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Methodical Study of the Pentateuch Kardecian   Portuguese  Spanish

Year 7 - N° 317 – June 23, 2013

Paraná (Brasil)  
Eleni Frangatos P. Moreira - eleni.moreira@uol.com.br


The Gospel According to Spiritism

Allan Kardec 

(Part 23)

We hereby continue the methodical study of "The Gospel According to Spiritism" by Allan Kardec, the third of the works of the Kardecian Pentateuch. The first edition was published in April, 1864. The answers to the questions suggested for discussion are at the end of the text below.

Questions for discussion

A. What are the qualities of a good man?

B. What is the reason why many Spiritists do not apply to themselves the teachings of spiritual manifestations?

C. How do we recognize the true Spiritist?

D. How should we live in this world?

Reading text 

240. If wealth is the cause of so much evil in this world, giving place to evil passions and causing so many crimes, then we should not blame wealth, itself, but mankind, who makes a bad use of it, as it does with all gifts granted to him by God. If wealth only caused evil, God would have not allowed it on this Earth. It is man's responsibility to use his fortune with a good purpose. Therefore, if not a direct element of moral progress, we can consider it, no doubt, a powerful element of intellectual progress. (Chapter XVI, section 7)

241. Indeed, man has the mission of working for the material betterment of this planet. It is up to him to clear and reorganize this planet, so that it may, one day, receive all the population that it can contain. To feed this continuously growing population, it is necessary to increase production. And for this, resources are needed. (Chapter XVI, section 7)

242. There are rich and poor on this Earth, because God, being just, assigns work to each one in turn. For those who are poor, poverty is a test of patience and resignation; for the remaining, fortune is a test in charity and abnegation. (Chapter XVI, section 8)

243. God owns all earthly goods and He shares them as He wishes. Man is only entitled to enjoy these goods, and he can be considered a more or less honest and intelligent administrator of these goods. They are not individual property, and God often cancels all provisions, and wealth escapes from even those who considered themselves good enough to own it. (Chapter XVI, section 10, M., Protecting Spirit)

244. You would say that this is understandable, if applied to inherited property, but not to property acquired through individual work. Undoubtedly, if there is such a thing as legitimate wealth, it would be the one earned honestly by means of our own work. However, a property is only legitimately acquired, if to earn it, you do not hurt anyone. If a single penny was earned by harming someone, you will have to account for this before God. (Chapter XVI, section 10, M., Protecting Spirit)

245. You, who are rich, give what you have in excess! But do even more, give something that you still need for yourself, because what you consider to be necessary, is actually superfluous. But be wise when you give. Do not turn down the one who complains, because you are afraid that he is deceiving you. Inquire what really causes his present situation. First, try and comfort your brother in need, and only then seek for information, and see if offering him work and good advice is not better than almsgiving.  When using material goods to aid those in need, do share with your brothers around you the love for God, the love for work and for one's neighbor. Place your wealth on a secure foundation - the practice of good deeds, and by doing this, you will always be wealthy and will still receive great profits in turn. Use the wealth of intelligence as you use the wealth of gold. Share the wealth that comes from instruction; share with your brothers the wealth of your love and you will see it fruit. (Chapter XVI, section 11, Cheverus)

246. Since man is both administrator and trustee of the property placed in his hands by God, he will have to present strict accounts regarding the way he employed this property, using his free will. If man used this property exclusively for his own satisfaction, it is considered a misuse of property. On the contrary, if man uses this property to benefit someone else, it is considered a good use of property. Individual merit is proportional to the self-sacrifice. (Chapter XVI, section 13, Fenelon)

247. The practice of charity is  one of the ways of employing one's fortune. Wealth can be used as a way of relieving poverty, by feeding the hungry, warming the cold, and offering shelter to those who need it. Nevertheless, wealth has an equally imperious and worthy obligation to prevent poverty. This, above all, is the purpose of great fortunes: wealth is meant to produce all kinds of jobs and possible work. (Chapter XVI, section 13, Fenelon)

248. Jesus mainly spoke about almsgiving. The reason is that in those days, in the country where He lived, such works, originated from arts and industry, in which wealth could be invested, were not yet known. To all, who are able to give, be it much or little, I say: Give alms when necessary, but remember that the one who receives it may be ashamed of it. So, whenever possible, change the almsgiving into a salary. (Chapter XVI, section 13, Fenelon)

