Australians will be enlightened to the doctrine of spiritism, and hence spiritist literature in the English idiom should become more abundant.

May God's love comfort us


Would it be possible for me to find out if there is anything closer to me than the meetings in the (909) area here in Southern California?  I live in the South Bay, and that area is still about 2 hours away.  I would really appreciate any information you may give me...
Thank you!
Gina (Este endereço de email está sendo protegido de spambots. Você precisa do JavaScript ativado para vê-lo.)


Paulo Medeiros Lima

Dear friends,

We have found many people coming from Brazil to our meetings and complaining about the difficulty in founding our addresses. We send them to you for contact. This information is therefore valid to those who are visiting Canada and, at same time, would like to attend to our meetings.

Best Regards,

Grupo de Estudos Espíritas Joanna de Angelis,
396 Everton Drive - Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
L5R 1W5-Fone: (905)502 5374-Fax: (905)502 5376
E-mail: Este endereço de email está sendo protegido de spambots. Você precisa do JavaScript ativado para vê-lo.

Meeting Schedule:

Tuesday (7:30pm to 9:00pm) - Study of the Spiritist doctrine using the summary of lessons (ESDE) by FEB (in Portuguese)/ Gospel studies for children and teenagers. (in English)

Thursday (7:30pm to 9:00pm) - Study of "The Gospel According to Spiritism"  and  "The Spirit's Book"  (in English)

Sunday (7:30pm to 9:00pm) - Ith Introductory course on  the foundations of mediumship (in Portuguese)

President: Paulo Medeiros Lima;
Vice-president: Jacqueline S. Medeiros Lima;
Secretaries: (1th) Erson Goncalves  e  (2nd) Regina Filippov;
Treasurer: Paul Murphy;
Directory DIJ: Jeane Murphy;
Librarians: (1th) Ivete Matricardi  e  (2nd) Heloisa Tavares

The Grupo de Estudos Espiritas Joana de Angelis is a non-profit organization whose aim is the divulgence of the Spiritist doctrine in Canada.




In every being there is
an immaculate corner
so chaste, unexplored,
noiseless and deep...

In every creature there remains
a holly and ignored,
never penetrated world
awaiting so full of tenderness...

In the abyss of every soul there is
a cliff,
a place, an isle,
a paradise,
resort of wonder to be discovered...

In every heart there is
a space opened to the sunrise,
a wide field to be worked,
land of God,
a place of dream,
a retirement for the future...

In every life there exists
place to other lives,
such as in every happiness,
a gentle sadness
announcing anguish.


However, there is a place in me,
in the isle of my hidden feelings,
an awaiting abyss,
an ocean of happiness,
a cosmos of fantasy
to gift you my Lord!

Come, my beloved King and Lord,
dominate my apprehension,
and lead me through the road
of redemption.

And take this strange and solitary country,
reining over it with your heavenly lights,
and I will happily march forward in your service
until the end of my forces.

Come, my King,
to my recess
and render my life
a hymn of work
And for you an eternal
sing of love.

Rabindranath Tagore
Psc. communication by the spirit Rabindranath Tagore Medium: Divaldo Franco. In "Pássaros Livres", ed. by  Livraria Espírita Alvorada Nova, Salvador, BA. A L Xavier Jr.



Electronic weekly report - Boletim do GEAE
Montly English report: "The Spiritist Messenger"
Homepage - "The Spiritism Web" - contains Spiritist information in general: electronic books, newspapers  reports, info on the Spiritist movement worldwide, institutions, events and Spiritist links.
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Advanced Study Group of Spiritism
Founded on October 15th 1992
The Spiritist Messenger - Monthly Electronic Report of   the GEAE Group 
GEAE 7th year - Number 17 - distributed: April 1999
"Unshakable faith is only that which can face reason face to face in every Humankind epoch." 
                                                                                                                                      Allan Kardec

           What is Instrumental transcommunication?   
           Stil and Lazaro S. de Oliveira (Brazil)   
           A new Spiritist movement in Canada   
           Stephane Brulotte (Canada)   

           Help will come   
           Emmanuel (sent by Elza Rossi, London, GB)   



Dear friends,

Due to the enormous amount of work in our present lives, it has not been possible to deliver the issues of the "Spiritist Messenger" at the right time, that is, in accordance to the "monthly character" of the publication. We really  apologize for our delay which we hope is a transitory situation toward a normal time. The present edition refers therefore to April and the next one is under preparation.

Our spirit is to keep a constant edition work while, at the same time, to warrant the quality of the published material. We therefore count on the help of all in the hope that this work, being the result of a collaboration, will always reflect the current status of  present discussions and wishes of the international Spiritist movement.

The Editors


Stil and Lazaro Sanches de Oliveira

By definition, instrumental trascommunication (ITC) is the use  of instruments for the communication with the beyound (so the  name "trans"). Until a hundred and twenty years ago this phenomenon was only possible through mediums [1] (medium=link).  But the Codifier, on May 1855, became aware of tables that could answer to questions made by human with knocks and taps. Allan  Kardec understood there was an intelligent source behind this  facts. Today, the method uses much of the contemporary  technique, but the principle of talking to entities without the help of a medium's mouth is all there. With the progress  allowed by inventions, the Spirits started to use earth apparatus to call their beloved ones. [2]

Basic material: a tape recorder, batteries and work. Put the tape into the recorder, pay attention to the surrounding noises for not confounding them as a possible contact. Then, press the stop key, rewind and play. Examine the sounds a lot of times. You must get used to the low or whispered level of the voices. Once again: don't discard outside sounds [3]. It  might happen that entities take advantage of a bark, a cough,  the sound of the rain to modify the sound wave and to send a  word of sentence. But attention: you will just be capturing  the entities that are closer to the apparatus...and in this group, we find our mentors, mocking entities or Spirits looking for a friendly shoulder! To be honest, you may be attracting "obsessors". But ther is a way to avoid these drawbacks.

As the time went by, the voices instructed the researchers to use a second apparatus in order to generate a certain frequency through which they could express themselves better. We have here the  principle of a radio out of tune with any station so that no (intelligent) signal is captured [3]. Proceed according to  the process described above. The voices now come not just from the  surroundings (because the tape recorder microphone can still capture local sounds) but most of all, from the Astral. We can number several transmission sources, but the one that insists in contacting us the most is Marduk. In "Ponte entre o Aqui e o Além" [4] everything is described in details, including the techniques described above.

A second radio with all stations mixed in one channel can sensibly improve the level of the voices. A "broad band receiver" like this is easily described in many books on ITC or can be obtained with the help of an electronic technician.

A second tape player can join the family, generating the sound of running water, rain or audio versions of
"rectangular waves" (ask about them to an electronic  technician). The tape recorder should ideally have a counter to facilitate the search for the correct point on  the tape where you believe you listen to an interesting voice.

This is the basic material for the beginner. Persist to  advance in your research. What we, human beings, have attained so far is nothing compared to what is coming up in the near future. Aware of your interest in the paranormal, we would like to invite you to visit our site  and read our articles on the subject.


[1] "...was only possible through mediums": this phrase gives the impression (as consequence) that mediumship has nothing to do with ITC. Putting polemics aside, there is no consensus yet on the independency of ITC on mediumship. In fact, the psychic fundamentals of ITC may be very close of those of DVP (Direct Voice Phenomena). It seems easier to accept ITC as a new kind of physical manifestation (as opposed to the intellectual ones) than as a new category of Spirit manifestation.

[2] Or, on the contrary, humans started to use apparatus to call their departed ones. Note however that the turning tables and other mechanical inventions can be included in the category  "apparatus".

[3] With exception of the characteristic "white noise".

[4] "A Bridge between here and the Beyound" by Hildegard Shäffer (published by Ed. Pensamento, Brasil).



Stephane Brulotte

Hello Ademir!

Would you please post this bilingual message in your newsletter?  Thank  you!

Spirites du Québec, brisez l'isolement! Joignez-vous à moi dans la création  du Mouvement spirite québécois, un organisme sans but lucratif visant à  faire connaître et comprendre le spiritisme partout au Québec.  Communiquez
avec moi pour plus de détails (Este endereço de email está sendo protegido de spambots. Você precisa do JavaScript ativado para vê-lo.).

Spiritists of Quebec, let's get together!  Join me in creating the Quebec  Spiritist Movement, a not-for-profit organization aiming to make spiritism  known and understood everywhere in Quebec.  Contact me for more details
(Este endereço de email está sendo protegido de spambots. Você precisa do JavaScript ativado para vê-lo.)

Stéphane Brulotte (Este endereço de email está sendo protegido de spambots. Você precisa do JavaScript ativado para vê-lo.)

«Quand les humains vivront d'amour, il n'y aura plus de misère.»
(Raymond  Lévesque) C'est donc vrai!!




The problem which worries you, may seem excessively bitter to your heart.

So bitter that you may not even wish to talk about it readily.

At times, the darkness inside is such that you get the impression you have lost your way.

However, do not discourage. Accept the duty which life has assigned to you.

Serve and pray.

Prayer will renew your energies.

Work will help you.

God does not abandon us.

Be silent and do not complain.

Cheer up and wait, because Heaven will come to your aid by means you ignore.

God remains acting.

Emmanuel (sent by Elza Rossi, London, GB)
Message received by the Brazilian medium Francisco Candido Xavier at the  Spiritist Group of Prayer on 4/20/77 Brazil. Translated from the original in Portuguese.

Electronic weekly report - Boletim do GEAE
Monthly English report: "The Spiritist Messenger"
Home page - "The Spiritism Web" - contains Spiritist information in general: electronic books, newspapers  reports, info on the Spiritist movement worldwide, institutions, events and Spiritist links.
General Information 
 Editorial Board
Unsubscription or change of address
 Collection in Portuguese (Boletim do GEAE)
 Collection in English (The Spiritist Messenger) 
Collection in Spanish (El Mensajero Espírita) 
GEAE search
(Free) subscriptions 
Send your comments to Este endereço de email está sendo protegido de spambots. Você precisa do JavaScript ativado para vê-lo. 


Advanced Study Group of Spiritism
Founded on October 15th 1992
The Spiritist Messenger - Monthly Electronic Report of   the GEAE Group 
GEAE 7th year - Number 18 - distributed: May 1999
"Unshakable faith is only that which can face reason face to face in every Humankind epoch." 
                                                                                                                                      Allan Kardec

           Spiritism easily explained. (Part I)  
           Allan Kardec        
           Living Smartly   
           Miguel Bertolucci  

           Instruction from the Spirits: Pride and Humility.   


Allan Kardec

"To be born, to live, to  die,  to  be  born  again  and  always  move
forward. That is the law."

This text represent the first part of the  text  "L'Espiritisme a sa plus simple expression" written by A Kardec  as  a  tutorial  for  the beginner. The next issues of "The Spiritism Messenger" will bring  the whole document.

Translated into English by A. L. Xavier Jr. and Carol de Macedo. Based on the essay " O Espiritismo em  sua  mais  simples  expressão"  by  A. Kardec, 2nd ed., FEESP (1989).

1. Historical Background

By the year 1848, several strange phenomena were gaining notoriety  in the United States, consisting in noises, raps and movement of  objects with no apparent  cause.  They  would  happen  spontaneously,  several times, with a characteristic intensity and frequency. However, it soon became clear  that  these  phenomena  could  also  occur  through  the presence of certain people  whom  were  known  as  ''mediums''.  These people  could  provoke  the  phenomena  at  will,  making  experiments possible. Such experiments were made using tables, not  because  these objects are more favorable than others, but  because  they  were  more convenient, movable, and because it was easier to sit round them  than any other furniture. In this way the rotation of tables was  achieved, and  subsequently,  movements  in  all   directions;   jumps,   turns, fluctuations, violent strokes etc.  These  phenomena  were  originally called 'table dancing' or 'table turning'.

Initially the facts could be perfectly explained by the action  of  an electric or magnetic current or unknown kind of fluid,  and  such  was the first formed explanation. But within  a  short  time,  intelligent effects were recognized in them, such that  the  movement  obeyed  the will. The table could move to the right or to the  left,  toward  some certain person, it could stand on one or two feet upon command,  knock the ground a number of ordered times,  knock  regularly  etc.  It  was clear that the cause was not  purely  physical  and,  based  upon  the principle:  ''To  every  effect  a  cause  is  associated,  to   every intelligent effect there is an intelligent  cause'',  an  intelligence was appointed as the cause.

However, what was the  nature  of  this  intelligence?  Such  was  the question. Initial impressions were that it could be the reflection  of the medium's intelligence or of his assistants.  But  experience  soon disproved this, since responses  totally  alien  to  the  thought  and knowledge of the present people and even in opposition to their ideas, wills or desires were obtained. Therefore this intelligence could only belong to an invisible being. The way  to  ascertain  this  was  quite simple: a discussion with such entity sufficed. A conventional  number of knocks to signify a yes or no answer or to  designate  alphabetical letters was  created  and,  in  this  way,  several  chosen  questions obtained  answers.  This  phenomenon  was  called  `talking   tables'. Interrogated in this way about their nature, all the  beings  declared themselves to be spirits and belong to  an  invisible  world.  As  the phenomena  were  produced  in  different  locations,  through  several different people and observed by serious and  intelligent  people,  it was not possible they were an illusion.

From America the phenomena spread to France and the  rest  of  Europe, where the talking and turning tables were the rage and became a  means of entertainment in public halls. But when people  began  to  tire  of them, they turned their attention toward other things.

However, within a short time, the phenomenon presented itself under  a new aspect that remove it from the domain of a simple  curiosity.  Due to space limitations all the  phases  can  not  be  described  herein, therefore we will proceed to the most renown  aspect  which  attracted the most attention of serious people.

End of the first part.



M  Bertolucci

By what signs can we  recognize  a  man  as  having  accomplished  the progress that will raise him in the  spirit  hierarchy?  Elevation  is demonstrated by the conformity of a person's acts with the law of God, and by a person's comprehension of her spiritual nature.

Our daily life is a continuous stream of choices among many paths that lead to our personal development. If we just stop and  think,  looking backwards, reflecting on our actions and  attitudes  during  the  past week, or even during the day just ended, we will notice that  we  made many important choices. Unfortunately, many of  them  did  not  always reflect a high understanding of the real meaning  of  life,  in  other words, that we have followed God's  laws.  In  this  confusing  modern times, we are often living for  the  moment,  trying  to  extract  the maximum pleasure from each instant, without considering  appropriately the future consequences.

We are called upon to examine our own position with  respect  to  sex, our attitude at work, our understanding of friendship,  what  kind  of education we are giving our children, how we relate to and  treat  our parents, and many other important ethical issues. It is vital that  we try to to set personal goals aiming to become better human beings.  We can be absolutely sure  that,  if  we  do  not  stop  periodically  to seriously consider these issues, life itself will force us to do  so. Life has its special ways of calling our attention, either  through  a serious  illness,  the  loss  of  a  loved  one,  a   great   personal disappointment or, at the least, by the natural process of aging.

As ordinary persons living in this world, worrying  about  keeping  or finding a job, or balancing the monthly budget, we must  be  conscious of our limitations and try to focus on the things  that  we  have  the power to change- things that depend on our day-to-day decisions. It is not imperative that we aim too high, that we should be living as  some great soul that came to Earth, such as Ghandi or Mother Theresa.  This kind of expectation can only bring us  frustration.  Nevertheless,  we need to prepared ourselves for these moments, when  important  choices must be made. Our lives can be compared to a college  class  in  which the day of the final examination is unknown but we know it  will  come eventually.

What should we do to be ready for these moments of testing? Are  there rules that can better guide us in this guest  for  a  more  personally productive existence? Is there  an  infallible  recipe  for  achieving success in those matters? We could start living a more  virtuous  life by observing the only new commandment that Jesus left to us  "  I have loved you, also love one another. By this shall all... know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another".  These  are extremely simple words, but they can be the basis of a new philosophy, one that enlightens our daily lives. Of course,  we  will  still  make mistakes, we will still fail in many occasions, opting for  the  wrong course of action knowing full well that it is the wrong one.

Once we sow this seed  of  love  in  our  hearts,  it  will  germinate inevitably. Then, to cultivate it, we must focus on knowing  ourselves better. This is a hard and long process. In "The Gospel  According  to Spiritism", Saint Augustine gives us an extremely valuable advice, yet very simple and practical, on whether we are putting into practice the  command of Jesus: "At the close of each day I examined my  conscience, reviewed all that I had done, and  asked  myself  whether  I  had  not failed in some duty, whether someone might not have reason to complain of me. It was in this way that I succeeded in obtaining a knowledge of myself,  and  in  ascertaining  what  there  was  in  me  that  needed reforming." [1]

In this process, it is important to seek sources of encouragement, and to have achievable goals for ourselves. A set of  achievable  goal  is Allan Kardec's description of the qualities of  a  good  person:  "The truly good person is the one who practice the law of justice, love and charity  in  its  utmost  purity.  In  examining  his  conscience,  he questions himself whether he has not violated this law; whether he did not commit evil acts; whether he did all the good he could have  done; whether he did not voluntarily neglect an opportunity of being useful; whether anybody complains of him; finally, whether he  did  to  others everything he wanted others to do to himself." [2]

Let us try, therefore, to live smartly  according  to  this  guidance. Even if the goals seem distant, it's the effort that truly matters. In devoting ourselves to such a program, we may sometimes find moments of loneliness, but we will never  be  without  the  guidance  of  Divine Providence.

Miguel Bertolucci

Originally published in "New Horizons: Spiritist Perspectives for Centered Living". March/April 1995. By AKES.

Editorial Notes:

[2] The Gospel According to Spiritism: "The good person", Chapter 17.




Mankind, why do  you  complain  about  the  calamities  which  you yourselves have heaped upon your heads? You despise  the  saintly  and divine morality of Christ, so do not be  surprised  that  the  cup  of iniquity should overflow on all sides. Trouble has become generalized. Who is to blame if not you who have unceasingly tried  to  crush  each other? It is impossible to be happy without  mutual  benevolence;  but how can benevolence coexist alongside pride? Pride! This is  the  root of all your troubles. Apply yourselves therefore to destroying it,  if you do not wish continually to perpetuate  these  fatal  consequences. There is only one way which offers itself for this purpose, but it  is infallible: take Christ's law as your invariable rule of conduct, that very  same  law  which  has  been  spurned   or   falsified   in   its interpretation.

Why do you hold that which shines and  enchants  the  eyes  in  higher esteem than that which touches the heart? Why do you make the vice  of opulence the object of your adulations, whereas you are disdainful  of true merit when it is obscure? Whenever a rich debauchee appears, even though he be lost in body and soul, all doors open, all rush  to  give him attention; whereas a godly person who lives by his work is  hardly given a good-day!  When  the  consideration  dispensed  to  others  is measured by the gold they possess or the name they use, what  interest can they have in correcting their defects?

But it would be very different  if  the  many  degrading  and  immoral practices which are gilded over, were censured by  public  opinion  as much as is the  failing  of  poverty.  But  pride  shows  itself  ever indulgent to all who flatter it. You say that this is the  century  of cupidity and money. Beyond doubt; but why allow material necessity  to overshadow your good sense and reason? Why must each one wish to place themselves above their brother? Society today suffers  the  consequences of this fact.

Never forget that this state of affairs is  always  a  sign  of  moral decay and decline. When pride reaches extremes it is an indication  of an imminent fall, for God never fails to punish the  arrogant.  If  He sometimes allows them to rise, it is only in order to  give  time  for meditation and to mend their ways under the blows which come to strike their pride from time to time, to serve as warnings.  But  instead  of becoming humble, they rebel. Thus when the cup is full God will  cause them to descend, and according to how high they have risen,  the  more terrible will be their fall.

Suffering humanity, whose selfishness has corrupted all things, we beg you to renew your courage despite everything. In  His  infinite  mercy God has sent you a powerful remedy for all your  ills,  an  unexpected help for all your miseries. Open your eyes to the light! Here are  the souls of those who no longer live upon the Earth,  who  have  come  to call you to the fulfillment of your true obligations.  They  will  tell you, with the voice of  experience,  that  compared  to  eternity  the vanities and grandeurs of this passing existence become mere  trifles. There, the greatest is the one who has been the humblest  amongst  the most humble of your world; he who has most  loved  his  fellow  beings will himself be the best loved in Heaven. If  the  powerful  on  Earth abuse their authority, they will find themselves reduced to a position of obedience to their own servants and lastly, humility  and  charity, who are as two brothers going hand in hand,  are  the  most  efficient means of obtaining grace before He who is Eternal.

Adolf, Bishop of Argel (Marmande,  1862).
In: "The Gospel according to Spiritism", Chapter 7.
Translation by J. Duncan  (Allan  Kardec  Study Group).


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Advanced Study Group of Spiritism
Founded on October 15th 1992
The Spiritist Messenger - Monthly Electronic Report of   the GEAE Group 
GEAE 7th year - Number 19 - distributed: June 1999
"Unshakable faith is only that which can face reason face to face in every Humankind epoch." 
                                                                                                                                      Allan Kardec

           Spiritism easily explained (Part II)  
           Allan Kardec        
           The first issue of "Human  Nature":  the    
           launching of  a new magazine on the   
           study of the psi viewed by a Spiritist  
           A L Xavier Jr (Brazil)  

           Take a Good Look  




Allan Kardec

Before we proceed we  must  remark  that  the  reality  of  the  facts encountered many opponents. Some of them, without taking into  account the integrity and impartiality  of  their  investigators,  would  only consider the phenomena as a fraud or a clever subtlety. Those who  did not admit to anything but matter, who did not believe in the invisible world, who thought that everything finds its end in the death  of  the body, the materialists, in one word, the  so  called  strong  spirits, they moved the existence of the invisible  spirits  to  the  field  of absurd tails. They considered those who took the subject seriously  as crazy, and treated them with sarcasms and mockeries. Others who  could not  deny  the  facts  and  under  the  influence  of  certain  ideas, considered the phenomena an exclusive action  of  the  devil,  trying, therefore, to frighten the timid. However, today fear of the devil has lost its popularity. In fact the subject became  so  popular  and  was portrayed in so many ways that people got used to the idea,  and  many believed that this was the time to find out what it really was. Aside from a few timorous women,  the  communication  of  the  true  devil's arrival was somewhat malicious for those  who  had  seen  it  only  in pictures or in the theater. For many it was  a  powerful  impulse  and they tried to rise barriers against the new ideas. By  doing  so  they involuntarily initiated  an  opposite  reaction,  and  so  became  the propagators of the ideas; the louder they  cried  the  more  efficient they were. Other critics were also unsuccessful since the facts, carefully verified by clear reasoning,  provided  only  denials.  When their publications are analyzed the testimony of the ignorance and the lack of serious observation of the facts are  encountered  everywhere. Nowhere can one find a positive demonstration of their  impossibility. All of their argumentation are summed up by the  claims:  ''I  do  not believe, therefore, it does not  exist.  All  those  who  believe  are crazy. Only we have the privilege of reason and sound judgment.''  The number of believers resulting from the serious or  comical  criticisms was immense, because only private opinions are found in them which are devoid of disproof. Let us continue with our exposition.

The communication through raps was rather slow and incomplete. It  was discovered that, by attaching a pencil to a movable object (such as  a basket, a small board or a similar item, on which the fingers could be placed), the object would begin to move and make signs. Later  it  was discovered  that  such  objects  were  only  dispensable  accessories. Experience has shown that the spirit who acted upon a unanimated  body could in the same way control the arms  or  the  hands  and  lead  the pencil. Writing mediums then appeared, that is, people who could write in an involuntary manner under the impulse of the spirits, being their interpreters and instruments. Thenceforth the  communications  had  no limits, and the exchange of thoughts was as fast and easy as among the living. It was a vast field opened to exploration, the discovery of  a new world: the world of the invisible,  very  much  the  same  as  the microscope has unveiled the world of the infinitely small.

Who are these spirits? What is their role in  the  Universe?  What  is their reason for communicating with the mortals? Such were  the  first questions demanding explanation. The spirits soon revealed  that  they were not apart from creation, but were instead the very souls of those who had lived on the earth or on other worlds. After having left their corporeal envelopes, they populate an fly through the space. There was no room for doubt when friends and  relatives  were  recognized  among them, furnishing proofs of their  existence  when  interrogated.  They came to demonstrate that death was only for their bodies,  that  their souls or spirits continue to live, that they are very  near  us,  that they can see us very much like when they were alive. They kindly watch over those whom they loved and whose memories very much please them.

In general we make a completely false idea of the  spirits.  They  are not abstract or vague beings as many would imagine. Also they are  not a glaring radiance or a spark, but are rather very real, having  their own individuality and definite form. We can have a approximate idea of them according to the following explanation:

There are three essential things in human beings:

*The soul or the spirit, the intelligent principle where the thoughts, will and moral sense are found. *The   body,  the  material  envelope, weighty and rough. The body  enables   the   spirit  relate  with  the material world. *The perispirit, the light fluidic envelope, which  is the intermediary  bound between the spirit and the body.

When the exterior covering is threadbare and can  no  more  work,  the spirit get rid of it, like the fruit liberates itself from  the  shell or as one forsake a clothing which is no longer useful. That  is  what we call death.

Therefore, death is simply the destruction of the crude shell  of  the spirit; only the body dies, not the spirit. During life, the spirit is somewhat limited by the material  links  of  matter  to  which  it  is bounded. These limits can many times neutralize its faculties, and the body's death liberates it from such bounds setting it free  (like  the butterfly from its cocoon). But the spirit gives up only the  material body, keeping the  perispirit  which  is  a kind  of  ethereal  body, vaporous and very subtle to us. It has the human form which  seems  to be the standard one. In its normal state, the perispirit is invisible, but the spirit can make certain changes upon it so  as  to  render  it temporarily visible or able to be touched, similar to what happens  to condensed vapor. In this manner, the spirits can sometimes  appear  to us during apparitions. By using the perispirit,  the  spirit  can  act upon matter and produce the  several  phenomena  of  raps,  movements, writing etc.

Raps and movements are a way for the spirits to testify their presence and to call our attention, like a person may do to make others  notice him. Some of them do not limit themselves to make moderate noises, but instead produce a row of breaking dishes, of opening and closing doors or disordered furnitures.

Through knocks and combined movements they are able to  express their thoughts, but  writing,  which  they  prefer,  offers  them  the  most complete, convenient and fastest way. As they can make marks, so  they also can lead the hands to drawn, write music or play  a  piece  in  a musical instrument. In few words, because they lack  physical  bodies, they use a medium to manifest themselves to the human  in  a  sensible way.

The spirits can also  manifests  themselves  in  several  other  ways, including through vision and audition. Certain people  called  hearing mediums, have  the capacity  to listen  to spirits  and  they  can, therefore, talk to them. Others, the seeing mediums can see them.  The spirits which generally manifest themselves  visually  appear  in  the same way as when they were alive, although in a vaporous way. On other occasions, this form is so similar to a living being that  it  appears to be almost a complete delusion. They haven sometimes been  taken  to be flesh and blood humans which  people  talked  to  and  shook  hands without even suspecting they were  spirits,  except  for  their  later sudden disappearance. The permanent and  general  capacity  to  see  spirits  is  rare,  but individual apparitions specially at the  moment  of  death,  are  very common. The released spirit seems to hurry to see  its  relatives  and friends again, as if it wished to show them that it has just left  the earth but wants to tell them it is still alive.

By gathering individual recollection, many authentic  but  until  then unnoticed facts can be considered as having happened not only at night during sleep, but during  the  day  in  the  most  complete  state  of wakefulness. In the past, these facts were considered as marvelous and supernatural and were placed in the domain of wizardry and witchcraft. Today, however, the incredulous attribute them to imagination and  we, since the spiritist science has given us the key, know how to  produce them and that they do not leave  from the  normal  phenomenological order.

We also believe that the spirits,  just  because  they  are  spirits, should not be understood to have supreme knowledge and wisdom; this is a mistaken understanding that experience did not delay to prove. Among the spirit communications, there are those which are rich  in  sublime profundity, eloquence, wisdom and morals and  reflect  only  good  and benevolence. Others, however, are extremely  vulgar,  futile,  trivial and even rough. Through these messages the spirits reveal  their  most perverted instincts. It is clear that they can not come from the  same source and that, if there are good spirits, there are also  bad  ones. Since the spirits are only the very souls of the human, they  can  not turn into perfect beings after leaving their  bodies. They  keep  the imperfections of  their corporeal  lives  until  final  improvement. Therefore, in their messages, we see all  degrees  of  goodness  and badness, of wisdom and ignorance.

The spirits are generally happy to communicate and are very  satisfied to know that they were  not  forgotten.  They  gladly  describe  their impressions after leaving the earth, their new situation,  the  origin of their happiness and suffering in their new world. Some  are  happy, others are unhappy, suffering terrible torments according to  the  way in which they lived and the good or bad use they made of their  lives. By watching them in all phases of their new lives, paying attention to the positions they occupied on earth,  their  types  of  death,  their characters  and  behaviors  as human beings, we can come to a sufficiently accurate, if not complete,  knowledge of  the  invisible world. Such knowledge enables us the explanation of our future state and to foresee the happy or sad destiny that waits for us there.



A L Xavier Jr

"The son of Kesa from Kalamo once came to the Buddha  and  complained: 'Master, every priest and monk extols his belief to  me  as  the  only true and condemns the belief of the others as false. Doubt is torturing me since I do not know whose words I should follow'.  Buddha  replied: 'Your doubts are justified, son of Kesa. Listen to my advice:  Do  not believe anything that comes to you from hearsay;  do  not  believe  in traditions just because they  are  old  and  have  gone  through many generations; do not believe anything because  it  is  the  subject  of rumours or of frequent discussion; do not  believe  just  because  you hear the witness of an old sage; never  believe  anything  because  of conjecture or because many years of habit tempt you to  regard  it  as true; do not believe anything because of the mere  authority  of  your teachers and clerymen.

Accept as true and live according to the principle which  agree with the reasoning drawn from your  own  experience  and  examination,  and which serve your own welfare and salvation as well as the welfare  and salvation of all other beings."

With this quotation by Anguttara Nikano,  Andreas  Sommer  starts  the presentation of the brand  new  magazine  "Human  Nature"  (edited  in Germany and directed to an English speaking public) dedicated  to  the study and research of all matters related to the so called  "psi".  It is not intended to be  a  re-edition  of  periodicals  specialized  in Parapsychology as many could initially imagine. It is rather a serious commitment to  a  time  to  time  evervecent  subject  bearing  strong relations with Spiritism.

At a first glance I realized "Human Nature" was  also  bringing  to  a world wide public important interconnections around what seems  to  be the  central  part  of  the  work  -  the  psychical  research.   Such 'interconnections' relate the research for the 'psi' to  philosophical discussions of mind, spirit and their relation to matter  as  well  as other more subtle themes like 'soul exploration in order to master the art of living' according to Sommer's own words.  One  instantly  notes here the editor sensitivity in recognizing that  the  spirit  research (or, as it is also known, of  the  psi)  can  not  be  separated  from theoretical and even speculative reflections. A proof of this  is  the section structure of the magazine:

1- *The Spiritual Companion*  that aims at bringing 'the  findings  of modern psychology' to attain a 'better understanding of ourselves  and others'. I consider this section the most special  of the magazine  as I was much impressed with the article "Disease as the language of  the soul" by Rudiger Dahlke.  It  is  not  difficult  to  relate  Dahlke's discussion that "it is clear that disease is  another way in which  we can learn" with Emmanuel's words like " all human creatures  get  sick but few of them cogitate upon the true health"(*).  Dahlke  recognizes that "disease is the formal aspect of a spiritual content; or in other words, symptoms are the  physical  embodiment  of  spiritual  issues". Although not discussed in the original text, there  is  here  a  clear connection with the hidden principle of cause and effect - the law  of tests and attonements - by which diseases can be  view  as  transitory stages of the soul caused by past misdoings in  its  eternal  life  or important essays of the soul toward  its  own  improvement.  From  the philosophical point of view, the  'modern  finds  of  psychology'  are unveiling many already debated issues in the Spirititist movement. The article "The courage to be  tolerant"  by  Beat  Imhof  also  confirms Kardec's statement that Spiritism (the philosophy) would be a  crystal clear field (as regard to its acceptance) as much as ethical questions were concerned.

2- *Psychical Research* is the core of the magazine and, according  toSommer, "presents a  scientific  and  thus  critical  contribution  to illuminate the enigma of  man".  This  section  is  structured  around "research on matters  pertaining  to  Survival  of  Death  and  related areas". Here again innovation is found. To those  interested  in  the historical debate originated by the spirit phenomena, this section  is a promise of continuous information. In the first issue, the reader is presented  with  re-editions  of  two  pearls  of  the metaphychical research: Charles Richet's article "The difficulty  of  survival  from the scientific point of  view" and  Sir  Oliver  Lodge's  reply  "The possibility of survival from the scientific point of view" (**). I am specially suspicious to talk about Lodge's clearness (because  he  was both a Spiritualist and physicist as I am), but I am obliged  to  say, as a matter of justice, that Lodge's reasoning seems more  lucid  than Richet's propositions (the reader should be acquainted with  the  fact that Richet remained skeptical about the Spiritist theory until his death). Both articles are valuable sources for the  sincere  Spiritist student. Another  article  by  Michael Grosso, "Afterlife  research: evidence, problems and paradigms" brings an interesting summary of  the phenomena related to the "survival hypothesis" but the author does not succeed (maybe because the author does not want?) in reaching a  final conclusion (any scientific article ideally brings one) on the  matter. In his text, Grosso tries  to  relate  parallel  phenomena  like  Ufo's apparitions, anomalies and psychodelic experiences to the realm of the psychic  research but  his argumentation,  to my opinion, is insufficient.

3- *Beyound human nature*  is  described  as  bringing  "philosophical discussions on the nature of an  'afterlife'  as  well  as  occasional mediumnistic communications of a high standard".  The  section  starts with  an article by  Rudolf  Passian  "Innocent  Suffering  - why?" originally published in German in the  "Wegbegleiter"  magazine.  The article is well  written  and  touches  some of  the  most important contributions of the Spiritist doctrine to the  human  life:  that of understanding suffering. Passian calls our attention to  the many hidden aspects of suffering  and  his  point  of  view  is  clearly Christian.  Besides,  although  coming  from  a   different   cultural environment, Passian's words are truely  Spiritist:  "the  reports  of near-death experiences in particular leave us in  no  doubt  that  the spiritual world order above us is founded on ethical principle".This again confirms the well known spiritist conception that  Spiritism  is an universal thought, what seems to culturally separate us is  just  a question of words and definitions.

You can subscribe (***) to "Human Nature" waiting for  an  independent vehicle of discussion and, to my opinion, a new communication gate for the flow of debates on the very core of the human soul. Its  structure is a proof  that  we  are  at  the  border  of  a  convergence  region concerning spirit phenomena,  a  place  where  science,  religion  and philosophy will meet with consequences never faced before.

A L Xavier Jr

(*) Emmanuel, "Fonte  Viva",  message  n  199  "Estas  doente?",  psc.
Franscisco Candido Xavier, Edited by FEB.

(**) Originally published in Part XC of the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol XXXIV, 1924.

(***) Subscriptions should be sent to Verlag Martin Weber,  Fabrikstr. 1, D - 77746 Schutterwald, Germany.  You  can  also  order  by  e-mail writting to Este endereço de email está sendo protegido de spambots. Você precisa do JavaScript ativado para vê-lo.  (annual  subcription:  18  Pounds Sterling  for  the  UK  and  US$34  for  the  rest  of   the   world).




"I tell you, take a good look at the fields, the crops  are  ripe  and
ready to be harvested!" John 4:35

The world is full of works related to the stomach.

The terrestrial existence overflows with emotions relative to sex.

Nobody denies the sacred  foundations  of  both,  however,  we  cannot remain within the limits of these expressions.

One must raise the eyes and explore higher zones. It is  necessary  to cogitate upon croping new values, to assist our own barn.

Life is not restricted to  nutrition  phenomena,  nor  simply  to  the continuity of the species.

Laborious service of spiritual illumination requests people.

Valuable knowledge call us to superior spheres.

Eternal truths proclaim that happiness is not a myth, that life in the Earth is not limited to transitory carnal manifestations,  that  peace is the treasure of the God's children and that the divine greatness is the creature's wonderful destination.  However, in  order  to  receive such high talents, it is indispensable to raise the eyes,  to  elevate our understanding and to sanctify our reasoning.

One should lift up the sublime lamp of faith above the shadows.

Beloved brother or sister who rests under the divine tree of life,  do not  tie yourself exclusively to the fruits of  the  lost  opportunity  that you left  to  deteriorate... Do  not  isolate  yourself  in  the inferior fields, contemplating   sadness, failures, disappointments!...Look at the High!... Recover the  immortal  fronds that swing in the blow of Divine Providence.  Apply  yourself  to  the labors of the harvest and note that, while the roots  remain  tied  to the ground, green branches , full of  fruits,  move  skyward,  in  the direction of the Infinite.

In "Vinha de Luz", Medm. Psc. Francisco Candido  Xavier,  12  edition.Published by FEB.
Trans. A L Xavier Jr.


Electronic weekly report - Boletim do GEAE
Monthly English report: "The Spiritist Messenger"
Home page - "The Spiritism Web" - contains Spiritist information in general: electronic books, newspapers  reports, info on the Spiritist movement worldwide, institutions, events and Spiritist links.
General Information 
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 Collection in Portuguese (Boletim do GEAE)
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Advanced Study Group of Spiritism
Founded on October 15th 1992
The Spiritist Messenger - Monthly Electronic Report of   the GEAE Group 
GEAE 7th year - Number 20 - distributed: July 1999
"Unshakable faith is only that which can face reason face to face in every Humankind epoch." 
                                                                                                                                      Allan Kardec

           Spiritism easily explained  (Part III)   
           Allan Kardec         
           The Career of "Allan Kardec" (Part I)   
           Steve Hume (NAS - UK)   



           Only in this way   


Allan Kardec

The instructions given by high level spirit regarding every subject of interest  to  humankind  and  their  answers  regarding  the  proposed questions  were  carefully  gathered  and  organized.  Together   they constitute a whole science, a moral and philosophical doctrine  called Spiritism. Spiritism is, therefore,  the  doctrine founded  upon  the existence, manifestations and teachings of the spirits. This  doctrine is  fully  exposed  in  "The  Spirit's  Book"  with  regard   to   its philosophical aspect.  Its  practical  and  experimental   aspect   is contained   in   The  Medium's  Book,  while  the  moral   aspect   is contained   in   The   Gospel  according  to  Spiritism.  Through  the analysis we  make  here,  one  can access the variety,  extension  and importance of the  subjects  covered by the doctrine.

As we have seen, Spiritism had its beginning in the  common  phenomena of the turning tables. But since facts speak more to the eyes than  to the intellect, giving rise more to curiosity  than  to  feelings,  the interest in the them disappears with curiosity in face of the lack  of any sensible explanation. The situation changed when a theory came  to explain cause, when it was realized  that  an  entire  moral  doctrine sprang from those dancing tables with which so many had such  a  happy time for  a  short  while.  This  doctrine  speaks  to  the  soul;  it dissipates the distress of doubts  and  satisfies  the  desire  for  a complete explanation of the future of mankind that was previously left in the vacuum. Serious people received the new teachings as a  helpful doctrine and, since then, instead of  declining,  it  quickly  spread. Within a few years it encountered support worldwide, especially  among enlightened people. The number of supporters increases daily  and  one can  say  that  today  Spiritism   has   obtained   its   ''right   of citizenship''. It is founded on bases which challenge  the  effort  of its opponents who are more or less interested in its denial. The proof is that the attacks and criticisms could not delay its march for  even a moment. Its opponents could never explain this simple fact. For  the Spiritists, if it continues to propagate in spite of its criticism, it is because Spiritism is good and the way of its  reasoning  is  better than of its opponents.

Spiritism,  however,  is  not  a  modern  discovery.  The  facts   and principles upon which it is based were lost in the night of the times, since one can find its tracks in the beliefs of  all  people,  in  all religions and in the majority of sacred and profane writers. But  such facts  neither  were  properly  considered  nor   their   consequences completely deduced, they were instead  interpreted  according  to  the superstitious ideas of the ignorant.

In fact, Spiritism is founded on the existence of the spirits. As  the spirits are only the souls of  people  and  since  there  were  always people, Spiritism could not have invented or created the  spirits.  If the souls or spirits can manifest themselves to the living, this is  a natural fact that, therefore, has always been so since  the  beginning of time. Therefore in any place or time one can find  proofs  of  such intense manifestations, especially in the Biblical texts.

The logical explanation of the facts, the more complete  knowledge  of the spirit nature, of their role and way of action, the revelation  of our future state and finally the  gathering  of  these  facts  into  a scientific and doctrinal body are, however, modern. The  ancient  knew its principles, while modern man knows its details. In past times  the study of these phenomena was a privilege  within  certain  castes  and were revealed only to their initiates. In the middle ages,  those  who ostensibly dealt with them were considered warlocks and were therefore burned at the stakes. But today, there is no longer  any  mystery,  no one burns anyone, everything happens clearly and everyone is  free  to learn and practice Spiritism, since there are mediums everywhere

The very doctrine that the spirits teach today is not new. It  can  be found in fragments of the greatest philosophers from India, Egypt  and Greece, and entirely in the teachings of Christ. What is then the goal of Spiritism? It came to give new testimonies,  to  point  out,  using facts, unknown or not well understood truths and to  re-establish,  in its true sense, misinterpreted ones.

Spiritism teaches nothing new, that is true. But is it not valuable to show, in an obvious and irrefutable way, the existence  of  the  soul, its  survival  over  body's  death,  its   immortality,   its   future punishments and rewards ? How many believe in such  things,  but  only with weak and hidden thoughts, silently wondering: ''And  if  it  were not so?'' How many people were brought to discredit because they  were given a future which their minds could not rationally  accept?  Is  it not admirable, then, if the weak believer could say: "Now I am sure!", that the blind could see the light ?  By  facts  and  logic  Spiritism dissipates distressing doubts and brings back faith to those  who  had lost it. It unfolds the existence of  the  invisible  world  which  is around us and in which we unsuspectingly live. Through the example  of the dead, Spiritism shows us our happy or  sad  future  condition.  It explains the cause of earthly sufferings and shows us a way to  soften them.  Its  propagation  will  have  as  an  inevitable   effect   the destruction of materialist doctrines which can no longer resist to its evidence. Human beings, convinced of the greatness and  importance  of their future, eternal  life,  draw  a  parallel  between  it  and  the indefiniteness of the terrestrial life which is  so  short.  By  their thoughts they elevate themselves above ungenerous  human  values,  and realize the cause and reason for their sufferings, which are thereupon viewed by them with meekness and  endurance  because  they  understand they are a way for their improvement. The example of  those  who  come from the beyond to describe their joys and  pains,  demonstrating  the reality of the future life shows, at the same time, that God's justice leaves no wickedness without punishment and no virtue without  reward. Finally, we also add that the communication of our dear departed  ones brings us a sweet consolation, showing not only that they continue  to live but also that they are less far from us than if they  were  in  a foreign land.

Briefly stating, Spiritism softens the  distress  of  life's  sadness, calms  the  despair  and  agitation  of  the  soul,   dissipates   the uncertainties  and  fears  of  the  future  and  eliminates   suicidal feelings. At the same time it brings happiness to those who believe in it. This is the secret of its fast propagation.

From a religious point of view, Spiritism is based on the  fundamental truths  of  every  religion:  God,  the  soul,   immortality,   future punishments and rewards. It is, however, independent of any particular cult. Its goal is to prove to those who negate soul's  existence  that the soul survives after the body, that  it  suffers  after  death  the consequences of the good or evil practiced during its corporeal  life. Now then, this is common to any religion.

As a belief in the spirits, Spiritism is also not different  from  any religion or people, since in any place where there were  humans  there will always be souls or spirits. Its manifestations are natural to all times  and  descriptions  can  be  found  in  all  religions   without exception. One can, therefore, be a Catholic or Protestant, a Greek or a Roman, a Jew or a Muslim and yet believe in  the  manifestations  of the spirits and, consequently, be a Spiritist. The fact that Spiritism has adherents from all sects is proof of this.

In a moral sense, Spiritism is essentially Christian since  it  merely teaches the development and application of Christ's doctrines,  which are the purest of all and whose  superiority  no  one  contests.  This proves that such doctrine is God's law and that it is for everyone.

By being independent of any cult, Spiritism prescribes none  of  them. It preoccupies itself with no particular dogmas nor is it  a  religion since it has neither priests, pastors nor temples.  It  answers  those who ask if it is of any good to follow such or such practice: If  your conscience asks you to do it, do it and God always takes into  account the intention. In essence: Spiritism imposes itself on no one,  it  is not intended for those who have a faith or whose faith is  sufficient, but rather it is for the immense majority of unbelievers and insecure. Spiritism does not take these unbelievers  and  insecure  out  of  the Church, as they are morally apart from it already. It makes them  walk three fourths of the way; it is up to the Church to make them walk the rest.

It is true that Spiritism opposes  certain  beliefs  such  as  eternal punishments, the material fire of hell, the devil's personality,  etc. However, is it not also true that  such  ideas,  imposed  as  absolute truths, have always made and continue  to  make  unbelievers?  If,  by giving a rational explanation for such dogmas, Spiritism  brings  back faith, is it not helping religion? As a venerable  ecclesiastic  said: ''Spiritism makes one believe in something. Now, is it not  better  to believe in something rather than absolutely nothing ?''.

As the souls are the spirits, one can not deny the  existence  of  the spirits without denying the souls. If one admits to the  existence  of souls  or  spirits,  the  question  is  then  reduced  to  its  purest expression: Can the souls of the dead communicate  with  the  living? Spiritism proves the affirmative by material facts. What proof can  be given to the contrary ? If it is so, all  negations  will  not  impede that it continues to be, since one deals with no system or theory  but with nature's law.  Now  then,  mankind's  will  is  powerless  before nature's law and whether one wants to or not, its consequences must be accepted as well as human's beliefs and habits adequate themselves  to them.



Steve Hume

At the start of this  series  of  articles  I  wrote  that  the  title 'Spiritualism & the Establishment' is actually rather misleading. What we are really talking about, of course, is the effect that  mediumship has had upon the, generally negative, established  weight  of  opinion against itself. At the end of the day 'Spiritualism' is only  a  handy verbal peg upon which we hang the phenomena  of  mediumship,  and  the teachings that issue from it, in a modern context. The 'Establishment' is a further convenient  sound  symbol  that  is  used  to  label  the generally accepted wisdom (on any given subject) when we perceive this to have been officially endorsed by the most influential in society.

The reason I feel it necessary to reiterate the foregoing is that, for the next few months, I will be using a different word  at  times  when referring to a 'religion' that has coalesced  around  the  concept  of mediumship.  'Spiritism'  is  the  word  associated  with  mediumistic practice throughout Latin America, particularly  in  Brazil  where  it rivals Catholicism, and the Philippines. However, the influence of one man in particular upon Spiritism may be judged by the  fact  that  the movement  is  also  often  referred  to  in  Brazil  as  'espiritismo kardecista' or 'Kardecism'.

There are many paradoxes in the impact that the Frenchman Allan Kardec (1804-1869) has had upon human affairs. The chief of these is that his work constitutes the only example of a modern appraisal of  mediumship that has had (and continues to have) a truly obvious and major  effect upon a very significant section of human society. In his book  Spirits and   Scientists:  Ideology,  Spiritism   and   Brazilian   Culture, anthropologist David J. Hess even cited evidence which  suggests  that the spirit teachings collected by  Kardec  were  a  major  theoretical influence (Hess almost implies naked plagiarism) on some of  the  most important founders of modern psychology and psychiatry, such as Pierre Janet.[1] Yet, despite this, Kardec remains almost unknown  or  poorly understood by Spiritualists  in Britain; the  most  common,  and  most fatal, error being that he was a medium himself and that the teachings were his own.  Arthur  Findlay  showed  his  own  misunderstanding  by dismissing Kardec in the following terms:-

"In Brazil the extensive movement  there  has  been  directed  by  the writings of the Frenchman, Allan Kardec. He, however,  influenced  the thoughts of his followers more to the doctrine of  reincarnation  than to the belief in  progress  advanced  by  both  American  and  British Spiritualists, and he gave mediumship little consideration."  (italics added)[2]

The fact that a third of the most important volumes of  Kardec's  work was published under the title of "The Medium's  Book"  may  give  some indication as to how wide of the mark Findlay was here. This, together with the fact that Spiritism, like Spiritualism, observes the  concept of  eternal  progress  as  a  central  tenet,  suggests  that  he  was unfamiliar, to say the least, with the Frenchman's work. In fact,  the only major difference between Spiritism and Spiritualism is  that,  in the former case, the 'doctrine' of reincarnation is a central teaching whereas,  with  Spiritualism,  belief   in   reincarnation,   although extremely common, is more generally diffused throughout  the  movement and there are many Spiritualists who reject the concept with  apparent contempt.

However, it is not my intention to fuel the already overheated  debate about the reality or otherwise about  reincarnation.  The  only  thing that I, personally, can say for sure on this matter is  that  I  don't know, and that I find elements of the arguments from both sides of the debate persuasive on the one hand and, sometimes, hopelessly illogical on the other. What I do hope to show, however, is that Kardec's way of looking at spirit communications of a philosophical  nature  may  have the potential to provide a way forward in increasing our understanding on this issue and, perhaps, also of diffusing  some  of  the  acrimony that seems to be provoked  on  both  sides  whenever  the  subject  is raised.

But first, if we wish to gain an understanding of  why  Kardec's  work continues to enjoy such relatively spectacular success, and also placeit in its correct context, we must take a   look  at  his  background. 'Allan Kardec' was the nom de plume adopted by Hippolyte Leon Denizard Rivail under which he published his books  on  Spiritism.  Rivail  was born in Lyon on October 3, 1804  into  a  family  who  had,  for  many generations, been lawyers and magistrates. As a  child  he  showed  anaptitude for the sciences and philosophy and, at the age  of  ten,  he was sent to the Pestalozzi  Institute  in  Yverdun.[3]  This  was  the school  of  the  influential  Swiss  educationalist  Johann   HeinrichPestalozzi, whose radically new methods of  teaching  were  attracting pupils from well connected families all over Europe. Hess stresses the importance  of  this  early  event  in  Rivail's  life  in  that   the 'Pestalozzi  method' of teaching was based on the principles  of  the Enlightenment. Students were encouraged to embrace ideals of political and social reform and, therefore, although Rivail remained a Catholic, he adopted the open minded attitude  of  a  Freethinker.  He  came  to believe (to quote Hess) that education was 'the key to harmonizing the relations between rich and poor'.[4] These factors must have played  a major role in making the spirit  teachings that Rivail would encounter later in his life appear so attractive to him. Not only  would  he  be open minded enough not to reject them for religious reasons, but  they would also appear to be confirmation of his egalitarian beliefs  which ran counter to many of the Church's dogmas.

Also, Rivail arrived at the Pestalozzi Institute at a time  of  bitter political in-fighting between the  domineering  administrator,  Joseph Schmid and  Johannes  Niederer,  a  theoretician  who  had  helped  to publicize Pestallozi's ideas. Hess  speculates  that  Rivail  probably learned valuable lessons from both men: from Schmid, the political and administrative skills that would later help him to found and  maintain an international movement; and from Niederer, the  art  of  presenting new   and   controversial   ideas   to   a   skeptical   public    and Establishment.[5] Rivail quickly proved himself to be a  child  genius of rare distinction. The internecine strife at the school  caused  the resignation of 16 of the masters,[6] and,  at  the  age  of  fourteen, Rivail was asked to teach his own classmates.[7] He also became one of Pestallozi's favourite pupils  and  most  ardent  disciples  and  left Yverdun with a degree in  letters  and  science  and  a  doctorate  in medicine.[8]

After leaving the Pestalozzi Institute Rivail settled in Paris and  in 1824 he published his first book. This was based on his own system for teaching mathematics and was reprinted until 1876. The following year, at the age of 21, he opened his own 'First Grade School'  and in  1826 he  opened  another,  'The  Rivail  Technical  Institute'.  He  taught chemistry, physics, mathematics, astronomy,  comparative  anatomy  and rhetoric, and also spoke nine languages...Italian and Spanish fluently [9]. Rivail also submitted proposals for educational   reform  to  the French Legislative Chamber which  were  highly  praised  although  not adopted [10].

In 1832, he married Amelie Gabrielle Boudet, a fine arts  teacher  and writer, but disaster struck in 1835 when huge gambling  debts  accrued by his uncle, who was also his partner, forced the closure of  one  of his schools.[11] However, Rivail began writing a series  of  textbooks on diverse subjects for the French University and also began  to  give free lessons in his own home.[12] By 1848, when the mediumship of  the Fox sisters was creating such a stir in America, he was a  well  known and highly respected educator who could have existed quite comfortably for the rest of his life by living on the proceeds of  his  books.  In 1854 a friend with a shared interest in the phenomena of mesmerism,  a Mr Fortier, told Rivail of the table-turning craze that had,  by  that time, reached France. He would later recall that Fortier told him  how '...not only is a table made to tilt, magnetising it, but it can  also be made to speak.  Ask  it  a  question,  and  it  replies.'  Rivail's response was not untypical of  the  initial  reaction  of  many  other successful nineteenth century academics who  would  later  risk  their reputations by publicly  endorsing  mediumship.  He  replied  'I  will believe it when I see it and when it has been  proved  to  me  that  a table has a brain to think and nerves to feel and that it can become a sleep-walker. Until then, allow me to see nothing in this but a  fable told to provoke sleep.'[13]

Like  many  others  in  America  and  England,  Rivail  assumed   that table-turning was a 'purely material effect' and it was not until  the following year that he allowed himself to be  persuaded  to  attend  a table-turning session  in  the  home  of  one  of  Fortier's  mesmeric subjects, a Mrs Roger.  It  was  here  that  he  first  witnessed  the phenomenon of tables which  'jumped  and  ran  under  conditions  that precluded doubt' and some  'very  imperfect  attempts  at  mediumistic writing on a slate'.[14] But this did no  more  than  arouse  Rivail's natural curiosity and cause him to make a mental note  to  investigate the matter further. He wrote:- 'My ideas were far from being modified, but I saw in those phenomena an effect that  must have had a cause.  I glimpsed beneath the apparent frivolities and entertainment associated with these phenomena something serious, perhaps the  revelation  of  a new law, which I promised myself I would explore.'[15]

Rivail was then introduced to a Mr Baudin who held weekly  seances  at his home. Baudin's two daughters (who, by all  accounts,  were  rather frivolous  and  empty-headed)  were  in   the   habit   of   obtaining communications by use of table-tipping.[16] Normally  the  results  of their experiments were ample confirmation of  the  golden  rule  'like attracts like', but whenever Rivail was present,  the  nature  of  the communications changed completely. The usual stream of banalities  was replaced by philosophy of a 'very grave  and  serious  character'  and Rivail adopted the regular practice of arriving at every meeting armed with a list  of  penetrating  questions for the new communicators. Although English accounts of events during this period  vary  greatly, it is apparent that, at  some  point,  the  planchette  medium  Celina Japhet also became involved in providing answers to his questions.[17]

In the brief  biography  of  Rivail  (given  in  the  preface  of  her definitive English translation  of  his  first  book)  Anna  Blackwell mentions that these sessions provided the basis of Spiritist theory by use of table-tipping, raps and planchette  writing.  However,  when  a group of other investigators who had collected over 50 notebooks  full of communications asked Rivail to arrange them into some sort of order he initially refused.[18] Whether or not this was because he  was  not yet sufficiently enthused about the subject to absorb himself in  such an arduous task is any body's guess, but  he  eventually  changed  his mind. After two years of scrutinizing the communications  he  remarked to his wife:- 'My conversations with the invisible intelligences  have completely revolutionized my ideas and convictions.  The  instructions thus transmitted constitute an entirely  new  theory  of  human  life, duty, and destiny, that appears to me to  be  perfectly  rational  and coherent, admirably lucid and consoling, and intensely interesting.  I have a great mind to publish these conversations in  a  book;  for  it seems to me that what interests me so deeply might very  likely  prove interesting to others.'[19]

When Rivail submitted this idea to the  communicators  they  replied:-'To the will give, as being our work rather than yours, the title of "Le Livre des Espirits" (The Spirits'  Book);  and  you  will publish it, not under your own name, but under  the pseudonym of Allan Kardec ['Kardec' was an old Breton name in his mother's family].  Keep your own name of Rivail for your  own  books  already  published.'[20] Rivail  then  took  on  the  task  of  editing  the  fifty  notebooks, classifying the different types  of communication according  to  their character and the inner consistency of their arguments.  To  these  he added further communications from Japhet and  then,  still  not  being satisfied that the material was sufficiently verified,  submitted  his questions to a number of other mediums.[21] Throughout, he  used  what he called the principle of 'concordance' or 'conformity' by  which  he meant that he accepted as most likely to be  true,  the  answers  that could not only 'resolve all the difficulties of the question',[22] but were also consistent with answers from  other,  independent,  sources. When "The Spirits' Book" eventually appeared on April 18, 1857 it  was so successful that a second edition, augmented with yet more material, was printed the following year and the name  'Alan  Kardec'  became  a household word all over the continent.

The publication  of  "The  Spirits'  Book"  caused  something  such  a sensation in France not  least  because  its  'author'  was  a  sober,respected  intellectual,  but  also  because  it   contained   'spirit communications' that answered  his  questions  in  relation  to  every subject from the internal structure of matter to the  nature  of  God, human ethics, the universe and  the  place  of  humankind  within  it. Indeed, the contents of "The Spirits' Book" was probably not the  sort of stuff that the public had been led to expect  from  the  mediumship craze that had, over the  space  of  only  nine  years,  swept  across America and Europe after being initiated by two children!

However, the ground had already been prepared for  the  acceptance  of the first Kardec book by  the  Mesmerist  Alphonse  Cahagnet  who  had published the first of three volumes of a work  entitled  "Secrets  of the Future Life Unveiled" in 1848.[23] Cahagnet, a  cabinet  maker  by trade,  took  his  information  from   subjects   who,   after   being 'mesmerised', would relay evidential messages from the  Spirit  World. But there was a major difference between Cahagnet  and  Rivail.  Colin Wilson mentions that the former  did  not  believe  in  reincarnation, because his subjects said nothing of the subject,  and  that  he  also looked upon writing mediums with scorn.[24] Rivail, on the other hand, relied heavily, although not totally, upon writing mediums of one sort or another, and he seems to have become convinced  that  reincarnation was a fact. This may have been purely because a high proportion of the spirit personalities who communicated through the many mediums that he consulted, referred to reincarnation and explained  its  operation  in considerable detail. But the  crucial  factor  was  probably  Rivail's method  of  deciding  whether  or  not  a  spirit   statement   of   a philosophical nature was likely to be true. He would write many  years later of his early attempts to explain mediumistic phenomena and  make sense of contradictory statements about spirit life by spirits:-

'I tried to identify the causes of the phenomena by linking the  facts logically, and I did not accept an  explanation  as  valid  unless  it could resolve all the difficulties of the  question  (italics  added). This was the way I had always, from the age  of  fifteen  or  sixteen, proceeded in my investigations...One of my first observations was that the Spirits, being only the souls of men, did not have either absolute wisdom or absolute knowledge; their knowledge was limited to the level of their advancement and  their  opinion  had  only  the  value  of  a personal opinion. Recognizing this fact, from the beginning  saved  me from the serious error of believing in the Spirits' infallibility  and prevented me  from  formulating  premature  theories  based  upon  the opinion of only one or a few Spirits.'[25]

This was, basically, the core of Rivail's approach.  He  required  the spirits' answers to the questions that he posed to  them  to  'resolve all the difficulties of the question' even in  relation  to  morality, ethics and 'divine' justice and he had, apparently, decided  that  the communicators  who  explained  this  in  terms  of  reincarnation  had satisfied this criterion in the most satisfactory way.

I shall  give  a  fuller  account  of  the  Kardec  Spirits'  view  of reincarnation later. For the present it will be  enough  to  say  that they  presented  reincarnation  as  being   essential   to   spiritual progression and that this was to cause much friction between  Rivail's supporters and those of Cahagnet.[26] But, surprisingly, "The Spirits' Book"  actually  devotes  relatively  little   space   to   discussing reincarnation in depth. And,  although  the  influence  of  Cahagnet's earlier work probably did account for much of its initial  success  in France and the rest of Europe, its longer - term  influence  elsewhere must be due to other factors.

David  J.  Hess  attributes  this  to  Rivail's  superb  skill  as   aprofessional educator  that  had  been  developed  at  the  Pestalozzi Institute during his youth. In fact, Hess mentions that "The  Spirits's Book" reads rather like a Pestalozzian textbook.[27]It is certainly the case that the subject matter is presented in such a way that the  vast range of subjects dealt with by the spirits all interrelate with  each other, presenting a united front with no internal contradictions. What "The Spirits' Book" actually represents (or purports to) is a cohesive picture of the entire cosmos that is  centred  around  the  moral  and ethical aspects of spirit life and how these relate to humankind's use of mediumship...all expertly presented  in   one  volume.  In  effect, although Rivail certainly did  not  start  French  Spiritism,  he  had created a central body of teachings that was so ahead of its time that it, almost literally, became Spiritism from that point onwards.


[1] David J. Hess, Spirits and  Scientists:  Ideology,  Spiritism,  and Brazilian Culture (Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania University Press, 1991), p.78.

[2] Arthur   Findlay,   The   Way   of   Life   (London:   Headquarters Publishing/Psychic Press Ltd.), p.23.

[3] Janet Duncan, Translator's Preface to  Allan  Kardec's  The  Gospel According  to  Spiritism  (London:  Headquarters  Publishing,   1987), pp.ix-x.

[4] David J. Hess, ibid. , p.71.

[5] David J. Hess, ibid. ,p.70.

[6] David J. Hess, ibid., p.69.

[7] See 3.

[8] Allan Kardec (a), a compilation of short works  entitled  Christian Spiritism (Philadelphia:  Allan  Kardec  Educational  Society,  1985), p.189.

[9] See 3.

[10] Anna  Blackwell,  Translator's  Preface  to  Allan  Kardec's  "The Spirits' Book" (London: Psychic Press, 1975), p.11.

[11] Allan Kardec, (a), p.190.

[12] See 11.

[13] Allan Kardec (a), p.191.

[14] Allan Kardec (a), p.192.

[15] See 14.

[16] Colin Wilson, Afterlife (London: Grafton Books, 1985), pp.99-100.

[17] Details supplied by Janet Duncan to the author.

[18] Allan Kardec (a), p.194.

[19] Anna Blackwell, ibid., p.13.

[20] Anna Blackwell, ibid., pp.13-14.

[21] Allan Kardec (a), p.195.

[22] Allan Kardec (a), p.193.

[23] Colin Wilson, Afterlife (London: Grafton Books, 1987), p.101.

[24] See 1.

[25] Allan Kardec (a), p.193.

[26] See 1.

[27] David J. Hess, ibid., p.71.


"In the errant state, do spirits prefer to incarnate as men or women ?

Answer: Spirits are indifferent  about  the  matter.  Decisions  about  gender are based on the trials a spirit must undergo."

"The Spirits'Book", question 202.

Homosexuality, also called today transexuality  in  certain  areas  of science,  is  broadly  defined  as  the  creature's  tendency  towards affective attraction to  another  creature  of  the  same  gender.  No fundamental explanation for it is found in the  psychological  studies that deal with the matter on materialistic bases, but it is  perfectly comprehensible in the light of reincarnation.

Noticed  more  as  consequence  of  the  social  prejudices   of   the heterosexual majority than as a simple truth of life, its occurrence is growing in intensity and extension as Humanity progresses.  The  world sees, at the present time and in all countries, extensive  communities of brothers and sisters, millions of women and  men,  undergoing  such kind of experience. They all require the same kind  of  attention  and respect due to the heterosexual creatures.

The human collectivity will gradually learn  to  understand  that  the concepts of normality and abnormality have no  meaning  as  regard  to morphologic signs, but  rather,  they  represent  elevated  agents  of definition of the human dignity. The  human individuality  in  itself exalts the community life in  accordance  with  its  behavior  in  the service of the good. In the same way it may  instead  depreciate  this same life depending  on  the  role  that  it  plays  in  the  game  of delinquency.

Pure and simple spiritual life is  governed  by  elective  likenesses. However, from millennia to millennia, the  spirit  goes  through  many reincarnations, sometimes in the female position, other times  in  the male one. Such  fact  constitutes  the  base  for  the  more  or  less pronounced bisexual behaviour observed in almost all creatures.

In this way, man  and  woman  will  be  respectively  either  strongly masculine  or  strongly  feminine  with  no   absolute   psychological specification.

Before such reasoning, the individuality in change from  the female to male state  (or vice-versa)  will inexorably exhibits the female signs that she had carried for so many centuries, no matter the formation of her present male body.  The same also happens, by a  similar  process, to the woman in the same circumstances.

Also in accordance with such  principles,  the  spirit  may  choose  a female or male body before its birth. Such choice is taken  to  attend not only certain ordinary private tasks but also regenerative duties.

In many cases, the man who had abused his  reproductive  abilities  by ruining people's existence, resulting in the destruction of unions and homes, may be induced to exchange his  position  in  another  life  by using a female body. He will then learn, like in a prison, to  educate his own feelings. By the same token, the  woman  can  be  impelled  to reincarnate  in  a  morphologically  male  body  to  attain  the  same objectives. Moreover, in many other  cases,   educated  and  sensitive spirits, aspirating to accomplish specific tasks in  the  progress  of human groups and consequently in the progress of themselves,  implore the Instructors of the Beyond  a  new  body  in  opposition  to  their present  psychological  structure.  With  it,  they  are   transitorily protected against irreversible drags in the matter of love so as  they may easily succeed in their plans.

In face of whatever homosexual tendency observed in the  behaviour  of our companions, it is mandatory to provide them with the same adequate help given to the heterosexual majority.  To this aim, the world today evolves toward a better understanding of sex and love.  In  accordance with  such  understanding,  before  the   Eternal   Life,   the   good achievements and mistakes of our brothers and sisters on regard to sex and love, no matter their origin, are carefully analyzed according  to equal standards of Justice and Mercy. This is  because  all  of  these questions are only well defined deep inside each one's consciousness.

In "Vida e Sexo". Psic.  writting  Francisco  C  Xavier.  1st  editon. Brazilian  Spiritist  Federation.
Trans. by A L Xavier Jr.




"This is how my Father's glory is shown: by your bearing  much  fruit;  and in this way you become my disciples ". - Jesus, John, 15:8
In our afflictions, the Father is invoked.

In our happiness, He is adored.

During the stormy night, He is always awaited with anguish.

On the festival day, He is solemnly reverenced.

Praised by the grateful children and forgotten by the ungrateful ones,  the Father gives always,  spreading  the  blessings  of  His  infinite kindness among  the good and the bad, the just and the unjust.

He teaches the worm to crawl, the bush to grow and the man to think.

However, nobody should doubt about the Supreme Master's expectation on regard to us. From life to life, He helps us to grow up and  to  serve Him, so that, one day, we should become part of His  divine  Love  and glorify Him.

We will  never  reach  such  condition  simply  through  the  thousand brilliant colours of our feeling and reasoning.

Our superior ideals are indispensable and, in fact, they resemble  the most beautiful  and  fragrant  flowers  of  a  tree.  Our  culture  is doubtless important, and, in essence, it constitutes the robustness of the  respectable  log.  Our  elevated  aspirations  are  precious  and necessary and they represent the lively and promising leaves.

All those requirements are imperatives of the crop.

The same happens in the domains of the soul.

The Father will only be  glorified  when  we  open  ourselves  to  His ordinances of universal love and  produce for the eternal good.

For that reason, the Master was clear in his statement.

That our live's activity through constant personal work produce fruits of peace and wisdom, love and hope, faith and happiness,  justice  and mercy.  Because only in this way  the Father will be glorified by  us, and only in this condition we will become disciples of  the  Crucified and Ressurected Master.

In "Fonte Viva", ed. by FEB. Psc. F C Xavier.
Trans. by  A  L  Xavier Jr.


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Advanced Study Group of Spiritism
Founded on October 15th 1992
The Spiritist Messenger - Monthly Electronic Report of   the GEAE Group 
GEAE 8th year - Number 21 - distributed: November 1999
"Unshakable faith is only that which can face reason face to face in every Humankind epoch." 
                                                                                                                                      Allan Kardec

            The numbers of GEAE. Commemorating the 7th   
            Spiritism easily explained. (Outline of Spirit     
            teachings- Part IV)   
           Allan Kardec   
           The Career of Allan Kardec (Part II)   
           Steve Hume (NAS - UK)   

           Centro Italiano Studi Spiritici Allan Kardec   
           Stefano (Italy)   
           Evil and its remedy   
           Saint Augustin (France, 1863)   



GEAE bulletin 367 (distributed on October) marked the 7th birthday  of the group. Founded in 1992, the group has about 3600 participants today divided into two groups : the  GEAE  report  in  Portuguese  and  "The Spiritist Messenger". The group has confirmed the  usefulness  of  the internet as a dynamical instrument of information exchange and has used the net in the broadest sense of the word. Today one can say that  the net is a reality for millions of people around the  world  -  a  quite different  situation   in  1992 - and  its   increase  will  surely continue.

During theses years, GEAE has proved that a movement of people  around a given idea - in our case, the Spiritualist  movement  -  can  profit very much from the dynamics of a well establish  information  web.  In the future, one hopes the net will also serve as an extensive  way  of information exchange between the  terrestrial  plane  and  the  spirit world  as  several  messages  dictated  to  Brazilian   mediums   have predicted. GEAE has partially fulfilled the prophecy since many  spirit messages (coming from different Spiritist groups) have been  published during the years. Fresh spirit information (serving both  general  and private interests) could be delivered at  an  incredible  velocity  if integrated to virtual Spiritist groups, paving  the  way  to  a  world spirit web (medium groups around the world would constitute the  first electronic providers of spirit information).

We strongly suggest people to send  GEAE  their  questions,  comments, histories and cases in order to initiate a movement along these  lines and to make GEAE an even more dynamical group.

The reality of the Spiritualist principles must show its face.

Happy birthday to GEAE and much peace,

GEAE Editors

Spiritist Messenger participation list:

Austria (at)
Australia (au)
Belgium (be)
Brazil (br)
Canada (ca)
Colombia (co)

France (fr) 
Germany (de) 
Holland (nl)
India (in)
New Zealand (nz) 
Norwegian (no) 

Oman (om)
Peru (pe) 
Portugal (pt)
South Africa (za)
Spain (es)
 United Kingdom (uk)

USA (edu) 
USA (com)
USA (gov)
USA (net)
USA (org)
USA (us)

Total - 435 members in 24 domains.



Allan Kardec

2. Outline of spirit teachings

1. God is the supreme intelligence, the first cause of all the things. God  is   eternal,   infinite,   unique,   immaterial,   all-powerful, sovereignly  just  and  good.  He  has  to  be  infinite  in  all  his perfections since, if we could suppose imperfectness of  even  one  of his attributes, he would not be God.

2. God created matter which constitutes the worlds.  He  also  created intelligent beings called spirits which are in charge of these  worlds according to the creation's immutable laws. Such laws are  perfect  by nature. By improving themselves the spirits approach God.

3. Strictly speaking the spirit  is  the  intelligent  principle,  its deepest nature is unknown. It is immaterial to us because it bears  no resemblance to what we call matter.

4. The spirits are  individual  beings  housed  in  a  weightless  and ethereal envelope called perispirit, a kind of fluid body  similar  in form to the human's body. They  inhabit  the  space  and  fly  quickly
through it. The spirits constitute the invisible world.

5. The spirit's origin and way of creation are unknown, we only  known that they are created simple and ignorant, that is, without  knowledge of good and evil. However they are equally capable to everything since God, in his justice, could not free some from the  work  reserved  for others in order to reach perfection. Initially they remain in  a  kind of infancy, without their own will and perfect consciousness of  their existence.

6. When ideas and free-will are developed in the  spirits,  God  tells them: ''You can reckon on supreme happiness provided that you  acquire the lacking knowledge and fulfill the duties I impose  upon  you.  You should work for your upgrading, that is your aim and you will reach it by  following  the  laws  sculpted  on  you  own   consciences''.   As consequence of their free-will some spirits take  the  shortest  route which is the good while others take the longest one which is the evil.

7. God did not create the evil. He  established  the  laws  which  are always good because he is good. The spirits would have been completely happy had they faithfully observed the law since the  beginning.  But, being free to make choices, the spirits have not properly obeyed  them so that evil come as a consequence of this  unwillingness. One can then say that good corresponds to everything which is  in  accordance  with God's law while evil is everything which opposes it.

8. In order to cooperate in the material worlds as agents of a  divine power, the spirits temporarily have  a  material  body.  By  the  work required  in  their  corporeal  lives,  the  spirits   improve   their intelligence and, by observing God's  law,  they  acquire  the  merits which will lead them to eternal happiness.

9. The incarnation was not initially  imposed  on  the  spirits  as  a punishment. It is rather necessary for the  spirits'  improvement  and for the fulfillment of God's works. Everyone has to submit to  it,  no matter if one takes the evil or the good path. Only those who take the good path will improve quickly, they do not delay to arrive at the end in less painful conditions.

10. Imbodied spirits constitute the mankind. It is not  restricted  to the earth only but instead it inhabits all the worlds in space.

11. Human soul is an imbodied spirit. In order to help humans, God has given them the animals whose intelligence and character are  according to their needs.

12. The spirit's improvement is a consequence of its  own  effort.  It can not acquire all the intellectual and moral  qualities  which  will bring it to the end in only one existence. It reaches its goal through a series of several lives. In each one of  them  the  spirit  walks  a little further in the path of progress.

13. In each corporeal existence the spirit has to  fulfill  a  mission proportional to its degree of development. The rougher and  harder  it is, the greater the spirit's merit in fulfilling  it.  Each  existence is, therefore, a test which leads the spirit to the end. It depends on the spirit's will to shorten it,  by  working  harder  for  its  moral improvement, in much the same way a laborer's will shortens the number of his working days.

14. When an existence is poorly used, the spirit does not profit  from it, and it has to begin again a new life under more  or  less  painful conditions, as consequence of the spirit's unwillingness and bad will. In the same sense, in our life, we may be obliged to do tomorrow  what was left to do yesterday and do again what was not well done.

15. Spiritual life  is  the  normal  spirit's  life:  it  is  eternal. Corporeal life is transitory and it is just a moment in eternity.

16. During the intervals of its lives,  the  spirit  is  errant.  This state has no definite duration. In it  the  spirit  is  happy  or  sad according to the good or bad use of  its  previous  life.  The  spirit studies the causes which quickened or delayed its progress, and  takes proper decisions which it will try to put into practice  in  its  next incarnation.  It  also  chooses  the  most  adequate  tests  for   its improvement. Sometimes, however, the spirit makes a mistake and falls, not fulfilling as a man the decisions it has taken as a spirit.

17. The guilty spirit is punished  through  moral  sufferings  in  the spirit world and physical penalties during  its  corporeal  life.  Its afflictions are consequence of its faults, that is, of  its  violation of God's law. These sorrows constitute both an atonement for the  past and a test for the future. In this way the proud can have  a  life  of humiliations, the tyrant a servant life and the wealthy  oppressor  an incarnation in misery.

18. There are  proper  worlds  to  the  several  spirit's  advancement degrees, in which life exists under  different  conditions.  The  less advanced the spirit is, the weightier and more material is  its  body. In so far as the spirit  purifies  itself,  it  goes  to  morally  and physically superior worlds. The earth is not the first nor the last of these worlds but only one of the less developed ones.

19. The guilty spirits are incarnated in less  advanced  worlds  where they atone for their faults through material life difficulties.  These worlds constitute the true purgatory. It depends on the spirit to  get out of them working on its moral progress. The earth is a world o this kind.

20. Being sovereignly just and good, God does not punish his creatures to endless penalties as a consequence of their  limited  mistakes.  He provides correction and evil  repair  for  them  at  any  moment.  God forgives but also waits for regret, repair and return to good in  such a way that punishment is proportional to the  spirit's  insistence  in the evil. Consequently penalties would be eternal only for  those  who forever remained on the evil side. As soon as a sigh of regret appears in the guilty heart, God  holds  out  his  mercy.  Therefore,  eternal punishments should be understood in relative sense only and not in  an absolute one.



