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PREFACE

 

When we are unsure about something we have to do, before anything else, we should ask ourselves the following questions:

 

1st) Will what I am hesitating about cause harm to anyone?

 

2nd) Will it be useful to anyone?

 

3rd) If someone did this to me would I be pleased?

 

If what we think of doing is of interest only to ourself, it is permissible to weigh the personal advantages or disadvantages which may arise.

 

If it concerns others and if, in doing good for one person, it redounds in badness for another, it is also equally necessary to weigh the advantages and disadvantages before deciding whether to act or abstain.

 

Finally, even when dealing with the best of things it is necessary to consider the opportunity and the circumstances being offered, in as much as something that is good in itself con give bad results when put into the wrong hands, or if it is not directed with prudence and circumspection. Before putting it into effect it is best to consult our strength and the means of execution.

 

In any case, we can always solicit the assistance of our Protecting Spirits, remembering this wise maxim: When in doubt, do nothing (See chapter 28, item 38).

 

PRAYER:

 

In the name of God, the All Powerful One, in my uncertainty, I call upon the good Spirits who protect me to inspire me to make the best decisions. Lead my thoughts always towards goodness and protect me from the influences of those who tempt me to stray.

 

 

 

This prayer can be found on “The Gospel According to Spiritism”, which can be downloaded here.

 

Please pray with us.

 

 

 

 

Incredulity in regard to spirit-communication, when not the result of systematic opposition from selfish motives, has almost always its source in an imperfect acquaintance with the facts of the case; which, however, does not prevent a good many persons from attempting to settle the question as though they were perfectly familiar with it. It is possible to be very clever, very learned, and yet to lack clearness of judgement; and a belief in one’s own infallibility is the surest sign of the existence of this defect. Many persons, too, regard spirit manifestations as being only a matter of curiosity. Let us hope that the reading of this book will show them that the wonderful phenomena in question are something else than a pastime.

Spiritism consists of two parts: one of these, the experimental, deals with the subject of the manifestations in general; the other, the philosophic, deals with the class of manifestations denoting intelligence. Whoever has only observed the former is in the position of one whose knowledge of physics, limited to experiments of an amusing nature, does not extend to the fundamental principles of that science. Spiritist philosophy consists of teachings imparted by spirits, and the knowledge thus conveyed is of a character far too serious to be mastered without serious and persevering attention. If the present book had no other result than to show the serious nature of the subject, and to induce inquirers to approach it in this spirit, it would be sufficiently important; and we should rejoice to have been chosen for the accomplishment of a work in regard to which we take no credit to ourselves, the principles it contains not being of our own creating, and whatever honour it may obtain being entirely due to the spirits by whom it has been dictated. We hope that it will achieve yet another result-viz., that of serving as a guide to those who are desirous of enlightenment, by showing them the grand and sublime end of individual and social progress to which the teachings of Spiritism directly tend, and by pointing out to them the road by which alone that end can be reached.

Let us wind up these introductory remarks with one concluding observation. Astronomers, in sounding the depths of the sky, discovered seemingly vacant spaces not in accordance with the general laws that govern the distribution of the heavenly bodies and they therefore conjectured that those spaces were occupied by globes that had escaped their observation. On the other hand, they observed certain effects the cause of which was unknown to them; and they said to themselves, “In such a region of space there must be a world, for otherwise there would be a void that ought not to exist; and the effects we have observed imply the presence in that seeming void of such a world as their cause.” Reasoning, then, from those effects to their cause they calculated the elements of the globe whose presence they had inferred, and facts subsequently justified their inference. Let us apply the same mode of reasoning to another order of ideas. If we observe the series of beings, we find that they form a continuous chain from brute matter to man. But between man and God, who is the alpha and omega of all things, what an immense hiatus! Is it reasonable to suppose that the links of the chain stop short with man, that he can vault, without transition, over the distance which separates him from the Infinite? Reason shows us that between man and God there must be other links, just as it showed the astronomers that between the worlds then known to them there must be other worlds as yet unknown to them. What system of philosophy has filled this hiatus? Spiritism shows that it is filled with the beings of all the ranks of the invisible world, and that these beings are no other than the spirits of men who have reached the successive degrees that lead up to perfection; and all things are thus seen to be linked together from one end of the chain to the other. Let those who deny the existence of spirits tell us what are the occupants of the immensity of space which spirits declare to be occupied by them; and let those who scoff at the idea of spirit-teachings give us a nobler idea than is given by those teachings of the handiwork of God, a more convincing demonstration of His goodness and His power.

ALLAN KARDEC

Excerpt from Allan Kardec‘s “The Spirit’s Book”, translated by Anna Blackwell, LAKE (Livraria Allan Kardec Editora), Printed in Brazil. Version found at Public Domain.

***

For more information, please check out these links:

– Our Spiritist Studies section – published on Tuesdays

– Questions & Answers section

– The version of “The Spirit’s Book” (that is in public domain) is available for free download here (.pdf format)

– Get to know the other basic books of Christian Spiritist Doctrine by clicking here.

– Download the other basic books of Spiritism here (.pdf format). All of the books are on public domain.

AFFLICTIONS OF LIFE

PREFACE

We can ask God for earthly favours and He will concede them to us when they have a serious purpose. But seeing that we judge their utility from our own point of view and as immediate necessities, we do not always recognise the bad side of what we ask. God, Who can see things in a better perspective than we can and only desires the best for us, may refuse what we ask for, just as a father would refuse his child what he knew would be prejudicial for him. If what we request is refused we should not be disappointed; on the contrary, we should think that to be deprived of our wish is a test or an expiation, and that our recompense will be in proportion to the degree of resignation shown towards what we have to put up with (See chapter 27, item 6 & chapter 2, items 5-7).

PRAYER:

God Omnipotent, who sees all our miseries, please deign to hear the supplication we direct to You at this moment. If my request is inconsiderate, forgive me. If it is just and convenient, according to the way You see things, may the good Spirits who execute Your wishes, come to my aid and help me to realise my request.

However it may be, Lord, let Your will be done! If my request is not answered, it will be because it is Your wish that I be tested, and I submit without complaint. Help me not to become disanimated and that neither my faith nor my resignation be shaken.

(Then formulate your request).

This prayer can be found on “The Gospel According to Spiritism”, which can be downloaded here.

Please pray with us.

When Christ said: ‘Blessed be the afflicted, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to them”, He did not refer to all those who suffer, seeing that everyone on Earth suffers, whether they be seated upon thrones or lie upon straw. But alas! So few suffer well! A mere handful understand that only trials which have been well supported can lead to the Kingdom of God. Despondency is a fault and God will refuse consolation to those who lack courage. Prayer supports the soul; however, alone it is not enough. It is also necessary to have a firm belief in the kindness of God as the basis for deep faith. You have heard it said many times that He does not put a heavy burden on weak shoulders. The burden is always in proportion to the strength, just as the recompense depends on the degree of resignation and courage. The more painful the affliction the greater the recompense. It behoves then to make ourselves worthy and it is for this purpose that life presents itself so full of tribulations.

The soldier who is not sent to the front is discontent because by resting in camp he will never receive promotion. So then, be like soldiers and do not desire repose which will only allow the body to debilitate, and benumb the soul! Be content when God sends you into battle because this is not a battle of the fireing-line, but of the bitterness of life, where frequently the one who stands firm before an enemy weakens when confronted with the tenacity of moral suffering. Although there is no reward for this kind of courage on Earth, God will reserve the laurels of victory and a place of glory for those who withstand. When facing sufferings or obstacles, if you are able to place yourself above the situation, by managing to dominate the impulses of impatience, anger and despair, then you may say to yourself with just satisfaction, ‘I was the stronger’.

So then, blessed are the afflicted may be translated in the following manner: blessed are those who have occasion to prove their faith, firmness, perseverance, and submission to the Will of God, because they will have multiplied a hundred times the happiness they lacked on Earth, for after labour comes repose. LACORDAIRE (Havre. 1863).

Excerpt from Allan Kardec’s “The Gospel According to Spiritism”, The Headquarters Publishing Co Ltd (London), 1987. Version found at Public Domain website.

***

For more information, please check out these links:
Our Spiritist Studies section – published on Tuesdays
– The version of “The Gospel According to Spiritism” (that is in public domain) is available for free download here (.pdf format)
– Get to know the other basic books of Christian Spiritist Doctrine clicking here
Download the other basic books of Spiritism here (.pdf format)

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