Allan Kardec and Spiritist Doctrine


The peaceful rest of Allan Kardec has not been disturbed by the winds of skepticism. His works have withstood the trials of time. His work instrument, resting under a gaelic dolmen in the Pere Lachaise cemetery, Allan Kardec watches confidently over the spreading of the truths he presented in 1857 to a world readying itself for the greatest revolution of knowledge. His existence and geniality honor France and mankind.

A brilliant thinker, Kardec directed his efforts at establishing the foundations of the new thought rather than finishing up a structure that time and science would corrode. He trusted science with filling the gaps of understanding. He trusted man with sustaining the flame of compassion that had been lighted by the new thinking.

The Spiritist Doctrine is a project executed by a team of higher consciousnesses who returned to present mankind with the pillars of an evolving system of thought. Hence, the Doctrine has no rigid formulas, dogmas or rituals. It does not impose the acceptance of anything, but rather suggests that one seeks existing evidences. Furthermore, it emphatically recommends that new ideas are to be rationally evaluated, and whenever possible positively tested.

Allan Kardec unveiled the pillars of the new thought in 1857 with The Spirits' Book. Notwithstanding the oppressive climate of the times, he followed suit with a methodology for investigation of paranormality in The Medium's Book. In addition, in Heaven and Hell, he presented an annotated series of interview transcripts with deceased intelligences, and in The Gospel According to Spiritism, he developed the basis of a behavioral ethics based on the teachings of Jesus.

We have a debt of gratitude with those first pioneers of the new ethics, victims of the religious obscurantism of the times. They paid dearly for shattering the walls of physical reality in pursuit of the proofs of immortality. But, they left behind a legacy of light that points mankind to the transcendent laws that govern life in the physical as well as non-physical realms, and sustain the precise functioning of the Universe.

Time confirmed their beliefs. Modern science, via its different branches, is slowly giving credence to facts previously looked upon with disdain, such as the different states of matter (the concept of energy was not defined yet), the possibility of mental communication independent of distance, the consciousness existence pre and post-mortem.

For this posture the Spiritist Doctrine did not fit in well with metaphysical doctrines, for it recommended that transcendental facts and information to be positively examined. In an increasingly science-oriented age, beliefs required the backing of experimentation and Kardec was inspired to recognize, in the mid 1850s, that science would influence the life of ordinary men at an increasing rate.

The Spiritist Doctrine stands out because of its rigorous logic. Kardec's positive orientation is nowhere more evident than in the effort to validate each and every question/answer through blind questioning of channels (psychics*) throughout Europe. As well, his meticulousness is patent in the insightful comments that follow at the end of each section. Indeed, his contribution transcends the analytical rigour; his writing style, compassionate and poetic, gives the work a rare beauty and subtle sense of harmony. Restraining himself to the intellectual framework of the time, and avoiding the creation of an abstract terminology, Kardec structured each of his works using flawless inductive logic. His findings are presented with superb consistency and expanded on with such logical arguments that conclusions and implications flow so naturally. For the first time reader the whole work seems matter-of-fact because of Kardec's logic.

Certainly, it is a rare system that can offer each person the opportunity to investigate for him/herself its claims. Psychic experiences take place everyday, everywhere, with everybody. They are not controlled by anybody. The rich and the poor, the learned and the ignorant, doctors and mechanics, can all experiment equally and draw conclusions for themselves. Furthermore, nobody has command over the sources of information, for the freed consciousnesses (spirits) speak wherever, whenever, and through whomever they want. Unlike many of the known religious philosophies the Spiritist Doctrine is not the fruit of a personal revelation. It evolves from a process of continuous revelation, which takes place through as many sources as there are in the fields of human knowledge.

Kardec's advancing the concept of a continuous revelation was in itself a revolution. It forced as shift in the sands of traditional religious thinking because, according to this concept, every avatar, prophet, and saint embodied a representation of the divine idea adapted to the needs and understanding of a people. Nobody, person or organization, any longer held a monopoly of truth. It is so comforting to know that a team of illuminated intelligences care about us and guide our ascension without hindering the use of our free-will. Isn't this truly more in consonance with the universal harmony, and greater than the narrow, short-sighted propositions of dogmatic religions?

The freed consciousness who once inhabited mother earth have taken upon themselves spreading the new science of life. They have inspired sensitives of all walks of life, even within the most sacred sanctuaries of established religions. Relatives and friends who returned with proofs of their survival became the flag bearers of a new era. The revelation was personalized. Everyone could raise the veils of eternity, whether in a shack of a palace, in a church or a bawdyhouse, the rights and opportunities were equalled.

Indeed, it is in the multiplicity of sources of information that the Spiritist Doctrine has its needs of renovation, and a secure form of internal control. Consequently, it will evolve as movement of conscience, with a grass root impulse, dispensing with material alliances with political and financial powers.

The new temple of spirituality is governed by an invisible board made up of great beings from every race and religious denomination, souls that lived and died under the sublime law of love. Allan Kardec was, for a time, the mirror that reflected their light on earth. Certainly, he is now a member in perfect standing of this honorable assembly.


Adapted from "Allan Kardec et le Doctrine Spirite", Revue Spirite.

*Also called Mediums by Kardec