Among the questions that arise in nearly all quests for knowledge about God, the universe, and our role in it are these: “Why are we here? Do our lives end with our physical death? If there is an afterlife, where is it? If there is a God, why does he not make himself known with great clarity? Do religions and their institutions matter? How can I sort out the many different answers that are found among the various religions and among those with no religious beliefs at all?” Spiritism offers responses to these issues without relying on churches, or clergy, or commandments; or resorting to bombast, or appealing to ignorance, or to your fears.
The role of Spiritism is best defined by spirits themselves. A collection of discourses between highly developed spirits and at least one person is contained in a series of books written in the 1850s and 1860s. The author, Allen Kardec, was a highly respected educator who lived a modest life in France. The books are listed at the end of this summary. The quality of the discourse reflected in the questions and answers is impressive. It is clear, direct, and authoritative without being demanding or cast in a negative tone laced with fear. The words and their intent have the “ring of truth.” Both flow from the absence of meanness, and from their direct, positive, and uplifting quality.
Other sources that give a similar insight to the afterlife can be found in carefully documented near death experiences (NDEs)
and in some medium accounts.
Of the thousands of NDEs, this one stands out because the person who experienced it was a trained scientist, a neurosurgeon, who did not believe in them:
A SCIENTIST’S CASE FOR THE AFTERLIFE
Thousands of people have had near-death experiences, but scientists have argued that they are impossible. Dr. Eben Alexander was one of those scientists. A highly trained neurosurgeon, Alexander knew that NDEs feel real, but are simply fantasies produced by brains under extreme stress.
Then, Dr. Alexander’s own brain was attacked by a rare illness. The part of the brain that controls thought and emotion—and in essence makes us human—shut down completely. For seven days he lay in a coma. Then, as his doctors considered stopping treatment, Alexander’s eyes popped open. He had come back.
Alexander’s recovery is a medical miracle. But the real miracle of his story lies elsewhere. While his body lay in coma, Alexander journeyed beyond this world and encountered an angelic being who guided him into the deepest realms of super-physical existence. There he met, and spoke with, the Divine source of the universe itself.
Alexander’s story is not a fantasy. Before he underwent his journey, he could not reconcile his knowledge of neuroscience with any belief in heaven, God, or the soul. Today Alexander is a doctor who believes that true health can be achieved only when we realize that God and the soul are real and that death is not the end of personal existence but only a transition.
This story would be remarkable no matter who it happened to. That it happened to Dr. Alexander makes it revolutionary. No scientist or person of faith will be able to ignore it. Reading it will change your life.
>The message of Spiritism is this: It informs us about what happens to our spirits when we die; and it tells us about the destiny of our spirits in the afterlife and beyond. Granted, many religions also attempt to explain the same issues, but not in the same way. Most religions assert that they alone have the truth, and they are the means and the way to that truth. By and large you must join their organizations, follow their rules, obey their commandments, contribute to their wealth, and they will keep you informed as to whether or not your soul is in good standing with them or with their notions of God, heaven, hell, and eternity.
Spiritism, in contrast, merely explains these issues without also demanding that you join an organization, without asserting that you must follow clergymen or commandments under penalty from God that your soul will burn in hell or you will suffer some other form of eternal punishment for not doing their bidding. Spiritism makes no such threats or demands on you at all. You are free to accept it or not. Your life, your soul, and your destiny are not tied to your beliefs about Spiritism.
So why bother with Spiritism? Spiritism does assert the following: First, regardless of your religious or your personal beliefs, you do have an indestructible spirit. You are free to believe that you do not have a spirit, but that belief will not alter the fact that you do. When you die, your spirit detaches from your body and re-enters the spirit world. You arrive—not at a place in 3-dimensional space—but in a timeless dimension where you have no earthly body. Accordingly, you have no need for sleep, rest, or food. No one can threaten you, or make demands on you, or withhold essential things from you. Indeed, they have no power over you at all. And, of course, you have no power over them. There is no need for armies, or guns, or electric chairs. Anyone so inclined to push you around would soon learn of the futility of any attempt to use force or coercion for any purpose. So it is a place of congeniality and cooperation and celebration where your place and participation are dependent on your level of enlightenment. You are also able to instantly communicate with others telepathically without the need to know or to use any specific language.
Shortly after the death of your body and your arrival in the spirit world, you are greeted in your new existence by those who preceded you in death, especially by family members, where you are warmly greeted in a festive, celebratory homecoming. Other friends and acquaintances and admirers will also be there. For most of us, it is a glorious, wonderful reception.
