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Origins Of The Codification

(The text in red below are excerpts from a 1998 Steve Hume article called ‘The Career of ‘Allan Kardec’)

By 1848, when the mediumship of the Fox sisters was creating such a stir in America, Rivail (Kardec) 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.’

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’. 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.’

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.

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 scrutinising the communications he remarked to his wife:- ‘My conversations with the invisible intelligences have completely revolutionised 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.’

When Rivail submitted this idea to the communicators they replied:- ‘To the book…you 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.’ 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. 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’, but were also consistent with answers from other, independent, sources.

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 . 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. Recognising 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.’

The Spirits’ Book

The Spirits’ Book (Le Livre des Esprits the original French title) was published on April 18, 1857. The book was structured as a collection of FAQs, grouped by theme, occasionally interrupted by lengthier articles on specific subjects. Because Rivail was an experienced educator and writer he managed to present a large amount of information in a way that was and continues to be easily understood by the adept and casual reader alike. 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!”

Main concepts presented by The Spirits; Book:

God is the supreme intelligence and primary cause of all things. God is eternal, immutable, unique, omnipotent, supremely just and good.

The Universe is a creation of God. It encompasses all beings, whether they be rational or irrational, animate or inanimate, material or immaterial.

Beyond the physical world, which is the habitation of incarnate Spirits (Mankind), there exists the spiritual world which is the habitation of discarnate Spirits.

All the Laws of Nature are divine laws because God is their author. These Laws cover both the laws of physics and the moral laws.

Man is an incarnate Spirit in a material body. The perispirit is a semi-material body which unites the Spirit to the material body.

Spirits are the intelligent Beings of creation. They constitute the World of the Spirits, which pre-exists and survives everything.

All Spirits are created simple and ignorant. They gradually evolve intellectually and morally, so passing from an inferior order to more elevated levels, till they finally reach perfection where they will enjoy constant happiness.

All Spirits preserve their individuality, before, during and after each incarnation.

Spirits reincarnate as many times as becomes necessary in order to achieve their own perfection.

The different corporeal existences of the Spirit are always progressive and never regressive. The rapidity of their progress, both intellectually and morally, depends upon the degree of effort made towards betterment.

Jesus is the guide and model for all Humanity. The Doctrine which he taught and exemplified is the most pure expression of God’s Laws.

The ethics of Jesus (excluding the religious dogmatic elements), contained in the Gospels, is a templete towards progress for all mankind, and its practice is the solution for all human problems.

Man has free-will so as to act, but must respond for the consequences of his actions.

The future life reserves penalties or compensations compatible and in accordance with Man’s behavior while incarnate, as to whether or not God’s Laws were respected.

Prayer is an act of adoration towards God. It is contained within Natural Law, being the result of an innate sentiment of Man, just as the idea of the existence of a Creator is also innate in Man.

Prayer helps Man to become better. Those who pray with fervour and confidence find themselves to be stronger against the temptations of ignorant forces, and God sends them Good Spirits to assist them. This is help that is never denied to those who ask with true sincerity.

Book’s Table Of Contents

The Spirits Book is divided into four parts or books :

