Here are three extracts from articles published in the last issue of Journal Spirite on the theme " Spiritism in the face of science ". To obtain this review in pdf or in paper version see under the heading " Publications Of this site.
CAN WE UNDERSTAND GOD'S DESIGNS ? - By Jacques Peccatte
“The ways of the Lord are impenetrable” says the popular saying, indicating that we cannot understand our destiny. In fact, this sentence has an origin that goes back to Paul of Tarsus (Saint-Paul) exclaiming : "How deep in the riches, wisdom and knowledge of God ! His decisions are unfathomable, his paths are unfathomable ! " (Letter to Romans 11:33)
If the unfathomable and the impenetrable apply in general to the fatalities of fate, it is also a question of the metaphysical questioning which confers to many misunderstandings as to a divine will of which we do not know why it put humans in such embarrassment in the face of the afflictions they must endure. And on this point, we will find the first clarifications of a savior or messiah who came to educate humanity two thousand years ago by indicating the particular meaning of love for neighbor, the only value that can alleviate suffering, advance towards peace and show the way to God.
It is then the notion of original sin evoked by Paul of Tarsus and theorized by Saint Augustine (354-430) as hereditary defilement assimilated to the act of the flesh (discredit of sexuality) which weighed on the whole of Christianity. This original sin is also present in the Quran.
If Jesus had come to show a way to indicate the meaning of the divine, his message was not transmitted at best, undergoing various interpretations to be found throughout the history of Christian theology. And it is only with Allan Kardec that the philosophical spiritualism made it possible to clarify what remained still obscure, indicating its concept of third revelation, consecutive to those of Moses and Jesus. The designs of God then became much more "penetrable" insofar as all the metaphysics taught by the Spirits and formulated by Allan Kardec, reflected a series of immutable principles, universal principles which were based, no longer on a faith. blind but on reason. The link with Christendom was however maintained by the founder of spiritualism, who indicated the essential continuity for him, between the message of Jesus poorly understood by history and the spiritualism which came to make it explicit in the light of the manifestation of the Spirits. It was then that he questioned certain theological principles built over the course of Christian history, such as original sin, the Holy Trinity, the divinity of Jesus, the virginity of Mary, angels and demons, Saints and still some other notions related to beliefs. (…)
FROM THE SPIRIT OF THE SCIENCES TO THE SCIENCE OF THE SPIRIT - By Mohamed Maï
2 / SPIRITISM : A QUINTESSENCE AMONG THE SCIENCES
In "What is Spiritism ? ", Allan Kardec answers us by describing it as" a science which deals with the nature, the origin and the destiny of Spirits, and their relationship with the corporeal world. " This dense definition alone covers the two categories of sciences that we have just described. He also describes to us the methodology of what true Spiritualism is and what must remain: "Spiritism only establishes as an absolute principle what is clearly demonstrated, or what logically emerges from observation." He also indicates in "Genesis" that : “As a means of elaboration, Spiritism proceeds exactly in the same way as the positive sciences, that is to say, it applies the experimental method. Facts of a new order present themselves which cannot be explained by known laws; he observes them, compares them, analyzes them and, from the effects going back to the causes, he arrives at the law which governs them; then, he deduces the consequences and seeks useful applications. "
The pioneers of spiritualism who succeeded Allan Kardec brilliantly applied this methodology. It was the era of the development of spiritualism through experimental science to underpin and make measurable its principles. Ectoplasmia, magnetism, levitation, were evidenced by experiments carried out in the presence of scientists and recorded in minutes. The striking fact is that many of these eminent scientists who excelled in their respective disciplines were convinced of the survival of the spirit using their own scientific methods. Camille Flammarion, the greatest popularizer of the sciences of his time, did not hesitate to say that “whoever declares spiritualist phenomena contrary to science does not know what he is talking about. In fact, in nature, there is nothing supernatural; there is something unknown, but yesterday's unknown becomes tomorrow's reality. ” There are so many other names, such as William Crookes, Oliver Lodge, Pierre and Marie Curie… We could list entire pages of their experiences, but we can only invite you to dive back into this fascinating experimental period, located between 1850 and the end of the 1920s. It was the time when science embraced all horizons with a curiosity devoid of any prejudice. To deny the scientific fact in the history of spiritualism would be to deny the entire history of its pioneers and their works. How can we imagine for a moment that all these eminent scientists were mistaken while revolutionizing the sciences in their respective fields?