249. Attachment to earthly possessions constitutes one of the strongest obstacles to both moral and spiritual advancement. Due to this attachment, you destroy all your loving capacity, since you use this capacity by applying it to material things. (Chapter XVI, section 14, Lacordaire) 

Answers to the proposed questions

A. What are the qualities of a good man?  

It is very difficult to enumerate all the qualities of a good man. Here are some of them, as related by Allan Kardec. The truly good man is the one that follows the law of justice, of love and charity, in their highest purity. He has faith in God and in the future. Since he has the feeling of charity and love of neighbor in him, he does good for good, without expecting to be paid for it. He returns evil with good, defends the weak against the strong, and always sacrifices his interests to justice. His first impulse is to think of others before thinking of himself, and he takes care of the interests of others before his own interests. He is good, benevolent and human to all, with no distinction of race or belief, because he considers all men his brothers. He respects others' sincere opinion and does not curse those who do not think like he does. In all circumstances, charity is his guide. He does not feed hatred, bitterness, or desire of revenge. Following the example of Jesus, he forgives, forgets all offences and only remembers what is good, because he knows that he will be forgiven as he forgave too. He is lenient regarding others' weaknesses, because he knows that he also needs forgiveness. He never has pleasure in mentioning others faults, or yet evidencing them. He studies his own imperfections and works constantly to fight them back. He is not proud about his wealth, or his personal advantages, because he knows that what was given to him, can be taken away. He uses but does not misuse the property that was granted to him, since he knows it is a deposit for which he has to account for and that the worst way of using this property is to apply it to satisfy his passions. If other men are placed under his command, he treats them with kindness and benevolence, because they are equal to him before God. (The Gospel According to Spiritism, Chapter XVII, section 3.) 

B. What is the reason why many Spiritists do not apply to themselves the teachings of spiritual manifestations?

The reason is that in many of them the material ties are still very strong and, therefore, do not allow the Spirit to free itself from earthly things. The fog that surrounds them does not allow them to see the infinite. This is the reason why they are not able to break away from their habits and do not understand that there is something better than what they already have. They believe in Spirits as a simple fact, but this belief is hardly enough to alter their instinctive tendencies. In one word, they do not see more than a weak light, not strong enough to guide them or determine in them the necessary inner strength to overpower their own inclinations.  Some Spiritists are still imperfect. Therefore, they go halfway or move away from their brothers in belief, because they retreat before their obligation to improve themselves, or because they keep their empathy for those who share with them their weaknesses or prevention. (Ibid, Chapter XVII, section 4.)

 C. How do we recognize the true Spiritist?                                                    

The true Spiritist can be recognized by his moral change and by the efforts he employs in order to overpower his bad instincts. While one is happy with a limited horizon, the other, being aware that there is something better, makes an effort to free himself and always manages to do so, if he has a strong will. This is the true Spiritist. (Ibid, Chapter XVII, section 4.)

D. How should we live in this world?

A feeling
of piety must always cheer the hearts of those who gather before the Lord's eyes, and ask for the assistance of the good Spirits. Let us not imagine, however, that when the spiritual benefactors urge us to constantly pray, they wish us to live a mystique life keeping us away from our life in society. No. They ask us to live like ordinary men do. They want us to offer this as a sacrifice and live our daily life with its normal needs and frivolities, but they would like us to do this with a pure feeling in our hearts so that our actions and deeds are blessed. Let us be joyful and cheerful, but let our cheerfulness come from a clean conscience and our happiness be the one of a heir of Heaven counting the days that remain to come into possession of his inheritance. Virtue does not consist of having a severe and gloomy appearance, or in refusing the pleasures which the human condition allows. It is enough for you to refer all your acts to God, Who gave you your life. It is enough that, when we begin or end a task, we raise our thoughts to God, and ask Him, in a rapture of the soul, for His protection to obtain success, or for His blessing, if we manage to end the task. In everything we do, we must go back to the source of all, so that all our actions are purified and blessed by the thought of God. Let us not imagine, therefore, that to live in communication with the Good Spirits, to live with God in your heart, it is necessary to wear a sack cloth and cover yourself with ashes.  (Ibid, Chapter XVII, section 10.)



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