HISTORY OF SPIRITISM: INTRODUCTION
The birth and evolution of the Spiritist Doctrine is often said to be characterized by three main stages.
The first is what is often referenced as the starting point of modern spiritualism - the physical phenomena (i.e., the story of the Fox Sisters and the table spinning craze) that took place in a time and manner in which it succeeded in calling people’s attention to spirit manifestations, revealing to them the truth about the survival of the soul.
This led some to question the meaning and implication of such events, especially one man in particular, Allan Kardec, who embarked on a vigorous, methodical study of the intelligent force behind the phenomena and the lessons brought by the numerous communications held with beings no longer living in the physical body. It was through Kardec’s dedication to this work that he was able to compile the basic books that constitute the codification of Spiritism and represent the second stage of its development.
The third stage consists of the complimentary studies, teachings, and messages that have followed the events of Kardec’s time and that have built on the framework set by the fruits of his labor. It also includes our own efforts to apply the lessons of Spiritism in every day life in order to bring about moral transformation – in ourselves and in humanity.
Although the facts, principles, and phenomena that form the basis of Spiritism were not completely new concepts at its inception, Spiritism did make a very important contribution, which is, as Kardec wrote, “the logical explanation of the facts, the more precise knowledge of the nature of spirits, their role and their mode of action, and the revelations regarding our future, in other words, the transformation of the subject into a science..." which encompasses religion and philosophy as well.