By the bridge that it creates between the incarnate spirit which tends towards freedom and the free disembodied spirit, spiritualism accomplishes the feat of never being put in contradiction with the other sciences, while enriching them and giving them common sense. It is embedded in all human knowledge, like an etheric double that would make them vibrate harmoniously. If the sciences of today, human or experimental, listened to the teaching of spiritualism, in other words the teaching of the Spirits, human progress would accelerate. This is how spiritualism could help the philosopher to get out of the labyrinth of concepts, by raising him to heights where he would better perceive the meaning of his existence. The messages of the Spirits relating to the love of the neighbor would consolidate the ethical sciences in the importance of their research, because the general interest must never be ignored by scientific research.
In matters of psychology or psychoanalysis, spiritualism would encourage the practitioner to extend the study of the personality to past lives, to the cause and effect relationship through hypnosis. Spiritism would explain all the unexplained phenomena in the so-called paranormal sciences, and at the same time dispel the obscurantist cloud of the New Age. He would diagnose negative thinking as the origin of many diseases for medicine. He would extend the view of the astronomer's telescope by confirming to him what science might discover in a few years, life on other planets and an infinity of planets. He would tell the historian the law of evolution and progress to give meaning to his discipline. He would also demonstrate to particle physics the concept of universal fluid which explains why matter appears ordered rather than chaotic. It is also through the latter that a breach will open, where we did not expect it, which is not ready to close. (…)
THE PIONEERS OF SCIENTIFIC SPIRITISM - By Valérie Fauvel
Dr Paul Gibier (1851-1900)
A pupil and protégé of Pasteur, Doctor Paul Gibier is esteemed for having worked for a long time at the Museum of Natural History in Paris. The French government entrusted him with the mission of studying two cholera epidemics. These dangerous and honorable missions linked him to medical celebrities including the illustrious Pasteur who made a great deal of his person and his research. All this takes place before the publication of his book Le Spiritisme ou fakirisme occidental, a work so affirmative in the objective certainty of spiritualist phenomena, that those who dare not accuse him of deception, do not hesitate to believe him the unwitting accomplice. conjurers who would have abused him.
However, Doctor Gibier has experimented more than five hundred times with direct writing with a pencil placed between two slates. His positions in favor of the reality of mediumistic phenomena forced him to settle in the United States, following the reactions of his French peers which put a brake on his scientific career. He founded an Institut Pasteur in New York and despite his overwhelming medical and scientific work, he still devoted himself to the experimental study of spiritualism.
In 1890, he published his second work Analyze des Choses in which he did not content himself with presenting new facts; he offers there a general theory of matter and of life, a spiritualist theory in which all religions and philosophies could find points of contact to attempt the fusion of a harmonious unity in a fraternal doctrine.
After several years of experimental research carried out with strict control, he wrote a considerable dissertation on the materializations of ghosts, the penetration of matter and other psychic phenomena. : The materializations of ghosts. (…)
Posted on: September 19, 2016, by Jacques
SPIRITISM IS NOT A RELIGION
By Jacques Peccatte
Spiritualism has often been considered a religion, and since its birth with Allan Kardec, the question is still debated in certain spiritualist circles where it is said that Allan Kardec himself had not completely decided the question according to the semantic content that could be given to the word religion. Does religion mean to connect and unite around an idea or is it mostly about beliefs that are opposed to reason? ? For our part, we have come to the simplest notions, defining the concepts from their most commonly used content. In religion, the notions of belief and faith are admitted independently of any attempt at logical and reasoned analysis. Thus, for example, in Catholicism, the mystery of the Holy Trinity or the resurrection of Jesus are concepts which appeal to belief insofar as in essence they are and will remain inexplicable, posing a challenge to reason which cannot be resolved. only by faith. Conversely, in matters of spiritualism, the mystery cannot remain without explanation, and it is from a scientific, philosophical and historical approach that new theses have gradually emerged to make intelligible what was obscure. It is in particular through the study of the history of the Church that a good number of religious principles have been able to be deciphered. At different times, dogmas were instituted, often contradicting what was previously admitted, dogmas institutionalized by men of the Church and which were sometimes claimed to be inspired by a divine breath.
The history of the Church is in fact the history of successive dogmas which, most of the time, contradict reason ; they then become objects of faith; they are therefore only admissible by faith.
