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  • Spirits constantly interrelate with human beings.  The good ones inspire people to take the high road, sustain them through trials, and instill in them courage and resignation.  On the other hand, the less advanced ones inculcate sordid ideas and depressive thoughts.  They take pleasure in our troubles and strive to make us like themselves.

  • Spirit interactions with human beings can be either subtle or direct.  The subtle communications happen without our awareness, generally in the form of inspiration.  We need to exercise discernment, however, in distinguishing between the uplifting and the malevolent kinds.  Direct exchanges occur through writing, speech, and other physical manifestations, usually with the intervention of a medium who acts as a link between the two worlds.

  • The ethical teachings of the higher spirits may be summed up by the words of Christ: "Do unto others as you would that others should do unto you."  In brief, do good to all and wrong no one.  This principle of action furnishes humanity with a rule of conduct with universal application, from the most trivial to the most critical matters.

  • Enlightened intelligences teach that self-centeredness, pride and sensuality keep human beings engrossed in their animal nature. Accordingly, the person who detaches him or herself from worldly things and who follows "love they neighbor" grows more spiritual.  The spirits advise that we always serve others, as our means allow us, and that the strong and powerful owe assistance and protection to the weak.  They caution that the person who misuses power to oppress his or her fellow beings violates the laws of God.  They also teach that in the spirit-world nothing can be hidden; that the unavoidable presence of those we have wronged on Earth is one of the trials we must face in the spirit world; and that the ethical state of spirits, depending on how advanced or un-advanced they are, gives rise, in that world, to enjoyments or to suffering and regrets.


The preceding summary, written by Kardec, relates the essence of the Spiritist philosophy, as contained in the teachings of spirits of a higher order.  For those interested in reading it, Kardec follows this summary with a discussion of, and responses to, some of the most common objections to these philosophical points.


Kardec, Allan. "Explanatory Notes." The Spirits' Book.  Trans. Allan Kardec Educational Society (translated from 2nd edition in French). Philadelphia, PA. Allan Kardec Educational Society. 1996. 376-380.