  1. Book One (untitled) deals with the origins of the universe and the attributes of God.
    1. Chapter 1 (God) is intented to clarify the true essence of God.
    2. Chapter 2 (General Elements of the Universe) explains the difference between spiritual and material matter and why spirits are not believed by materialists.
    3. Chapter 3 (Vital Principle) is about the differences between animate and inanimate beings, between the living and the dead and the features of intelligence compared to instinct.
  2. Book Two (The Spirit-World) describes spiritual life.
    1. Chapter 1 (Spirits) explains what spirits are, where they come from, what they are like, how they manifest, the purpose of their existence, and how people perceive them.
    2. Chapter 2 (Incarnation of Spirits) is about why spirits incarnate in material bodies.
    3. Chapter 3 (Return from Corporeal Life to Spirit Life) is about disincarnation (death).
    4. Chapter 4 (Plurality of Existences) is about reincarnation.
    5. Chapter 5 (Considerations on the Plurality of Existences) is an essay by Kardec meant to clarify the doctrine of the previous chapter.
    6. Chapter 6 (Spirit Life) describes what exists in the afterlife, the spiritual world.
    7. Chapter 7 (Return to Corporeal Life) explains how and when spirits come back to life by literally being born again.
    8. Chapter 8 (Emancipation of the Soul) is about situations in which the spirit of a living person may be free to interact with the spirits of the dead, as in near death experiences or during a deep sleep. This chapter does not cover waking mediumship.
    9. Chapter 9 (Intervention of Spirits in the Material World) is about situations in which the spirits of the dead may, ostensibly or not, intentionally or not, have any form of influence on events of the living world.
    10. Chapter 10 (Occupations and Missions of the Spirits) is an essay by Kardec on the different reasons why high spirits interfere with the world.
    11. Chapter 11 (The Three Reigns) is about the differences between inanimate beings (mineral), plants, and animals and contains the standard spiritist doctrine on Metempsychosis.
  3. Book Three (Moral Laws) contains what Kardec regarded as the kernel of his doctrine, the special and fair (in his view) moral laws that provided explanations and consoled people in moments of anger or grief. Such laws were actually the following:
    1. Divine Law
    2. The Law of Adoration
    3. The Law of Labour
    4. The Law of Reproduction
    5. The Law of Preservation
    6. The Law of Destruction
    7. Social Law
    8. The Law of Progress
    9. The Law of Equality
    10. The Law of Liberty
    11. The Law of Justice, Love and Charity
    12. Moral Perfection
  4. Book Four (Hopes and Consolations) is about the most common doubts people have about religion in general and tries to solve the most sensitive ones under new light.
    1. Chapter 1 (Earthly Joys and Sorrows) is about the meaning of the experiences we have on Earth, both good and bad.
    2. Chapter 2 (Future Joys and Sorrows) is about the laws governing the future lives we are bound to live after we die.

To read this book as a free e-book click here and to purchase an at cost printed copy of this book click here.

The Mediums Book

Encouraged by the success of The Spirits’ Book, Rivail published The Mediums’ Book (Le Livre des Médiums, in French)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 he employed the same method of presentation i.e., his questions followed by the spirits’ answers which were supplemented by his own comments and observations.

Allan Kardec describes the book (in Le Revue Spirite (Spiritist Journal) 1861 ) as such: “It constitutes the complement to “The Spirits’ Book” and contains the experimental piece of Spiritism, just as the latter contains the philosophic piece. In this work, fruit of a long experience of laborious studies, we sought to clarify all the questions tied to the practice of the manifestations. In agreement with the Spirit teachings, it contains the theoretic explanation of the diverse phenomena and of the conditions in which they are produced. But the section pertaining to the development and exercise of mediumship was, on our part, was a topic of particular attention and focus.”

Most importantly the work deals with not just the technical details of the phenomena and devolopment of a medium but also with the even more important details on the ethical development and practice critical for the use of a mediumship gift and in the life of any Spiritist in general.

Main concepts presented by The Mediums Book:

The Mediums Book repeats and amends to many of the concepts of the Spirits book. Below are a few of the ones unique to this book.

The Perispirit: The Perispirit, a semi-material envelope part of the ‘spirit’. The perispirit is the part of the spirit that can be modified and changed in order for a spirit to be able to act upon its environment. The term Perispirit is from the Greek, meaning Outer Spirit or Around the Spirit. The perispirit has roughly the same appearance of the spirits’ last incarnation and is what we actually see in apparitions.

Poltergeists: The perturbation popularly named poltergeist is caused by an ignorant spirit taking advantage of an untrained natural medium. If the medium learns how to control his/her gift he will not be disturbed by it. Sometimes the medium loses his/her gift after puberty.

Mind over matter: Spirits are capable of moving, transporting, dematerialising and rematerialising inanimate objects, with the help of mediums by using a substance called ectoplasm.

Sleep is the emancipation of the mind: While we are asleep our spirit loosens its ties to the material body and wanders the spiritual world. Because of it, it is theoretically possible — although uncommon — to see the spirit of a living person as an apparition.