FAITH OR REASON
It is therefore this point which becomes essential in the debate posed : the religious is dependent on faith, while the philosophical is based on reason. And in this sense, spiritualism makes it possible to dissociate oneself from belief insofar as some of its principles obey laws that can be described, explained, analyzed, or even proven, either experimentally or philosophically. However, there will remain a small part appealing to faith, it is that of a presupposition concerning the existence of God.
A character of materialist obedience, for example, relies on the postulate of the non-existence of God, in which he engages an act of faith, faith in an atheistic certainty that he will then strive to demonstrate by science, analysis and reasoning.
In the same way, the spiritualist and in particular the spiritualist, will pose his own starting postulate, that of the existence of God. ; it is then a bet (like that of Pascal) that he must then demonstrate. To do this, he will use arguments and establish reasoning that he considers more convincing than those of the nihilists. These arguments are already amply contained in The Spirits Book of Allan Kardec, arguments further reinforced by the fact that the Spirits themselves have come to confirm both their survival and the reality of an infinite divine force and creator of all things. . There is obviously a need for another presupposition, that of the effective manifestation of Spirits whose reality we have been able to establish from the study of mediumship and the proofs provided.
Through this study carried out in spiritualism and first and foremost by Allan Kardec, we discover many arguments of great force. When Allan Kardec, using the responses of the Spirits, defines the attributes of God, both in The Spirits Book and in The Genesis According to Spiritism, he takes up certain principles contained in the Gospels, and he makes them explicit, no longer in a act of faith, but with philosophical arguments which are the continuation of remarks made by the Spirits through the mediums. And it is then that he can distance himself from the religious fact, while confirming certain aspects of a well-understood Christian morality, and at the same time refuting certain dogmas. This is how the mysteries of religion are elucidated such as, for example, "the resurrection of Christ" which is no longer a miracle coming to contradict reason but the ghostly and tangible manifestation of the spirit of Jesus, a phenomenon which has become understandable to everyone. start from spiritualist observations concerning materialized apparitions and ectoplasmic mediumship.
Another mystery : this character considered as prophet or Messiah, would be the incarnation of God made man, concept endorsed at the Council of Nicaea in 325 (consubstantiality between the father and the son) and a little later with the adoption of the Holy Trinity, at the First Council of Constantinople (381), including the divinity of the Holy Spirit. The spiritualist study on this point made it possible in a better logic to conclude to the incarnation of a spirit of great evolution which, close to the perfection of a pure spirit, came to bring a message of divine essence to men. of its time, a message which has nevertheless crossed the centuries because it carries an essential idea, that of love for neighbor. This conclusion, also confirmed by Spirits, made it possible to provide a logical explanation in accordance with reason, preserving the exceptional side of a prophet without however attributing to him the character of the divinity which was granted to him by the principle of Holy Trinity.
THEOLOGY AND THE DOGMA
Many other dogmas have been decreed over the centuries, constituting a body of doctrine or a theology, no longer having the character of philosophy, insofar as a good number of the principles it contains depend on a belief blind, what some call the faith of the coalman, a faith allowing to believe in realities in itself impossible. Where understanding is no longer possible, an act of faith is issued to dispense with logical explanations that would be impossible to find.
The Church, for two thousand years, has instituted a good number of dogmas like the Immaculate Conception, stating "that the conception of the Virgin Mary in the womb of her mother, was not marked by the stain of original sin », Which was ratified by Pope Pius IX in 1854. This dogma should not be confused with that of the virginity of Mary, already indicated in the Gospels and which was accepted by the majority of the Fathers of the Church. There is also perpetual virginity (Mary remained a virgin after the birth of Jesus) proclaimed at the Second Council of Constantinople in 553.
The Church has also instituted sacraments responding to social necessities such as marriage or to more spiritual needs such as baptism, the Eucharist, extreme unction or the remission of sins through confession. If it is indeed a question of theology, that is to say of principles instituted by men of the Church, it is also undoubtedly the proof that the human being has a need for spirituality. This need has hitherto been satisfied by belief, dogma and rite. This may be enough for some people, but leaves others in frustration. This in which spiritualism had the virtue of explaining the incomprehensible, bringing other notions hitherto poorly defined such as the manifestation of Spirits and their reincarnation in an evolutionary continuity. This reincarnation was moreover contained in the religious fact in several pre-Christian cultures, and definitively abrogated in 553 (Constantinople) when the preexistence of the soul according to Origen (185-253) was condemned as well as its belief in reincarnation.
The belief in successive lives has above all been the peculiarity of the eastern traditions of Brahmanism, then of Buddhism and Hinduism. There again, even if the principle in itself is confirmed by a spiritualist way, it leaves simplistic beliefs to enter a more logical explanation which moves us away from the caricatural notions of punitive karma or metempsychosis.
SPIRITISM, CONTINUITY OF CHRISTIANITY ?
It is from a moral point of view in particular that Allan Kardec has linked three successive revelations in time. : that of Moses indicating a moral code in his commandments, the word of Jesus complementing that of Moses, and finally the spiritualist revelation which comes to bring all the light from the manifestation of the beyond. This principle of spiritual continuity applies to a specifically Judeo-Christian history which also passes through the philosophical influence of Greece. This so-called third revelation principle should not, however, lead back to religion and highlight one religion more than another. All the religions of the world, if they had their reason for existing and their necessity from a spiritual point of view, also have (or have had) major defects, the defects of human nature leading to domination, to war, persecution or inquisition. There is therefore not, in our opinion, a religious tradition which is superior to another, except to look at it very occasionally. : we could say for example that today, the orientations of the current pope are much more progressive than those of the pseudo-Protestant American preachers (Evangelists, Adventists, Pentecostals and others).
Regarding the religions that do not belong to our Western culture, which are mainly Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam, it is more difficult for us to judge given the cultural differences which make our criteria of appreciation different. . But there should still be some universal data that erases the differences. And among these data, one still poses a real problem, it is the idea of separation between religious practice and the temporal affairs of the organization of societies, it is the famous question of secularism. This question is not mentioned in any of the great founding texts of religions, and it is even rather these writings that would move away from secularism, except at this precise place in the Gospel where Jesus responds to the Pharisees. : "Give back to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God 's."
The spiritualists, for their part, contributed their tribute to this necessary separation between the religious and the political, when some of them joined the League of Teaching, militating for a secular, non-denominational, free and obligatory. These were the Pierre-Gaétan Leymarie, Camille Flammarion, Léon Denis, Emmanuel Vauchez and a few others, who in the continuity of the pedagogue Hyppolite Rivail who became Allan Kardec, pursued the great ideals inherited from the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, so that the social organization of public education is resolutely dissociated from the religious fact. In this sense, we can affirm that spiritualism, already detached from religion as science and philosophy, has also detached itself from it from the point of view of secularism, which is immediately part of modernity.
Obviously, secularism will not mean that we must forget spirituality within social life. This principle simply establishes that in a society of progress, all religions have their legitimate right of expression, but none of them should dictate civil law or any of the principles of life in society. Because, that would come back to the theocracies of the past, even to the powers of the Inquisition which, however, are perpetuated in other countries to the misfortune of all, but which will have to necessarily disappear in the long term if one really wants to envisage a progress on Earth, a progress that would be of real significance, no longer religious, but spiritual.
Posted on: April 29, 2015, by Jacques
It has been exactly twenty-five years since our quarterly journal Le Journal Spirite was launched. Its hundredth number marks a new stage, not in substance but in form, with a presentation now in color. This is undoubtedly the need of our time for a paper press that needs to be attractive, running the risk of being eventually supplanted by digital technology. We are certainly not there and will try to resist as long as possible for the comfort of many readers who prefer to have a paper journal in their hands.
The dossier of this review n ° 100, returning to the fundamentals, is devoted to the main principles of spiritualism under the following titles : The question of God - The mediumnities developed in the circle - Spiritism facing the challenges of our society - The spiritualist approach to reincarnation, - The role of the perisprit - The medium artists of yesterday and today - Being spiritualist today.
It was important for the anniversary issue of the journal to return to major questions which represent the very foundations of spiritualism, in order to mark the anchoring of the spiritualist ideal in what is decisive, by developing these subjects essential to the light of the past and the present, closer to a synthesis that integrates everything we have learned since the birth of a philosophical and scientific spiritualism, initiated by Allan Kardec.
Apart from this dossier, other articles with a philosophical and scientific connotation complete this review with in particular a feature article entitled From materialism to spiritualism : advances in current science.
Here are some excerpts from the editorial dedicated to the history of Journal Spirite :
" (…) The identity of our journal is also the essential updating of a spiritualism which, over time, had undergone mystical or religious influences, a spiritualism which therefore had to regain its progressive function, taking into account the advances. of science and the transformation of societies. The Cercle Allan Kardec, from its origins, has been part of a dynamic of reflection that is at once metaphysical, social and humanist, responding to a spiritualism that was once qualified as philosophical by its founder himself (...)