There is no judgment of your life on earth awaiting you, nor is there a place of eternal punishment called “hell” for sinners. Instead, you must attend a life review by a council of elders, those high level spirits who have attained a degree of perfection considerably beyond your own. This review takes place in almost an instant of earthly time, but it is nevertheless complete in every detail. You will experience the joys and sorrows, the pains and the pleasures that others felt as a result of your words and deeds. The elders point out your actions that contributed to your own and to other’s moral, spiritual, and intellectual well-being, and those that did not. They are not there to judge you, rather, to help you understand the extent to which the life you just lived improved your personal state of enlightenment. It is necessary because you have been here before, and in your last review and during your last existence in the afterlife you contracted with God to achieve certain results, or you had to atone for certain wrongs you had committed in your prior life in the corporeal world. The degree to which you achieved them determines whether you return to your same family of spirits for an additional period, or move on to a higher level with a new family of spirits.
Let’s discuss your “family of spirits.” In the spirit world there are many levels of perfection among the millions of spirits there. Some are at a very low level of development, while others are at a very high level. They do not all exist equally nor together. The more enlightened your spiritual level, the more glorious your experience is there. Your place is with those who have achieved a similar level of development. You would not want to be among those who arrived after committing mass murders and other heinous crimes against humanity. You would also not likely find your place among those kindly and gracious spirits who have attained a very high level of moral and intellectual enlightenment. You would not want to be among those at a different level of spiritual purity, nor they with you. It is fitting that those spirits who were very low level thugs in the corporeal would also have no authority and no influence in the spirit world, but would dwell among those at the same low level.
But there is hope for all—even those at the lowest levels of enlightenment. We all get to come back again and again until we get it right. But we do not necessarily come back to planet Earth. Yes, there are millions of other habitable worlds in the universe. You may already have visited a few of them, and there could be more in your future. God’s Divine Plan for the universe and all who inhabit it is not known nor is it knowable given our limited intellectual development. But as we increase in both our moral and our intellectual development, more and more of his Plan becomes known to us.
Those who are given great wealth, or great strength, or great beauty—and who abuse it—may have to return in poverty, or as weaklings in poor health, or hideous in appearance to atone for their intemperate lives. Life on earth is reincarnation, and that is a kind of purgatory. It may also be a mission for others, a life for the express purpose of achieving a specific goal. It all depends on your state of enlightenment, the review of your life with your council of elders, and your own approved plan to live another life—to atone for wrongs done, or to achieve a specific goal. We all move on, and we either progress upward, or we suffer in another life or lives until we do. How many lives? No one knows but God. But each of us has some control over the number of incarnations by our own actions. The more we progress, the fewer incarnations we must live.
One could ask: “Where is the justice in allowing very evil persons to live again and again? Why not just cast them into hell?” These questions are best answered by asking: “Where is the mercy in not giving every one of God’s creations the opportunity to atone, to improve, and to purge him/herself from the wrongs committed against a God of infinite love and mercy?” Or, “How could a merciful God condemn his own creations to an eternal hell with no chance of ever extricating himself from his own evil ways?” It is folly to try to create your own God, in your own image, with your shortcomings and your limited understanding, and for your purposes.
Q. Are you saying that Adolf Hitler’s spirit is not in hell? Ans: His spirit is not in a place called hell. He very well could be experiencing much pain from the realization of the futility of his actions, and how detrimental they were to his spirit, that his low level spiritual existence is much like you might imagine it would be if he were in a place called hell. It simply is not forever.
There are many other questions that arise from Spiritism’s descriptions. Among them are:
Q. What is our purpose here on Earth? Ans: Acceptance, love, and foregiveness are high on the list for everyone.
Q. Is there a devil? Ans: No. There are low level spirits who are in serious need of improvement morally, intellectually, and spiritually.
Q. Is there laughter in the spirit world? Ans: Yes, and much of it.
Q. Are there celebrations? Ans: Yes, and they exceed in glory and magnitude anything you have ever imagined on Earth or elsewhere.
Q. Is there music? Ans: Yes, and it is thousands of time more joyful and penetrating and uplifting than the music on Earth.
Q. Is there sex? Ans: No. There is no need for it.
Q. Are there wine and food? Ans: No. There is no need for them.
Q. Is there golf? Ans: There are likely more ways to entertain and to be entertained than any of us can imagine. Golf, or something like it, could be one of them.
Q. Do our pets have a spirit and a place in the spirit world? Ans: Yes. They are all alive and well and happy. You can visit them but you cannot own them.
