SCIENCE & PHILOSOPHY WITH MORAL CONSEQUENCES
A Science and Philosophy with Moral Consequences
Spiritism is not actually a separate, distinct religion. There are no churches, no dogmas, mysteries, rituals, or initiations, and there exists no priestly or ministerial hierarchy. At the same time, however, the spirits who brought us the teachings of Spiritism did not come to destroy religion, but rather to reveal undiscovered (or sometimes forgotten) laws of nature… and to prove, by demonstration, that which traditional religion teaches only in theory, including things such as the soul, the afterlife, compensation for Earthly miseries of this world, etc.
These revelations and proofs lead those in doubt to understand, with a rational faith, the true nature of God's laws. Spiritism’s teachings, thereby, instill in these individuals the will to seek reform (both personal and societal). So rather than constituting a distinct religion in itself, Spiritism is, instead, a philosophy with moral consequences.
In the book, Espiritismo Basico (Basic Spiritism), Barbosa writes that the fundamentals of Spiritist philosophy are based on: "the existence of God, as the supreme intelligence and cause of all things; evolution as the general law to which everything is subordinate except for God himself; reincarnation as the predominant factor in divine justice; and the exercise and results of the use of our free will."
As Kardec said then, "We can consider the Doctrine of Spiritism in its religious aspect when it establishes a moral tie between men, leading them in the direction of the creator, through the application of the moral teachings of Christ." (Kardec, 1866; 2000)
The moral consequences of the Spiritist philosophy arise when we consider our responsibilities as spiritual beings on a path of moral and intellectual evolution. We start out on our journey of evolution, ignorant and simple-minded, on a mission to reach a state of purification in which we have a complete knowledge of divine laws and a pureness of heart that commands our behavior. This purity, however, can only be achieved through great efforts toward personal growth, exercised over a series of numerous incarnations. Through this, we eventually learn to demonstrate, consistently, all the moral qualities that are characteristic of pure spirits— qualities such as compassion, forgiveness, honesty, selflessness, humility, resignation, etc. (Kardec, 1985).