(…) The identity of the Journal Spirite is also the variety of themes addressed. If spiritualism is above all an approach to the other world which has made it possible to identify great universal laws, it is also consequently what allows us to better discover the meaning of life, both individual and collective. And starting from this meaning of life, we can bounce back on a host of questions and intellectual or moral subjects that concern all aspects of our lives in society. Thus, we must evoke and study religious phenomena to see in what and how spiritualism is not a religion. Thus, we are led to raise major social problems such as suicide, abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, genetic engineering and other questions which are legislated by our public institutions. And then, all the themes of the paranormal can be studied in the light of spiritualism, whether it is magnetism, dowsing, hypnosis, NDEs and even UFO phenomena, to the extent that everything brings us back to the notion of spirit when we speak of telepathy, contact with the afterlife or extraterrestrial lives. It is from all these subjects without obscuring any of them, that knowledge takes shape and that reflection can be nourished by existing data and still unknown to most humans, some of whom wait without really knowing it for the metaphysical answer to the problem of death, death which speaks, death which indicates its own life, death which indicates the meaning of universal life incarnated or disembodied, in the infinite Universe of an elusive God and yet present in the intimacy of each spirit who seeks his meaning of life having often forgotten that he is eternal. "
This magazine represents our circle both in its history and its current affairs, as well as the history of our precursors in an inseparable continuity between the past and the present. There is not the spiritualism of yesterday and that of today, but the vast synthesis of a history which continues.
Le Journal Spirite, press organ of the Cercle Spirite Allan Kardec, is the essential tool for the dissemination of information for a good theoretical and practical knowledge of spiritualist realities.
It is available on this site under the heading " Publications »To be ordered in paper or PDF version.
Posted on: May 8, 2014, by Jacques
21st century spiritualism
The second Ibero-American spiritualist meeting took place from May 1 to 4, 2014 in Spain in Salou near Tarragona. We met there spiritist representatives of groups affiliated to CEPA (Pan American Spiritual Confederation) from different countries: Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Spain and Portugal.
Several themes were discussed in conferences limited to half an hour and followed by a debate, practically non-stop from morning to night.
The main themes addressed were:
- Spiritism and society
- Spiritualism and social issues: sexuality, homosexuality, criminality in Brazil and reintegration through education
- Spiritual ethics
- The challenge of spiritualism and its objectives
For my part, within the framework of the theme "Society", I gave a conference entitled "Bilan du spiritualisme en France". Our circle celebrates its 40 years of existence, which is why it was important to underline the advances of French spiritualism since the origins of our circle.
We have been in contact with the CEPA confederation for about fifteen years, which has given rise to numerous exchanges of books, magazines and articles. And since then we have benefited from a Spanish translation of our Spiritual Journal, which, in PDF format, is distributed to all CEPA groups.
On the occasion of this congress Le Journal Spirite was hailed as "the most complete press organ, representative of a progressive and well-updated spiritualism".
Regarding the subjects dealt with by the various speakers, we noted a concern for consistency and unity of thought, faced with the challenges of a spiritualism which is still poorly perceived and poorly accepted, except in Brazil where it is part of the landscape. cultural. We have also noted a great concern for the problems of the world in relation to a very fragile and threatened peace.
It would take too long to take stock of all the conferences, but two of them particularly caught our attention:
- Jacira Jacinto Da Silva (Sao Paulo-Brazil), judge by profession, spoke of the extent of crime in Brazil, which is a major concern, and from his spiritualist point of view, pleaded for educational structures for reintegration. She militates for knowledge, instruction and education which will be the real means to advance towards a more peaceful society.
- Milton Medran (Porto Alegre-Brazil), retired lawyer, concerned about social and societal issues facing jurisdictions to be improved, made an excellent comment based on extracts from Allan Kardec's Spirits' Book. He identified all the precursor concepts and heralds of progress. He thus commented on what people were already saying in the 19th century on themes such as equality between men and women, the death penalty, marriage, divorce, etc. Milton Medran thus brought to light socially innovative spiritualist conceptions for the time and which can still be debated today. It was a strong tribute to the founder of spiritualism in his vision announcing all the human progress to be achieved.
Besides the conferences, we discussed with several spiritualists from each country represented, exchanged our points of view and experiences, and envisaged new links by a more sustained communication thanks to the Internet.
Posted on: October 1, 2013, by Jacques
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