Sometimes it is just an illusion: Kardec admits that often people who report apparitions or poltergeist are victims of delusion, hallucination or are just lying.

The spiritual world is a mirror of the material world, except for the lower spirits (for whom it is something not unlike hell) or the higher ones (for whom it is ideal, immaterial).

Haunted houses are haunted all the time, not only at night: But it is much easier to hear and to see spirits when it is quiet and dark.

Because spirits are of varied degrees of knowledge and ethical development, their communications are also diverse. Only a small portion of the communications are worth keeping record of. The only way for a medium to select the quality of communication is by sympathy: spirits are attracted or repelled by similar tastes, so each medium will attract spirits that share his interests or know his weaknesses.

There are different types of mediums, as many as the different types of phenomena spirits can produce. The most common types are: physical effects, seer, hearer, psychographer, sensitive, incorporative (talkative), sleepwalking, healer and intuitive.

Mediumship can be tiring, painful or even downright dangerous to the health of the body or of the mind. That is why the education and ethical advancement of a medium is critical to the use of the ability.

Uneducated, unethical, ignorant mediums are under the risk of allowing themselves to be overwhelmed by equally ignorant spirits, this is called obsession. The only way to prevent this is for a medium to be educated and strive to lead an ethical life.

Mediums can not produce phenomena at will, only when some spirit is willing too.

Animals are mediums too: they can see spirits and hear them.

To read this book as a free e-book click here and to purchase an at cost printed copy of this book click here.

Book’s Table Of Contents

The Mediums Book is divided into four parts or books :