Q. Can a spirit visit any other spirit? Ans: Yes, but it is not necessarily easy to do. Every spirit has the right to privacy, and other spirits do not intrude on that right. But visits with formerly famous persons, for example, can be arranged when appropriate.
Q. Will I be with my wife (or husband, or brothers, sisters, children, etc.)? Ans: Yes, you will be in contact with them, but you will not necessarily be a part of their spiritual families. They could be at a higher or lower spiritual level than you.
Q. Can I contract to be married in my next corporeal life with my spiritual soul mate? Ans: Yes.
Q. Can I stay in the spirit world indefinitely without coming back to Earth or to any other planet? Ans: No. You can stay in the spirit world for a long time, but ultimately you must return. All are ultimately assumed into the glory of God, but not until we have each attained a level of spiritual perfection.
Q. Will I be aware of my past lives in the spirit world? Ans: Yes. Past lives, however, become less and less important with each succeeding life.
Q. How many times must I return in a new incarnation before I get to stay in a very lofty place in the spirit world? Ans: The answer is likely known only to God.
Q. Can I return to earth and watch over my loved ones, or communicate with them? Ans: It is possible, but your desire to do so will diminish quickly as you assimilate yourself in the spirit world. You will realize that their lives are theirs to live, and their lives are but moments in eternity. You will see them in the spirit world soon enough.
Q. Are there ghosts, spirits at large, and other unexplained phenomena in the world? Ans: Yes. And their purposes are unique to them and to their circumstances.
Q. Are the Bible and all religions wrong? Ans: There is a lot of truth in the Bible and in many religions. Neither, however, is needed to lead a good and worthy life. The Bible was written during a period in human history when little was understood about science. The words, examples, and parables were intended to convey ideas that could be understood by those with very limited knowledge of the world. Today, the Bible’s words convey little that is scientifically accurate. A spiritual being could navigate the pathways of Earth quite well by observing the Golden Rule in most matters, and by following his conscience in matters that are not as clear. Prayer also helps.
Q. What is sin? Ans:Sin is anything that stops spiritual growth. The three great sins are: Not learning from experience, letting leadership turn into tyranny, and letting selfishness turn into greed. Everyone should constantly check themselves for developing greed, tyranny, fear, worry, anger, hate, jealousy, and especially guilt. By conquering these harmful traits we keep in tune with our oversouls (guardian angels), God and the universe. Sin is anything that causes us to lose this contact. When the subconscious mind feels guilty it is ashamed to face its oversoul and builds up barriers to shut it out. Without the oversoul to guide it, such a person is like a child lost in the dark. The only hope it has is to get rid of its guilt and re-connect with its oversoul.
Q. What would happen if the Earth were hit by a giant asteroid? Ans: We would all be killed!
Q. But would that be just? Ans: That question would have to be answered by at least a very high level spirit, perhaps only by God. This much we know: Only our bodies would die. Our spirits would live on in the spirit world, and we would return to a different world in our new corporeal existences. As monumental as the Earth’s destruction would seem, it would be only a minor bump in the eternal scheme of things.
Q. Do we need to pray? By that I mean can we change God’s will to our own by appealing to Him? Ans: When we understand that God’s will is perfect, and his plan is perfect, we also understand we cannot improve on either by praying for those outcomes, nor would they be granted. It is quite OK to pray for peace, for understanding, for comfort, and for guidance for yourself or others in difficult times. At a minimum, you will find the comfort of your guardian angel or other spirits in your time of need.
Q. Are you saying that we have guardian angels? Ans: Yes, most definitely. Your guardian angel is without question your very best friend. Talk to him or her often.
Q. What is our ultimate destiny? Ans: According to very high level spirits, ultimately we all advance to perfection and are assumed into the existence and the glory of God. The composition of and the depth of that level of perfection can only be understood by us when we arrive there.
Q. Will I get to meet God face to face? Ans: Not at your death. Your meeting with God will not come until you have achieved spiritual perfection.
Q. If we all require a Creator, who created God? Ans. This question seems logical, but it is steeped in human logic—and human logic is imperfect. Even very intelligent persons like Einstein did not have the answers to such questions. Spiritism does not have answers to all questions either.
Q. Are Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Moses, Mother Teresa and all the good people who ever lived in the spirit world? Ans: Yes. And they are the most influential because they exist at incredibly high levels of spiritual purity, perhaps all have been assumed into the existence and the glory of God.
Q. Where can I learn more about Spiritism? Ans: Try these web links: