Spiritism is a spiritualistic doctrine codified in the 19th century by the French educator Allan Kardec, proposed to the study of “the nature, origin, and destiny of spirits, and their relation with the corporeal world”. Spiritism soon spread to other countries, having today 35 countries represented in the International Spiritist Council.
Spiritism postulates that humans are essentially immortal spirits that temporarily inhabit physical bodies for several necessary incarnations to attain moral and intellectual improvement. It also asserts that spirits, through passive or active mediumship, may have beneficent or maleficent influence on the physical world.
The term first appeared in Kardec’s book, The Spirits’ Book, which sought to distinguish Spiritism from spiritualism.
Spiritism has influenced a social movement of healing centers, charity institutions and hospitals involving millions of people in dozens of countries, most of them in Brazil. In Spiritism there is no organized priesthood or formal hierarchy. Spiritism teaches us that we are all students in this immense school we call planet Earth. With that in mind, we welcome you to join us and learn how we may strengthen our spiritual side together through the practice of Love in Action (Charity) and all the virtues that come along with it, like tolerance and compassion.
THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES
As defined in The Spirits’ Book, the main principles of Spiritism are:
- “God is the Supreme Intelligence-First Cause of all things.”
- “God is eternal, immutable, immaterial, unique, all powerful, sovereignly just and good.”
- “A spirit is not an abstract, undefined being, only to be conceived of by our thought; it is a real, circumscribed being, which, in certain cases, is appreciable by the senses of sight, hearing, and touch.”
- “All Spirits are destined to attain perfection by passing through the different degrees of the spirit-hierarchy. This amelioration is effected by incarnation, which is imposed on some of them as an expiation, and on others as a mission. Material life is a trial which they have to undergo many times until they have attained to absolute perfection”
- “A spirit’s successive corporeal existences are always progressive, and never retrograde; but the rapidity of our progress depends on the efforts we make to arrive at the perfection.”
- “The soul possessed its own individuality before its incarnation; it preserves that individuality after its separation from the body.”
- “On its re-entrance into the spirit world, the soul again finds there all those whom it has known upon the earth, and all its former existences eventually come back to its memory, with the remembrance of all the good and of all the evil which it has done in them.”
- “Spirits exert an incessant action upon the moral world, and even upon the physical world; they act both upon matter and upon thought, and constitute one of the powers of nature, the efficient cause of many classes of phenomena hitherto unexplained or misinterpreted.”
- “Spirits are incessantly in relation with men. The good spirits try to lead us into the right road, sustain us under the trials of life, and aid us to bear them with courage and resignation; the bad ones tempt us to evil: it is a pleasure for them to see us fall, and to make us like themselves.”
- “The moral teaching of the higher spirits may be summed up, like that of Christ, in the gospel maxim, ‘Do unto others as you would that others should do unto you;’ that is to say, do good to all, and wrong no one. This principle of action furnishes mankind with a rule of conduct of universal application, from the smallest matters to the greatest.”
According to Kardec, the Spiritist moral principles are in agreement with those taught by Jesus. Other individuals such as Francis of Assisi, Paul the Apostle,Buddha and Gandhi are also sometimes considered by the spiritists. Spiritist philosophical inquiry is concerned with the study of moral aspects in the context of an eternal life in spiritual evolution through reincarnation, a process believers hold as revealed by Spirits.