  1. Part First: Preliminary Observations
    1. Chapter 1 Do Spirits Exist
    2. Chapter 2 Marvelous and the Supernatural
    3. Chapter 3 Plan of Proceeding: With Materialists; Systematic Materialists, and Materialists from lack of any better hypothesis; Incredulity from ignorance, from ill-will, from self-interest, from dishonesty, from pusillanimity, from religious scruples, from hoaxings; Three Classes of Spiritists; Order to be observed in the investigation of Spiritism
    4. Chapter 4 Theories: Different opinions in regard to Spiritism – Theories of Negation; Charlatanism; Madness; Hallucination; The Cracking Muscle; Physical Causes; Reflexion or Cerebration – Affirmative Theories; The Collective Soul; The Somnambulic; The Pessimist; The Diabolic or Demoniacal; The Optimist; The Unispiritist or Monospiritist; The Multispiritist or Polyspiritist; Theory of the Material Soul
  2. Part Second: Spirit Manifestations
    1. Chapter 1 Action of Spirits on Matter
    2. Chapter 2 Physical Manifestations. Table-Turning
    3. Chapter 3 Intelligent Manifestations
    4. Chapter 4 Theory of Physical Manifestations: Self-Imposed Trials and the True Meaning of Self-Sacrifice
    5. Chapter 5 Spontaneous Physical Manifestations: Noises, racket, and disturbances; Things thrown about; Objects introduced spontaneously into rooms; Statements by a Spirit in regard to these phenomena
    6. Chapter 6 Visual Manifestations: Theoretical explanation of Apparitions; Theory of Hallucination
    7. Chapter 7 Bi-Corporeity and Transfiguration: Apparitions of the Spirit of persons in the flesh; Doubles; St Alfonso of Liguori and St. Antony of Padua: Vespasian; Transfiguration; Invisibility
    8. Chapter 8 Laboratory of the Invisible World: Spirit-clothing; Spontaneous formation of tangible objects; Modification of the properties of matter; Curative action of animal magnetism
    9. Chapter 9 Haunted Places
    10. Chapter 10 Nature of Spirit Communications: Course, frivolous, serious, and instructive communications
    11. Chapter 11 Sematology and Typtology: The language of signs, raps, and tiltings; Alphabetical typtology
    12. Chapter 12 Pneumatography or Direct Writing; Pneumatophony or Direct Spirit-Sounds
    13. Chapter 13 Psychography : Indirect Psychography; Planchettes, etc,; Direct or Manual Psychography
    14. Chapter 14 Mediums: Physical Mediums; Electric Persons; Sensitive or Impressionable Mediums; Hearing Mediums; Speaking Mediums; Seeing Mediums; Somnambulist Mediums; Healing Mediums; Pneumatographic Mediums
    15. Chapter 15 Writing Mediums or Psychographs: Mechanical Mediums; Intuitive Mediums; Semi-mechanical Mediums; Inspired or Involuntary Mediums; Presentient Mediums
    16. Chapter 16 Special Mediums: Special aptitudes of Mediums; Synoptical Table of the Different Varieties of Mediums
    17. Chapter 17 Formation of Mediums: Development of Medianimity; Changes in the writing of Medium; Loss and Suspension of Medianim
    18. Chapter 18 Difficulties and Dangers of Medianimity: Influence of Medianimity on the Health; Idem on the Brain; Idem on Children
    19. Chapter 19 The Action of the Medium in the Obtaining of Spirit-Manifestations”: Influence of the Medium; Mediumship attributed to inert bodies; Aptitude of certain mediums for languages, music, drawing, & etc., of which they have no present knowledge; Dissertation of a Spirit on the action of mediums in Spirit-Manifestations
    20. Chapter 20 Mental and Moral Influence of the Medium”: Questions; Dissertation of a Spirit on the Mental and Moral Influence of Mediums on Spirit-Manifestation
    21. Chapter 21 Influence of Surroundings on Spirit-Manifestations
    22. Chapter 22 Medianimity of Animals
    23. Chapter 23 Obsession: Simple Obsession; Fascination; Subjugation; Causes of Obsession; Means of Combating Obsession
    24. Chapter 24 Identity of Spirits: Obtainable proofs of Identity; Distinction between Good and Evil Spirits; Questions on the Nature and Identity of Spirits
    25. Chapter 25 Evocations: General Considerations; Spirits who may be evoked; Mode of addressing Spirits; Utility of Special Evocations; Questions on Evocation; Evocation of Animals; Evocation of Living Persons; Human Telegraphy
    26. Chapter 26 Questions That May Be Addressed to Spirits: Preliminary Observations; Questions that are agreeable or disagreeable to Spirits; Questions about the Future; About Past and Future Existences; About Moral and Worldly Interests; About the Destiny of Spirits; About Health; About Inventions and Discoveries; About Hidden Treasures; About Other Worlds
    27. Chapter 27 Contradictions and Hoaxings
    28. Chapter 28 Charlatinism: Mercenary Mediumship; Sham Spiritism
    29. Chapter 29 Spiritist Meetings and Societies: Purpose: To Be Said for the Spiritually Disturbed
    30. Chapter 30 Parisian Society for Psychologic Studies
    31. Chapter 31 Dissertations by Spirits: On Spiritism; Mediums; Meetings; Apocryphal Communications
    32. Chapter 32 Spiritist Vocabulary

The Gospel Explained By The Spiritist Doctrine

Published in 1865 with a second edition coming out the next year, The Gospel Explained By The Spiritist Doctrine/ aka The Gospel According To Spiritism (Le Evangile Selon Le Spiritisme in the original french) was Kardec’s reply to those who claimed that Spiritism was anti christian. In this volume Kardec, after much study of the origins of Christianity, begins by explaining that only by understanding the Middle eastern culture of 2000 years ago can the meaning of the teachings of Jesus be understood as they were intended. A revolutionary point of view only in recent decades adopted by scientists who study the bible and biblical times.

Each section of this volume starts with a biblical passage and then Kardec provides logical, rational explanations of the timeless ethical lessons intended by Jesus, and reflecting the teachings of Spiritism. The sections also include instructions and messages of hope by Superior Spirits like those who’s wisdom is found in the other volumes of the codification.

Miguel Bertolucci writes (in the preface to the 2000 edition, translated and published by A.K.E.S*), “The core message [this book] presents transcends time and religious form, as Allan Kardec carefully chose passages from the Gospel that deal exclusively with moral matters and timeless truths. In doing so he deliberately avoided what might be interpreted as circumstantial to the Jewish nation and customers. These scripture excerpts became the basis for the explanations provided by the Spirits, and the explications by Allan Kardec, himself. This is therefore a book that invites the reader to ponder her or his life through the vivid accounts from those who have already mastered their lessons, and the reflections of those who were willing to reevaluate their own past experiences on Earth. This is what makes the Gospel a true guide for our own inner transformation, and for engaging the self in the discovery of each person’s true purpose in life.” (*A.K.E.S.= Allan Kardec Educational Society.)

