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Special Portuguese Spanish    

Year 8 - N° 370 – July 6, 2014

Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brasil)


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


Marcus De Mario

Gospel and Spiritism, a hymn to the immortal love

Kardec's work in the development of the The Gospel According
to Spiritism and the change in mankind's religious thought

Part 1

After the release of The Book of Spirits (1857) and The Book of Mediums (1861), Allan Kardec was challenged to a new work. He was supposed to analyze, interpret and bring to life the teachings of Jesus: the Spiritist vision regarding life and being. It was indeed a challenge to free the living thought from the model that guided humanity regarding the Gospel texts, without falling into the temptation of doing theology, i.e., a formal, academic study of religion. 

Kardec was defending the religious feature of Spiritism, unfolding the moral consequences of its philosophy, but without thereby creating a new religion, just highlighting that the Spiritist Doctrine is also religion, not in the sense of formal dogmas, formalisms and rituals, but in the broad sense of religiosity that shows the setting of rational faith. 

Kardec was also a student of religious matters, and wrote many articles and critical analysis about Catholic and Protestant religions, which were published in the Spiritist Magazine. His texts show his extensive knowledge, and acuity. Fully furnished with detailed messages transmitted by the Superior Spirits, he then began the work that would have its final edition in 1864, under the title The Gospel According to Spiritism

The preparation of the work  

To begin, Kardec had to choose the most faithful French translation, the most widely accepted by the Catholic clergy, as well as by the Protestant ministers. He chose the Sacy's translation, very well known and used at the time. However, this was only the beginning of the project. The life and work of Jesus is vast. Many studies had already been published. The interpretations were diversified. Theological discussions were endless. Where to start? On what should he focus? Following the guidance of the spiritual benefactors, he chose to work on the moral teachings of Jesus, a universal, unquestionable and essential matter to human progress. 

As he reported in the presentation of the book, he thus avoided entering the field of controversy, devoting himself exclusively to show the spiritual vision of the moral teachings of the Master and its application to the various circumstances of life. He did not intend to write a book on the theoretical discussion, but a practical manual, a very useful script where man could through deeper understanding of the Gospel find answers to the causes of distress and the best way to find peace and happiness, both in this life and in the continuity of life after death. 

Warned by the Spirits, Allan Kardec knew that Heaven and Earth would tremble, and that his name would be excommunicated by the Catholic leaders, the book would be placed on the Index of prohibited books, many Spiritists would not understand the religious feature of the doctrine. However, none of that mattered because he knew that The Gospel According to Spiritism was urgent, a necessary work, a milestone in the transformation of the religious culture of humanity. Therefore, he put himself in action. 

He read and reread the Gospels. He classified the passages according to their content. He then attached the Gospel writers' narratives. The chapters took shape, and the explanatory texts were elaborated always based on the principles of the existence of God, the immortality of the soul, the exchange between embodied and disembodied, and the law of evolution through reincarnation. At the same time, Kardec received messages from the Spirits sent to him by hundreds of Spiritist groups scattered throughout France and other countries. These messages referred to various topics based on the teachings of Jesus. Then a second phase on the preparation of the book took place. Kardec had to choose from these messages, those that best fitted the contents of each chapter. 

Foram horas, dias, semanas e meses consumidos na elaboração do projeto. Pelo menos dois anos exaustivos de trabalho regular, isso em meio a correspondências, edições mensais da Revista Espírita, viagens de propaganda do Espiritismo através de palestras, reuniões semanais da Sociedade Parisiense de Estudos Espíritas, numa gama variada de tarefas que absorviam boa parte de seu precioso tempo, mas que ele organizava com método, extraindo de cada hora o máximo possível em produção. 

Hours, days, weeks and months were spent on this project. At least two years of regular exhaustive work went by, amid several correspondences, monthly issues of the Spiritist Magazine, travelling to teach about Spiritism through lectures, weekly meetings of the Parisian Society of Spiritist Studies, a wide range of tasks that absorbed much of his precious time, but he was methodical and made the most of his time.

Thus, the layout of the book came to life, followed in each chapter. He began by the Gospel's passages. Then, his comments and explanations followed. Finally, the messages of the Spiritual friends, all ordered and concatenated with logic and at the same time, surrounded by the sublime feeling of love, a work that deeply touches the soul. 

Spiritual seclusion

The book Posthumous Works, edited by the French Spiritists in 1890, with Kardec's texts and unpublished notes, informs us that in the year of 1863, at the request of the Superior Spirits, the Encoder spent two seasons outside of Paris, his hometown, to live in a more bucolic, pleasant environment where he could concentrate for the preparation of the work.

Thus, he was first in Ségur in the outskirts of the French capital, where he owned a small property and where he could live in greater peace of mind for the job. It was there that he had an important dialogue with a friendly Spirit regarding this new work. Let us recall that nobody knew in what he was working. The medium suspected of nothing. Asking about the work he was doing, Kardec received the following reply: 

"This doctrine book will have a considerable influence, since it explains capital issues, and not only the religious world will find in it the required precepts, but also its practice by the nations will benefit them with excellent instructions."

In September 1863, Kardec was in Saint-Adresse, coastal region of France, in the administrative region of Upper Normandy. He then addressed a letter to his fellows at the Parisian Society of Spiritist Studies, asking them to evoke the spiritual benefactors so that they would give him a communication on any one subject, i.e., what the Spirits wanted. The communication refers directly to the drafting of the new book, of which the companions were unaware at the Society: 

"With this work, the building begins to break free of its scaffolding and the dome drawing in the horizon can already be seen. Therefore, do continue with patience and without fatigue; the monument will be ready at the appointed time."

Also in this communication, we have the explanation of the exchange between the embodied and disembodied, revealing how the Spirits help us:

"I want to tell you about Paris, although it does not seem to me of obvious usefulness, since my inner voices are heard around thee, that thy brain perceives our inspirations, with an ease that neither you even suspect. Our action, especially of the Spirit of Truth, is constant around you and this you cannot deny." 

Important Information  

The release of The Gospel according to Spiritism, as per Spiritual information, represented the final blow on false theological ideas, which had placed Jesus as a mystical being, inaccessible to the understanding of most, wrapped in divine mysteries. The book clarified many passages of His teachings that only with the key to the immortality of the soul and reincarnation could be understandable. This breathtaking work was at the same time of easy reading, where the "love one another" and "do to others only what you want your neighbors to do to you" are accessible to all intelligences. 

So Kardec proclaims the banner of every Spiritist: "out of charity there is no salvation," and demonstrates that the Spiritist should always use the rational faith, after all, "unshakable faith is only that which can meet reason face to face at all times of humanity. "

Wanting nothing for himself, acknowledging that he had only done the material job of organizing the book, Allan Kardec says in the introduction of this work: 

"Union will not be reached through the opinion of one man only, but through the unanimous voices of the Spirits. It will not be one man, much less us, that will fund the Spiritist orthodoxy. Nor will either one Spirit, impose himself on anyone, but yes the universality of the Spirits, communicating over all Earth, under the command of God. This is the essential character of the Spiritist Doctrine, and this is its power and its authority. God wanted His law to be founded on an unshakable base and that is why He did not seat it on the fragile shoulders of only one." (Continued in the next issue).  

Marcus De Mario is an Educator, Writer, and Speaker. He is a collaborator of Rio de Janeiro's Radio. Director of the Brazilian Institute of Moral Education. Collaborator of the Associação Espírita Lar de Lola and of the Centro Espírita Humildade e Amor, in the city of Rio de Janeiro, RJ.


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