By Vladimir Alexei

What have you been doing with the Spiritist Doctrine?

It is common to find among those who believe in Spiritism, those who are most exalted with the culture, knowledge and intellectuality that the doctrinal study provides.

Probably, about 20 years ago, the “Spiritist discussion lists” appeared, rehearsing the first social networks, from the exchange of e-mails in specific debate groups, bringing together people from different parts of the country and the world. In the beginning, it was a very interesting exchange of experiences. We even had the opportunity to meet, call, talk and even receive from Professor Carlos de Brito Imbassahy a copy of the work written by his father in 1955, The Evolution.

With their frank position, austere at times, those Spiritists with “lukewarm” knowledge, a mixture of religiosity and syncretism, were “dinned” for their elegance, knowledge and eloquence in the doctrinal debate.

It was admirable the way in which Professor Carlos de Brito Imbassahy conducted his thinking as a Physicist, in the face of doctrinal knowledge. The scientific rigor and intellectual autonomy caused strangeness and even criticism of his style, due to the independence, fidelity and objectivity with which he carried out his doctrinal reflections.

Upon meeting him, however, rare were those who did not perceive the sweetness in his heart and the patience in the face of the follies of those Spiritists who tried to demonstrate some scientific knowledge just by reading novels or works of high carat, applying them out of context.

Sensitive to what was best in the production of the Spiritist movement, like every human being, he had his preferences. He did not give up the works of Allan Kardec. It was his favorite. As much as people encouraged his opinion about Chico Xavier and other strongholds of the Spiritist movement, he positioned himself objectively, even directly, and turned his attention to the work of Allan Kardec.

Anyone who lived with Professor Imbassahy at that time was presented with a translation of the book The Genesis – the miracles and predictions according to Spiritism. Until today we have the files in “Ms Word©” that were kindly given to the participants of that list. That same translation later served as the basis for FEAL’s edition.

His fidelity to the scientific thinking of Allan Kardec passed through knowledge and understanding of the Gospel of Jesus. Yes, Professor Imbassahy also knew the Gospel and spoke openly very little about it, even more so when the audience was heterogeneous. Doctor Carlos Imbassahy (father) was one of the greatest spiritist polemicists we have ever had in Brazil. He dedicated the Body and Spirit (Corpo e Espírito), published by Lake, 1946 (if I am not mistaken) to Professor Imbassahy, his only son, speaking, among other things, of the wealth of the Gospel, however not the Gospel “kidnapped” by men in exchange for power, but the Gospel of Christ.

The nostalgia for the Imbassahy increased that day when we came across a note whose authorship, unfortunately, we did not record, about the importance of the scientific method. The note is academic, but it serves doctrinal thinking. The sentence was recorded by a pen and goes like this: “the methodology of scientific research is concerned with the construction processes of rigorous knowledge. The way in which a conclusion is reached regarding the investigated phenomenon is, in this (scientific) area, as important as the knowledge itself”.

When reading this note, Professor Imbassahy's memory became more vivid, due to his rigor, style, controversies, but security and conviction in the face of the construction of Spiritist thought.

These lists  encouraged the capture of the thought of another great Spiritist thinker who dominated the Spiritist philosophy in order to be nicknamed by the Spirit Emmanuel as the “meter that best measured Kardec”, Professor Herculano Pires.

While Spiritist bookstores in Minas Gerais, at that time, only sold the productions of the Federation, the internet brought us closer to the thought of a “rebel” in the eyes of that institution. We remember, as if it were today: the first time at a study meeting that we took to reflection the approach of the work O Espírito e o Tempo, considered one of the best Spiritist works of the 20th century, by professor Herculano Pires. Very discreetly, as customary in the State of Minas. We were informed that the “cited author was not well regarded because he was a critical of the Federation”.

Many years passed when we read, in one of the Federation's “work books”, a quote from a work by Herculano Pires. For the inattentive reader, it was more of a reference. For those who know a little about the history of the Spiritist movement, it was, perhaps, the “wandering of new times”.

Although it is recognized in the speech of many speakers, in the pen of many writers, the importance of scientific thinking, in practice, in the empiricism necessary for the learning that transforms the mind and heart of the individual, the Spiritist movement continues to make the same mistakes as in the past.

It relies more on the eloquence of mediums and writers than on the validation of the thought used by Allan Kardec to understand the influence of the Spirits in our lives and vice versa. A classic example is reincarnation. They prefer to defend the idea that so-and-so is the reincarnation of so-and-so, with interviews without methodological rigor, without content analysis, or triangulation to reinforce comprehension and understanding, without submitting the reliability of mathematical techniques, which do not cover the entire framework of the existing knowledge. However, as in the thought brought up, “the way a conclusion is reached...” is relevant. This does not diminish anyone's efforts, on the contrary, it exalts the importance of analyzing effects and phenomena with more knowledge on the subject and, therefore, with more possibilities of approximate interpretation of what the Spirits try to convey.

With this fragility in doctrinal knowledge, the discussions became innocuous, the strength of the Spiritist ideal weakened, the rigor of scientific thinking replaced to meet a “fragile current situation”, of extremely sensitive, suffering people, with narrow knowledge, dogmatic thinking, obtuse, accustomed more to the phenomena than the understanding of what the phenomenon is carrying.

Spiritist science is the “process of construction of rigorous knowledge”. The process allows us understand, with more security, the scope of that thought. In this sense, it could be said that the Gospel presents scientific elements, since the understanding of its teachings can be built from the key used by Allan Kardec, in the introduction of The Gospel According to Spiritism, when he divides the “materials contained in in the Gospels”. Prejudice is harmful at these times!

An advantage little explored by Spiritists: scientific thinking does not require any academic training from Spiritists. Allan Kardec has already paved the way.

Observe the difference between the construction of Allan Kardec's thought and the attempt to validate someone's reincarnation. What we observe is an almost desperate attempt to find “information” that validates the ideas that each one has about being or not the reincarnation of a certain Spirit. As much as the way of writing is eloquent, it is far from scientific.

The Spiritist needs, deserves, ought to revisit the way of studying and understanding Spiritism. The process of building knowledge, which made the Imbassahy family famous, as well as the astute thinking of Professor Herculano Pires, is current and deserves to be reflected on, as it reserves a doctrinal understanding capable of sustaining itself over time.

Thus, the leader helps the medium in his mediumistic forays, the mediums develop more security and this becomes a fruitful work of self-knowledge, responsibility and service to the neediest neighbor. The worker, task worker, volunteer at the Spiritist center needs to be, in addition to being invited to the study, convinced that the study and exchange in that Spiritist center, using that “work book” model of study, will add something to their baggage. However, for this movement to be built there is a need to prepare the workers of the Spiritist Centers, starting with the leaders, reviewing the construction of their thinking, the bases of their trust. Without this, the feeling that invades him will be the compass of his work and the worker will run the risk of being adrift of an untimely change, without building a thought that points to the superior designs of the Spiritist Doctrine.


Eleni Frangatos - eleni.moreira@uol.com.br



O Consolador
 Revista Semanal de Divulgação Espírita