Some of the main concepts presented by The Gospel Explained By The Spiritist Doctrine

The revelation of God is continuous because mankind is slowly evolving to a higher level (the Law Of Progress) , making it necessary to perfect the doctrine. The first revelation was through Moses, the second through Christ (though it was previously tried in Greece with Socrates but failed), and the third one was from God himself through his messengers the Spirit teachers).

Spirits are immortal and live many lives (reincarnations) to obtain ethical and intelligence growth. Eventually evolving beyond the need of Earthly reincarnations, and eventually evolving to the point where they are able to be in the presence of God.

Every one of the revelations (Moses, Jesus , Spiritism) elaborates on the previous, instead of revoking it.

Ethical growth is based on an understanding of non-carnal, unconditional Love, while intellectual growth is based on understanding why & how.

Nothing is truly learned until it is put to practice countless times (through reincarnations), only then does it become an instinctual response in the student.

Charity (the practice) of love must not seek personal gain of any kind. .

Mediumship gifts must be shared freely, without personal gain.

Marriage is not indissoluble, if there is no agreement any more, this proves that God never united the couple.

Salvation is by action and learning only, no single ritual or religious institution can take the place of the slow ethical and intellectual evolution necessary to reunite us with God.

Book’s Table Of Contents

The Gospel According To Spiritism is divided into 28 chapters :