Steve Hume

The book attained a wide readership from all classes  of  society.[28] Some  were  attracted  to  the  spirits'  statements  in  relation  to scientific matters and it is  astonishing  how  few  of  the  spirits' 'scientific' statements appear anachronistic today. In fact,  some  of the answers to  Rivail's  questions  could  be  interpreted  as  being remarkably ahead of their time. One such example was Rivail's question 'Does an absolute void exist in any part of space?' which received the reply:- 'No, there is no void. What appears like  a  void  to  you  is occupied by matter in a state in which it escapes the action  of  your senses and of your instruments.'[29]  This  statement  (given  in  the1850's), to the effect that seemingly empty space is  really  full  of matter, has only received confirmation quite recently by the discovery of what is termed the 'quantum  vacuum',[30]  and  was  given  shortly after the spirits had also casually announced that '...what you term a molecule [or, perhaps, 'particle' or 'atom'] is still  very  far  from being the elementary molecule'.[31] This latter scientific fact  would not be confirmed until J.J. Thomson  discovered  the  electron  almost half a century later. However, The Spirits' Book drew most converts to Spiritism from the ranks of the French working  classes,[32]  perhaps for the simple reason that the spirits had nothing good to  say  about the inequity that was, and still is, inherent  in  human  society.  In fact, the Spiritist attitude towards this may  is  summed  up  in  the spirits' answer to Rivail's question 'Which amongst the vices, may  be regarded as the root of  the  others?',  which  received  the  reply:- 'Selfishness,  as  we  have  repeatedly  told  you;  for  it  is  from selfishness   that   everything   evil   proceeds.   Study   all   the vices...Combat them as you will, you will never succeed in extirpating them until, attacking the evil in its root,  you  have  destroyed  the selfishness which is their cause. Let all your  efforts  tend  towards this end; for selfishness is the veritable  social  gangrene.  Whoever would make, even in his earthly  life,  some  approach  towards  moral excellence, must root out every selfish feeling from  his  heart,  for selfishness is  incompatible  with  justice,  love,  and  charity;  it neutralises every good quality.'[33]

This meant that the Spiritist ethos became  anchored  on  the  central principle of charity, not only in relation to material goods, but also to just about everything else, including the practice  of  mediumship. But  the  Kardec  spirits  also  denounced  sexism,  racism,   capital punishment, slavery and every  other  form  of  social  injustice  and prejudice as being contrary to Divine Law; but recommended freedom  of thought, freedom of conscience, equality  and  tolerance.  In  effect, what was being advocated was a program of social reform, framed within a 'spiritual'  context,  that  was  light-years  ahead  of  the  pious conservatism  of  the  Catholic  Church.  The  foregoing  point   also represents  what  is  perhaps  the  greatest  difference  between  the portrayal of Spirit life given by the Kardec spirits and  the  account given by others since. Rivail only seems to have  been  interested  in the great moral and scientific concerns of the human race  and  framed his questions accordingly. So The Spirits' Book contains no mention of Spirit houses etc. that are a familiar feature of  the  literature  of Spiritualism. The subject matter is almost wholly oriented towards the effect that moral behaviour has upon the individual, both on Earth and in the hereafter.

Encouraged by the success of The  Spirits'  Book,  Rivail  decided  to start a monthly journal. Unable to obtain financial backing  for  this venture he sought the advice of his guides through the  mediumship  of Miss E. Dufaux and was told that he should fund  the  journal  himself and not worry about the consequences.[34] Accordingly, the first issue of La Revue Spirit appeared  on  January  1  1858  and,  as  with  The Spirits' Book, its success surpassed Rivail's  expectations.  He  also founded The Parisian Society of Psychologic Studies. But his work  for Spiritism had only just begun. He published The Mediums' Book in  1861 which dealt solely with the Spirits' views on the development and uses of mediumship itself. For this and the other works that would  follow, he used even more mediums than for The Spirits' Book but the  employed the same method of presentation i.e., his questions  followed  by  the spirits' answers which were  supplemented  by  his  own  comments  and observations.

Rivail quickly became regarded as the foremost authority on mediumship in France and was held in awe in by the Spiritists in his home town of Lyon, so much so that, in 1862, he had to plead with them not to waste money on honouring him with a lavish banquet as they had done the year before.[35] Anna Blackwell mentions that he was constantly visited  by those 'of high rank in the social, literary, artistic, and  scientific worlds' and he was summoned by the Emperor Napoleon III, several times to answer questions about the  doctrines  of  Spiritism.[36]  But,  of course, the rapid rise of Spiritism did little to  endear  Rivail,  or Spiritists in general, to certain sections of the French Establishment and even some Spiritists who came  to  resent  his  influence  on  the movement. This opposition, particularly from the Church, could  hardly have come as any surprise to Rivail, but one would imagine  that  that  rom within Spiritism would have been particularly distressing to him. In fact, he had been warned of both, and much  else  besides,  by  the spirits in 1856, before he had any idea that he would  become  such  a prominent champion of the Spiritist cause:[37] 'Terrible hates will be incited against you; implacable enemies will plot your  downfall.  You will be exposed to calumny and treachery, even  from  those  who  seem most dedicated to you.  Your  best  works  will  be  contradicted  and banned.'[38]

The communication was given, appropriately enough as it transpired, by a communicator who called himself the 'Spirit of Truth'.  Predictably, the Catholic church, both in France and  elsewhere,  was  particularly eager to discredit both  Spiritism  and  Rivail.  David  J.  Hess,  in Spirits and Scientists: Ideology,  Spiritism  and  Brazilian  Culture, mentions a number of actions taken  by  the  Church  against  the  new movement which it regarded  as  being  worse  than  Protestantism.[39] Before the publication of The Spirits' Book in 1856, the Holy  Office, under Pope Pius IX, had prohibited  mediumship  and  'other  analogous superstitions' as 'heretical, scandalous, and contrary to the  honesty of customs'. But in 1861 the Bishop  of  Barcelona  took  more  direct action. He ordered an auto-da-fe (act of the faith) known as the Edict of Barcelona, against three-hundred Spiritist books, including many by Rivail, that were confiscated and burnt in  public.[40]  However,  the Bishop's actions did nothing more than stir up French nationalism  and contribute to the further growth  of  Spiritism  in  both  France  and Spain. Hess adds that when the Bishop died nine months afterwards, his repentant spirit manifested through several French mediums begging for Rivail's forgiveness which was, apparently, granted.  In  France,  the dean of the Faculty  of  Theology  of  Lyons  began  public  education courses against Spiritism and Mesmerism  in  1864  and  Spiritism  was widely branded as a form of demon worship in writings by clergymen.

Rivail accused the Church  of  deliberately  inciting  hatred  against Spiritists:- 'From the pulpit, we Spiritists have been called  enemies of society and public order...In some places, Spiritists were censured to the point of being persecuted and injured on the streets, while the faithful were forbidden to hire Spiritists and were  warned  to  avoid them as they would avoid the plague. Women were  advised  to  separate from their husbands...Charity  has  been  refused  to  the  needy  and workers  have  lost  their  livelihoods,  just   because   they   were Spiritists. Blind men have even been discharged, against  their  will, from  some  hospitals  because   they   would   not   renounce   their beliefs.'[41]

As with Spiritualism in America and Britain, certain sections  of  the French scientific establishment also reacted  with  hostility  to  the spread of Spiritism. Hess mentions that a Dr Dechambre,  a  member  of the Academy of Medicine, published a critique of the movement in 1859, and also cites reports of insanity,  allegedly  caused  by  Spiritism, that had started to circulate by 1863.[42] There  was  even  a  French equivalent to the theory, which originated  in  America,  that  spirit raps were produced by the cracking of the knee  and  toe  joints.  The French variation on  this  theme  was  presented  to  the  Academy  of Medicine by a surgeon, M. Jobert, who attributed the noises to skilful cracking of the short tendon of the muscle of the instep.[43] However, in accordance with the spirit prediction just mentioned,  Rivail  also faced bitter opposition from within Spiritism itself. Writing  of  the accuracy of the 'Spirit of Truth's'  warning  eleven  years  later  he complained:- 'The Societe  Spirite  de  Paris  (Spiritist  Society  of Paris) has been a continuous focus of intrigues, devised by those  who declared loyalty and friendship to me, but who slandered  me  in  my absence. They said that those who favoured my work  were  paid  by  me with money I received from Spiritism.'[44] I  have  already  mentioned above that Rivail's endorsement of the doctrine of  reincarnation  had caused a  certain  amount of friction  with the followers of the mesmerist, Alphonse Cahagnet and it is easy to  imagine  that  the prominence he had achieved so rapidly in the Spiritist movement would excite jealousy in others. After all, few human endeavours, even those supposedly dedicated to 'spiritual' motives, are free from rivalry and controversy. It would appear that, far from being grateful  to  Rivail for the wider exposure and support that he had gained  for  Spiritism, some Spiritists resented his influence.

It would not be unreasonable to assume that, in Rivail's case, a  fair amount of this acrimony was the result of the way in which  he  viewed mediumship. As we have already seen, he appears to have  come  to  the Spiritist movement as a  relatively  disinterested  outsider  with  no emotional attachment to any particular idea about the subject. Once he had reached the conclusion that the communications were,  indeed,  the work of discarnate entities he may therefore have been more suited  to judging these objectively  than  some  individual  mediums  and  their followers who, then as now, must have been occasionally prone to  what could be termed 'My Guide Knows Better Than Your Guide Syndrome'.

I have given an outline of the way in which Rivail judged the worth of spirit statements of a philosophical nature above. But he also adopted criteria for deciding whether or not a communicator was likely  to  be the person that they were claiming to be.[45] Working according to the famous principle of 'like attracts like' on the basis that every human being has some imperfection in their moral  nature,  he  took  it  for granted that even the best mediums (especially writing mediums) could,at some point in their careers, fall prey to spirit personalities  who would try to lead the medium astray by borrowing  some  revered  name, thus flattering the medium's vanity to gain acceptance  for  the  most ridiculous statements. In cases such as this, where good  evidence  of identity, as such, might be difficult  or  impossible  to  obtain,  he recommended that the communication be judged on  whether  or  not  the sentiments expressed, and the manner  of  their  expression,  were  in general accordance with what one would  expect  from  the  personality concerned. And, even if this condition was met, he only  accepted  (at best) the 'moral probability'  that  the  identity  was  correct.  The Mediums' Book, published in 1861, as the  title  suggests,  is  wholly concerned with mediumship itself. It is  really  a  handbook  for  the development and proper use of the gift that  is,  ostensibly,  written from the communicating spirits' point of view; needless to  say  these were all claimed to be highly advanced personalities, some well-known, others anonymous. The material for The Mediums' Book, and  the  others which followed, was drawn largely from automatic  writing  mediums  at Rivail's 'Parisian  Society  For  Psychologic  Studies'  but  it  also included the work of others who sent communications from elsewhere  in France and abroad. [46] As with The Spirits' Book, Rivail claimed to be presenting a view on the various subjects dealt  with  that  could  be considered authoritative because it was drawn from a wide  variety  of independent sources that broadly agreed with each  other...a  sort  of consensus of opinion amongst 'advanced' spirits.

Every conceivable aspect  of  every  type  of  mediumship  and  spirit manifestation is dealt with in The Mediums'  Book  (even  charlatanism receives a chapter of its own) but Rivail devoted special space to the effect that the moral characters and  preconceived  ideas  of  mediums themselves may  have  upon  the  ability  of  spirits  to  communicate effectively. He identified twenty-six considerations  that  should  be taken into account in judging the worth  of  communications  and  gave examples of some that could not reasonably be attributed to the author claimed.[47] A good example is the following:- 'Go forward,  children, march forward with elated hearts, full of faith; the road  you  follow is a beautiful one...'[48]

This communication, which continued in similar platitudinous  vein  at some length, was signed with the name  'Napoleon',  and  it  drew  the following comment from Rivail:-  'If  ever  there  were  a  grave  and serious man, Napoleon, while living, was such an one;  his  brief  and concise style of utterance is known to all, and he must have strangely degenerated since his death, if he could have dictated a communication so verbose and ridiculous as this...'.[49]

This attitude must surely have offended certain mediums and  Spiritist groups who were in the habit of accepting communications such as  this at face value. The fact that  Rivail  referred  to  such  people  with barely  veiled  despair  in  a  chapter  on  the  dangers  of   Spirit obsession,[50] indicates that he was only too aware  of  the  ridicule that they were capable of  provoking  from  ever  eager  critics.  His reference to 'enemies' of Spiritism  'those  who  pretend  to  be  its friends in order to injure it underhandedly'  and  the  recommendation that Spiritist societies be kept small because 'such persons  find  it far more  easy  to  pursue  their  aim  of  sowing  discord  in  large assemblies than in little groups of which all the members are known to each other',[51] also suggests that he was worried that  the  movement contained  people  who  he  considered  to be wrongly motivated. Nonetheless, The  Mediums' Bookcomplemented  The   Spirits'   Book perfectly  in  that  it  provided  a  sound  guide  through  the  many difficulties that can arise during  the  practice  of  mediumship.  It would be joined in 1864 by The Gospel  According  to  Spiritism  which contained the spirit teachers' comments on  the  New  Testament.  This trio of books is regarded  by  Spiritists  as  being  the  cornerstone around which the modern movement has been built. However, Rivail would publish two further major works under the name  'Kardec':  Heaven  and Hell (1864) which was based upon the spirits' comments about the  real nature of these as mental/spiritual states; and Genesis  (1867)  which showed 'the concordance of the spiritist theory with  the  discoveries of modern science and with the general tenor of the Mosaic  record  as explained by spirits'.[52]  He  also  published  two  short  treatises entitled 'What is Spiritism' (1859)  and  'Spiritism  Reduced  to  its Simplest Expression' (1860) which was a dialogue  between  Rivail  and three critics of Spiritism...'The  Critic',  'The  Sceptic'  and  'The Priest'.

In 1867, with the publication of Genesis, Rivail completed the  series of books that today are regarded  by  the  more  evangelically  minded Spiritists as comprising 'the third revelation' of God  to  humankind, the first being the  teachings  of  Moses  and  the  second  those  of Jesus.[53] However, Rivail himself would probably have balked at  this as he had merely claimed that Spiritism, or the  modern  explosion  of spirit communication, was the third revelation. But,  as  with  almost every other aspect of the 'Kardec' teachings this idea  had  come  not from himself, but from the Spirit communicators, one of whom expressed it most succinctly in  The  Gospel  According  to  Spiritism:-  'Moses showed humanity the way; Jesus continued  this  work;  Spiritism  will finish it.'[54]

Rivail himself wrote of this aspect of Spiritism:- 'The Law of the Old Testament was personified in Moses:  that  of  the  New  Testament  in Christ. Spiritism is then the third revelation of God's law. But it is personified by no one because it represents teaching given, not by Man but by the Spirits who are the Voices of Heaven, to all parts  of  the world through the co-operation of  innumerable  intermediaries.  In  a manner of speaking, it is  the  collective  work  formed  by  all  the Spirits who bring enlightenment to all mankind by offering  the  means of  understanding  their  world  and  the  destiny  that  awaits  each individual on their return to the spiritual world.'[55]


[28] David J. Hess, ibid., p.62.
[29] Allan  Kardec  (b),  The  Spirits' Book (London: Psychic  Press Ltd, 1975),  p.13.
[30] Robert  Mathews writing in Focus magazine, December 1997, pp.10-11.
[31] Allan  Kardec (b), p.12.
[32] See 5.
[33] Allan Kardec  (b),  p.354.
[34] Allan  Kardec (a), p.196.
[35] See 6.
[36] Anna  Blackwell,  ibid.,  p.17.
[37] Allan Kardec (a), pp.196-197.
[38] Allan  Kardec  (a),  p.197.
[39] David  J. Hess, ibid., pp.67-68.
[40] Allan Kardec (a), p.100.
[41] Allan  Kardec (a), p.99.
[42] David J. Hess, ibid., pp.77-78.
[43] Allan  Kardec  (c), The Mediums' Book (London: Psychic Press Ltd, 1977),  p.35.
[44] Allan Kardec (a), pp.197-198.
[45] Allan Kardec  (c),  pp.296-318.
[46] Allan Kardec (c), translator's note by Anna  Blackwell,  p.417.
[47] See  8.
[48] Allan  Kardec  (c),  p.441.
[49] See  11.
[50] Allan  Kardec  (c), pp.277-295.
[51] Allan  Kardec   (c),   p.407.
[52] Anna   Blackwell, ibid.,p.15.
[53] David J. Hess, ibid., p.18.
[54] Allan Kardec (d),  The Gospel According to Spiritism (London: The Headquarters Publishing Co.
Ltd, 1987), p.28.
[55] Allan Kardec (d), p.25.



