A century after Spiritism codification was done by Allan Kardec, still reigns great misunderstanding of the doctrine, of its nature and its purpose. The Codification, however, was drafted in clear, accurate language, sensitive to all. In the natural clarity of the French spirit, Kardec gathered his vocation and his educational experience beyond the comprehension of dealing with extremely complex matter. I come to affirm at every step, I wanted to write so as not to leave room for interpretation, ie to interpretative differences.
What is the reason, then, why the very followers of Spiritism, even today, disagree regarding to doctrinal issues of importance? And what is the reason why not spiritualists continue to treat Spiritism with the greatest misunderstanding? Note that we are not referring to opponents, as they have their reason, but to “not spiritualists.” It seems that the explanation for the two cases is the same. Spiritism is a doctrine of the future. In the manner of Christianity, pioneers in the world, facing the incomprehension of fans and non – fans.
First, there is the problem of the doctrine of position. Some view it as systematization of old superstitions; others, like failed attempt of scientific development; others, such as infused knowledge, not yet organized; still others, such as inaccurate sketch of religious philosophy; others, such as one more sect among the many religious sects in the world. For most fans and non-fans, Spiritualism is presented as mere “belief”, a kind of religion and superstition at the same time, plagued with magic residues.
As opposed to all this, however, Spiritism, as defined by Kardec and its main followers, constitutes the final phase of the knowledge process. Final, not in the sense of the finals, but which man could achieve so far in its slow evolution through time. It is clear that this knowledge in a general sense, not limited to a particular aspect, even unspecialized. In this general sense, Spiritism appears as a synthesis of human efforts to understand the world and life.
Justified, so that there is difficulty to understanding, despite the clarity of the doctrinal framework of coding. On the one hand, people can not be taken in its entirety, contenting themselves with its religious aspect; on the other hand, experts do not admit its synthetic nature. And, also, many cultural prejudices raise numerous objections to its principles.
In the first chapter of “Genesis”, number 18, Kardec explains that Spiritism, from a scientific point of view, is engaged in one of the two constituent elements of the universe, which is the spirit. The other element is the matter. As both intertwine to form the universal whole, Spiritualism “forcibly plays most sciences,” ie, is necessarily linked to the development of science. Thus, explains the encoder: “He could not appear until after the preparation of them, and came by force of circumstances, it is impossible to explain everything – if only with the help of the laws of matter.”
Léon Denis, successor and continuer of Kardec, notes in his book “Le Genie Celtique et le Monde Invisible”, the following: “It can be said that the spiritism work is twofold: on flat ground, it tends to gather and merge in a grand synthesis, all forms hitherto scattered and often contradictory of the thought and the science. In a larger plan unites the visible and the invisible, these two forms of life, which in reality are intertwined and complete from the beginning of things. ” Soon after, as preventing the dualism of objection that could be done, Denis emphasizes: “In its development, it demonstrates that our world and the other side are separate, but mingled in each other, thus forming a harmonious whole.”
Students of Spiritism know that many other passages, either by Kardec as the followers, can be cited to assert the thesis of the synthetic nature of the doctrine, as well as its position, the last phase of the process of knowledge. In particularly, let us remember the definition of the doctrine “What is Spiritism”, by Kardec, on which we shall return later. Is sufficient at the moment this problem statement to justify our attempt to offer a historical view of spiritual development of man as the most appropriate way of introduction to the study of the doctrine.
It was Kardec himself who created the discipline that we develop in this course, both with the “Introduction to the study of spiritual doctrine,” which opens “The Book of Spirits,” and with the “Beginner Spiritualist.” Our course certainly does not remove, but rather, requires the study of these works encoder. But it is clear that the introduction of any branch of knowledge, as explained by the philosopher Julian Marias, in the particular case of Introduction to Philosophy, always requires new perspectives, according to the flow of time. The introduction Marias says, is the “now”, the circumstantial, the act of introducing someone into something. That something whether the philosophy i.e. Spiritism is a historical reality, something that exists in a concrete way.
Spiritism being a historical reality, affirmed by the encoder and its successors, it has its past and its present, as will have the future. At the time of Kardec, introduce somebody in the study of Spiritism, it was to introduce a nascent reality, a real problem in boiling in a historical process in principle definition, and especially “a new order of ideas.” Today, it is to introduce in a process that someone already established, not just an order of ideas, but also in the historical context in which that order has emerged.
This way, it introduces it too in the very introduction of Kardec. That is why we wrote to our translation of “The Spirits’ Book,” published by LAKE, an introduction to the work.
Without the historical examination of the medianimic problem, for example, today’s students will be threatened to float in the abstract. If introducing an order of ideas, without the knowledge of its historical roots, they risk confusing, as do the laity with mediumism and Spiritism, that is, the medianimic process and spiritual development of man, with Spiritism. They risk up even further to stun themselves with rudimentary psychic facts, considering them for his extravagant appearance as new. On the other hand, hardly understand the apparent contradiction in the fact that Spiritism, at the same time a modern doctrine and a historical process emanated from the most remote ages of mankind. There is also the religious problem, and particularly of Spiritism links with Christianity, that only a historical introduction can clarify.
José Herculano Pires (1914-1979)