    1. The Purpose of This Work
    2. Universal Control: The Ultimate Authority
    3. Historic Facts
    4. Socrates and Plato, Forerunners of the Christian Idea and Spiritist Principles
    5. A Summary of the Teachings of Socrates and Plato
    1. Scriptures and Commentary
    2. Moses
    3. Christ
    4. The Spiritist Doctrine
    5. The Alliance Between Science and Religion
    6. Spirit Teachings
    7. The New Era
    1. Scriptures and Commentary
    2. The Future Life
    3. Jesus As King
    4. The (Spiritual) Vantage Point
    5. The Alliance Between Science and Religion
    6. Spirit Teachings
    7. Earthly Royalty
    1. Scriptures and Commentary
    2. The Different States of the Soul in the Spirit World
    3. The Categories of Inhabited Worlds
    4. Earth’s Destiny; Causes of Human Suffering
    5. Spirit Teachings
    6. Primitive and Advanced Worlds
    7. Worlds of Trials and Purifications
    8. Realms of Renewal
    9. The Progress of The Planets
    1. Scriptures and Commentary
    2. Resurrection and Reincarnation
    3. Reincarnation Strengthens Family Ties – A Single Life Would Destroy Them
    4. Spirit Teachings
    5. Limits of Incarnation
    6. The Need For Incarnation
    1. Scriptures and Commentary
    2. The Justice of Suffering
    3. Present Causes of Suffering
    4. Past Causes of Suffering
    5. Forgetfulness of The Past
    6. Reasons For Fortitude
    7. Suicide and Insanity
    8. Spirit Teachings
    9. To Suffer Well or Badly
    10. A Medicine For All Sorrows
    11. Happiness Is Not Of This World
    12. Loss Of Loved Ones – Premature Deaths
    13. If She Had Been A Good Person She Would Have Died
    14. Self-Imposed Suffering
    15. True Misfortune
    16. Depressive Moods
    17. Self-Imposed Trials and the True Meaning of Self-Sacrifice
    1. Scriptures and Commentary
    2. The Gentle Yoke
    3. The Promised Counselor
    4. Spirit Teachings
    5. The Coming of the Spirit of Truth
    1. Scriptures and Commentary
    2. The Meaning of the Words “Poor In Spirit”
    3. Everyone Who Exalts Himself Will Be Humbled
    4. Mysteries Hidden from The Learned And the Clever
    5. Spirit Teachings
    6. Pride And Humbleness of Heart
    7. Mission of The Intelligent Person On Earth
    1. Scriptures and Commentary
    2. Let The Children Come To Me
    3. Sinning By Means of Thought; Adultery
    4. True Purity; Unwashed Hands
    5. Offenses: “If Your Hand or Your Foot Causes You To Sin, Cut it Off and Throw It Away”
    6. Spirit Teachings
    7. Blessed Are The Blind
    1. Scriptures and Commentary
    2. Insults and Violence
    3. Spirit Teachings
    4. Affability and Kindness
    5. Patience
    6. Obedience and Fortitude
    7. Anger
    1. Scriptures and Commentary
    2. Forgive Others So That God May Forgive You
    3. Reconciliation With Enemies
    4. The Offering Most Pleasing to God
    5. The Plank In The Eye
    6. Do Not Judge Or You Too Will Be Judged. Let the One Who Is Without Sin Be the First To Throw A Stone
    7. Spirit Teachings
    8. Forgiving Offenses
    9. Tolerance
    1. Scriptures and Commentary
    2. The Greatest Commandment
    3. Give To Caesar What Is Caesar’s, and to God What Is God’s
    4. Spirit Teachings
    5. The Law of Love
    6. Selfishness
    7. Faith and Charity
    8. Love Toward Criminals
  13. Chapter 12 LOVE YOUR ENEMIES
    1. Scriptures and Commentary
    2. Return Goodness For Evil
    3. Invisible Enemies
    4. If Someone Strikes You on the Right Cheek, Turn To Him the Other Also
    5. Spirit Teachings
    6. Revenge
    7. Hate
    8. Dueling
    1. Scriptures and Commentary
    2. Doing Good Without Showing Off
    3. Hidden Misfortunes
    4. The Widow’s Mite
    5. To Invite The Poor and The Crippled
    6. Spirit Teachings
    7. Material Charity and Moral Charity
    8. Doing Good
    9. Compassion
    10. Abandoned Children
    11. Good Acts Rewarded By Thanklessness
    1. Scriptures and Commentary
    2. Filial Devotion
    3. Who Is My Mother and Who Are My Brothers?
    4. Physical And Spiritual Kinship
    5. Spirit Teachings
    6. Children’s Ungratefulness and Family Ties
    1. Scriptures and Commentary
    2. What the Soul Needs In Order To Be Saved; The Parable of the Good Samaritan
    3. The Greatest of Commandments
    4. The Need for Charity According to Paul the Apostle
    5. Without The Church There Is No Salvation; Without Truth There Is No Salvation
    6. Spirit Teachings
    7. Without Love There Is No Salvation
    1. Scriptures and Commentary
    2. The Salvation of the Rich
    3. A Warning Against Greed
    4. Jesus in the House of Zacchaeus
    5. The Parable of the Bad Rich Man
    6. The Parable of the Talents