Stefano (Italy)

I'm writing you from Italy. The center of our group is  mentionned  in your information  about  spiritist  groups,  but  we  have  recently  a web site and a new e-mail address. So here's to you:

The group is CISSAK in AOSTA (Italy)

e-mail:Este endereço de email está sendo protegido de spambots. Você precisa do JavaScript ativado para vê-lo.

Thank you very much.

God bless you




19. Is the Earth a place of enjoyment and  a paradise of delights? Does the voice of the prophet no longer  reecho  in  your  ears?  Did  He  not proclaim there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth for those who were  born  into this valley of pain? So then, all who live  here  must  expect  bitter tears and  suffering,  and  no matter  how acute or  how  deep  the  pain, lift up your eyes to Heaven and offer  thanks  to  the Lord  for  wishing to test you! ... Oh mankind! Can  you  not recognize the  power  of  our Lord except when He cures the sores  of your bodies,  and  crowns  your days with beauty and fortune? Can  you  not recognize His love except He adorns you with all the glories,  and  restores  the  brilliance  and whiteness? You should imitate the one who was given  as  the  example. Having reached the final degree of  abjection and misery, while  laying upon a dung heap, he said to God, "Lord, I have known all the delights of opulence and You have reduced me  to  the most absolute misery;  thank  you,  thank  you,  my  Lord,  for wishing to  test your servant!"   How   long  will  your  eyes  remain fixed upon the horizon limited by death? When will  your soul  finally decide to launch itself  beyond the limits of the tomb?  But  even  if  you  suffer and cry  the  whole   of  this  life,  what  is  that  compared  to the eternal glory  reserved for  those  who  suffer  their trials with  faith,  love,  and resignation? Seek  consolation  for  your ills in the future which  God will  prepare for you,  and search  for   the  causes in the past.  And you, who  have  suffered  the  most, consider yourselves the blessed of this Earth.

As discarnates, when floating in space, you  chose  your  own  trials, judging yourselves sufficiently strong  to  support them. Why then do  you  complain  now? You asked for riches and glory because you wished  to hold fight with temptation and overcome it. You asked to fight with body and soul against both  moral and physical  evil, knowing that the harder the trial the  greater   and  more  glorious  the victory; that as long  as you have triumphed, despite the fact of your  body  ending up on a dung  heap at  death,  it  will  release  a  soul  of  radiant  whiteness  purified by the baptism of atonement and suffering.

What remedy can be prescribed for those attacked by  cruel  obsessions and mortifying evils? There is but one infallible way: through  faith, which is the appeal to Heaven. If at the moment of  highest  poignancy in your suffering you intone hymns to the Lord, then the angel at your bedside will show you the sign of salvation and the  place  which  you will one day occupy... Faith is the only sure remedy for suffering. It will always show the  infinite  horizon  before which the  few  cloudy  days  of the present will vanish. Therefore, do not ask  what  is  the  remedy  for ulcer or sore, temptation or trial. Remind  yourselves that those who believe are strengthened through  the remedy  of  faith, and those who doubt of its efficiency, be it even for an instant, will  be  immediately   punished  because  they  will  quickly  feel the pungent anguishes of affliction.

The Lord has put His seal upon all those who believe  in  Him. Christ told you that it was possible to move mountains by faith alone, and  I tell you that he who suffers, yet has faith to uphold him, will remain under the protection of the Lord and will suffer no more. The  moments of greatest pain  will  become  the  first  happy  notes  of  eternity.  The soul will detach itself from the body in such a manner that, while the  later is still writhing in convulsions, it will  be  gliding into  the  celestial  regions, singing  hymns  of gratitude and glory to the Lord together with  the  angels.   Fortunate are  those who suffer and weep! Happy be their souls because God  will heap them with blessings.

Saint Augustin (Paris, 1863).
In: "The Gospel according to Spiritism", Chapter 5,  "Blessed  are  the afflicted", trans. by J Duncan (1987). 'The entire proceeds  of  this book are donated  to  the  ALLAN  KARDEC  STUDY  GROUP,  a  non-profit  organization whose workers are all voluntary, which has  been  set  up for the purpose of the dissemination of the SPIRITISM DOCTRINE,  based on the lines of the codification by Allan Kardec.'

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Advanced Study Group of Spiritism
Founded on October 15th 1992
The Spiritist Messenger - Monthly Electronic Report of   the GEAE Group 
GEAE 8th year - Number 22 - distributed: December 1999
"Unshakable faith is only that which can face reason face to face in every Humankind epoch." 
                                                                                                                                      Allan Kardec

              Spiritism Easily Explained  (Part V)  
              Allan Kardec  

              The Career of Allan Kardec (III - Final)  
              Steve Hume (UK)  

               First American Spiritist Congress  
               Jurandi Pereira (USA)   Allan Kardec Friend Circle  

 Henie Seifert and Marlis Smith (Germany) 

  Spiritist Center "Mansion de Paz" (CEMPAZ)   
  Fabio Navas and Sandra Estevez (Colombia)  

  Allan Kardec Spiritist Center  (USA)

              Before  Christmas       
              Maria  Dolores  



Allan Kardec

21. When spirits incarnate they bring together everything acquired  in their past  lives.  For  these  reason  people  instinctively  exhibit special skills, good or bad tendencies which seem innate.  Bad  inborn inclinations represent the spirit's imperfection traces from which the spirit has not still liberated itself. They are  also  signs  of  past faults the spirit has  committed.  This  is  the  true  sense  of  the original sin. In each existence the spirit must wash itself  out  from such impurities.

22. The human capacity to forget previous lives reflects  God's  grace in so much as he, in his goodness, makes  humans  unaware  of  painful memories. In each new life, man encounters exactly what he has made up for himself, that is the state from which he has to depart.  He  knows his present defects and knows that  they  are  result  of  his  former lives. He comes to conclusions regarding the evil he has committed and this is enough for him to work and correct himself. If  he  no  longer has these past imperfections, he does not need to  consider  them  any longer and his current mistakes are enough to worry about.

23. If the soul does  not  exist  before  birth  then  it  is  created together with the body. Assuming this reasoning, the soul  would  have no relation with those which came before it. How could then  God,  who is sovereignty just and good, blame it for the mistakes of  the  human gender's father by blemishing it with an original sin the soul did not commit ? One can give original sin a logical explanation everyone  can understand if one says that, through rebirth, the soul holds signs  of its previous life imperfections,  that  it  suffers  now  exactly  the result of its past mistakes, that it is responsible for its acts.

24. The variety of moral and intellectual inborn aptitudes shows  that the soul lived already. The idea of the soul  being  created  together with the body disagrees with God's goodness since God would then  have made some souls more advanced than others. Why does one then see  wild and  civilized,  good  and  bad,  intelligent  and  foolish  people ? Everything is otherwise easily explained if one supposes that some, by living more than others, are therefore more advanced.

25. If the present life were the only one and if it  were  the  soul's only opportunity to decide on its eternal destiny, what would then  be the fate of children who die very early ? If these children have  done neither  good  nor  bad,  they  should  deserve  neither  reward   nor punishment.  Following  Christ's  words,  if  each  one  is   rewarded according to his works, these children have no  right  to  an  angel's happiness and yet they should not be refused a reward. On the contrary there are no exceptions if one admits they have several lives and that they can do in a new existence what they could not  in  a  past  short one.

26. By the same reasoning what would be the fate of cretins and idiots ? As they are unaware of good and evil, they are not  responsible  for their acts. Would God be just and good if he had created stupid  souls and preordain them with no rewards  to  a  miserable  life  ?  On  the contrary, if one says that the cretin or the idiot are  souls  tightly bounded to unsuitable  bodies  which  can  not  fully  manifest  their thoughts, then everything is again according to God's justice.

27. In its successive incarnations the spirit little by  little  loses its impurities and improves itself through work until the end  of  its corporeal lives. Then the spirit belongs to the pure spirit  or  angel order, and fully enjoy God's  complete  life  and  endless  unshakable happiness.

28. As good father, God does not leave  people  to  themselves  during their earth atonements, but offers them instead  their  guides.  These are firstly the protecting spirits or guardian angels which watch over people and try to make them follow the good way.  Secondly  there  are the great incarnated spirits which sometimes appear on earth in  order to illuminate human paths and make mankind walk forward. Even  if  God inscribed his law on human mind, he makes it even more explicit. Moses came first, but his law spoke only about  earthly  life,  its  passing punishments and rewards and were adapted to the people  of  his  time. Then Christ came to complete Moses  with  a  more  elevated  teaching: plurality of lives, spiritual life and moral punishments and  rewards. Moses led through fear while Christ through love and charity.

29.The present and well understood Spiritism adds the evidence to  the theory for unbelievers, it demonstrates the future by  obvious  facts, it says in clear and unmistakable terms what Christ said in  parables. Spiritism explains unknown  and  misinterpreted  truths,  reveals  the existence of the invisible or spirit world and initiates people in the secrets of future  life.  It  also  combats  materialism  which  is  a rebellion against God's power. Finally Spiritism  comes  to  establish the reign of men's charity and fraternity announced by  Christ.  Moses plowed, Christ sowed and Spiritism has came to harvest.

30. Spiritism is not a new light but a brighter one since it  appeared in all parts on the world through those  who  have  lived.  By  making clear what was hidden, Spiritism gives an end to false interpretations and will unite all men under the same belief, since there is only  one God whose laws are the same for all. Finally Spiritism represents  the time predicted by Christ and the prophets.

31. The evils with which humans are afflicted on earth are  caused  by selfishness, vanity and all bad passions. People  become  unhappy  and punish themselves by the contact with their  vices.  Let  charity  and humbleness substitute selfishness and pride and they  no  longer  will injure themselves, they will respect each one rights and  harmony  and peace will reign among them.

32. But how can  selfishness  and  vanity  be  destroyed  since  these feelings seems so innate to the human heart?  Selfishness  and  vanity are in human heart because humans are spirits which have been  on  the path of evil since the beginning and which, therefore, are  exiled  on earth as punishment for their vices, their original sin to which  many have not renounced yet. Through Spiritism, God has came  to  make  the last plea for the practice of the lessons taught by Christ: the law of love and charity.

33.Since the time for the earth to became home to peace and  happiness has arrived, God does not wish that bad spirits continue to disturb it at the sacrifice of the good ones. Consequently bad spirits will  have to leave earth: they will atone their heartlessness on less  developed worlds where they will work again on their improvement during several, more painful and less happy lives than those on earth.

These spirits will also constitute a newer and more enlightened  race whose duties will be to take progress to  the  less  developed  beings living on such worlds. They will only go to a better world  when  they deserve it and will continue there until they are completely  refined. If the earth represents a purgatory to these spirits, these new worlds
will be their hell, but a hell with ever existing hope.

34. While the outlawed generation will quickly disappear, a new one will arise whose beliefs will be founded upon Christian Spiritism.  We are witnessing an operating transition, a prelude to a  moral  renewal labeled by  Spiritism's  arrival.

3. Some  precepts  from  spirit teachings

35. The essential aim of Spiritism is human  improvement.  In  it  one should only seek for what can really help mankind's improvement.

36. The true spiritist is not one who believes in its  manifestations, but he who profits from the teachings given by spirits. It is  useless to believe if this faith does not make  one  progress  positively  and also do the utmost for one's fellow creatures.

37. Selfishness, pride, vanity, greed, hate, enviousness, jealousy and slander are like venomous plants to the soul, the stems of which  must be pulled daily; their antidote is charity and humbleness.

38. Spiritism faith is only useful for  those  who  can  say:  we  are better today than yesterday.

39. The value which man gives to  its  ephemeral  goods  is  inversely proportional to his faith in the spirit life.  His  doubts  concerning the future make him look for his happiness in this world even  at  the sacrifice of his fellow creatures.

40. Earth afflictions are remedies to the soul.  They  salve  for  the future like  a  painful  surgical  treatment  which  relieves  a  sick person's life and brings back heath.  For  this  reason  Christ  said: ''Blessed are the afflicted for ye shall be comforted''.

Steve Hume

I have already mentioned that the Kardec teachers describe the  Spirit World and spirit life almost entirely in  terms  of  the  effect  that personal morals have on the individual in this  world  and  the  next. Rivail was not afraid to show both sides of the coin. Heaven and  Hell (1864) was not only a description by the spirit teachers of  the  real nature of these states, it also included communications from  recently deceased spirits from all moral classes...from the most evil,  to  the most blameless and charitable.  Each  type  of  personality  described their  current  conditions  and  how  their  actions  on   Earth   had contributed to their current joys or sorrows. Contrary to  the  dogmas of the Catholic  church  which  painted  a  picture  of  never  ending suffering even for those whose only sin was not to  be  Catholic,  the Spirit communicators maintained that suffering in the next  life  only lasts until the individual has made the necessary  effort  to  rectify the cause, and that everyone is given an opportunity to achieve this.

Those who have experience in the difficult field of rescue work  might be interested in the  case  of  a  recently  executed  murderer...  'a systematic poisoner, a physician who  had  employed  his  professional position as a means to  the  accomplishment  of  the  long  tissue  of horrible murders for which he had just been executed'. This man,  upon manifesting spontaneously at a seance, and  despite  complaining  that 'Light dazzles and pierces, like sharp arrows, the innermost  recesses of my being', contemptuously turned away from the help offered by  the circle... 'I reject your  pity...I  ask  for  nothing...I  suffice  to myself; and I shall be able  to  resist  this  odious  light'.  Rivail states, however,  that  this  spirit,  eventually  began  to  improve, repented  and   became   the   author   of   'many   wise   and   good communications'.[56]

Other murderers described a state of confusion and  a  terror  at  the prospect of meeting their victims. One  who  had  told  how  this  had actually happened to him described why it caused him such  suffering:- Q. 'What do you feel on seeing them?' A. 'Shame  and  remorse...and  I hate them still...They pray that I may expiate my crimes.  You  cannot imagine what a horrible torture it is to owe everything  to  those  we hate.'[57]

There were also communications from  many  other  types  of  spiritual miscreant. Some, although they had  committed  no  evil  during  their lives, had achieved nothing good either and expressed remorse at this. Others who had been blatantly greedy expressed their desire to give in some way. Conversely, those who had led  good  lives  described  their relative happiness and the hope  that  they  may  continue  to  be  of service to others in their new life.[58]  However,  the  chapter  that many Spiritualists would regard as being highly controversial is  that in which Spirits describe their 'Terrestrial Expiations', or how  they had atoned for past crimes by returning to Earth or reincarnating. One such case involved the spirit of a young servant  (a  footman)  to  an acquaintance of Rivail's who had died suddenly whilst  on  leave.  The spirit told Rivail, through a medium, that in a  former  life  he  had been the spoilt child of rich parents who had both  died  leaving  him destitute. He had then been taken in by a friend of his  father's  who had treated him like his own son but of whose  kindness  he  had  been ungrateful. To atone for this when they had both reincarnated, he  had done so in a position where he could become his former guardian's:- 'I had determined to expiate my former pride by being  born,  in  my  new existence, in a servile position; a determination that afforded me the opportunity of proving my gratitude to him who had been my  benefactor in my previous incarnation. I even had the opportunity of  saving  his life. This humble existence has proved very useful to me. I  possessed sufficient strength of character  to  avoid  being  corrupted  by  the contact of surroundings that are almost always vicious;  and  I  thank God that I thus earned the happiness I  now  enjoy.'[59]  Rivail  then asked what the circumstances of the life-saving incident had been  and was given an account, given in the book, that was  later  verified  by the boy's former employer.