    7. The Wise Use of Wealth
    8. The Unequal Distribution of Wealth
    9. Spirit Teachings
    10. True Property
    11. The Proper Use of Wealth
    12. Detachment from Worldly Possessions
  18. Chapter 17 BE PERFECT
    1. Scriptures and Commentary
    2. The Characteristics of Perfection
    3. The Good Person
    4. The Good Spiritist
    5. The Parable of the Sower
    6. Spirit Teachings
    7. Duty
    8. Virtue
    9. Superiors and Subordinates
    10. The Worldly Person
    11. Look After Both Body and Spirit
    1. Scriptures and Commentary
    2. The Parable of the Wedding Banquet
    3. The Narrow Door
    4. Not Everyone Who Says Lord! Lord! Will Enter The Kingdom of Heaven
    5. Much Will Be Asked of Him Who Receives Much
    6. Spirit Teachings
    7. Whoever Has Will Be Given More
    8. Christians Are Recognizable By Their Works
    1. Scriptures and Commentary
    2. The Power of Faith
    3. Religious Faith; The State of Unshakable Faith
    4. The Parable of the Dry Fig Tree
    5. Spirit Teachings
    6. Faith, The Mother of Hope and Love
    7. Human and Divine Faith
    1. Scriptures and Commentary
    2. Workers Of The Last Hour
    3. Spirit Teachings
    4. The Last Will Be First
    5. The Mission of the Spiritists
    6. The Workers of the Lord
    1. Scriptures and Commentary
    2. A Tree is Known By Its Fruits
    3. The Mission of the Prophets
    4. Signs and Miracles of The False Prophets
    5. Don’t Believe All The Spirits
    6. Spirit Teachings
    7. False Prophets
    8. Characteristics of the True Prophet
    9. The False Prophets of the Spirit World
    10. Jeremiah and the False Prophets
    1. Scriptures and Commentary
    2. Can A Marriage Be Dissolved?
    3. Divorce
  24. Chapter 23 STRANGE LESSONS
    1. Scriptures and Commentary
    2. On Hating One’s Father and Mother
    3. Leave Father, Mother, and Children
    4. Let The Dead Bury Their Own Dead
    5. I Have Not Come to Bring Peace, But Dissension
    1. Scriptures and Commentary
    2. The Light Under a Bowl; Why Jesus Spoke in Parables
    3. Do Not Go Among the Gentiles
    4. The Healthy Do Not Need A Doctor
    5. The Courage of Faith
    6. Take Up Your Cross; Whoever Wants to Save His Life Will Lose It
  26. Chapter 25 SEEK AND YOU WILL FIND
    1. Scriptures and Commentary
    2. If You Help Yourself Then Heaven Will Come to Your Aid
    3. Look At The Birds of the Air
    4. Do Not Take Along Any Gold
    1. Scriptures and Commentary
    2. The Gift of Healing
    3. Paid Prayers
    4. The Merchants Expelled From the Temple
    5. Free Mediumship
    1. Scriptures and Commentary
    2. The Quality of Prayers
    3. How Prayer Works; Thought Transfer
    4. Intelligible Prayers
    5. Prayers for The Dead and For Suffering Spirits
    6. Spirit Teachings
    7. The Way to Pray
    8. The Joy of Prayer
    1. Preamble
    2. General Prayers
    3. The Lord’s Prayer
    4. Purpose: Spiritist Meetings
    5. Purpose: For The Mediums
    6. Prayers for Oneself
    7. Purpose: To Guardian Angels and Protecting Spirits
    8. Purpose: To Turn Away Wrong-Doing Spirits
    9. Purpose: To Ask for Self-Improvement
    10. Purpose: To Ask for Strength to Resist Temptation
    11. Purpose: To Give Thanks for Victory Over A Temptation
    12. Purpose: Help To Face the Difficulties of Life
    13. Purpose: To Give Thanks for Receiving A Favor
    14. Purpose: To Show Surrender and Acceptance
    15. Purpose: To Avoid Imminent Danger
    16. Purpose: To Give Thanks for Having Escaped A Danger
    17. Purpose: To Be Said at Bedtime
    18. Purpose: To Be Said on Seeing the Approach of Death
    19. Prayers for Others
    20. Purpose: For Someone Who is Suffering
    21. Purpose: To Give Thanks for a Favor Received by Someone Else
    22. Purpose: To Be Said for our Enemies and Ill-Wishers
    23. Purpose: To Give Thanks for Blessings Received By Our Enemies
    24. Purpose: To Be Said For The Enemies of The Spiritist Doctrine
    25. Purpose: Prayer for a Newborn Child
    26. Purpose: To Be Said For One Who Is Dying
    27. Prayers For Those No Longer On Earth
    28. Purpose: To Be Said for Someone Who Has Just Died
    29. Purpose: To Be Said for a Beloved One
    30. Purpose: To Be Said for Suffering Spirits Who Ask for Prayers
    31. Purpose: To Be Said for An Enemy Who Has Died
    32. Purpose: To Be Said For A Criminal
    33. Purpose: To Be Said For A Suicide
    34. Purpose: To Be Said for Repentant Spirits
    35. Purpose: To Be Said for Hardened Spirits
    36. Prayers for the Sick and Spiritually Disturbed
    37. Purpose: To Be Said for the Sick
    38. Purpose: To Be Said for the Spiritually Disturbed

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