It is notable, however, that many of the spirits questioned could  not remember any former existence (other than that  which  they  had  just left) let alone what relevance such may  have  had  on  their  present circumstances. The Kardec spirits' explanation for failure to remember former lives was that such remembrance was only permitted if and  when it should serve some useful  purpose  and  that  such  memories  would usually emerge only gradually, perhaps only after a  great  period  of time. Whatever the ultimate truth regarding reincarnation may  be,  it remains the case that it is the means by which Spiritists continue  to rationalize  morality  and  ethics  within  a  context   of   'Divine' 'justice'. It is also the case that rebirth is not only seen as  being a mechanism by which we atone for  past  sins  nor  is  it  viewed  as 'compulsory'. The Kardec teachers  emphasized  that  reincarnation  is usually a matter of conscious choice after an interval in  the  Spirit World that is as short or long as individual circumstances demand  and that  it  often  occurs  because  a  spirit  wishes  to  perform  some charitable  act  for  one  less  fortunate  or  perform  a  particular spiritual mission. Therefore it would be quite wrong  to  assume  that everyone who suffers on Earth is being 'punished' for  past  sins  and therefore deserve  their  suffering.  The  Spiritist  version  of  the doctrine of reincarnation demands that, even if this were  to  be  the case, those who suffer for this reason  must  still  be  treated  with compassion.[60]

As we shall see,  it  is  also  the  case  that  Spiritist  belief  in reincarnation has not led to the justification of social  inequity  in Brazil (where the movement is a major religion) that one sees  in  the Hindu caste system of India. On the contrary, it underpins the massive part that Spiritism plays in providing social welfare to the  poor  in that country and also its contribution  to  the  treatment  of  mental illness. Hess mentions that it was a particular wish of Rivail's  that the medical profession should take notice of the spirits' teachings on insanity,[61] which they said was  often  caused  by  natural,  though uncontrolled, mediumship  that  had  turned  into  a  form  of  spirit obsession.[62] In 1862 and 1863 he devoted a  series  of  articles  in Revue Spirite to patients at the asylum of Morzines who he regarded as being victims of this unhappy condition which was sometimes the result of malign spirit personalities exacting revenge on enemies from former existence's who had since reincarnated.[63]

Unfortunately however, Rivail's own hopes for Spiritism would  not  be realized in either his own lifetime or his own  country.  I  mentioned earlier the accuracy of the 'Spirit  of  Truth's'  prediction  of  the opposition that he would face from both the French  Establishment  and some within in Spiritism. Rivail had also been warned that the  strain of leading the movement would have a disastrous effect upon his health and would lead to an early passing. Ten years after the prediction, in 1867, he commented:- 'I have known no  peace  and  more  than  once  I succumbed; under the excess of work, my health has deteriorated and my life has been compromised...Everything predicted in the  communication of the Spirit of Truth has come to pass.'[64]

On March 31 1869 having just finished drawing up the constitution of a society that he intended to carry on his work, Hippolyte Leon Denizard Rivail, better known as 'Allan Kardec' died suddenly from the  rupture of an aneurysm of the heart whilst sitting at his desk engaged in  the act of tying up a bundle of papers.[65]

Rivail was buried in the famous cemetery of Montmarte in Paris and his friend  the  eminent  astronomer  and  psychical  researcher,  Camille Flammarion spoke at his  funeral.  Today,  his  grave  is  a  site  of pilgrimage for Spiritists from around the world and there is an annual ceremony of remembrance there that is attended by hundreds.  But  this adoration comes almost entirely from  abroad  because  after  Rivail's passing the Spiritist Movement  in  France  and  the  rest  of  Europe underwent a steady decline to the point that, today, it barely  exists at all. In 1873,  however,  four  years  after  Rivail's  passing  the Society of Spiritist Studies was formed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.[66]It was  here  that  Spiritism  would  grow  steadily  until  it  would eventually come to fulfill the leading role in society that Rivail  had envisaged.

Some years ago a friend of mine  who  had  expressed  an  interest  in spirit philosophy borrowed my rather dog-eared copy  of  The  Spirits' Book and then, shortly after returning it, embarked upon  a  six-month long trip to Latin America.  However,  for  some  reason  we  did  not discuss the book before his departure. This chap left the UK  thinking that he had just read an extremely obscure, if interesting, work by  a forgotten nineteenth-century Frenchman;  which,  to  all  intents  and purposes, he had, as far  as  this  country  is  concerned.  Upon  his return, however, he told me of his surprise upon walking down a street in Brazil to see a rather large building that  was  adorned  with  the name 'Kardec'. Thereafter, he found that practically  every  Brazilian that he met knew of the name and that some had even read "The Spirits' Book".

Spiritism has grown steadily in importance in Brazil since it  arrived from France, to a  point  where  today  it  is  an  integral  part  of Brazilian life amongst all social classes.  The  influence  of  Kardec over the movement can be gauged by the fact that is often referred  to as Kardecismo, but this is also to distinguish Spiritism from  Umbanda and Candomble, [67] two cults that, although they are based  on  spirit mediumship, have African origins. The writer Guy  Lyon Playfair,  who lived and worked in Brazil for many years, quoted  the  results  of  a public-opinion poll conducted in 1971 by a leading Brazilian  magazine in his book The Unknown  Power.  Whilst  70%  of  Brazilians  declared themselves to be Catholics as opposed to only 11% who  claimed  to  be Spiritists; 68% said they believed Spiritism  to  be  valid,  49%  had visited a Spiritist centre, 27% had felt the influence of  spirits  in their lives, and 15% claimed to have  communicated with  discarnates. Only 1% of those who claimed to be Catholics were able  to  state  the basic tenets of their religion. [68] This led Playfair to suspect  that '...many Brazilians were good Catholics on Sunday  mornings  and  good Spiritists the  rest  of  the  week...Brazilians  profess  Catholicism because their fathers did, and Spiritism because it  works  for  them,often transforming their lives.'[69]

It  is  the  practical  work  that  Spiritism  does  for   Brazilians, particularly for the poor and disadvantaged, that appears to be at the root of the movement's  success.  This,  of  course,  was  the  Kardec communicators' prescription for the successful use  of  mediumship  in the widest sense. Despite the fact that the  literature  of  Brazilian Spiritism has been added to by many others, such as Adolfo Bezerra  de Menezes (sometimes referred to as the 'Brazilian Kardec') and the  key concepts of Kardec have  been  built  upon,  the  concept  of  charity remains at  the  heart  of  the  movement's  approach  to  mediumship. Francisco Candido ('Chico') Xavier is probably the best example of the Spiritist  approach  to  mediumship  in  action.[70]  Despite   having received only  the  barest  education  he  has  become  Brazil's  most prolific 'author' who has produced, on average,  three  books  a  year since  1932  on  such  diverse  subjects  as   Spiritist   philosophy, literature, history and science. His books have  sold  many  millions, have been translated into many languages, and his name is a  household world in his native country. However, 'writer'  would  probably  be  a more appropriate term for Chico, because he is  an  automatic  writing medium who claims no credit or money for  his  prodigious  output.  He worked as a minor government official until his retirement in 1961 and still lives extremely modestly despite the massive royalties from  his books which are all ploughed into helping the poor.

Playfair mentions a huge complex of buildings built by the  Sao  Paulo State Spiritist Federation (FEESP) called the  Casa  Transitaria  that provides help to poor families and education  for  children  from  the slums, and also the Casa Andre Luiz in Guarulhos that  gives  care  to 1,400 retarded children.[71] In most large towns and cities in  Brazil one will find Spiritist job training centres,  orphanages,  nurseries, hospitals and even hospices, such as the House of Mary  Magdalen  near Rio de  Janeiro  that  is  devoted  to  the  care  of  destitute  AIDS sufferers.[72] I mentioned earlier that there  is  evidence  that  the Kardec works were a major influence on  certain  of  the  founders  of modern psychology and psychiatry and  also  that  Rivail  himself  was especially keen that Spiritism should play a role in the treatment  of mental  illness.  Hess  makes  special  mention  of  the  'dozens'  of psychiatric hospitals, some of which are part  of  the  state  medical system,  that  are  owned  and  run  by   Spiritists.[73]   In   these institutions patients receive conventional treatment from professional psychiatrists  and  psychologists  alongside  a  form  of  specialized healing, termed 'disobsession', that is usually provided at  a  nearby Spiritist centre.

In short, Spiritism in Brazil is a  vibrant  religious  movement  that gives hope, comfort and inspiration to millions  who  would  otherwise have no relief from degrees of poverty that bare little comparison  to anything in this country. But this would not be possible to  the  same degree if the movement did not enjoy the support of  the  professional classes and the upper echelons of society. There are so many Spiritist doctors  in  Sao  Paulo  alone  that  they  have  their  own   medical association,[74] and the general esteem in which the movement is  held can be seen by the fact that there have been three separate issues  of postage stamps baring Rivail's features, the first being  in  1957  to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of "The Spirits' Book".[75]  There was even a solemn ceremony held in the  Legislative  Chambers  of  the Federal District of  Brasilia  on  3rd  October  1995 to commemorate Rivail's birth. [76] Mr Jorge Cauhy, Representative of the Chamber  and Divaldo Franco, a  well  known  medium  spoke  about  Rivail  and  the importance of Spiritism. Two other politicians told of  how  Spiritism had helped them personally. This was at the same time  that  delegates from thirty-four countries gathered in the city for  the  first  World Spiritist Congress.

Incredible though it may seem, the fourth largest country on Earth has embraced, as an integral part of its culture,  spirit  teachings  that were given to a French intellectual less than 10 years after a  couple of American children initiated the mediumistic communication  that  he initially chose to ignore with contempt. The impact  that  the  Kardec teachings  continue  to  have  simply  has  no  precedent  at  all  in 'Spiritualism' and is all the more remarkable when one considers  that they were collected so soon after the Hydseville rappings. However, of course, this does not mean that every aspect of the  Kardec  teachings must be regarded as being unquestionably  correct  in  every  respect. Hess has observed that some Brazilian Spiritist intellectuals complain about a tendency amongst the more evangelical members of the  movement to view the Kardec writings as 'quasi-sacred texts' and instead prefer to regard his works  as  'the  sometimes  flawed  but  generally  true writings of a brilliant nineteenth-century thinker.'[77]

Rivail's most significant achievement was to develop a systematic method of scrutinizing mediumistic communications of  a  philosophical nature that resulted in a consistent body of  teachings  to  suit  all needs. The  egalitarian  nature  of  the  message  conveyed  naturally attracted the support of  the  poor  by  offering  comfort  and  hope; whereas the scientific aspects  of  the  teachings,  especially  those which gave explanations for the nature of spirit phenomena, interested the more educated and skeptical, many of whom could have been repelled by anything less so early in the movement's history.  The  end  result was a view of spirit communication that has made considerable  inroads into establishment thinking in a country that will doubtless  come  to play a more central part in world affairs in years to come. It is also a fact that 'Spiritism', which is also popular  in  Mexico  and  other Latin  American  countries,  is  slowly  but   steadily   establishing footholds elsewhere, particularly in the USA where there  are  now  40 Spiritist centres under the recently formed Spiritist Council  of  the USA. How ironic that one  of  the  oldest  bodies  of  post-Hydseville spirit philosophy continues to be the most successful and productive!

The author wishes to thank Janet Duncan  of  the  Allan  Kardec  Study Group for her help during the preparation of this article.


[56] Allan Kardec (e), Heaven and Hell (London: Trubner and Co., 1878), pp.384-385.

[57] Allan Kardec (e), p.358.

[58] Allan Kardec (e), pp.201-273.

[59] Allan Kardec (e), pp.414-415.

[60] For an overall view of this, see Allan Kardec (b), pp.54-102.

[61] David J. Hess, ibid., p.77.

[62] Allan Kardec (b), pp.152-155.; also Allan Kardec (c), pp.277-295.

[63] For  a  modern  case  history,  see  Divaldo   Franco,   Obsession (Salvador: LEAL, English translation: 1980).

[64] Allan Kardec (a), p.198.

[65] Anna Blackwell, ibid., p.18.

[66] David J. Hess, ibid., p.192.

[67]David J. Hess, ibid., see glossary, pp.227,231.

[68] Guy Lyon Playfair, The Unknown Power  (orig.The Flying Cow) (London: Granada, 1977), p.14.

[69] Guy Lyon Playfair, ibid., pp.14-15.

[70] Guy Lyon Playfair, ibid., pp.19-52.

[71] Guy Lyon Playfair, ibid., p.13.

[72] Janet Duncan writing in The Allan Kardec Study Group Newsletter, June/July 1996, pp.8-10.

[73] David J. Hess, ibid., p.20.

[74] David J. Hess, ibid., p.37.

[75] Guy Lyon Playfair, ibid., see illustration pages.

[76] Janet Duncan writing in The Allan Kardec Study  Group  Newsletter, April/May 996, p.8.

[77] David J. Hess, ibid., p.18.



Jurandi Pereira

Dear Friends

One of the leaders of the Spiritist movement in the USA told  me  that near 40 Spiritist centers are organizing the  1th  American  Spiritist Congress at national level:

1th American Spiritist Congress, October 5 to 8, 2000, MIAMI, FL

Special packages not exceeding $600 will be available.

Constant  updated  information  is  found  on  the   following   local home pages (starting on October/November this year):



Henie Seifert and Marlis Smith

The Allan Kardec Friends Circle holds study meetings  of  "The  Gospel according to Spiritism" and "The Spirit's  Book"  twice  a  month  (in German and Portuguese) in Koln, Germany and in Erkrath every Wednesday
(in Portuguese).


Koln and Dusseldorf
Henie Seifert, Gerhart-Hauptmann-Str. 11F
Postal code: 40699
NRW,  Deutschland (Germany)
Tel: 0049 (0)211 252526
Fax: 0049 (0)211 252526

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Fabio Navas  and  Sabdra Estevez

CEMPAZ is the oldest Spiritist center of  Bucaramanga,  Colombia,  and the founder  of  the  first  Spiritist  Highschool  of  Colombia,  the 'Mansion de Paz', a non-profit social organization. The  school  holds kindergarden, grade and secondary courses with official  teachings  of the Spiritist doctrine.

Please visit our home page for more information.

Carrera 20 # 28-61
Bucaramanga, 3423
Santander, Colombia
Tel: 6525211  -   6422947
Fax: 6525211

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Dear Friends

We wish you much peace. Due to some recent changes, we would  like  to announce our new site and e-mail address:

Allan Kardec Spiritist Center
Home Page:
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Our postal address is

Allan Kardec Spiritist Center
40-16 74 street   2Floor
Jackson Heights, New York  11372
Tel: (718) 429-6626  USA




The hope soars,

Nature renews herself and shines,

Happy birds fly, vibrate and sing.

The poor cradle,

The brightly star,

The enchanting garden,

The flowers shine. What a marvellous thing !!!

It's Jesus who comes back again,

and speaks about God to the people's heart

with His blazing word !!!

The Christians of the whole Earth salute themselves,

It's the domain of peace, the banishment of war !

It's the Lord, Jesus !!!!  Always Jesus !!!

Maria Dolores
Message sent by Edgerto Vander Won Ancken. Psic. med. by  Francisco  C Xavier on the night of October, 10 1999 in Uberaba, MG.
Trans. by A L Xavier  Jr.

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